I guess it's living in the media age we are used to stuff being hyped.
But this weekend sees the high point of the competative gaming calender in the form of the ETC.
This being wargaming the competition offers plenty to carp about - it's not the European Team Championship anymore, it's not the best players. it's all a bit cliquey etc - but it never ceases to make me excited.
The main reason I like the event is because it is a team event. Wargaming can be a rather solitary pastime, and that isolation in turn often leads to some of the fierce debates on forums, not to mention the development of tropes and norms of builds and styles of play (though thast might be in part due to it being a largely male activity, which in turn leads to homo-erotic hero whorship of the kind often seen in adolescent boys). And it is precisely the team nature of the event that makes the tournament so strong.
If you take 'that list'... which would normally have a cake walk to the winners table... well at the ETC a canny team will have a list that is specifically designed to narrowly lose to 'that list'. Make note of that - to lose - because if you can stop 'that list' winning big, then the team stand a better chance of winning the round with their version of 'that list'.
This year's event sees the arrival of the Americans, who are supposedly going with the intention of proving they play the best Warhammer in the world.
The argument runs that because Americans play non comped Warhammer then they will walk over the namby-pambys who play nice.
This is something I have mentioned before, but the problem with non-comp is that it effectively comps whole armies and units. Therefore it is entirely possible that the Americans will face combos and builds that they have never encountered - except perhaps in the hand sof tournament newbs prior to their acceptance of the conformity of 'winning lists'. Theory hammer is fine but it only goes so far.
It remains to be seen how this will play out.
However it is nice to see that the Ashes have been retained by England 96-84 in what can only be described as a good ETC performance - 3 wins, 3 draws, and 3 defeats - with one player swinging the victory with a 20-0. It remains to be seen if England can carry this form into the tournament proper.
Not that it matters particularly.
What matters is that English listeners to Podhammer don't have to put up with Geoff running off his Aussie mouth about the subject of the Ashes.... lol.
Now the crucial issue of the day is what happens to Wally?