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"Who would you rather play against?" Topic

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08 Jul 2017 7:18 p.m. PST
by Editor Gwen

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Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 11:44 a.m. PST

You get to the local game store a little later than normal and you are looking for a game. You have your army but there are only two other people there otherwise not occupied.

The first player has an army that is not in use in your system anymore. It was a legal army at one point but it has not kept up with the current rules. Alternately it is not an army that was covered in your ruleset. The player has a fully painted army, perhaps some parts of it are conversions. It may not be the best painted army but it is well painted and fully painted.

He has made some tweaks to an existing list to use the army.

The other player is playing from a standard list. You can easily find all the rules for it in your book, or at least a book. His army has some units painted, some just primed and some completely unpainted.

Both players seem equally friendly.

Which player would you rather play against?

28mm Fanatik03 Jul 2017 11:58 a.m. PST

The player with the fully painted army. I don't mind bending the rules a little to accommodate players with well painted armies.

Unpainted or simply primed armies are a turn-off. You gotta at least try to "do some justice" to the detailed miniatures.

BigDan Supporting Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

I might offer to let the fellow with the unpainted army command a few of my units but the player who has painted his army is the one I would play against.

You should be rewarded for putting the effort to paint your figures.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

Fully painted hands down. Army not used in my system? – do you mean someone went back in a time machine and eliminated a nation? I sure hope no one ever does that to my Zulus. :)

Texas Jack03 Jul 2017 12:38 p.m. PST

Painted for me too. I don´t want to seem like a snob, but painted is painted, damn it.
I don´t paint well myself, but I would never play with unpainted minis, not even solo. Hmm, I think I sound like a snob. grin

PzGeneral03 Jul 2017 12:38 p.m. PST

I must agree. I play miniatures games for the look. Only once (that I remember) have I played a game with unpainted stuff. My friend was in from Tennessee (500 miles away) and my "All Quiet on the Martian Front: stuff was assembled, but not painted. We played with it to try out the rules…..

Plus, I play to play. I don't mind if you "aren't legal anymore"……

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 12:41 p.m. PST

Not every system covers every single possible army. So if you had some instance where a lone Boer lead an army of renegade Zulus plus some British deserters and he recreated that army but it wasn't in the book for example.

foxweasel03 Jul 2017 1:20 p.m. PST

No paint no play.

Doug MSC Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 1:38 p.m. PST

Never played against or with an unpainted army let alone an unpainted unit. I like the look of the game also. Choice for me is clear.

D6 Junkie03 Jul 2017 1:40 p.m. PST

Painted it does matter

whitphoto03 Jul 2017 1:54 p.m. PST

I kill the Nazis… No Nazis? I kill the Russians…

Chuckaroobob03 Jul 2017 1:55 p.m. PST

Once again here in this strange corner of NC it seems everything is different from the rest of the world.

99% of the armies here are unpainted. Mine being the exception. The other guy who painted moved away.

I would play against the unpainted legal army, I've faced too many padded stat (Toughness 11/unlimited re-rolls/special rules somewhere on the internet) armies already.

45thdiv03 Jul 2017 2:02 p.m. PST

Well, I would play with either. I would just be happy to play a game against another player. Perhaps the none painted player might like to come over and learn to paint thier figures?

uglyfatbloke03 Jul 2017 2:24 p.m. PST

I don;t think I've ever played with unpainted figures since childhood and only maybe twice against unpainted ones, but that would n't stop me doing so, especially if the game looked like it would be interesting and entertaining.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 3:07 p.m. PST

I play against the Squats. (Not Squats? The Harlequins with Imperial equipment, then?) Anyway, the painted army.

Slaughterhouse rules: nothing was allowed on a board in the shop without at least three colors of paint and all castings completely covered. Exceptionally bad paint jobs still might be removed from the board or covered up if there were children present.

The nice thing about historical miniatures is that (outside of DBA) you won't wake up in the morning to find out your army became illegal overnight.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 4:46 p.m. PST

Painted – or lend the other guy some of my painted

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 5:12 p.m. PST

Hmm. I thought there was no such thing as illegal anymore. :)

Pictors, the answer is whichever you think will make the game fun for YOU.

If you think that playing with an army your ruleset doesn't include is going to be a frustrating experience, then go for the other one. But if the unpainted figures in that one are going to be frustrating for you also, then I suggest making arrangements ahead of time with someone who will show up with the right painted figures.

