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Belligerent new players

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So I had a new experience at a tourney this weekend. I was playing a rather new player and any time a rule he was not familiar with came up he would get belligerent. He acted as if I was making stuff up to put him at a dissadvantage.

 

It got to the point that I started doubting my own understanding of the rules and even went to confirm a couple with some other experienced players.

 

I'm not saying I'm a rules guru or even very good at this game but these ranged from fairly basic to fairly common and I have played in 3 or 5 tournaments and tons of casual, enough that I have a decent grasp of the rules.

 

Here are the ones that came up:

 

Demolisher: he was not familiar with or happy that I could shoot, move, engine tech, shoot. Apparently he'd played against gladiators before but never seen demolisher........!? I one-activation cindered a corvette and he asked me to pass over the demolisher card and he was still not 100% convinced.

 

Tokens: He had a nav token on a corvette, he revealed an engineering command and wanted to change speed and then take an engineering token, he got real upset when I told him he couldn't do that but the rule is very clear. I asked another player within earshot and they confirmed and he still wasn't satisfied.

 

Crit effects: This was a big one, he got very angry at this one to the point where he was throwing ships off the board as I killed them. The issue was I was running rampant with demolisher with APT on it. He refused to understand the order of operations on critical effects vs using brace and redirect and the fact that APTs have nothing to do with shields. He was also trying to subtract a point of damage for the crit activation and could not be made to understand that the non standard crit effect was a special effect unrelated to the standard crit effect and did not consume the damage point from the die.

 

It didn't help that the first time I hit with the APT and insisted he took the card before he used redirect it was a shield failure...

 

So, here is my topic of discussion: How do you deal with belligerent players who will not accept basic rules? I mean, when there is room for interpretation (which does happen) I'm cool with agreeing to one thing and playing it consistently, but when it's fundamental rules, tough titties baby.

 

I remained completely calm, was patient and never rude, I explained the rules clearly and when he refused to accept my explanation I offered to bring in any of the other players in the room (full of some very experienced players, much better than me) to confirm, his response to that was "I don't give a crap what experienced players have to say" when I offered to bring out the rule book and walk him through the particular things in question he told me not to bother.

 

I tabled him but it was...unpleasant. It didn't help that I was having a terrrrrible tournament where I made some howling mistakes and it was the last match of a long day.

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I'm glad I had the opposite experience in one of my games with a new player at a store championship this last weekend. 

 

He was running a 2 ISD list with some ties and let me know from the beginning that he was new. I explained some of the rules about once you grab a maneuver tool and start measuring you have skipped your attack phase before we started just to get that one out of the way. He had several questions throughout the game but he was just legitimately wanting to know the rule and said he trusted what I said about everything and wasn't combative in the slightest. I tried to point out as much as I could during the game to help him and understand the steps etc, even letting him know he could still attack me with that arc and giving advise on what I would do etc.. It was a nice game and it resulted in a 10-0 for me. Glad we have a good mix of players like him getting into the game who want to learn and are not argumentative. Some people are just hostile, sounds like you handled it the best you could.

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At the Time?  Absolutely Nothing.  Nothing that won't make the situation worse, or expose it beyond...  Really, the only thing you can do is make sure the TO sits within earshot of the Table so they, rather than "other experienced players", can be the sounding board - which is rough on everyone involved.

 

 

 

At a Casual level event, you're not expected to be familiar with all of the rules - but you should have a grounding in what is, admittedly, the basics.

 

 

 

If it was a Store Championship, which is a Competitive Level event - then the behaviour on his part is completely unacceptable as per the Tournament Rules.

 

But it doesn't help that, really, if someone is going to be belligerant, angry, and generaly anti-fun...  There's little you can do about it at the time.

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Explain that its not the rules, but if there are a lot of rules they arent aware of agree to let some slide for this particular game. You should be able to table them with some dubious rules if they are that new, and they wont feel so hard done by. Then explain that rule differences at the end, and that nobody else is likely to let them get away with it.

 

I get that its a tournament, so if you want to stick to the rules then there is nothing that can be done to make it better.

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If he is being "that guy?"  look him straight in the eye and say 'L 2 Play, mang.  Your own mis(Non)understanding of the rules is what's causing your mood to tank.  Redirect the frustration inwardly, to its source."

 

Ok, ya, that's a bit much...BUT, I WOULD tell him to chill and that these things are common knowledge rules that he's having a hard time grasping. 

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All you can really do is try to remain calm (which can be difficult when your opponent has decided to upgrade him/herself to "nemesis") and reference rules as necessary and show them as evidence (this is why I bring all the rulebooks, the newest FAQ, and the tournament rules with me - I don't normally need them but it's great to have them when you do need them). Get a TO to basically hover nearby once you've had to do this 2-3 times as otherwise your opponent is basically breaking the slow play rules and can be disqualified.

