The Thin Grey Line – What is too competitive?

not GMO vegan cheese but could you tell anywayHowdy everyone, Severus here and I wanted to touch on a subject today that may seem a little odd.  When does the game become too competitive?  When is someone’s play style or list composition just to much? It is a question that the Lord Primarch and I have had endless debate over.  He being on the side of softer lists, myself on the side of harder lists.

Normally, when our gaming group gets together, we have a few pre-made lists.  Sometimes that entails bringing multiple armies along, or large selections of one army so there are list options.  Regardless, we have the usual conversation with our opponents about what do you want to play.  Harder lists, soft list, Tau, Orks, ect.  For the most part we have a smaller gaming group and know each other well.  The problem comes up when someone new enters a game with us.  A lot of the newer players or less frequent players around our area play softer lists.

The argument comes down to this.  Is it possible to play a softer game with a hard list and still have fun with a player that is running a soft list?  As in, can you use a hard list but still keep it fun for both players?  I would argue yes.  The Lord Primarch would argue no.

Then my opinion changes a bit this week.  I had the chance to play in two league games this week, a 40k game with my Iron Hands and a Fantasy game with my Vampire counts.  The short version of the games was this.  As the Iron Hands I was the very hard lists and despite my attempts to reel it in, my opponent conceded by turn 2.  I can only assume he did not enjoy that game.  As the Vampire counts, my opponent had the harder lists.  Despite his attempts to keep it light and fun, I had no chance at winning that game.  I conceded on turn 5.

This is not meant to insult my opponent or to make him seem like a bad guy.  He is a friend and I enjoy hanging out with him and playing games with him.  That was not a fun game for me and my Vampires.  My opponent was very friendly, offering advice on the best way to tackle a situation or alerting me when I made a poor decision (and then giving me the chance to change that decision).  Despite all that I could not enjoy that game.  Did I learn things?  Yes.  Did I learn weaknesses in my list?  Yes.  Did I learn how to improve my list? Yes.  But I still didn’t enjoy that lesson.  I felt like I never really had a chance.

I have been beat worse than I was beaten in that game.  I have lost horribly with plenty of different armies across fantasy and 40k.  The key for my enjoyment is the feeling that you still have a chance to do something awesome to get you back in the game.  The key for other players enjoyment may vary.  Some guys like a good narrative.  Some like a close match.  Some like to watch the world burn and crush there foes.

Lets get back on point though.  The questions was is it possible for a player with a harder lists to play a toned down game against a player with a softer lists and both players have fun?  Before I treated this as a black and white thing.  Yes or No.  Now I think there is some grey area in it.  There are probably some lists out there that are so hard, there is no way to play them down enough to get a fun game for both players.  The opposite probably also holds true.

I am not sure where I will take this new found opinion.  If someone rolls in the store this weekend and wants a game, I would probably open up my lists to them and let them have a look at them.  Give them an option as to what they will be up against.  What about you guys?  Where do you think that thin grey line between a tough fun game and a poor match up is?  Do you tone down a lists or your play style?  Or do you do both?  Until next time this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

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