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Casual Play (need help)


Lyraeus

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So I dont get much of the Ordo philosophy on casual play. I understand the idea, I have casual (to me they are casual) lists, I play non competitive games where there are take backs, I help my opponents out, I teach them, etc but there seems to be a hang up I am seeing on the idea of "good" / "Broken" models.

I get confused here as in a game of 40k, 1 good model doesnt mean you auto win. 

Are some models "Underpriced"? Yes, the Drukhari Succubus is underpriced, but only if you take her in certain loadouts (Your Triptych Whip and Blood Dancer, your Razorflails, Black Lotus Toxin, and Precision blows come to mind) but her efficiency drops when you dont take those so she is then well worth her points. Still killy, still hard, but not back breaking good.

The issue I have and this came up yesterday when we were discussing a new Crusade ran by others who want a more casual and narrative format (which I am all for) is that they dont want "good" units to be used. This bothers me because many books are NOT Space Marines, 30 odd Flavors of HQ's, etc. 

If the standard of what is "good" is what is used in a tournament winning list, you cant play Drukhari, you cant play Necrons (Warriors, Overlords, and Crypteks would not be allowed), you could not take a ton of units because of some amalgamous idea of what is "broken/good"

 

Here is another example. In the new ork Codex there is a Character that is VERY killy. Mozrag is the guy riding the Great White Squig and he is seriously a monster in Combat. He does have a few draw backs that people tend to ignore. First he is locked to a faction that some enjoy but most agree is not the most competitive faction, and that he is not as flexible as his unnamed version. Sure he packs a punch but if the rest of the punch is weighted down at the elbow preventing a full swing, is it really that good? Is there internet knee jerk reactions? Yes, and to me, as an ork player, who does competitive play, I would never take this model. Its too limiting. So why would he be so "good" that he cant be played casually? Are we to say Tau cant play Commanders or Battlesuits then? 

 

The last piece of this, and I thank you for sticking with this thread and providing answers to this, how do we equate player skill into this? It was brought to my attention that I bring all the hardest hitting lists, blah blah blah. Lets say that is true. If I was to give that list to a new player does anyone actually think they could play that to a 10th of the same level? (this is not an ego trip, this is an actual question) If not, then how are we determining what is good then? Is it by the player playing that model, or is it the model itself? Is it the list that makes the model good due to synergy or is it the player that has a good strategy? 

 

One last anecdotal piece of evidence to this. Tau are considered the weakest codex next to maybe Genestealer Cult. They have low win rates, and a hard time playing 9th ed as a whole. A player by the name of Richard Siegler, took said Tau and went 7-1 with them. Now why is this important? To get to 7-1 you are playing in a tournament with well over 150 people. You have 8 rounds of games and typically the last 3 are a cut off so if you don't make it you don't play. So a person, mind you, he is regarded as one of the best in the world, took an army that is underperforming universally across the board and won 7 games with them against some of the other strongest players in the world. So, does that mean his list is "too good" to play at ordo? Does anyone think they can recreate that feat (I could not)? 

So please keep the comments polite and the critiques pleasant enough to digest and lets figure this out because my autistic mind is having a hard time trying to figure this out. 

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Fair question, this also comes down to different people and what different people want from the hobby. There's really 2 extremes to this. And most falls somewhere in the middle usually.

  1. One side are folks that LOVE GT style tournaments, love the challenge of making the most synnergy strategized and competitive lists. My Nephew is like this, he plays Magic and has won MANY tournaments, because the deck building synnergy and challenge is what he loves. He makes VERY competitive decks (win at all costs).
    1. Another example would be how I love my Necron destroyers, so I could bring 3 squads of 5 and maximize the leaf blower effect they can bring.
    2. The short answer here is this person is in it to win it. Period.
  2. Then there are the 'beer and pretzels' folks that love to socialize, interact, hang out, and just overall have a good time laughing, etc. 
    1. This person might choose models because they LOOK cool (and on paper might suck really bad). They tend to focus on the painting side of the hobby, enjoy casual play more, etc.

