My guess is that you didn't read Jervis Johnson's latest "Standard Bearer" article in the September WD. I did, since I went up to the local mountains over Labor Day weekend where my internet access is limited to spotty 3G coverage on my iPhone and I wanted some pretty pictures of High Elves and Skaven to look at whilst sitting in the beautiful San Bernardino National Forest, drinking beer and vodka tonics. A one line summary of the article would be: wargames tournaments are really about meeting nice people and having fun - not determining a clearly defined winner.*
Dictionary.com defines tournament as: "a trial of skill in some game, in which competitors play a series of contests." Trial, skill, competitor, contest.
In law school I was on the Mock Trial team and I took part in a nation wide arbitration competition. The two teams of four students my school sent held weekly and bi-weekly practices for weeks leading up to the event, on top of our full class loads. And then we flew out to Kentucky from So-Cal for the event. I did not do all that for a single class credit, meeting other nice law students and having a swell time - although wherever law students go, boozing generally follows. We went primarily to crush skulls and kick ass (in full disclosure, my team didn't get out of the first round but the other team from my school won the whole enchilada). Yes, law students are bit more cut-throat than an average, sane person, but what about say, city-park-league softball? Most municipal softball leagues have different divisions for the novice hodge-podge collection of office coworkers up to skull-crushing-ass-kickers who played high school or college ball and take it a bit more seriously.**
When my "word in your article" made the Intl House of Paincake's weekly top-X, John highlighted a theme he picked out that I kinda glossed over. Gamers are consumers, not just fans. To keep it short and avoid beating the bejesus out of a dead horse, GW is still missing the damn point. Let people who want feel-good-hug-your-neighbor-tournaments have them. Let people who want to crush skulls have the chance to do so. My tourny experience is limited (3, maybe) but I want the option to have both as long as it's clear what I'm in for when I sign up! Not to hate on Jervis, I have a soft spot for the old wacky GW design team, but this hobby is about personalization and customization that does not exist in similar mediums and curtailing the type of tournaments available to consumers will not encourage our hobby's growth.
*I suppose I should acknowledge that GW's rules, and perhaps wargames in general, are not designed and do not work perfectly for WAAC play, as good o'l Jervis points out in his article. I have an idea that might help things out - update army books and codecies at more frequent pace. How long will Bretonnias be dysfunctional in 8th? Will I ever get a 5th ed. space-elf book?
**I once singed up to be back-up player for one of these to help out a friend of mine. Unbeknownst to me when I signed up, it was for a more advanced level league and not a novice-drink-beer-before-and-after-games league. I suck at all aspects of softball and ended up playing in only two games.