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Casual Play (need help)


Lyraeus

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Just now, Lyraeus said:

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

Yeah that was me! 
 

I didn’t hear the end of match discussion between you and Brian last night. While watching your match I didn’t get the impression he was frustrated or not having a good time. Both of you seemed to be having fun and I thought it was interesting hearing you discuss the new Thousand Sons codex. 

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I think what you aren't quite picking up on, in general, is that "let's play a game" can mean very different things to different people. You seem to come from the "Game means an activity described by a set of rules, often competitive or having an explicit goal" definition and without knowing it are becoming frustrated with people who are operating on the mindset that "Game means a playful activity, amusement, or pastime." You're playing poker, they're playing go fish.

Neither of these points of view are wrong, but they can cause friction between players who don't quite get where the other person is coming from.





 

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5 minutes ago, Constyx said:

Yeah that was me! 
 

I didn’t hear the end of match discussion between you and Brian last night. While watching your match I didn’t get the impression he was frustrated or not having a good time. Both of you seemed to be having fun and I thought it was interesting hearing you discuss the new Thousand Sons codex. 

Brian is my FAVORITE opponent. He does get frustrated but he doesnt give up and he is always learning. He has the energy I can draw off of and it is always fun.

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1 minute ago, Ish said:

I think what you aren't quite picking up on, in general, is that "let's play a game" can mean very different things to different people. You seem to come from the "Game means an activity described by a set of rules, often competitive or having an explicit goal" definition and without knowing it are becoming frustrated with people who are operating on the mindset that "Game means a playful activity, amusement, or pastime." You're playing poker, they're playing go fish.

Neither of these points of view are wrong, but they can cause friction between players who don't quite get where the other person is coming from.





 

I understand that but you are adding in a sea of different shades of Grey and you don't seem to understand the basic issue. 

The issue is simple. If there are grey in how people play, how can I as a player know what is or is not allowed? 

Please go back to page one and refer to  Munkie's post on here. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Lyraeus said:

If there are grey in how people play, how can I as a player know what is or is not allowed? 

Ask and emulate.

Ask others what they expect of you during or after the games. Listen to the feedback given and try to do it. Just like tactical aspects of gameplay can be improved by "after action reports," so too can social aspects. To quote a certain author I assume you've read: "Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t."

Emulate others who seem to be successful. Look to the player(s) that you enjoy playing with the most and/or that other people enjoy playing with the most and try to do what they do. To quote that same author: "Make friends with people who want the best for you." 
 

 

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33 minutes ago, Lyraeus said:

Brian is my FAVORITE opponent. He does get frustrated but he doesnt give up and he is always learning. He has the energy I can draw off of and it is always fun.

He was a lot of fun to talk to as well! Overall would love to play a game against either of you once I get a couple practice rounds in to learn the rules 

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I ended up quitting Infinity over this same issue. I come to game night to play very casually and socialize. It is leisure time for me and I don’t like when it becomes work. The Local Infinity group got too interested in tournament play and spending hours optimizing lists and exploiting rules interactions. And I couldn’t  keep up so it wasn’t fun. 

I will be honest Lyraeus. My first time playing 40k since 5th was against you and it made my mind up for a long time that I wasn’t cut out for the game. This new league has me considering trying again. 

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People of both camps get lost in the debate about winning and whether or not it matters and should matter.

I think regardless of your gaming persuasion the proper mentality towards playing to the mission with intent to win it if possible is:

Endeavor to finish the game a better player than you were when you began.

For competitive players, winning more games is a byproduct of adopting that mentality. You learn to formulate a path (or several) to victory pretty early on in competitive gaming. Your opponent and random chance want to derail that plan and learning how to stay on course is the long process. Opponents are a variable you cannot control, so don't try. Just keep getting better than yourself and you'll find you're getting better than others too.

For casual gamers, "better" can mean a lot of different things. We play an artistic game, a social game, and a competitive (in the sense there are 2 people competing, regardless of how seriously you take that). Learn about your opponent's color theory, technique, or basing tips and become a better hobbyist. Learn how to be a better communicator, how to find common ground with them, how to calibrate your behavior to what they are responding to. Or just learn to be better at the game in whatever incremental way. 

I really feel that the breed of gamer who truly does not think of winning and losing at all is exceedingly rare. Most of us will try to win because the game tells us how to. It is a puzzle to be solved and human minds want to solve them. The level to which a win or loss affects us varies greatly, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's how we react that causes trouble.

It can be tedious for a casual player to be ground to dust by someone who only cares about winning. It can equally tedious for a competitive player to spend several hours playing against someone not even trying to play the mission.