 

The Ordo philosophy is we want BOTH players to have fun, laugh, and enjoy themselves. You put these two people together and the 2nd type is going to get STOMPED and that's never fun unless player 1 scales back a bit. So it's all about understand what you and your opponent both want. If you're both type 1, go for it. Pre-arrange ahead of time competitive list is the goal, and go from there. Does your opponent have a soft list, total newb, or just doesn't strategize well? If so, this is where I 2 squads of those spammed Necron Destroyers and make it fun for them too. In all honestly, playing a softer list offers me more challenge because I have to work harder at the win too (I do love that feeling).

 

My final thought if I were to simplify it, don't spam models unless your intent is to go full competitive. Certain models are just STRONG, a single HQ isn't going to be a problem, It's when I build those 15 destroyers around a 5++ bubble that also recovers wounds/models and more they become a tough nut to crack. The deathstar approach.

 

It's not just about rolling dice to win, it's about having FUN for everyone involved. Know your opponent, and what they'd like to get from the game.

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I can’t comment on Ordo’s philosophy too much, but I have had similar thoughts about casual vs competitive play in games. 

In my opinion, when any game has the potential to be competitive there develops a meta. You see this frequently in MOBAs and Battle Royal games but you can also look at RTS and strategy games for other examples. This also (obviously) exists for 40k, AoS, and other wargames with a competitive scene. Following the meta and staying competitive requires a large time commitment. I would imagine that a competitive player spends just as much time going over army lists, adjusting strategies, and generally just tweaking everything until it synergies and works perfectly as they do actually playing games against people. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this and I like that games exist out there where this is a way for players to interact with them.

But this also an experience a lot of people do not enjoy in the slightest, or at the very least don’t exist in this extreme as outlined by Dark Trainer. Some people view following competitive metas as “sucking the fun out of a game” because it optimizes everything. I personally fall into this camp because I enjoy discovering the mechanics of a game and it’s system through playing it compared to reading about it. The point of a game for me is not to win, but to more so create a memorable and fun experience. Reading strategy guides for factions, competitive analysis, seeing what the “pros” are doing, are all things that I find unappealing in most games since it robs me of discovering these things through the experience of play. And to be frank, it starts to feel like a job which is one experience I don’t want when playing games hahaha.

I also think it doesn’t help that games of 40k can take 2-4 hours. The time investment of learning the rules, assembling and painting models, putting together an army, along with buying all of the required books and finding a large enough physical space makes this hobby a high barrier to entry. And after doing all of that, you show up to play a game and you end up being outclassed to the point you don’t really get to “play”, so to speak, that it makes you wonder why you didn’t just go for a skirmish game or a normal and significantly cheaper board game. I think the feeing of frustration from that experience is understandable and one that I’ve personally experienced with other games. 
 

I think the key it is to really learn your audience and then set your frame of mind towards playing to reflect that. So when playing Crusade, pick an army that would provide narrative flavor and opportunity over competitive edge. Ask “what would make a cooler story” over “what would work best with this unit”. Learn who your audience is and what experience they’re looking for. Are they people who are into competitive or narrative as much as you? Maybe they want to get to a competitive level but have a lot to learn? Maybe they’re just as into competitive as much as you are. All of these are great! There is no “wrong” way to play this game but having people seeking different playing experiences and not communicating them can lead to everyone involved not having fun.

I personally am interested more in crusade 40k because I want to create shared narratives with other players and do custom chapters. But surprisingly I am also interested in the competitive side to a degree that I would do local tournaments and even a GT or two just for the experience. But meeting everyone at Ordo has made me keep my mind open to different experiences of play.
 

To sum up all of my ramblings: Learn your audience and the experience they want and change your mindset to play and enable it. Communicate what you’re looking for as well because it’s important everyone tries to have a good experience. And once you do these set your expectations accordingly. This is what I personally try do and for me I’ve had much more fun with games since and have had more positive experiences with other players.   

 

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15 minutes ago, Constyx said:

And to be frank, it starts to feel like a job which is one experience I don’t want when playing games hahaha.

 

 

Best point ever! Games/hobbies=fun.

