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Subject: What one kind of gamer drives you crazy? What's the one gaming sin you can't deal with? rss

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Bryan Thunkd
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I actually tolerate quite a bit in my gaming partners. I've played with players who are rude, obnoxious, arrogant or trash-talking. I've played with people who had body odor issues. I've played with players who insist on telling you how you should play, both the ones who know what they're talking about and the ones who don't. I've played with players who gridlock the game with AP. I've played with players who constantly take back their move and redo their turn, even after someone else started to play. I've played with people who tell you how much they hate the game you're playing the entire duration of the game. I've played with players who spend the whole game making whichever move will end the game quickest. I've played with players who've whined through the whole game. I've played with people who have had temper tantrums and thrown pieces across the room.

And while I might not love some of that behavior, it's not a deal-breaker for me. I can overlook and deal with it all. But there's one thing that really drives me crazy. Something I have an incredibly hard time putting up with... where I'd just rather not play the game.

It's players who have an inability to pick up games. Just to clarify, I'm not talking about newbs. Everybody starts off as a newb, and until you get a little bit of experience with games they can be difficult to pick up. But usually after you have some experience, you learn how to learn games.

No, the type of person I'm talking about is someone who seems to have some sort of mental block... maybe it's a legitimate learning disorder, or maybe they're just not very bright. But these people struggle with rules. No matter how simple the game, they just don't get it. Every game becomes an ordeal to teach with them.

To give an example, last night we taught King of Tokyo to someone who literally questioned every single rule statement we made. And you know how in KoT when you have 5-6 players the Tokyo Bay spot opens up, and if you ever drop to 4 or fewer players it closes again? Okay, normally that takes like three seconds to say and everybody understands it. We literally spent five minutes explaining that concept. And no, we weren't explaining how you enter, or which spot you go into, or who flees in which order... no we were just explaining that there's two spots for 5+ players and one for 4 or fewer. That one point took five minutes to get across. I've played games of KoT that were quicker than the rules explanation we went through. I was about ready to smack my head against the table.

Maybe I'm just a jerk. Maybe I shouldn't be so sensitive, but this is the one thing that drives me up the wall. I'm lucky that most of the people I run across are really bright and pick up games quickly and often are challenging players on their first play of any game, no matter how complex. I guess I've been spoiled. But I just can't enjoy playing with someone who struggles with the rules of KoT.

So what one kind of gamer drives you crazy? What's the one gaming sin you can't deal with?
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Wesley M
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People who are using their cellphones or other electronics when it is not their turn.

Played a rather lengthy game once and one player was playing other games on his iphone.. Inevitably on his turn he would look up and say "What did I miss"
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David Debien
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I have a gamer buddy whos sole purpose is to win. With a new game, if he wins the first time, he likes it. Otherwise, he will never play it again.

When he wins, he is a genius. When he loses, it is usually due to someone not explaining the game correctly or because someone cheated or merely got lucky.

Yes, he doesn't get invited around very much anymore. Is a shame really, because he is a great guy when you take the ultra-competitive stuff out of the picture.
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Oliver Steinberger
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I absolutely can't stand it when my fellow gamers just don't listen while I teach the game. It's ok for me when they don't get it but try to but when they don't even pay attention to the rules explanation and instead playing with their cell phones & stuff. But again, that alone wouldn't be that bad, the real point comes later sometime during the game when that person makes an invalid move and I correct it and that person starts yelling that nobody said this to be an invalid move and starts a discussion about how he/she would have played the whole game differently if he/she would ave known this rule (which I mentioned in the beginning of course). I could slap those persons in the face. Really. angry

And of course the people that can't be seperated from their cell phone for one second. I had it at a RPG-round. Our Paladin was playing with his phone the whole time and didn't contribute to the roleplay at all. When a battle started an our DM called for an Initiatve roll he looked up from his phone: "Who are we fighting and why?" angry
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If you were trying to teach someone Madeira and they weren't getting it, I would say you were being a jerk, but not getting King of Tokyo? My 6 year old learned that in 5 minutes.
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Clare Cannon
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As a game society we put up with our fair share of... shall we say quirky ... behavior and usually I can just shrug and get on with it however there is a type of player who frustrates me no end.
In fact if I have previously played with you and you have done this I am wound up before you even sit down to another game with me... I guess I bear a grudge... but I cant stand the behavior of .......

