Compare and Contrast: 2 Competative Games

Tasty wrote a great article on Bell; here's the link.  Why do I like it?  In my opinion, opinion pieces allowing for multiple, yet possibly equally valid opinions are great for discussion, in that they can change one's opinion.  It's best for you to read that before reading this; go on, I'll wait.


Back?  Okay, if you're a decent person, you're probably a bit irked at the thought of bullying going on in our hobby.  I know I was - and no, I didn't need Tasty to point it out, I've seen it for myself on occasion.  Moving on, our hobby attracts every different type of person, but let's face it, by the definition of a gamer, we've all got a bit of nerd in us.  Maybe you can fit in elsewhere, maybe it's not that noticeable otherwise, but the moment you pick up a man-toy, or hell roll dice anywhere outside of Vegas or an Indian Casino, you're something of a geek. 

(EDIT:  Does Blogger have some kind of auto-edit function?  There was a rather risque joke that somehow got deleted.  Strange.)

Okay, part of me finds it funny that anyone on our hobby plays at being a bully.  We're simply not the culture that produces dangerous aggressors... which is not to say that we some of us can't be dangerously aggressive, but c'mon!  Imagine it, if you will:

"I'm totally going to BoLSCon (being held the last weekend of July in sunny Austin, TX) with my bag of toys to threaten and verbally intimidate those smaller than myself... so I can win some more toys.  I'm going to be totally cool..!"

But joking aside, it happens.  Even in my FLGS, we've seen grown men acting out.  Two of our locals almost came to blows during a tournament, and I know the organizer was embarrassed about the image of our store, as there were out-of-town'ers present.  I'm not innocent: I yelled at a dude who wasn't watching his kids.  One of them almost got really hurt, a 3 year-old that was climbing on a table, and she almost took a nosedive.  Then this grown man yells at his 5 year-old for not watching his sister closely enough.  I kept my cool until he tried to stare me down, then I tore him a new one, using language that wasn't so appropriate for a 3 or 5 year-old - he hasn't been back much, that I recall.  No loss; piss on him - he was a card gamer, anyway.

I guess my point is that any group with multiple guys will occasionally have the testosterone-fueled episode, but bullying during a game crosses the line.

Here's two games from my archive.  These are the links, so you're responsible for following them and reading them, or not - your option.  Thing is, both of these games were competitive and became tense but in different ways with different results.  The BoLSCon 2009 game against Joe Cherry was great, tense in the sense of competition but that's enjoyable.  The Hard Boyz 2009 game tense in that the ending was marred by controversy.  Until our disagreement about playing the last turn, the game was fine and I would have said my opponent was a decent guy - truth is, he may well be, and I have the wrong idea about him.


You be the judge.


GMort. said...

I went to a doubles tournament today and ended-up having more debates about line of sight and cover saves in the first few turns than I've had in my last 50 games combined.
I was as civil as possible but it was obvious they were used to arguing people into submission and began to get distinctly annoyed when it was obvious we knew the rules better than they did and weren't in the habit of pandering to bullies.
Poor dice rolls had put us in a position where we were probably going to lose and they took great pleasure in pointing this out to all their cronies. When me and my doubles partner then managed to use some inspired tactics to bring the game back to a likely draw the debates started up again.
Strangely enough whenever I responded to a 'that's not how the rule works' by reaching for the rulebook they suddenly were willing to accept our version.
It's the closest I've been to punching someone for quite a while.
Fortunately the next 2 pairs of opponents we had were both much more fun to play against and the couple of queries we had were sorted out amicably.

Brent said...

It sucks when you have to plan in advance for dealing with those kind of chowderheads.

Good on you for sticking up for yourself though - we all need to do that.

Herr Fernseher said...

"Rules of noninterference?" Is that like "just following orders?" I would think that whoever is running the tournament would not condone such bullying and would want to know if a bad apple were souring the barrel for everyone else. If those in charge couldn't be bothered, I'm not sure I could just sit and watch that. Granted, my track record suggests that confronting a bully will end with my nose bleeding, but that hasn't stopped me in the past; I guess I'm not old enough to know better just yet.

And if "interferring" were to cost me the tournament--oh, wait--you have to win games for that to happen... end post now!

Big Whit said...

If I play someone who is having a bad game I try to let them blow off some steam and not say anything. I know the one thing that runs me hot is when my dice go bad and someone has a smart answer as to what I'm doing wrong. I try my best just to keep my mouth shut. It may not make for a fun game for my opponent, but it keeps me from saying something I'll regret later.

Brent said...


Are you looking at me when you say that, Whit?


Herr Fernseher, I'm sending a preview pic of my secret BoLSCon project your way - let me know what you think.


Chumbalaya said...

It's a sad thing, but if people would show a little backbone and restraint it wouldn't be nearly as bad.

Herr Fernseher said...

I'm giddy!

Mofreaka said...

Valid points all around, and yes I believe you are your own best advocate for righting the wrongs brought down upon you but... its also easy to fall victim to bullying if your not as versed in the 40k rules universe. I know I know, the answer is know the rules better but there are casual players that are quite sound in tactics and list building that may not know the rules as thourghly as many of the vets. So while yes I believe you should stand up for yourself, if you dont know better what are you supposed to do? Or is the trounament scene just not meant for casual players?

GMort. said...

In my opinion if your entering tournaments your grasp of the rules needs to be sound.
In any competitive environment there will always be people who don't care how they win and knowing the rules well removes one of those sort of peoples 'tricks' from them.
A basic familiarity with the units and stats from other codex's helps greatly also.
It's also a good idea to check the current FAQ's on the GW website as odd changes occasionally sneak in when you least expect.

Big Whit said...

Brent: No it was not directed at you, but you have certainly had a game or two were I've had to try and keep my anger at the dice gods in check.

Anonymous said...

If the guy from game 3 was an older guy I know exactly who you are talking about. There was a guy that played in OKC and ALWAYS slow played. The locals got so tired of him they would play so that it would only go 2 turns without him getting his turn for the win. It was the only way they could deal with him. If he wanted to slow play them they would glacial play him back. --Birdy

(A new favorite!) Anon: I haven’t even bothered playing a game of 6th yet, cause I have read the rules, and actually understand how they interact with units. I know my armies no longer function how they should, and so I need to change them.

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