29 April 2013

Veteran Instincts- (Tournament/ Regionals) Etiquette and Protocol, Part 2

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, Part 2

Part 1 in this series ran last Friday. You probably read it, but if you didn't, click that link.

5. Non-Combatants, er Non-Participants
At Games Day 2006, my last match of the tournament was against an Imperial Fists player from Ohio with a beautifully painted army and his wife. 

Yeah, right? It was kinda weird having a spectator. 

To her credit, I think she just sat and read a book the entire match, and after we were done, she came over, the three of us chatted pleasantly, and I thought, "Wow, well that was cool of her." She was just there to support her man, check out some cool models (of which I had none- my opinion, not theirs), and catch up on some reading. 

I've never had the "Oh no, there's the guy that always brings his friend/ girlfriend experience", but I've played next to a couple of tables and talked to a few of the poor bastards that have. It's not pretty and in many ways, your entourage can be much more annoying than you the actual player. I mean, look at it like this- I can beat you. You become that super-arrogant guy I beat at that one tournament. You become an NPC in my story, in other words. A beaten foe; a bested wannabe nemesis. Even if I don't beat you, maybe I managed to one-shot your Stealthed-up Turd Ferguson, or stuck Han with the critical that makes him Pilot Skill 0 and got to make a Han Shoots Last joke. 

I can't do anything to your obnoxious girlfriend or your dipshit friend. I don't have the opportunity. Well, not legally anyway. 

Long story short, you're responsible for the folks you bring with you to this thing. I don't want a bunch of hoo haa from your buddy, your buddy's girlfriend, or whatever during our match, dig? I don't want to be the guy who complains to the TO about your annoying sidecars, I really don't man. Let's just play the game. Dre puts it much more eloquently than I do, if you need further clarification on the point. 

6. Know Your List
I kinda talked about this in some other article on here that I'm too lazy to look up right now, but know what the cards in your list do. Look up any pilot abilities, upgrades, droids, whatever on here, on the AFM Forums, on the FFG forums, whatever. Fully understand what they do before our match. Play your list at least a few times before we meet in a tournament we both paid money to play in. I don't want to be the guy to tell you your card doesn't work the way you think it does, because you might have built your whole list around that incorrect interpretation, and now you're going to have a crappy day because of me. That's no fun for either of us, bro.

Further note, if you're using a pilot with an upgrade that falls into a grey area rules-wise, I'd take a long look at whether or not I'd play that particular combination in a tournament. I'm not going to go through and list all of the rules exploits that have been exposed, they're out there if you want to find them and I've talked about one of them fairly extensively on here before. Me personally, I think it's a bit of a party foul to show up with something like that. Now, you and I, we may have very different motivations for why we're playing in this thing. I'm not trying to tell you how to play your list, I'm just saying I wouldn't do it. 

I remember one time when I was teaching at a community college, we were going through contract negotiations and there were a whole segment of instructors that were convinced the district had this big slush fund and they wanted that money. It got to the point where they were talking about striking over it, which was kind of a big deal because unfortunately this segment of instructors included the president of our little union at the time. I got up and said, "I didn't take this job to be a striker, I took it to be an effin' teacher.", and walked out. 

That's kinda how I feel about tournaments. If you want to argue about rules, just do that on the internet, man. It's way cheaper and you're much more likely to find fun sparring partners than people who've paid $15 or $20 to enter a tournament where they're ostensibly at the very least, planning on playing a game rather than following Robert's Rules of Trolling or whatever. Again though, it's your dough. You can do whatever you want. Just realize the guy on the other side of the table may not share the same zeal for debate as you. He may just, you know, want to spend his day playing the game, right? 

7. Bring Only What You Need
Some folks might be interested in seeing your entire X-Wing Miniatures collection. Me personally? I'm not. This is a pre-painted, pre-assembled miniatures game, for cryin' out loud. 

I don't see any reason to bring a ton of extra crap with me to a Tournament. Hell, at the Kessel Run, I loaned out all of my Imperial stuff (including movement templates, range ruler, tokens, etc.) to a friend of mine who wanted to play but didn't own anything- I wasn't going to be using it as I was playing Rebels, so why not, right? Even if I wouldn't have loaned it out, I wouldn't have brought it with me. 

The less stuff you have to lug around, the better. As I've alluded to in other points in this article, it's probably gonna be a long day. Travel light and you'll be happier for it. Also if, God forbid, your stuff gets stolen or you bring so much stuff with you that you forget something at the venue, the curb outside the hotel, a bench at a bust stop, whatever, you're not out your entire collection. 

Note this goes for tokens and whatnot too. Actually, it goes even more for tokens and whatnot than the ships. Everyone who's played this game even once knows there's a somewhat ridiculous amount of fiddly stuff that goes along with it. Watching you try and pair up Target Locks for five minutes because you brought all 26 letters of the alphabet is time that could be spent playing, and if we go to the wire, that's really going to be disappointing. If you only bring 3 ships, bring 5 sets of Target Locks, tops. Apply that same line of thinking to the rest of your tokens too- bring what you need, then fudge the number up a couple in case you lose one or it gets mixed in with your opponent's or something.

Now, I know, I know, you've got all your stuff in a Plano box or whatever, and it's not that big of a deal to bring the whole thing, and you don't really want to disrupt your system, and blah, blah, blah. Just trust me on this- for a 100 point tournament, you can probably fit what you actually need in one of the Core Set boxes. Now think about how much easier it is to cram a Core Box into a backpack along with a couple of Diet Dews and a candy bar or something versus lugging around a tool box all day like you're Mr. Fixit. 

Or if you really want to be cool, bring all that stuff, but leave it in the car. Then if some poor guy forgot his third Interceptor back at the hotel or it got broken on the way in, you can be the dude who lets this cat borrow yours, which will elicit a slow-clap from me for sure, because well, let's be honest. I'm totally the type of person to start a slow clap- any reason will do. 

8. "Good Game"
When we're done, win or lose, throw your hand out there across the table, shake it like a man (or woman- are we still pretending girls play dorky-ass miniatures games like this? :) ) and not a limp fish, and wish me a good game. If you won, listen to me berate myself for hitting an obstacle or rolling badly, while I pretend my loss had nothing to do with your superior skill at the game and sympathize. If you lost, I'll extend you the same courtesy. I don't want to hear a bunch of gloating and bragging- this isn't HALO, for Christ's sake. We're better than that. 

Be happy you've won, take any compliments from your vanquished opponent you have coming to you, and throw a couple back their way. 

If you're the winner, resist the temptation to point out every mistake your opponent made that helped you win. I know folks who do this, hell, I'm guilty of it at times, but most of the time it isn't constructive immediately after a match, even if that's 100% your intent. Most of the time, it just comes off kind of know-it-all and dickish. 

So there ya go. How not to be a bad opponent at your next tournament, right? Well, either that or "How to spend two days on your blog being a bossy cow- MOOOO!" If my oldest could read, he'd crack up that I wrote that; it's one of our inside jokes. 

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