Sunday 22 September 2013

Tournament play. How to be a sore loser Warhammer style.

Nothing is more annoying than a sore loser (or winner for that matter). Ever since getting back into the hobby, I have heard some of the most amazing reasons as to why my opponent lost the game. Sometimes it is the "dice gods" or "bad luck." However, the king of the castle has to be the "I would have done this" gamer who creates an elaborate tactical debrief to explicitly show you how he would have won at the final hour . You know the type......I know you do.

I think, without boasting too much, that I have NEVER been a sore winner or loser (maybe once or twice when I completely tabled Siceralc). However, I can't say the same for my experience in tournaments. For an unknown reason, some tournament players consider it a near criminal offence to lose a game. Here is the situation that I'm talking about:

It's turn 4 or 5. You have maybe enough time to play through the end of turn 4, maybe 5 if you push it. However, your opponent knows he is in a bad position. Maybe, if you have really caught a bad one, he might even accuse you of "time wasting." You finish the player turns and that's it. Game over. You win. Oh wait......did you know that you actually lost? What you, as the winning player, don't understand is that if you had just had another few turns to play out, your opponent would have "obviously" won. 

What follows is an endless rant about what would have happened after a few more turns. Your army becomes immediately static while his becomes invincible and fast moving. It's a situation that I have been in many times. I've learned to just ignore it and move onto the next game, but, it overshadows that particular players sportsmanship legacy and, for that, I feel slightly empathetic. It's just amazing to see how many players are willing to trek down this path. It's really not necessary at all. If anything, it is best to talk about the game in an objective manner. I don't believe for a second that there is a single player out there who has played a game without making a single mistake. We are all human.....aren't we?

The point here is that no matter how, or why, you lose a game, there is no real reason as to belittle your opponent. If you ran out of time then that's just the way it went. Take it on the chin....shake hands and get down to the pub. 

I've had my fair share of these experiences, so enough from me, and onto you guys. What have you seen? Or how you deal with it?




  1. I've never been part of a tournament, but I know I've had problems with being a sore loser once or twice. Granted, its usually when I've been completely tabled by super-optimized Grey Knights being brought into out friendly little gaming circle where we try not to be super competitive.

    What I've found is that 40k is much more enjoyable for me if I view it as a narrative experience. There is something thrilling about that rare chance where, for example, a Tau Commander suit overwatches into a charging group of Space Marines with two plasma rifles and not only hits with both, but gets two precise shots. Then those two shots miraculously hit, wound, and kill the Terminator Chaplain as if by a decree of the gods. I was playing the Space Marines, and that is still one of my more memorable moments in 40k. It was just incredibly unlikely and could never have been predicted, but it was theatrical and dramatic when you consider it from the narrative side of things. It's viewing the game like this that helps me not be a sore loser when my poor Orks are forced to fight Tau and Eldar and almost inevitably lose.

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is this: if you're not having fun with a hobby, you (or some other person involved) are probably doing it wrong.

    1. As a side note, you can't get Precision Shots when when Snap Firing (e.g. in Overwatch). So whilst that sounds pretty epic, your Chaplain should have actually survived.

    2. Really? Oh well. We're pretty loose with the rules sometimes since we're just a few friends playing. I'll keep that in mind though.

    3. Yeah man, I think it's pretty sad (and rude) when a power gamer rocks up at the local hang out to try and table some less competitive players. I guess they have the right to want to win since they spent as much money as we have. However, I would pay to see a random table them with a fluff list! Would be hilarious.

  2. I see no reason to be little my opponents victory. Don't get me wrong, my compete level is at about a 9.5 but if your opponent was tactically better and made better choices, extend the hand and learn from your mistakes. I can't think of a quicker way to alienate yourself from potential future games than to get tagged as a sore loser.

  3. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup. We see plenty of this wherever we go and it seems one of the downfalls of the competitive side of the hobby.

    I had one today in fact, but you win some, you lose some, and in the face of someone like this all you can be is gracious in victory.

    (Not an ass like Crazy when he kills my poor tanks.)

  4. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that everyone, at some point, has lost a game of 40k. I know I have... lots in fact. While I tend to play against people I know (and don't mind losing against), I have been lucky that the people I have faced in the single tournament I've played so far were great, both in victory and defeat - it makes for a much more enjoyable game.

    For me though, it's the observers who aren't playing but feel compelled to give you a running commentary of where you are going wrong and what the major faults in your army list are.

    "Why did you take that, it's rubbish?"

    "You shouldn't move that there, that's really stupid"

    On the flip side, I'm happy to talk about the game I'm playing, I just want observers to understand the I'M playing it.


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