Warhammer 40k Forum and Wargaming Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The concept of Social Contract is brought up on the OCT WD and I wanted to expand a bit on it.

The actual definition of Social Contract comes from an Indie RPG forum and is a bit convoluted, but what folks generally refer to as SOCIAL CONTRACT has to do with the expectations of players in a game.

When people get together to play a game; any game, whether Scrabble or 40k or D&D, they all have expectations.

Some people want challenge, some want catharsis. Some are interested in being social and rolling dice with friends while others want competition. Every single one of these is acceptable AS LONG AS THE OTHER PLAYERS ARE THERE FOR THE SAME THING.

This is the heart of social contract.

Before playing games with people, it's important to be up-front about what you're interested in. Be honest about what you expect out of a game. What kind of game do you want to play?

In terms of 40k, it means defining and talking about, up-front whether you are there for competition or just for an occasional bit of die rolling. being honest about whether you are interested in competing or fine-tuning your army list for competition...or just having a quick fun game.

There is nothing wrong with playing to win. There's nothing wrong with playing competitively...or with playing just for fun with no concern for winning or competition.

The trick here is A. Communication. B. Honesty. and C. Playing with people who are interested in the same thing.

Especially with the upcoming Apocalypse but also important in every game, Social Contract is an important tool in ensuring everyone has a good time playing the game.

In Apocalypse the key to the game, the very goal is to have fun and use all your minis to have these massive brawls.

The important thing about Apocalypse is in keeping with the spirit of the game, enjoying the crazy moment and having a lot of fun rolling a lot of dice.

In every game though, as long as everyone playing, you and your opponants are roughly on the same sheet of music as far as what you are playing for, and what you want out of it...it'll likely be a fun game.

When people play for different reasons, the game usually sucks. This is universal. Whether Scrabble, 40k or D&D, if the other players are playing for some other reason than you...I can almost guarantee the experience will be less than somebody hoped for.

Take Scrabble for example:
If I play competitively, taking extra time to score only on the high multipliers against my wife who is just playing for fun, plunking down words as she gets them, she's going to get schooled, and likely not going to have fun because I'm only playing to beat her, interested in my fun not hers.

Alternatively, if I play competitively with another competitive player, we'll likely have fun.

Take D&D for example:
If I'm playing for the role playing experience of it, while others for the tactical warfare aspect, they are going to bored while I RP with the Bard, and I'llbe frustrated with the combat maneuvers.

Alternatively, if I play D&D with other folks interested in heavy RP, or if the combat heavy people play with other combat heavy folks, everyone will have fun.

Take 40k for example:
If I play competitively, and break out my GT list against Tauman and his brand new Tau army, I doubt he's going to have much fun.

Alternatively, if I play Tauman with a quickie fun list and go easy on him, playing just for fun, he'll likely have fun too.

Or Tauman can play another newbie, or I can play another competitive GT player.

The important thing here is talking about it and being honest about your interests in the game, and playing with folks with similar goals and expectations. This is what Social Contract is about, and I think if people use it, people will get more enjoyment out of games of every type.
 

·
Porn King!!!
Joined
·
8,137 Posts
That is pretty much how my private group plays. We all like to have a fun, enjoyable game but there are a couple of us who like to take it to the full competition level at times (them being myself and the local multi GT winner). When he and I get a game on, unless we are just testing new lists or trying out something new and such, we put the models on the table and it is ON! And we have a blast doing it even with me getting schooled more often than not (I have gotten better at this though as I used to only draw now and again and now I can pull of full wins fairly often). And in this situation it is the added cutthroat competition level play that adds to the flavour of the game for us, even to the point of both of us sweating like crazy and being exhausted from the mental effort afterwards :lol:

On the other hand, another friend of mine and I get games on that are NEVER like that. We throw the models down, toss the dice, and gab the whole time and simply enjoy the fun of moving little painted men around while hanging with a friend. And that is just as fun and acceptable as the above example.

You are right though El, you need to play someone with the same interest in the type of game you want. If I was to really bring it against the second guy I mentioned like I do against the first, the second guy would not only not enjoy his game but would very likely be pissed off completely and possibly not want to play me again. Finding an opponent and trying to play the same kind of game as they are looking for is extremely important.
 

·
Powered by Squig Tea
Joined
·
7,589 Posts
I love this Elchimpster,

You have managed to clearly put into written words a concept that I have been trying to use for my games for years.

