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Being a good sport vs. making your opponent a better player
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 14:04   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Being a good sport vs. making your opponent a better player

Wargamer mentioned in another thread that 'good sports' will often give their opponents advantages that they shouldn't get according to the rules of the game. I believe the two examples he used were allowing an opponent to lose a model other than a special/heavy weapon model, even though that model may be the only one technically allowed to take the wound, and allowing someone to take shots when they're technically a little out of range.

Which, I supose is all well and good, if you're just trying to kill an afternoon. But something about the idea just sat with me wrong, and I think I figured it out. So, this isn't saying that the above approach is wrong, it's just looking at it from another angle.

If you continually allow your opponent to take these seemingly small benefits, they will not learn to be a better player.

Using the example with the heavy weapon casualty, the rules state that in some cases, only certain members of a squad can be casualties. Whether this is because the rest of the squad is out of Line-of-sight, or out of range, or, in close combat, maybe the heavy weapon trooper is one of a few actually engaged with the enemy. Regardless of the reason, if you allow your opponent to ignore these rules, they will not learn anything from the experience.

I see this all the time. Opponents who are sloppy. They're used to being allowed to take casualties from anywhere in the squad, even when the rules say otherwise, because their opponents allow these graces (and, to be fair, these players allow these graces too). And so when they move their squad, they consistently leave their heavy weapon trooper exposed at front of the unit (I dunno, it looks more heroic perhaps).

In assault, positioning your assault troops during the movement phase, in order to gain the most advantageous engagement zones possible is part of the tactical approach to the game. You don't just push your guys into their guys, you plan where you want to assault, to minimize their number of attacks, or to catch certain models in (or out, in the case of independent characters) your kill zone.

Some people may claim this makes me a powergamer or a rules-lawyer. But honestly, I see no difference between doing this, and taking advantage of an opportunity to knight-fork an opponent's queen in chess. You can play an underpowered army, and through superior tactical play, defeat a superior one that plays sloppily. I play a Witchhunter army without using Sisters of Battle - that's certainly not a power list.

This may not make a big difference to some people. They want to play, drink some beers, and push their soldiers around. But, other people do play competatively. Some people attend tournaments. If you know your gaming group plans to attend a tournament, then a lot can be said for encouraging correct play, all the time. When moving a squad, it should be second nature not to leave your heavy weapon troops at the front of the squads, for just this reason. And playing tightly will engrain this behavior in your group, so that when they're in a competative situation, they don't make those mistakes.

I'm all for being a good sport about things. But, I don't believe that playing a sloppy game is being a good sport. It might make your opponent happier in the short run, but in the long run, it will leave them a sloppy player. And this is especially true if you know the person you are playing with wants to play in a competative setting. You're doing them a much greater service by teaching them to play the game with fewer mistakes than you are by letting them keep a special weapon.
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 14:18   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Being a good sport vs. making your opponent a better player

i try to be a competitive player, but whilst i follow the rules as well as i can, i am not a rules lawyer. I will allow small graces here and there. most of these graces though are wysiwyg. Like, i'll accept that dude with 2 power weapons has lightning claws, and those 2 marines on the buggy have an attack bike (great conversion too!)

honestly, ive never had the problem of problems with sniping individual squad members, but i can see where you are coming from.

obviously, with assault its an entirely different story. i know his guys are outside 12" away from my boys, but i know he cant assault me. and i make that damn clear. its the same with "surfing". that i will not tolerate, under any circumstances.
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 21:13   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Being a good sport vs. making your opponent a better player

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard
But honestly, I see no difference between doing this, and taking advantage of an opportunity to knight-fork an opponent's queen in chess.
Anybody who makes a joke about this will be smited. (now I've got you all looking for it! >)

And now for something completely different.

I agree that is is useful to bring new things into your game, makng your oppnent learn about how to use them. For example, a bright lanced-vyper with Crystal targetting matrix will pose a challenge to those who have forsaken mobility in their army. Posing the occasional superior tactic in an attempt to teach your opponent a lesson is fair enough, just make sure that you are always sporting. Don't press your disputes too hard if you're winning; and when you're going to win, do it as painlessly as possible, nobody likes a gloater.

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Old 23 Aug 2005, 21:37   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Being a good sport vs. making your opponent a better player

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard
And so when they move their squad, they consistently leave their heavy weapon trooper exposed at front of the unit (I dunno, it looks more heroic perhaps).
This is simply because it looks heroic. Face it, unless you're playing Skaven, any character models in the back of a regiment look crap.

