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 Post subject: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:02 pm 
Name Calling Internet Bully
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How to Win – Part 3 – Understanding Gamer Personalities

In my previous articles, I mentioned the importance of understanding not just the “what” you are playing against (squad constructions) but also the “who” (opposing players). Today I want to talk about this important piece of Meta analysis specifically, and will do so by laying out some of the generalizations of player archetypes that we often encounter at a given SWMs tournament. Now, these archetypes are not unique to SWMs, but are to some degree present in any Gaming atmosphere, but I will be using this context to talk about how to overcome these personalities in a local meta, so that you may learn to take your game to the next level – which is of course the goal of every “How to Win” piece I write! (And if you see yourself in any of these archetypes, please know that I am not making judgments about you, nor am I criticizing any particular way someone plays – this is about how to win, not how to be a nice guy – please keep that in mind). I will also add that most players are not simply one of these generalities, but a mix of several, and that a given player can change from one to another at any given time both intentionally and by accident.

Gamer Personality Number 1 – “The Rules Lawyer” or “TRL”
Many players hate these guys, and understandably so. The Rules Lawyer knows the rules of SWMs like know other; they follow the Rules Forum on WotC’s main site religiously, and perhaps even post on occasion. They tend to be the most knowledgeable player at a given store, and some times even, that store’s best player. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong about being a Rules Lawyer, but what often gets under other players’ skins is that TRL can often use their great knowledge to their advantage. Some of these players even abuse this situation – i.e. presenting rule violations when it’s to their advantage, and ignoring them when it is not. For example, I once played a Sealed game with a relatively new player (perhaps 6 months or so) and he had pulled Boba Enforcer and Lando Dashing Scoundrel as his rares. I was surprised to find that he had lost his first round game and asked him about it as we set up our second round match. As it turned out, he had played the local Rules Lawyer in round one and was soundly beaten as Boba went down to some early attacks. I said to him surprised, “Wow, you weren’t lucky with evades then I guess,” and he responded, “Boba has evade?” I was shocked, there was no way the local TRL was not aware of this fact or that he simply forgot. This is a case of cheating, and unfortunately, it happens all too often. Other cases I have witnessed or heard about, involve the TRL telling a local player that “X was ruled online to work this way” without proof, or further explanation, and the local judge and players are ill-equipped to counter his point at that time – even when it seems almost ridiculous. TRL’s of this type with argue with you until you give in, sometimes even after you have provided the proof, because being “right” about a rule, is sometimes more important than playing the game. These guys take pride in their superior knowledge and expect others to defer to whatever crazy scheme they come up with because of it.

TRL’s also can be very good for a venue as well. Most of them do not cheat, and most of them are very helpful to a venue. I have been the TRL many times in my life because I tend to know the rules to SWMs very well, and can then advise as needed for the local judge. (I tend to fall into a latter category more so, but it was worth the mention here that I am not just criticizing TRL’s). TRL’s can be a judges best friend, or his/her worst nightmare.

How do you beat the TRL then? There are a couple of methods. First and foremost, is the importance of knowing the rules and even more importantly, knowing how to find the correct rules quickly and efficiently. Any tournament player needs to have a basic understanding of the rules. This does not mean you need to memorize every oddball interaction possible, but rather that you have an idea of how the rules work, so that when something odd occurs, and TRL starts an argument with you about it, you know enough to find the right answer. The most important thing I can tell you about beating this player is the following – where to find the “official rules”.

Sources of Official Rules for SWMs – for DCI tournament play.
1. Card Text and Glossary – Generally, these two work in conjunction with one another with the Glossary’s use being further explanation or expansion of the card text. Technically, any contradictions between these two, the card wins. However in SWMs, there are very few cases where this occurs. Almost always, you can simply consult your glossary text for a given ability and trust it as the correct source.
2. Errata – Official Errata is found here: This is the only source of official text changes to cards. It’s a good idea to always have a current copy of these documents printed out and either in the hands of your local judge, or in your own backpack. Never allow the TRL to tell you, “oh it was a recent errata you must not have seen” and get away with it.
3. FAQ – Technically, nothing said on the rules forum by anyone, even “Nickname” constitutes and official ruling. Only once an answer is found in the FAQ is it officially legal for tournament play. Here are the official sources for the FAQ:

And that’s it. There are no other “official sources”. Now there is one other piece of valuable information I should mention here as well. The “Rules Forum” on WotC is another solid location for rules questions. Nickname is the official “Net Rep” and in general, you can treat his answers to questions (when he posts in blue type) as the official answers. He is the person who writes the official FAQs. But technically, if it’s not in an FAQ or one of the other sources mentioned, it’s not an official answer. Nickname also writes a “Mini-FAQ, which while technically, is not an “official source” it more or less functions as one when a set is new as they are the FAQs that will appear in the FAQ when Nickname writes it for the Rules section.