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The rules lawyer.


Now I am all for playing by the rules but when you are introducing a new game (or any game really) to a group of people things can get misinterpreted or missed.
Usually I say well play like this (how I interpreted the rule) for now and I shall check the rules once we are done so we know for next time.
The rules lawyer will disrupt that game and insist that rules are checked instantly even if it actually has very little relevance.
So..... I stop the game and check the rules... occasionally I have been mistaken but generally not.
This is not good enough for the rules lawyer they must see the rules for themselves.
So I hand over the rule book.
Rules lawyer proceeds to check, double check and triple check rules flicking back and forth trying to find a favourable interpretation for the next ten minutes.
Game is ruined because I have lost interest and so have several of the other players.

I have even on occasion have one very determined player after the games event email me links to the geek or other forums they have found indicating that my interpretation was wrong... you know so I get it right next time.... Great thanks for that...I am NEVER playing a game with you again!
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Bruce Gazdecki
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When someone playing the game starts talking to someone who isn't playing the game, thereby not paying attention to the game, and then when it's their turn they go "Ok, what happened?" and then get mad when you don't want to tell them.
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Sean Haugh
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I will not play with someone who can't put their cell down, and LEAVE it down for the duration of the game. Fortunately it has been very rare that it comes up but it's infuriating when it does, the selfishness of it is just an insult to everyone else playing.
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Kelly Bass
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Thunkd wrote:
...they just don't get it. Every game becomes an ordeal to teach with them.
Yeah, that can be frustrating. I've been there.

On the other hand, I've heard some terrible rules explanations that mostly came down to "You just kind of do stuff and have cards you can use. Oh and you'll want to get lots of these, because they're important near the end..." It feels like they hope their love & understanding of the game will just wear off on those that haven't played. And then I'm selected as first player and have entirely no idea of what I can do or what I need to do to win.
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Robb Melenyk
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chockle wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
...they just don't get it. Every game becomes an ordeal to teach with them.
Yeah, that can be frustrating. I've been there.

On the other hand, I've heard some terrible rules explanations that mostly came down to "You just kind of do stuff and have cards you can use. Oh and you'll want to get lots of these, because they're important near the end..." It feels like they hope their love & understanding of the game will just wear off on those that haven't played. And then I'm selected as first player and have entirely no idea of what I can do or what I need to do to win.


I'm with you guys. When I end up playing the game for you AND myself, I'm pretty unhappy. I concede that this person just doesn't get these games we're trying to play but how frustrating the learning experience can be.

As for rules, I try to stick with this:
1. How do you win (VPs, etc)
2. How do I get things that get me the winning conditions
3. What do you start with (this is used as a relation point too as the game progresses so you can see progress)

So for KoT I would say
1. 20 victory points
2. Staying in Tokyo a full round. Also some cards have VP which you can acquire through currency
3. You start at 10 life and 0 VP. These dice will determine the rest.

...It kind of works. I'm not the best teacher.
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James Ludlow
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People staring at their phones is the top of my list, and it's not even close. The level of disrespect involved is off the charts.
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Steve Mccabe
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casualgod wrote:
I have a gamer buddy whos sole purpose is to win. With a new game, if he wins the first time, he likes it. Otherwise, he will never play it again.

When he wins, he is a genius. When he loses, it is usually due to someone not explaining the game correctly or because someone cheated or merely got lucky.

Yes, he doesn't get invited around very much anymore. Is a shame really, because he is a great guy when you take the ultra-competitive stuff out of the picture.


i can put up with alot, but this hits close to home.

sounds exactly like one of the guys in my group, except he is also a rule bender. constantly questioning the rules, and trying to reword them to benefit his current position, or whatever he is about to do. and then when you tell him he has misunderstood a rule and try to correct him, he gets a nasty attitude.

in fact there was this one time he was rule-bending, and i was telling him that he was wrong. I said "the rulebook specifically says that you cannot do that." Almost before i could finish my sentence he said "i dont care about what the rulebook says." and continued arguing his point as if he knew better than the designer. i proceeded to lose my cool and interrupted him with "then i dont care about what your saying. who's next?"

needless to say he doesnt get invited anymore. the only time he comes around anymore is when he invites himself, because none of us have the heart to tell him he sucks to game with.
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Martin Plourde
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Riddlebox85 wrote:
People who are using their cellphones or other electronics when it is not their turn.