It also seems to depend (for me at least) on the power of said models.

For example:

*Model exactly 12" away from my Meltagun is a sergeant Marine armed with bolter.*
Me: Yay! I killed a Marine... take him from anywhere, I don't care much.

*Model exactly 12" away from my Meltagun is a tooled up Librarian, part of a tooled up command section.*
Me: Yes! The Librarian is toast! Sorry, but he's the only model in range, he's got to die!

As there is no way anyone can ever call my models "tooled up" or "overkill" without making themselves look a bigger hippocrite than certain political leaders of the Western world, few people feel the need to "snipe" my squads, and when players are similarly light on their character-equips, so am I.

Quote:
In assault, positioning your assault troops during the movement phase, in order to gain the most advantageous engagement zones possible is part of the tactical approach to the game. You don't just push your guys into their guys, you plan where you want to assault, to minimize their number of attacks, or to catch certain models in (or out, in the case of independent characters) your kill zone.
Assault is indeed important. However, once again, who I am using, and who I am playing, affect my judgement.

For example, when Captain Cassius leads the charge, he'll slam into whatever is in front of him. Doesn't matter if it's a Grot or a Carnifex, he's going forward!

On the other hand, my Solitaire will always endevour to put himself in hacking range of an Independent Character, largely because he loves the sound their severed head makes when it hits the floor...
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 22:35   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Being a good sport vs. making your opponent a better player

I tend to pl,ay along the same lines as Wargamer, that is I'll let mistakes slide depending on what effect it will have on the game. For example when my opponent just outside of charging range of my Kroot I'll let him charge them because I know the Kroot can at least fight back. However if it comes to being my Firewarriors then, under most circumstances, I will use exact measurements because I know my Firewarriors will be slaughtered in the next assault. Although I will always try to make exact measurements on my part, and I expect no leeway from my opponents. Although the most often rule which we both break, though I tend to only do it with my 28 kroot unit, is moving one model and then moving every other to about the same spot relative to it, without measuring. Though I usually do not allow this rule once we get a bit closer together, and I mainly use it to save time with boring movement.
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 22:46   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Being a good sport vs. making your opponent a better player

We had a huge debate about range-sniping a while back. I personally don't care too much about whether I kill a Heavy Weapon or sergeant in front or not. It approaches being a little too precise for a friendly game to harp on it. As Wargamer said, though, an attached character is well worth the trouble and should never be spared.

What I care most about is whether units I fire at will still be able to charge me next turn. If most of the squad is over 12" away, you had better believe I am going to force my opponent to remove the models within 12" (as he should enforce the fact that the extra shots will be lost.)
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Old 25 Aug 2005, 01:28   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Being a good sport vs. making your opponent a better player

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wargamer

This is simply because it looks heroic. Face it, unless you're playing Skaven, any character models in the back of a regiment look c**p.

It also seems to depend (for me at least) on the power of said models.

For example:

*Model exactly 12" away from my Meltagun is a sergeant Marine armed with bolter.*
Me: Yay! I killed a Marine... take him from anywhere, I don't care much.

*Model exactly 12" away from my Meltagun is a tooled up Librarian, part of a tooled up command section.*
Me: Yes! The Librarian is toast! Sorry, but he's the only model in range, he's got to die!
So your position on this particular rule changes depending on how much it can benefit you? That's pretty low.


Assault is indeed important. However, once again, who I am using, and who I am playing, affect my judgement.

For example, when Captain Cassius leads the charge, he'll slam into whatever is in front of him. Doesn't matter if it's a Grot or a Carnifex, he's going forward!

On the other hand, my Solitaire will always endevour to put himself in hacking range of an Independent Character, largely because he loves the sound their severed head makes when it hits the floor...


It honestly doesn't sound like you're a very good player Wargamer, and because of that you scorn anyone who plays differently from you.
Right, Smite time. -H

As for redbeard's post, I am 100% for following the rules to a T. That is how they are written, that is how they were "balanced" in the testing stage.

