So last week I touched upon dice and being a pleasant opponent. This week lets take a look at a few aspects of sportsmanship that aren’t so glaringly obvious.
This year I had the pleasure of attending Lock n Load 2015, it was a fantastically fun experience, but after three days of non stop gaming I came to truly value what I feel is an under appreciated aspect of good sportsmanship, namely clean play. I have had the privilege of gaming in an LGS these last couple years that puts a great deal of value on clean play and I must say it truly does make a game much more enjoyable!
So what is clean play? Simply put, it is precise measurements and clearly marked effects. Bending the tape or moving without measuring, even when you are certain the range is under the models speed are a few examples. Not huge breaches of etiquette, but all it takes is one or two instances of gaining an advantage that you shouldn’t have and the “sloppy” label comes out. That is not a descriptor that any of us want attached to our names! As for effects, its pretty simple. Clearly mark all animi, upkeeps, or triggered effects in play and place them were the opponent can see them. Personally I have a bad habit of not marking triggered effects as I tend to track everything in my head. This has caused a few tense discussions when an important play is on the line! Yes, the things I am talking about are small, but they can have a tremendous impact on the game and result in a death of enjoyment by a thousand cuts. Spend a turn setting up an assassination run only to charge and have the war-noun admonition away because the token was hidden behind the base and you will know exactly what I mean!
Another aspect is game flow when playing under a clock. This really connects back the social aspect I mentioned in the previous post. We play to have fun, not nickel and dime each other with petty crap. If you have effects that require die rolls during the opponents turn have them ready to go as soon as the effect triggers, tough, continuous fire, etc. If you or your opponent are using aoe or spray attacks have the templates ready to go, be ready to mark and measure drifts. Simple, subtle things yes, but they have a serious impact on the flow of the game and your shared enjoyment. Things like this are similar to a job well done, do it right and few people consciously notice, but win or lose the game has a better feel. Do it wrong or get petty and don’t be surprised if your opponent wants to turn your dangley bits into a speed bag.
Lastly, win or lose, do what you do with dignity and graciousness. Remember, your opponent has sunk a great deal of time and money into this shared interest, they chose to spend time playing a game with you. The least we can do is not belittle a fellow player simply because we lost or they got the short end of the stick.
Well that should just about cover it for now. Agree, disagree, or feel I missed something, let me know.