Ten things tabletop gamers need to stop doing and/or saying

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!


V4 Flames of War Afrika Korps thoughts

Hey guys, Timothy here. So I finished playing my second game of v4 Flames of War tonight, and it has taught me a lot. Both games I have played Afrika Korps, and I am really looking forward to giving Desert Rats a shot at some point. I don’t have any interest in Fighting First so doubt I will play them unless I decide to try out AJ’s army at some point just for fun.

Anyway, so I won my first game but more importantly, especially for me and learning things to do and not to do, I lost my second game which I played earlier tonight.

Of course no one likes losing but it does teach you way more than winning does and so I take times that I lose to really look at what I need to do, whether that be list wise, strategy leading up to the game and especially during the game. So first here is the list I ran. I won’t go through the entirety of the battle report as that will be on YouTube but here is the list:


Single Formation

Infantry HQ – 2 points

Rifle Platoon + sHMG, 6 stands – 8 points

Rifle Platoon + sHMG, 6 stands – 8 points

Rifle Platoon + sHMG, 6 stands – 8 points

5cm AT Gun platoon with captured 6 pdr card, 3 guns – 9 points

Tiger with extra armor Pz III – 37 points

222 and 221 scout platoon, 3 points

231 armored car platoon – 2 points

10.5cm howitzer platoon, 4 guns – 14 points

JU87 Stuka, 2 planes – 9 points


So I built a very defensive list, and this was really the game that I realized that Afrika Korps is not well suited to defend, at least not the way I built it. This list had too much mobility/points spent in mobility to be a good defensive force and too many points spent in defensive aspects to be a mobile/offensive force. My list building failed tonight, and that laid the groundwork for a loss.

Can Afrika Korps defend? I am sure they can, with the amount of 5cm AT platoons available as core and the solid infantry I am sure it could. But several things I learned the hard way this game:

Put a lot of thought into what you are putting in your list and what function your list is going to serve.

So going through this a bit at a time, I wish I had had at least one more rifle platoon, maybe two. Is five rifle platoons overkill? I definitely don’t think so. The equipment Germans bring is amazing and you need to maximize that in whatever you do. So probably 40 points of rifle platoon to form a solid defensive line.

The 6 pdrs I have no complaints about, only that I should have taken at least another platoon of them. The fact you can take up to three platoons as core for your infantry formation is awesome and should be exploited. Also the 5cm guns are decent against infantry if they lack a better target.

The Tiger and Pz III is going to be reserved for larger games, in excess of 100 points, it just isn’t a realistic expectation for it to earn it’s points back. So that will have to go.

The two platoons of scouts are great but for a more mobile force, that was a solid waste of five points. They also earned nothing back during the entire game. If I was running something more mobile, a tank formation or the like, these would have been perfect. As it was they were just a bit of a waste in this list.

The 10.5cm guns were good, but only a good start. I should have brought more artillery or possibly just none at all, but instead these ended up being more of a stopgap measure and they performed decently but when my opponent, who brought more artillery to the table, realized how much of a threat they were he focused his fire to make them ineffective.


So I have learned a lot, especially to change up my list building. I had aspects of a defensive force as well as offensive and it doesn’t work.


Things that I definitely enjoy about Afrika Korps in general:

The MG attachment to rifle platoons is awesome, I don’t really miss MG platoons and while they would be nice to have the way they did this is great.

Awesome equipment. Having an AT rifle in every platoon is great to help balance out your anti tank need in an infantry formation.

Solid tanks. I know what do you expect from Germans, but still this is something that attracts myself and other to play Afrika Korps.

Now, some of my gripes about the way Afrika Korps is designed specifically after having played a couple games:

The inability to take a mortar platoon by itself is very frustrating. I don’t know a lot of the historical aspects of the Afrika Korps but to me adding a single mortar for two points to a rifle platoon is expensive and not worth it. I really want dedicated mortar platoons and I hope they will be added in future theatres.

The weird points cost of a tiger. I understand it is powerful but the 29 points is really prohibitive in a 100 point game, especially when it doesn’t really do allĀ that much for the points. Is it iconic? Yeah. Should be cheaper or have something else going for it? Absolutely.

Overall I enjoy Afrika Korps as well as V4 FoW, I learn more all the time and while I wish it had a bit more complexity to the game I also understand the need to get away from the overwhelming force that was the previous versions rules.

Hope you guys enjoyed this little rant and maybe it will help you with some of your games and/or lists!

Who we are

Hello gamers and non gamers alike! 

This being the first post we have done I thought I should let you know just who we are and what we do. 

Stones River Wargaming is a group of board,  tabletop, and to some extent, video gamers located in Middle Tennessee, specifically in the Murfreesboro – La Vergne area. Led by veteran gamers AJ Lancing and Timothy Collins, we play and host a variety of games for those gamers that are looking for anything from casual meetups to tourney events.

Having a combined experience pool of more than ten years gaming and countless days spent rolling dice, we are attempting to bring you the reader (and possibly attendee/member) information about game systems, battle reports, product and game reviews as well as our opinions about a wide array of all things gaming. 

Currently we game in La Vergne, everything from Eldritch Horror to Bolt Action and Flames of War. We have a specific focus on historical miniature wargames though our interests vary far and wide. 

I will make no promises as far as posting frequency as we both stay busy with full time jobs and unfortunately gaming is second to that, but we will be bringing you content as often as possible. 

Thanks for being with us for our kickoff post, and stay tuned for more!