I saw this, fortunately during a party game, not serious gaming, but still...
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McDog
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For me it's the gamer who thinks he's participating in one of the world's largest intellectual challenges. The serious face, the pumped up self importance, the feeling exuded is like they were working on a mathematical proof that people had been working on for hundreds of years. This is important business that only humanities finest are worthy. They lack the vision to see they're playing a game ( which a large segment of the population considers childish ) and not studying a cure for cancer.

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Deliberately throwing the game for 'revenge' or some other bullshit reason.

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Rich
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I can and do tolerate a lot at the table. If someone is doing something that bothers me, like rules lawyering, or what we used to call being "beardy," I will express my opinion gently.

I also ask people I don't know very well to tell me if anything I'm doing annoys them. A lot of folks don't appreciate my sarcasm at the table, but that's OK.

The one gaming sin that does get me, is hypocrisy. For example, when I play Dune with friends in Michigan, Eric ALWAYS complains when one of us takes a few minutes to complete our shipments and movements. But EVERY game, there will come a time when Eric ends up taking more time in one of his turns than anyone else ever has. From now on, we're using turn timers.
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Greame Johnston
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Cheating and table flipping. All other sins tolerated. By the way, and I don't intend to sound patronising but I believe it is a bit harsh to discriminate against those who can't pick up a game. Socialising is the most important thing for me...games just facilitate the process, so my advice for what it's worth- use the phrase "'cause it says so in the rules so let's move on", or just choose a different game...
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Jeff Thompson
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exparrot wrote:
As a game society we put up with our fair share of... shall we say quirky ... behavior and usually I can just shrug and get on with it however there is a type of player who frustrates me no end.
In fact if I have previously played with you and you have done this I am wound up before you even sit down to another game with me... I guess I bear a grudge... but I cant stand the behavior of .......

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The rules lawyer.


Now I am all for playing by the rules but when you are introducing a new game (or any game really) to a group of people things can get misinterpreted or missed.
Usually I say well play like this (how I interpreted the rule) for now and I shall check the rules once we are done so we know for next time.
The rules lawyer will disrupt that game and insist that rules are checked instantly even if it actually has very little relevance.
So..... I stop the game and check the rules... occasionally I have been mistaken but generally not.
This is not good enough for the rules lawyer they must see the rules for themselves.
So I hand over the rule book.
Rules lawyer proceeds to check, double check and triple check rules flicking back and forth trying to find a favourable interpretation for the next ten minutes.
Game is ruined because I have lost interest and so have several of the other players.

I have even on occasion have one very determined player after the games event email me links to the geek or other forums they have found indicating that my interpretation was wrong... you know so I get it right next time.... Great thanks for that...I am NEVER playing a game with you again!


But... this isn't what a rules lawyer is. This is just someone who wants to play by the rules. Let me explain because this misinterpretation happens all the time.

A rules lawyer is someone who takes an ambiguous rule and interprets it so that it helps him win the game. He argues that the interpretation of this rule is such that his interpretation is correct and therefore he gets his way.

A skilled rules lawyer can take the same rule ambiguity and later in the game apply it in a different way to gain a different advantage.

"Rules Lawyer" has a negative connotation, and in my ever so humblest of opinions, someone who wants to play by the rules is not negative at all. Someone who is willing to argue ambiguities for their advantage regardless of the intention of the rules, that's negative, and that's the definition of a Rules Lawyer.

Sorry to interrupt this fine discussion, but if we're going all pet peevey in this thread I can't resist this one.

Edit: Let me define "Ambiguous Rule". A rule is ambiguous if not everyone at the table agrees on its meaning, and this includes errata and FAQ entries, not just the rule as written in the book that came with the game.
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Armand
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I can't stand people who read strategy articles. The whole point of playing new games is figuring out how to play well, which takes a few plays with at least a medium weight game.

So, instead, you read a strategy article and totally crushed everyone on your first play... Congratulations on your... reading comprehension skills?

