Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Waac vs Faac: The Two Extremes and Gamers Versus Hobbiests

       Hello everyone. Today, I want to talk about something I have been giving a lot of thought as of late. I want to talk about the ideas of being a Win at All Costs player and being a Fluff at All Costs player and where we all fit in.  There are not nearly as many WAAC or FAAC players as the Internet would suggest . These two phrases get thrown around a lot on the Internet and I feel they aren't nearly as justified as often as they are used. Almost always used with a negative connotation, these two phrases are often used to discredit or insult someone . For a better look into both, I am going to break down what I feel is each one and give some examples of each and how they are both similar to each other.

    I want to discuss the Win At All Costs player. This phrase gets thrown around the most. In the six years I have been playing warhammer, I always thought I knew what a WAAC player was. It always seemed like that guy who came in with the toughest army you could put together and always played their hardest against everyone. This was my view for the longest time and I often would try to play against some of these players to try and get better at warhammer. They were seriously tough opponents, but the game was still fun so I kept playing them. Then I met the person who I would soon learn would be the model for what a WAAC player would be. A WAAC player is someone who plays the game to the extreme point that the win is more important than anything else. The win will come even to the exclusion of everything else. A win comes before fun,  before friends and before anything else. That win has to come or else the WAAC player isn't happy. The means of the win doesn't matter either. Even in the friendliest of games, a WAAC player will use any trick to make sure they win. Whatever type of game you are playing isn't important just so long as they win.

     As an example, I will use someone I know and shall call Will. This person was the person that became to define what I came to think of WAAC.  This person was so bad that they described sportsmanship in tournaments as "Sportsmanship is about sucking up and telling your opponent you like their paint job, asking them about the tournament so far, yucking it up over your own bad dice and talking about lunch."  and had this idea only so he wouldn't lose points in a tournament and have the best chance of winning. I once saw this guy play at a tournament and he made a younger kid cry. The kid had spent his entire game setting up for what he thought was the game ending move. It was something that was against the rules and at the last moment he found out and had pretty much lost because of it. He got a little teary eyed and was visibly upset. At this point, instead of just relaxing and playing through the rest of the game, he is a dick to the kid as he is about to cry and goes about crushing him. The win was so important to him that he didn't care at all if this kid cried or not and certainly didn't care if anyone had fun.  He wanted a Win and to go to the next round.

        The other side of the WAAC  FAAC coin is the Fluff at All Costs player. FAAC players are a lot more rare but are just as extreme. The fluff they use is more important than anything else. They often will ruin anything they want to for their fluff. Everyone could be having a great time and they will try to interject all the fluff into things they can even if it ruins the moment. An air of superiority is often held around fluff. It doesn't matter what happens,  the fluff is what is important. Something rare happens? Fluff is used to defuse a possible funny situation by referring to some a time when that isn't how things went and that it is bull crap things went that way. Things going exactly how it would go in the fluff? Let me tell you over and over again about how this in the fluff. Like that unit you are using? Let me tell you all the unfluffy things you are doing with it and how to play your unit so that it can be fluffy.   Having fun? Not if the fluff can help it! If you haven't figured out by now, this is the kind of extreme player I hate of the WAAC and FAAC players. A WAAC player can ruin a game, a FAAC player ruins an entire room.

      My example of the FAAC player isn't pretty. Just so you know, I used the phrase "Basement Dweller" to try and figure out the guys name and everyone knew exactly who I was talking about. Not a good start for him. He would try to add fluff into any conversation even if it wasn't game related at all. No one wanted to talk to him if they could help it. First time I met the guy, I genuinely felt bad for him. That was when I Started to talk to him and I even played him in a game once. I only ever played against him once. Orks versus Blood Ravens.  He brought tactical heavy marines and I brought boy heavy Orks. I don't mind that everything had a story or had some back ground in fluff. It really makes the game better sometimes. This guy used every once of fluff he had to whine about anything he could. 20 boys with nob with Power Klaw kill a 5 man tac squad on the charge and he would use tons of fluff to complain. Something went right for him and he would use tons of fluff to pat himself on the back. Things slowed down to such a crippling pace that I nearly lost my mind in a single game. He lost by quite a bit and the fluff never stopped. Any and all fun was dashed against the rocks in the name of fluff.

        Where does that leave the rest of us? That is what I want to spend the second half of this article talking about.  I feel we all drop into the realm of gamers and hobbyists. Very few people actually fall into the extreme categories of WAAC and FAAC. Often times these two groups clash over what they want out of Warhammer to a degree. Few people are pure hobbyists or pure gamers. I will use myself and a friend as an example of what the two sides want.
     This is me. I am a gamer. I play Warhammer because I love the game. It is a solid system, but more importantly, it is a fun system. I really enjoy playing. I have delved into the hobby side of things a few times and I enjoy it, but it isn't why I play. It is the biggest reason I don't play Warmachine and hordes is because there really is not much of a hobby side to it. I paint on rare occasion and I play more than I paint. I was most proud when I finished painting my first army. I didn't enjoy painting, but I was proud to do it.  I have to want to do hobby stuff or be inspired to do hobby stuff. I am always up for a game. I will try any type of game once. I will play against any person and any list at least once. Some of my best and most fun games have been against some of the toughest list and players out there. I have done some cheesy things, but I try to shy away from them as I want everyone to have fun. I only have a single themed army and it has taken me years to put together and it is my primary fantasy army.

     This is Bob. He is a hobbyist.  He does things with paint that are amazing. He has several painted armies and tons of highly detailed models. He also will play almost any one once , but he likes painting and the fluff almost as much as gaming.  He reads the books, buys the paint books, and generally knows a lot about all things Warhammer. His armies are almost all themed and while they play really well, theme is important. His NorlandEmpire army and Deathwing themed Dark Angels army are his pride and joy. They are both fun to play against and amazing to look at. He is a fun person to have no matter what you are playing.

     Neither of us are pure gamers or pure hobbyists. Few people are. Even less people are pure WAAC or FAAC. Next time you want to claim either, think about it before you say it.Trust me, you will know them when you see them.