Sunday, July 4, 2010

Is it really That bad? Pick up games at the FLGS

Two things have led me to ask a few questions about what kind of places people play at, because the latest article here on BoLS has a tone that suggests there are just tons of players out there just being asses to everyone they play. Then add that in after reading the Tyranid and BA FAQ reactions across the web and I am starting to wonder if I play in some kind of Utopian dream FLGS where we just have a basic understanding of how not to be a dueche because I never see crybaby fits anymore, hardly ever see any truelly horrible rules nazi-ing and most of the stuff from the FAQs were already being played int the store (C'mon, you know the vindi has a large blast).
Sometimes I think the internet must hype people up because after going to Adepticon and playing across the eastern seaboard the last couple years and now in Michigan, I have only really seen a few examples of people actually being dicks on the level of rating an article on one of the largest 40k blogs on the web, BoLS. Or ... maybe I am wrong and have just been lucky. The worst I think it has ever gotten locally is that we used to have a 20-something year old crybaby who would fling his models into his case when they died and complain about how gay your army's rules were the whole game. In fact, I played him at combat patrol and he whined about his lesser daemons' performance as he cleaned up a seven man plague marine squad with seven of them and turned a loss into a draw with KP favoring him. He still whined, but he also doesn't play much anymore. We also had the old fellow from another FLGS come and start punching walls when he couldn't win a game, but he is gone now too.
Look, if there is somebody being a douche or regularly acts a fool and can't handle socially playing a wargame in a room full of his fellow nerds, then just don't play him and encourage others to do the same until he comes back around with his head on straight. That is what we do and they take the hint. Most of the time, they just correct themselves and come back with a new attitude - afterall they just want to play when it all comes down to it - if they don't they eventually move on to the world of XBox live where they can swear at little kids and touch themselves at the same time (not a bash on Xbox players, but there are a lot of dinks out there on that platform who really like to swear at kids).
Anyway, how about it? What's the climate like at your FLGS? Good bad ugly? How do you all handle the Duechers when they flare up or come around?


  1. While I'm looking forward to where I'm moving to ('burb of St. Louis on the IL side of the river w/ 3+ game stores within 30 minutes of each other) the Southern Illinois scene is a mixed bag. There are some great guys to play, and no one is truly horrible to compete against. My issue is that the hobby side of the game (painting mainly) is neglected. I don't mind proxys or counts as. Many of the kids are poor high school or college students, so I don't sweat the small stuff. But I don't like it so much when the locals throw down the same primed heap that they've been playing for years.

  2. Evolution is a kind of Utopia Old School. If you even look inside of Lansing there are some not so great players and places to play.
    Having played in a lot of places, including GW stores, I can say there are players who just are down right douches. I have played a couple but not around here thankfully

    We are lucky to have the group of players we have playing at good old Evolution.

  3. I have read the BoLS articles about "gaming etiquette" with the same amount of disbelief as you.

    I don't want to be overly critical of BoLS--I read it often, and am very happy with the content given the amount of money I pay to have access to it--but I really think what they describe is a reflection of how the BoLS contributors play.

    They can talk until they're Mordian Blue in the face about how they can be casual gamers and competitive gamers, but anyone who sits around and deconstructs codices to find weak and strong points until the Red Bull wears off is a different kind of player than what I would call "casual." I'm not sure you can just turn it off all that easily.

    Some of it, too, must be hyperbole. One guy one time threw a model. Now we all play against him all the time? Not likely.

    I've always had pretty good experiences playing. I just get berserk when people touch models without permission.

    I don't throw models when that happens, though.

  4. I think our own FLGS has been lucky, but mainly because we decided right from the start that this is how we would be, as a reflection against a different gaming store in the area and the perception many players had of the attitude of that store and some of the players in it.

    So far we have been successful but it took us a longer time to earn a reputation as a good place to gave for fun, but still highly competitive, games due to the fact we were not all douches to each other and would sometimes take silly lists, and we don't talk down to new players.

  5. Do not play in Hobbytown USA in Kennesaw Georgia.

    Man. I have NEVER seen a group of more unfriendlier gamers. I've stopped in there three times to pick up paints, magazines, some troops, typical stuff. Saw some games going on and thought to check'm out. I am pretty quiet and am a good observer and know not to bother gamers while they are deep in a game. I don't like being distrubed either, but I try to answer as much as possible any polite questions when I am gaming. You'd think someone watching a game who tries to remain a decent distance away and out of the way wouldn't bother anyone. That does not hold true for the gamers at this store. I was apparently standing too close and was told to step away. I'm like..."Okay, my apologies. Have a nice day." The next time I went in I thought to ask a couple questions to a game that was obviously on a break and one word answers were the result. It's like, jeez, all I asked was what was happening in the game and to compliment the painting skill. Guess that is too much these days. Anyway, I can't think of less friendly group of gamers than the 40kers and FoW players there.

  6. Well, choice of FLGS's in Alaska sucks. In my area, there are only two stores. One is home to power-gamers and rules-nazis. The other is home to casual gamers that will not take the game seriously, and tons of kids with nowhere else to be (leading to all sorts of problems associated with adolescents and teenage angst).

    I guess you're just lucky! I stopped going to either FLGS, and now am a stay-at-home hermit who tries to get his friends over for a game.

  7. Wow, a lot of different experiences and comments here. This is perhaps on of the most interesting series of answers ever. It is awesome to hear from such a variety of places from Georgia to Alaska!

  8. @Jason
    I would disagree. You can "optimize" a list any way you want- and while optimizing to win is the most common use, you can also optimize to find the way to fit the most Storm Bolters in an army, or maximize the CC capability of a single Inquisitor Lord. Now, some people don't know how to tone their list down, but these people are either jerks (if they refuse to do so) or are just copying it and don't understand it (if they're unable to do so.)

    My FLGS is generally fairly casual, but that comes in part from it being relatively small. generally, as the player base of a store expands, casual play fades more toward the background somewhat, as there is more to be win from victory in a tournament and less likelihood that you know most/all of the other players particularly well.

    Partly social pressures are a factor- especially with a small group where everyone is friends, there's a tendency to be more relaxed about things, as you know the people well enough to be assured that there's no hostile intent behind any misunderstandings. The "culture" of the store can also vary a lot from place to place- individually owned stores tend to have more of a "our unique take on the hobby" than the GW stores, which are more standardized and as much retail outlets as they are gaming centers.

  9. I've played in just about every store in SE Michigan, and even a few games in Toledo. I have yet to have run into more than 1 bad game and the kid playing even admitted he had "social anxiety problems" so in his defense he was overcoming a problem of his own just to come out and play a stranger.

    Though I typically try to talk to people for 5 minutes or so before jumping into a game, I try to gauge what I think their play style/level of friendliness will be based on that conversation, if I get a bad feeling about someone in 5 minutes chances are I'm not going to enjoy a hour or two across the board from them.

    Plus 5 minutes is plenty of time to detect the gamer funk.

  10. For the longest time I shied away from going to a LGS because of the horror stories I heard on sites like BoLS. One day I said the hell with it and went down and have been going religiously since.

    I've never had a problem with anyone there. There are some players who whine a bit but nothing too severe. We have a good mix of casual and hardcore players. Everyone is friendly and there's never any drama.

    Oh, this is in Maine so now we have utmost northeast to the utmost northwest :)