The Spirit of the Game

If a game is created in a fashion that one army, or even one unit is so overwhelmingly powerful that it decimates everything it goes up against and rarely (if ever) dies itself.  Is it considered bad sportsmanship to use this unit exclusively?  I say so.

Some would defend their choice, hiding behind the fact that “it’s in the game, so it’s perfectly fair to play this way.”  I completely disagree though.  While I’ll conceed that it’s perfectly within the rules, there’s no way that I’d ever consider it “fair.”  Without a doubt, the unit conforms to the rules of the game, but a unit that is abusive should be put out to pasture when all parties agree that the unit is grossly overpowered (including the game manufacturer–who declares upcoming errata to deal with this specific issue).  Is it wrong to think less of a person who exploits this temporary rule imbalance for their own gain?

Recently I had the misfortune of playing a game against such a person.  Despite knowing what they were doing was essentially unbeatable, and that it was a flaw in the game that would soon be corrected, he insisted on playing with that single unit exclusively.  Typically, I would’ve written off this player without a second thought (and subsequentually have), but in this circumstance, it was a communal game, so I continued to play.  Unfortunately, playing with someone like this ceases making the game fun altogether.  Sometimes, there is a counter to their “cheese,” but it almost always involves reducing yourself to their level.  This eventually leads to a cheese proliferation and, after a while, the game ceases being something you do for fun, and is just an exercise in wasting time.

This is really just a rant about rules lawyers who entered my gaming group and poisoned what was once fun.   The spirit of gaming is to have fun.  Sure, winning is a key objective to any contest, but more importantly, people should enjoy themselves.  So, if your opponents aren’t enjoying themselves (whether they win or lose), perhaps it’s time to take a step back and question yourself. 

Please don’t kill the spirit of the game…

Advertisements

6 comments on “The Spirit of the Game

  1. I tend to disagree. While I hate playing against those uber units, I think there are so many behaviors that are worse than that in terms of sportsmanship. Not trying your best is also bad sportsmanship.

    If you don’t like playing against those units, try suggesting smaller or bigger games so that they can’t field them or their effectiveness is lowered. Or don’t play that guy.

  2. I tend to disagree. While I hate playing against those uber units, I think there are so many behaviors that are worse than that in terms of sportsmanship. Not trying your best is also bad sportsmanship.

    If you don’t like playing against those units, try suggesting smaller or bigger games so that they can’t field them or their effectiveness is lowered. Or don’t play that guy.

  3. @Old Shatter Hands

    I agree with your second paragraph, but I think you misunderstood my blog entry. This wasn’t specifically about 40k (this incident was about another game entirely actually), but it does have parrallels in 40k. In this particular game, it isn’t like taking a single uber unit of nob bikerz–it is the equivalent of taking an army comprising of nothing but C’tan (ignoring the scoring unit and phase out rules). Sure, it’s allowed by the rules, but it would dominate everything it came up against, and provide a completely unfun game.

    You’re correct in your parrellel to 40k, and I certainly don’t mind playing against someone that wants to play Nidzilla once in a while (especially now that 5th edition’s scoring units significantly balances armies like that out), but those power gamers with a win-at-all-costs mentallity… those are the kind that I avoid like the plague.

  4. @Old Shatter Hands

    I agree with your second paragraph, but I think you misunderstood my blog entry. This wasn’t specifically about 40k (this incident was about another game entirely actually), but it does have parrallels in 40k. In this particular game, it isn’t like taking a single uber unit of nob bikerz–it is the equivalent of taking an army comprising of nothing but C’tan (ignoring the scoring unit and phase out rules). Sure, it’s allowed by the rules, but it would dominate everything it came up against, and provide a completely unfun game.

    You’re correct in your parrellel to 40k, and I certainly don’t mind playing against someone that wants to play Nidzilla once in a while (especially now that 5th edition’s scoring units significantly balances armies like that out), but those power gamers with a win-at-all-costs mentallity… those are the kind that I avoid like the plague.

Have something to add?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s