Knowing where to find actual official answers goes a long way toward dealing with a “cheating TRL”. However, how do you beat the non-cheater? Simple, out play them. Most TRL’s are simply fans of the game that are really into it. They aren’t necessarily a great strategic player, so you can beat them by playing better. You can still catch a TRL off guard with some of the strategies that have been laid out in past articles and in other places, just like any other player. But you might have to play your best to do it!

Gamer Personality Number 2 – “Big Fish in a Little Pond” or simply “Big Fish”
This is a classic character for game stores, as almost every store has one. This is the gamer who dominates his local competition almost every week. He is the “the guy to beat”. He is the top dog, and the one who sets the pace for everyone else. He or she sets the local Meta standards and squads are built routinely to beat this person. Now, obviously this player could be a “Hard Core Competitive Player” as well, but in this case, we are really looking at the ones who are not – or who have never tried to be one anyway. The Big Fish is a good player, the best at his/her store. But what makes them different from a HCCP, is that they are location specific. They don’t really like competition and like dominating their local scene. They don’t usually want any real competition or anyone new coming in changing the store dynamics – and why would they, as is they are the Big Fish. Who wants another bigger fish to show up and take their spot?

More than that, this character also wants to maintain their control of the local store. Most of these players are not regular contributors to any SWM Online Community. They might peruse some, even post occasionally, but they carefully protect their local control. They do not play on Vassal, they do not travel to other stores to play, and they do not play in large tournaments like Gencon. In fact, they tend to avoid doing all of these things because of the possible exposure it could open them up to. They have a fear of not being the best. Many of the Big Fish are just full of excuses about these behaviors. For example, a classic comment about playing on Vassal for any Big Fish is something like, “I only like playing face to face and can’t play my best on Vassal”. Now, I am sure that is true of some people, but it is comments like this that can expose a true Big Fish.

Another way to identify a Big Fish is by their comments locally. You see the biggest thing the BF fears is their game being exposed. So anything that goes against what they have said must be countered or dismissed locally. Yet if it’s a game mechanic that they are simply wrong about, they cannot do it online or in the public eye. So instead, they sink back to the LGS and convince everyone locally they are in fact correct – and it works because at their LGS, they are the Big Fish. These people tend to avoid open confrontation of any kind because that risks exposure. Instead, they will often talk in secret, or only when the related party is not present. I can give you two classic examples of this from my experience.

The first occurred a little over a year ago when I was attending periodically a local store (that shall remain nameless). I would go about once a month, and generally win when I attended. I was always very polite, and rarely took home the top prizes even though I had won. Well, one week I showed up and one of the local players asked me why I had stolen from the local Big Fish. I said, “What are you talking about?” He tells me about how this BF had told him this ridiculous story on a week I was not present, and why that was the reason the BF would not play the days that I came. That’s right, the guy would show up, and when he would see me, he would tell everyone he could not play that day and leave shortly there after. And I am sure, what had happened was that over time, the local players came to appreciate my behaviors of giving away figures, not taking VR prizes I did not need to sell on ebay, helping them with squads and so on, much more so than what the BF had regularly done, so he had to “cut me down to size” in their minds. Hence the ridiculous story about me stealing from him. Obviously he never brought this up to me personally, and even when confronted by another player about it later, he simply told them I was lying about it.

Another story about a Big Fish came from a friend of mine’s experience. Many of the online community when attending a new store for the first time, will not always immediately identify ourselves. I like to let people get to know me as a player and if they ask if I follow the forums, I of course tell them, but I tend to not make a big deal out of it. Well one friend of mine did this not too long ago when he attended a tournament as well. He showed up, played the event, talked to the players and so forth. And here’s where the Big Fish showed himself – they got to talking about the game in general and some how got around to talking about Billiv15 (how I have no idea lol). Anyways, the Big Fish starts going on and on about how I was a jerk, how I’m “cocky”, how I think I’m better than everyone else, etc. Well I don’t know this guy in any way, haven’t conversed with him ever, and certainly have never been to his store, so how does he know all this inside information about me? He said, “From the message boards, and that is why no one at his store posts much”. Classic BF behavior! Not only has he created some mythical persona out of me, but he has convinced his entire local store that this is the truth, and further more, set in place the local rules to prevent them from ever seeing any other reality! Genius! You see, no one from his store would challenge his “authority” because after all, he is the Big Fish, and therefore, the people from his store will often defer to his suggestion to avoid the forums altogether. He now has total local control, and has set up a situation where his true skills and knowledge of the game will never be questioned. He will never travel to Gencon, he will never play online, and he will never discuss anything game related with Billiv15 (could have been any other online persona as well). That creates his veil of dominance and protects it from someone from ever seeing the man behind the curtain. He is the local “Wizard of Oz”.

