New Poll: Competitive vs. Casual

Image copyright http://www.despair.com

This weeks poll is a two-parter, trying to discern how many people consider themselves casual or competitive gamers along with whether they interpret the rules as they believe they were intended or strictly as they’re written.  This poll was inspired in large part by one our regular new columnists, Tony (see a list of his posts here), more specifically his recent post on Rules as Written vs. Rules as Intended.  Other inspiration was gleaned from GDMNW’s insight in the comments, as well as his follow-up post on his blog here.

Essentially, what we’re trying to determine is how many people consider themselves casual gamers and how many competitive.  Granted, even casual gamers are competitive to some degree (and inversely, competitive players can play casual games).  While most people really fall into both camps at various times, we’re asking you to pick which is most applicable to you overall.

Likewise, we’re trying to determine whether you interpret the rules as written (RAW), playing things exactly as they’re written in the rulebook–or if you try to discern an underlying intent on some rules, modifying them slightly to make the game more “balanced.”  Unlike the above, chances are you’ll fall directly into one of these two categories.

Being a two-part poll, it’s a little tricky in the wording, but I have the utmost faith in followers of the old-school website and am sure you’ll be able to figure it out.  Please feel free to vote using the poll to the right, or immediately below this post.  As always, the poll will be open for two weeks, and the following week, we’ll try to disect the findings.  I for one, am really interested to see how things turn out…

[poll id=”26″]

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18 comments on “New Poll: Competitive vs. Casual

  1. I went with “Casual, RAW.”

    I don’t have the energy to try to play these games in an aggressively competitive way. I don’t understand what drives people to take RAW and contort it into something abusive.

    But… I do like RAW. It’s a lingua franca: different groups bring different assumptions and interpretations to the rules, and RAW cuts through all of that.

    If we were to play a game tomorrow, RAI would cause confusion and heartburn: your RAI is almost certainly different from my RAI. If we played by RAW… we’ll, we’re all working off the same documents.

    So, for me, it’s not about goofing with the rules: it’s about removing friction between two people who’ve never played each other before.

    • RAW definitely has that advantage. I’ll refrain from giving my views too
      much for fear that they might taint the results. Thanks for taking the time
      to comment though–getting some underlying thoughts behind the votes helps
      to figure out what the results really mean.

    • I like this answer! It makes a lot of sense.

      The only problem is that GW doesn’t have a clause for everything, and doesn’t fix everything in a timely manner. As I’ve said before, I’d rather have them focused on creating new armies and updating old ones vs. wasting manpower to tell the stubborn ones that Blood Angel Librarians don’t get ST10 after a single roll.

  2. Comp. RAI, i am competitive no doubt but i enjoy injecting my own reasoning into the rules and discussing such things with my freinds. If i had a gaming club i would most certainly have a book of “house rules” that would range from new units to FAQ style rulings.

  3. One reason I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that RAW makes it easier to define a common standard held by gamers who’ve never met is that for many I suspect (certainly people like me) don’t have the brain power to study the rules closely enough to understand all of the rules 100% as written.

    I don’t mean that we’re stupid, just that we read the rules, think we understand them, and play. Perhaps not realising that some of the rules we think we understood are actually misinterpretations of rules that may not be written clearly. Or they may be old rules from previous editions and subtle wording changes have escaped us. We skim the rule, get the intention, because we’re familiar with the concept from previous editions, and don’t perhaps pick up on a change that a very close reading would pick up.

    This is obviously less true for people who regularly attend tournaments (and play lots of games). But if I was to show up in a game store and have a game with a random person, I would just expect that sooner or later we’ll come across rules that one or both of us have interpreted differently.

    • That’s an absolutely fair point.

      But, if you’ve agreed to play by RAW, you can settle disputes by saying, “Well, let’s stop and see what the rules actually say.” If you’ve agreed to play by RAI… how do you resolve difference between your “I” and your opponent’s “I”?

      • That’s also a fair point. If a dispute comes up, we first go to the rulebook and see what it says. If it’s clear (and makes sense) then great. If it’s not clear or doesn’t make sense, then either one of us can say ‘hmm, that’s not how I read it / understand it / that just doesn’t seem right / that’s not what I think was intended’.

        What happens next basically depends on who you and the ‘random person’ are. If neither of you have convinced the other that you’re right, then one of you can simply concede the point – especially in cases where the rule turns out to be fairly clear, even if it doesn’t seem to be very common sense, or you could just roll for it. It’s not worth having a fight over.

    • Another surprising post. I really see you as a RAW player as
      well–with how you play your ‘crons.

      And by the way, thanks again for those Tyranid Apoc formations, both
      Cole and I used the tunnel swarm to varying degress of effectiveness.

      • I like to play to win like most players do, RAW is the best way to play with that, but RAI is the best way to play a fulff game whitch are well worth the time to play.

        I would like to see RAW & RAI become one as the same. If GW can ever make it happen then it will take away many problems.

        Now for my Necrons i am forced to play them as RAW & RAI to get the same effect out of the codex that it was ment to have sense 3rd edition. If GW will keep all the Codexs up to date before moving on to a new edition, you will have less rule problems and more RAW can be reworded to fit the intended play.

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