The 11th Company 40K Podcast

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Friday, June 29, 2012

6th Ed. Readings

Interesting Changes I've Noticed so Far:

Contentious Rules Fixed (and not)

Today will be the Day

I should get my 6th ed. rulebook in hand today and start reading for what will be our 6th ed. episode to be released next Wednesday.  I haven't been this excited about the hobby in a very long time.

Mostly what has me going is that so much has been introduced which is going to shake up the foundation of the game, that I'm not even sure where to begin with building lists.  I'm certain that I'm going to stick with the Necrons for the rest of the year and possibly into the next year.  If I feel like I need to give my Orks some play time, I can always ally them in.

Speaking of allies, I was very worried at first about this, but now, not so much.  I'm actually very excited now about the possibilities that this is going to add to the game.  I do wish they had banned Special Characters from ally contingents, but it's pretty confirmed at this point that they didn't.  There are a lot of questions running about of how some things are going to interact, but hopefully, that will get resolved.

Further, I'm really hoping that tomorrow we will see a flood of FAQs to bring all the books up to date and to answer a lot of lingering questions that I have.  Overall, though, my mind is going crazy with the number of cool things that are coming back into the game.  I think some old and dead codices are going to be right back in it.  Armies like Demons I think are going to be down-right scary if they hit vehicles on a 3+ all the time.  Combine that with being able to wreck vehicles with just a multitude of glances, and that's going to bring new life into that book.

Bring on the 6th!  I'm ready to play.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Learning to Accept Allies: The Stages of Grief

Much to my continued /facepalm, the rumors about allies becoming a big part of 6th Ed. 40K continue to grow stronger.

We still aren't totally clear about how they will work, but already, I've definitely gone through the stages of grief over the issue.


Nah!  No way this is going to happen.  Remember, it wasn't that long away that the design team went to the effort to remove Allies from the Sisters of Battle and Demonhunters PDFs by re-publishing their codices as PDFs, minus the ally pages?  They released them FOR FREE!  FREE people!  FREE!  GW never does that.  They hated allies so much, that they decided to fix the problem with a FREE release!

There's just no way we would revisit this.  And look at these crazy rumors!  They are saying that we are going to introduce allies, but we are going to limit who can ally with who!  That would just be so ridiculously unfair.  There's no way this can be right....


Okay!  Have we totally lost our minds, here?  Does nobody remember allies from before?  Imperial Guard and Space Marine players cherry-picking the best units out of ANOTHER book simply to shore up their designed weaknesses while nobody else could do that?!?!

Do nobody remember every Guard player taking a freakin' inquisitor just to get the Emperor's Tarot, a Psychic Hood, and a nearly impenetrable Deep Strike defense so that Leaf Blower could dominate the tournament scene for over a year because of it?!?!  Nobody at all?

Nobody remembers people cherry picking a Grand Master out of Grey Knights for psychic defense and a clearly abused Force Weapon rule to bypass instant death?

Come on people!  Almost nobody builds a list to play for fluff reasons!  Can we get over this already?  People take what works, not crap.  And what will work is some broken, crazy combination gained by some Imperial player because he can ally with everyone!  Awesome!  Let's give every Imperial army Psybolt Dreadnoughts!  Let's give them all Coteaz and a bunch of cheap henchmen, Rune Priests for ultimate psychic protection, Vendettas, Manticores, Purifiers, Paladins, Draigo... Sanguinary priests?  I mean really?


All this time getting excited over a new edition, and now, it's going to be totally ruined by something so stupid.  This is a blantant attempt to sell models, and now, our game is going to be ruined because of it.


No big deal, right?  Tournament organizers will surely see how dumb this is, and we'll just all decide to exclude allies from events, right?  Surely, nobody will think this is a good idea and actually allow it to happen!

We can control this craziness!


Well, at least everyone is going to get some kind of shot at coming up with interesting combinations.  Maybe this will actually improve the game creating a wide variety of builds for a wide variety of books that might not have otherwise been used.  The amount of variety this could potentially introduce could be mind boggling and a lot of fun!

It'll certainly be better than seeing the same 5 armies over and over.