Myself and herbert used to play in a group ( Get off that dastardly WoW H! :wink: ) where we were without a doubt the most practiced commanders there.
There were also a bundle of much newer players to the game and we never knew in advance quite who we were going to play. So we used to end up mauling the noobs rather badly which is not much fun for either player.
Now its quite hard to play with restraint without making it so obvious to your opponent that they might be insulted ( this lot were the type to take that badly).Although letting them off rule mistakes and overlooking the occasional tactical error you could have exploited is doable.
You have to help them learn from their mistakes so that they can improve their game play and army selection just NOT every mistake in one game otherwise its slaughter.

Myself and Herbert work together so much discussion was had whilst working, as to how to find a way out of the dilemma. The answer for us was to limit our army selection in some way that would give a newer player a fighting change without making it so easy as to be laughable, whilst still being fun and a challenge if we met each other across the table.
So with this cunning plan in hand we started to set said limits each week, the most memorable being the Boltgun Sunday. We both took vanilla SMs with no Vehicles, lowest level commander with Boltpistol and Powersword and nothing but Boltgun Marines or Scouts apart from a total of 4 Heavy Bolters in the army where ever you liked.

The result of this was two very tight games that were enjoyed by all four players and spectators alike and no real need to limit our play on the table. ( We both managed to win by sheer weight of numbers and forcing a lot of saves, but it was touch and go for a while.)

Other good ways of leveling the playing field when playing in a group with different skills or aims in the game are;

  • Self built scenarios to cater for inbalance in the opponents (although its a good idea to test them with a mate of similar experience before wheeling them out in public.)

    Limiting the points in favour of the less experienced player. (2000pts V 1500pts or such.)

    Giving your list to your newer opponent the week before so he can design his list for that particular army and game.


You can be a Cheesemonger and play a Noob and both still have an exciting,challenging and forfilling game.

Monstering people of less experience is a short sighted approach to the game, you want to make sure your opponent enjoys the game as much as possible and then they will continue to play and possibly evolve into a player of repute to challenge you in the future and be the most exciting opponent for you in your gaming group.

As has been said already by others in this thread be honest about what you want from the game and you and your opponents will get more from it and the gaming community will grow and flourish, be a git and it will wither and die leaving it harder and harder to get a game of any sort.


Thats about my ten penneths worth, but I reckon Elchimpsters post should be printed out and nailed above every Games table in the world. :D

A very good and thoughtful post mate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,615 Posts
LOL!

Got to admit I started reading this on Wednesday thinking it was going to be an essay on how the Imperium maintains its power over its citizens - military force or ideological hegemony? - and instead found a very nice post about how essentially 'bad' games often come down to a mismatch of expectation, between those who think think that 'playing proplerly' means playing to 'win' and those who think it means 'developing a story'.

As a fluffgamer myself, I've obviously had the odd time when I've ended up frustrated because someone has made a power-list and wiped the floor with me. I've not really considered up till now one of the implications, that this was possibly as disappointing for them as it was for me. Sure they got to annihilate me, but if I wasn't 'trying', so what? If I wasn't a threat, where's the thrill/skill? It was probably like kicking a puppy - which, though it sounds fun, can get boring after 40 minutes or so :twisted: . Not really thought about that before.

Thanks, Elc - thought provoking indeed (and a well-argued expansion of your earlier posting here which makes essentially the same point!)

:cyclops:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,003 Posts
If GW abopted this when i went to play games there, it would of caused alot less arguments since 100% of the games no matter how fun you were trying to make it ended with the winner getting bragging rights and what place people put you in there own made up league in their minds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
damn straight you got there buddy
i go to GW and you wont believe what happened on my first day. as soon as i told them i was new, two veterans pounced like a couple of hungry Kroot Hounds. during the subsequent game the guy tried cheat so many times it wasnt funny anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I think the cool part of it is that there are no value statements made either way...

Powergamers are okay, competitive gamers are okay, lazy gamers are okay, cheaters are okay, fluffy gamers are all okay.

People should just play folks who are interested in the same thing.

It's too easy.
 

·
Grey Knight Converter
Joined
·
2,169 Posts
You know what I just realized, a little off topic, but this might actually be one of the first intelligent, interesting, debatable articles from WD I have seen in a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Eh, yeah. I liked a few of the Standard Bearer articles.

