Thursday, June 16

The Casual-Competitive player

Hey everyone... I wanted to talk about an idea that I have been having for a while.  I know it isn't entirely original, but Id like to go over it anyhow.  Lately I have been referring to some gamers as a "Casual-Competitive," gamer, today I wanted to talk about what that is.

First off, lets go over the already heavily used terms that describe gamers...

1. WAAC Player:
 This guy is generally a giant jerk-wad and doesn't care what you think about him, or the game.  He likely could give two shakes about how you have heraldic shields on your troop transports that all match the heraldry found on the greaves of your Grey Knights.  He is just going to have you pick up your crap as he beats your face in. The WAAC player has a beautifully painted army that he only painted to get extra "overall," points...or had commissioned.  He is also the same player that will try and act nice during deployment... Generally he will do this so you let your guard down and think to yourself "wow, this guy could be pretty cool to play against."  Don't let this fool you, he may seem all nice and fluffy before the game begins but soon after turn two, when things start dying, he turns into Charlie...

You see, he can't help it...its all that tiger blood he has been drinking that makes him WIN so hard.  This player will also not notify you if you make some small mistake and will yell at you when you do some small 'questionable thing,' like moving a tank and then moving it back to its original position because you didn't like the first move.  If his Mephiston gets charged by your Grey Knights he won't say anything about psyk-out grenades... (can't blame him there, lol)

All in all this guy generally isn't any fun to play against.  When his friends walk by to see how the round is going he laughs at your stupidity in front of your face.  Even if you do pull off the win against this guy he will likely hate you for the rest of the weekend...  No matter how the game ended, the world is a blacker place after playing him.

2. The fluffy Bunny/ baby seal:
  This guy is generally the one you get after playing the WAAC Player.  His models have really cool conversions that aren't painted very well, some of it may not be painted at all.  Of course, he could be an 'aritst-fluffy-bunny,' in which case his stuff is super-sexy!  Anyhow, this guy is awesome! It is very likely that he is already drunk when you get to the table and he decided that you can have a drink with him... He probably bought a beer and a gatorade just in case you don't drink.  This guy will likely use movement trays with his orks because "it is easier this way."  All in all he is a really cool dude.  Where is the problem you ask?  Ill tell you....  The game is a pushover, so much so that you feel really bad for getting max points against him.  He is by far your most favorite opponent, but the game wasn't challenging at all.    He likely doesn't argue you on any rules...either because he doesn't know them enough to argue, or he simply doesn't care.  During the last turn of the game he asks you "Ok, you win and get full points...But can you just charge Ghazskull just to see what would happen?" Your happy to oblige.

So those are the two most-often used terms. But isn't there something in the middle? Perhaps someone who is cool, but gives you a tough, well fought, game?

Introducing: The Casual-Competitve Gamers.

These are guys that your not quite sure what to expect when you face off against them.  Their army is nicely painted (by them).  Their army isn't necessarily a "net list," but it looks like it could put down some hurt.  Usually this guy will remind you if you forget something like issuing an order...Though he still might not tell you something that would totally lose him the game.  This is the player that will likely let you go back to your movement if you forgot to do something.  Generally he doesn't want to beat someone because that person forgot a rule... He wants to win because his tactics and such were simply better.  He will usually tell some jokes, but gets serious when the game comes down to the line. He knows the rules but might forget small details from time to time. This Gamer's attitude is this way generally because he has already proven himself on the big scale... Likely winning large tournaments in the past.  They know that they can win and as such they know they don't have to be a douche-waffle to prove it. Either that, or they don't care too much about being 'best overall,' as long as they feel they played well. All in all they are more casual about winning, but they still want to win, nonetheless.  This person might name their characters, or include some 'less-effective units,' just because he thinks they "are cool." When you play your game with him you aren't left feeling happy and fuzzy, but you will likely share a beer with this guy after the tourney and laugh about your game and how tough it was.

I personally feel that most players are in the "CCG," area.  Most of us want to win, but aren't going to be jerks about the experience.  Then again, most of us aren't fluffy bunnies either.  I can't stand how the internet has tried to put us into one of these two baskets for the past few years... As such, I felt it was time to create that third option.