So perhaps now you can identify a local Big Fish, or perhaps you have realized you have been one. How do you deal with this character? This is tough. There are several things you can do, none of which have guaranteed results. The best thing to do is beat this person over and over again. That can be tough. Another way to loosen the grip of a local BF is to gradually open the group up to other ideas about the game. Take players to other venues. The BF won’t go with you anyways, so take 2-3 other people to another place one weekend and see how the game is being played elsewhere. The most eye-opening experience for someone caught under the control of a Big Fish is to play what he or she thinks is the top squad somewhere else. Generally, they will get slaughtered and be left wondering why. This is the key moment; you have to have the conversation about what went wrong afterwards. Many players get embarrassed when they lose badly and won’t want to talk about it, but it is absolutely essential to do so. You generally don’t even need to name “BF” as the culprit – they will catch on to that on his or her own.

To beat the BF at your local store, I suggest following the online strategy and squad construction discussions. If you are reading this piece, then you are already on your way. Ask questions of the top players. If you don’t understand why 5 activations isn’t winning at the top venues, but it consistently dominates at yours, then ask someone to show you. The BF isn’t necessarily a great player – they simply thrive on dominating locally. So even if you start to beat them regularly, they will make excuses, might even start to attack you in private. Consider that the win you are looking for! But keep the pressure on. Do not let yourself get talked into not running X because after losing to you with it, the BF suddenly decides X is “cheese”. Do not play the game on their level. Learn what the BF is afraid to, learn how to lose with grace, and how to read your loses and wins for those critical “What could I have done to change the outcome?” questions that I have often talked about. If you want your local players to start to improve, then show them with your own play. Show them that you don’t have to play the game by the BF’s rules, and that instead, the game is much more fun when everyone is improving and having a good time, not just the BF.

And finally, and most importantly, do not let the BF get away with telling lies about anyone at the venue. Personally, some guy I’ve never met in Central Canada does not bother me one bit what he has said about me. As far as I am concerned, he is pretty low on my totem pole of significance. Yet for some reason he has identified me as Big Fish enemy number 1 at his Little Pond. But if the BF turns on you, or any other player at the venue, stop them immediately. Do not take their word for it and check their sources. Confront them in public if needed about false statements, as that may be the only way to show the local scene the truth about it.

Gamer Personality Number 3 – “The Cheater”
The Cheater is the guy who duh, “cheats”. They move an extra space, miscount their squad points, forget to mark a hit, abuse the rules when it’s in their own favor, but ignore them when they are not and any other number of things. This guy is a win at all cost player, and probably isn’t even all that great at the game. Sometimes, this is just a kid who hasn’t really thought it out, but other times it is in fact and adult who should know better. Either way, there is only one thing to do when playing the Cheater. Watch everything they do carefully and call them on any errors, even if it really is a kid. Kids need to learn to play by the rules as well.

The real difficulty in dealing with a true Cheater isn’t always related to your own game. Often times, I see the “cheating” happening at the game next to me and I always think to myself, “Should I point this out or let it go?” It’s a tough call, and people who generally shy away from confrontation hate this guy, as the last thing they would want to do is have to confront someone about something that will so obviously bring turmoil. In the case of the game next to me, I tend to say something quickly to the players and move back to my game. But I will also go over it with both players after the game has ended many times if there is a need to explain more about the issue. It’s really up to you and your own comfort level. Honest mistakes are one thing, but consistently “forgetting” the same things only when they benefit you, well that’s a cheater.

Gamer Personality 4 – “The Game Critiquer”
The GC always has a better idea about how X should have been made. Sometimes this guy is a SWs Fanboy, sometimes they are a Big Fish, and sometimes they are in fact right. That is all irrelevant. There is nothing wrong with having a discussion about why X should have been different outside of a game, but it’s never a good idea in the middle of a game. And in fact, many players will do this to you to “discourage” you from making a key move, or to distract you from the game, etc. The best way to deal with the GC is to ignore them and play out the game. If they want to throw a fit during their own turn about how unfair it was that you just did Y, interrupt them, remind them that it’s their turn to act, and that the timer is still running. If you want to have a casual conversation with a friend during a game, so be it, but do not engage this with a true GC. Fluff arguments and in particular, those that detract from a given game are unnecessary, do not engage them.

Gamer Personality 5 – “The Distracter”
This is one of my favorite gaming personalities, and they come in many forms, from the kid who wants to talk about trades, to the old guy who wants to talk about the latest SWs comic. The best Distracters are those guys who are not only good at the game, but also those who are good at figuring out your hot button issues. They will identify the best way to distract you, and exploit it. My classic example of the Distracter is a guy from Michigan who can get you talking about anything but the game. He will talk about some funny thing his kids did the other day, the newly spoiled figures for the next set, the food he just ate, or anything he thinks can give him an advantage. He will ask to go to the bathroom mid game, or talk to you when you are supposed to be setting up, anything, to get you to make a mistake.
To beat a Distracter, the most important thing to do is to pay attention. If you want to engage his chatter, then do so, but be aware of what you are doing. Don’t let him get you angry, or emotional in any way. You can even ask him to talk about the game politely instead if he really starts to bother you. Ultimately, if it becomes a major problem for you, you can call the local judge and ask to have the judge watch the game to prevent further distractions. Lastly, if he asks to go to the bathroom and you don’t think he really needs to, say, “are you willing to give up 10 points to go or can it wait?”

Gamer Personality 6 – “The For Fun Guy”
FFG’s are simple players. Another common name for this player is the “Scrub”. I will choose to use the FFG instead as I think it’s more appropriate. They like the game because it has lightsabers, or because it has Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. They don’t like to think about the game, and generally want to simply run out and start swinging. Now, many FFGs are good players who just don’t care enough to take their game to the next level. That’s all well and good, but when it comes to winning, they often get upset about the “brokenness” of your chosen combo when they lose against it. The worst thing you can do with an FFG is to engage them on their level. You don’t need to play down to your opponent in a tournament environment, simply beat them, be polite about it, and move on to the next round. Do not let their complaining about your “cheesy” squad or tactics bother you, or prevent you from running a legal combo. It’s their problem, not yours. I wrote extensively about how to overcome these issues in article 1, so I won’t go farther with this gamer, but I would be remiss if I did not mention him here.

Gamer Personality 7 – “The Hard Core Competitive Player”
These guys come in many forms. Some of them, are the nicest guys in the world, some of them are complete jerks, some of them are the primary game teachers, and loan out their collection to other players constantly, and some of them are absolutely no fun to play ever. Sometimes these guys are bad winners and losers, and sometimes they are the most gracious person at the LGS. The one thing they have in common is that they play to win, and make no exceptions. I am one of these types of players. These guys know the rules very well, they know the pieces, and they often know your squad better than you do. They are always hard to beat, and they often gain a reputation that makes them even harder to beat. Many times, I have sat down to a game that I have already won the moment the other guy saw the pairings. These guys rarely make mistakes, and even when they do, you will question if it’s really a mistake, or if it’s just a trap you are not seeing.

The best way to take on a HCCP is to simply play your game. Think about how you play your best, and try to replicate that situation as best you can. Don’t give up before you start, or even after you lose a key piece early. One of the things the TCCP will use to his/her advantage is your nervousness. If you let a TCCP see they have you intimidated, they know they have already won. One of the key mistakes a lesser player often makes when playing me, is to take too long, over think every move, and question even what appears to be an obvious choice. Don’t be afraid to lose. TCCPs are good players, often the best in the area or even the best in the world. Learn to enjoy losing, seriously. You will learn more about the game losing to a great player after playing your best, then you ever will reading the message boards, reading my articles, winning against scrubs, etc. When you get a chance, watch them play against others. But don’t just watch their moves, watch how they do it, what they say, how they set up their opponents, etc. Watch their actions, their expressions, and their tone of voice. All of it can be part of their overall strategy and learning to emulate these things can help you improve. Most of all, never, never be intimidated by them. Often when I play someone they act as if they are playing the world series of SWMs. It happens in sports all the time. The defending champs will often talk about how for them, its just another game, but for their opponent’s it’s the championship game. In minis it’s a sure way to set yourself up for failure. Sure, we all want to beat the best of the best, and at least on some level have dreams of winning Gencon, so we over think these games. Just play your best, and don’t change how you normally play just because you are playing the HCCP.

The second part of the HCCP, is the sore loser/jerk. Well, not much I can really tell you different to deal with these guys. Your best bet is to just ignore them, let them throw their little tantrums when they lose, and move on. Game store owners can help a little bit if you really have a problem with a given player’s attitude, but sometimes, they are unresponsive. If it bothers you too much, find a new place to play. Just be careful though, that you are not mistaking someone who just doesn’t like to lose with someone who is a genuine jerk. Many HCCPs hate to lose, I know I do. But that does not mean I have to be a jerk to you afterwards – as I never would. Differentiate the two types and act accordingly. Most HCCPs are great people, and having played many of the best in the world, I can safely say, they are genuinely good people. Some of the worst attitudes I have ever had to deal with are people who are not really HCCPs, but those who want to be and have failed.

