Feast of Blades '13

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Issue with Appearence Scoring

Hey all Kevin here. Now just to avoid a misleading title comment before someone reads after the first paragraph I do actually like paint scores. I personally have gotten to a point where I tend to be just above average with my paint scores so I never get bombed by them and it is a painted major part of the overall hobby. What this article about is the controversy of getting a paint score when someone else paints your army. So why bring this up now?

Well it actually is something that has bothered me for awhile. Basically slaving over a paint pot with a brush for the 100+ hours of painting I put into my armies gets you to a point where when someone else gets a higher paint score for their army they did not paint can make you a bit annoyed. Yet I am not against professionally armies. I think they are a good thing too when known. A good example is Neil of the 11th Company. He seems lets it be known by a comment every other podcast show and at every "nice army" comment he recieves that someone else painted his army. So for people who know him and the TO's at the tournaments he goes to know he did not paint his army and he could not win best painted or would even get a top tier paint score. He knows this and does the ethical thing which is great. Yet a handful of instances really pop out in my mind. For instance I was at a Fantasy GT this past year and in an odd twist of things this guy and his girlfriend one 1st and 2nd best painted.......I smell something fishy here. Now I cannot accuse them and they were nice people but don't tell me that one of them did not paint both armies. Another example is a pretty famous one where this guy had an awesomely painted Salamanders army with a cool display board on the west coast. He let everyone know he painted that army and he won best painted. When the picture of this awesome army from the tournament to show off its best painted winner hit the web everyone's red flags went into the air. It was the same army that Blue Table Painting had on many studio updates just a month or two ago. this player was shamed for lieing and effectively cheating. Heck fairly often Shawn will mention in the studio update that X amount of clients do not want their projects shown online for some reason and it perplexes him.....hmmmmm I wonder why?

What this brings up is the controversial topic that I know a few guys will be hammering me for. How the hell is getting our army painted professionally to get a high paint score and not letting the TO's or anyone know you did not paint it to help you in tournaments not considered the same as cheating? Now someone else painting your army is not the act of cheating to be clear. It is the act of lieing about yourself painting it to get a higher paint score.

Lets look at it for a second. Very few top tier tournament players that I have met have painted their own armies. Now I know that is not the average it just happens to be those players I know and it can kind off irk me when they jump a place ahead of me from painting when we had similar battle points. I have always painted my own armies even though I am a mediocre painter in my opinion just for the ethics. If not I always mention it that someone else painted X model in the corner and do not count those to the head paint judge. Now I know many guys are great painters and do paint their own stuff and that is fine. Heck having your army painted by another is fine too but ethically you need to let the paint judges know before hand. It is those that lie and say they painted their armies when they did not to get ahead in a tournament that irk me. How is this not the same as loaded dice or the infamously local "Stewey shuffle" (sliding the tape measure forward as you pick up and move a model to get an extra inch or two of movement with the slide of hand appearing it to be a legal move). All of these cheating methods are used to get an unfair advantage and get more points how is it not the same as cheating on the paint score....

Luckily many tournaments try and fix this problem by making paint an almost non-factor when doing standings. By also including separate prizes for best general and painted this also curbs this. Another method I have seen is a check box allowing players to state their army was professionally painted so they get a certain amount of points docked for painting. Yet this does not harm their score since their fairly high paint score would then just become average and they can still compete....Yet what should we do about those that cheat with paint scores? Besides stripping of best painted prizes should they be banned from future events if caught cheating after the fact? Or if they lie to the TO should they just be disqualified?

This has always seemed to be an issue at major events that players tend to just sweep under the table and let happen and many have committed this crime before. Yet as a closing thought I would state that how is allowing someone to get a higher score than the other players any less cheating than someone cheating during an actual game to get a higher score.....


  1. I agree with you on that the winning armies should be painted by the player. In the tournaments that I run I require that the armies be at least 75% painted by the player. I can understand that some people want a nice centerpiece for their army so that's fine, but the prize should go to the best overall looking army. I also let the participants vote for their favorite.

  2. We do painting at wargames where 20 is a fully painted army - 25 is the best in show. As long as you are a painted that is what counts etc. Games and battle points matter more but in the end - we all want painted armies on the table top.

    But I do get annoyed when someone has a painted army and just gets to ignore 2 loses at losses at an event. But as I play in more I see that happening less and less and people creating a best painted option, general, and then overall - which is not normally the best painted.

    But kudos for painting your own stuff. I paint my own as well as other armies. My style isn't always well liked and it can go up and down depending on who is judging. But I like how I paint and I keep getting cleaner as I go on heh.

    Now to finish painting stuff for feast and client stuff - blargh... Damn you Feast of Blades allowing Chaos haha.