I consider myself a Casual-Competitive player.  I have won major GT's in my Past, and it was great.  During that time I played rhino rush Blood Angels and I was 100% WAAC.  I didn't care about my opponent or the game much beyond winning... Now, though, I can throw dice with the best of them and come out on top, but if I don't it isn't the end of the world.  My rules knowledge is good, but I shouldn't be giving out detailed rules judgments all the time.  My armies are painted nicely with freehand and highlights, not because I'll get more points... But because I like them to look cool.  If we play you might get frustrated at times (as will I) but once dice are down we'll laugh about how your wolf star wears paper armor.

Are you the type of person who has a good handle on the rules, wants to win, plays hard but is willing to concede a few points and isn't throwing dice/cheating to win? Then you might just be a casual-competitive player too.

What kind of player are you?  Should there be more than three "groups,"? Comments!



  1. Heh, I wonder what people would think I am :-p

    I think I fit into the third category easily enough, but I'm guessing most people think they also fit into that category- it's a somewhat flattering group to be a part of.

    It's great that there is so much diversity in the hobby- the problem is trying to mix everyone together. I have a good friend who is for sure a fluff-bunny, and though I'm not a douche to him at all when we play, he doesn't think it's fun to play against me, because I "want to win too much". In a tournament, if he didn't know me at all, he would label me as a WAAC player. So, I think a lot of it is in perspective as well.


    If that makes sense. :-p

  2. Xaereth- You for sure are a WAAC jerk! (jk,lol)... From playing you I would say that your Casual-Competitive... When your Wolf-Star epic failed you didn't just quit and complain about how broken GK are, you tried to hold up as best you could and took the game for what it was, but that doesn't mean that you didn't want to win.

    Here is an example of someone I think is WAAC. I was a a major Con and I was in the process of tabling my opponent. In his turn 3 he forgot to move a chimera and then asked me if he could go back. I said "sure, as long as it doesn't change the game Im cool." He went and moved onto the objective! Then he said I was "ok with it." Which I wasn't. He then slow played me until there was 10 minutes left he finished his turn and then said "there wasn't enough time to finish my turn. I called crap and said that all i needed to do was move a speeder to contest his only objective and I would win. He argued until he called a judge over. By the time the judge got to the table there was 3 minutes left. The judge said there wasn't enough time and gave him the win. That is a WAAC player. The good news is though, I finished higher than him overall.

    Ill say this much... WAAC players will want to be called CCG but the whole "casual," part will make them turn away. lol


  3. Seeing your story about the WAAC player, makes me thankful I live in a city where the threat of getting your ass kicked is prevalent enough that it deters such actions.

    I live in Northern California, and we have enough red necks and good ol boys to ensure that douchebaggery only happens once.

    Thanks for the laugh.


  4. Lol, I'm a SoCal boy myself, so I know very well what dangers lie in wait for those attempting "douche-baggery," in NorCal.


  5. I'm a little bit of CCG and fluffy bunny. In 40k I'm the fluffiest of all bunnies, I only collect it for the cool models that are fun to paint and have literally no idea how to go about playing the game (I only found out recently how you roll 'wounds' against vehicles :S). In fantasy, I'm more of a CCG (though still a bit fluffy, and I always take carrots to competitions).
    Good post in any case - it made me laugh :D

  6. Hmmm. I too find myself asking what others would class me in.

    Personally, and as unbiasedly as I can manage, I think I'm in the CCG category most of the time.

    Yeah, most of the time. I'm as guilty as the next guy as occasionally having 'that' day with the hobby where I simply devolve in to the dice rolling "take this many saves" Guard monster.

    That usually only happens after 'the child' has dropped one of my tanks on to the floor and cosigned it to the tool bench for repairs, forcing me to borrow a Blood Angels Rhino as a proxy. (After which of course you smile at the parent and say "Bah, don't worry about it, it happens more than you would think", which is a blatant lie.)

    Then your dice betray you, rolling ones on every difficult terrain test your vehicles try to make. Your Creed command squad rolls a twelve for Morale, and Creed is then shot by your commissar lord.

    And, then capping it off, you get "that" person in the store/venue who just grinds you in all the wrong ways, mollesting the gearbox of your sanity and pushing your good nature to its limits of tolerance.

