Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Life of a Professional 40k Gamer

Hey folks! I found an old parody thread I wrote and thought I would bring it here to archive it. Please remember that this is a JOKE!

Since being crowned King of Warhammer 40,000 at a special coronation ceremony attended by only the most awesome 40k players in the world (namely myself, and Hulksmash couldn't make it here in time), I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails, PMs, phone calls, fan-mail, and even a plane flying over with a banner asking me how exactly how I manage to be so awesome.

Well, I didn’t want to answer them all individually, so I thought I’d give a bit of a walkthrough of my typical day and how I keep in top form for tournaments.

A Day in the Life of Dash

1030: The Early Bird Gets the Worm!

My day starts early! I roll out of bed filled with vigor for a new day and immediately sit down in front of my computer to surf the internet looking for new tactics or rules loopholes that need consideration. You can’t let a day go by without looking for possibilities that you haven’t explored before! The absolute worst possibility in 40k is to be surprised by someone pulling a fast one on you and pretty much all the pros work hard to stay on top of new information.

1130-1230: Exercise!

One of the key things that separates us pro-players from the masses of regular players is that we’re ready to adapt to any situation. I’ve got these flash cards – every one has a picture of a unit from one of the armies in 40k on it. My trainer will shuffle up all the cards, and pull one out while shouting out an army. Then I have five seconds to assess the tools that the army I use out of that list has and how I would deal with the unit. If you want to be a pro at 40k, you have to keep your mental acuity up. For every bad answer, a chapter of Dan Abnett’s horror-book Titanicus gets added to my homework to read later. Just thinking about those titans firing their turbolasers makes me want to recoil in abject horror. TURBOLASERS! Being forced to read that canon-stomping garbage is powerful motivation to answer well.

1230-1330: Fueling the Machine Spirit!

Around this time, my mom usually calls me upstairs for lunch. Pro-gamers have a pretty regulated diet. Fish is an important part of a pro 40k gamer’s diet to help promote memory and brain stimulation. Fruit, vegetables, grain – all of the food groups need to be carefully represented in each meal to stay at performance levels. Today’s compliance is meted out with a McDonalds Fillet O’ Fish Meal with a side Big Mac and an apple pie. That pretty much hits all the food groups.

Part of being a pro 40k gamer is being ambitious, and I know that a lot of folks would watch T.V. or something while they eat, but I’m constantly training. When I’m eating, I’m either reading my penance chapters (turbolasers *shudder*), or reciting unit statistics and special abilities. Sometimes if I’m caught up on my work I’ll read a little bit of the fluff and backstory in the codex I’m working on, but mostly its training.

1330-1530: Research and Development!

This is one of the most important parts of the day. First thing in the morning is the first opportunity to see what’s going on out in the world of META, but this is the dedicated time to do it. Being a Pro 40k player is synonymous with pushing the META envelope. When Darkwynn took leaf-blower to ‘Ard Boyz and won, you don’t think he copied a netlist and used it do you? NO! He pushed the envelope of the METAGAME and created his own opportunity. This afternoon research period is meant to look for new ways of beating enemies, reading comments and 40k blogs to stay in tune with the latest developments in the META across the various regional trends, and basically stay on top of your game. This is also a good opportunity to answer fan-mail, give advice to worthy aspirants, and answer some of the haters.

Speaking of haters, these are the people who are always accusing us pro players of being WAAC, or of making up our win ratio, or arguing that the advice we give isn’t good. Most of the time its best to just ignore the haters. I mean, they probably don’t even have sponsors or a 40k trainer and if we were to ever get together for a game, my META would be so far ahead of their META that their META would just be like….ETA. Or MEAT. But sometimes the haters won’t stop and this is also a good time to champion your causes. Most people will realize that as a pro-40k gamer your advice is just pretty much automatically right, but there’s always the risk of an innocent bystander or forum reader getting caught in the crossfire of haters, so you have to try keeping them in check.

1530-1730: Modeling and Converting

This is another important part of the day. For the pro-gamer, every point that can be awarded at a tournament needs to be individually considered. Every aspect of the scoresheet needs to be carefully addressed. It isn’t enough to show up at a tournament and beat face, you need to be able to get all the points for painting and converting as well. This time block is spent stripping, modeling, using green-stuff, and turning a model into a clever conversion to “Wow!” the scoring judges at the events you go to.

1730-1830: Refueling the Machine Spirit!

So my mom usually makes dinner around now. If I’ve still got homework or codex exercises to do, I’ll try and get them done here. Even though you might be a pro-gamer, you still need to pay attention to your family, so in case I get yelled at for being rude at the table, I’ll practice them in my head. I can’t stress enough how important mental acuity is.

1830-2230: Honing the Skills!

An important part of being a pro-40k gamer is to constantly be honing your skills. After dinner, I try getting in a couple of games. I want to stay sharp, so sometimes I’ll get in a couple of games at the same time, playing one of my armies on one table and a different army on a different table. If you don’t have a shop or tables at home with a waiting list like some of the pros do, you might end up on Vassal playing 40k. I’ll get a game going on Vassal and sometimes be dual-boxing with another computer playing Vassal there too, and with players from different areas of the country or different countries so that I have to work on my META skills for two different styles at the same time. Nothing is worse than showing up on tournament day thinking that you’ve got the METAGAME there figured out and it turns out that someone brought some different META and you totally weren’t ready for it and can’t adapt to it on the fly.

2230-2330: Personal Time!

This is where I poop. I get the last of my reading assignments for the day in here as well.

2330-0200: Painting!

Getting your models up to snuff is an important part of the hobby; its not all about beating face and clubbing people around. This is a good time to watch a movie, or some music videos for most people. For a pro-gamer, this is the opportunity to paint while listening to the various 40k podcasts and watching the video batreps that other people make. One of the best ways to stay in touch with the METAGAME around the country is to check out other peoples’ batreps and listen in to what’s happening in different places. Every nugget of information is like a bolter round – it might be the one that gives you a critical advantage in your next game.

0200-0300: Wrap-up

Its about time to call it a night. I get the late-night postings in when all the haters are sleeping so that they can’t respond so that I win all the internet arguments here. Being a pro at something means dedicating the time to ensuring you do your best at all aspects of your life, not just the ones you’re recognized for being good at.

That’s about it! There’s a lot of work involved in getting to and staying at the top of your game.

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