I don't need stress and more 'work', I have enough of that at work where I get paid for that stress. Games are where I go to de-stress.

Playing World of Warcraft back in the day, trying to get 40 peeps to raid and all that, finally realized. I'm done...this is not fun, the treadmill is not healthy for me, it's responsibility and work. Games are not supposed to be that, in my opinion (but that's just me).

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To me, the issue is almost never a question of rules, units, special abilities, or whatever. It’s almost always a question of the attitudes of the players.

If someone plays with a sense of good sportsmanship, friendliness, and fair play then it doesn’t matter if the list they are using is the latest and greatest tournament winning curbstomp bomb or a suboptimal pile of poo. Contrariwise, if someone plays with a bad attitude, poor sportsmanship, or cheats… Well, it could be a list whose fluffiness is as pure as the driven snow.

We don’t play against models or lists. We play with people. 

Edited by Ish
“Attitudes” not “artistes,” god only knows that autocorrect was thinking there…
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10 minutes ago, Ish said:

To me, the issue is almost never a question of rules, units, special abilities, or whatever. It’s almost always a question of the artistes of the players.

If someone plays with a sense of good sportsmanship, friendliness, and fair play then it doesn’t matter if the list they are using is the latest and greatest tournament winning curbstomp bomb or a suboptimal pile of poo. Contrariwise, if someone plays with a bad attitude, poor sportsmanship, or cheats… Well, it could be a list whose fluffiness is as pure as the driven snow.

We don’t play against models or lists. We play with people. 

This is a good point. I've played people who have heavy competitive lists (better than mine), but they know when to let up on the gas pedal. And I've played folks who wipe me off the table by turn 3 and don't care. Same with people who clearly communicate intentions, vs those who hide dice rolls and have a perceived impropriety, etc.

I think this states the Ordo Philosophy best. Does the person have people skills or not.

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I mean, at the end of the day, we’re all a bunch of geeks, nerds, dorks, and neo-maxi zoom dweebies gathering in a musty attic to play pretend with toy soldiers. 

We should all expect a certain lack of people skills and social awkwardness from our fellows. Some nerds roll CHA 18, but a lot of us are stuck with CHA 8… on a good day. 

But there’s a big difference between being “socially awkward but friendly” versus “socially awkward and an asshole.”

The vast majority of people in Ordo are friendly the vast majority of the time. That’s the essence of the Ordo spirit, if you ask me. 

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This a point I've wrestled with for many years because getting everyone on the same page is both impossible and a compelling goal. Games would feel so much more like games if everyone enjoyed then the same way. 

Attitude in game is the most important thing. Before a game, you have a chance to opt out. Whether it's a bad matchup, a personality conflict, or just completely different philosophies about what's fun, for the sake of everyone, just decline a game that you think will be a waste of time.

However, once you have accepted a game with someone, you waive your right to then complain about their list, approach, whatever. You knew these things ahead of time and chose to play the game anyway. That's on you, not your opponent.

Because the problem with "casual play" is it means different things to different people. How many suboptimal choices must I make before my list is considered casual? Is it a fixed number of inefficient choices or a percentage of my army? If I make too many suboptimal selections does it start to come across as patronizing? Is there a generally agreed upon ban list within my codex I'm expected to adhere to? It's all quite complicated. Because fundamentally when someone is asking to play a "casual game" what they're really saying is "if we play the game as it's designed, I won't enjoy myself. Therfore I would like you to play a version of the game that conforms to what I will enjoy." There's nothing wrong with that request, but there is something wrong with getting frustrated with someone not knowing what your desired version of 40k is.

All that said, I think the biggest and most important innovation of the competitive scene within the last few years is the "playing by intent" standard. 40k is too big, too complicated, and too technical to play everything perfectly and, in my experience, the competitive crowd, has relaxed on expecting that. Allowing people to trigger things even though they technically missed a timing window, not forcing your opponent to kill models to re-establish coherency when they could've just moved one or two models differently and maintained it, and understanding when someone is trying to "unlock" obscuring ruins vs just trying to hide behind them. People are more forgiving and understanding now than they ever have been. And it makes sense too. If I'm playing a competitive game, I want to win because I played better, not because they made a small mistake and I wouldn't extend them any grace. I want to know if I can beat you when you're on your game, not if I can take advantage of a brain fart. 

