26 April 2013

Veteran Instincts- (Tournament/ Regionals) Etiquette and Protocol, Part 1

Veteran Instincts is another new series here on TheMetalBikini.com where I discuss topics that might appeal to a more veteran level of X-Wing Miniatures player. Think of it as a more advanced version of the Bikini Battle Basics series and you're not far off. It's stuff you need to know, but might not be readily apparent or noticed, or so I think anyway. Far as I know, right?

Tournament/ Regionals Etiquette and Protocol

I think I've mentioned it on here before, but in a past job, I was in charge of a 4-man industrial maintenance team. I don't know if many of you work in manufacturing, or know people who work in manufacturing, or more specifically, regularly deal with folks who work maintenance in manufacturing, but they can be a fairly rough around the edges bunch. Oh sure, you've got some folks who work in industrial maintenance that are perfectly normal and all, but a lot of these guys are... how should I put this... outliers in many ways. Especially when it comes to hygiene. 

One of the guys that worked for me had some kind of weird setup where he hauled water to his house which was, predictably, out in the sticks. Long story short, he would get water on Monday, and either couldn't haul that much or couldn't store that much, but in any case, usually by Thursday evening, and defnitely on Friday evening, the brotha would start to reek. 

Now again, industrial maintenance can be a demanding job. I've done it before, and there were many days where I'd have sweat through my clothes, my clothes mind you, not just my shirt, by 8:30 am. That's a good time, let me tell you- sweating through your clothes by 8:30 and you generally leave around 4:30 or 5pm. That's just brilliant. Anyway, I'm not hating on anybody, but usually you find ways to mitigate. A stick of deodorant or a bottle of cologne in your toolbox, hell maybe even a spare pair of drawers or jeans tucked away in your trunk you change into at lunchtime or something. 

Not this guy though. And by this guy I mean the guy I'm talking about, not me. I'm not pointing my thumbs at myself when I say, "this guy." 

The dude would reek. I mean like distractingly so. As such, I had to have a "stinky talk" with him. I had to ask a grown man to please stop stinking at work because people had complained to management about his chronic funk. No, not that kind of chronic funk- like the body odor kind. 

What's worse, I actually had to have the stinky talk with him again before it was all said and done and he transferred away from my plant. 

This is why I'm uniquely qualified to tell you what's acceptable and unacceptable for Regionals and Tournaments in general. Because I'm the guy that pulls you off to the side, maybe even outside, to have the stinky talk with you. It's awkward and sometimes feelers get hurt, but in the long run, it benefits us all, so here we go. 

1. Attire
I'm just going to come right out and say it- wearing a Star Wars shirt to an X-Wing Tournament is kinda like wearing the shirt of the band you're going to see in concert. Now normally, in any other locale, I'm totally down with it. I have a few myself, of course. But not to a tournament. It's too obvious. Acceptable exceptions are some truly unique Star Wars shirts- like if you've managed to acquire one of the vintage Empire Strikes Back VHS box set re-issue t-shirts from 1995 or whatever. 

What to wear instead? Well, tournaments are all day affairs, so wear something you're going to be comfortable in. Something not overly tight, warm, or loose (knocks minis around, y'know) for starters. I plan on rocking a US Soccer jersey at Regionals. Why? Well, for one, it's made out of Nike Dri-Fit, which is this brilliantly light and cool fabric that is completely opaque but feels like you have no shirt on at all, which will be awesome as my Regional is in June. Secondly, it's not too loose and not too tight. Its also somewhat unique and I'm just fond of it in general. Also stay away from a ton of accessories like bracelets, wallet chains, necklaces, and other stuff that is prone to knocking over minis. We're at an X-Wing Regionals, not a Mr. T lookalike convention or attending goth kid 101 class.  

Generally speaking, you don't have to tell guys to wear comfortable shoes, but well, wear comfortable shoes. If you've never played in a tournament before, and especially if you've never played at the venue you'll be attending, you may not get a lot of time to sit down depending on how things are set up. I remember at Games Day 2006, I did a lot of standing. Like pretty much 8 hours worth. Course, that may not be a big deal to some of y'all, but it is something to keep in mind. 

Band T-Shirts are good too, so long as you pick a cool band and don't go on and on about them during the match, which segues into my next point rather neatly... 

2. Table Talk
As I've mentioned before, Tournament Rules for X-Wing involve time limits. As such, when it's time to play, shut up and play. Don't tell me your life story and slow down deployment because you're gesturing with one of your ships instead of setting it down. Don't tell me moves I should have made, then subsequently the moves you would have made to respond to those moves during our match. Don't talk to your buddy at the next table about what moves he should be making either. I also have no interest in your favorite movie, band, sports team, political party, sexual position, pizza, e-cigarette liquid flavor, breed of dog, radio station, author, or beer is while we're playing. Once we're done? Sure thing, man. Tell me all about it. I love talking to people. My wife used to get pissed at me because I'd spend hours standing in the driveway talking to this crazy old dude that lived next door to us in our duplex. I'll talk to anybody so long as they tell me entertaining stuff- just not during the match. 

For however long the time limit allows or until the match is over, focus on the match as much as possible. Can you drop a Star Wars line here or there? Sure. Just don't quote all of Empire to me while you piss around trying to pick a maneuver for your 3rd Black Squadron TIE and for Christ's sake- this isn't 40k and you're not playing Orks. No yelling on the bus.  

3. Cell Phones
I'm not crazy enough to say something like, "Leave it in the car", because, well, I wouldn't do that either. I am crazy enough to say, if you do anything more than take a few seconds to see who just texted you or called, it's a party foul. Now, if it's an emergency like your kid just swallowed a penny or something, well, I'll make an exception. If it's an emergency like your girlfriend asking you why you put an empty peanut butter jar back in the cabinet instead of throwing it away, that's crappy. 

Also don't check your email or reply to emails. If you want to take a picture of our match, by all means go ahead, I probably will be too, just don't spend forever framing the shot, and please, post it to Twitter or your Facebook after the match. Don't make me wait while you try to think of some witty caption for your picture. 

It should go without saying that actually taking a phone call during a match is just not to be done again, unless somebody is dying/ dead. Then it's cool. I guess. 

I very nearly made a seperate entry for laptops or tablets, but suffice it to say, they'd read basically the same way as the cell phone. I don't mind some light use, but please put working on your Mandalorian fan-fic on hold or watching Firefly until after our match concludes. 

4. Hygiene
You need to have showered within the past 24 hours, at least. This isn't a sport- I shouldn't smell you from across the table. It's just pathetic to feed into that unwashed, stinky nerd stereotype. We're better than that, right? 

And while I'd also prefer you didn't douse yourself in Axe body spray, I'd rather smell that than your B.O. 

That's enough for now, I'll put up Part 2 on Monday! Have a great weekend and for those of y'all attending Regionals this weekend, good luck!

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