Friday, June 8, 2012

GT Appearance Scoring Pt 3

What follows will be a ridiculous over-analysis and serious effort to turn something mundane into a ridiculously complex discussion all in an effort to prove the following point:

- To be as correct as possible when calculating Best Overall, your Appearance Scoring system should contribute its points in exactly the same way as your Generalship Scoring system.  (Likewise for Sports if you count it)

For those of you interested in all the intricacies and what amounts to a simple concept being blow out of proportion to make me sound smarter than I really am, read on!  Otherwise, skip to the next article where I will discuss my proposition for what our Appearance Scoring system will actually be for consideration and input (when that article is available of course).  The goal of this article is to lay the ground work behind the thought process that will be used to upgrade our Appearance Scoring solution (and eventually Sports Scoring solution) to ensure that is useful, as accurate as possible, and just as important, contributes fairly to Best Overall.

Oh yeah, this is going to be really long, too!

An Unbalanced Best Overall

Recall that Best Overall is truly intended to find the most talented participant in the room.  It combines the person who brings it the most in Generalship, Appearance, and for us, Sports.  If you let one of those categories contribute to the Best Overall score in such a way as to "crowd out" or "boost" the value of another category, you are now, most likely inadvertently, favoring one category over another in some small but potentially tournament changing way.

As a disclaimer: Having an unbalanced Best Overall is not necessarily a bad thing nor am I suggesting it is.  Plenty of people think that, for example, Generalship should count for the majority of Best Overall points while soft scores contribute less.  For us, however, our goal is treat them all equally.  This being said, it also just so happens to turn out that if you aren't ensuring that your contribution is happening like you think it is, even a skewed Best Overall may still not be delivering the results it is intended to.

It's a lot easier than you might think to have your score contributions be unbalanced.  The reason is that it is generally very simple to come up with a very good scoring mechanic for a given category, even a very smart one, BUT the magic (and pitfalls) happens when you try to combine them.

I can get overly philosophical which I like to do, but I'll cut it short with a quick example.  Let's say you want to compare Apples, Oranges, and Pears (which, funnily, is exactly what we are trying to do here!).  To do so, you have to define what it is about them that you want to compare.  Straight up, you can't compare them, but you can compare common things ABOUT them, like their height, width, flavor, color, and so on.  That's all good, but a problem will pop up if you try to combine what you are measuring about these things to define a Watermelon (makes perfect sense right?!).  For example, let's say our Watermelon is the combination of the HEIGHT of all the Apples, Oranges, and Pears I have.  That's easy, then.  Just add up all their heights.  Done!  However, if I told you that a Watermelon MUST not be comprised of more than 33% Apples, Oranges, and Pears, respectively, can I be certain now that measuring each of my fruits is a "fair" contribution to the height of my Watermelon?  Pears seems to be "taller" on average than Apples (just made that up).  So, based on that, the more Pears that go into making your Watermelon, the taller your Watermelon will also probably be.  By this simple analogy, Pears contribute more to the Watermelon than do the other fruits.  Thus, your TALLEST Watermelon will GENERALLY (not always) end up being comprised of more Pears than Apples or Oranges if the total number of Apples and Oranges and Pears can never exceed a certain value.

Yeah I know... so anyways...

Here's an example of just how easy it is to design a Best Overall system that is unbalanced.

Let's say you score Generalship on Win/Loss (which we do!).  Let's say that Generalship's contribution to the Best Overall category then is the Number of Wins / Number of Losses.  So, the guy who wins all of his games contributes a full 100% of Generalship.  The guy who loses all games contributes 0%, and everything in between.  Great!

Let's say that your Best Appearance award is on a scale of 0-400 like ours was last year.  Everyone gets scored based on a rubric.

To calculate Best Overall just using those two categories, you contribute each equally.  You get the % of total Generalship and add that to the % of total Appearance.  So, if I went 5/1 last year, my contribution to Generalship would be 83%.  If I scored a 137 on the Appearance Rubric, my Appearance contribution would be 34.25%.  Now, my Best Overall should be 1/2 and 1/2, so (0.5) * 83% + (0.5) * 34.25% = 58.625% of the total Best Overall points available.

Now, here comes the monkey wrench!  There are so many ways this system can fail to fairly produce that Best Overall score, and I will try and list a bunch in a bit.  For now, let me just insert one to prove the point.

Generalship's contribution to Best Overall in this example is very RIGID.  Think about it this way, for our 64 man GT this year, contributions based on the Wins/Games system will ALWAYS be like this at the end of the day:

1 - 100% (6/0)
8 - 83% (5/1)
15 - 66% (4/2)
20 - 50% (3/3)
15 - 33% (2/4)
8 - 17% (1/5)
1 - 0% (0/6)

The thing about Generalship is that this will ALWAYS be the case.  It doesn't change no matter the other factors in the room such as the AVERAGE PLAYER SKILL, the DIFFERENCE IN SKILL BETWEEN ONE GUY AND ANOTHER, and also important, it's IMPOSSIBLE for 2 guys to contribute 100%.

