True Weakness vs. Perceived Weakness

This army sucks.

Why would you take that model? It’s horrible.

Don’t play that class – it’s pathetic compared to the others.

Sound familiar? I’m willing to bet it does. This language tends to permeate gaming no matter if it’s board gaming, roleplaying, table top battle games or pc/console games.

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Game Agreements And Why They Are Terrible For The Game.

First off – a quick definition of what a game agreement is, or at least a definition no-one should have an issue with.

Most games have a level of agreement for what playing that game will contain. You choose a points level to play, or pick a mission type to play, etc… Whatever these agreements are, they are built into the game’s design. Points are clearly needed to balance many games. If you are able to play 1000 points of your chosen game against your friend who has 200 points, clearly its not going to be a fun experience for someone.

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The Importance of Story

The games that we all play (at least if you are reading this, the games YOU play) are mostly fun based on their rules. The rules of a game are paramount to the experience of that game, be it a roleplaying game, board game, table top battle game, etc…

Rules give the frame-work that all people sharing the experience can work with and have the same expected outcomes. Playing a game like Warhammer or Firestorm Armada will give a specific set of instructions for moving play pieces and attacking enemy models. Board games like Eclipse and Terra Mystica give rules for expansion and interaction of the players on that board. Roleplaying games super impose a unified system for skill checks, spell casting and fighting. All of these rules in a game are universal to all the players in that game. We all need to be on the same page.

But outside of the rules, there is the story.

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Hard-core Gamers vs Casual Gamers vs the “Nothing Better to Do” Crowd

Hard-core : according to the Merriam Webster online dictionary it means “very active and enthusiastic”. Of course it has some other pornography meanings as well, but I don’t talk about that style of ‘roleplaying’ here 😉

We’ve all met people who are really hard-core about various games. They are super into it. Sometime really into a certain game, or character class. Other times they are just super enthusiastic about gaming in general. It’s not that this is a bad thing, it’s just that the act of gaming is an incredibly important aspect of a gamer’s life.

If gaming was a prison, these people would be lifers. They will likely game all their lives. I think I’m one of them. Continue reading

The Fine Line Between a Fan and a Fanatic

Lets put aside the etymology of the word ‘fan’ having derived from ‘fanatic’ for a moment. In the modern world, these words almost have totally different meanings now. Especially so in the gaming word.

So what is the difference?

Well a fan is someone who simply likes something. You could be a fan of Star Wars or Star Trek. You could be a fan of d20’s in roleplaying games. You could even be a fan of fans if it’s especially warm out. It’s pretty all encompassing for a general pleasure derived from something. Mostly in gaming terms you are either a fan of a game, or you aren’t.

So what is a fanatic? In short – it’s everything a fan is, but worse.

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Quitting Gracfully

Quitters. We’ve all seen them, been them, or both. But what makes a ‘good’ quitter  and what makes a ‘bad’ one?

Most of us I’m sure have heard the term rage-quit. I’m sure the act of rage-quitting is much lower than people make it out to be. Rage-quitters are definitely the worst offenders. These are the ones that make you either stop playing with them totally, or make you seriously consider it. These are the guys that actually get angry – over something that is supposed to be enjoyable.

Throwing models, throwing expletives, throwing a fit in general. Not fun at all. Clearly these people should be avoided until whatever personal issues they have are resolved.

Thankfully this stereo type is rare. And in case you hadn’t guessed it by now – these guys are in the ungraceful quitting category. 🙂 Continue reading

Cheating in Games


No one likes them. They are taking something that is supposed to be fun and takes the fun away. But what is a cheater? I think it really comes done to one of two things. Either a cheater is intentional, or they are not. What’s the difference? In short, an unintentional cheat is someone who moves a model a little too far without realizing it, misremembers a rule, or adds something up wrong.

What is an intentional cheat. Well… they move models too far… just like the accidental cheat above. They say a rule does something they know it doesn’t. Something that a player who misremembers it could easily be accused of. They can … add things wrong on purpose or say a 3 hits when it’s a 4…. something that someone can do by accident once again. Continue reading