If you are sick of your Team Leader being sniped out, push him back a little bit. It only has to happen once before you should learn to cover him. Problem solved. It's just sloppy play to have a team leader on the front row when you cannot afford to take the casualty. You want to talk amusing? I had a railgun snipe out an HQ with a retinue. He was on the very edge of the 72 inch range. I doubt my opponent measure it out in his head, but good for him. I know better now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shas'O Shir'Rin
I tend to pl,ay along the same lines as Wargamer, that is I'll let mistakes slide depending on what effect it will have on the game. For example when my opponent just outside of charging range of my Kroot I'll let him charge them because I know the Kroot can at least fight back. However if it comes to being my Firewarriors then, under most circumstances, I will use exact measurements because I know my Firewarriors will be slaughtered in the next assault.
This kind of statement makes me feel really bad for players everywhere who are subject to unstable rules and interpretations. So like wargamer, your sportsmanship changes depending on whether or not it's going to hurt or benefit you?

No one sees a problem with these sort of ever-changing ethics besides me?

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Old 25 Aug 2005, 01:59   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Being a good sport vs. making your opponent a better player

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeard
If you continually allow your opponent to take these seemingly small benefits, they will not learn to be a better player.
I'm not convinced that's always true. The burnt hand does teach best, but sometimes to teach the lesson you only need to tell someone that they'll burn their hand if they put it in the fire. Not all people are mindless automatons who must have Pavlovian Conditioning whipped into them. Just saying "Well I could have taken this Vet Sgt out, but for the sake of the game I won't" could be enough to make the other player wise up. It really depends upon how smart the player is.

Plus, it's really only of importance to those who intend to play in competative tournaments. Doesn't matter for casual gamers, for them whatever goes, goes.

Quote:
your sportsmanship changes depending on whether or not it's going to hurt or benefit you?
Personally I take the good with the bad, I get guilt pangs if I think I'm playing sleazy. I generally play by the letter of the rules, except on rare occasions where I'll make exceptions if it will give a better game. One example from last year was against Daemonhunters. A friend had a full squad of Grey Knights in reserve, and they turned up late on turn 4 only to just barely scatter off the board on 12s. The rest of his army was mauled and practically beyond hope of winning as it was a 1500pt game and the GKs ate up a large percentage, so for the sake of more fun in the last turns I let him re-roll the scatter. He learned his lesson too - he now uses two Teleporting GK squads and never puts them too close to anything that can insta-kill them if they land on it.
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We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me.

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Old 25 Aug 2005, 02:27   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Being a good sport vs. making your opponent a better player

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lomendil
Personally I take the good with the bad, I get guilt pangs if I think I'm playing sleazy.
As everyone should. Impartiality is a large part of strategy games like this where there is even a small amount of grey area in between the rules.

Quote:
I generally play by the letter of the rules, except on rare occasions where I'll make exceptions if it will give a better game. One example from last year was against Daemonhunters. A friend had a full squad of Grey Knights in reserve, and they turned up late on turn 4 only to just barely scatter off the board on 12s. The rest of his army was mauled and practically beyond hope of winning as it was a 1500pt game and the GKs ate up a large percentage, so for the sake of more fun in the last turns I let him re-roll the scatter. He learned his lesson too - he now uses two Teleporting GK squads and never puts them too close to anything that can insta-kill them if they land on it.
I personally would have watched them fly off the board, but if that works for you then there is nothing to discuss here. The center point of the deep strike was off the table?

Honestly though, it really doesn't take long to realize where you should deep strike and *if* you deep strike in location [X] that you run [Y] risk that it might not see the ground. That's just a basic rules mechanic, and while yes it blows when you roll 12 and just barely hit a unit or table edge - that is life. Extremes happen sometimes and you have to deal with it.



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Old 25 Aug 2005, 02:45   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Being a good sport vs. making your opponent a better player

[quote=ShadowDeth]

I personally would have watched them fly off the board[.quote]

So would I ordinarily, but it was a casual game and the game would have been pointless if we'd played by the letter. The troops he had left could never have won on their own, his few remaining squads of Stormtroopers were mauled and mostly embroiled in assaults with my Wyches and Archon, while his Vindicare could only kill one model a turn at most. The Grey Knights made the game a lot closer and more enjoyable, they were able to tear up most of my Warriors with shooting. If it had been part of one of our occasional campaigns then I'd have let the scatter-death stand, but for a random friendly, the fun of the game was more important than the guaranteed win.


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We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me.

If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

[i]All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.

- A public service clarification by the Sri Syadasti School of Spiritual Wisdom
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