On Sportsmanship (Wall of Text)

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On Sportsmanship (Wall of Text)

Post  Roland on Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:32 pm

And I'm not just talking about tournament scoring. This has been being talked about on and off, and I think it could use some serious discussion. Not bashing or the like, but "Hey this is what you're doing wrong, you should be doing this."
After thinking this over, sportsmanship isn't a checklist. It has a lot of factors and they all build of each other. If you're lacking in one area, chances are you're lacking in others. Its like factors. They multipy, and lacking in even one or two areas can really bring things down.

NOTE: I dont think anyone is perfect. I'm sure everyone has been lacking in some aspect of this at sometime or another. Myself included.

The key here is there is an unspoken agreement when you agree to play someone. You're telling them "Hey, you'll have a good time if you play me." Your bywords should be "Have fun and don't be a dick". But how do you NOT be a dick? What if your dickmoves are like your farts, and you can't smell your own?
Sometimes you can let stuff slide with people you are more familiar with. What is unacceptable with someone you're playing for the first time, may be considered normal and expected between 2 regular players. There is a grey area.
Here's my take on a few of the issues.

o List building
This isn't so much about bring a tournament/netlist or a list from White Dwarf. I personally try to play one list, but then I'm lazy. The issue is more 'Is this list fun to play against?" There is a difference between a competive list and a list that just isn't fun. Certain units are a pain. The D-Lord/Wraith combo, Heldrakes, Purifiers, etc. But by and large a list is a list. As long as one of you isn't showing up for a tournament practice, and the other wants to try an all Spawn chaos list, you're fine.
If you say you gonna play one army, try to keep to it. If you set up a game and say you will bring Nid, then your opponent says he's bringing CSM, then you change to Grey Knights..... it comes off bad.

o Rules Disputes
It will happen. "I don't think that works like that." Not agreeing on a rule isn't bad sportsmanship. How you deal with it can be? Do the 2 of you not agree? You BOTH should be finding a reference in the BRB, your codex, or a FAQ to support it. If you're going to say a rule works one way, and not take the time to look it up, any other player is going to think you are a d-bag at best, and trying to pull a fast one at worst. You may be right, but you still look like a d-bag.
The best way to handle a rules dispute in my experience? Mark's nailed it down with his "Stuff we got wrong" posts. "I don't remember how you disembark form a Stormraven, ok if I do it like this?" And you look it up after. If you were wrong, you say so. If you're Mark you say I'm a big cheater:)
In a tournament, you obviously can't just say that. Try and figure it out, using the above guidelines. If you have to call a judge over, explain what the dispute is, and why you can't solve it yourself. And whatever he says is final.

o WYSIWYG
I understand proxies and such. You want to try out that Wraithknight before you drop $140 on it. The issue as I've hit on in other posts, is that your opponent shouldn't have to guess what your Space marine is holding. Is that flamer actually a flamer, or a meltagun?
I try to make my proxies obvious. Don't have a Grey Knight with a psycannon, but everyone else is good? A heavy bolter Ultramarine cannot possibly be mistaken for something else.

o Materials
Everyone forgets stuff. When you forget your codex for the 10th time, or your flamer template when you have Vulkan flamer spam......

o Dice and dice rolling...
... gets its own section.
Bring several different colors of dice.
But not every color avaliable. Honestly, 4-6 different colors, 1 of which can handle your largest volley (Ork shoota boys for example)
Let your opponent know what you are rolling. Calling everything out keeps things clear and your opponent knows what you're doing.
"The blue dice are bolters, the red a plasma gun, the yellow a missile launcher. They all hit on 3's. The bone dice are my captains storm bolter and hit on 2's"
DO NOT just roll. If you start rolling tons of dice and then say "3 guys are dead, and you get armor saves on 4 more." Thats great, but WTF where you rolling for? That unit? or that one? and why do you think I don't get saves? Again, you may be right, but you don't look like any less of a dick.

o Gamesmanship
And now we get to the nitty gritty. Are you obliged to volunteer information? If you are asked a question should you answer truthfully?
By and large the answer should be yes, especially in casual or league games. I can accept this sorta thing more in a tourney setting.
True story. "How many boys in that Trukk?"
"None."
He wasn't lying. It was full of MegaNobs:)
In a casual type game, he totally should have said, "No boys, but there are 5 MegaNobs". In a tournament type game, ok, but if his opponent had volunteered the same info earlier.... We're getting into that gray area now.

o Playstyle
This is most imprtant in my opinion. I'm not talking about how serious you take it on turn one. What is important is what you do when the game is in hand. What do I mean by this? When the outcome is no longer in doubt, what do you do? Do you try to keep your opponent involved? Do you give them something to do? Or do you continue to hammer away until they are left with nothing? If you are up 12-2 on turn 4 or 5, losing a unit or even an objective will not lose you the game, so throw caution to the wind. Let his Warboss assault your captain. Let him try and knock your tactical squad off that objective rather than focusing every bit of firepower on them. You had your fun, let them have a little. If your opponent has little to do other than remove their models, they will get bored quickly and so will you.

o Skill level
All of this is complicated by varying skill levels. A skilled vet who competes for best overall at tourneys versus a newb, can quickly turn into a bloodbath. In these cases, why so serious? Take unit that you don't usually take. Take units just to show a rule, like how ordanence or plasma works.

Keep it fun
Keep it involved
Don't be a dick.

Feel free to comment, feel free to give examples, but I'd rather this didn't turn into a thread where we dog pile on someone. I rather this be a way to say "Hey do THIS," rather than "Dont do that."

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Re: On Sportsmanship (Wall of Text)

Post  Deadlytoaster on Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:55 pm

Good post Beau, and thanks for throwing that out there. It is a good check list to see if im doing any of these things and i don't realize it. Though that meganobz story makes me laugh hahah. I still say the one guy should have asked "is there anything in that trukk" that way there could have been no doubt Wink
but in a casual game, yes you should give your opponent full knowledge of what you got, especially if he asks, or hints at i guess in this case.

One thing i will say that hasnt been too big of an issue though i have come across it a few times, and i myself have even been guilty of, if i've been in a hurry, is writing up an army list (i guess it would fall under prep/supplies like templates and dice). Just good to have something physical for you and your opponent to fall back on should any concerns or questions arise.

Also one last thing. Is it BM to only have one color of dice? i never really thought about it. I figured as long as i declared everything that was going on and kept it organized it would be ok? For example "my Dire avengers are shooting your terminators. Here's to hit on 3's, to wound on 4's. This is how many 6's (and are so ap2 thanks to new bladestorm rule) and heres how many regular saves. (divided into two piles) i want you to take you invulns first. There were this many 6's" I mean i can roll dice pertty fast, but i try to always keep it organized and clear as to what and when im doing things. I dont know if different colored dice for say, a sergeant, would really speed it up at all either, least for me with all that extra color to model co-ordination in brain connection things.....you see where this is going haha.

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Re: On Sportsmanship (Wall of Text)

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:21 am

Nice write up Bo,

I would like to take this moment to apologize to those players I may have offended sports-wise. I very often have a migraine during a game and tend to be abrasive. I know that that is not an excuse and that I am also an aggressive gamer. But if ever anyone would prefer if I play a different army, or roll your dice (if anyone still thinks mine are rigged =P) I will be happy to comply.

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Re: On Sportsmanship (Wall of Text)

Post  dusktiger on Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:56 am

Deadlytoaster wrote:Is it BM to only have one color of dice? i never really thought about it.

it's a bit of a situational/speeding up of gameplay thing, more than anything. in your example you sound like your ok with the one color. beau's point on the colors shows best in other situations.....like..., ah, this one:
10 man devastator squad. 5 guys with bolters, 2 heavy bolters, 2 missile launchers using the frag round (template), sergeant with a combi flamer. that's 4 different kinds of weapons with different strengths and AP values, and if you're shooting at something close enough to use the combi-flamer's template, that's a possible...lets say 33 wounds and assume the templates did well cause the enemy was clustered up. now you could roll those one at a time with your single color of dice, doing 10 bolter shots, 6 heavy bolters, 5*2 frag missiles, and 7 flamers. but then you set yourself and your opponent up for rolling saves in the order your roll these, and they might remove models before they should.

best example of how that's a bad thing is rolling that in the exact order i described. if my bolters weapons did really well and you start removing models as we roll, then there's no models for my flamer template to fall on, and now you gotta guess what that could have hit. same with the frag missiles; if they scatter to where models used to be standing, now you dont know exactly how many could have been wounded.

in the end, it all speeds things up as well because i rolled a possible 33 wounds all at once instead of dragging it out, plus, if i always use the same colors to represent the same kind of weapons in my army, you know by a glance at the colors i used what kind of armour/invul/cover saves you have to take as well. in my case, i always use a dark grey for bolter weapons, and i have orange that's usually my melta, and i have reds for any possible 3rd weapon type on the unit; usually plasma or missiles. sometimes if the unit doesnt have melta, but does have plasma, i might use the orange for that instead, but i always try to use the dark greys for the most common basic gun in my army.

doing this makes it easier for both you to remember what you just rolled, and for your opponent if he's paid any attention to your colors when you've rolled. it also helps with how beau mentioned telling 'what' your rolling on 'who', cause if your not familiar with that opponent's toughness or armour save values, then always rolling a specific color for a certain class of weapon on your army and letting your opponent know that makes it easier for them to know what kind of wounds you caused on them.

again, in my case, usually my dark greys mean 3+ armor saves against the people i play, but once in a while when i play an army i dont often see, like tau, or eldar, or orks, that grey no longer means a 3+ save, it can mean a cover save, or an invul. so saying "the greys are bolter wounds" and leaving all the dice on the table to see lets them know how many of those are savable wounds or not for their non-superhuman armies.

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Re: On Sportsmanship (Wall of Text)

Post  smackman on Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:21 am

My only problem with other peoples sportsmanship is in tournaments, quit being such sore losers.

- Tournaments are a competitive setting, bring a competitive list, if the game is going all my way and I utterly destroy your force and win the game with minimal losses don't score my sportsmanship down because you are terrible at list building and playing 40k, this is a tournament bring good stuff and play a practice game. Yeah I brought an overly competitve min maxed list that was designed to win games, I'm frankly appalled with you that I rolled over you so easily, that's not fun for me either, so shape up!

- if I've nearly tabled you on turn 3 and you're really annoyed about it, I'm still going to give you full sportsmanship because hey, I'd be annoyed about getting devastated too. If you're on the brink of tears maybe just call it, why play out something that is obviously upsetting you, 40k is fun remember. Don't score my sportsmanship score down because I beat you so badly because I can honestly guarantee that I haven't told you how shit you are at 40k, if I do then score me down.

- Know your rules! looking up 1-3 rules across a game is fine, looking up 1 or more every player turn is shit, ain't nobody got time for that! Play practice game! I generally play 10+ practice games against different opponents with my tournament list, not so much as practice but to see what kind of rules shenanigans I haven't thought to look up before hand, this way when I get to the tournament I know all my rules ( In theory lol)

So there's my tips on how to be a better loser.

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Re: On Sportsmanship (Wall of Text)

Post  Aegwymourn on Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:24 am

I think this is a wonderful write up Beau. I agree that everyone could become better at sportsmanship. We are all people and will make mistakes. I know that I probably come across poorly in some games. I tend to be a bit competitive at the best of times.

About the only thing I don't know if I agree with is the list building section of your post. Every list is going to have something that another player isn't going to like. I'm sure nobody liked my Wraithbomb list from two tournaments ago (other than Paz because he tabled me Razz ). That is just the nature of 40k in my opinion. It is entirely to subjective to make a list of things we really don't like to play against. The part I do agree with is making sure if both people know they are playing a competitive game or not.

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Re: On Sportsmanship (Wall of Text)

Post  miv305 on Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:29 am

Interesting post Beau, for a lark look up an old post I put out around 3 years ago named "Power-gaming why bother?". It's not focussed exclusively on sportsmanship but it touches on a lot of things like lists that were floating around at the time and how divided the community was becoming.

It's interesting as this thread has already showed why this is such a tough issue. Folks have already voiced their take on how people need to take some responsibility for getting smoked if they take less effective stuff (which I agree with to an extent) but on the flipside they still don't quite seem to grasp that some folks choose not to do so on principal. People are going to dock your sportsmanship score if they think your a WAAC player and part of that label is gaming with lists that are over the top. Is it the players fault that 80-90% of the Necron codex is retarded? No, but he/she may be a little responsible if they only take the good stuff (D-Lord with Wraiths, 4-5 Flyers, etc.) and act shocked that some people just can't compete. Now I'm not saying every Necron list needs several units of Flayed Ones or that every Tau list needs multiple units of Vespid but if your playing 3 Riptides who all have Interceptor and your opponent is giving it a whirl with his Space Marine Drop Pod army well don't be shocked if that Sportsmanship score is impacted...