Well folks, another article has come to its end. I have tried to cover many of the common personalities that you might face in a local setting, and how to attack them. I know I have not covered them all, but these are indeed the most common players. There are others, like the "Slow Player" or the "Game is Broken/Chessy Player" but I am not covering all of them here, as I have done so previously in other places. Many players will fit more than one category, or can shift from one to another easily based on the setting and situation, so be careful not to pigeon hole, or generalize too much about someone else. The real concept here is to start to better understand how a local Meta game is built and controlled, and knowing the personalities of the gamers is a very large part of that strategy. Think about your local scene, see if you can identify any of the personalities I have discussed, or others I have not. What are their strengths, what are their weaknesses? And more importantly, how can you learn to exploit them, or protect yourself from them? That’s what the Meta game is all about.

Until next time!
Billiv15

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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:39 pm 
One of the Sith on Malgus' Shuttle
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Great article!

I'm a mixture of The Rules Lawyer (mostly) and The Game Critiquer (occasionally). Madman and I are the ones people always ask to answer their question, even if we're in the middle of a game (not that it bothers us, might bother our opponent but...). I'm the good kind though, even if it hurts me in the end. But part of me being TRL also leads into me being the Game Critiquer as well, lol. I correct people on their actions that they did wrong but tell them they can take it back and "you probably want to do...).

I feel I'm the Game Critiquer just because its my nature to try and teach, so when I see something I really want to say "you coulda done it this way and gotten better results". I have to hold myself back from interrupting a game I'm watching to go "no, no, no, that's definitely a wrong move to make". We call it "coaching" and I tend to do it too often, lol. Like on the ACME Sealed Release Tourney on Thursday, Madman could have gotten a big Blaster Barrage off with Arica and I was in the middle of telling him but was able to catch myself and go "nevermind, I'll tell you after the fact". I can't stop myself from doing it, its my natural instinct =o/ Its annoying but unstoppable...


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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:55 pm 
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Good stuff, Bill, another great read.

I would like to point out that I would consider there to be two additional classes of players;

The very new/very young and the Average players.

Every were you go you'll meet these two groups. Sometimes I have a hard time playing against the very young/very new because I know more/have a better squad/..etc. I think its always important to try to teach them something new about the game each time you play them. Sure you are going to stomp their squad into the ground, but do it as gracious as possible. But be careful about lowering your game. I always find myself doing this and it won't help them. Remember to play your best and talk about it afterwards.

The Average Player I think is were most of us fall into. We do the best we can, and try to improve our game. We can be fun to play, or a pain. An average player will always try his best and generally play to win. Sometimes if the game is deadlocked, they'll be the one willing to take a chance, just to make the game interesting. An average player will usually have a strong grasp on the game and is aware of the grander area, not only focused on their LGS. I figure I'm such a player.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:03 pm 
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I'm the For Fun Guy, probably to the level of criticism you mention. More and more I don't like the way Rob is pushing the competitive concepts, into a Mexican Standoff style game where no one wants to engage and when the person who does so first usually loses. But I still enjoy the casual aspects of the game, and I love mass battle. Miss it might be a better way to describe it.

Oh and with a dash of the intimidation factor you mentioned in one of the other subtypes, where reputation from the boards and from past experiences works to my advantage in an unfamilar setting. :)

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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:47 pm 
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Ruhk wrote:
Every were you go you'll meet these two groups. Sometimes I have a hard time playing against the very young/very new because I know more/have a better squad/..etc. I think its always important to try to teach them something new about the game each time you play them. Sure you are going to stomp their squad into the ground, but do it as gracious as possible. But be careful about lowering your game. I always find myself doing this and it won't help them. Remember to play your best and talk about it afterwards.

I faced off against Lackey's daughter (she's 9, IIRC) in the Release Tourney and spent too much time helping her out (being the mixed Rules Lawyer and Critiquer, heh) than really thinking ahead with my squad and ended up getting squashed. I wasn't thinking of what I was doing and made a mistake where Luke RC ran 8 (with FP) adjacent to Arica to get Cunning off...and rolled 2 '1's in a row =o/ Arica and Dash then took me down that round (Lightsaber Deflect doesn't help when you have 100 put on your 70HP character, lol). Then I failed init a lot (she noted that I rolled 3 '3's in a row as well at one point). I was doing the "well, this route would probably work better for you so you can hit my Ewok Scout...oh, you rolled a 20? wow..." Lackey definitely has taught her well ^_^


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:47 pm 
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Fantastic article, Bill! I can name at least one of each of those from all of the different venues I have played at over the years. You called it, my man.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:46 am 
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Well, I am not sure where this sub-type fits but I am very guilty of it. I like to think of myself a " Dice Projectionist" or a "Dice Fatalist." The guy that has about 20 D20s at his exposure and, if things go badly, goes to the "bench" to get one to see if it "behaves." This is the person responsible for the two "die rollers" on Vassal as opposed to the one. Upon playing Vassal, he instead of decreasing the probabilities of failure, becomes even more convinced that his die are "just not working."