The nice part of this is it gives you the freedom to be more open about what you're planning and your opponent is likely to let you know if there are any traps.

Me: "I'm moving this squad to just outside an inch so I can move block you but not engage you."

Opponent: "Remember, I've got a heroic intervention strat, so if you park there, I can still get you."

Me: "Oh thanks for the heads up, I guess I'll park 3.1 inches away so you can't do that."

Conversations like that happen constantly in tournaments I attend and the games are very fun and friendly as a result. Because it isn't the format or playstyle that dictates these things. It's the attitude.

So I'd say

1) set expectations as clearly and honestly as possible.

2) stick to those expectations you set.

3) have a good attitude when the game starts regardless of how even the matchup is or isn't.

In my experience, when bad interactions happen it's because one (but likely both) player(s) did not do one of or more of those 3 things.

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43 minutes ago, Ish said:

To me, the issue is almost never a question of rules, units, special abilities, or whatever. It’s almost always a question of the artistes of the players.

If someone plays with a sense of good sportsmanship, friendliness, and fair play then it doesn’t matter if the list they are using is the latest and greatest tournament winning curbstomp bomb or a suboptimal pile of poo. Contrariwise, if someone plays with a bad attitude, poor sportsmanship, or cheats… Well, it could be a list whose fluffiness is as pure as the driven snow.

We don’t play against models or lists. We play with people. 

I have aspergers, I don't cheat but I will never claim to be a "good sportsman" I just don't know what that is for me. Sure people can tell me what it means but it is that elusive thing that I chase but never catch.

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To add to what Dark Trainer said- if you are WAAC/Competitive Player and ROFL Stomp a casual player, don't pick apart their entire list, or tell them how they could have played better, or what their mistakes are unless they ask or seem inclined to want to know. All you are doing is trying to make them into a WAAC player. "You could have won if you had brought the Succubus instead of that in your list. On turn 1, you should have shot at this unit, not that unit. Why didn't you bring this unit instead of that unit? Don't you know about X,Y and Z combo with this strategem? Player X won World Champion GT with this list."

Casual players don't want to hear ANY of that. If you just kicked them in the teeth, shake their hand, say "Thank you for the game" and that's it. Walk away. Telling such a player how they lost, that they should have taken A,B,C units, that they should have done this or that... that's like kicking them when they are laying on the ground bleeding from the savage stomping you just gave them. If they don't ask, don't offer.

There needs to be a social contract between the players before a game. "I'm here to play a game and have fun. I want to roll a lot of dice, I want to laugh, I want to cry, and I don't care if I win or lose. It's how I want to play the game. If you don't like that idea, then let's play a different game or find new opponents."

During a game, if you look across the table feeling great with a big [big bad swear word] eating grin on your face and your opponent looks upset, bored, disinterested- basically everything you are not feeling, ask yourself why, and what you can do to make them feel better or have a more fun game. In other words, show some empathy towards what your opponent is feeling. Don't just shrug your shoulders and keep on playing.

I'm reminded of X-Wing Worlds back in... 2015 I think? I wasn't a very good X-wing player. I just brought what I wanted to play. Somehow, in round two, I played the guy who would become the winner of the whole tournament. I was having fun. Moving my ships around in unexpected ways, taking long shots with little chance of hitting, and about half way through the game, he threw a huge fit. He accused me of sand bagging, being intentionally difficult to play against, cheating, and trying to time out. We only had about 15 minutes left in the round and by some miracle, I was ahead in the game. X-Wing had just introduced the T-70 X-Wing that had a Tallon Roll maneuver that was new to me- I'd never used it before and when I finally did, he exploded on me.  I was a bit shocked- he started shouting at me and I totally thought he was going to flip the table! Judge comes over because the guy was screaming at me. I explained that I misunderstood how Tallon Rolls were performed, and that I did not know I was being a difficult opponent. I offered my hand to my opponent and said "It's OK, you win. I concede. You are way more invested into this game then I am. I'm just here to have fun." He refused to shake my hand, and I packed up my ships and dropped out of the tournament. The Judge as I was leaving said "Hey, you would have won, you don't have to leave. That guy was just a poor sport." I said to the Judge "It was more important to him that he win then for me, so I let him win." and I shrugged my shoulders and that was that. The Judge did offer me some alternate artwork cards and Worlds template, but I told him to give them to the last place guy. I was done with X-wing. Played maybe a handful of games after that before selling it all off. One guy had destroyed any kind of enjoyment or interest I had in X-wing.

