Hey guys, Timothy from Stones River Wargaming. This is something I have been wanting to talk about for a while now, so we will get right into it.
Nothing can turn a game bad, or possibly an entire stretch of gaming, as having to deal with people that do these things. And I am not saying anyone does these to be malicious, I don’t think they are actually aware of them. But hopefully this sheds some light on some habits and sayings that just really ruin your enjoyment of a tabletop/board game.
In no particular order:
1. *Rolls dice, misses…* “Well if you add them together it hits…” I hear this at least two – three times at a gaming event/tournament. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so often but DANG. I get you wanted to hit, and maybe this is supposed to be funny. And it was.. The first time. Five years ago. Please stop, if just for my sanity
2. Distracted gaming. OH MY can this be an issue. If you have an important text/call, that is understandable. But if you are spending your time on a phone/tablet instead of paying attention to the game that I am pouring my attention into we are going to have a problem. If the phone turns sideways (aka video viewing) you might be asked to leave. There is a time for that and gaming is not the time. If you want to do that sort of stuff and be present that is fine, but please not while playing a game!
3. So what can lead to distracted gaming… Losing interest. OK I get that no one likes to lose, and if you see it going that way then you might become less vested in the games outcome. But with the time involvement of tabletop and board games have the courtesy to your fellow gamers to give it your all, no matter your standing.
4. What is the base of losing interest? Poor sportsmanship. I get that no one likes to lose, but this can go either way, either because one is losing or winning. Be gracious on either end and people will enjoy playing with you to the point you will actually get follow up games. Sore winners are quite possibly worse than sore losers, though I honestly have a hard time telling the difference. It can be easy to fall into the bad sportsman category but it really is the first thing one must master for everyone to have an enjoyable gaming experience.
5. Paint snobs. If your army/models/little plastic men and women are painted beautifully, good for you. That gives you no right to criticize anyone else’s paint job or lack thereof. At least they are willing to play a game with you, and that is worth more than them taking all the time to paint everything and thus not playing.
6. Touching my models. This might be ok if you are my opponent. I get wanting to be helpful and handing my a model that died. But you should ask permission. But person who is watching, not playing anything and decides to waltz over and put your dirty mitts on my miniatures that I have taken hours to assemble, paint and modify? NO. NO NO NO. Maybe if you ask permission, but more than likely it will be a no because obviously I am in a game, I need to pay attention to the game and the likelihood of you dropping my models is disturbingly high. Just look, touch with your eyes. Or I will end you.
7. Watchers, hangers on, general wastes of space. I understand if you don’t have models yet. I get it if you are just getting into gaming. But if you are distracting, annoying and generally a piece of crap, don’t be around my game table. If you come to a place of gaming with NO INTENTION of gaming, why did you come? And if it is a one off time, I get that. But I have been to events where the same people show up and never play anything.
8. Dice handling. There are several aspects to this, mostly from input I got from other gamers. Please don’t throw your dice all over the place, no one wants to pick those up. When you do roll, – and please, make sure you actually roll,dont just set the dice down – take away the misses, not the hits. Just makes it easier for everyone. While we are at it, you are a gamer. Bring your own dice and definitely don’t touch mine.
9. Little annoying sayings. “just don’t roll a 1” I then immediately roll a 1. “anything but a…” as well as, “close but no cigar.” There are plenty more. If you say something a lot when your opponent messes up, maybe look at it and think about how it comes across to them. I know I am guilty of this and so have changed things I may say to try to keep it an enjoyable gaming experience for everyone
10. Rules interpretations. There are multiple points to this as well. Please, know the rules for the game you are playing. I get that we play different systems and some bleed over happens, but when you try to run through something that is always an advance or walk, I know you know that isn’t real. If you are going to cite a rule from the book, that is fine. But hand me the book so I can read it too. Punctuation and writing is vitally important to proper rule interpretation. And finally, if it goes for me it goes for you and vice versa. Few are blatant enough to try this but I have seen it. If I was out of range you are too, and so on.
I know some of these may be splitting hairs to some while to others it is a huge issue. The overall point to this is think about how the way you game and the things you do affect other gamers, and be considerate of the time and effort people are putting in to play with you and you with them!