Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Spirit of the Game

By Wiley R. Peralta

Co-Best Sportsman Warhammer 40k GT 2010

In all honesty I was shocked when I won the Sportsmanship award (of course together with Pat Chua), I never thought I had a chance.

Coming in to the 40k Grand Tournament I had one thing on my mind: win. I have always seen myself as a competitive player and it is nice to prove your mettle against other opponents. The challenge of competition is thrilling and very addictive. Unfortunately, this year's GT was not mine to take (so I still am dreaming of that Best General or Best overall) and my performance was average with 2 Major wins, 1 Minor win and 2 Major Losses.

But of course the tourney experience itself is something to be remembered and were 2 days well spent, playing the hobby that I love and with friends (and more new friends) I enjoy gaming with and there is always next year. And that is where I believe I was able to reel in the Best in Sportsmanship award by making sure that the gaming experience was a mutually enjoyable one.

Here's a short list of mindsets that I believe help one become a sportsman:
1. Every Game Is a Learning Experience
Looking at 40k from this perspective is a refreshing one; both of you can learn from each other. For example, after the playing you can talk both about what happened, what one could have done instead, or your opinion on a certain unit, it's use and it's performance in the game. Compliments on an opponent's list, strategy and tactics also fall in line with this. This is something I picked up from Jay and Kuneho; game postmortems and room for improvement.

To be honest there is so much to talk about and whether you win or lose it's a great thing to try and learn from your opponent.

2. Be Honest, Play Clean and Be Fair
This is pretty much common sense. I try and make it a point to explain to my opponent everything; I avoid springing a trap on him by non-disclosure. I shake his hand before and after the game.

I measure my movement and don't go over, when I roll my dice I pick out the misses instead of the hits. It is also important to be clear and explain your movement and what you are doing to your opponent (ex. when you attempt a clipping maneuver). I avoid rules lawyering and give my opponent some leeway with his movement, dice-rolling and so on; or point out discrepancies and protests in a polite way.

I believe it's important that one or both of you don't feel cheated when the game is over.

3. Have Fun
40k is a hobby. This is our hobby. We have hobbies to relax and enjoy; at the very core it's all about having fun. If you take the hobby to seriously (like your life depends on it) means you are missing the point entirely.

Sure it's perfectly fine to cuss a bit when you roll those 2+ terminator saves and you roll a 1, or roll for difficult terrain and roll a double 1 and all those crucial rolls that never seem to work but shouldn't darken your mood or wreck your game altogether. Laugh it off, there are times when the dice just won't go your way; it's perfectly normal and it happens to everyone.

But a final caveat on this: always try and make sure BOTH of you have fun. If you get your kicks out of totally crushing your opponent and then rubbing it in you have got to grow up. It's fun to tease a bit, especially when you're pretty close but it's also easy to go overboard. Be sensitive.

A lot of this I've picked-up from the guys in the 40k community; you know who you are. :) Now that I think about it, when I started again with this hobby almost a year and a half back I didn't know much about sportsmanship,but if anything it's something one can always learn.

So keep playing and remember this hobby is about fun and friends. Keep it that way it's one of the best ways to make our little community grow.

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