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President Jyrgunkarrd

Your Opinions, Please: What Is a Casual List to You?

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...So, I had back to back complaints today on Vassal (one of them direct, one of them more passive-aggressive) about the lists I was playing (passive-aggressive guy was playing 7 Bin Feedback, so that was a 'whatever'). I don't usually consider my lists to be especially competitive (but I also don't offer any sort of disclaimer up front about whether or not we're doing super efficient min-max play, nor have I ever received any) - nevertheless, I get these complaints off and on. 

 

These are the lists I was flying that caught flak today:

 

Captain Oicunn (42)
Predator (3)
Dauntless (2)
 
Darth Vader (29)
Veteran Instincts (1)
Concussion Missiles (4)
Advanced Targeting Computer (1)
Munitions Failsafe (1)
TIE/x1 (0)
 
"Mauler Mithel" (17)
 
Total: 100
 
 
Garven Dreis (26)
 
"Hobbie" Klivian (25)
R2-D6 (1)
Opportunist (4)
 
Wes Janson (29)
Veteran Instincts (1)
R3-A2 (2)
 
Bandit Squadron Pilot (12)
 
Total: 100
 
 
...Now, I know that many players do not like turrets, and that it can be frustrating to be on the receiving end of control effects like R3 & Wes, but I myself don't think of those mechanics in a vacuum to indicate that something is really intended for stiff competition. Clearly other people do disagree. I know that there's a reasonably significant number of people who, on the other end of the spectrum, think that there's no meaningful distinction between casual or competitive lists - there's only levels of effectiveness / ineffectiveness (this is not a camp I'm in, personally; I believe it's useful to have play space for competitive players and play space for not-so-competitive players, even if it's hard to define the boundaries). 

 

In your mind, what things take a list outside the realm of casual play (if you believe that such a realm exists)? Are there things that should be taboo in a casual environment that are otherwise totally fine in a competitive environment (talking strictly in terms of list building here, rather than levels of leniency for things like measurement & forgiving mistakes / allowing forgotten actions to be taken)? 

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Casual lists are fun to play, and often non competitive. Say, 4 rookies with engine, or 5 blaster turret HWKs.

I think it's easier to define casual as for fun, not necessarily to win, but hard to define what cards make such lists up. See the sample above, 4 engine rookies, could be competitive, and it used to be in wave 2/3.

Competative lists are built to win, with efficiency in mind, and don't use inefficient pilots or upgrades. Some people define casual lists as anything they consider weak, or not one of the well known meta lists.

I think the fault exists with hose complaining... In many other communities, it's worth advertising that you want to play a competative game, or tournament practice, etc. if ther's just a "lets play a game." There should b no complaint about what list you bring. If the player says lfg no turrets, and you accept and bring a turret, that's on you. It seems most vassal players are competative tournament going players, but I've never run into the problem you are referring to, not to say it dosn't exist. Perhaps a vassal etiquette for making matches ought to be discussed and adopted?

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Imho I casual play comes more from the mindset rather than the list, granted so lists are less fun than others, super dash or old phantoms come to mind for me but any list can played casual or competitively. Personally I lean towards the competitive aspect than casual, Im not out to win for just winning sake but I really enjoy flexing my brain and pushing myself in that respect, though I keep the fly casual mentality, I don't mind losing as long I've done my best and unless we're in top 4 of some tourney everyone always gets a least one freebie/pass and win or loss I try to be laid back and laugh alot.

That said in a tourney I will try my absolute best to win regardless of list, I'm attempt to block them, deny arcs generally cause them as much grief as possible as I aim for best solution/position but on my weekly game night I'll try crazy things, throw caution into the wind while lettings things slide.

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Casual lists are fun to play, and often non competitive. Say, 4 rookies with engine, or 5 blaster turret HWKs

 

I intentionally tried to avoid using the word 'fun', because it's fun to fly just about any list in a given context. Plenty of really competitive lists are also a lot of fun to have on the table (and conversely, a totally casual list can be a bore in the wrong setting). 

 

 

EDIT: 

I think the fault exists with hose complaining... In many other communities, it's worth advertising that you want to play a competative game, or tournament practice, etc. if ther's just a "lets play a game." There should b no complaint about what list you bring. If the player says lfg no turrets, and you accept and bring a turret, that's on you. It seems most vassal players are competative tournament going players, but I've never run into the problem you are referring to, not to say it dosn't exist. Perhaps a vassal etiquette for making matches ought to be discussed and adopted?

 

With the caveat of, "...So long as they have a reasonable tone when doing it," I actually prefer it when my opponent voices a complaint about something my list did after the match. It lets me know how I can change things so that we can both have a more enjoyable experience if/when we play again, and and it can inform me of what at least some other people are likely to think.

 

For example, the opponent that directly complained about my list tonight specifically said that it wasn't much fun to fight Wes who constantly stripped tokens and stressed his pilot - he felt that this was a mechanic that mostly belonged in the tournament scene. I'm not sure if I agree with that overall statement, but I now know that I will have a better time playing against that person if I bring a different pilot & that that sort of opinion is probably floating around. 

Edited by President Jyrgunkarrd

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Casual lists to me are lists taken for one of a few reaons.

 

1. to fly for the hell of it ships that 'underperform' in high competetive events just because you like the ship.   For example I flew my first campaign game with bombers and tie advanced (pre fix) in it as i was looking for a 'classic' imperial look.

 

2. To fly thematic lists where you *know* there is a gaping whole in it or a weakness thats easy to exploit but you want to fly for example 'all xwings' cos it looks cool or its the guys from a story you've read.

 

3. A list where you're trying out new combinations of ships and upgrades to 'see what happens', not because you've read online they are killers when put together.

 

4.  Lists that are purpose built silly or one trick pony lists where your opponent *knows* you are doing this and its purely for laughs.    Like a squad of bynares pirates with dead mans switches

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Flying Darth Vader with unreleased content would be something I would seek my opponents approval off! Other than that I dont really know. I play in a really fun diverse group, so even when I meet the best players and get my ass kicked we still had a fun game and that is all that matters to me. If I bring a list which is more fun, experimental or fluffy, it is not my opponents fault.

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Neither of your lists seem overly competitive to me. The only complaint I see as legitimate is playing the /X1 title and ATC, *if*(and only if) you didn't clear it with your opponent first.

 

My usual casual lists consist of "F-it, I wanna fly this today. Let's see what happens!!" Probably accounts for most of my losses! XD

My usual thought when competitive lists are mentioned is the WAACs, which, I know, is hardly fair to most competitive players. I think an ideal definition would be: A list optimized against margins of error, while maintaining a friendly atmosphere between the players.

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a casual list is one I make and put zero thought in to what counters it or what the meta is.  Kinda like this:

 

Major Rhymer (26)
Push the Limit (3)
Extra Munitions (2)
Advanced Proton Torpedoes (6)
 
Colonel Vessery (35)
Wingman (2)
 
Colonel Jendon (26)
 
Total: 100

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turret lists can be casual, but they're just so horribly dull to face that you really can't fault anyone for not enjoying going against them. If you're opponents are complaining about it being competitive rather than casual, though, they're definitely barking up the wrong tree

 

 

there is no excuse for anyone giving you **** over a 3 ship reb list with 2 x-wings, though.

 

 

 

 

As for what makes a list competitive, it really only seems defined by the opinions of players generally formed around an established meta game (based on how reliably certain things win games in tournaments).

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I know that there's a reasonably significant number of people who, on the other end of the spectrum, think that there's no meaningful distinction between casual or competitive lists - there's only levels of effectiveness / ineffectiveness...

Sorry, but I'm one of those. What makes a game casual or competitive is playstyle, attitude, and timing, not list content.

On the other hand, the point of non-tournament play is practice and experimentation. So showing up to a casual game with your most familiar, most reliable list and tabling an inexperienced opponent is a bad idea for everyone: it isn't good sportsmanship, and it doesn't teach you anything. Casual night with nothing riding on the outcome is the perfect time to work on an unfamiliar list or play around with a new combo you think might have some value.

At least from my perspective, then, neither of your squads was a cut-and-paste netlist, and you changed things up in between games. So I think in this case, "Your list was too competitive!" was code for "I'm upset that I lost, and I'd rather blame you than think about what happened and how I can do better next time." You can write it off safely as a face-saving white lie for your opponents.

Edited by Vorpal Sword

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I don't know Vassal or the terms used.  I think there can be some misunderstanding there.  I don't think those lists are "top tier competitive", but I don't consider them fluff bunny lists, either.  Also, does casual game mean competitive?  I think so.  I'd have no problem with those lists being considered casual.  Perhaps they need to have tiers in discussions for gamers? 

 

1) tournament

2) competitive

3) fluff bunny

 

I also agree that casual is more in the attitude.  I'm one of those guys that lets people do their mistakes over again, especially if new. 

