Friday, 15 October 2021


Toxicity on the scene and List shaming.

When is something not just a joke? When it’s carried on too far, when people are actively upset. This is the time to draw a line and say no more, or at least nothing hurtful. This last week since the events around the Clash of Kings UK, I have sunk into a pit of depression and helplessness. Honestly near suicidal. This is not easy to write.


People know me on the scene and hopefully most would say I’m a nice enough guy, who gives a fun a tactical game. I like to take powerful lists usually focused on melee and speed. Preferably with less painting involved. :p

Back in August I was looking at the Halfling beta list on Easy army I noticed that Aeronuats were not irregular. I fed this back to the RC and was told they were going to leave it how it was for now, and see how it went.

In September I spoke with a good friend of mine Matt Hobday, the list had still not been updated, so Matt contacted Mantic direct and was told the list would not be changing, I also contacted Mantic and found the same. I knew they were going to be made irregular going forward so thought this would be a fun chance to take a very unusual army to Clash of Kings, hopefully one that would be fun for me and my opponents. (They are speed 7 without Nimble, so even a cavalry army would outpace me)

Also at the time of writing there was going to be no other changes to Aeronauts other than Irregular, so thought if the unit did turn out to be slightly too good (as I had reported in my feedback) It could be slightly nerfed. I have since been accused of lying for wanting to provide feedback because I did not run them as if it was irregular. I wanted to provide feedback on Aeronauts, not the specific list, and yes I wanted to take the strongest list I could.

I mentioned my list to one member of the RC and they had no issue with it, I mentioned it to another RC member and they thought it would be hilarious and actively encouraged me! Buoyed on by this I spent nearly all my free time for around 2 weeks painting and building the army.


On the day of list submission I get messaged by an RC member in front of a group of others who said I was being a dick taking the list. I felt shamed by this and somewhat confused, the other two RC had had no issue with it. Several people in that group reached out to me, saying they were on my side, and that it looked fun. I started to feel down, should I pull out, would others have a go at me? Chatting with the others we agreed it was so random I probably wouldn’t get more than say 4 wins, I agreed, but thought since Matt Hobday had printed the army for me, it’d still be fun at least.

I asked how the RC member had got my list and it turns out the RC had been sent my list, and at least 1 playing RC member in fact had all of our army lists, so they could “validate them”. I pointed out this was unfair, and was told by Mantic that all our lists would be made available. Knowing this, I decided to put my list and some pictures on KoW Fanatics for all to see.

The Feedback was mostly good, I got various likes and laughs. The majority left amusing comments/memes. However I got responses from two members RC saying the list did not look fun and from one that I was “Exploiting the F**k out of the list”… Again I was confused where the hate had come from, the other two RC I had spoken with previously had no issues.

Of course as it turned out the other lists were not posted, giving an unfair advantage to those who got to see and study them without anyone else even being made aware…

Clash of Kings

On arrival Friday I was told that an RC member had already been talking shit about me and my list, apparently, I was a dick for taking it. RC why did you not just change the bloody list if you had a problem with it being taken…

My weekend already tainted, I pressed ahead and finished painting the army.

6 games over the weekend, and mostly good games, I did get an outburst in one game saying I should just admit the list wasn’t fluffy and themed. I immediately said well sure it’s an insane bullshit spam list, I was joking... I was taken aback by the vitriol in this, from someone who is normally very mild mannered and friendly.

Many people take spam armies, be it Zombie, Badgers, Shooting spam, Knight armies. Do they get shamed and called a dick by multiple people? No or at least they shouldn’t be.


After the event, with everything that had occurred I felt pretty down. I’d brought a legal list and been shamed for it. I also did worse than if I had brought a normal balanced list. I ended up going 4 and 2, exactly as I and others expected.

I posted on Fanatics saying how random the army was and although fun I would not recommend it as a serious tournament army. I got a response saying that some of my opponents had not. This worried me as I want everyone to have fun, so I reached out, I got reassuring comments back from all bar the one person who had got upset in the game.

Now I do want to say here, that person did say how they normally enjoy playing against me, and I genuinely like the guy! However they said that The overwhelming view I heard from people about the list, was that it was "a dick move, made to try and win the event at the expense of your opponents experience” also comments saying what I had said was rubbish. So now I didn’t know what to think.

I apologised in any case, and said I had no plan to bring such a list again, I felt more and more depressed with the whole situation. I considered reaching out, wrote something up. Then deleted it. I didn’t have enough emotional energy to keep refuting and arguing with people who decided quite unfairly I was a dick and a liar.


But that wasn’t the end of it. Over the next few days people posted comments about Themed Fluffy armies, some may have been jokes, but with everything over the weekend they hit me hard.

I dropped from a future tournament that would contain some of these people who had been/still are making toxic comments.

Lets move on.

As of today there are still posts going up accusing me/Matt of lying and similar. Please everyone I can’t take this any more, can you stop.