    We have such a person - a regular, regrettably - at our FLGS. She's the spectator who has absolutely nothing to do with the game you're playing, but knows all the rules, and leans over the table at constant intervals to help your opponent measure, telling them what rolls they require, and what tactics work against you.

    (Oh lord help me, just thinking about it is making me boil...)

    So yeah, largely a CCG, with days where I devolve in to an arse because I just hate humanity. (Damn you, depression! Why must you swing at me with your lows! I am NOT a chariot!)

  7. Lmao! That cracks me up hearing about that girl... The guys at my FLGS watch games and make comments. But mostly it is insults about your ugly shoes or jokes about how your space vampires (BA) are sooooo shiny! It's actually pretty funny, though games often take 4 hours to finish because we are all laughing. We call these people the "peanut gallery," and even though they can make as many jokes as they want there is one rule... No helping other players!!! (unless both players agree that you can help one player)

    LoL She is a IAAC (interfere at all costs).


  8. I think it depends on who I am playing. I've played a lot of Fantasy tournaments and won my share of them, so usually I'm pretty cool about playing nowadays. There are some players that can still get me completely worked up to the point where I just want to cause them as much misery as possible. When I'm playing these guys and there is blood in the water...I'm going all in to win..without cheating of course.
    Especially guys who 'chipmunked' me in the past, which is the thing that really infuriates me and is sure to guarantee that you'll actually have a 'bad' game against me if we meet again.

    On the other hand, I like having a really nicely painted army and have been known to try out a lot of different themed armies when it's just for fun. I've even brought All-Khorne armies to a couple tournaments just to see how I'd do (Did OK but didn't win of course).

    Xaereth, I watched some of your first game at the Ardboyz Semis and I personally thought you acted way cooler than I would have been against your opponent! I still owe you a game against my WoC.

    So, for me it depends on my opponent..that is what determines what type of player I am that game.

  9. Hmmmm.....I'm having a hard time fitting these categories. Help me out here. These things are true about me:
    1 I play Imperial Guard. always have. (so yes, I DO reserve the right to make "did it before it was cool" comments to the random ass-hats I run accross)
    2. An normally very laid back, and relaxed for a pick-up game. choose lists that aren't super or cheesy, make reminders, but play a firm game.
    3. When tournament time comes around, I change somewhat. I am still courteous, but the "kid gloves" so to speak, are off. I am not above letting you beat yourself, but I am careful not to say or do anything that might make you feel as if I pressured you to hurry unduly, thus making you forget something. If you forget something, it'll be only because YOU forgot it. If you remember quickly after saying, "OK your turn", I will still let you go back. But not once I've gotten a couple of units moved on my turn.
    4. This is the big one. I am taking a list to a tournament, not because I beleive it is powerful (because it certaintly isn't), but because I am trying to expose and exploit mental vulnerabilites in my opponant. I am not attacking his army, nor is my attack on his goals. It is on his ideas of what is expected at a table. I am attacking his faith in himself, and in his ability to judge what is a good move at the table. I am not a person at the table. Nice or otherwise. I am impassive, wether the game goes well or poorly, and have all the aparent humanity of HAVE BLUE during a game with this list. If all goes well, my opponants will probably not do well in the rest of thier games that day, though that's more a side-effect than a goal. Just to clarify, there are no "gotcha" tactics involved. no obfuscation, no muddy list writing, no trying to hide what's in a unit, no "counts as" or proxied crap. It's just foot guard, swarming across the table at you, and coming from all sides. Inexhorably, losses be damned. to the very last man, they're coming. coming to stab you with thier bayonets, with that blendy paint job that makes it hard to tell just how many of buggers there really are. (that's kind of the reaction I got in a test game.)

    And there you have it. I'm a different person depending on the situation. So help me find my nich. Am I pushing the boundary too far with my game plan? Does the reason why I am pursueing that plan of attack ever justify it? let's get a real discusion going on this one.

  10. @ Quinn and Dragoon: I should have included something that talked about how being a "Casual Competitive Gamer," is not 100% defined by being either casual or competitive... It is a balance of both.

    Just because you change your attitude based on who your playing doesn't mean your WAAC.

