Welcome back to the Jedha Journal! Now that tournament season is in full swing and Legion has officially moved into its Year 2 cycle, Zach and I thought it would be useful to put out an overview of sportsmanship in Legion and how it applies to everyone. We would like to casually discuss the topic without diving down the rabbit hole too much, but think it’s something that is worth at least brushing upon.
The easiest way to be a good sportsman in Legion, and really any game, is to know the rules and know the cards you brought with you inside and out. Simply knowing what you are playing with, and having the respect for your opponent to be knowledgeable about both your own and their own units, can prevent so many discussions, arguments, and inconsistencies before they even begin. Just think how much easier driving would be if everyone knew what to do….
I want to give a quick kudos to Jay from The Fifth Trooper for this next point, as anyone who listens to Jay’s casts knows that he is a huge proponent of this idea. Narrating your actions is the best way to preemptively halt an argument from beginning. Think back to the last time you had a disagreement with another Legion player; it probably went somewhere along the lines of “Hey, that wasn’t range 3 before!”, didn’t it? By talking through all of your movements, actions, and ranges, you are able to keep the game-state as accurate as possible, and have a more enjoyable playing experience with your opponent. This plays directly into the idea of being open about accidents. Everyone who has ever played a tabletop game has accidentally bumped a model or a piece of terrain. When this happens, it is the responsibility of the player to announce that something has been bumped and for both players to acknowledge this. By ensuring that both players understand and can fix any mistakes, arguments can be avoided and the game-state can remain legal and fun. This player discussion can also avoid the necessity of calling a judge for an issue that should never escalate.
There are two generic rules we would like to present on sportsmanship, and they’re potentially easy to understand yet the most common ones broken: don’t twist the rules, and don’t be a schmuck. Legion has quite a few rules, and even more exceptions, and it’s extremely likely that a newer or intermediate player does not have every single bullet point memorized. This is absolutely no excuse for a player to twist a rule or an interpretation for his or her own benefit. If you suspect something like this is happening, calling a judge is the very next action you should take. However, if there is a situation that arises that you are not one hundred percent confident about, there is nothing wrong with checking the Rules Reference Guide, asking your opponent for clarification, and attempting to find a compromise before calling the judge.
Knowing when to call a judge, as well as having the right mindset about it, can play a crucial role in sportsmanship. There is absolutely nothing wrong or impolite about calling a judge when a dispute or potential dispute arises, it is quite literally the only reason that person is at the event. The very first page of the new FFG Floor Rules documents reads, “It is the Judges’ duty to determine the proper resolution to any issues that may occur over the course of an event…”, pretty straightforward right?
Next, and certainly not least, just don’t be a schmuck. Everybody reading this knows what kind of behaviors they don’t like to see across the table from them, so don’t be that person. If you think something you’re doing would cause another player to become agitated, resist the urge and act another way. Legion is still in its infancy as a community, and the negative connotation that comes with a lack of sportsmanship is a black mark we cannot afford to have. If there is one Golden Rule you take from this, it is such: Be the player who draws a new person into the game, and not the player that creates snarky internet comments. Remember: at the end of the day we’re pushing plastic toys that we assemble like the grown children that we are, from a Galaxy far, far away….that doesn’t even exist. Having fun is what Star Wars Legion is all about!
As readers of this small time blog, we’re sure you also listen to The Notorious Scoundrels. A few episodes ago they had an entire episode dedicated to this topic and brush upon it again this past week after some recent incidents. (No we will not go into details about it nor should anyone else. If you have heard about it, use it as a learning experience.) One thing the Scoundrels brought up in this past episode is how to start off on the right foot with your opponent. This doesn’t need to be a stand off-ish thing right from the get go. Speak to your opponent like how you’d like to be spoken to. Get to know them. Ask them “we’re they’re from?”, “how often they play?”, “what’s their local scene about?”, “are you on the Legion Discord?” to try and put a face to a name. Things like this can go a long way in setting the tone for the rest of your match, potentially you’re entire day.
If you’re looking to practice your sportsmanship, there are two great events coming up, the London Grand Championship and the Canadian Grand Championship. The London GT runs from September 12-14thand includes a host of prizes for top 3, a swagbag for anyone who attends, and 32 custom tables made by Ellis Priestley and Nicky Myland. The Canadian GT, now being head-manned by the ever moving main judge Brendon Franz and World Champion Luke Cook, runs from August 24-25thand spots and prizes are filling up quickly. Both tournaments include tickets on the line for Worlds and will be fantastic experiences.
We hope that this rambling article has brought a basic understanding of how to act when attending a Legion event, and once again invite you to listen to the Podcast episodes listed above. As Legion continues to grow, we hope everyone reading can continue to grow our community in a positive light, and be the ambassadors that Legion needs. Luke, Alex, and all the staff at FFG have done a phenomenal job at engaging with the community, and its up to us to take that next step. Mike looks to be a good sportsman and have a great run tomorrow at the Maryland Rallypoint Qualifier! (No pressure) Until next time, thanks for stopping by the Jedha Journal!
-Mike and Zach