However, if both players can just focus on getting better at something, they'll be operating on common ground even if the specific "something" is very different. You're getting better than you, so you can spare your opponent whatever gamer angst you'd otherwise lay at their feet.

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6 minutes ago, Munkie said:

People of both camps get lost in the debate about winning and whether or not it matters and should matter.

I think regardless of your gaming persuasion the proper mentality towards playing to the mission with intent to win it if possible is:

Endeavor to finish the game a better player than you were when you began.

For competitive players, winning more games is a byproduct of adopting that mentality. You learn to formulate a path (or several) to victory pretty early on in competitive gaming. Your opponent and random chance want to derail that plan and learning how to stay on course is the long process. Opponents are a variable you cannot control, so don't try. Just keep getting better than yourself and you'll find you're getting better than others too.

For casual gamers, "better" can mean a lot of different things. We play an artistic game, a social game, and a competitive (in the sense there are 2 people competing, regardless of how seriously you take that). Learn about your opponent's color theory, technique, or basing tips and become a better hobbyist. Learn how to be a better communicator, how to find common ground with them, how to calibrate your behavior to what they are responding to. Or just learn to be better at the game in whatever incremental way. 

I really feel that the breed of gamer who truly does not think of winning and losing at all is exceedingly rare. Most of us will try to win because the game tells us how to. It is a puzzle to be solved and human minds want to solve them. The level to which a win or loss affects us varies greatly, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's how we react that causes trouble.

It can be tedious for a casual player to be ground to dust by someone who only cares about winning. It can equally tedious for a competitive player to spend several hours playing against someone not even trying to play the mission.

However, if both players can just focus on getting better at something, they'll be operating on common ground even if the specific "something" is very different. You're getting better than you, so you can spare your opponent whatever gamer angst you'd otherwise lay at their feet.

See the issue is people think I just want to win. I just want a challenge. Give me a tough battle that has lot to learn. If I lose I learn far more than when I win but improvement as a player is vital to me enjoying this game. The me of now isn't the same person as a year ago, and I hope the me in the future will be better still as a player.

 

For anyone who may get that co fused, a player is one who does all things mentioned here, strives to improve, strives to have fun, and strives to be a good sport about the game.

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41 minutes ago, Lyraeus said:

See the issue is people think I just want to win. I just want a challenge. Give me a tough battle that has lot to learn.

Winning is the validation of the goal of improvement. Closely related, and easily mistaken by someone who doesn't know you (like me!).

 

That's why communication is really important. "Competitive" and "casual" are loaded terms and if you say you're looking for one, your opponent is primed to feel some way about it. If you said something like "hey, my goal is to be the best player I can be so I'm hoping to have a game where we're both trying to win and I'd love to have a post-battle conversation about improvement. Is that the kind of game you're looking for?" ...perhaps you'd be better off?

 

They can negotiate if there's something they have questions about or walk away if that sounds completely wrong for them, but hopefully they'd at least respect the clarity of intent. If they accept and then proceed to have a bad attitude then all you can do is attempt to de-escalate a little and wash your hands of it if you get pushback.

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32 minutes ago, Munkie said:

Winning is the validation of the goal of improvement. Closely related, and easily mistaken by someone who doesn't know you (like me!).

 

That's why communication is really important. "Competitive" and "casual" are loaded terms and if you say you're looking for one, your opponent is primed to feel some way about it. If you said something like "hey, my goal is to be the best player I can be so I'm hoping to have a game where we're both trying to win and I'd love to have a post-battle conversation about improvement. Is that the kind of game you're looking for?" ...perhaps you'd be better off?

 

They can negotiate if there's something they have questions about or walk away if that sounds completely wrong for them, but hopefully they'd at least respect the clarity of intent. If they accept and then proceed to have a bad attitude then all you can do is attempt to de-escalate a little and wash your hands of it if you get pushback.

I have no issue dialing a list down if it will led to a good game, the issue comes in when there is not that communication and people say "Yea I will play you" but nothing else. 

 

One can learn from using a sub par list, in this threads context though we have the new Crusade League which has a line 

image.thumb.png.1f9397e96314c2ed9c0a479d7b28ccf7.png

I am sorry but.... what?

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I find it hard not to play to win. That is not to say that I bring competitive lists or the current meta. Regardless of my attitude before hitting the table, once I hit the table, I play with the hopes of winning. Now, that does not mean I won't have fun if I lose. I go up when things go well and I can go down when things don't. I wish I could be one of those guys that just has a smile on his face regardless. That isn't me. Once I'm playing, then I do try to figure out how I can win the game and will play to my best ability. Being that these games are won or loss by die rolls at times...I'm hoping that I've gotten better and being less frustrated when things go south. I find I can typically still enjoy a game if there was at least some chance that I could have won. And that is where playing competitive is no longer for me. There are ppl out there that squeeze every ounce of power out of the meta and you can tell by the end of turn 1 that I had no chance. At that point, I don't see a reason to play the game.