    Dragoon, you said what I think is a CCG pretty clearly "...Im not above letting you beat yourself...If you remember quickly...I will let you go back." Also one big thing you point out that is a huge difference between WAAC and CCG players is exactly what you said about not hiding gotcha crap like obfuscation amongst units or muddy list writing... A CCG wants to win, but they aren't going to win-at-all-costs...for them there is a "too far,"

    As far as pushing the boundary too far with your tactics... I think it is a great plan, the only questions is how much will the psychological game actually affect the real game? I know some armies won't be able to handle you at all (Las plas razorback spam.)...But other won't have a hard time at all.


  11. I love this article.
    Like most I do belive I am CCG approved, I even have been the guy who brings the beers and soda to major events. Its great for your sports score as well.

    I always try to have a great, fun game no matter what the conditions are. Fame, prizes or cash money can make people get frustrated from time to time and I understand that.

    Played in a $1000 cash 5 game tourny once and everyone was cool, so much so that it was a suprize. I came in 3rd, got a box of spawn and loved it. Also, played a home game once that almost ended in a fight. We were each having a bad day, so it can depend on the situation.

    I think its easy to group players together as black or white but for the most part the majority are grey. (Thats CCG)

    Having a good TO or judge should be mentioned too. One local store I play at has a TO that dosnt play the game and is out of touch with the game in general. This has an extreme effect on the players attitudes. When you get ruled against something in a game just because you cant find it in the rule book untill you get home and cool off sucks. True story.

    Thats one of the reasons I will never be a TO or judge and have full respect for those who do.
    on the other hand start making inconsistent calls and favoring one player over annother and watch the group on a whole transform into WAAC masters or just drop out entirely.

    And yes, I said WAAC Master, the 4th level of player.

  12. @ swags: could you please not bring your porn lingo (WAAC masters) into this site, were family friendly ;)

  13. I think the biggest difference between the three "classes" is the treatment of the rules.

    New players and fluff-bunnies typically know the rules the least, and are willing to trust the "experienced players" unquestioningly. They are often taken advantage of in the worst ways, and defeating them in a crushing matter makes you feel wrong inside.

    A CCG player usually knows all the rules, but occasionally forgets them, this may be because of "multiple edition syndrome" or they don't rely on them as the lynchpin of their entire list like some WAACs. Like you said, they aren't there to ruin someones day, the are there to have enjoy the game and hopefully win.

    A true WAAC player on the other hand, is a person who knows all the rules by heart, but only remembers them at his convenience, when you mess up, or worse ignores them when he flat out breaks them. This is how our WAAC players game.


    I almost always finish in the top two spots in our stores, but I cannot call myself WAAC. I do not use netlists except in testing purposes, and I always bring theme lists to the tournaments, that typically being how can I fit a lot of terminators in this army.
    The best example would be my Logandrop list.
    It has five pods including:
    Logan, Arjac, 5 MM long fangs, and a pod.
    Then 4 units of six Wolf Guard with about the same load out in pods.
    Two Terminator wolf guard with stormshield and wolf claw, a Terminator wolf guard with stormshield, chainfist, and cyclone and finally three power armor wolf guard with combi-weapons in pods.

    It works well as an anti-meta to local lists (fluffy or netlists.) It is straight forward and brutal, without being super beardy and dickish. It is weaker against hordes, warp quake and of course crappy dice rolls, but against most armies, it wins. These wins I feel are not because of the army list itself, but how it is played, with relative skill.

    I feel that it is lists like these that are both themed-ish(all terminators wouldn't have enough models), but also powerful and tough to crack, are what make this game the most fun. The players who choose to sacrifice super powerful or "the standard(grey hunters, rune priests, thunderwolf lords)" units in their army to enjoy a unit they enjoy for a theme are the best.

    I consider these my favorite players.

  14. P.S. Sorry for blowing up your wall.

  15. Werd I find that the vast majority of tournament regulars are CCG even though some push it and will try to get the best of you on rules. It is easily stopped though, if anything sounds fishy just ask for a judge. If you know they are borderline you can just shut them down. I've played a couple games against one player notorious for that sort of thing and both times I quickly shut down the rules shenanigans and both games we had alot of fun and good games(and he whooped me both times).

    I have a bit to say about playing to win but without losing site of the fact that this is a game of toy soldiers played for fun. It's on a blog I just started here: