Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's a good game?

I thought I'd take some time to address something I've been thinking about. This Hobby that involves A GAME. I think Games should be enjoyable, and hobby-ing should be a bit relaxing.

I started for Fun, and because Chambers suckered me into it. (ok, really we both suckered Mrs. Farmpunk into it.) I enjoy many aspects of wargaming, and 40K as a game.

So What makes games good games? What makes games into GREAT games? Both Sandwyrm and I had great games last week. He against a balanced Ork list, and I played against a balanced Marine list. In a tournament, slightly different decorum might apply, but this is more for the FLGS weekly meetups than tourney play.

Attitude, man:
We all have things that influence how we act, and our attitudes. Try and check any bad attitude at the door of the FLGS. Try to be there to have fun. If you're uptight, it comes across in your interactions with other players, which impacts the social aspect of a FLGS game night.
Yes, getting together with others for the purposes of playing a game is SOCIAL. Once in a while, people like Chambers, Sandwyrm, and myself leave the confines of our basement Marklar caves, to go forth and congregate with other Marklar players at a FLGS, for the purposes of playing Marklar.
Your attitude impacts the enjoyment of others. so relax, leave your troubles in the parking lot, and try to have a good time.
It's possible to be competitive, and still have a good time. It's not always about winning. it's a game. You can remove the models, and do it again some other time. You don't always have to go for the juggular, and you might find people don't like it a lot if you're always bringing the top tourney lists to pound them into the ground, or tailored lists to pound one guy into the ground week after week. Some of the best games I've ever had were where we threw competition out the window, and started talking about each other's tactical choices.
That's part of how you learn, and become a better player.

Be excellent to each other:
There are definite aspects of a gaming community that some people forget about. It's a communal event. More than just you take part in it. It's a chance not just to show off, but to help others out, and SHARE the gaming experience. Maybe it's the Sunday School teacher in me coming out here, but helping others, helps you out. It's about building the community INTO something you want to come back to, week after week. Sure, you can pound noobs bones into dust with a top tourney list, but what did you learn from it? What did THEY learn from it? (other than not to play the Jerkface who pounded them into the ground, then laughed at them for being a noob)
make FLGS games FRIENDLY. talk tactics once in a while. compliment your opponent on what they do nicely, where they outsmarted you, or nicely talk about what MIGHT have been a better plan of attack.
Tearing other players down does not BUILD a community. Helping each other enjoy your shared game/hobby DOES.

so I guess that's it. that's my little sermonizing for now. I'm sure others have input on what makes for a good, and even a GREAT game. please, chime in.

ah. and the back 40K got our first hatemail. yeah, that motivated me to write today, and try to turn the negative crap into something positive.

And a word on this from Buckler:

My thoughts on that matter, by the way, are that good games are made by both people communicating properly. Just like with foreign politics, arguments and wars start over communication breakdowns. If you're unsure of your opponent, then clarify the simple things we look over with our regular opponents. I have a mental checklist if I really don't know how my opponent will react in certain situations. For instance, cocked die is a pretty big issue when it's an important roll in the game, so I try to clear that up before the game starts. Also, terrain is a biggie, everyone should be on the same page as to what terrain does and if it's area or not.
The other part to a good game comes from both players' mentality. Do they see the game as a game, or do they see it as a sport? Those who see it as a game are there to BS and chuck dice, winning is an objective, but it's not essential to the fun of the game. Those who see it as a sport are your super competitive types, they're there to beat your face in and prove their list is rough, winning is THE objective, and losing is out of the question. Now, for those who see it as a sport, I don't mind, I'm like that too. The only difference is I know when to turn it off and just play the game. Like I said before we started, I don't play tournament lists unless I'm in a tournament or practicing for one with someone else who's tournament running.
The social interaction is great, and the game is a bonus. That's the way I see our Sundays, it's a gaming club. So we came together under one purpose, and we found that share many other interests. Now, I am trying to get more people into going to tournaments and GTs, but I don't want to lose the spirit of the game in the process.
In short, good games are born of good people. A jerk will always be a jerk, even in a game most of the time.


  1. Congratulations on getting hatemail; that's a sign that you actually said something, as near as I can tell.

    I really appreciate seeing others talking about being excellent to one another while they play games. If we can all line up behind being good people when we play games, I think the sheer weight of happy will make playing like a jerk no fun.


Recent Favorites

All-Time Favorites