One definitely wins out however; The Three Feet Rule.
So to set the scene when I first heard about this; me on my first night to the gaming club bringing a poorly converted (ugh) and poorly painted (egh) set of Space Marines (oh god them again?!) to a gaming club for a trial game.
Now I'm a confident guy, I don't let criticism get me down, I'm not afraid of strangers (great survival trait as a child), and I'm fairly sure I can inveigle my way out of any confrontation I encounter but even I was surprised by the openness of the bunch of strangers that i'd joined with.
This was in Britain as well remember.
|Don't try talking to anyone on public transport, ever.|
It was brilliant, and I'll tout the benefits of a club fully some other time. But the thing that struck me on the day and most weeks are the little gaming tips that are accumulated from time playing there.
Some golden ones;
Aegis lines; As they are fortifications they can be deployed in your table half, rather than your deployment zone. If you win the first turn, deploy them 6 inches in front of your infantry, and then just move the infantry forwards in their movement phase. That advance is great for lasguns and boltguns.
Setup; Having trouble remembering where your deployment area is? Use a line of dice and mark it clearly, simple, quick, and less open to waffly interpretation.
Challenges; Bog killers down as soon as possible! If you can stop an uber-character from slicing your guys apart its far better to sacrifice a lowly sergeant for that purpose.
But the killer and best, most helpful to new players bit of advice ever came from a gent we'll call 'Bandy'.
'Don't worry too much about the paintjob, remember the three foot rule'
He, and others around him happily pointed out that a miniature can be as beautifully painted as your time and resources allow. But you stick that thing on a battlefield, and its only as good as the rest of his buddies.
In the context of the club, and in the context of using it to game with, unless the thing sits on your shelf with a dentists magnifying glass suspended over it at all times, even the most glorious Crystal-brush-winning-entry will look almost the same as the one that you slapped together ten years ago for ten minutes.
See here; my oldest painted Mreen (shush) and my newest. Pretty vastly different no?
Now spot where these guys on the table with the rest of his buddies? (man I need a better group shot)
Can you really tell the difference between the the good and the bad?
Now I'm not saying that you should go lazy and just do base+ wash, because really you have to love the rank and file as you paint them.
But to get you and your buddies gaming, and to dissuade those that worry about criticism, its far easier to adhere to the Three Foot Rule, than it is to break your back with the best painting that unless you put it in peoples faces, they're just not going to see.