I am a hardcore tournament player who has played in Rogue Trader Tournaments from Salem, Oregon, down to San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego, California. I have also played in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Right now I am playing and living in Phoenix AZ, but the tournament scene is rather dead for a city of this size, so I might need to join a league.
I try to attend as many large tournaments as I can. Although the GW Grand Tournaments get a bad rap, I enjoy them, and my goal is to win a GT one day. Also I attended Adepticon in Chicago every year and if you are a fan of 40k, this is a must because there is no other event quite like it.
I played my first game of fantasy today in about 5 years. With today's game I think I have played about 10 games total (I tied thanks for asking).
Since 40k is my bag, what it illustrated to me is the difference between a newbie and a veteran player. As a newbie in fantasy I have no idea what anything does. I was playing against skaven and I have a general understanding of the blocks of infantry and the rules and stats and stuff, but there are so many pieces of wargear and special weapons unique to them, and I was lost.
Not only that, but there are a lot of nuances that you do not even realize when playing these games. For example, I have no idea what, can kill what. When I charge a block of infantry with my knights I really have no idea who will win. I hope to win, but I really have no clue.
Compare this to my 40k knowledge: I know all of the other 40k armies. I have owned most of them, and once in a while I will know my opponents army better than they will. Not only that, but before I attack something I know exactly if I can win or not. I know if I have to shoot it up some before I can win in assault, or if I do not have a prayer of winning. Have you ever had an opponent charge you and you are thinking, why are they charging me? They have no hope of winning. Not only do you slaughter then in assault, but it saves you the time and hassle of chasing after them and wasting time killing them. They do that because they have no idea if they can win or not.
One day I will write up all of the differences between the new, the journeyman, and the veteran player.