The issue of ‘soft scores’ in competitive tournaments has been around for quite some time and seems especially prevalent across both Warhammer, and Warhammer 40,000 in particular. The issue arises from a lack of agreement over the importance of the hobby side when we’re disusing points for a tournament. Essentially once side is arguing that people who put the effort into painting their armies should be thusly rewarded at tournaments, while the other side wants to keep it strictly about who actually plays the game the best. A recent Editorial over at Bell of Lost Souls has once again raised the issue, looking mostly at how Games Workshop themselves might have caused some of the problems in the first place.
“…In a world where Games Workshop would only release new armies every 4-6 months, players were able to keep up with necessary painting duties. Then something changed, Games Workshop began a rapid release schedule which saw monthly releases of new rules and new models. Competitive players had no choice, but to adjust, in doing so they decided to stop painting or at the very least care less about it. The rush to get three colors on a model no matter how terrible it looked was good enough, especially when list building changed daily…”
TastyTaste – Blood of Kittens
It’s worth a read and certainly has a few points worth considering. You can find it here.
Naturally, the issue is still quite contentious (visit the comments section of the article if you dare!) and there has already been a response from vhadmin at Variance Hammer with some interesting counterpoints
“…If anything, I’d argue that the tournament scene isn’t particularly responsive to GW releases – it’s been suggested that one of the reasons we still haven’t seen the Genestealer Cults reach what people thought their potential is that an infantry-heavy cult army is expensive and hard to paint. And we’ve seen the strength of renegade lists building for some time (I first mention them here, exactly a year ago, as an army to watch) but I think the capital outlay of artillery platforms and staring down the barrel of painting huge amounts of models had slowed the adoption of renegade armies…”
vhadmin – Variance Hammer