Tuesday, October 4

The Bag Man... Bagging for advantage?

Well Ard Boyz is over, for most of us that is, and my end of the week games here can go back to 2000 points. All the hot button issues can be put on the back burner and rules lawyers can relax, enjoying the simple things in life.

But that's never gonna last, time to grind some gears people.

Today's subject, the Bag Man!

I don't know if you have ever seen this or not but it is out there and happening since I first started playing this game. Recently I saw it again and it prompted me to bring it up because I just cant explain it to myself. Truly this is something I don't understand and if you are the bag man and your reading this please try and understand me as I try to understand you.

Who is the bag man you ask? The bag man can be your first opponent or your last, he could be fun to play, he could have the best looking army in the room, he could even be your buddy that you came with.

But one thing he always does over and over is put his army away after every game.

No big deal right. Well might not be I guess, but lets think about this. I have seen every thing from box lids to TV trays, fast food trays to pizza pans used by someone to put their army out and carry it around. From the simple to the extreme I have seen them all, I even built close to 60 or so to sell and give in trade to people.

I like seeing your army, no matter what condition its in and as a player I like to look at a list before a game and identify some of the key units. I do think its my right to see your figs before we deploy, I did pay ten or more dollars to play here today lets be fair.

It just stands to question, why did I just play a 2500 point game against Orks in the third round of a day of games to watch a guy pull out 3 trays of boyz and start setting them up like it was first thing in the morning?

What is the bag mans motive? Why does he do the things he does?

Lets start with the simple answer, the bag man doesn't know any better. This was the case in a game I had recently and yes it was in a tournament not a home game. The tables were called out and everyone moved over to their spot. My opponent used 40 minuets of game time to pull out his figs, set them up in squads, locate the missing guys that didn't get put back in the foam the right way and then actually deploy them.

I didn't say a word, I just listened to him complain about never getting his reserves in the last 2 games because they ran out of time. We played the game and had time called on the end of turn 2! I realized that he truly didn't know that what he was doing was hurting our time in a huge way. I did get the win on KP's and didn't complain to the TO, but I did try to explain to him when it was all over that some of the things he was doing really slowed the game.

The back end of this was a time killer too. Every time a model came off the table it was back to the foam trays, find the right spot, get them all in there, put the trays back under the table and now go on to taking the next model off doing it all over again.

Like I said this is the guy who didn't know any better, now what about the Ard Boyz Semi-Final game that had the same result. Lets look at a different situation.

This is the bag man that has been playing for some time, he has made the semi's, he knows time management and how to run out the clock, he is playing a 2500 point game with 100+ models and at the start of round 3, same thing! You cant see what your playing, you don't know what his "cunning" conversions look like and you have to wait while everything is dug out one more time while everyone else is half way into turn 1.

Why bag man, why?

Lets go over a few of the ideas and see if they fit.

First, "I'm afraid someone will steal my stuff!"

Well sorry, that just hasn't ever happened at any event I have ever been to big or small. I haven't even ever heard stories of it. I'm not saying it cant ever happen, but really don't you think in 7 years I might have one story like this. I leave my army sitting out in between rounds for hours, even over night at some events and nothing.

Next, "I don't have a display so I have to put them away."

Wrong answer, I have never been someplace that was that short on box lids or the like that they couldn't do something to help a guy in need if he ask for it.

So what then, I cant come up with another positive reason for this.

Lets look at the dark side of the bag man then.

Like we said before, he knows how to manage the clock and deploying as slow as possible sure can eat up time.

He sees you force before you exchange lists, knows what you have at a glance that reaches into his bag and pulls out his list. Its a perfect tank smashing list and you got a bunch of tanks, sucks to be you. By the way were those meltas he had last round verses the infantry list or were they plasma guns? When you ask the guy the bag man played in the previous round he says "Oh he only had the one list so I gave it back to him, I didn't want to be a bad sport ya know."

Crap! I gave him his list back too, WTF!

How about this one, "Did I have 2 extra guys in that squad? How did that happen? Wow I'm sorry, I must have put more down than I thought when I was unloading them from the mountain of foam. Its no big deal right buddy?"

Well actually...it kinda is a big deal. You see if I hadn't of stopped to ask, check your list, do a Florida style recount and confront you, you would never correct yourself.

So what are we to do? We play the game on the table and not in slight of hand tricks to sneak extra boots and guns out of our bags. There are always people to look out for out things when we leave them out, and there will always be something around to set up on. Be aware of time and how its lost, respect your opponent and be ready for the game your getting to play.

And if you can give me a reason for the bag man to exist please tell me, I know it might sound harsh but for the life of me I just don't understand.

So until next time we play:

Step 1, Get giant construction disposal bag.

Step 2: Place bag man into bag.
Step 3: Call number on the side of the bag for pick up.