The same cannot be said of our Appearance Scoring method.

Just for an example, I checked our Appearance Scores from last year, and the average score in the room (after discarding 0's) was 241/400.  Hrm.  This could have an effect on Best Overall, couldn't it?  Indeed!  Because the average person in the room is now contributing 60.25% to the Best Overall category while the average General is contributing only 50%.

Thus, at the end of the day, Generalship scores MATTERED more when it came to our Best Overall than did Appearance Scores.  The reason why that is true is because the upper level Appearance Scores were less meaningful than the upper level Generalship scores because the average participant scored higher than middle of the road.  So, whereas Generalship has a granulation of 50% between middle and top, Appearance had one of about 40%.

Did it matter?  How would I know?  Well, I decided to check.  To do so, I decided to convert my Generalship Scores and my Appearance Scores into Z scores, comparing the values to their averages rather than our rubric.  My Best Overall didn't change at all.  He DOMINATED my GT anyways, scoring extremely high in all 3 categories.  However, my Best Overall 2nd-5th DID matter.  They were swapped around slightly, and you could see that the guys with higher Appearance Scores suddenly start to bubble up and just BARELY edge people above them who had a higher Generalship score.

See, all of this doesn't much matter so long as the spread between your participants is LARGE.  However, when it gets tight, those little decimals can mean differences in placement.

I would bet, if I had more than 50 people, my average Appearance would have approached 200.  I say to myself, oh well, it's a wash right?  Well, turns out, just "reaching average" isn't all that is required.  There are just a seemingly endless amount of potential ways in which Appearance Scoring can create problems, almost all of which spawn from the fact that a Generalship score is so RIGID while an Appearance Score is potentially (not necessarily!) FLUID.

Here's a short list just off the cuff of things that will cause a potential imbalance:

  • Does an Appearance Rubric always produce an average result for the average person?  What happens if everyone shows up at your tournament with an army they paid to have painted by Blue Table Painting?
  • Does a rubric produce enough granularity even if it does have a consistent average?  What happens when 49 people show up with *yawn* and GREGOR TEH AWESOME!!!1! shows up with an army so cool it blinds you just to look at?
  • Does a rubric allow for ties for the top score?  Our Generalship rubric doesn't.
  • Using my above example, will my Appearance Scoring system have a way to contribute values other than 0%, 17%, 33%, 50%, 66%, 83%, and 100%?  If so, it can unbalance my Generalship scores.
  • Does a rubric allow for ties for the bottom score?  Our Generalship rubric also doesn't.
  • Is a rubric skewed to allow people to earn easy points while only granting small point values to the hard to get stuff?  (This is done to make Appearance Scores attainable in a lot of ways).  This will skew your Appearance contribution causing Generalship to matter more.
  • Does the difference between the BEST army in the room and the 2nd best cause the contribution of their scores to a gap less than or greater than 17%?  Generalship does not.  (E.g:  99/100 = 99%.  98/100 = 98%.  For Generalship, top place is 100%, 2nd is 83%.)
  • Does an Appearance rubric always produce a 0%?  Generalship does.
  • And lots and lots more.

One pitfall I kept running into all week long as the volume of problems kept seeming to increase no matter how much I tried to be creative with upgrading our Appearance scoring was that I kept wanting to dismiss them for practical or logical reasons.  This would amount to thoughts like:

  • "yeah, well, it's not realistic that people will show up with armies like that..."
  • "it's not realistic that I'll get that many ties"
  • "but we're talking such a small number here, it won't really matter"
  • "I can design a methodology which will fairly overcome that"
The real back breaker thought is this one:
  • "well, it's okay to have 2 people share the top spot if they both have awesome armies!"  (this one is insidious because what it is tempting you to do is not treat your Appearance scores as worthy of competition as you are your Generals... which means you aren't really believing they are equal)

Yesterday, I had it all worked out where my new Appearance scoring methodology was going to be to examine Z scores compared to an average of the room.  I had written all my arguments why this was the best method using all the thoughts from above to show why, realistically, that was as good as it gets.  I was prepared to finish up my rubrics, design my post rubric judging methodology (read tie breakers), and press on.

This morning, on the way to work, though, I think I finally solved the problem in a much better way.