I have been known to be virtually all of the above at times, including the "cheater" but I usually coble that up for being unfamiliar with a new unit. I remember playing a fun tournament against BigBro911 and his son and failing to remember that Boba-MC didn't have evade. Upon having that pointed out, I summarily conceded my original victory. I was called on it but after playing Boba-BH or Enforcer constantly, Boba became synonymous (sp?) with Evade in my mind.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:38 am 
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Another excellent article, Bill. I've got a packed day today at work, but if I get a chance, I'll put it up on the main site with the other articles for safe-keeping.

It's kind of funny, but I'm pretty sure I've fallen into most every one of those categories at one point or another, with the exception of The Cheater. Well, there have been a couple times where I've played things wrong, but they were honest mistakes, and not intentional cheating (for instance, we screwed up with the Mercenary rules just this past Sunday, lol).

The Big Fish thing is a tough one, because I do try to encourage everyone in their play and such, and I'm always sending out emails with links to the forums or Bloomilk and such. So I'm definitely not a Big Fish in the sense that I try to control the local environment. However, I know for a fact that I'm one of the 'guys to beat', especially at ACME, so that makes things fun. My buddy James falls a bit more into the category, because he tends to play almost the same squad archetype week after week (he likes Mobile/Evading shooters...darn Wedge/Rieekan), so he's the one that people typically build their squads specifically to beat. With me, I change what I play too frequently for the other guys to successfully build hate squads against me. :P

Rules Lawyer? Definitely, lol. I'm a perfectionist by nature, and if I hear someone all the way on the other side of the room ask a question, I pretty much always speak up, regardless of whether they were talking to me or not. But I do enjoy the teaching aspect of it though.

The Distractor? Bill, I think I know exactly who you're talking about, and if it's the same person, he cracks me up. Had to play his WFF squad in the 100 point tourney this past year at GenCon, and he was in top form for that game. ;) Was fun though, because I'm not easily distracted, and I tried to toy back with him some.

I definitely like to think I'm in the 'Hard Core' category, but there are certainly times where I feel like I'm more in the 'Average' category as Ruhk pointed out. Then again, at the last two GenCons, I've fallen into the 'Dice Fatalist' category too, lol, losing out on my last games by only 1 tick of the dice (rolled a 6, needing a 7 in 2007, and rolled a 5, needing a 6 in '08, lol). It's all good though.

This article is actually really good for both learning to beat the other players at your store, but also to learning who you are yourself as a player, and how you might improve in how you treat your opponents and friends at your LGS. :D

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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:38 am 
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Great article, Bill.

A couple of ideas you may or may not dismiss.

The Rules Lawyer - I'd probably refer to that person as the The Rules Guy, because Rules Lawyering is at once in and of itself a negative connotation. It suggests the idea of using the rules to your advantage. The Rules Lawyer exists, but in my mind, as a 'subset' of the Rules Guy. For example - I have some of this character in my makeup, as I have to be the one (for reasons i'm still not sure of), to funnel web rulings to my local player group (where i am also the big fish...). However, I never exploit the rules for my own gain, as I can win or lose on my own merits. We try to play as closely to DCI practices as possible (i'm working on introducing Gambit now), although I was originally not in favor of it. We have a guy who used to play in DCI tournaments, and he'd always be telling us (incorrectly and suspiciously at times) 'how they do it in tournaments', which we can't really counter with on the spot. So, reluctantly I decided 'if this is how they do it in tournaments', then we should all know and not just this guy. Which leads to the 'Big Fish'.