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Lists aren't casual or competitive. Games can be casual or competitive.

If I always fly rebels and one day decide to play a Chiraneau/Whisper or an 87 point Phantom list (when that was a thing) without having ever practiced, am I being casual or competitive?

Edited by GiraffeandZebra

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I think from what you've mentioned, the control aspect of your Rebel list seemed to be the main problem for the opponent. Control is tough to deal with, and can be frustrating, but it doesn't warrant such comments in my opinion. I know the Phantom and Falcon have been deemed too "strong" or competitive for casual play in some communities. I don't agree and don't think it's a good idea to try and limit the ships or combos that can be used for casual play. As for myself, I welcome the opportunity to face "meta" builds outside of tournament play. I also really like to experiment and try different builds all the time. Sometime you find very cool synergy unexpectedly, or find that something that seems solid in theory doesn't do well in practice... or requires lots of practice.

Edited by admat

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Yeah nothing really wrong with your lists. They both look effective but nothing on par with a Fat Han or Phantom Swarm.

I think once again Vorpal is very on point, that the complaint was really about how you beat the other guy and not really about the list.

Even with Stress Wes you are still flying a X-Wing... It's not like you're able to stack 3 or 4 stress on a target, or ionize them so they can't get rid of it.

Casual play is all about the attitude.

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It saddens me a little that you had this experience in Vassal.

 

I have had only ever had one opponent on Vassal that didn't take a loss (an "imminent" loss in this case) well.

 

I've seen dice blamed before, but never has someone accused me of being too "competitive" with my lists, even when those lists were not original and I was trying out a "netlist" to see how it works.  

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It saddens me a little that you had this experience in Vassal.

 

I have had only ever had one opponent on Vassal that didn't take a loss (an "imminent" loss in this case) well.

 

I've seen dice blamed before, but never has someone accused me of being too "competitive" with my lists, even when those lists were not original and I was trying out a "netlist" to see how it works.  

 

How does one "ragequit" on Vassal?  Just exiting the game isn't nearly as dramatic as flipping the table. 

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I don't see anything wrong with those lists at all.  In fact, they look like a lot of fun to me, both to fly and fly against.

 

I believe there is a distinction between casual and competitive; there are definitely ships, pilots and upgrades players would happily mess around with for fun with friends but would never, ever consider flying in a tournament or other competitive event, and vice versa.

 

 

How does one "ragequit" on Vassal?  Just exiting the game isn't nearly as dramatic as flipping the table. 

 

Reminds me of one of my friends, who really doesn't like losing.  He got dealt a faceup damage card and went quiet, and his opponent asked what it said.  I looked over his shoulder and said

 

"It says swear loudly, flip the table over and storm off down the street"

Edited by FTS Gecko

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How does one "ragequit" on Vassal?  Just exiting the game isn't nearly as dramatic as flipping the table. 

 

 

Snarky comment immediately followed by exiting the room, setting oneself in the lobby, and then putting up an exclamation mark up to indicate LFG.

 

Being generous, this guy had an odd interpretation of some of the rules (as in: they directly conflicted with the rules) and I ended up watching the next game he played to make sure he didn't cheat some unsuspecting player who didn't know better.

 

The unnamed player rage quit that game also, but he didn't attempt to cheat.

Edited by JFunk

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"Casual" is a tacit agreement between players that, for this match anyway, neither is going for the throat. You have the freedom to experiment with tactics or unconventional lists without having to worry that your opponent will crush you with a finely-tuned "pro" list.

 

Unfortunately, there isn't really a litmus test for what makes a list "casual" because it really depends on who you're playing with. Two guys who regularly play in store tournaments are going to have a different definition of "casual" than the guy who comes out every other week for Thursday night X-Wing.

 

 When expectations of "casual" don't align, that's when feelings/egos can get hurt. The better you know a person and/or your local meta, the easier a "casual" list is to spot, which is why pickup/anonymous games can be tricky.

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Casual lists are so much fun!  Gives you a chance do play around with new builds, fly ships you may not be familiar with and challenge yourself to actually pull something off with them.  

 

I sometimes enjoy going to a game-store on a busy weekend, finding an opponent for a casual game with casual lists and just have a blast.  We put down some iconic star wars ships, some TIEs, some X-wings...maybe an Outer Rim Smuggler!  Play slow, chat with people about the game, talk about star wars and how broken attack wing is now.  Saturday afternoon, beer-drinkin' x-wing.  

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