So for me, casual play is a game where either side has a reasonable chance to win. I can enjoy those games regardless of outcome. Its weird, don't ask me to explain it. I think many casual players feel the same way. They want to know that there was a chance. If they had just done A, or if the dice had rolled B, then the game would have been theirs.

If I get stomped and see that there was zero chance of me winning, then I don't see the point of that game and it really feels like a complete waste of time. I don't see how you have fun in that scenario. And the chance of that happening goes way up in competitive games. So why not just learn to play better? because honestly, the latest editions require too much time and effort. I wish I had the bandwidth for that...but I don't anymore.

 

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15 minutes ago, Brother Glacius said:

I find it hard not to play to win. That is not to say that I bring competitive lists or the current meta. Regardless of my attitude before hitting the table, once I hit the table, I play with the hopes of winning. Now, that does not mean I won't have fun if I lose. I go up when things go well and I can go down when things don't. I wish I could be one of those guys that just has a smile on his face regardless. That isn't me. Once I'm playing, then I do try to figure out how I can win the game and will play to my best ability. Being that these games are won or loss by die rolls at times...I'm hoping that I've gotten better and being less frustrated when things go south. I find I can typically still enjoy a game if there was at least some chance that I could have won. And that is where playing competitive is no longer for me. There are ppl out there that squeeze every ounce of power out of the meta and you can tell by the end of turn 1 that I had no chance. At that point, I don't see a reason to play the game.

So for me, casual play is a game where either side has a reasonable chance to win. I can enjoy those games regardless of outcome. Its weird, don't ask me to explain it. I think many casual players feel the same way. They want to know that there was a chance. If they had just done A, or if the dice had rolled B, then the game would have been theirs.

If I get stomped and see that there was zero chance of me winning, then I don't see the point of that game and it really feels like a complete waste of time. I don't see how you have fun in that scenario. And the chance of that happening goes way up in competitive games. So why not just learn to play better? because honestly, the latest editions require too much time and effort. I wish I had the bandwidth for that...but I don't anymore.

 

100% exactly - 

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4 hours ago, Jay said:

I ended up quitting Infinity over this same issue. I come to game night to play very casually and socialize. It is leisure time for me and I don’t like when it becomes work. The Local Infinity group got too interested in tournament play and spending hours optimizing lists and exploiting rules interactions. And I could keep up so it wasn’t fun. 

I will be honest Lyraeus. My first time playing 40k since 5th was against you and it made my mind up for a long time that I wasn’t cut out for the game. This new league has me considering trying again. 

Sad Jay - this totally sucks. I know how you feel though. It’s one of the things that worries me about playing infinity on a regular basis. 
 

-d

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There's a lot of really good points in this conversation already!  Since I posted the casual league I thought I'd add a few thoughts to help clarify what SaltyMonkey and I talked about in the weeks leading up to deciding to host this. And because I was part of the conversation Thursday night I want clarify right away I'm not talking about anyone in particular, I'm intending the Royal You/We, etc.

Casual any game to me means it's being played for the entertainment of everyone at the table. And because 40k involves a lot of pre-gametable process list building, that means the casual mindset has to begin then - before both folks arrive at the table. It means building your list based upon something other than points-efficiency and likelihood-of-winning. For example I chose my necrons because they were cheap post-indomitus. I don't like the skeleton-esque infantry, but I love the giant mechanical bugs. So I looked at the rules and realized it was possible to build a list around the canoptek keyword. ImperialTrooper plays space wolves with no primaris at all because he doesn't like them and uses all firstborn instead. SaltyMonkey loves kitbashing the orks so he plays what he finds on ebay cheap or is in the mood to kitbash together. Our decision what to field wasn't primarily made by an in-game performance analysis by points. That type of analysis is obviously appropriate and necessary for tournament play- but there's no reason it needs to be the primary driver for every game. For a game, a form of entertainment and excuse to socialize, making selections based upon models or a favorite novel etc. are just as legitimate choices.

The other thing I'll mention that is a HUGE difference between what I think of as competitive play and casual play is the amount of Ego investment. It's just a game, it resets every time we play, and we all show up knowing technically 50% of the people in the room are going to lose. If my opponent has to win, or is not ok with the occasional "oops I meant to do that in my previous phase" especially for a game as dense and random as 40k - that tells me the game isn't really about two people having fun together. In their mind that game is about their performance or self-improvement. It's usually even more apparent in the way they handle an unlucky roll, lose a unit they didn’t expect, or clearly just aren't mentally prepared for losing their 50% of games. For me this is honestly what kills the fun quickest for me - feeling like the other person wasn't there to enjoy a game together - they needed a stand-in to hone their skills.