I've hinted at it repeatedly here as I wrote this article.  The best solution I have come up with, which I will extrapolate on in the next article, is to make the final result of your Appearance scores to produce a contribution which will exactly mirror your Generalship's ability to contribute.  That is, whatever you do to get your Appearance rankings, when you go to translate them to Best Overall, the way in which they contribute should come as close to exactly matching the way in which your Generalship translates and contributes.

In other words, rather than adding up your Apples, Oranges, and Pears to get Watermelons, instead, convert your Apples, Oranges, and Pears into Grapes first, then all you need to do is write a formula to convert Grapes to Watermelons.  

The key is to model it after your Generalship because your Generalship is as close to a rigid, fundamental truth as it gets.  This isn't some kind of genius discovery or anything.  It's just the logical conclusion that should have been (and probably is to most people) obvious to begin with. 

The plan, then, will effectively be the same thing as if I started pairing players together at the table, a judge walks up to score both armies on Appearance, declares a winner, and then match them up with their next opponent.... just like Generalship.  Now, it's not going to be exactly that because there are things we can do that are much easier and also eliminate some flaws in how Generalship is calculated, but that's the over-arching theme for how it's going to work.  

And when it's all over, the contributions will be just about identical and Best Appearance will still be the best army in the room.

This will also have all sorts of side benefits which includes things like being able to set your appearance rubric however you like, skewed, straight, average, or more importantly for me, able to incorporate a level beyond a rubric all the while not unbalancing your contribution to Best Overall.  The only real factors then will end up being, just like our Generalship does already, no ties and everyone gets ranked.

(What the specifics are going to be is still being worked on :P)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

GT Appearance Scoring Pt 2

Wow!  Since I started with the first part in this series, which amounts to an introduction to what I want to do with Appearance Scoring at our GT, I have discovered that the Rabbit Hole gets very, very, deep indeed!  It feels like what started out as an innocent review of the system has now made my head explode!

Where to start?

Well, since I've now come up with 4 different topics which all surround Appearance Scoring and Best Overall scoring, I'll go ahead and introduce them here.  From there, I'll talk about a simple conclusion for each, and then, I'll address the granular specifics behind each in their own article.

  • Best in Class, encouraging good participation
  • Appearance/Sports Scoring based on the competition rather than an arbitrary rubric.  How much better did you do versus everyone else in the room, not against some unproven, mostly arbitrary, non-researched number.
  • Judging Appearance Scores with a rubric and BEYOND.  Truth is, rubrics really suck at determining whose army really is the best.  They are very good for weeding out contestants but very BAD at classifying the best.  We can do better.
  • Redefining how to calculate Best Overall.  Turns out, when you really get to the bottom of the Appearance Scoring rabbit hole, the entire notion of Best Overall and how it is calculated begins to change.  More to come!

Appearance Scoring Rubric, Attainable Appearance Scores, Generalship, and Encouraging Better Participants... AKA  Best in Class

In the first part of this series, I had originally wanted to modify the Appearance Scoring rubric so that it was attainable for most people, rather than serving a purpose of only to granulate the best from the worst in the room.  Why?

1)  First and foremost, because at it currently stands, most Appearance Rubrics set a bar for the Best Overall category which is insurmountable by the average hobbyist.  Best Overall, after all, will combine your Appearance and Generalship scores.  Thus, if you aren't an above average hobbyist, once you lose a game, your ability to place in Best Overall just went along with it.  So, for the average and below, it's all about winning your games.

2)  Because of that, if you know you will never be a top notch hobbyist, this provides zero encouragement for you to even bother getting serious about painting your army.  The reality is, you either win on Generalship alone or you pack it up and go home.

But it doesn't stop there!  The same exact two points can be made for people who don't have a lot of Generalship skills.  If they know they will never be a top player, if they spot an army that's better than theirs, well, they can pack it up right there!

What's even worse than that?  What if you know you will never be a top notch player nor a top hobbyist?  Well, other than just being social, which should be a strong motivator for anyone with their head in the right place about attending GTs, there isn't much encouragement for you to show up to begin with.

Does this sound like a familiar drum beat?

Well, good grief.  All I wanted to do was encourage people to paint better, and all of a sudden, I'm opening up a philosophical can of tournament worms.

So, part of my misconception about Best Overall is that one of its intents is to reward people for all aspects of the hobby.  That part is true, but the misconception is that I had thought it to be designed for the average hobbyist to be able to compete at a high level because he could bring some Generalshiip game and some Appearance game.  Turns out, that's not the case.

The reality is, Best Overall rewards the most talented person in the room.  It is still as utterly unattainable to the average hobbyist as Best General or Best Appearance.  The truth is, Best Overall will always go to the person who is highly above average in the room in all categories, or utterly exceptional in one category while being average-above average, at a minimum, in another.

Thus, if you can't be above average in every category, no point in trying for Best Overall.  Thus, for guys like me, that makes us really not want to spend to much effort, tournament wise, on making sure our armies look good on the table.  Likewise, for those exceptional hobbyists out there who barely know the rules of the game, they just show up to go through the motions of a game of 40K, while in reality, trying to win Best Appearance, and generate a series of lop-sided or generally un-challenging games for their opponents.

In both cases, everyone loses.  The issue is that we really do want to encourage people to bring their A game, even if their A game amounts to other people's D game!  We all win in that case.  We get better looking armies at our tournaments and funner, more challenging games for everybody involved.

This is, of course, an unrealistic ideal, but if you don't try, you definitely won't succeed.

Best in Class

Through the power of math-fu and a little thought, we can take some steps to make a meaningful tournament goal actually attainable to average player.  We all love winners.  So, you aren't going to just give out a booby prize.  The guy still has to earn it.  And by earning, that means he will still have to be ABOVE AVERAGE.  So, how is this going to work, again?

As said in the last article, one of the genius ideas given to us by the NoVA Open is putting people into Generalship brackets on Day 2.  This allows them to compete for a meaningful Generalship prize with their peers.  It creates an actually attainable Generalship goal for the average player.  Very cool!

Now, what if we also created an actually attainable Appearance Score and Sports Score for the average player that can't be completely over-shadowed by the talent in the room?  Then, we could combine these three scores, and presto, we have a new prize class which is basically Best Overall 'for the rest of us'.  I'll call it, Best in Class.

We take your Generalship score from the games you play in your bracket only.  Great.  This is you versus your peers.  This excludes earlier games where you may have clubbed or been clubbed as the case may be.  Average versus average, at least in theory anyways.  Check!

Next, we generate an Appearance Rubric 'for the rest of us'.  (Or more realistically, we add a cut score to our current rubric)  This new rubric encourages you to bring a great looking, table-top quality army, one in which anyone, with enough effort and time, could actually do if they felt so inclined, sprinkle in just a little reference or two for some talent, and there, an actually attainable appearance score that lets everyone compete towards a "great table-top quality" rather than towards "BLOW YOUR FREAKIN' MIND AWESOME!".  It also just so happens to lay out the road map for what a good army should have in it... you  know... for those of us who are artistically clueless.

I didn't invent this Appearance idea.  Other GTs did.  They did it when they started introducing appearance rubrics which make the first 90 points easy to get, and the last 10 difficult (or the first 15 and last 5.. or whatever).  This way, your top talent still gets a higher score, but the score they receive won't blow everyone else out of the water.  Or, maybe you just set an appearance cap for Best in Class, which is what I am leaning towards right now.

THIS WILL NOT REPLACE BEST APPEARANCE NOR BEST OVERALL.  Keep that in mind.  You will still need another way to do this, and that's to come in more articles.

Last by not least, you look at Sports scores which our Sport Scoring system already normalizes for us.

Now, you have a path to reasonably attain a high Generalship score by only counting games against your peers, a path to reasonably attain a high Appearance Score by providing a clear, easy to follow, rubric with attainable goals, and a path to reasonably attain a high Sports Score because Sports is already normalized with most people getting average to begin with.

Best in Class.


Monday, June 4, 2012

GT Appearance Scoring Part 1

This week on the podcast we are starting a 3 part series on Appearance Scoring for our GT.  The reason is that I am trying to come up with a smart way of accomplishing a few goals with Appearance Scoring at our GT.    What we ultimately want is a way to encourage people to a high, table-top standard, encourage players to compete for the Best Overall category, and finally, of course, provide a great atmosphere for the true Best Appearance competitors to really show their stuff.

Now, before I even get started, I suppose I should start with a disclaimer.  For some reason, anytime you start talking about Appearance and Sports scoring, some groups of people feel the need to exclaim that this kind of thing is too subjective and should really not be scored.  Let me go ahead and take care of that now.

Appearance Scoring is subjective?  THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!  Now, that we got that out of system, let's move on and see if we can apply our collective brain power to solving the problem rather than simply stating that there is a problem.  (As a more serious life lesson for any who haven't thought about this yet, the money, power, and women go to the guy who finds solutions not to the guy who points out problems.  We are all smart enough to recognize problems.  We AREN'T all smart enough to solve them.)