Games workshop feels VERY strongly about this. So strongly that they devoted an entire page of 3rd ed AoS to it, and it's not ambiguous at all. It clearly states how you should act. It's important enough that it's reprinted in the 2021 General's Handbook for Pitched Battles. I expect the 10th ed 40K rule book will have something similar. Right now, it's scattered all over the Core Book in the sections few, if any players read.

Other companies have done the same. Privateer Press had a very controversial "Page 3" for the longest time. Players took it as an excuse to WAAC and be jerks while playing the game. PP stopped doing the Page 3, and instead devoted a lengthy page on player etiquette and sportsmanship in their Steamroller Tournament document. Those of us that remember playing in the GW Grand Tournament's of the 90's will remember the 2-3 pages devoted to sportsmanship during the GT. The Atomic Mass Games/Fantasy Flight Games (Marvel Crisis Protocol, Star Wars X-Wing, Legion, and Armada) all have sections about sportsmanship. I'm hard pressed to think about any tabletop game that doesn't have some kind of section about sportsmanship or "casual vs. competitive play".

Sorry Lyraeus. You seem to equate winning as fun, and you don't understand why players don't try their hardest to win. The old quote here is probably the best thing I can say: "It's not whether you win or lose; it's how you play the game" - Grantland Rice. You play the game to win. You equate that with always trying your hardest to win. Bring the hardest lists, the most powerful combo's, etc. etc.

TLDR; Get off your winning is everything high horse. Your entire post comes off to me as "I'm better then casual players because I play to win and I don't understand why you don't".

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7 minutes ago, Lyraeus said:

I have aspergers, I don't cheat but I will never claim to be a "good sportsman" I just don't know what that is for me. Sure people can tell me what it means but it is that elusive thing that I chase but never catch.

Be fair, be nice, play by the rules, be generous with your opponent, be gracious when you lose, and be magnanimous in victory.

“Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company you don't even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game.” – Gary Gygax

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1 hour ago, Ish said:

But there’s a big difference between being “socially awkward but friendly” versus “socially awkward and an asshole.”

👏 Amen. I almost want to make that sentence into my permanent signature. 😀

And I'll go ahead and add one more quote to the pile. I probably don't have the exact wording, but I believe Jervis Johnson once said "A wargame is a social contract between 2 gentlemen to enjoy each other's company for an afternoon." Obviously, that should apply to ANY gamer, regardless of gender or orientation. 

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41 minutes ago, Tamwulf said:

To add to what Dark Trainer said- if you are WAAC/Competitive Player and ROFL Stomp a casual player, don't pick apart their entire list, or tell them how they could have played better, or what their mistakes are unless they ask or seem inclined to want to know. All you are doing is trying to make them into a WAAC player. "You could have won if you had brought the Succubus instead of that in your list. On turn 1, you should have shot at this unit, not that unit. Why didn't you bring this unit instead of that unit? Don't you know about X,Y and Z combo with this strategem? Player X won World Champion GT with this list."

 

I disagree with this statement a lot. 

 

If a player is losing, and they are losing consistently, all the while getting frustrated then they have a few choices. They can learn by playing a person better than them, they can learn by asking for advice, or they can learn from the free advice given. 

Telling someone "That succubus is ok, but have you tried this out? It might help you in melee a bit more" is not making a person a WAAC player. 