Like most things in life, it is not always about what you like the most. Most times it's about what you dislike the least. :)


Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 5:14 p.m. PST

I guess whether it is illegal or not depends on what you are playing.

Actually, Dan, I'm wondering which it would be for you. It is more of a survey than a guide. I already know what my answer is.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 5:21 p.m. PST

Ah …

Well, not being much of a rules expert – not enough to make adaptations at a moment's notice – I would probably go with the second fella.

But I would probably compliment him a few times about how awesome his fully painted ones look. I would even post and share a handful of very nicely angled photos of them with him. But quietly throw in a couple of pictures of the unpainted ones. He'll see the difference.

And because you made him feel like his painting skills could make any game look like a million bucks, he'll probably feel motivated to bring them all in fully painted the next time.


ordinarybass Supporting Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 7:09 p.m. PST

Painted everytime for me and I'll almost always prefer the opponent who does likewise. I've been fudging a bit on this recently as many runewars players have not yet got their armies painted and I go to the flgs to play it. Thus I've played against a fair bit of bare plasic.

For myself, after the first game I've had all my figs painted with the only exception being a few figs borrowred from another gamer to fill out a unit.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP03 Jul 2017 8:31 p.m. PST


ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Jul 2017 3:23 a.m. PST

Painted, definitely.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2017 4:45 a.m. PST

Simply not enough information. Suppose the second player is new not only to the game but gaming in general. One great way to discourage him.

I would look for a 4th and divide up in to two teams.

Now having said that I dont play tournament or point style games with Army lists but rather prefer historical scenarios so I may be the wrong one to ask.

Jon Lead Slayer Inactive Member04 Jul 2017 5:38 a.m. PST

I'd play umpire and have them fight each other.

Dentatus Fezian04 Jul 2017 6:57 a.m. PST


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2017 7:02 a.m. PST

I've never personally encountered the unpainted army phenomenon.
But I don't troll lonely gaming stores looking for anonymous encounters either. grin

I did hear about someone running down to the dealers' barn at a convention to buy a bag of Old Glory infantry. He dumped the bag on a movement tray and proceeded to play in a WAB tournament.
I hope that's not true.

Capt Flash04 Jul 2017 9:31 a.m. PST

Work In Progress armies are ok in my book.
I'd play the less WAACky player…

Personal logo Dances with Clydesdales Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2017 11:17 a.m. PST

I don't think this would ever happen, as I tend to play pre planned scenarios. A pick up game is possible, but I don't generally use army lists, so "legal" armies aren't an issue for me. Regardless painted is preferred.

45thdiv04 Jul 2017 4:38 p.m. PST

If you just play X-Wing or Armada games you will not run into any unpainted armies. :-)

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2017 5:35 p.m. PST

I did hear about someone running down to the dealers' barn at a convention to buy a bag of Old Glory infantry. He dumped the bag on a movement tray and proceeded to play in a WAB tournament.
I hope that's not true.

It's not.

The WAB tournament armies were some of the best painted armies you'd ever see at a convention. The players took pride in their armies and awards were given for the best painted ones. Plus you'd need multiple movement trays for your units and 2 copies of your army lists. It's not like you can shovel out an Old Glory bag and start playing.

Imagine buying a bag of Old Glory 15mm WW2 panzergrenadiers, dumping them out of the bag, and entering the Flames of War tournament. Sure. wink

Mark 105 Jul 2017 10:34 a.m. PST

Caution -- random musings follow.

I am also among those who play rulesets that have no concept of a "legal" or "not legal" army. Except for example, bringing a battalion of M1A2 Abrams tanks into a 1941 Barbarossa scenario. Well, even that might well be legal under most of the rulesets I play, although it might be a bit too far afield for most of the players I have gamed with.

I've seen this kind of thing happen reasonably frequently. Someone has an unfinished force … maybe he's just gotten the base-coat on everything, maybe he just recently added some new items to what was a finished force, and hasn't even started on them yet.

I find un-finished forces subtract from the pleasure I derive from the game. I prefer beautifully painted models on a wonderfully crafted gameboard, with a historically well researched and thoughtfully constructed scenario that is also reasonably playable and challenging. I also prefer game opponents who are friendly, engaging, knowledgeable on the history being gamed, interested in sharing, learning and experiencing some (admittedly minor simulation) of the challenges of command, flexible, and have good senses of humor.