I can't congratulate you on winning, because you really didn't. You just did what someone else told you to do, whether they were physically present or not.
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Double Plus Undead
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Sfwg46 wrote:
The one gaming sin that does get me, is hypocrisy. For example, when I play Dune with friends in Michigan, Eric ALWAYS complains when one of us takes a few minutes to complete our shipments and movements. But EVERY game, there will come a time when Eric ends up taking more time in one of his turns than anyone else ever has. From now on, we're using turn timers.

Yeah, seriously. What the hell, Eric?!?
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p55carroll
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I don't deal with other players at all; I just play games solitaire. I'm not the easiest player to get along with, but I manage to tolerate myself somehow.
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casualgod wrote:
When he wins, he is a genius.


Urgh, the word "genius" reminded me of somebody I know. Thia particular person would often claim to have "solved" a game after the first play or after the rules explanation. Sometimes he would even proclaim "Obviously it is best to do X" when walking past a game in progress and taking it in for a moment.

When others ask him for his strategy after a game he states that he just stayed away from the contested areas/paths to victory like it's the most intricate strategy. That's not to say it doesn't work of course but it doesn't take too many smarts to figure out and when he looks down upon me for butting heads just for the fun of it it's extremely irritating.

Now, he's a good player, mind, and though it is sometimes hard to shrug off the sheer arrogance he displays he's generally pleasant to be around. Guess we just have a difference in personality there...
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Rob Doupe
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casualgod wrote:
I have a gamer buddy whos sole purpose is to win. With a new game, if he wins the first time, he likes it. Otherwise, he will never play it again.

When he wins, he is a genius. When he loses, it is usually due to someone not explaining the game correctly or because someone cheated or merely got lucky.

Yes, he doesn't get invited around very much anymore. Is a shame really, because he is a great guy when you take the ultra-competitive stuff out of the picture.


So you have a 'Ken' too, eh? Our guy calls restart 30 minutes into any new game if he's not winning because he doesn't understand the implications of his moves. When we point out that none of us know the implications or our moves, because after all this is a learning game, it just doesn't compute with him. He assumes that because we're not freaking out like him, we must be assured and confident in what we're doing. Basically, he's highly distressed and demoralized at any time that he's not winning, even if it's 15 minutes into learning a new game.
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p55carroll
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doctoryes0 wrote:
I can't stand people who read strategy articles.

Depends on the game. I figure that if reading a strategy article--or a whole strategy book--can spoil a game, it ain't much of a game to begin with. Whole libraries full of books are available on strategy for games like chess, go, and bridge--and intelligent players continue to find those games challenging.

If you've got a game where a single strategy article gives a player a tremendous advantage, I say share the article with everybody at the table. Then you're all on even ground again. Otherwise you're just advocating mediocrity, as far as I can tell.

If the strategy article guarantees a win for one player, then the game is broken--just like tic-tac-toe once you learn the little trick to it.
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Greg Gresik
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greamejohnston wrote:
Cheating and table flipping. All other sins tolerated. By the way, and I don't intend to sound patronising but I believe it is a bit harsh to discriminate against those who can't pick up a game. Socialising is the most important thing for me...games just facilitate the process, so my advice for what it's worth- use the phrase "'cause it says so in the rules so let's move on", or just choose a different game...


This. I can tolerate almost anything - but to me cheating or table flipping is the most childish and most disrespectful of any habits/offense listed in this thread.

Glance at your phone once in a while and forget what's going on? Please stop (but I get it...I don't do it, but I get it)

Rules lawyer? Fine. We should play by the rules - as long as we are reasonable about it.

Talk smack? Be sarcastic? Play "suboptimally" for some goofy metagaming reason? Whatevs. You're being silly, but we've all been there at one time or another - the point of a game is to have fun, and if banter is fun for you, I understand. If NOT wiping your wife/spouse/SO off the map isn't fun for you (or wont be fun later) - I get that too...occasionally.

But cheat? Wait - you're going to waste everyone's time playing a "fun" game and cheat just because you have some childish insecurity about losing? We're done here. The same goes for the temper tantrum board flip. One is just a quieter way of dealing with the same immature need to win.

Anyone who cheats or flips will NOT be invited back. Ever. Period.
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