Pimpcron lays out your options when dealing with Jerk-faces.
Greetings Earthlings! The World’s Smoothest Operator, Pimpcron is back! This week I want to discuss dealing with “the bad people” of 40k.
First off, let’s get things straight. I am a casual player and not a power gamer; but that aside, I am not talking exclusively about power gamers. Power Gamers may be the first group that casual people think about when they see people acting beardy in our hobby. But in reality, the whole Casual and Power styles are just philosophies and not personalities. I have enjoyed games against power gamers and been miserable with fluff players. It all depends on your opponent’s attitude, not always what he takes in his list.
So you are matched up in a game with someone who is a total rube. How do you handle it? Here are the things I’ve done; they range from hilarious fun to unleashing your beast on them.
Trolling the Haters
I have played many people who take the game way too seriously and literally suck the fun right out of the room. I mean the flowers in the vase went limp and a dark cloud hovered over our gaming table. I brought in a clown to lighten the mood and he committed suicide. No laughs, no joking, no smiles. To this type of person, the strategy (and probably winning) is paramount to their very existence. And they have no room for your fun-loving shenanigans and will shoot you down faster than a failed Grounded check if you ask to verify one of their rules. Getting bitchy if you get a rule wrong, being smug when they are right, and overall just making the game a chore. So what do you do?
Well my strategy of choice is to literally throw strategy out the window and troll my opponent. Cheat, distract him, ask him stupid questions. Literally just troll him until my heart’s content. “But Pimpcron, how old are you? Eight? That’s pretty childish.” I hear you say. Well my theory behind this strategy is thus: literally the only reason why I started playing this game was because I wanted to make new friends and have fun hanging out. Some of you might say that I am now having fun at his expense, but I say he was having “fun” at mine. This is a social game and your opponent’s experience is half your responsibility to make sure it’s good. But when someone comes in who has no regard for your fun they need to be trolled. Sorry.
Now having said that, only one or two players I have every played against meet the requirements for me to do this, but boy has it turned my mood around when I have to do it. Suddenly playing them isn’t a chore at all because we’re not even playing the same game. I’m there trying to make it miserable for them to play me so that they avoid me, and they are trying to win against a crazy person who doesn’t care if he wins. Now even as fun as this strategy can be against a fun-sucking jerk, it pales in comparison to the next one.
Crush Their Soul
The list of people I have employed this strategy on is about four times bigger than the last group of douches. These are a small group of people I have met that have truly earned my ire. Once again, these people have no regard for your fun and think they are generally better at the game than they actually are. So what do you do? Beat the living hell out of them.
My group of friends and I make a few trips each winter to a city a couple of hours away where they have several gaming stores that play 40k. It’s fun, refreshing, and good exercise to play a fresh batch of people you don’t normally play. One game in particular had a pretty cheesy player that was so beardy with his Leaf Blower army that my friend conceded after turn one of their game. I’m pretty sure this guy’s name was Sir Douche Baggington; smug, arrogant, and completely remorseless. So I watched a bit of their game and saw how he was acting to my very congenial friend. I saw his weaknesses and made a Necron list to kick in his teeth for being a jerk. After their game was finished (which didn’t take long) I quickly came up to him and asked him if he wanted to play. I told him I already had a list at the correct points and was ready to start deploying. I was urging him to just keep his list and not knowing what I was bringing or how angry I was, he agreed.
At the end beginning of turn three, most of my army is in his backfield, and half of his army is gone. Suddenly he looks at his watch and says he has to go. Even now I feel a surge of pride at making him tuck his tail and run after doing unspeakable things to my friend. Everybody in my group saw him flee and the look on his face was priceless. It’s actually a story my group still talks about once in a while and one of my proudest moments in this hobby. I know this also sounds childish and that I shouldn’t be vindictive over a stupid game, but the feeling of avenging my friend feels too good to stamp it down with reason and adulthood-induced logic.
Make a Rivalry Out of It
This last one is similar to the one above, but with a serious twist. You take a good old fashioned butt kicking and add some WWE flair. If you have a person in your gaming group that thinks they are hot stuff on the gaming table and is an all-around jerk face, have some fun with them and make a rivalry.
I just really enjoy playing the game and having fun with my friends. The only time I bring tough lists is when they are taking one, maybe by accident if I didn’t know how good a unit was. I like balanced games where strategy is most important and I enjoy joking around and not taking it too seriously. That is, until an asshole comes along.
We had a new player join our group one time, and he seemed okay to talk to at first. I knew he was a noob so I took a really soft Nids list to help him learn the game. I told him up front that he would murder me but I would do my best. Well, go figure, he murdered me like I predicted. But did we have a laugh? Did we enjoy our game? Nope. He rubbed it in my face every time I lost a model and was down-right gloating at the fact that he was clearing me off the table. He started just taking my models off the board when they died without asking me. Well that little shadow of a doubt that I give everybody just up and left. I saw this guy for who he was and decided to challenge him to a second game that night. High off of his win he just had, he agreed.
I then proceeded to wipe him off the table with a new list. Now you may be thinking I didn’t tell him certain rules etcetera because he’s a noob and I wanted to win, but that is not the case. It would have cheapened my win. So when he was deploying his Marines I mentioned several times that when my Mawloc comes in, he will want to spread out because of this and that reason. I fully disclosed everything to him so that I knew he wouldn’t be blind-sided. This, my friends, is another one of my favorite memories of playing this game out of spite. Haha.
You can do it without the tights though. Most of us shouldn’t be wearing tights.
So long story short, I have hunted him down every chance I get like a predator and made sure he knew who he was a dick to. He completely avoids playing me now because I only beat him. He isn’t part of my regular group, he comes and goes. But every chance I get, I call dibs on playing him. And he backs down. Is this childish? Yup. Should I be bigger than this? Yup. But sometimes you meet those people that just grind your gears and it is the most satisfying thing in the world to crush them. I wouldn’t do this if he were part of our regular gaming group because it would cause too much drama I think.
I don’t actually hate the guy, but it is fun to be able to drop the kid gloves whenever I see him. In almost every game I ever play, I like the person I’m playing against so I don’t want them to dislike playing the game. So I always try to be a good sport and play fair. But it is a nice change to make a rivalry with someone because it lets the blood get pumping.
Read my article Cheating To Lose to find some of the tips I use in making gaming fair for friends of different ability levels.
How do you deal with jerks?
Want to witness my slow descent into madness first-hand? Check out my blog at www.diceforthedicegod.com