We just finished recording for this week over an hour of back-and-forth conversation revolving mostly around the starting concept of Appearance Scoring.  Although a good portion of that conversation may very well get edited out for the rambling and circular talk, I found that conversation to be VERY useful to me when determining what it is exactly that I want Appearance Scoring to do at my GT.

1)  Reduce "butt-hurt" that gets associated with Appearance Scoring.  Nothing generates "butt-hurt" at a tournament quite like Appearance Scoring.  People get down-right hostile when they feel like their army should have scored higher than it did, ESPECIALLY higher than that guy's army over there!

2)  Encourage people who will NEVER be the BEST to still strive for a high table-top quality.  

3)  Encourage people (just like me!) to honestly compete for Best Overall, instead of just hanging it up because we know that our Appearance Scores will not be adequate enough.

4)  Create an arena where the people who CAN be the BEST a place for their work to be truly graded at the level they need, rather than at the level of the "rest of us".  Do this, while not making it impossible for the "rest of us" to win Best Overall.

5)  Give players an honest way of knowing up front how they will perform, Appearance wise.  To me, this is just like players knowing what the tournament packet is before they show up with their army.

So, it's no secret that I'm a total fan boi of the NoVA Open.  The NoVA Open concept has blessed us with two very good ideas when it comes to tournaments which need to be reflected on at this point before continuing to talk about Appearance Scoring.

Best Overall Category - NoVA calls this Renaissance Man.  (I prefer Best Overall because it sounds a lot less pretentious to me... I said I was a fan boi not a drone. :P  Also, if you haven't bought a 2012 ticket yet, you should.  They don't have a whole lot left.)   Best Overall, in my opinion, in the best overall thing to happen to the Indy tournament scene.  The concept is that the top winner of your tournament is not the guy who wins all of his games.  The concept is that your top winner is the guy who most ably reflects all aspects of our great hobby.  Thus, this combines elements of Generalship, Appearance, and for us, Sportsmanship.  So, to win Best Overall, the top tournament prize and spot, you need to bring you game not only on the table-top, but also in the hobby.

Brackets - Another NoVA brain-child which I find to be genius.  This concept is that in a multi-round GT, you will use the first half of the GT to essentially qualify for what will become your actual tournament brackets in the second half.  This way, when you actually start to compete to win prizes, awards, etc., you are doing so against your PEERS rather than having ZERO chance to compete because the people who are the Best Generals just drown everyone else out.

So, what does this have to do with Appearance Scoring, and more importantly, who cares?

What I want is a method for EVERYONE to be able to compete for Best Overall and not simply get canned because they can't paint very well.  This is important for people JUST LIKE ME, whose hobby skills BLOW.  You see, this is no different than the guys who feel like they can never win on Generalship because they will never be as good as others.  They don't want to swim with sharks, but let me tell you, NEITHER DO I.  At the end of the day, we should model bracketing in some manner that let's us all compete and more importantly, HAVE FUN.  

Second, the goal is Best Overall.  Being able to compete with your peers increases your chance of scoring the coveted Best Overall.  If I have an honest shot at winning Best Overall because I don't have to paint like Rembrandt, I might actually make an effort to do so.  Likewise, if a true hobbyist has a shot at Best Overall by learning how to use his army, he might actually TRY rather than just hanging it up.

So, what direction are we headed in this series?  

What I would like to see is the creation of an Appearance Scoring rubric that is designed for the average guy.  Something people like me can strive for.  This score is what will ultimately apply to my Best Overall ranking.  This will encourage guys like me to give it an honest try, and at the end of the day, we all win because guys like me will start showing up with good table-top quality armies rather than half-assed paint jobs.

Second, since the Appearance Scoring rubric will be for the average person, I expect anyone with a serious shot at a Best Appearnace to easily sweep past the rubric.  These guys get a top score in painting, which they should, and THEN, they go off onto a separate path for Best Appearance.  This leads into a much more subjective grading system performed by their PEERS.  (More on this later).  This way, they get the judgement they deserve rather than a silly rubric which will have the audacity to compare their master pieces to guys like me!


In Part 2, I'll start talking about the formation of a rubric as well as what happens to the Best Appearances.  I'll also continue the discussion around Best Overall because there are some subtle problems with scoring Best Overall to a rubric but not Best Appearance, mainly not giving ENOUGH credit to the Best Appearance players towards the Overall score.