  1. Lmao that's a good ending to this article. I was deffinately the bag man at my first tourney. I just didn't realize it was that bad. Luckily I got better before my second one. Good article.

  2. This is why tournaments should A) give more time for games and B) each player should be allotted a certain amount of time. Would it penalize horde armies? Absolutely. But the system right now penalizes the players facing AGAINST horde armies, so I think that is important.

  3. Here's an idea: instead of standing there mute and grumpy, have you thought about helping the guy field the 3 quads of thirty boyz? Set out the Imperial Guard platoon? Yes, a degree of organisation is good - always hand your opponent your list, say which squads are which, who has what. As for putting stuff in a box lid - my 200 point guard army has 70 men, six tanks and two valkyries. Aside from the cost of the models I'm not wobbling them around in carboard trays.

    Is this a purely american thing? Are you losing games and this is all that matters? Help the horde army man out. Heck, I play against a tyranid player. his turns can last an hour at a time as he chews over tactics. In that time I nip to the loo, check rules for him, roll dice for random events if it would help and yeah, when his units get blown up he puts them in his bag because there's not a lot of space to put a hundred of so delicate, expensive plastic models.

  4. I have a friend who had a "bag-man," move pulled on him. The guy kept pulling out models that weren't in his list. After questioning him the guy replied "Oh, my dad made the list for me."

    Umm ok!

    It was pretty sad because even though he was obviously cheating my friend still beat him.


  5. First Nick, I understand how you come up with your first line from what I said in the artical but the truth is that I did help the guy unload bunches of orks.

    The point is that after 2 games it shouldnt even be needed.

    If a player like yourself knows that you have a ton of figs, like your 70 foot guys and a hoard of tanks, dont you think you should plan ahead a bit?

    Isnt being a good opponet = to being ready to play the game on time? Dont you owe it to your opponet to have a sturdy display ready to use so you can get the guys on the table with outwasting time?

    If your friend plays games at 1 hour per turn, as you said, he will never get a game past 2 turns. Is that fair?

    You go, 30 min.
    Opponet, 1 hour.
    you go, 30 min.
    opponet, 1 hour.

    Total = 3 hours. Your 30 min over and people are waiting for your table to get done and now you have no break and have to run to your next table.
    Thats not fun or fair, no matter how you cut it.

    Remember we are talking about tourny's not home games for fun. In one example I used there is a 2500 point army up for grabs. getting past turn 2 should be automatic.

    PS, if you read again you will notice I didnt lose my game used in the article. So thats not "all that matters" I just like games that go past turn 2. win or lose.

  6. Great article, enjoyed reading it!

    The list thing is one of my all time pet-peeves. You have enough money to buy your army and all the associated rules, dice, etc....but you apparently can't afford enough ink or paper to make copies for your opponents? I can never think of a single, valid excuse for this. I think it's cheating, pure and simple. I'd like tournaments to enforce it to a greater degree..you don't have a copy for your opponent? You lose 10 BPs per game then, or something equivalent. I bet the perpetrator wouldn't 'forget' to bring enough copies again.

    As far as 'Bag Man' goes, we've all run into these slow play guys at one tournament or another. If it's simply innocent and the guy is a new player, then you really can't do anything but try to help the guy out. I'm not naturally a patient person, but this is one case where doing anything that doesn't encourage the person is simply bad for the hobby and ultimately wrong.

    If the guy knows what he's doing and is trying to gain an advantage, then once again it's simply cheating. I have no problem with letting the TO know what's going on (loudly enough so other players hear it) and letting him deal with it. The reason we pay entry fees isn't just to win prizes, it's to have an organized and fair tournament. Make the TO do his job. You're doing a disservice to every future opponent this guy has (and yourself) if you don't call him on it. I'd rather have a lousy sportsmanship score from the guy than spend a bunch of time stewing over my inaction.

  7. As a new player to the hobby, I would consider myself a bag-man. :(

    Not for any nefarious reasons, but a mix of "I dont want anyone to steal my stuff" and "I have a terrible memory and I know I'll forget something".

    Thanks to your article I can see how annoying it must me though, so I'll grab a lid or something to use as a set-up piece. :)

  8. @Anon: Don't worry too much, In pick up games people don't mind that much at your local store, but in a tournament it can be pretty irritating. Good luck getting started.


  9. Doe the following count as being a agman? Although i would unload all my miniatures before the game, as they died i put them back into the foam. This to avoid clutter on the table and having to clean it all up at the end of the game. It wasnt until my most recent tourney i was introduced to using a tray for transporting my army around. Although i still didmt like the space 2trays use up on the table it was infinitely easier then having to unload my entir army before each game.

  10. My apologies for the missing letters in my previous post. I blame the ipad keyboard.