For full disclosure I would definitely put myself on the competitive list side, so please don't take this as a personal attack on your play style!

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Re: On Sportsmanship (Wall of Text)

Post  Roland on Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:46 am

I'll try to hit the major themes here:

Brian: I woundnt say its bad manners, as long as you're keeping things clear whats being rolled. I probably should have mentioned to try keep to rolling standards: like removing the misses, then rolling for wounds, etc. I will say having 24 different dice and saying the green speckled one is the power weapon is kinda silly.

Regarding Lists: I don't think I was clear on my thoughts. I *DO NOT* think a list in and of itself is good or bad sportsmanship. In a tournament, you should EXPECT to see those tough units. You may have a bad match-up, but if you didn't plan a counter for thunder-nators and drew them, oh well.

What I was more or less meaning was casual/league games. If you set up a game and say you have a "friendly" list, I would not expect to see 20 biker nobz, or wraith/d-lord, or Harli-star, or whatever else is currently the rage. When you say you're bringing "friendly" Orks, and come gametime you show up with a min/maxed Grey Knight list, that isn't cool.

If you are playing a rookie, I think you HAVE to take that into account. Bringing a min/maxd list to play someone who has a Dark Vengeance box and a battleforce to their name, is not going to be fun or instructional.

I'm not coming down on competitive list or players. What I'm saying is call it what it is. Tim, for example, made no bones about the fact he wanted your best list and your "A" game. I don't think this is a huge issue, as most folks know that Voth takes competitive list, that Mark will take goofy stuff outside of tourneys, etc. But overall, I think we all could do a better job of telling each other what we're looking for in an opposing player.

Voth: I pulled up the post you mentioned and it did have a lot of good points. I don't think we're at that level (or close to it), I'd just rather nip problems in the bud before they get that out of hand. I pretty much agree with everything you have said.

Tom (Smackman): Man we need a sarcasm font:) I definately agree people need to lose with grace. Sandbagging at the tournaments seems to have been becoming an issue, not a HUGE issue, but you can definately tell.

I'd also agree no matter how hard both side try to make a game competitive, sometimes the dice conspire against you. I'm reminded of a game vs Ryan where he popped every vehicle I had, plus half my infantry over the first 2 turns.

The point I was making (and i'm not sure if you were agreeing or disagreeing with me) was that past a certain point, there is no use in going for the throat. If you're playing purge the alien and are up 17-2 on turn 5, do you really need to try to kill those last 2 marines? I do think the opponent needs to realize they either rolled badly, or their list needs improvemtent, or that it was a bad matchup (or all 3), but would you agree you'd have some role to try to keep things interesting and fun? (Note: in the example given, the best thing may be to call it a game and grab a beer at BPs:))

Adam: not gonna lie, several of these I had you in mind. I appreciate the apology and I know from conversations you want to be a good sport. I don't think it's one big thing that is the issue, but rather lots of little things that together makes things frustrating. In all honesty, I think we owe you an apology. Ragging on you about your sportsmanship and then not telling you what we feel you're doing wrong (and what we think you SHOULD be doing) isn't fair. From me at least, I apoligize. By nature, I tend to try to avoid confrontation, but that's just an excuse. Any issues I had I should have told you about immediately, or when I had calmed down at the very least. I'll try to improve on that.

Other issues: There were a few issues I either forgot or skipped over.
Slow Play
Rules Lawyering
Outright cheating

I won't get into these too much. The first two are minimal and tend to be dealt with as soon as they happen. The last I don't think I've seen here.

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Re: On Sportsmanship (Wall of Text)

Post  Termagant on Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:07 pm

I have seen a long text similar to this one. Some guy who had travelled all over USA playing in tourneys. He posted basically his pet peeves.

There were a lot of things in common with Beau's text and his. He had more, though. He made a comment about hygiene. Gamers in general have a reputation for being less than perfectly hygienic, but I think Saskatoon is not the worst I have ever seen (or smelled).

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Re: On Sportsmanship (Wall of Text)

Post  Rhaevyn on Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:56 am

the solution to all of this is more beer.(and cowbell)

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