GW Grognard: Be Nice to the Baby Seals

Hey everyone! Adam, from TFG Radio, here to keep it cool in the middle of this heatwave!

This is how I looked after my first tournament

Recently we had a discussion about someone going to their first tournament. They were thinking about just jumping in and going to the Las Vegas Open, or maybe to one of their local RTTs. For myself, my first Games Workshop tournament was the Los Angeles Grand Tournament in 2000. I had a great time, even though I had a losing record, and learned how bad bikes were in third edition. I didn’t have one bad opponent and learned a lot about the game. With the increased popularity of 8th edition 40K, you’re seeing a lot of new, and returning, players come into the game. Not all of them want to play on a competitive level, but they still want a chance at winning. So do everyone a favor anf be sure to hold back a little and teach the new player the ropes without  thoroughly crushing their army, along with their hopes and dreams.

I know it’s difficult to curb the bloodlust that sets in when you see a new player to the game, sometimes. We, usually, want that player to come back to the store or club so beating his army to a pulp the first chance you get may not be the best way to do it. In the past there have been a number of instances where I realized too late that I should have taken my foot off the pedal.

I can remember a number of times where players didn’t come back to the store, or the game, because I played too aggressive with my opponent. Instead of teaching them about the game, I used the opportunity to boost my own ego at their expanse. I regret the way that I acted and hope that some of them still found enjoyment in 40K elsewhere.

This never happens to me (well almost never)

Recently we had had a number a new players ask about playing a game at the store. I played against the new players, but with a very different attitude and in varying degreees depending on their experience with the game.  I played against a kid who had never played a game of 40K. Although I play ITC missions mainly, I just played a simple book mission and did not even include any of the FAQs or erratas that are out. We played as if the game had just been released. I also didn’t use any stratagems as I didn’t want to overwhelm him all at once. He seemed to enjoy the game immensely and was ecstatic that he was able to get a draw in his first game. His parent really appreciated it since he apparently waited for hours at a GW store and never got a game in.

Now I also played a game with a more experienced gamer who was just getting back into 40K. With him, I was able to hit a little harder but still pulled some punches so as to let him absorb and process some of the new game mechanics. Again, it was an enjoyable game for both of us and he seems excited to play the game, and even play in a competitive tournament.

These are just a couple of examples of ways to keep the game growing. Without the growth of the game, especially among younger people, then the industry as a whole will die.

That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts, and if you have any stories of either being the new player or teaching a new player, in the comments section. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!

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About Adam

Adam, aka Latin Gandalf, has been gaming since the early eighties and has played 40K since Rogue Trader (among a number of other games). He listens to more podcasts than any healthy person should and is currently the host for TFG Radio. He also is one of the head judges for LVO and other major 40K Grand Tournaments.

3 Responses to “GW Grognard: Be Nice to the Baby Seals”

  1. SeaPainter July 9, 2018 6:31 am #

    I like what you have to say here, and I think it gets to the heart of the conflict between “Competitive” and “Casual” players, that even when you’re playing a game just for fun, you still want to have a chance to win… or to have a chance to actually use your army, at the very least.

    Even if you don’t agree with this article, because you feel like its just letting the new players win… and then they won’t “learn” anything… you should at least use a very straight-forward & simple army to beat the newbie, which will give them an opportunity to learn the basic rules of the game while they’re losing

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 9, 2018 2:31 pm #

      Yeah, good points. I always let the new players win when they play me unless they specifically ask not to. It’s more important to keep them interested and excited than to get an easy win.

    • WestRider July 9, 2018 2:58 pm #

      I generally use a CC Army if I know I’m going up against a newbie. Ideally not a super fast one. Even if I do eventually swarm them down, that gives them some space and time to get a bit of a feel for their Army and the Game in general.

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