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Subject: Playing with the wrong crowd? rss

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Jerry Tamlen
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Hey guys, what do you think about this situation? It's been bugging the heck out of me for a while, and I'm only asking now because it's starting to get not only constant, but personal.

I play boardgames with a few friends every few weeks, and we've all known each other for years. We're all into games, me, not so much as them, but I love playing them when I do.

I'm not the best player and they never let me forget it, but I'm super patient and I still have loads of fun laughing at myself and just playing the game.

Cut to me winning, or cut to me using unconventional tactics because I like variety. That's when they genuinely get mad at me, trash talk me, and accuse me of not playing right. I always play within the rules, but it's almost as if I'm not allowed to win.

What's going on?
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David Debien
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Toestub wrote:
Hey guys, what do you think about this situation? It's been bugging the heck out of me for a while, and I'm only asking now because it's starting to get not only constant, but personal.

I play boardgames with a few friends every few weeks, and we've all known each other for years. We're all into games, me, not so much as them, but I love playing them when I do.

I'm not the best player and they never let me forget it, but I'm super patient and I still have loads of fun laughing at myself and just playing the game.

Cut to me winning, or cut to me using unconventional tactics because I like variety. That's when they genuinely get mad at me, trash talk me, and accuse me of not playing right. I always play within the rules, but it's almost as if I'm not allowed to win.

What's going on?


So you don't play within their groupthink constrained way of playing the game, but play within the rules and win? I call that masterful. Hat is off to you sir. Whenever I have someone trash talk me, I usually take it with very good humor, even when I know they are being mean spirited. I have a few odd gamers with poor game etiquette, but if everyone I gamed with acted like that all the time I would definitely address it directly with them or find new gamers.
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Justin R
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casualgod wrote:
Toestub wrote:
Hey guys, what do you think about this situation? It's been bugging the heck out of me for a while, and I'm only asking now because it's starting to get not only constant, but personal.

I play boardgames with a few friends every few weeks, and we've all known each other for years. We're all into games, me, not so much as them, but I love playing them when I do.

I'm not the best player and they never let me forget it, but I'm super patient and I still have loads of fun laughing at myself and just playing the game.

Cut to me winning, or cut to me using unconventional tactics because I like variety. That's when they genuinely get mad at me, trash talk me, and accuse me of not playing right. I always play within the rules, but it's almost as if I'm not allowed to win.

What's going on?


So you don't play within their groupthink constrained way of playing the game, but play within the rules and win? I call that masterful. Hat is off to you sir. Whenever I have someone trash talk me, I usually take it with very good humor, even when I know they are being mean spirited. I have a few odd gamers with poor game etiquette, but if everyone I gamed with acted like that all the time I would definitely address it directly with them or find new gamers.


There is occasionally an opportunity in some games for what is typically regarded as bad play to beat good play if the good player wrongly assumes that the bad play will not occur. That being said, a truly good player should be able to recognize and counter bad play (by hypothesis).

If I were you, I would take note of the strategies you employed in winning, and keep repeating the process in subsequent games. If at some point you have a decent streak going, you might politely (always politely) remind them of the fact that if you're so bad, why have you trounced them the last 5 times you played ______? I think if you kill them with kindness while you continue to kill them in the game, you force the situation to come to a head: when there is no room for actual criticism, you should not tolerate them if they act like dicks.
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Davey Boy
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Don't forget the reason we play games; fun.

If you're not having fun, you should probably tell them why. If they don't change then you need a new group.

I would imagine they just don't realise what they are doing.

Saying that though, I've always found it strange when people take winning too seriously. There's a guy in my group who will brag whenever he wins, but the rest of us just roll our eyes.

I would say that though, I always lose.
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Pete
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What games?

Pete (thinks that's an important part of the discussion)
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Make a secret recording of y'all playing the game and post it here. We'll tell you what's what.
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Gary Selkirk
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Sounds to me like you're a great player and opponent. You play for fun, change up strategies, way to go. I'd want you on my team anytime.
I play the same as you. Try different things, sometimes to my own doom, other times, my unorthodox playing actually works. Play on and have fun.
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Tyler
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If you play within the rules and win, then their criticism of you as an inferior player rings pretty hollow. If you aren't having fun, it does sort of defeat the purpose of gaming. I'll echo the sentiments earlier expressed. If these are your friends, have you tried simply talking to them?
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Jerry Tamlen
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In response to Pete: We play Catan, Smallworld, Munchkin, Monopoly, King of Tokyo, and Smash Up mostly. I just realized that none of these games are cooperative, and my friend said that one of our other friends didn't want to play Smallworld again because I wouldn't cooperate...

