Hello there! It’s that time of year again. The time for what used to be called regional that are now referred to ad “Primes”. With that come some of those sweet sweet prizes! Fantasy Flight really nails it’s prize support for all of it’s games and this new prime kit for Legion looks really stellar. With that said, I think it’s a good time to revisit sportsmanship as a whole as we will have a host of new players coming into the game and this is more important than ever.
I was once told that all miniatures games come down to three pillars. The first being the actual rules of the game. Do they make sense, are they easy, are they fun? The second being the Hobby side. Is there room for creativity? Do you enjoy painting? Do you like terrain making? And the third being sportsmanship. Are you fun to play the game with? Do you help new players? Do you make the experience better for being there? If any of those three pillars does not exist, it stops being what it is and you can probably find better experience elsewhere. The most important pillar to me is sportsmanship. Let me explain.
Let me start with a scenario that has happened to me more then a few times. It’s turn one, we both play our first command card, I play standing orders and they play maximum firepower/Coordinated bombardment. I then ask if they remember that it’s limited visibility. They look mortified. I then ask if they want to switch to standing orders and just put that card back in their hand. I made that mistake during one of my first tournaments for the game and remember how I felt like a big dummy and I wasted one of my best cards. Sure, I could gain an advantage in them throwing away a power card (a 1 pip especially) but I don’t want them to feel the way I did when that happened. We all make mistakes, and in this specific scenario a little kindness goes along way, even more so for a new player to the game. The idea I am trying to get across is cut your opponent some slack, and they will do the same back.
We all have had bad dice. We have had those games where we don’t save a single save, roll off a single suppression, or get results on an attack roll. They can get to everyone, but it’s important to keep your cool when this happens. Dice results are on a bell curve, and they will swing back your way at some point during the game or during the day. If you feel yourself start getting upset about them, take a sec to walk away to re-compose yourself. I can tell you first hand playing someone that is flying off the handle/has become absolutely miserable due to die results is really not fun and a super bad look for the new player. I have noticed it helps me to get excited about their good rolls as much as mine, for whatever reason it keeps my positive vibes up overall.
Declaring intent is a very important action that can really help a ton. Here is an example “My plan is to move my unit just outside of range two of your unit as not to set off your standby token”. Things like this can help clear up confusion and make the play experience for both players better. I try and do it as much as possible to give my opponent full information to what i want to do/what I expect to happen.
Rolling dice in a clear space and leaving the results for the other player to see is a good idea as well. I even go to the point of showing the dice in my hand for the attack so the opponent can verify that I am rolling the correct amount. That second part may seem a little overkill, but a lot of people new to the game don’t know what a lot of units do and it helps for me to make second checks to make sure I grabbed the right amount myself!
End of the day, just abide by the golden rule. Treat other players the way you want to be treated. We have a great community that I am always surprised by the kindness of and I just want the new players to get the same experience that I get from it! What do you do to help new players get into the game? Let us know!