Cat Hair In The Paint Pot

Cat Hair In The Paint Pot


Get off the damn table ya buggers!!!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Painted figures at tournaments

Painting scores at tournaments seems to be a very emotive subject. Over the last 6 months there have been many threads on feed back areas to events and has even been mentioned on at least 4 podcasts that I have listened to whilst commuting. Everyone seems to have an opinion but some people can get very emotional about it and can even consider boycotting events due to this form of soft scoring or lack of.

I would like to muse over an idea for a possible future event but just concentrate on the area of painted miniatures and how a paint score could fit in without dominating.

Some people paint so that they can game and others game because they paint and collect figures. Whichever of these 2 you are there is something that I think all tournament attendees can agree on and that is that they want to field their painted models against an opponent’s painted models.

Some gamers spend quite a bit of money over a weekend on travel, tickets, accommodation and all the extras like food and drink and to be faced with an army of models that are grey plastic or just primed can seem like playing at your local club against a gamer who has just started testing out a new army and has not had time to paint it yet. Should this be allowed at an event that is trying to attract gamers from far and wide?

Here is my idea.

The best painted army award should be kept separate and be voted for but not reflected in the tournament score.

The tournament best general should be based on game scores, this I think most will agree on.

What is the incentive to attend with a painted army? Penalty points.

Penalty points are awarded for unpainted or unfinished figures that do not meet the minimum painting standard as detailed in the tournament rules pack; this is usually a 3 colour min with some form of basing texture. These penalty points are applied for each game that you use the figures and are then deducted from your final score at the end of the event before working out who is the best general.

As an example

1 figure = 1pt
3 figures = 2pts
5 figures = 3pts
10 figures = 7pts
20 figures = 15pts

As you can see the more that is not finished the higher the penalty points get. If it is just the odd figure here and there in a unit or 2 then losing a few points would not be so much of a problem and your opponent would probably not mind the fact that a couple of models on a back rank were not finished. However, play a horde unit of 30+ models that are not painted then each game you use them you could be giving away more points than you will get for winning a game. I think this will deter anyone from using loads of unpainted figures.

Just my thoughts.


  1. The problem I see with truly separating painting scores from the overall award is that it encourages cookie cutter armies and ultimately results in people fielding the minimum effort when it comes to painting.

    I am also not sure if allowing players to vote for the best army is a good approach for determining the award as it is too easy to rig. I have personally seen a couple of guys win awards like Players' Choice and clearly not have the best painted army. The winners of such votes are typically either the guys with the biggest crew/following or the locals. Better to win via an impartial judge who has a standard rubric for scoring.

    Great article and food for thought!

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    I have personally seen a couple of guys win awards like Players' Choice and clearly not have the best painted army.