Saturday, July 28, 2012

This ain't the Olympics (on being kind to n00bs)

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

It may come as a surprise to some that I love the Olympics. Summer or winter, it doesn't matter to me. I luvs 'em.
Olympic athletes have a singular purity of purpose that I admire. Their entire lives orbit around the sport they participate in, and their goal is simple- bring home Gold for the country they represent. Not just for themselves, but for their country.

*I react this way when I roll 6's*

Olympic athletes tend to maintain a level of professionalism and sportsmanship throughout the games that I respect. There's honor there, by and large, and despite my general disdain for sports, I find myself drawn in every time the Olympics roll around.
So here's me, hoping Michael Phelps put the bong down and got his practice laps in (nice job qualifying, Mike!), hoping Hope Solo is on point in goal and the US Women's Soccer team brings home the Gold and avenges their World Cup loss, and getting a huge kick outta Rowan Atkinson during the opening ceremony.
Ah, good ol' competition. To me, the Olympics prove that it's a 'good thing.' Events like the Olympics give me hope in humanity.

And then there's the Ultimate Rival....sigh.

One of our recent debates has centered around the fact that our gaming club has asked him to 'be nicer' when giving demo games of Flames of War. He was nominated for this task simply because he owns so much FoW stuffs (both models and terrain), that he can literally leave several armies at the store at all times solely for this purpose. Customers visiting the game store we play at who express interest in FoW can schedule a demo game with the staff, and the Ultimate Rival will show up and talk them through the basics.
That's the theory, anyway.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, the Ultimate Rival has taken great joy in crushing each and every person he's given a demo game to. The last four people he's beaten never returned to the store, and well, that ain't good, for obvious reasons.
We want to grow our FoW community, not drive people away. We want the store where we play to make money.
Y'know- professionalism. Sportsmanship.
There's a time for hard-core competition, for sure, but there's also a time for training, for teaching and learning. When it comes to hand-holding a baby seal through his first game of anything, that simply isn't the time to get all competitive, in my opinion.

*The new guy ain't ready for this level yet (but damn- Hope Solo is tough! No header for you!)*

I recently introduced my friend Nascar (we all have nicknames where I live) to FoW, and I had a LOT of fun doing it. Seeing my buddy all amped up and hanging on every roll of the dice Maybe I'm a lil' jaded. Maybe I've played so many games that I don't have the same level of enthusiasm any more, I dunno.
Oh, but seeing Nascar jumping up and down, pumping his fist at every successful save bought it all back to me.

I let him win the first game, and I had absolutely no issues doing so. I was happy to do it, in fact. Nascar had a huge grin, and his eyes shone with victory. In that moment, he was filled with hobby joy, and I'd be a flat out liar if I said that I wasn't happy, just seeing him happy.
I know I did the right thing, because he immediately asked me if we could play another. I'm absolutely certain I did the right thing, becasue halfway through our second game, he was animatedly discussing his plans for the third. We played on until well after midnight.
We have a game scheduled for later today.

Sometimes I think experienced gamers may have forgotten what being a noob felt like. Worse yet, I think that some experienced gamers use the word noob as an insult. This is especially prevalent in on-line gaming, but it occurs in our hobby, as well. Many of the games we play are complex, and possibly intimidating to the newcomer. More than that, mini-gaming represents a considerable investment in both time and money.
It behooves us, as a community, to kindle the interest shown by the new bloods, not to discourage them.

Take care of the noobs. Represent our community in a friendly manner. Be inclusive, be welcoming.
Save your Olympic caliber play for where it matters, at a tournament.
That's all I have to say about that.

Until next time, folks- Exit with catchphrase!




  1. Every time a new edition of 40k comes out I feel like a noob all over again (cue Madonna's like a virgin). Seriously, have you seen all the damn URS for 6th? I studied less for University and came away knowing more. Is FOW any simpler than 40k cause I think I'm getting to old and confused to enjoy 40K anymore. Is it wrong that I actually long for 3rd or 4th edition?

    1. Flames of War doesn't get a complete re-do with every edition, just refinements. So once you learn the core rules, you're good.
      Things like long range/short range shooting and concealment will never change, so the changes between version 2 and version 3 were mostly minor. The biggest change was to mechanized infantry- they're more viable now.

      I'm right there with ya, buddy- I'm a lil' too old, and maybe a lil' too grumpy to wanna re-learn a gaming system from the ground up every time it gets updated.

    2. Old?! You think you're old... when you get as old as the corner... I'll be nailed in a coffin... or be displayed in some college as an example of 'Don't do this to your body during your lifetime!'

      I'll be in the sandy corner on vacation...


    3. CK, do you take a corner with you on vacation, or have the hotel staff set one up for you?

  2. Awesome post. How you treat noobs basically shows whether you're wise Yoda or jerk Darth Vader I reckon. One of them helps people to become strong, the other one chokes them with psycho power for displaying weakness.

    Weird, commenting on one of your posts here I feel like . . . I followed you home or something.

    :D (creepy stalker grin)

    1. lol,'ve done it now- you went and gave Lo' the idea for this week's top-x!

      As for the new jacks, they're like 'hobbyists in training.'
      Nascar is currently assembling the box of Panzer IV's I gave him. He texts me pics.
      It's so cute.
      Gotta tell ya, his enthusiasm is contagious; I've played more games of FoW in the last month than I ever have before.
      We're currently plotting together against the Ultimate Rival.

  3. This post is exactly why I can't quit you, SinSynn. Michael Scott, indeed.

    Don't worry about the stalking thing, James. If no one stalks him, SinSynn is forced to send himself threatening notes made out of letters cut out of magazines and newspapers. In a way, you're really doing him a service.

    1. I'm currently stalking Hope Solo, so all's fair, I guess!