With a couple tournaments coming up, I've been thinking a lot about what category I'd like to compete for. Will it be Best Army Appearance? With my Blood Angels nowhere near the level of my Tau I am skeptical of my chances to win in that category. Best General, again with Blood Angels I doubt it. What I'd really like to strive for this time around is Sportsmanship.
What makes a great player though? What makes a great sportsman? I've come up with what I would consider 40k Best Principles.
Be a Generous Opponent. In 40k this means saying "yes" to your opponent more often than saying "no." It could also mean granting your enemy a full cover save when there is a discrepancy or even be generous with ranges. For example, letting him make that Meltagun shot even if he is 1/16th of an inch out of range. After all, it creates an atmosphere of fun and is more rewarding when you win.
Assume the Best. When your opponent forgets to roll for his reserves halfway through the movement phase, assume that it was a simple mistake and let him take the rolls. Don't ever make him feel that you think he is cheating.
Get caught up in the moment, not your ego. Enjoy the process of playing the game rather than focussing on your track record. Cheer when your opponent rolls four sixes for his rending assault cannon. Offer sympathy when he rolls double sixes for his psychic powers. Never, ever, yell "ROLL A ONE" at your opponent.
Uber-Units. Can you really call yourself a good player when your Nobz-Bikers with Feel-No-Pain alone have won you the game? Do you really challenge yourself tactically by fielding large units of Thunderwolf Cavalry? I have much more respect for players that can take rare units and win games. Take Fritz's Saim Hann. All the experts would say that Vypers suck but he has demonstrating time and time again that with a little finesse and smart playing, how great they can be.
Paint your Army. Whether you suck at painting or not, a little effort goes a long way. Nobody likes playing against grey plastic.
Don't give up. Play till the end. I have quit games in the middle before and I always regret it. It's a horrible thing to do to your opponent. Plus, my guess is 90% of players who were "tabled by turn 3" were simply players who gave up at turn 3, not ones who had lost all of their units.
Those are my principles what are your's? What do you think makes a great player?