About Me

Hey there, as you can see this is blog is all about gaming. And that's what I've been doing for pretty much all of my life. Currently I'm completely enveloped in Warhammer 40,000 and I'm breaking into the new Warhammer Fantasy system with the release of the new 8th edition.

Follow me as I build new armies, find newer and better ways to destroy my enemy, learn more about the rules, and just complain about the things that don't go my way :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Can Winners have Fun and Get Prizes?

"If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?" - Vince Lombardi

Once again I have run into
that part of the hobby that feels you can not have anything good to do with the hobby if you're interested in Winning and getting Prizes. After a local event was posted up involving a painting contest and games over a period of time I noticed that they were awarding prizes but there was no mention of what the prize would be. During my inquiry I mentioned how I had felt unfair about the prize support at the location before, after getting first place in a different painting event there, the store credit reward had not even covered the model cost needed for the entry fee (all of $15 bucks).

"Winning isn't everything... it's the only thing." - Vincent van Gogh

The response to my inquiry was, "Then you probably aren't the hobbyist we are looking for. Move along. Seriously. If you care that much about the prizes instead of the fun, this probably isn't for you." I'll be the first to admit that I enjoy a good prize but I would never claim that prizes are more important then fun, I do however believe if an establishment is trying to make sales off a competition for the chance of a reward the reward should be worth the efforts and at least the entry fee of the competition.

To put it another way, do you go out and buy a 1 dollar lottery ticket for the small chance to win a max payout of 50 cents. No you don't, and you never would, so if a store is holding a competition, in my mind the prize should be worth the cost, time and effort. While time and effort can be hard to judge and rewarded cost is quite easy. To me I feel "worked over" if a store charges people to enter and then hands out a significant amount less in prizes, it then feels like they're taking advantage of the competition for their benefit.

"Winning is nice if you don't lose your integrity in the process." - Arnold Horshak

Does this mean there always has to be a prize, of course not. I enjoy playing games, I enjoy meeting new people, I enjoy background of the game, and I enjoy winning, all of these things are fun to me, and unless my opponent is being a jerk, I'm almost always going to have fun, win or lose. Do I have more fun when winning, yup, just like I have more fun when I'm going faster in my car, or getting more chocolate syrup on my ice cream. Winning adds to the fun of the game to me but it's not everything. Would I pay to play in an event that didn't have any prize support, I sure would and have done it many times, it's no different then paying and then not winning an event that has the prize support, as long as I had fun then that's what matters to me.

"You will never win if you never begin." - Helen Rowland

Prizes are a part of most competitions, whether it's money, store credit or trophies depends on the event. So why did I inquire about the prizes, why is it that I'm even concerned about prizes. To be honest it's a great bonus to winning a tournament, especially if you're unemployed and have no budget to spend on the hobby. It helps me to get new toys and have more fun by trying out more and more stuff. Plus knowing what the prizes might be allows me to know how much effort and stress to put into an event. Playing in an event with a $500 reward is quite a bit different then playing in one with a nice little trophy, one I'll try my best and play my hardest in and will stress over and the other I'll play more for fun.

So can winners have fun and get prizes, sure thing, just the same way others can have fun in every other aspect of the game.


  1. There are two equally valid perspectives here, with extremes possible either way.

    We participate in the hobby (modeling.painting.gaming) because we enjoy it.
    That is a reward unto itself.
    Many events are also fun, regardless of outcome.

    Counter point;
    It is very reasonable that if a "prize" is offered, that it feel "prize-worthy".
    I am 100% ok with an event that has only bragging rights as the prize.
    I am 100% ok with an even that has a different type of "prize".
    A prize IF OFFERED should however actually be a prize...the $1 lotto ticket for a reward of 50 cents is an excellent example.

    I think playing for fun is great; I think playing for prizes is great, and has a lot of merit (as listed in post).

    I think players who obsess over it are rare, and should be avoided...

  2. Now I know why you told me I'd missed a bunch of the blog Monday night.

    I agree %100 with you on this one. If an event is going to offer a prize for an event it should be at least 1.5 times the entry point. I generally don't think about prizes at events (since we all know if I walk out with anything it was a a door prize), but it should be worth your time and effort if they offer a prize. I especially feel that modeling contests should follow this rule more so. If a store has a modeling contest, they generally require the model to be purchased at their store. No problem with that, but the entrants are basically a marketing tool for them while on display before the judging. If you've bought a $50 kit at a store for a painting contest, your time alone spent on the model is well worth something of double the entry value at a minimum. The store basically gets to sell, say, 10 $50 models (I'm going to assume 10 for this point, but we know a painting/modeling contest is going to draw a lower number of entrants because it take s an enormous amount of effort to win something of that nature), then after the entry deadline let's say they do the awards a week later allowing for judging. The store basically has 10 very nice pieces to show off for that week, enticing others into either enter the hobby or, if they are already a player, purchase a model they might not otherwise because there are 100 very nice ones right there. My painting skills are atrocious but I see a sweet looking Dreadnought on Forgeworld I start counting my pennies because, even though the logical portion of my brain should be shouting "IT WILL NEVER LOOK THAT GOOD IF YOU DO IT YOURSELF" it's the illogical part that wins every time with the "This time it will be different. You'll spend the time needed to do a good job.". Yet, I start out with grand plans, end up wanting to get the thing into play ASAP, so after the black basecoat goes down the piece hits the table, then gets dropped, chipped, or something else, and I never finish painting the thing. I've bought it because someone else (who can paint) bought it and painted it, the store displays it, and Brad buys it. If the store is handing out anything less than twice the cost of the model it's a crime. It's win/win for the store, the least they can do is make it so the entrants have a shot at a little win/win themselves.

    Sorry to go off on a rant, but even though I know the stores need to make money to remain open so I have someplace to play (and I buy stuff where I play, not everything, but I make sure to spend $40/$50 at CA when I can (once a month or so) because they provide me a place to play.

    So even though the prizes don't enter into my thought process deciding what tourneys to play, stores do need to step up with some prize support for events. GW themselves need to offer more support, something I've read they have cut way back on especially in the US, so it's not all on the store owners themselves.