Sunday, April 5, 2009

4/5/09

Had one of those days yesterday-- where the weather change and allergies combine together for fantastic effect. We had a good game the nights before-- both Changeling and Libri Vidicos. I'll write that up soon enough. Unfortunately we had Shari out sick for Friday's game which was a big sequence wrapping up some big threads. I'll have to try to get a good summary of the happenings together.

But as for yesterday, Mark's trying to start a monthly Saturday open board games session-- a catch as catch can for when he doesn't have other events scheduled. He and I have been playing board games together fairly regularly for going on five years now every Tuesday night, and he's been more than generous to me over the years so I wanted to head up to support this endeavor. Plus, as you probably know, I love's me some board games.

Well, I remembered why I don't usually care for open board gaming. Having that right play group is nearly as important in board games as it is in rpgs. There's less time involved, but boy do you get a chance to see the worst in people in a compressed environment. We had six people-- Mark, my friend Matt and his wife Amy and two new guys-- a nice fellow named Brian and another guy who I'll simply call Jackass, since I couldn't even bother to remember his actual name. He managed to combine some of my favorite traits in one voluminous and sweating package:

1. No control of his indoor voice
2. Constantly knocking shit around
3. Overrolling-- shaking the dice cup until my ears bleed
4. Reaching over and touching other people's stuff
5. Restating the rules that other people already know
6. Wet-voiced
7. Listening to music while playing
8. Giggling at other people's misfortunes at every opportunity
9. And an absolutely poor loser...

This last one is what killed it for me. We decided to play the Alhambra Dice Game. I quite enjoy it and it was the only game I'd brought that supported six players. I should have brought Union Pacific, but live and learn. I explained the rules carefully and tried to stress several times that you needed to focus and that it was a dice game-- you could get fairly behind in it, especially on your first play of it. It is easy to pick up but easy to miss some things early and get screwed later on-- especially with six players. We didn't have a runaway leader problem, in that we had nearly everyone actually competing seriously for the lead.

Except, of course, Jackass who by the second round started whining and complaining. Complaining and stomping his feet about bad rolls, sulking that his plays didn't go off, bitching that other people were 'attacking' him when they were just making strategic choices since there's little or no direct attacking in the game, and of course by the last two rounds screaming that he'd never win.

IF YOU'RE LOSING A GAME. DO IT GRACIOUSLY. ENJOY THE PLAY. LET EVERYONE HAVE SOME FUN AT HOW BADLY YOU'VE MANAGED TO DO. DON'T TAKE IT SERIOUSLY. DON'T MAKE EVERYONE ELSE FEEL BAD.

Play to win, but be good in losing.

Ugh. I've been spoiled for some long by playing with good people. As I drove home I realized I'd been gritting my teeth for the last hour-- and had a headache that took until today(combined with the aforementioned allergies and weather) to go away.

On the plus side, the Brian guy we played with was quite nice. I liked him.