Some games just ain’t worth playing out.
Since the release of 8th Edition we’ve seen a number of different trends pop up at major events around the country. One of these that’s shown up a couple times is players, sometimes at top tables, quitting after turn one. On rare occasions they may even quit after the roll to go first. Lets take a look at why players do this and if it’s OK.
The truth is that most experienced competitive players can look at a game at a certain point and have a good idea of the likely outcome. There is a certain feeling you can get looking at a game that just tells you who will win. The point you can tell this varies from game to game and some games it never shows up. However in a lot of cases, especially with a couple of optimized lists, there will almost certainly come a point were one list pulls ahead. At this point a good player can say how the rest of the game will play and have a pretty good chance of being right. It’s at this point that a lot of players may considering calling it especially if they are losing. Why spend time and effort playing out a game you know you’ve lost?
The point when you can tell who will win comes a lot faster with gimmick lists. If a list relies on a gimmick or trick to win it will , most of the time, be clear as soon as that gimmick is either successful or fails who will win. The same is true of lists built around a handful of powerful units. If your list is built around getting Mortarion into combat and he dies before getting there you’ve most likely lost at that point. A lot of the best lists have depth to them that allows them to have things go wrong and still be a threat. Lists that don’t can fold quickly.
Due to the natures of tournaments you are more likely to see people calling games early in the last round of an event. In earlier rounds playing out a loss to get as many points as possible is an important step. Since most events allow for variable scoring, a minor loss can keep a player in the running. However at the end of a event most top players know where they stand and how many points they need to get to win or place. Once the chance of doing that is gone there is little incentive to fight tooth and nail for ever point.
So once a game is clearly decided, or seems to be, why do people quit? After all aren’t players at events to play? Well there are a number of reason to quit early in a game. No one really likes to lose and for some a quick loss is better than spending a couple of turns getting tabled. I also think for many sheer exhaustion plays a parts. Two day events which might have 5-7 rounds sometimes (like a lot of big events) are exhausting and down right draining. After you’ve played your heart out over the course of a couple days quitting can be appealing. This is another reason you see this more towards the end of events. A tried player, who’s played their fill over the weekend and can’t win has little incentive to keep playing. In addition some people have long drives home, or flights to catch and leaving early can be a boon.
So we can see why a player might quit after or before turn one, but is it OK? A fair number of people on the internet seem to think its not OK. I’ve seen insults thrown at people who give up early, calling them cry babies, and all kinds of things. There seems to a significant number of people who think you should play out a game no matter what.
At the end of the day I can’t agree with that way of thinking: this is game. A player doesn’t owe his time to the tournament. If you’re not having fun, or don’t want to play a game, don’t. That is your right. If you can tell how a game is going to go and want to skip it, do it. Unless you are purposely throwing a game to let someone win (i.e. cheating) I have no problem with a player giving up once they think they’ve lost. Myself? I wouldn’t do it simply after the roll off for first turn. And yes, while it might be clear who will win, the enemy could always flub his first turn. But if that first turn makes what will happen clear then I might call it.
Ultimately I don’t see any way to force a player to play a game they don’t want to. Not only would it be impractical it would border on being immoral. A player has the right to play or not play as they will it. Nor do I think it’s being a coward, crybaby, or “whatever” to quit after the first turn. There are a lot of reason you might want to stop playing. I don’t know and won’t judge you. Even if it’s as simple as not wanting to sit there and get tabled. That’s fine – I also don’t want to get tabled. And hey, if you want to stay and fight it out to the last roll, that’s also fine. It’s your game, you have to right to play or not to play and no one should judge you for that.
Let us know what you think about quitting after the first turn, down in the comments!
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