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"Wow! That was NOT fun." Topic

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1,452 hits since 7 Sep 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Wise Anvil Halt Inactive Member07 Sep 2016 10:52 a.m. PST

Okay, here goes. I was at a gaming convention last weekend. I have been to this particular convention several times over the last few years. It's always fun to see new games, hear from designers, check out the beautifully painted minis, and play a few games with like-minded gamers. This time around, there was a tournament for a game I really like. I thought I'd join my first official tournament entry. My wife even joined in on the fun (at a separate table). What followed was not pleasant. There were accusations of cheating, insults, rules lawyering on insignificant points, impatient players, and rude comments. GONE was jocularity, friendly discussion, getting into the flavor of the game, and good natured discussion. Everything fun was stripped from the game and broken down into numbers, points, and nameless chits. As I played, I realized this was not for me. I was not having fun. Before you think this is sour grapes on the part of a loser, I WON my first round game and lost the second by a single point. Yes, winning is important and feels good, but to me that is not what gaming is about. A game I loved holds very little appeal for me now. My wife (bless her soul) was getting into gaming just for me and the game we played was her favorite. Her table reduced her to tears and as of now, she never wants to play it again. Of course, there were some excellent players as well, who were friendly and good spirited. But there were too many jerks. They say it only takes one bad apple, but this barrel was mostly rotten. And if the guy who threatened to call security on my wife (for eating what he thought was outside food – but was in fact a $16 USD hotel individual pizza) is reading this, you are what the bleep-o-matic was designed for and I meant what I said. As far as tournaments go, I truly hope that I had an off experience. Thanks all for letting me vent…

David Manley07 Sep 2016 11:11 a.m. PST

Your experience echoes the reason I've not played in a tournament (other than a couple that were definitely relaxed, and promoted as such) for over a decade….

Garand07 Sep 2016 11:29 a.m. PST

I too try to avoid tournaments, except perhaps local ones where I know most of the player base. Even then there are certain people I prefer not to play with.


Thomas O07 Sep 2016 11:56 a.m. PST

Yep, the same reasons I will not play tournaments. They are not fun.

Larry R Inactive Member07 Sep 2016 12:05 p.m. PST

Yup, I don't do tournaments anymore. I don't like jail. You are lucky though to have an interested wife. Game with her or friends. At least it will be enjoyable.

Yesthatphil Inactive Member07 Sep 2016 12:24 p.m. PST

Never had an experience at all like that. It's important that you name the game as you risk tarring everyone with an inappropriate brush wink

My friend's 10 year old daughter has enjoyed her first couple of DBA tournaments and has had a fun and supportive experience …


Onomarchos Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2016 12:30 p.m. PST

Yeah, I don't do tournaments either. The last FOW tournament I was in I had a guy deliberately stall to run out the clock so that I wouldn't be able to capture an objective and win the game. He was very matter-of-fact about it. I asked him if he was going to take his turn. And he said very bluntly, no I'm gonna run out the clock and cause you to lose.

Warlord07 Sep 2016 12:31 p.m. PST

I do not and will not play them, I have seen gaming with out them and when they came into being played a great deal at large. I remember my first experience and it was about the same thing, stripped the fun right out of it.

I am sorry to hear that your wife had a bad experience, I think I would have lost my sauce under those conditions concerning the wife. Some Gamers forget why most of us game.

Hope you guys can over come your bad experience and continue playing with the good folk which I think are most gamers.

Streitax Inactive Member07 Sep 2016 12:34 p.m. PST

Sounds like 'call security' was a tawdry attempt at psychological warfare. I've seen this behavior in non-tournament games as well, although not in such concentrated doses. Some gamers are only in it to see what they can get away with and win. The rest of us just shake our heads and let the baby have his way. Life is too short, as they say.

JimDuncanUK07 Sep 2016 1:08 p.m. PST

For your own sake and your wife do not play your wargames in this environment. Play with your friends and if your friends behave like this then they really shouldn't be your friends.

Oberlindes Sol LIC07 Sep 2016 1:44 p.m. PST

From wikipedia:

Sayre's law states, in a formulation quoted by Charles Philip Issawi: "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake." By way of corollary, it adds: "That is why academic politics are so bitter." Sayre's law is named after Wallace Stanley Sayre (19051972), U.S. political scientist and professor at Columbia University.

Based on the foregoing, the tournament experience can be improved by requiring an entry fee of at least half a day's pay, and providing a prize to the winner of, say, half of the total entry fees (with some going to administration and overhead and some to 2nd and 3rd place).

That should restore an appropriate level of civility to the tournament.

That being said, I've never seen anything like what's described above, but then I've never played in a tournament.

jefritrout07 Sep 2016 1:58 p.m. PST

I was wondering which particular era this tournament was set in. I know of a convention on the East Coast that had a couple tournaments, but would be surprised if the behavior exhibited was at 2 of those.