The Big Fish - As I stated earlier, i am probably the 'Big Fish' at my venue. I'm the Big Fish not only in this game, but others. I have been asked why not compete in big tournaments for this game and that game. I have said 'i don't really want to'. Those reasons are not delineated in your idea of why 'Big Fish' don't want to do these things. If you were in my area, and you wanted to come whup up on us scrubs with our semi competitive teams, I'd be all for it. It wouldn't do anything but motivate me (personally...others might not be able to handle that). I guess the biggest issue I took with that is 'they don't really like competition', which just isn't true in at least one case. Also, as I said above, as the big fish i've been able to 'open the players up to different types of play'. We went from super casual (but no where near as FFG as you make it out to be) to incorporating most of the tournament rules. Also, I am discussing something game related with billiv15 (who's ideas and opinions i've come to respect...no mean feat for me when it comes to online personas). I have to download vassal one of these days. It would give me great pleasure, win or lose to play a reputed master of the game. Perhaps i'd learn something. As it is, at work is when i mostly post on forums, and computer time at home is at a premium. So...I admit that i personally am a big fish. But not one who keeps things from his players (cause what makes them better makes me better), nor one who is afraid of the wider field. I guess i was sort of defending myself there a bit, but it is what it is. I'll see you on the forums.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:30 am 
Name Calling Internet Bully
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Master_Jorth - TO be completely clear, I understand that not everything fits each person, and that many of us have aspects of all of these. And some of the connotations are more negative than they often are in real life. What I wanted to deal with and advise people on, is the more negative aspects. These are the harder ones to spot, even though they do create the worse feelings at an LGS.

For example, I am a Rules Lawyer at my local store - I am asked every rule question and so forth. I am very careful not to take advantage of it, unless I am playing against Matt :)

I am also the Big Fish there as well - even though I certainly venture out and love competition.

And I am the HCCP most of all - but even then, I am gracious in losses (most of the time) and more so in winning. Its funny, on the forums I am almost always thrown into this category, yet in real life people would never see me as such in an average game. In fact, they might throw me into the FFG category just as often - as I do play for fun, enjoy trying stuff out, etc - even though I tend to win with it anyways.

Point is, some aspects of ourselves are abusable and some players do so more than others. I view this article as both a chance for us to learn to assess our local meta, but also to learn about what aspects of ourselves we need to be careful of. So my hope is that in seeing yourself in some of these categories, and seeing how close you could be to one of the negative stereotypes, will help you avoid falling into that behavior. Knowing the appropriate time to act on any one impulse is the key to creating a solid venue, and a good experience for the whole. Sometimes you need to play HCCP, other times as an FFG, and sometimes you have to play against the Cheater. Knowing what you are doing and who you are facing is very important.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:40 am 
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Great Article, Bill. As I was reading it, I kept seeing...parts of myself in almost every category. I am generally a HCCP, sometimes an FFG, and I'm a rules lawyer in the sense of knowing the rules and trying to help everyone understand them (but not use them to my advantage). There isn't really a "Big Fish" at my LGS, although there tends to be the same 4-5 people winning tournys each week (when I can make it :)). But that's nice because we have several HCCPs - it makes for a very competitive environment, and we're all the type that doesn't get really upset about losing if it's a good game.

Unfortunately, I'm also a Critiquer in a different sense - I tend to watch other people play and make comments not about Star Wars but about tactical advice and options - which I've found really ticks off some people, so I purposefully limit myself on that front, too.

But great article!


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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:12 pm 
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dnemiller wrote:
I was reading this over and over and Bill I think you missed one more personality type.


The Poor Sport.

This is the guy that whines. The dice thrower. The guy that when he wins he wants everyone to know it was because he is the most brilliant person on the earth. But when he loses.... he cannot give credit to anyone least of all his opponent. He will blame the dice, time running out because someone else suddenly was playing slow. There is always another reason why this person has lost.

This person is also not above and quite frequently netdecks. He will never really acknowledge that nothing is his fault. This person also once faced with the fact he is not very good at all will quit showing up. I know personally this personality type will create drama between the best player at the venue and the rest of the people there. He will show up when the best player is not at the venue also. This player will also regularly spread the rumor to the less informed players that the best players at the venue are cheating. Much like Bill's example of the theft... this type of player will make up stories to let the lesser players think that the store whiner would have won if only the best player had not cheated them.

Some gamestores are not littered with these type of gamers... but they are out there and generally some of the older players.


I'd say that this is a general combination of a few of the ones Bill mentioned, but mostly the 'Big Fish'. The poor sport is typically someone who wins except when faced by true competitors (the HCCPs), and so their the Big Fish of the group until the Shark comes along. :P

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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:18 pm 
One of the Sith on Malgus' Shuttle
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I've run into my fair share of Poor Sports, especially at GenCon. One guy got completely swamped by us Cincy players (3 in a row, lol) and after he lost to me he decided to just drop in general. At one point he was getting all excited because he Disintegrated my almost full health Aurra Sing, but then I had no difficulty finishing him off and he got pretty crabby. He did deserve it though, especially after how he had acted when he faced off against the previous Cincy player, Frakkin Mando...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:21 pm 
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jedispyder wrote:
I've run into my fair share of Poor Sports, especially at GenCon. One guy got completely swamped by us Cincy players (3 in a row, lol) and after he lost to me he decided to just drop in general. At one point he was getting all excited because he Disintegrated my almost full health Aurra Sing, but then I had no difficulty finishing him off and he got pretty crabby. He did deserve it though, especially after how he had acted when he faced off against the previous Cincy player, Frakkin Mando...