I've talked to them about it and they never seem to let it soak in. I still have fun, and at this point I'm more interested in the situation from a psychological stand point than anything else.
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Chris Talmadge
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Toestub wrote:
, or cut to me using unconventional tactics because I like variety.


This is potentially "the meat of the potato", which you seemed to have just glossed over. Are you doing something jerky, like breaking rules just because the rules don't say you that you can't?

Your phrasing makes it sound like you have a superior intellect and are humiliating the simpletons you play with, until they revolt against you. Is this truly the case OR are you withholding details from the scenario?
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Ian Richard
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Whats going on is that everybody games for different reasons and sometimes they aren't compatible. My own gaming friends are downright brutal to one another and most sane people wouldn't fit in.

The first step is to let them know that you're bothered by their behavior. Tell them to lighten up because you're having a hard time enjoying the games with them constantly treating you poorly.
It's entirely possible that they just don't realize they've gone to far. If you've played along so far, it's not hard to believe it's possible.

If things don't change after talking then do you really want to be playing with them? If you aren't having fun, and they are making you feel bad, and they aren't respected your feelings... you'll probably want to find a new group.
I have many friends that I won't do certain activities with. We just aren't compatible under certain circumstances.
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Arthur Cormode
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The reason they are trashing talking you is that they feel threatened, IMHO. They want you to play a certain way so that they don't have to think so hard. You playing unconventionally probably bothers them more than the trash talking should bother you. Lol.

Plus, if you do win, everyone might learn a viable new strategy and make an old game seem fresh again. So, you are really doing them a favour.
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Destrio Dai
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It's been my experience that some people who don't respect you aren't really your friends. Often those people have issues of their own that they can't deal with on their own and use their perception of you as a crutch to feel better about themselves. Cutting you down is probably a manifestation of that.

Even if that isn't the case for you, if you aren't being respected, you should stop playing games with them. That's what the above boils down to. Find a different group. The most insidious type of disrespect is from those with whom you have a long standing history with and when you are tolerant or patient with that sort of behavior.
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ct5150 wrote:
Toestub wrote:
, or cut to me using unconventional tactics because I like variety.


This is potentially "the meat of the potato", which you seemed to have just glossed over. Are you doing something jerky, like breaking rules just because the rules don't say you that you can't?

Your phrasing makes it sound like you have a superior intellect and are humiliating the simpletons you play with, until they revolt against you. Is this truly the case OR are you withholding details from the scenario?


This is why I (half) jokingly suggesting recording the session so we could see all sides. Then we can tell if this is a request for advice or merely seeking corroboration.
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Paul Oakes
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Just to clarify: when you win a game by using approaches they haven't anticipated they respond by "trash talking" you.

In which case I'd ask them for a score recap, and keep asking as long as they persist with this crap. Let's see if they are engaging in humorous commentary and able to take a response from you or just being bad losers.
 
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Josh Chen
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Toestub wrote:
I've talked to them about it and they never seem to let it soak in. I still have fun, and at this point I'm more interested in the situation from a psychological stand point than anything else.


Maybe it's just their personalities then? They can't handle defeat so they blamed your "weird" plays while in fact its your strategy that won you the game.
 
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Dezza
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Toestub wrote:
In response to Pete: We play Catan, Smallworld, Munchkin, Monopoly, King of Tokyo, and Smash Up mostly. I just realized that none of these games are cooperative,
All of those games are competitive. Only Monopoly and Catan don't have direct conflict, though your actions can affect other players.

Toestub wrote:
and my friend said that one of our other friends didn't want to play Smallworld again because I wouldn't cooperate...
Did you win that time? Perhaps you were seen to be 'kingmaking' by not attacking the opponent.

Or maybe they see you playing 'suboptimal moves' which only serve to limit their score, rather than gaining you points.

If you're not winning doing this, they can see it as annoying, and you're only playing to mess with the other players. If you're winning, they should see it as a valid method of play.

