These days I read a lot about people complaining about soft scores. Okay so for non tournament players you might be interested to know just what exactly are soft score...
You score your opponent on whether or not they were fun to play, it's that simple. Obviously the more arguments and heated debates you have regarding the rules the lower you will score. Now there are also some players that will try to manhandle you and get away with murder... You'll figure this out real fast most of the time but I have encountered some players who will play the game close and then go for the cheat late to win. These kinds of players you need to deal with immediately as soon as you see them pull the first major rules infraction. It's probably best not to sweat little stuff but then again on the other hand if you let them bend a certain rule early on it might come back to haunt you later on at a critical moment. My philosophy is if I am playing a very competitive gamer who plays fast and loose with the rules then I am going to call them on everything. Sure they will ding your soft scores but at least you can deny them the battlepoints and tank their soft scores in return... Heck they deserve it. Now if I am playing someone that wants to have a fun game and is competitive then I'll try to ignore minor issues but if something big comes up we will have to talk about. Ask them to show the rules, the burden of proof is their responsibility!
This one is often hotly debated on the Internet. Basically you grade your opponent on how well their army reflects the background of their race. It's pretty easy to figure out in my opinion. Win At All Costs (WAAC) gamers hate comp because they love broken combinations and as much spam as they can fit into their army. WAAC gamers will just take as much of the best units as possible. A great example to me is daemon armies that take only four five man Plague Bearer squads for their troop choices... It's the least points possible for a highly resilient unit that is great at holding an objective; they have so much other nasty stuff in their armies breathing down your neck you'll probably never ever be able to attack their Plague Bearers.
I love the comp score because it rewards the gamers who build really cool themed armies. You can build a themed army that is also competitive but let's face the facts, WAAC players don't want to be bothered with theme, they just want point & click EZ button armies that crush your face.
These days it's okay to pay someone else to paint your army and receive credit for this soft score at a tournament. That's just the way it is. I had my daemons professionally painted by GMM Studios and I typically have all my vehicles painted by a professional. This score could come from your opponent, the judges or both. I think again gamers that field a beautiful army should be rewarded even if they didn't paint it themselves. Wouldn't it suck if all you saw were quickly dry brushed and sand flocked spam hammer armies? To me that is what the soft scores are all about... Keeping the game a hobby!
I can tell you right now if you ever happen to play in a tournament with no soft scores (e.g., Gladiator, Ard Boyz) you will probably play against some cheaters. This because they know you can't really hurt their overall score and that is why they don't like the soft scores. It's important to be aware of that going into a highly competitive cutthroat style event.