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Sportsmanship


Greetings wargamers!  I am Jay Larsen, one of the hosts of the Chain Attack podcast.   This is the first installment of my weekly article, “Chain Attack: Baby Seal Boots Camp”.  Each week this article will focus on a different topic that has been suggested by a Chain Attack listener or reader.

We’ll start with my background.  I have owned and operated Gameopolis, a friendly local game store in Idaho Falls, Idaho, for the last seven years.  My online business is www.discountgamesinc.com, a webstore dedicated to selling the entire Warmachine & Hordes product line with prompt shipping and the lowest possible prices.  I have been playing Warmachine since Apotheosis, and I have worked with local press gangers to grow our community.  My community holds regular tournaments, leagues, and travels to regional events.  My podcast can be found at www.chain-attack.com.  Each weekly episode takes a humorous approach to reporting a match-up and grades the two casters involved.

Without further ado…

Don’t be THAT GUY!

Every community has him.  People dread to play him.  He is willing to do anything to get a victory.  He makes wins feel tainted and makes losses even more bitter.  His table etiquette enrages you.  Even more dangerous than that, he splits communities and drives away players.

The DON’TS:

Things that cheapen your opponent’s victory

  • Don’t make excuses for why you lost.
  • Don’t tell your opponent that their faction is overpowered.
  • Don’t complain about your dice.

Cheating

  • Don’t make magic measurements that increase the movement of a model.
  • Don’t bend your tape measure.
  • Don’t move your tape measure while moving your model.
  • Don’t inaccurately share the statistics and abilities of your models.

Things that destroy the fun of the game

  • Don’t get hung up on a rules dispute.
  • Don’t have your turn take excessive amounts of time in a casual game.
  • Don’t be a dick!  There are many comments or actions that become unacceptable depending on how they are said or done.

 

Be THIS GUY.

Every community has him.  People love to play him.  He is is willing to do anything to have a fun game.  He enables defeats to feel as good as victories.  His table etiquette is superb.  His willingness to nurture others not only grows communities, it strengthens them.

The DOS:

Things that elevate your opponent’s victory

  • Be gracious in victory and defeat.
  • Complement a good tactic that your opponent employed.

Table etiquette

  • Politely remind your opponent of rules interactions, even when it doesn’t benefit you.
  • At the start of an activation, declare what models you are activating and what they are doing BEFORE you begin movement or measuring.
  • Give your opponent enough time to verify your dice rolls.
  • Allow your opponent opportunity to confirm ranges and measurements.
  • Share information, such as when a system or aspect is destroyed.
  • Be quick when performing activities on your opponent’s turn, like tough checks.

Things that create a fun game

  • Ask your opponent what kind of game they are looking for and bring a list that is appropriate, when playing a casual game.
  • Provide tips, tricks, and tactics you actually use when your opponents request feedback.
  • Remember that both of you are playing the game to have fun.

Stop THAT GUY!

Avoidance is a common tactic used when dealing with THAT GUY, but it doesn’t solve the problem. Take these steps when playing games with him.

Politely and firmly address each issue as it arises.  This way, it may be possible for him to immediately correct the problem.  He could measure range on a spell a second time, for example.  Sometimes problems happen that cannot be corrected.  Once a model has already been moved, it is very difficult to show the correct movement.  In these circumstances it’s best to inform him of the issue and request an opportunity to verify similar actions in the future.

Let’s say you are a community leader or a friend of THAT GUY.  It is your responsibility to help him improve his gaming etiquette.  Usually, the most effective course is to express your concern, discuss the situation with them, and recommend actions.  Although these social interactions can be difficult, the payoffs are worthwhile.

Everyone has room to improve sportsmanship.  Identify your weaknesses and set goals to improve.  If you find yourself channeling THAT GUY, don’t be afraid to apologize to your opponent.  Help create gaming communities that expect and deliver high levels of sportsmanship.  Give Warmachine and Hordes players a reputation for having class.

I welcome your comments about this topic!

Next week, Chain Attack: Baby Seal Boots Camp will focus on tournament preparation.  


  1. paradox Reply

    I’ll bitch about my dice and you’ll like it! :P

    • Dan Reply

      Yeah, I think the no complaining about dice suggestion is a bit silly. Everyone has bad rolling days (or weeks/months/etc) and it’s perfectly acceptable to have a gripe about it, as long as you don’t throw that in your opponent’s face as the sole reason you lost. Too often. :)

    • Marth Reply

      I thought that it’d better read “Don’t complain about your dice rolling (unless it’s fact).”

  2. ChainAttackJay Reply

    And I’ll respond that Menoth without a choir is obviously OP. =P

  3. Merlin Reply

    I complain about my dice, but since I play Cygnar it’s better than complaining about my own models, right?

  4. Geekly Reply

    The dice giveth and the dice taketh away. My favorite is the opponent that moaned the whole game about poor dice, and still beat me. It’s happened, and I walked away with a really sour taste in my mouth. I must be a really terrible player if this guys whoops me despite his horrible rolling. It was a close game and on the other hand, it wouldn’t have felt much better if I had won. Really took the pleasure out of it.

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