If you could demonstrate during, or after, how your plays helped you, and not just hurt them (I'm making a big assumption that this is perhaps what's happening), perhaps they'd understand.
For example, Catan, you place a road which doesn't help you this turn, but stops the other player getting the longest road. However, at the end of the game, you win because they're missing X points that the longest road bonus would have granted them.
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Jerry Tamlen
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Scottgun wrote:
ct5150 wrote:
Toestub wrote:
, or cut to me using unconventional tactics because I like variety.


This is potentially "the meat of the potato", which you seemed to have just glossed over. Are you doing something jerky, like breaking rules just because the rules don't say you that you can't?

Your phrasing makes it sound like you have a superior intellect and are humiliating the simpletons you play with, until they revolt against you. Is this truly the case OR are you withholding details from the scenario?


This is why I (half) jokingly suggesting recording the session so we could see all sides. Then we can tell if this is a request for advice or merely seeking corroboration.


In context to them, unconventional really just means taking risks. We goof around the whole time, but they always pick the optimal moves. I always follow the rules, I just like switching things up to see if it will pay off.
For example, I may have two prime monopolies in Monopoly, but I'll trade them away to get the vehicles because they seem to provide consistent income at the time. They'd never trade away two whole monopolies once they had them because why go down when you're already up?
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Jerry Tamlen
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dezza wrote:
Toestub wrote:
In response to Pete: We play Catan, Smallworld, Munchkin, Monopoly, King of Tokyo, and Smash Up mostly. I just realized that none of these games are cooperative,
All of those games are competitive. Only Monopoly and Catan don't have direct conflict, though your actions can affect other players.

Toestub wrote:
and my friend said that one of our other friends didn't want to play Smallworld again because I wouldn't cooperate...
Did you win that time? Perhaps you were seen to be 'kingmaking' by not attacking the opponent.

Or maybe they see you playing 'suboptimal moves' which only serve to limit their score, rather than gaining you points.

If you're not winning doing this, they can see it as annoying, and you're only playing to mess with the other players. If you're winning, they should see it as a valid method of play.

If you could demonstrate during, or after, how your plays helped you, and not just hurt them (I'm making a big assumption that this is perhaps what's happening), perhaps they'd understand.
For example, Catan, you place a road which doesn't help you this turn, but stops the other player getting the longest road. However, at the end of the game, you win because they're missing X points that the longest road bonus would have granted them.


I honestly can't remember if I won it because the game was so long ago. I can see what you mean about the suboptimal thing, because they do play optimally. In Smallworld I usually try to find where I can cripple and gain points at the same time.
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Justin R
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Knowing now what games you play, all of those games have considerable variance. It is borderline ridiculous that people would bitch about how you played King of Tokyo or Munchkin. These guys are probably just dicks.
 
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Toestub wrote:
Scottgun wrote:
ct5150 wrote:
Toestub wrote:
, or cut to me using unconventional tactics because I like variety.


This is potentially "the meat of the potato", which you seemed to have just glossed over. Are you doing something jerky, like breaking rules just because the rules don't say you that you can't?

Your phrasing makes it sound like you have a superior intellect and are humiliating the simpletons you play with, until they revolt against you. Is this truly the case OR are you withholding details from the scenario?


This is why I (half) jokingly suggesting recording the session so we could see all sides. Then we can tell if this is a request for advice or merely seeking corroboration.


In context to them, unconventional really just means taking risks. We goof around the whole time, but they always pick the optimal moves. I always follow the rules, I just like switching things up to see if it will pay off.
For example, I may have two prime monopolies in Monopoly, but I'll trade them away to get the vehicles because they seem to provide consistent income at the time. They'd never trade away two whole monopolies once they had them because why go down when you're already up?


(reminder: I am only going off of what you posted, I have no idea what is really going on...)

Ahhhh, it makes some sense now, because some games like Monopoly and Settlers of Catan involve trading, and you seem to be making really bad trades here.

You see, really bad trades are bad not just because you aren't playing optimally, but because you are greatly favoring some other person who is getting a disproportionally advantage over others.

So, yeah, everyone plays for different reasons, etc. etc., but a couple things that really annoy some people that you seem to be doing is:

-Not playing to win. When you almost criticize them for "always pick(ing) the optimal move", you are basically saying you don't like it when they are trying to win. When you "like switching things up" it seems that you are just screwing around rather than playing to win.

-You are making moves that favor certain people over others (without actually benefiting yourself), so that certain people will have a chance to win through nothing besides having the good fortune of trading some railroad for a two complete monopolies.