Tacitus07 Sep 2016 2:22 p.m. PST

You are all the best! Thank you; I feel better knowing I'm not alone in this. I will keep gaming, but it will be a while before I dip my toe in tournament action. Glenn, that Sayre's law thing is very interesting. And it makes sense.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2016 2:38 p.m. PST

When I host a game the first rule is, the referee is always right. If the referee is wrong, too bad, he is still the referee. No rules lawyers, it's the job of the referee to keep the game moving and tramp down those idiosyncrasies. You don't want to move your pieces? Fine, your turn is over, next player step up. Pizza is not your problem, if you are going to play pizza, you are out of the game, someone take over his army.

Each player is a general but the referee is supreme commander. His word is law and must be obeyed for the good of the whole.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Ney Ney07 Sep 2016 2:40 p.m. PST

Horribl3 experience by the sound of it. Sorry to hear you had it

nheastvan Inactive Member07 Sep 2016 3:06 p.m. PST

This should definitely be shared with the event organizer. Both the overall convention organizer and the tournament organizer.

mbsparta Inactive Member07 Sep 2016 3:30 p.m. PST

I think you need to call out the convention, tournament and rule set you used. This kind of statement paints a poor picture of tournament gaming and it unfair to the gamers that have and host better events.

Mike B

Dn Jackson07 Sep 2016 4:51 p.m. PST

And that's why I don't play tournaments.

D A THB07 Sep 2016 5:12 p.m. PST

I had a couple of unpleasant experiences at the last couple of tournaments which were enough to put me off. Thats why I do Demo games or invite only competitions.

Nick Bowler08 Sep 2016 12:00 a.m. PST

I have had tournaments (many years ago, playing ancients) that were like the description above, but never as bad. I have also had tournaments that were a joy! My basic rules are:

1. Play a game system you enjoy
2. Lose round 1 so you are not matched with the win at all cost players
3. Take a stupid army that is not competitive, but will be fun to play.
4. Don't play in the big status tournaments.

There are several local tournaments that are a joy to play in. I meet people I only get to see once a year, we push lead around, we eat bad food, make bad jokes, and have an all together great time!

basileus66 Inactive Member08 Sep 2016 2:42 a.m. PST

I stopped playing tournaments for the very same reasons. And I was one of the top players in my area, so I won more times than I lost. I became fed up with rule-lawyering and gamey "tactics" (as the aforementioned running the clock). I realized that I needed to stop playing tournaments when I started arguing with a 15 years old about some stupid rule. In that moment, I shut my mouth, conceded the point to the kid and finished the game -by the way, I won-. That was my last tournament game. I can bear boorish people, but myself to become one? No sir!

Sundance08 Sep 2016 4:49 a.m. PST

I've only had a similar experience once at an ASL tourney and the guy I was playing against wasn't a regular at the tourneys. But he was a complete jerk. He was trashing me on the board (legitimately). When I got a lucky shot and killed one of his tanks, he spent 15 minutes pouring over the charts and rules to make sure I actually killed it.

BTW, I think you should name the game show and the game tourney you were playing in. Maybe it will make the organizers and other players sit up and take some notice.

Durban Gamer08 Sep 2016 5:15 a.m. PST

You can often mess up immature players by immediately stopping the game, and refusing ever to play them again. They tend to get gradually starved of opponents for ordinary gaming, and that's why they sometime cluster at competitions. They have totally missed the point of the hobby.

coopman08 Sep 2016 2:15 p.m. PST

Getting in a tournament is a fun-killer. I learned that a long time ago, when I participated in the one and done event.

Ivan DBA10 Sep 2016 8:14 a.m. PST

Some tournaments are fun, it depends on the rules, the gamers, and the umpires. We have great SAGA, DBA, and HOTT tournaments at Millennium-Con every year, they are always fun.

Khusrau Inactive Member10 Sep 2016 10:16 a.m. PST

Sympathies. I play tournaments, luckily, my preferred set of (Ancients) rules are no longer the rules du jour of the ultra hardcore competitive gamers. Much more fun.

Even then, my experience of tournament play over 20 – 30 years was that nothing was as ultra-competitive or nasty as the Warhammer games I watched a few times.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2016 4:01 p.m. PST

Hmmm…..I played for years in the WAB tournaments at the HMGS conventions. Almost all my current gaming buddies are from those games. They were a lot of fun.

The big difference between these and every tournament mentioned above was how the awards were given out. The biggest prize was awarded to the Bests Sportsman. This was the fellow that everyone wanted to play against in following games. Best General was way down the list. This was the best way to run a tournament.

If the emphasis is on the Best General, and then the runner-up Best General, etc.then you are picking a combative and competitive environment, instead of a fun game between gentlemen.

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