There was one where the crux of the matter was "just say yes". Just play the game, if the opponant wants to move front to back when measuring...don't fight it, "just say yes". If he wants to reroll cocked dice or really anything that isn't a blatant rule breakage, don't worry about it, go with the flow and "say yes".

No need to get all worked up in the minutae of rules-lawyering, just have a good time, roll some dice and HAVE FUN.

I think JJ puts an interesting perspective on the state of the game and gameplay. Most likely not shared by everyone [of course].
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,615 Posts
...but Jervis was just riffing on a theme flagged up by... Alessio Calvatore, I think (I'm far too lazy to check this) a year before that, when WD still had sections for different games... and content in them... oh happy days...
... anyway back at the ranch, there was this Dwarf slayer and a dragon and it was the last turn of the game, and the question was 'does your dwarf rush to an heroic death, or do you pound the dragon with some kind of artillery?' and the answer was, ta da! It depends who you're playing - powergamer or fluffmonkey (I paraphrase).

Which is reasonable enough.

:cyclops:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Good Thread!!!

I have really been thinking about his a lot lately (being a noob) I didn't really understand, this clarifies a lot for me.

So I'm also thinking, if you do have an aggressive army (list wise) that you could still play it easy on the other guy and make it a fun game, kinda like playing chess w/ your kids and it would still help to get experience with that particular list. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
No need to get all worked up in the minutae of rules-lawyering, just have a good time, roll some dice and HAVE FUN..
For some sure but as you said get one rule-lawyer with another and they're happy to play and debate everything to the letter of the Rulebook and Codex.
 

·
Porn King!!!
Joined
·
8,137 Posts
To add to my comment above in conjunction with Kujo's comment about having a hard army, I agree. My armies are fairly hard without being beardy/cheesy and there are times when I will go up against someone new, not all that good, not looking for a competative game, etc and when that happens I will go easy and relaxed. I will even point out things to my opponent that they may want to consider such as 'you may not want to move there as it will put you in rapid fire range of ALL my battlesuits' or 'keep in mind that I have AP3 bolters so you aren't going to get any saves like you normally would with those marines'. That way mistakes aren't made that just ruin a game for my opponent entirely (and if you DO step into rapid fire range of all my suits then I most certainly AM going to blitz you with them :biggrin:).

The bottom line is to remember it is a game and keeping it fun is in everyones best interests. You will continue to have opponents that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Well until I got my new job at tournaments I was up front about my intentions. I'm broke, it cost me $20 to enter, and the only way I get new models is by winning.

Which was just to warn them it's not personal it's a tournament, but expect a brutal game.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,588 Posts
thats a very long version of it Elchimpster i just say its a game about war not a war about a game
 

·
Inquisitor
Joined
·
963 Posts
Yeah... I try to not "Rules Lawyer" anymore.. its hard.. what made me so mad in the beginning was I didnt know the rules and people would steam roll me and cheat so bad you could smell the rotten cheese and I just didnt know because I didnt know the rules of the game. Then I started reading all the rule books and all the codexes and I started pointing out people breaking the rules.. you know when you measure to shoot and you see that your opponent is outside of 12" but some how in their assualt phase they are close enough to assualt you even though they have 0 special movement. I just had to become a jerk about the rules to keep my opponents from constantly cheating me.

Now that Im seasoned and know how to play and can actually design a decent army (gee who'ed a thought a bad army design could be what caused me to loose a lot??) I try to just have fun playing my friends and try to keep the "rules lawyer" in me in check. You really do have to be there to play the same game.. as said a rules lawyer competetive player and a standard lax newb gamer styles will just conflict and end up with 2 people who hate a game more than liking it at the end of a game. A competitive tournament game which has a 1-2 hour time limit is no fun to lax gamer who may really want to sit back and role play what his minatures are doing and like wise the long role play game wont be fun for a speed gamer.

Nice topic.

+1 Rep for Chimpster..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
as a fairly new player, i have found that games against experienced people can be good, if they know that you are inexperienced and expecting to learn from the game. I had a guy whoop my butt in a game, however we spent almost an hour afterwards discussing how i could have made different decisions to have offered better resistance. if i hadnt told him ahead that i was probably going to roll over...well he might have been pissed at my turn 4 loss.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top