Confrontation: Table Top Judo

confrontation: nerd fightHello all Stealthy Stealth here a new contributor on Creative Twilight and I am here to talk about confrontation. Now this isn’t the standard battle between little pirates, ninjas, aliens, zombies, vampires and robots. Its the battle that goes on between the players wielding these forces.

Everyone who plays 40K knows that rules misinterpretations happen all the time and that games can be won, lost or more importantly the players may not have any fun and even feel slighted. Since this is a fact we must prepare ourselves for this war of the minds.

Step one: Put yourself in a defensive position. This is the most important step in the war of wills because you may be able to avoid all conflict from this point on. Be confident friendly and personable. Look your opponent straight in eye and smile. Shake there hand introduce yourself. Compliment them on there army, there choice of units. Make sure that they understand your army. Openly discuss terrain looking for any snafu that might get in the way. You are befriending your opponent. You are also setting the tone for all communication. This will also give you an idea of who you are dealing with. Were they forthcoming with their list? Did they argue over terrain?

Step Two: Be observant. Do they press your buttons called cock diced consistently when it favors them or not. Measure consistently. Declare Deepstrike, outflank and the likes with clarity. If you notice inconsistent behavior call them on it gently. This is a warning shot. Where are you measuring from? I documented that you said reserve not out flank. You may be playing a space case, if so they will will just apologize and move on. You may also be playing a mental Jedi who is sizing you up and taking every advantage they can. Call them on it politely this will keep them from gaining momentum and pulling the rug out on you later. Gaining momentum? That;s right momentum like a snowball rolling down a hill getting bigger as it goes. Every time you say yes the more likely you are to say yes again. The more you submit the more likely you are submit again. Table top domestic violence. heh. This is pretty common in gaming groups actually. Just like dogs packs of people make alphas and the omega submits to them over and over. Most likely because the omega is a nice guy and does not enjoy conflict. Another common behavior in gamers is the aggressor does not have to prove themselves. I speak confidently so I do not have to prove myself and you are the losing side of this rules debate so you have to prove to me that I am wrong. If this is the case just say “can you show me in the rule book, I just want to get this right.”

Step Three: The final blow. If the first two steps have been executed properly you never make it here. If you have been on top of your game and you find yourself here then dig in. Now it is important to stay in your defensive position. Ultimately you could be wrong and you must be ready to except it however if the game is on the line and you know some thing is rotten in Denmark, stand your ground. First state your case, calmly and then smile. If they persist repeat what they are saying to you. So you are stating that I have to take an additional leadership test…. Then look confused and smile. Give them an out. If they continue to press make them restate there case by saying “how do you mean?” This is a great question because its purposely improper. Its basis is confusing and makes one question themselves. When they state there reason just counter with yours and show why again. If they persist to disagree with you and you have remained calm friendly smiling. You need to disarm your opponent. Take your rule book set it down look down and then say “ok, just tell me one more time. Just so I can understand.” You opponent will jump (thinking they have won) and state there case. Then immediately reply “I am so glad that you bring that point up and argue your point again.”

What if some one becomes belligerent? Most people will not. However if they do or they try to make it personal say “look I just want to have a friendly fun game isn’t that what you want?” They may not realize they are being an ass hat. Gamers are not known for great social etiquette. However if this doesn’t knock off the behavior you just have to rat them out to the TO. Its highly unlikely that things would need to go this far.

Well I hope that you enjoyed this first article and have fun letting those dice roll.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t tell if this is an article about how to be a passive-aggressive manipulating dipshit at the table, or how to deal with one.

  • Anonymous

    How do you mean?

    • Anonymous

      The idea that every game you arrive at the table to play is a “war of the minds” is insulting. It’s like saying “every player you meet is secretly a dick, and you should always be prepared for that person to be a dick…here’s how!”
      Step One pretty much says that.
      Step Two says “keep an eye on your opponent, because he’s planning something to screw you over. If you don’t watch like a hawk, he’ll cheat.”
      Step Three is “get belligerent.” The tactic described there comes off as “be artificially nice, and completely condescending”.  Your opponent, unless completely devoid of a history of social interaction, is going to see right through it.
      This is the sort of behaviour that leads to enmity, not resolution. The whole premise is that “I’m always right!”, since the arguments are referred to as “the opponent _disagrees_ with you.” Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean you’re right.

      I know players who act like this at the table, with the false smile, the condescending attitude, and they’re NEVER fun to play against, win or lose.

      Maybe if the article was “how to outjerk a jerk”, it’d feelless slimy.

      • stealthy stealth

        So lets say you wrote an article on conflict resoloution how would you have written it

        • TheRhino

          Conflict resolution?  ithink that’s where the wires crossed.  i didn’t read it as a conflict resolution case at all.

          First thing to do is properly frame the article. Present a clear, concise description of the situation you’re resolving. In this case, it would be “the game that bogs down into an impasse over a rules dispute.”

          While doing this, be sure to present the proper tone. The article as-is presents itself as “how to win the fight”, and not at all “how to come to an amicable resolution.” Part of that is caused by the way the situations are presented. Step One is a poor way to start out a game, because it lends itself to conflict. It’s like trying to dissolve a Mexican Standoff with a loaded shotgun.

          All in all, the article on conflict resolution should do the following:

          Describe the conflict, including how it reached conflict status.
          Present the arguments of both sides, and suggest possible compromises.
          The end.

          Rules disputes really aren’t a conflict resolution situation. There’s always a higher power in these sorts of things, or a group to which you can fall back. If the rules problem gets to a boiling point, you either call in the other players nearby, or the tournament organizer/rules judge.
          If you’re not in a turnament setting, there’s no reason at all to get heated over rules. There’s nothing on the line to get pissed about.

          • Anonymous

            Wires crossed. Well thats on me as the article writer I should have been more clear.

            Part of the problem is that I am trying to tackle to many scenarios at once. So framing the article would of been a good idea.  Plus breaking it into smaller bites.

            Like step one would have been how to avoid all conflict in the first place before a game starts. Then just write an article on that topic. 

            Or another article would of been how to handle playing a “passive-aggressive manipulating dipshit” Because that happens sometimes rarely but sometimes. 

            and finally how to make a compromise when no answers can be found. 

            Good feedback and  thanks for taking the time to reply.

            • Blogging is a learning experience for sure. I’ve put up a lot of articles in my time and getting constructive feedback is always a great thing. Not all articles are going to be hits, I’ve learned that.

            • TheRhino

              Ironically, I could have been less of a dink with my critique.

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