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2/17/2017

Xathrodox86 goes on a rant: go WAAC yourself

Yup, it's gonna be one of those articles. Where I spew a lot vitriol and impotent rage on a completely unimportant thing, concerning little, plastic men and their big, fleshy owners.

I think we can all agree that most people play tabletop to just have a bit of fun. You know, after a whole week of hard work, paying the bills, visiting a doctor and so on, there are few better things that let you relax, than a few dice rolls, a cold one with your opponent and maybe grabbing an unexpected victory. You know, just having a jolly good time and making sure that your sparring partner also had fun.

Or is it? Because lately, it seems to me that more and more people don't play for fun, or at least not for the healthy sort of fun, that is normally assosciated with tabletop gaming. No, they're playing to win. At all costs.

Tabletop gaming is serious buisness
Hence the dreaded term "WAAC". Which I hate with a burning passion.

Now, I'm going to speak purely from my own experience in playing 40K for many years, but also from reading people's posts on almost every, single 30K/40K Facebook group, that I have subscribed over the years. Of course it's only my opinion, but from my observations and personal experience, I think that this trend is becoming increasingly worse. Nowadays you can rarely see a battle report, where one, or both sides, decided not to deploy their strongest, often times downright broken forces. I think that this trend began fully during the time of 6th and 7th editions formation spam. Suddendly every army, or at least most of them, recieved a bunch of specific formations, with unique rules. Some of them were mildly useful, while others were downright game breaking. Of course Space Marines got most of them, as well as some of the best ones, while Eldar and Tau also got their xenos paws on some tasty options. Riptide wing, for example, is downright nasty. Other factions got a few fomations as well, some of them good, others not so much, but that's not what I want to talk about really. At least not now.

You see, with the inclusion of so many, new army options, it quickly became clear that Games Workshop did not perform and excessive cross-testing between those new formations and their codices. That meant basically, that people started to search for the most game-breaking combos possible. A good example is the infamous Gorgon Chain-wielding SM Chapter Master on a bike, a.k.a. Smashfucker. Stick him into a command squad with a few Stormshields and an Apothecary, and he's nigh on unkillable by almost anything, save a Primarch. Even then, few of the Emperor's Sons will strugle to bring down that monstrosity. Yeah, someone found a way to bring something like that to the table. Why? I think I know the answer. Keep reading, and you'll find it.

This is the first, glaring problem - essentialy finding a legitimate way to deploy the most overpowered shit, possible on the table, while defending one's actions as "legal" and using arguments, such as "well I did it, so you could have done it as well". I don't really have to comment on that type of rethoric, but fear not, I will. In due time.

Next we have the GW's alarming trend of strengthening certain armies, while leaving others in the cold. So you want to tell me that I can't deploy my CSM Alpha Legion, using Iron Warriors tactics, but it's ok for Vanilla Space Marines from the White Scars, to utilize Iron Hands formations? What about the infamous "Angels of Death" supplement, that instantly turned Astartes into the best and, in the opinion of many, myself included, one of the most broken armies in the current meta? Suddendly they recieve their own psychic powers, which again, compared to the "new and unique" powers available to their traitorous cousins, are downright insane. Oh and no other imperial faction may use them, because fuck you. As to not be monothematic however, the brand new "Fracture of Biel-Tan" turned the Eldar, which were already one of the top tier armies in 7th edition, into literal rape train without any brakes. By the way, I see a very nice symmetry between the "Gathering Storm" campaign and the "End Times" for the deceased WFB. By that I mean that the rules for armies, well certain armies, are completely over the top, while the actual writing sucks horribly. I will certainly raise this topic in the future, fear not.

Above examples show us, rather clearly, that GW turned their marketing strategy towards a "pay to win" sort of direction. You want to be competitive? You need to have a super heavy walker. Imperial Knights are a must, nowadays, just like any other huge walker. It's a shame that Tyranids don't really have one, but their codex sucks anyways, so whatever, right? Oh and the Dark Eldar don't have one, as well... Well, if anyone plays them, it's their own, damn fault. I think you know where I'm going with this. Together with the selecitve formation spam, GW is clearly showing us that some of their armies are more worthy of collecting them, than the others. Worse, they clearly show that you should play as strongest and taylored army as possible. This, coupled with a clear favortism for the select few factions, getting exclusive, incredibly good stuff (Custodians for the Imperium players come to mind), not only destabilises the game, but also raises a generation of spoiled, self-entitled, egoistical and uncaring twats. Which is horrible.

Not for said twats, of course
And many people are buying it, in every sense of the word, becoming said twats. Worse, they feel that it's a natural thing, having a formation that allows a better Jink save, together with a bucket of Grav weapons (all with re-rolls for wounding!) and a Knight. If they can find a way to deploy some balls to the wall insane combo, they will do it and justify it in their own way. Usually in a very, very poor manner like: "but your army has this and this" or "but that other army is stronger", and so on. Of course they will not want to hear about their faction being especially strong ("army x is stronger!") or that their list is not fun to play against ("you could make a strong one as well!"), That's what WAAC mentality does to a person - it turns them into a self entitled douchebag, who forgets the principal rule of any game: that it should be fun for both players, not just one. You're not playing alone, you're playing with another person. It is your duty to make sure that he or she, also enjoys the game. If you want to play with yourself, well... tabletop just isn't for you.

It should be mentioned at this point, that this kind of mentality and play style is not GW's fault. Sure, they're promoting this kind of gameplay and behavior, but it's the player himself, who decided to follow it. People don't become WAAC's, because they were forced to. They're doing that because they want to do that. Why? Beats me. Maybe they're obsessed with winning, maybe they want to recompense their, otherwise, mundane, boring lives. Maybe they're frustrated at the world around them, at their lives, who knows? But you know what? Fuck them.

