Author: Frank Austin

Meat for Meta: That Magical First Time

There’s a special moment in the life of every 40k player, a glorious time when the stars align and the heavens open up and take a nice big shit right on your forehead.  Suddenly you find yourself sitting across the table from a Giant Douche Nozzle, incapable of any but the most rudimentary of thought processes.  And on that day, my friends, you will find yourself being righteously accused of cheating for the first time. A cheating accusation can manifest itself in a myriad of ways, usually closely related to the kind of person making it.  In the socially awkward circles of the gaming community, the most common type of accusation is the passive aggressive call-out. It starts simply enough.  “I mean, sure, if that’s how you want to play it.”  How does someone interpret a statement like that?  It’s plain to see the obvious disagreement, the disdain for whatever it is that the GDN thinks you’re doing – but how to respond?  “Yes, sir, that is how I want to play it!”  You don’t want to seem an ass, but how can you respond in a way that is both assured and confident without doing so? Passive aggressive GDNs will likely revisit their piddling accusations at every opportunity.  Since they cannot come right out and say what it is they so desperately wish to say, (at least not...

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Meat for Meta: Lessons from the WAAAAAAGH

It takes a certain type of person to be an Ork player.  Some new guys got it, some (like myself) don’t.  It’s a sad truth that not every player has the guts to surf the green tide, but all of us can learn a few things from our friendly neighborhood warbosses, new players especially.  Here’s a few of the things I’ve picked up from the other side of the table. Ork players are infamous for their conversions and modeling experiments, and I’ve personally seen more rad scratchbuilt Orks than any other race in the galaxy.  Even new Ork players have shown up with Kans that have light-up eyes and crazy Battlewagon kitbashes.  It shows a real love of the army- something I wish I had for my Space Pups- and adds a great bit of personalization, too. Don’t be afraid to experiment with conversions.  I don’t usually talk about painting or modeling much here, but there have been some awesome sights on the table nearly every time I play an Ork player, and I really wish I had that kind of drive.  We all have our excuses for not doing rad conversions, but they’re all lame.  You’ll never make a good model if you don’t start somewhere, and chances are that your opponents will always appreciate the effort regardless of how bad you think it looks. What the hell...

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Meat for Meta: First Tournament

Tournament play is a hot topic these days, and I might as well chime in with my two cents.  I’m currently preparing an army for the upcoming event at Dundracon and I’ve come across a few things that I think would be worth discussing. As a new player, tournaments pose an interesting, multi-faceted challenge.  First of all, every event is different.  They have different scoring systems, different mission set-ups, and different players.  Obviously you can’t do much accounting for the players, but you can definitely prepare yourself for the scoring and missions you’ll be playing. Even as a new guy I can tell you that comp is a bullshit scoring system.  I recently had a chance to play in a 1250 point tournament at Great Escape Games in Sacramento.  I passed on the tourney mostly because I looked at their comp system and couldn’t roll my eyes back far enough.  I try very hard to run lists that I’m excited about, but I couldn’t make one within the confines of their comp system that I enjoyed.  If I’m not going to like the army I’m playing, why would I play the game? I know that in this specific instance I probably should have just ignored the comp system and played for fun, but it’s hard to get motivated to travel to an event with an army that I am...

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Meat for Meta: Seeing Other People

First off, let me apologize for the extended break between 40k FNG articles.  The holidays came hand in hand with a bad streak of 40k games and I really didn’t have very many positive things to say about the hobby for a while there.  So, rather than vent my frustrations to the Internet and whine like a baby, I whined like a baby IRL and did one of the smartest things I’ve done since coming into the hobby:  I took some time off. A couple of weeks went by without me having any interest in playing a game of 40k, and so I didn’t!  Imagine that!  Rather than force myself to go down to the store and play I just sat at home and did other things.  More recently, I found myself trying other games out just to see if I enjoyed them more.  Turns out I do! Don’t worry, I’m not about to turn this into a 40k vs. Other Game flamewar, because not only did playing Another Game tickle my fancy, it also helped me enjoy my games of 40k a lot more. Every game system is different and they all have good things to offer.  When you get frustrated by some of the drawbacks in a system (and 40k has plenty) it’s really nice to have a friendly shoulder to cry on.  Find yourself in the...

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Meat for Meta: What the Fluff?

If you’re anything like me, you have no idea who the hell Dan Abnett is. I mean, I know now that Mr. Abnett is the author of many fine novels in the Warhammer universe, including the official penning of the Horus Heresy. I think that’s when the Emperor told Horus that he was his father and cut off his hand, or something. Warhammer 40,000 actually has a pretty ridiculous amount of fiction associated with it. I haven’t read any, because I just don’t have the stomach for tie-in fiction, but I do read the “story” sections of every codex that I pick up. (Wolves, Smurfs, Chaos Marines, Eldar, and Tau for those of you keeping track) Some of this is embarrassingly bad and some of it is tolerable. I absolutely can’t stand the way codex authors slip in and out of narrative voices when writing these sections. It’s disorienting and weird, but I power through it. Why? Because ultimately, the fluff adds a lot to the hobby that every new player can benefit from. Take the mighty Space Wolves. Now, if I hadn’t read the codex itself and just went on to the army list section, I would still be happy with my army. However, if I page through the beginning, I might find a particular Great Company whose style I want to emulate on the tabletop. Maybe a certain story or character will...

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