We all still get better with every game we play. Building sub-optimal lists and playing them still teaches us all to be more resourceful as well. It doesn't have to come at the cost of removing the fun for other people who might have a lot less time & money to devote to pregame optimizing.

Edited by Tao Tsê-Mung
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When you play checkers on the porch with grandpa, you try to win the game but that’s not really the primary goal of the activity;

When you play Texas hold’em in the poker room at Caesar’s Palace, you try to have fun but that’s not really the primary goal of the activity.

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17 hours ago, Ish said:

I interpret that as “bring a legal list, but don’t worry too much about making it a finely tuned, tourney stomper.”

 

But that is not what it says and makes no sense when you are dealing with games at 500 and 1000pts. Sure, your interpretation would be correct IF the games were 2000pts by at 500? At 1000?

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16 hours ago, Brother Glacius said:

I find it hard not to play to win. That is not to say that I bring competitive lists or the current meta. Regardless of my attitude before hitting the table, once I hit the table, I play with the hopes of winning. Now, that does not mean I won't have fun if I lose. I go up when things go well and I can go down when things don't. I wish I could be one of those guys that just has a smile on his face regardless. That isn't me. Once I'm playing, then I do try to figure out how I can win the game and will play to my best ability. Being that these games are won or loss by die rolls at times...I'm hoping that I've gotten better and being less frustrated when things go south. I find I can typically still enjoy a game if there was at least some chance that I could have won. And that is where playing competitive is no longer for me. There are ppl out there that squeeze every ounce of power out of the meta and you can tell by the end of turn 1 that I had no chance. At that point, I don't see a reason to play the game.

So for me, casual play is a game where either side has a reasonable chance to win. I can enjoy those games regardless of outcome. Its weird, don't ask me to explain it. I think many casual players feel the same way. They want to know that there was a chance. If they had just done A, or if the dice had rolled B, then the game would have been theirs.

If I get stomped and see that there was zero chance of me winning, then I don't see the point of that game and it really feels like a complete waste of time. I don't see how you have fun in that scenario. And the chance of that happening goes way up in competitive games. So why not just learn to play better? because honestly, the latest editions require too much time and effort. I wish I had the bandwidth for that...but I don't anymore.

 

1000% this. You encapsulated my feelings on this 

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47 minutes ago, Lyraeus said:

But that is not what it says and makes no sense when you are dealing with games at 500 and 1000pts. Sure, your interpretation would be correct IF the games were 2000pts by at 500? At 1000?

It’s inherently a subjective thing, they’re asking people not to bring cheesy lists… But everyone has a different threshold for what that means.

Hence my original answer to this question: Don’t be a dick. 

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20 hours ago, Ish said:

It’s inherently a subjective thing, they’re asking people not to bring cheesy lists… But everyone has a different threshold for what that means.

Hence my original answer to this question: Don’t be a dick. 

Its crusade, the games get unbalanced regardless

 

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On 8/13/2021 at 2:13 PM, Lyraeus said:

Sadly for me, that would not be a fun game...

And this is your final answer. If playing someone who isn't hardcore looking to stomp faces isn't your style, then you should avoid those matches. Simple. You know your style. The consequence will be fewer opponents as you're unable to interact with 100% of the audience, but at least you'll enjoy it more. It's that simple.

Accepting players for who they are and being a sportsmanly player is huge and what the Ordo mentality is about. This person can be ROFLstomping hard lists or squishiness all the way. @Ish said it well, “socially awkward but friendly” versus “socially awkward and an asshole.” These are things people have to do for themselves, no one can tell or do it for you.

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17 hours ago, Dark Trainer said:

And this is your final answer. If playing someone who isn't hardcore looking to stomp faces isn't your style, then you should avoid those matches. Simple. You know your style. The consequence will be fewer opponents as you're unable to interact with 100% of the audience, but at least you'll enjoy it more. It's that simple.

Accepting players for who they are and being a sportsmanly player is huge and what the Ordo mentality is about. This person can be ROFLstomping hard lists or squishiness all the way. @Ish said it well, “socially awkward but friendly” versus “socially awkward and an asshole.” These are things people have to do for themselves, no one can tell or do it for you.

I play Brian, he isn't a hard core gamer BUT he wants to improve and gets better with every game. That makes me want to play him more. It's fun to watch his growth and what he will come up with next.

 

To watch that mixmash of fun playstyle plus the desire to be a better player. Not just for competitive play or anything but for normal games as well.

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