 

In a competitive event, there's really no compromising on this one unfortunately. You're both making certain assumptions about the rules as you plan out your activations and attacks and maneuvers but the difference is you are right and he is wrong. In a casual setting, you can explain the situation and allow some reasonable take-backsies (it's always best to try to welcome newbies into the game as gently as possible). In a competitive event there just isn't time for that, especially when the new wrong player is drawing it out by fighting you tooth and nail the whole time.

 

All you can really hope to do is crush him utterly (which you did), which teaches him two things:

1) When I don't understand the rules and go to a competitive event, I lose.

2) I can't just yell at people and get them to accept my made-up version of the rules to win.

If he's a reasonable enough person otherwise but was on tilt at the time, he'll primarily learn lesson #1 and acquaint himself with the rules in the future to do well. If he's an unreasonable bully as his default state, he's going to learn that his BS won't fly at your FLGS and thus avoid it. Either way, you probably won't see that person behaving that way ever again, which is for the best.

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It sounds like you handled it the way you should. Calm and mature.

Here's what I would have done;

Every time you activate Demolisher, exclaim "Screw the rules, I have money!" And before you roll, say "It's Demolishing time!"

Before he notches a manuever, breath in sharply and wince.

Every time he reveals a command, say "interesting..." under your breath.

Measure 5 times for everything you do. Minimum.

Before activating a squadron, slowly and gently run your fingers up and down the stand at least 4 times. Breath heavily through your mouth while doing so.

Ditto for using a range ruler.

Or a maneuver tool.

Each time he picks up his dice, measure LOS. This is especially important to do when its super obvious that LOS is there.

Remember to give your sack a good scratch before you shake his hand good game! And make sure he takes it, sportsmanship is important.

Ok, you made me laugh and snort TWICE while at work. Well done, sir, well done!

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At the Time?  Absolutely Nothing.  Nothing that won't make the situation worse, or expose it beyond...  Really, the only thing you can do is make sure the TO sits within earshot of the Table so they, rather than "other experienced players", can be the sounding board - which is rough on everyone involved.

 

 

 

At a Casual level event, you're not expected to be familiar with all of the rules - but you should have a grounding in what is, admittedly, the basics.

 

 

 

If it was a Store Championship, which is a Competitive Level event - then the behaviour on his part is completely unacceptable as per the Tournament Rules.

 

But it doesn't help that, really, if someone is going to be belligerant, angry, and generaly anti-fun...  There's little you can do about it at the time.

 

For the record, it was in fact a store champs. I was already quite upset at myself for playing well below my level in my previous 2 matches, it is reassuring to read these comments in that I don't feel like I was way off in my expectation that these types of rules should be understood at that level.

 

I know for a fact that there were quite a few new players at the tourney and I had in fact answered rules questions from various tables all tournament. It was a pretty good environment otherwise with a solid turnout of 16 players where people would call out anything that came into question and get detailed and accurate answers.

 

My sincere hope is that he goes home and reads the forums and re-reads the rules and realizes he was in the wrong and approaches his next tourney with a little more grace and humility. The last thing I wanted to do was get upset and turn a new player off the game, but by the same token I didn't want him to leave with an incorrect interpretation of the rules. He said this was his second tourney, I know that my first tourney was a revelation when it came to rules clarifications and my second one also had a few "learning moments" I could have handled better, but I'm pretty certain I was never that bad a sport and I'm certainly never a sore loser (I get a lot of practice at losing so I'm pretty good at it)

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I had my first store championship a while back, came in last but used a crap list and had fun. learned some stuff me and my brothers misinterprented playing at home. still got raider alternate card and rulers though, most people there were going to a diffirent store championship a week later ( there are a lot more stores/area here than say the US which was a topic that came up while the owners of the store where discussing their double player amount of alternate art cards)

 

can hardly wait for the next tournament in 2/3 months, hope I can save up for an ISD in that time.

 

I thought the most important rule is to have fun, so I did. and as a bonus I learned some stuff I did wrong before. :D

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Id ask the TO or store rep to watch his games. 

 

I havn't had this yet in armada but have had this in plenty of other games especially when tournaments are happening.

 

I once watched an opponent leave an entire army behind because the internet said it was really good but his first 3 games ever where in the tournament and he went 0-3.  he got outplayed and all his opponents were very kind and helpful making sure the games were very close instead of just tabling him.  they even offered him some strategies.  some people are beyond helping.

 

Reach out to that player and see if hes willing to play on casual nights so you can help him learn the rules 100%. 

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After a couple issues, I'd just call the TO over to watch. I've dealt with similar players before. Get all indignant when they are wrong. I'm surprised they took other's players word for rules. Generally those sorts have to hear it from the TO themselves. A TO really needs to step up about these situations and let them know they'll be penalized for slow play if they keep it up.