Remember to use protection. Don't get infected by the WAAC virus, and for the love of Throne, don't let them breed!
Yeah, fuck them hard. If anyone wants to play with you, solely to Win At All Costs, to beat you, because it'll make them feel better, while spewing some self-excuse bullshit, he or she is not worth playing with. Simple as that. Why should anyone put up with this shit? Why should anyone tolerate someone who brings a bucket of fliers to the table, while also saying that "be thankful, because I could've bring more"? Why should anyone tolerate someone, who deploys a most broken, barely legal army list, which is impossible to defeat, because they have a brand new, favored codex, while yours is 3 years old, and was never that good to begin with? If I'd be playing against someone like that, I would not bring a Knight to the table, together with a bunch of OP formations, cause I actually value my opponent's fun. I don't want to be that guy! However, currently, 40K is full of Those Guys. It's like a dam broke, and assholes begun to flood the hobby. Hell, I used to remember a time, when people gave you grief, for bringing stupid, broken shit to a game, outside of grand tournaments. Now it's impossible to have a friendly, casual game, without bumping into someone who thinks that WAAC is the only true way.

What's worse, is that this mentality started to leak into 30K as well. Long believed a much more balanced game, with a better player base, than that of 40K, it has begun to show the first, true signs of WAAC with the premiere of "Inferno". Undoubtedly the Thousand Sons are one of the strongest legion right now, and people all over the internet have been discussing the "Magnus Deathstar", which basically combines the Big Red, Ahriman and a squad of Sekhmet. I've read a battle report between the Salamanders and the XVth Legio, during which Vulkand and his Firedrakes clashed with that specific unit. The Sally's managed to kill... one Terminator. In 3 rounds they were all dead. Yeah, that must've been fun, right?

Now, it must be said that for every WAAC asshat, there are probably few normal peeps out there, and that's certainly true. However the percentage of players, who think that Winning At All Costs is a way to go, steadily raises. There are more of them coming, with each passing month, and releases like "The Gathering Storm" only speed up the process. Meanwhile many players who either don't play an army, that could go toe to toe with one of the favortised, heavily tailored factions, or simply want to experience fun, casual games, feel more and more disilussioned and resigned. Not to mention it's no fun to spar against someone who not only brings maximum cheese to the table, but also gloats, thinking himself entitled to act like a prick. I understand that. I'm one of those people. I don't play 40K often, but when I do, I want to have fun and I want my opponent to have fun. It's a normal approach to gaming, and it baffles my mind, why so many people don't understand that and actively try to be as assholish as possible. Well, for those people I have 3 things to say:

1) Making yourself feel better by winning in a game of little, plastic men is downright pathetic. At the same time, making sure that your opponent will have a bad time, watching helplessly as you steamroll your Gorgon Chain-wielding Chapter Master, through his army, with him not being able to do anything about it, is also disgusting and seriously uncool.

2) Your problems won't magically dissapear, after you sick your 3 Riptides against someone, who just wants a light, casual game. Maybe you'll feel better for a few hours, but after some time the sad reality of your life will kick back in. The only difference is, that then you'll also have a player, who may not be too keen on facing you again. Which brings us to...

3) Losing gaming buddies. You will quickly loose people, willing to play with you. Outside of tournaments and heavily competitive games (agreed on by all the participants, of course), there's little chance that many, casual players will want to stick around you. Especially if you also act like a dick during matches. Of course, you may think then that they are simply salty and can't take a failure like real men. In that case it's probably better, if you play with "real" players. Better for your casual opponents, that is.

Not that a WAAC player cares for filthy casuals. Unless he's busy grinding them to dust, being pleased with himself and enlargening his (probably very small) genitals. Bravo!
At this point I don't really have anything else to add. It saddens me to see 40K, getting more and more infested with WAAC mentality. It's just a game, and as such, it's supposed to be fun and make you and your friends, have a good time. I'd think that this is rather obvious, really. Being a powergamer, rationalising your WAAC tendencies in any way possible (usually a very poor way, I might add) and acting like a tit is, for me, both very sad and unnaceptable. I've decided some time ago, that I won't play against such people anymore. I want to relax during my games and to have fun, while also making sure that my opponent is also having a good time. Maybe the upcoming 8th edition will trim this WAAC craze, and make people remember that a tabletop experience is primarly about fun, not Winning At All Costs.

To paraphrase Pee Wee Herman: WAAC Is wack. Make no mistake about that.

Pictured: Pee Wee Herman holding a vial of pure, destilled WAAC. Even a single drop can turn you into a douchebag
Sometimes it's good to make a lighter, perhaps more fluffy list, than a rape-train without any brakes. That way you'll not only be seen as a cool, friendly gamer, but it'll also assure that your opponent will think of you positively. Trust me, it is very important, and a worthy thing to achieve. Tommorow I'll be playing a game against my friend's Tyranids. I won't be bringing any superheavies, flyers or even heavy ordnance. We've decided that this match will be infantry heavy, and I plan to make sure, that this foul xeno scum will leave my house, feeling happy and with a sense of a time, that's been well spent. For me, any tabletop experience should be about that and not counting how many of his units I'll be able to slot every turn, with my super tailored, formation heavy, OP army. It's a game. Make sure that everyone enjoys it, not just you.

Also if I've offended anyone with this article, then I'm not sorry at all. It simply means that you are a WAAC player and should be ashamed of your gaming habits. Save yourself some time (mine as well), and don't try to convince me that I'm a "bad gamer who can't win, and now his taking it out on the real players". I don't mind losing, as long as my opponent is a decent, friendly person, who treats others in the right way, and not a gigantic cunt with a WAAC complex. Thank you.

Until next time, when we return to the Old World! Because it's a place, worthy of further exploration, don't you think?

Xathrodox86