So, going from what you say in the posts above, you are in a group where you aren't into games as much as everyone else, you like to mix things up and do things just for variety, the group doesn't like the way you play, you think they always try to play optimally, and you make trades and other plays that are suboptimal.

It seems that these people you are with are gamers that, while they have fun, are in it for the competition and try to play to win, while you do not. You say you have fun, but everything you say seems to be that you being in the group is not fun for you nor is it fun for the group.

So, two questions that might shed some light:
-Are you playing mainly to hang out with them and the gaming is secondary?
-Are you guys kids?
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Paul Evans
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We don't really have enough info available.

I love winning with an unconventional approach. Indeed I particularly love it when a bit of group-think has led to a particular convention being regarded as strongest - and becuase of their slightly blinded committment to the group-think I am able to pull off an unconventional victory.

But if unconventional means: playing not to win, or king-making then I would get frustrated too. Keep on at it and I wouldn;t play with you. You must play to win.

High risk should equal high rewards. Typically I play lower risk when in control, and higher risk when behind. There is something sweet about the gamble in the last-chance saloon that pays off.
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Jerry Tamlen
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fifteenkeys wrote:
Toestub wrote:
Scottgun wrote:
ct5150 wrote:
Toestub wrote:
, or cut to me using unconventional tactics because I like variety.


This is potentially "the meat of the potato", which you seemed to have just glossed over. Are you doing something jerky, like breaking rules just because the rules don't say you that you can't?

Your phrasing makes it sound like you have a superior intellect and are humiliating the simpletons you play with, until they revolt against you. Is this truly the case OR are you withholding details from the scenario?


This is why I (half) jokingly suggesting recording the session so we could see all sides. Then we can tell if this is a request for advice or merely seeking corroboration.


In context to them, unconventional really just means taking risks. We goof around the whole time, but they always pick the optimal moves. I always follow the rules, I just like switching things up to see if it will pay off.
For example, I may have two prime monopolies in Monopoly, but I'll trade them away to get the vehicles because they seem to provide consistent income at the time. They'd never trade away two whole monopolies once they had them because why go down when you're already up?


(reminder: I am only going off of what you posted, I have no idea what is really going on...)

Ahhhh, it makes some sense now, because some games like Monopoly and Settlers of Catan involve trading, and you seem to be making really bad trades here.

You see, really bad trades are bad not just because you aren't playing optimally, but because you are greatly favoring some other person who is getting a disproportionally advantage over others.

So, yeah, everyone plays for different reasons, etc. etc., but a couple things that really annoy some people that you seem to be doing is:

-Not playing to win. When you almost criticize them for "always pick(ing) the optimal move", you are basically saying you don't like it when they are trying to win. When you "like switching things up" it seems that you are just screwing around rather than playing to win.

-You are making moves that favor certain people over others (without actually benefiting yourself), so that certain people will have a chance to win through nothing besides having the good fortune of trading some railroad for a two complete monopolies.

So, going from what you say in the posts above, you are in a group where you aren't into games as much as everyone else, you like to mix things up and do things just for variety, the group doesn't like the way you play, you think they always try to play optimally, and you make trades and other plays that are suboptimal.

It seems that these people you are with are gamers that, while they have fun, are in it for the competition and try to play to win, while you do not. You say you have fun, but everything you say seems to be that you being in the group is not fun for you nor is it fun for the group.

So, two questions that might shed some light:
-Are you playing mainly to hang out with them and the gaming is secondary?
-Are you guys kids?


You know what, this seems to hit it perfectly. I don't know why, but I never thought about the favoring thing with the trades.

When we hang out the games come first though we drink and bs the whole way through. And honestly, it's not that I don't play to win, but more that I don't take the straight path to the win.

The more I think about it though, the more I think I'm just being sensitive and a bit difficult. But then again, there is a guy in our group who is a gaming wiz and he wins constantly. They get mad at him as well.

We're all adults by the way.
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Joke Meister
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Toestub wrote:
We're all adults by the way.


Are you sure?

Why don't you check again, just in case. We'll still be here when you come back.
 
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Robb Melenyk
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Sounds to me like you guys are starting to learn that boardgaming isn't to be taken so personally.

I feel like i've seen this in groups with new players. They like games and want to play but still take loses or conflict too personally. Hopefully it is just a growing period in your gaming career.
 
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