A good message and a sportsmanship question.

Ok, I thought these deserved their own post: 

hi, my name is patrick.
 i just wanted to take a minute and thank you and fritz for the excellent videos and content that you have been putting up for years. I'm a marine and i had just gotten back from a tour in iraq over a year ago when i stumbled upon your youtube channel and it instantly peaked my interest and entertained me. i would have to say that your guy's videos really helped me get back to reality and be able to get back to normal life. I have been painting warhammer figures since the days of second edition with the red las guns and all of your exceptional artwork inspired me to get right back into it even more so and develop my skills as a painter. i just started a youtube channel with all my recent work so my brother could watch it from iraq but feel free to check it out and critique me. "drok cola painting"

 so thank you again and take care, ooraahh.


Pat, Thank you so much. You honor me.  I have a soft spot for you guys because I know what you give up willingly. I can't think of kinder words some one could have said.  Thank you for being there for us and for coming home safe. You guys are the true Heroes of Armageddon! If I could I would donate to the HoA drawing on your behalf. But it is strictly prohibited. Maybe one of my readers can make a donation in Pats name for a few dollars?  Here is a LINK TO HIS YOUTUBE.

Poor Sports?

"Hey chris, how you doin. Ive been playin your nova open blood angels list for several months now at my local gw. I have been winning left and right, and i have had lots of fun. But a recent game I played was a casual game aganst a guard player with a classic leaf blower list. Through out the game I noticed hos tendency to cheat or purposfully misinterprete the rules. Now it was a non competiive game, but by the end of turn four i was very pissed and fead up with him doin this. we fineshed the game and i fealt cheated out of what 40k is about, having fun. So i was wonder what do you do in those situation that keep you having fun bolth in a competetive and non-competative setting
cheers, will"

I will begin by saying that no one is perfect. Even the best of us can have bad games. I have had my share of nasty situations, mostly at the start of my 40k career.  But as I played more, and encountered more and different players of various skills, I got better at being a good sport.  I even won Best Sportsman at the last Battle for Salvation tournament but in the ultimate show of sportsmanship declined the honor so that the youngblood behind me would win the loot. :)

Hell, even now though, if you see me in a game vs Black Matt or Brother Captain James, you will see us devolve to caveman levels at times.  But we enjoy busting each others balls.  We are still friends.

Bottom line here Will is that both you and your opponent are working together to craft a story.  If your opponent makes it unfun for you, it sucks but if you have a choice never play him again.

Every club/store has a couple of "those guys".  You know what I'm talking about, the ones who interrupt every one elses games to share their two cents on how they are playing. Asked for or not. "You are actually playing that wrong, tanks can only move 6" and fire." (Not noticing that it was a Blood Angels fast tank.) Then, there are the rules lawyers. And no, competitive player and rules lawyer are NOT synonymous. A lot of guys forget that. The guys that evoke eye rolling from every one else when they walk in the room.   Call em what you will. Gamer douchebag, jerk, blow hard.

Here is the thing, odds are, they have no idea.

So the first thing you have to do is accept that fact.  The dude you are playing against probably has no idea he is being a douche. I apply this thought process every day when dealing with middle school kids.  I try to look at the world through their eyes. If I can look objectively at where they are coming from, it helps me understand how to deal with them, and accept it. This makes the game go easier for us both.

So lets talk tips:

First of all. Neither of you were playing a "Casual" list. My list was written to win Grand Tournaments, and takes advantage of spamming things that work well. I will be the first to admit, the list is not fair and probably not much fun to play against, especially by some one who plays it well. (You experienced it first hand at Gamesday last year when I was putting it together!) This is expected in GTs, but not in casual store games.  Keep that in mind. I personally won't play one of my GT lists at the casual store unless I have first thoroughly warned my opponent. Even then I would only play the list against an equally hard list.  In a casual setting, it could be called poor sportsmanship to even put that list on the table!  But hey, your opponent was playing an equally hard and nasty list.  So you are excused.

He was a rule interpreter.  There are always dudes who read a rule in a book and think they found a secret nugget.  The truth is, there are very few rules in the game at this point that are left open to interpretation. I can say that 5th ed has been pretty thoroughly banged out. There are still a few that have no resolution though. And if I were playing one of those rules, before the game starts I discuss it with my opponent and ask his opinion while we are both level headed and before the situation arises. The last thing you want to do is spring something on him which will make it look like you are trying to cheat.  A great example of this is the Codex: Space Marine librarian power Gate of Infinity. There is question of whether or not this power can be used in close combat. The truth is that there is NO resolution to this by the rules. There are an equal number of pros as cons.  Even trying to break it down to "Rules as Written" does not resolve it, because they contradict. This rule requires a role off and that should be brought up before the game.

If you have a rule that may need interpretation, discuss it before play begins.  Ask your opponent what he thinks, and if he disagrees, offer to dice it off then live with the result.  If it is a casual game, and he refuses to dice, that is probably an indicator that you should not play him to begin with. Either play a different power, or don't play him at all.

In a casual game, when I get one of these guys, I keep in mind that it is all about having fun.  So I let him do whatever he wants. I will usually offer up the way I think the rule works for a quick discussion, but if he persists or argues, I let him have it.  It's just not worth it!  So what if I lose because of it. It matters not. I have fun regardless, and he is satisfied. Does he learn any thing? Probably not, but it is not my job to change every player I come across. And frankly, most of these guys don't want to change.

I also try to keep a sense of humor.  If things don't go my way, I laugh about it. If things go badly for my opponent, I offer him a high five and an apology. Eye contact, hand shaking and showing empathy are all great ways to break the tension and relax your opponent, making it a better experience for you both.

The simple answer, is don't argue with the dude. You won't change his mind. And he probably enjoys arguing more than playing the game. It is probably fun for him.  If you are not a sociopath then you probably would not enjoy the results. If you start a game with a guy, and he starts being a douche, just accept it, let him do his thing, have fun with him, and never play him again. If every one does that than before long he will spend his afternoons watching every one else play and have fun while he is ignored.

 I can say that these guys are few and far between in the competitive GT scene. Most of them get weeded out and dislike playing in atmospheres where most of the dudes know more than they do and easily prove them wrong with judges support.



YsambartCourtin said...

When I run into one of these guys I simply cede the game, tell them they have won, and move on to the next casual game. I don't have enough gaming time to sit around and parent these types.

Pastafarion said...

I tend to agree, my time is valuable to me and spending it tutoring a social moron in courtesy and respect is not my idea of fun.

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