Gaming Stores: Some of the Horror Stories are True

headacheI’ve said this previously a few times on this blog but for the sake of the article I’ll quickly re-cap. When I got into 40K I did like most and frequented forums to absorb as much information about the game as I could. Something I commonly saw were players complaining about their local gaming stores and how terrible they were in regards to the player-base for assorted reasons. All that complaining I was reading kept me away from any LGS in my area since I figured that the wise words of the internet held true for any location. Long story short, I started going to a shop in the area and everyone was really cool so I’ve been going every week for the past 4-years or so.

Yesterday I went to an out-of-town team tournament with three others from my FLGS, so two teams. I had been to this particular shop once prior and that experience wasn’t great. However, I’m willing to give anything another shot and so I went down. I’m not going to get into details but suffice to say this second experience was no better than the first. Not a single person we played that day had a firm grasp on the rules. It’s one thing to be fuzzy on circumstantial stuff that rarely comes up but when you don’t know how rapid-fire weapons work in 6th edition, well that’s inexcusable. The day was full of that for my teammate and I as well as our friends who went with it. The worst part is they are all argumentative about the rules they get wrong. Again, we’re not talking grey-area stuff here, just simple basic rules.

The other team I went with have been to other shops in the region and it’s more of the same, just people who are terrible at rules and insist they are always right. Another player I know from my FLGS has traveled around the US and said that the shop we play at regularly is the only one he’s been to where the players know the rules and actually paint up their armies. I’m not going to make the claim that most shops are this way but, circling back here, I can now see all that complaining I read about early in my 40K days was not without merit. It’s too bad really. It seems people are so eager to play the game that understanding the rules comes in second to actually playing the game and I can’t fathom that. If you’re investing time and money into something you enjoy then why would you not want to play the game as intended? Some of these people at the out-of-town tournament are blatantly only there to win. I’m not judging them for their mentality but if your driving goal is to win then knowing the rules is the key to it. We have players at my FLGS that are driven players too but the difference is they know the rules well so that they can capitalize on the game system and do so legitimately.

There’s not much of a point to this article beyond me unwinding a bit so I won’t ramble on. It goes without saying that I will not be going back to that shop again. Babysitting my opponents through three rounds of games is not my idea of a good time.

  • Ming

    There is no place like home…there is no place like home…

    • Couldn’t agree more.

  • XRG is a great store. I had hoped it was closer to the norm rather than a positive exception. It’s just another reason to make sure you support your local store when you do find a good one!

  • I’ve been to a small variety of shops too and i think birds of a feather do tend to flock together. The gaming group or groups at one store tend to play one way and so all play together and are regulars, while those who want to play differently get together somewhere else. I think you also get those few who play differently from the majority at that shop but don’t know where else to go to. So like you said, the key is finding the group of players you mesh with on game philosophy (have fun or win at all costs, typically) and become a regular with them.
    Most of the shop groups I’ve met have been good guys. There have been a couple players I’ve played with once and that was enough for me. And sometimes I see some new player or nice guy who I feel sorry for because they always end up playing with some bullies who teach by beating the crap out of them in a game and not really explaining how it happened. When I first got here to San Antonio I was trying to find someone to play with and the only guy eager to give me his number was an a-hole when playing his “friend” — i imagined abusing his buddy wasn’t restricted to the game table. i never bothered trying to get a game with that guy.
    My other negative thing about game shops is just showing up on game night and hoping to get a game. In my experience, most of the guys already have their regular buds they play with and I end up spending an hour watching and waiting and end up just going home. So i tend to have only one or two guys I play with cuz I want a “play date” set up before I get there.
    Wow, I wrote more than I thought. Guess i better bring this up with my next therapy session… (kidding)

    • Good point on the players of a type sticking together. I’m not saying these guys who were clueless on the rules were bad guys, most seemed nice enough, but it was easy to see the propagation of misinformation in the group for sure.

      Fortunately at my FLGS we have around 20 players on 40K night and each week we pair off. Some guys setup games ahead of time but most just show up and figure out who they are playing. What your situation is though with finding a game seems pretty common though. I guess at my FLGS we just have it good. A large great group of players who know their rules and are there to have a good time.

      • I’ve heard from others at the store I frequent most that the guys are all good, and i’ve met some of them and agreed. i just don’t get out there much. i’m sure if i could make a game night i’d have a better experience. I envy you guys with your solid group tho. i have a friend in MI with a similar group of like-minded, reliable gamers.

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