Yep, that's what I prefer. But it's not what I find. So I go with as much as I can get.

A friendly gamer, an interesting scenario, a workable ruleset, and an unfinished army? I'll take it any day.

I personally don't put unpainted tanks on gameboards. I just don't. But given my many years of collecting, and the evolutions in my understanding of the appearance of miltiary vehicles, and my modelling skills, there are some models in my collection that frankly might look better if they weren't painted!

But I like it when players feel compelled to pick up one of my models and look it over in detail and complement it's appearance. And I feel embarrassed when I put models out that are not enticing and eye-pleasing. In fact in the past several years I've done a few refurb projects specifically because I had brought out an old unit for a game, and found I was not proud of the appearance of the models.

Oh, and I HAVE been in a game where one player went over, bought some models, took them out of the package, and put them on the gametable. Wasn't a convention -- it was a regular Friday night pick-up game at the Last Grenadier -- a good old fashioned game / hobby shop in the L.A. area. That was mumble mumble years ago, but it still sticks out in my mind.

He was a very young player … maybe mid-teens. I was an experienced old hand of about 23 or 24. He was very jazzed about the models he bought (it was a modern game, and he bought some GHQ LAV-AT anti-tank TOW vehicles). It was a little hard for me to understand his excitement. Already by that point I had been working for years to understand TOEs, and he didn't have a USMC force, so had no reason for fielding LAVs of any sort. I had a USMC force with a LAV-25 company, and a LAV-AT platoon in support. Mine were all painted up (in MERDC, which was probably the wrong camo scheme, but that's a different matter). But I didn't have them on the table as we weren't doing a scenario involving jarheads.

But even though I would not have done what he did, I raised no objection to HIM doing it. It was a bit of an oddity in the game, but it didn't ruin the game, and I had no desire to ruin the game over it. Even then I had the ability to recognize a beginner trying to find his own path in to the fun and fascination of the hobby. I hope he is still gaming and collecting today, and is every bit as excited when he manages to find an interesting model.

Your mileage may vary.

(aka: Mk 1)

wizbangs05 Jul 2017 12:09 p.m. PST

Painted only

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP05 Jul 2017 12:22 p.m. PST

Painted only.

But I am strictly a historical gamer. I don't go looking for a game. The game comes to me. I provide both sides and they are definitely painted. This unpainted nonsense is usually (but not always) a fantasy/Sci-Fi issue. Historical Gaming is a whole other hobby.

UshCha06 Jul 2017 1:36 a.m. PST

I play for the game. I prefere painted, but I would rather play a pleasant player with an unpainted army than a bore with a perfect army. I DO HATE folk that leave paper on the board while playeing. THIS IS WORSE than unpainted figure. One just ruins the army, the latter ruins both ;-). Not that I am twisted or anything.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Jul 2017 1:37 a.m. PST

I would offer an ménage à trois!

Ottoathome Inactive Member22 Jul 2017 6:22 a.m. PST

Either one for me.

For the first-- the rules be dammed. Never let the rules get in the way of a good game, or even more, a new friend. Let him play his army as he wishes you play yours as you do. It's not like you're going to win anything.

For the second… ah….there we must take the watchword "Softly, Softly, catchee Monkee."

Playing with his completely unpainted army makes it clear that you accept THE PLAYER himself and his army and status of paint is incidental. You also show you are not a snob.

I knew a gamer like this years ago. He brought his unpainted army to a club I was in. Everyone was horrified and shunned him and made no bones about it. I always would play with him. My minis were always painted. All of his were unpainted, and worse, some of them weren't even in the same period! He had Napoleonic musketeers with Greek Hoplites.

Over time I noticed a change. The Hoplites soon absented themselves. A few units appeared in a coat of primer, eventually paint in various amounts followed. Three years later he was agonizing about paint details.

"Softly, Softly, Catchee Monkee."

All players would love to have armies of beautifully painted troops, but when you haven't done it, it can seem to be a daunting task. All that is needed is for them to be around well painted troops and their own hankering will draw them slowly in. A little encouragement, a bit of approval, no disapproval and no condescension, and they will come around.

I am unshakeably convinced that players will put out their best effort, the best that they can. That they may be able to do better is of no matter unless they think and want to do better. Offering to help them is the worst you can do. They must want to do it themselves. Be patient-- they will

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