In fact people who play Competitive are currently RARELY WAAC. WAAC involves hiding dice, hiding information. A WAAC player plays Gotcha Hammer so if you have a strat or something that could impact the game and you DONT do the courtesy of informing your opponent, you not only are breaking GW's Code of Conduct, you are playing WAAC.

 

WAAC is not all competitive players and the fact you insinuate that is insulting.

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41 minutes ago, Ish said:

Be fair, be nice, play by the rules, be generous with your opponent, be gracious when you lose, and be magnanimous in victory.

“Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company you don't even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game.” – Gary Gygax

I try to do all of that. I like to think I do but I know I have issues with it.

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That’s where the thing about being magnanimous in victory comes in. There’s a wide spectrum of approaches between giving someone friendly advice on how to improve their gameplay and making mockery of them and saying “Get good, newbie.”

There’s such a thing as “being a sore winner.”

 

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1 minute ago, Ish said:

That’s where the thing about being magnanimous in victory comes in. There’s a wide spectrum of approaches between giving someone friendly advice on how to improve their gameplay and making mockery of them and saying “Get good, newbie.”

There’s such a thing as “being a sore winner.”

 

I never make fun of people. I just want better opponents so giving advice on a play or strategy is very important. Sure there are armies you will have problems against but in 75% of your games the loss is due to bad tactics, not a bad list. I want to help with the tactics

 

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I find this to be an interesting (if not annual topic).  I play to have a fun game with whom I hope is a friend or will be a friend.  The game is secondary to all of my hobby enjoyment. I like to paint, plan, create terrain, meet new folks and to catch up with long time friends. ... oh... and to play a game and roll some dice.  Tactics?  whatever... I'm not that invested LOL.  I don't go out to loose games by not thinking - I think as the game is set up and as it unfolds about my tactical decisions - based on my opponent, the opponents list, terrain and whatever other random things that happen or with the game. Tactics are in my mind when I make a list - just about how I COULD do things and why I need to paint or build this or that for the army. But to "win games" isn't on the radar - its a game - with dice and sometimes thoughtful decision making.

Casual games that I play - are nearly all of the thoughtful replies already posted here. I share my idea of my list when planning to play a game ahead of time.  OR I spend extra time talking though my list before the game if it is a random game in the last minute schedule (or tourney). But it is casual - so it is not really about the game or the meta or what I can or cannot take. (I take whatever I want lol - rule of cool). In a casual game I expect my opponent to be playing for fun and enjoyment of just hanging out rolling dice. Of course we are playing to win - but for the fun is why we are playing.

As far as someone explaining tactics to me after I loose?  no thank you - if I wanted a class or some instruction I would ask for it (IMO).  I painted and build my own army - I can learn from my mistakes (either my army build, my strategies, or my choice of a "fun" opponent ). If my opponents or the local meta was win at all costs ... I wouldn't be playing 40k at all. Luckily, WACC and Casual play never seems to dominate for too long - after 30 some years ... I can remember lots of things changing with GW ... 40k, the rules and the fluff. But one thing that hasn't really changed is this exact discussion lol.

-d

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11 minutes ago, Torg said:

As far as someone explaining tactics to me after I loose?  no thank you - if I wanted a class or some instruction I would ask for it (IMO).  I painted and build my own army - I can learn from my mistakes (either my army build, my strategies, or my choice of a "fun" opponent ). If my opponents or the local meta was win at all costs ... I wouldn't be playing 40k at all. Luckily, WACC and Casual play never seems to dominate for too long - after 30 some years ... I can remember lots of things changing with GW ... 40k, the rules and the fluff. But one thing that hasn't really changed is this exact discussion lol.

-d

Sadly for me, that would not be a fun game. It could very well be. You could be tactically savvy and quick to action that is needed for a strong player but in my experience of games, the game you are looking for is not fun for me. Its like taking a Mustang and telling it to drive only on windy hilly roads, beautiful to drive and, relaxing, enjoyable, but not in a mustang where you really just want a nice long straight to let loose on. 

I dont watch a ton of battle reports, I dont read a ton of articles, maybe when there is something interesting sure but in general I just play a lot of games. 2-4 a week. 

