Sporsman what???

Jun 10 2013

So last week I decided to write an article about the community. This week’s article will follow up on that topic.

What are the three main obstacles to creating a flourishing community? Easy enough to answer, a lack of organisation, the cancer players and an unbalanced sportsmanship VS competitiveness ratio. You all guessed it, I’ll be writing up a small paragraph or two on each of those major obstacles.

ORGASNISATION:

A lack of organisation is often what will stop a community from forming in the first place. Yes, people could argue that lack of interest should be the number one obstacle here but I’m assuming that there is interest since players are around and they all bought some stuff. What a lack of organisation will do is often take all the steam and optimism generated from a group of players and shove out an airlock. When a game, in this case warmachine, can’t get a leader or two or four to take the reins of the group to channel their eagerness, their energy and their willingness to play the game, said group will often run around like a headless chicken waiting for someone to organise a tournament or league. It sounds silly but it’s true. When you play a game and no one takes the time to promote it, you will probably end up playing the same few opponents over and over again. Not that there isn’t any fun in playing the same people but eventually, those players with a limited player base might become bored with the local play style. If you always play against the same people, it’s hard to get better at the game since you will often gravitate towards the same lists and tactics which makes the game hyper repetitive. Having an organised environment will allow players to expand their horizons and challenge themselves if only by having the opportunity to play different people in different settings (leagues, tourneys, etc.).

In order to have a good sense of organisation for a local community you need three things:

-Dedicated players which we are so fortunate to have in spades.

-Dedicated stores with room for tables, which we are also fortunate to have in the region

-Dedicated idiots who would rather organise events then actually play in them...

 

THE CANCERS:

Yeah, how can I be politically correct here...? Cancer players aren’t necessarily bad people, they aren’t necessarily bad players either, they just tend to suck the living essence out of the game. Unfortunately, some players have a habit of not of missing a certain quality that is identified as sportsmanship (again, I’m trying to be at my best behavior). So you can all understand that this point is tied to the third major Woe of community building. We’ve all seen one or two such players, they are either rule lawyers (will know the rules by heart or close too and won’t let go when an argument arises over the course of a game), unconscious cheaters (might be conscious come to think of it) or they can just be generally unpleasant. There aren’t many remedies to this X-factor unfortunately. If you spot these players, the best advice is don’t play against them and/or talk to a PG about them. Another rule of thumb is to warn newer players. If the newer players get their first games in against a cancer player then you can reliably bet that said new player will quit the game. This happened with a local player that I respect greatly. I won’t name him but he did player against some players that were missing a certain degree of sportsmanship and he quit the game... Twice!

In order to alleviate this problem here are a few things players can do in to improve either their attitude or the enjoyment of newer players;

-Spot newbies and send them to a PG. This allows the newer players to play in a more controlled environment. A PGs job is to make sure people enjoy the game and to teach players the finer tactics and rules of the game. Having newbies play a few games against a PG will allow them to ask questions to a reliable source (sort of, some PGs are better with the rules, others at organising events and others with general tactics). We also tend to be lovable idiots that can provide a pleasant experience. By pointing newer players our way, we can help grow the community and keep them to our player base without them quitting the game because of a few uncool games.

-Curb your enthusiasm! By this I mean tone down the competitive side of your psyche screaming to be set free. Friendly games are supposed to be just that, friendly. Not that a little competition is bad mind you, but too much could ruin a players evening. If you want to play a hardcore list or if you want a practice game for the upcoming tourney asks the other player or at the very least let them know. Nothing is more annoying then setting up a list for a friendly game and looking over the table to find the cheesiest Legion/Cryx/menoth army waiting for you. That player will have fun because he’ll be rapping you all the way to Thursday while you are counting the minutes until your anus ceases to be violated. At least with fair warning, your opponent will either be able to tailor his list accordingly or will be able to let you know that he/she isn’t interested in that kind of game.

-Help thy neighbour. Meaning if you have a better grasp of the game then your opponent ask him if he wants you to comment on his turns or play style. It could help them become better at the game faster and offer them a more rewarding experience. Be careful not to be over critical when doing this however. Less is sometimes more.  

 

SPORSTMANSHIP VS. COMPETITION

Ok, this one is probably my biggest pet peeve when it comes to gaming so indulge me a little and read on. I can’t count the number of times I heard players say, ‘’I quit the league since I had no chance of winning’’ ‘’I won’t go to this event since I clearly can’t win’’ ‘’why would I do this since I know that player X will win the tourney’’ I could go on but I think you all get my point. In case you didn’t, my point is READ PAGE NUMBER 5!!!! This is where sportsmanship collides with competition.

What is the point of a league? The point is to allow players a format where they will play games and learn the game. What happens when you have the above mentioned attitude? You stop playing and thus never get any better. By adopting the ‘’I’m so far behind it isn’t worth it’’ attitude you’re not giving yourself the practice or tools/attitude needed to improve. Especially since the big prizes in a league (generally that is) are patches and here’s the kicker, you all get them whether your first place or last place. The other point of a league is to provide a source of enjoyment in our otherwise busy lives. Allow yourselves the chance to have fun, learn and play.

Also, tourneys don’t have to be all about the prizes. They are there to provide a structured event where you might play against people that you might otherwise never play against/with (depending on your point of view). I don’t really think of whether I’ll come in first or last, I’m mostly trying to improve on my previous results. 

 

CONCLUSION

I hope this article will be viewed for what it is a point of view from one of those damn idiots that would rather organize events rather then play in them. Granted the last part was a rant on my part more than anything else but it’s meant as constructed criticism (if the shoe fits) rather than a ball buster. 

 

I also want to take this time to thank one of the local Stores in particular. Although having a store to play in is nice, having one that actively supports the community is nicer. All the stores in the Ottawa area have supported this club however there is one that stands out in its level of involvement and the amount of money that it dumps into the constant prize support they offer.

So here’s to you guys at FDB! Thanks for the support, the wonderful local (seriously, there aren’t in a basement that smells of week old... something anymore) and cheerful staff. 

That’s it for me this week folks.

Live long and eat chocolate,

From unlogical PG, Noble Rain