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If he's new and reacting like that don't worry, he won't be around long anyway. We've all played against people who are there for competition not to enjoy the game. The rules for Armada take a little time to learn, but it didn't sound like this guy had tried.

 

P.S. I'm never shaking hands with  Madaghmire or use any of his stuff

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It sounds like you handled it the way you should. Calm and mature.

Here's what I would have done...

 

I love you.

I know

 

 

See? Love conquers all.

 

Next time, just say this to your opponent and all is well.

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Two things:

I like new players, even at events like store championships. It means the community is growing, and it's an opportunity to show we're better kind of gamers. It also allows me to refresh my understanding of the rules by teaching those willing to be. Be the bigger person and be patient.

Belligerent people are not easy to tolerate, but you should be taking a lesson from Roadhouse: Be Nice. Ultimately escalating against someone who is getting irrational does not help. Your TO should be involved, especially if he KNOWS that person is new.

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That sounds horrible. I probably would have called the TO over after he started throwing ships. That's something that should get you kicked out of the tournament in my book. I have one question for you based on this comment:

 

 

He refused to understand the order of operations on critical effects vs using brace and redirect and the fact that APTs have nothing to do with shields.

 

It almost sounds like you were resolving critical effects before he got to spend defense tokens. Defense tokens are spent before critical effects take place. They just aren't resolved until the after the critical effect. It's a key distinction. If, for example, he spends a redirect and then draws capacitor failure, he can still redirect that turn from a hull zone with no shields since the redirect has already been spent.  I've been guilty of this myself. I slowed an ISD to speed 0 with a critical effect (can't remember the name), which normally means you can't spend defense tokens. However, the defense tokens should have already been spent. It added about 4 damage to the hull that shouldn't have been there because the brace and redirect should have been spent prior to the critical effect being revealed.

 

If I'm misinterpreting your comment, I apologize for wasting your time =)

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It sounds like you handled it the way you should. Calm and mature.

Here's what I would have done...

 

I love you.

I know

 

 

See? Love conquers all.

 

Next time, just say this to your opponent and all is well.

 

But what do you do if your opponent freezes you in carbonite?

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I have a habit of asking about cards that i dont see often. And find it useful with new players to explain what Im doing and why that is allowed.

But had one guy get upset cause he brought a naked bear bones fleet of two ISD and a VSD. Was tearing him up with ackbar and XI7s. Basically had to dumb down mu play style and offer him advise. Which is sad as im lucky to come in higher then 3rd in 5 player events.

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It's unfortunate you had to play against such an opponent. This type of person is exactly what drove me out of Magic decades ago. *puts on tin foil hat* And you know, from what I've heard, Magic players are upset about a rules change, and leaving in droves. It's possible they are flocking to Armada as an alternative, so be ready for more of "that guy."  :wacko:   *removes tin foil hat*

 

Seriously though, there are a lot of folks out there, and it's sadly inevitable that sooner or later, new or experienced, we're going to find ourselves at a table with "that guy/girl."  I think you handled it well. Good on ya.  :)

 

Oh, and Mad? I was in a game shop once and watched in horror as the sweatpant wearing, non showering store rep (yeah, the didn't just have "that guy," they hired him) reached into the back of his sweats, scratched his crack, and then immediately adjusted the opposing players model on the table. ...  I never played there, and never went back.

 

I hope that wasn't you?   ;)

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Two things:

I like new players, even at events like store championships. It means the community is growing, and it's an opportunity to show we're better kind of gamers. It also allows me to refresh my understanding of the rules by teaching those willing to be. Be the bigger person and be patient.

Belligerent people are not easy to tolerate, but you should be taking a lesson from Roadhouse: Be Nice. Ultimately escalating against someone who is getting irrational does not help. Your TO should be involved, especially if he KNOWS that person is new.

No no no. The lesson from Roadhouse is "Be nice; until it's time not to be nice."  Clearly, you should have been patient until he started throwing miniatures.  At which point you should have flying drop kicked him over the table.  ;)

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Two things:

I like new players, even at events like store championships. It means the community is growing, and it's an opportunity to show we're better kind of gamers. It also allows me to refresh my understanding of the rules by teaching those willing to be. Be the bigger person and be patient.

Belligerent people are not easy to tolerate, but you should be taking a lesson from Roadhouse: Be Nice. Ultimately escalating against someone who is getting irrational does not help. Your TO should be involved, especially if he KNOWS that person is new.

No no no. The lesson from Roadhouse is "Be nice; until it's time not to be nice."  Clearly, you should have been patient until he started throwing miniatures.  At which point you should have flying drop kicked him over the table.  ;)

I thought that was assumed! LOL

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