Playing a game that has no value in it after the first few times is why I stopped playing magic. Too easy to predict means it had no value outside of who got lucky. In 40k, I roll bad but I make up for it in strategy and planning. That is how I work and so a game that wants none of that... well its not a game to me.

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32 minutes ago, Lyraeus said:

I disagree with this statement a lot. 

 

If a player is losing, and they are losing consistently, all the while getting frustrated then they have a few choices. They can learn by playing a person better than them, they can learn by asking for advice, or they can learn from the free advice given. 

You are right that a player has those choices if they want to get better, but one thing to keep in mind is what makes them frustrated? Is it losing, or the overall experience of their game? I think your disconnect comes from not realizing that there are players who do not care about winning. It doesn’t enter their minds at all. So with a player having that as their mindset, giving them free unsolicited advice about stratagems and what units to bring doesn’t give them anything to work on. They want to improve their experience, not their win rate. And improving the win rate may not be what improves that specific players experience. 

In my opinion your head is in the right place. You’re asking people what their intended experience is and trying to figure it out. We talked last night and it’s evident you’re more than happy to help people improve and get into competitive play. Which makes me want to at least try it. A good step you could take communicating with people is asking if they would like to hear your thoughts on what improvements they could have done from a competitive standpoint. That way it’s clear to them that you’re looking to help vs unintentionally coming off as lording the win over them. 

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2 minutes ago, Ish said:

John Kreese is the villain in The Karate Kid, y'know, the "There is no mercy in this dojo!" guy?

 

Ahhhh. Well there is no way you would know unless you played me and the last time that happened was with orks vs your custodes.

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1 minute ago, Constyx said:

You are right that a player has those choices if they want to get better, but one thing to keep in mind is what makes them frustrated? Is it losing, or the overall experience of their game? I think your disconnect comes from not realizing that there are players who do not care about winning. It doesn’t enter their minds at all. So with a player having that as their mindset, giving them free unsolicited advice about stratagems and what units to bring doesn’t give them anything to work on. They want to improve their experience, not their win rate. And improving the win rate may not be what improves that specific players experience. 

In my opinion your head is in the right place. You’re asking people what their intended experience is and trying to figure it out. We talked last night and it’s evident you’re more than happy to help people improve and get into competitive play. Which makes me want to at least try it. A good step you could take communicating with people is asking if they would like to hear your thoughts on what improvements they could have done from a competitive standpoint. That way it’s clear to them that you’re looking to help vs unintentionally coming off as lording the win over them. 

Hmmmm were you the one painting Custodes last night? If so, did you feel my game against Brian went that way?

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Don't offer unsolicited advice.  Sometimes people don't care about the win, and care more about just playing.  In my 35 years of gaming, I prolly have a 25% win rate, and most of that is even luck.  I have more fond memories of fun, entertaining games where I lost to a friend ( or made a new one) than resounding wins.

For 40k specifically, casual players expect to see archetypes in the factions, more than tough, punishing lists.  Hell, my most successful year at OFCC was with my speed freek list, not because it was tough, but because it was intentionally fun.  A strong theme of hot rods and green idiots brought me much joy and nostalgia, and my opponents thought so too.  "that what orks are 'supposed' to be!" was the best reaction I could have hoped for, and I went 2-2-2 that year.  What made it successful wasn't my record, it was the 4 favored opponent pins I received.  

Keep in mind that most casual players don't have the time play often.  The limited game time they have isn't judged by the win or the loss, it's the story that unfolded and the quality of the time spent.  I've mostly stopped playing 40k due to one too many encounters with folks that don't understand that.  

"Trying to make better opponents" is, to be blunt, selfish. Try to understand why your opponent is putting models on the table.  Also understand that that particular game may not be a good fit that night. I know for certain I don't want to have any stress when I play.  If a game starts to go sideways I may have to stop and admit to my opponent it's just not clicking.  

Just keep in mind that for many people the point of playing in the first place isn't about even trying to win, it's just a means to have a social encounter with another person of similar interests.  Don't try to "help" them get better, they may just want to push toy soldiers around and let the rest of life be forgotten for a few hours.  

 

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