All of the people who have made these comments are people I genuinely like, I just want to move on. Lets be friends everyone please, I’m in tears here…








  1. I’m so sorry to hear this Dan, I’ve only ever loved playing you.

    My attitude has always been that if it’s a legal list then it’s fair game to run it. When I saw you post it pre event I would have had no qualms at all playing it.

  2. I must confess Kings of War has become a little toxic, I think part of the problem is caused by Mantic themselves, the RC and the community so all are to blame, one way or another.

    1. I kind of disagree. I don't think Mantic has done anything to encourage toxicity. There will always be pouty gamers and bad sports in any game system. It is incumbent on the community to police that activity, and I think that it will be done in this situation. I'm sure Mantic will take steps to ensure the RC members won't do something like this again. They have been very responsive to the community; far more than many companies are.

  3. No one deserves to be called a dick or be insulted and by an RC is unforgivable, if people don't like the list they can complain about it but nothing is going to happen and they should not keep going on about it, there have been other spam lists at the event and in my opinion far worse lists so I'm not sure what the fuss is about, I hope you can move on from this and put the past behind you, there are many real players that respect you and care for you

  4. KoW is just the new Warhammer Fantasy at this point, time to move on to oathmark I guess.

  5. Just to respond as an interested outsider who still doesn’t play KoW, and is unlikely to play competitively when I do. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with the negative responses to this.

    Mantic and the RC have provided a beta list for the halflings, which you’ve tried out and provided feedback on. For some reason, Mantic decided that the beta list would be valid for CoK - this seems a weird decision to me, but it’s the decision that was made, and you’ve made a list based on it.

    It wasn’t your decision that aeronauts should be unlocking, and you’ve fed back that you think this feels off, and that they look fun but possibly over-strong. That’s good quality feedback.

    You took a list that was valid as per the tournament pack. You took a list that you thought was strong and had potential to do well. You don’t need to apologise for either of those things in a competitive environment. No one should give you a hard time for turning up with a strong list at the biggest tournament in the country.

    Members of the RC approaching you directly to criticise not just your list, but you personally for taking the list, is completely out of line, in my opinion. They might serve in the RC on a voluntary basis, but they are community representatives, and should act as they’d like the community to. To give someone a hard time for creating a list which is totally fine within the rules which they themselves had a hand in making just seems bizarre.

    Again, I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this, and hope you can accept that you’ve done nothing wrong in this situation - in fact, you’ve checked multiple times to ensure that, which is more than you needed to do - and that other people’s negative reactions are down to their misplaced expectations and attitude, and not your own.

  6. No one needs to feel bad because of a game. Good vibes my man.

  7. Tbh in really more of a lurker but felt the need to comment. I have been in the hobby for 25+ years and have watched a few tournaments but never played at one as I have also liked making fluffy army's with models I like and fit a story, over the whats the most powerful units of the moment lets spam them. The amount of grief, been seen as a lesser player etc that I have saw other gets when they brough a "weak" army that they had spent ages painting making up a lore for and put alot of love time and thenselfs into made sure I was never going to submit myself to that. Its sad to hear the same sort of people have made there way into mantic as will as it had felt alot of the warhammer baggage had been left behind when they released. I know I'm rambling here but what I want to say is you can't control how other people act only how you do. You know why you made the army you did as well as im sure you made up a random story in your head to go alone with them as you painted them. You know you never set out to hurt any one or to spoil their enjoyment of the game. People can be cruel, power can go to there heads, they can say shitty things act shitty but thats on them. Your the bigger person yes it hurts and not were everyone can see the hurt. Sound like you injoy the tournament scene but might be best to take a step back take some time to yourself get a few m8s together and run a friendly campaign and a few of the random games friends can have get back to the good side off our hobby and remember if it helps any some random person is thinking of you enough to do their first post.

  8. No sé qué decir, desde hace tiempo te veo ganar con todo tipo de listas, hardass y happy, envidiosos y malos perderdores siempre habra allá donde juegues...
    juega el ejército que te guste, y no pierdas el tiempo con gente que en lugar de buscar la forma de vencerte en la mesa llora a tus espaldas...
    sigue así y ojalá algún día podamos jugar, ya sea en Inglaterra o en España.

  9. So sorry to read your story, my friend. It is not so common to face opponents in kow community acting that hard, but we all know they exist (I left Warhammer because of them). From my point of view, halfling army needs a review, but the idea is nice, original, adding a different way of playing (combos, mostly). Your list seemed "random", too much luck involved; and that is all: not so hard, not so easy.

    I only played once against you, in Manchester, and I enjoyed a lot. You won, by the way, but who cares?. I have to say your message has hit us hard here in the spanish community, and no one understand neither who nor why prefer "suffering" instead of laughts at Clash; in whatever tournament, really.

    Just to finish, let me say we hope to face you (all) again next year (if viruses allows us to travel again to UK; or another catastrophe (aliens?)). We the spaniers will win again, both in games and in beers. I owe you one, by the way.


