7. The Art Critic: Miniature wargamers take great pride in painting their models for use in the games they run at conventions. Like all forms of art, and let me tell you this is an art form, there are varying degrees of talent and styles. The sheer amount of work and dedication it takes to build, paint, and mount the hundreds of minis on the table is really astounding, This doesn’t take into account the oft times elaborate and creative terrain features as well. The critic, though signed up to play the actual game, focuses his attention on the level of detail of the miniatures and terrain before him instead. Staring intently through his Pince-Nez glasses, he will gladly point out to the owner of the miniatures any areas he feels could use a bit of improvement. As he is an grand master in this field he can with great confidence explain that the use of washes to highlight shades is far superior to dry brushing, or that when trying to paint eyes one should attempt to catch the light reflection in the pupil for effect, etc.
There is nothing you can do about such people, they simply exist, so if you are a player on a critic’s side of the table simply try not to support his wing etc. so he can he knocked out of the game quicker. Or as I have been known to do on occasion simply sacrifice your own wing in pointless attacks and then run away as quickly as possible.
For example; (this actually happened to me) A rivet counter touched me on my arm as I was moving my troops, 12th century heavy horse, and pointing to the models in front of his wing said; “these crossbowmen are all wrong, the French of the time had bigger, heavier crossbows for which to pierce the armor of heavy cavalry.”
Smiling, I looked him in the eye and replied; “Exactly! And the utter lack of proper representation of the MK IV Panzer for this battle is rather appalling. And where are the Stukas? Would that these things were thought out better before we volunteered to play.”
My Rivet Counter did not appreciate these observations; however he also didn’t speak to me for the rest of the match so it was a win, win, in my book.
Those who bow to the Bully’s whims will be rewarded with the wonderful feeling that they have somehow been treated as poorly as those who do not. There is no winning with a bully at the table for even if everyone adheres to his wishes and a victory on the board is achieved the satisfaction of a job well done will be overshadowed by the knowledge that you as a player really didn’t contribute other than to push pieces about like an automaton, and the Bully will, with a self satisfied glow, exclaim how you are fortunate to benefit from his benevolent leadership.
|Negative Expert to my left, I give the V for victory sign as I finish beating him soundly.|
The Negative Experts are the ones to be wary of. These players show up at introductory and beginner sessions simply to beat up on players who are just learning. They try to intimidate others by saying such things as; “The reason I win is because I think three to four turns ahead at all times, unless you can do that you will never be good at this game etc. etc.”
Negative Experts are not good sports; they are looking to win at the expense of the beginner, all the while bragging about intricate tactics and strategies that were used in his last tournament. These people are difficult to spot early enough for you as a player to take evasive or defensive action. For, they come with open hands and smiles. It is not until you are two to three turns into a game that their true nature is revealed.
When spotted though the best you can do is to try and beat them at their own game. Stop listening to their advice and apply what you do know to winning at all costs. This can be accomplished, because the Negative Expert is overconfident, and usually unimaginative in his play. Even if you cannot win in the end try not to focus too much on them and instead try to appreciate the game itself and any positive aspects of it that you liked.
|Warning: this shirt “Triggers” Drama Monkeys.|
11. Drama Monkeys: These players are a personal pet peeve of mine and though I have added them to this list most people today will find no issue with them. Drama Monkeys are politically correct to the extreme and will cringe in horror and complain if some part of a game contains anything they consider offensive. For example; the Euro game Puerto Rico which is about trading goods in the Caribbean during the 1600’s, the representation of slaves can be just too much for a drama monkey to bear. I’m good with that, except when they sign up to play such a game and then try to lecture everyone at the table on the evils of slavery.
They also are the self appointed conversation police, ready and willing to flutter with consternation if anyone says anything off color or not up to their standards. Now, when I am at a convention I do try very hard not to swear, (really difficult for me) or offend other players with my rather coarse nature. Yet Drama Monkeys make my efforts all that more difficult, for their hypersensitivity to everything stifles my good natured side as well as my bad. Instead of making a joke or laughing at something I think is amusing, I find myself shutting down and simply focusing on not saying the wrong thing so as to avoid “triggering” them. I despise being hindered in such a way. These pests have become so bothersome that once I identify a Drama Monkey at a game in which I am playing, I don’t even finish the session and simply excuse myself.
I do not go to game conventions to be miserable nor to listen to another person’s politics.
|Bastard Extremus. Steer clear and call the authorities.|
12. This Guy: I will not divulge his name but he has been at every convention I have ever attended. This guy has at one time or another played the Historian, the Waffle Mite, Socialite, Master Tactician, and the Bully, and once even a strange combination of all them together. He is something of a pretentious douche with a temper who should be avoided at all costs. Do not approach him unannounced or look him directly in the eyes as it will be taken as a sign of aggression, and if his irises turn from blue to gray and his whiskey breath goes soft, back away slowly palms forward. Do not make any sudden moves whatever you do. Better yet if you see this man contact the local authorities or the FBI for he is bound to have outstanding warrants.