It’s not for the first time I come to think about gaming styles. By this I mean how we approach each game that we play. A lot of this come from what we want from a game. Some of us may alter that approach to suit the opponent or the situation whereas other may come to table with the same mind set each and every time. For me I sometimes alter the way I play depending on the knowns about the game but for the most part I bring more or less the same attitude, with a little variation, to every game.
So what do I mean by play styles. What I’m talking about here is not whether you like Camo units in Infinity, X Wing swarms or ranged over close combat in Warhammer but more the attitude we bring to the social activity of gaming. I guess an obvious one is seal clubbing.
Anyone in gaming will know what this means but it is basically an experienced player crushing a new player. I’m personally not a fan of doing this but it depends what you want from the game. Those players that like competitive games and approach every game the same way may just always be on 11 and that’s fine, you just may want to let new club members play a different guy that’s all. Me I prefer to grow a community so while I enjoy a competitive game I’m also cool with intro’s where there isn’t really any ‘winning’ going on. So here I’ve already shown a way in which I change my play style to the game at hand. But this is kind of an exception as most of the time intro games are arranged that way and both parties know what they are getting into beforehand.
Another step up from that would competent players who maybe aren’t seasoned. This becomes more tricky as often these are the guys that maybe wont advertise their inexperience so it may not be known before time. I have been on both sides of the table on this one and honestly my feelings apply either way. I would likely mention it as if I thought a seasoned player would crush me they might want to use an under powered or experimental list. That way it may still be a challenge for them and I might not get murdered so badly. But then I would also never tell some one else what toys they can and can’t use. The problem here is more than once people have said this to me using the whole ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ ruse to get me off guard. I know a lot of people say that but you can often tell when they are fooling around, I’ve done this myself, but when they are adamant they are a newbie it’s an underhanded tactic I feel.
Oh no tournament gamers!
This is where things get more difficult, not least because this can be a touchy subject. Do I change my play style when I go to tournaments? Well sure, I’m less likely to let things slide than I am in a casual game but then I’m not all by the numbers either. This is where is helps to know your opponent. I’ve definitely said tough to an opponent who maybe forgot something and the game has moved on when I think that player is a competent one, but I’ve also reminded players of things that they may have missed that were obvious. So yeah I do tighten up a bit but I’m no ball buster. But tournaments get a bad rap sometimes, just because you got to tournament does not automatically mean you are hard nosed. There are some very good tournament players that are very casual and take that attitude to tournament games. But then for me it’s more the player than the setting the defines my play style. Top table tournament games can be a relaxed affair whereas some club games can be unbelievably tense. I think it comes down to the individual more than the setting, although some atmospheres can bring out the worst in us.
So what does this all mean. Should we change our play style? As I said previously some may some may not. But then it comes back to what we want out of the game. Sometimes it may be beneficial to approach the game with a different mind set if we are the sort of person that usually plays the same no matter what. Conversely it could be a problem if we change our play styles to the situation and read the situation wrong. At the end of the day we should be mindful that there are different play styles out there and the person opposite the table may have a different one than ours.