  10. As Taylor Swift once said.... Shake it off, baby!

    The haters are going to hate. (And Hetzers gonna Hetz.) Do not let the little minds (and feelings) of others bring you down. Did you play by the rules? Did you try and win? What else are you to do in a tournament?? If the RC did not change the list and it was legal for CoK, that is on the RC for allowing such a list to exist. NOT on you...

    Honestly, I think the RC member should resign quietly for his behavior OR be called out publicly. Let's see if Mantic wants that type of toxicity from its "unofficial" representatives. Why do you have to take the slings and arrows of the community (for doing NOTHING WRONG) and he gets to hide in the shadows. If he truly believes what he said, he should come out and own his statements.

    Keep you chin up and play for YOUR enjoyment.

    Good Luck - Chris

  11. This is hot bullshit. I saw pictures of this army on FB leading up to the event and thought it was fabulous. If it's exploitative, all of the context provided in advance more than clears that up.

    Sometimes peoples issues are just their problem and not yours. This is one of those times. A lot easier to say than for someone to believe but it is true. Disregard those opinions and continue on with your life!

  12. Spam and very archetypal armies are horrific to play against. I like to play engaging mixed arms games, I feel especially nimble characters (as disengage shouldn’t be a rule) but also any fast moving mellee spam is pretty dominant in the game. I admit to feeling down with jobs basilean list I played last and I have apologised for my actions to him but I wasn’t well behaved. I did comment I’d sooner go to the bar and get something out the game than play your list on Facebook, however it wasn’t yours exclusively there were many like it. I think KOW needs a complete pack for events to force people to take balanced lists personally, I don’t follow this theme idea tbh
    However if KOW wants a smaller niche competitive community, carry on what they are doing, just ask warmachine players about this.

  13. A very sad day for our game and you have my whole hearted support. Having played for over 40+ years it is my opinion that once the list as been given the ok by the tournament organiser, that is the end of any claim against you.
    At a major tournament it should be paramount the lists are validated by a neutral or non playing person(s).
    Senior members of our community need to step in and stop any further negative comments or actions against you. They need to have some serious discussion with the members who are continuing the vocal complaints against you.
    I would go as far as to suggest the main perpetrators need to be banned for twelve months from competitive play.
    My Aunt was a fantastic role model and one of her main personal beliefs was never to say anything unkind to or about people. It served no purpose to be so vicious towards you and only brought great shame to the Kings of War community.
    The greater crime was to cause the immense bad feelings you are now experiencing.
    You have my whole hearted support and I will continue to shake my head in disbelief that something like this has happened to you over a mere game of miniatures ruled by fickle dice rolling.

  14. clearly these people have never been to a 40k tournement, the moment a broken unit arrives in a codex the very next day 1000 losts will be written and arrive at the very next tournement that is all about exploiting that same unit...

    I thought the way you had built and based your aeronaughts was great, honestly i know very little about tournements, i literally still have yet to have my first game of kinghammer :P but i think there was nothing wrong with what you did, its not your job to police the rules, you did what you could to flag it up and they didnt fix it..

  15. I'm very disheartened to hear you've had to face so much shit for taking a legal list to a Kings of War tournament. Did I think it was weird that said event allowed the beta list? Sure, but they did, and people signed on knowing that - plus the Twilight Kin list was beta forever, as well as being warped into a shooting chariot skew list, so it's not without precedent. Which is to say, people who actually attended the event should have managed their expectations, as the rules pack was clear, published, etc.

    As for the armchair / workdesk commentators gouging you for the list, I feel like they were (still are?!) venting harsh feelings about the RC (and their experience with GW) and ignorance of how playtesting works onto you, which is entirely inappropriate. My personal opinion is that you took a heavy skew list - which I enjoy doing myself, particularly to pressure test a unit - and, more importantly, you actually built and painted it, which sort of blew me away. This isn't UB, you actually made this crazy skew real! Which I applaud. I didn't really ask myself why you did it. If I had to guess I would have assumed it was based on models or out of theme or to be different, but I'll admit I have a clubmate who sent me your list because he thought you were being WAAC and felt the list was abusive. I had my doubts, thanks to all the random rolls involved, but I also didn't care.

    In my experience, most high level wargame lists are pretty boring. In late 2E I hated facing Elves more than anything - they exactly fit the Fast+Elite meta, had a handful of great units, and those great units were in every tournament list. I knew that not only was I going to be shredded by the meta darling, I already could guess 90% of the comp before I got to the table. That meta-stagnation sucks, and frankly is way worse for a game than the ability to take weird skew lists that do something interesting. But skew also really bothers people, possibly because of Games Workshop's total inability to balance units and promoting copy-paste army building, and so many wargamers long history with our abusive ex.

    SO I guess my point is to say thank you for doing something interesting (and hobbying it so well). I hate that people are pilling on you because you took an interesting legal list and did ok. Holy hell, and that an RC member dunked on you for the same! Adios to that guy.