Combining SF references is a 2-minute penalty.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:36 pm 
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Fun article Bill!

I've known, and been a part of, most of the groups (except for the cheater. I don't recall playing a cheater, and I'm not one).

I wanted to give a shout out to the ones that really stick out to me.

“The For Fun Guy” - He thought he was HCCP, but he just wasn't very good. He kept talking about how his Exar and Gundark squad was soooo broken, even while losing at least 3 of the 4 rounds. He was having a good time, and that's what mattered.

I think I'd consider myself a "For Fun Guy", because I try to build things that, while trying to stay competitive, aren't the norm (check out Blue Sun on BlooMilk! I think it has potential!).

"The Rules Lawyer" - The name, to me, has a negative conotation, though it shouldn't. I would happily refer to Headache as "A Rules Guy", but not a "Lawyer". He has his snit together. I know he won't stear me, or anyone else, wrong. If/when he's not around then we would always refer to the HCCP below, because he didn't get to where he is by playing scrubs and making it up as he went.

Big Fish/Little Pond - While he wasn't a great player, he was loud and really big. He was physically imposing to the younger players and would talk as though his knowledge was unquestionable (regardless of how wrong it may be). I think deep down inside, he is the reason my son has lost interest in the game (or maybe it's because he's only 10 lol ). I believe some people on these boards have had run ins with him on the other boards. I'm not going to say who he is, but he's the same way in real life.

“The Hard Core Competitive Player” I remember the first time I met the #1 player in the state at one of my first tournaments. When he walked in the store I had no idea who he was. Half the people got up to greet him, shaking his hand and making sure to say "Hi". It was almost as though he were a celebrity. I thought it was kind of silly, but also kind of cool.

Turns out, he is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. I wouldn't call him "Hard Core". None of it goes to his head and he always offers a kind word or suggestion after slaughtering you.

The best part (for me) - I beat him once! Woo-Hoo. You know your a somebody when someone remembers beating you once 2 years ago. :lol:

Sorry that got a little long. I just wanted to give Cheers and Jeers to those that deserved them, even if Headache is the only one I called out by name. :D

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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
jedispyder wrote:
I've run into my fair share of Poor Sports, especially at GenCon. One guy got completely swamped by us Cincy players (3 in a row, lol) and after he lost to me he decided to just drop in general. At one point he was getting all excited because he Disintegrated my almost full health Aurra Sing, but then I had no difficulty finishing him off and he got pretty crabby. He did deserve it though, especially after how he had acted when he faced off against the previous Cincy player, Frakkin Mando...


Combining SF references is a 2-minute penalty.

Me confused, huh :?:

>>can't find anything to define SF in this situation, only sees SF as Sci-Fi or San Francisco<<

EDIT: Durr...never watched BSG so it took Lobo's help to let me know what happened here, lol...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:02 pm 
Master of the Order
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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
jedispyder wrote:
I've run into my fair share of Poor Sports, especially at GenCon. One guy got completely swamped by us Cincy players (3 in a row, lol) and after he lost to me he decided to just drop in general. At one point he was getting all excited because he Disintegrated my almost full health Aurra Sing, but then I had no difficulty finishing him off and he got pretty crabby. He did deserve it though, especially after how he had acted when he faced off against the previous Cincy player, Frakkin Mando...


Combining SF references is a 2-minute penalty.


LOL

Frakkin Mando is his screen name on the forums here. I think he's only posted like, maybe twice though. :P

And yes, he's a Battlestar nut as well as a Star Wars guy. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:11 pm 
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LOL! I get it now. I'm not into BSG (even though both Lobo and he tried during GenCon to get me into it). One of these days I'll watch it, especially with WingScribe now also trying to get me into it and 3302 & Lackey talking about it during our RPG session...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:45 pm 
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Ahhh
I remember when I used to be the "The Big Fish"
(I'm so glad the mantle is passed on to... )

I am still "The Distractor" though :twisted:


Excellent article again Bill
I'm really impressed with your ability to keep up with this task
bravo!


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 Post subject: Re: How to Win Part 3 - Understanding Gamer Personalities
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:08 pm 
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Madman, almost all of us at YQ are Distractors ;) But you definitely are the Rules Lawyer, cause they always go to you first and then to me if you're busy (or if I hear them first, lol). I think there was a point at the Release Tourney on Sunday where you, Lobo, Lackey, and I all answered someones question at the same time even though we were spread out across the room. Good times, good times...


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