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Dark_Kindred
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PostSubject: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Sun Jul 21 2013, 21:20

I attended an 1850 point tournament yesterday and several points/accusations were leveled against me and some of my friends (we play at another store and decided to check this place out). Do not take this post as a self-congratulatory post.

The long and the short of it is that, from a game play perspective, I placed second in the tournament overall by tabling my opponents to the exclusion of all else. My friends also took armies that did well by annihilating their opponents (a Tau-Eldar list with an HQ that grants Twin Linked & Ignores Cover, Dark Reapers, Riptides, multiple Hammerheads, Firewarrior Blob behind ADL; a Space Wolf list with 3 Landraiders, Predator, Logan Grimmar, and lots of Terminators).

This tendency to "go for the table" was originally detrimental to our collective performance. The first round game was the Relic and we operated under the assumption that secondary objectives counted for game resolution. Consequently, we all drew even though our opponents only had 4 to 8 models left.

Although I like winning, each victory left a bitter taste in my mouth. The words of a Necron player I played summed everything up:

"I very rarely lose any unit whole unit when playing a game [Because of We'll Be Back]. You sat down and systematically my army one unit at a time before assaulting me. When I saw that you were bringing Dark Eldar, I felt doomed because most Dark Eldar players are very good and are merciless."

Another encounter, during my second game, illustrated the mood through body language. I was playing a Grey Knights player (I figured out halfway through the game that he was a noob) when another player came over. He was giving advice and then looked at what I brought. I watched his face go from upbeat to uncomfortable to visibly ill.

After tabling that guy, I went onto tabling my Space Wolf friend. It was pretty casual. Afterwards, I was dubbed "one of those guys." Having already felt bad for most of the tournament, I went on to feel worse.

I would like to reiterate that this post is not a backhanded attempt to congratulate myself. Going in, I felt that I should minimize threats to myself by simply eliminating enemy units in order of their ability to project force. Going down the line, particularly when an enemy has few models or has a sizable portion of his army arriving from reserve, tends to lead to a table.

In short, is tabling or nearly tabling someone sportsmanlike if the army you are playing is not forgiving of mistakes? The win big, lose big realities facing Dark Eldar players lead me to think that sort of ruthlessness is a given but it also sucks to do away with any semblance of fun.

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Mushkilla
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Sun Jul 21 2013, 21:57

Dark_Kindred wrote:
n short, is tabling or nearly tabling someone sportsmanlike if the army you are playing is not forgiving of mistakes? The win big, lose big realities facing Dark Eldar players lead me to think that sort of ruthlessness is a given but it also sucks to do away with any semblance of fun.

Tabling is a valid strategy. I don't see why they complained about it. If anything (like you said) it's a very suboptimal strategy in a lot of missions. The fact that your playing aggressively also means your opponent will always get a fight. I have had games where I have patiently waited at range for the whole game only to strike on turn 5 denying his objectives and knowing he won't be able to take out all my denial units before the game ends. I have had games where I have focused on killing all my opponents troops in the first few turns and then spent the rest of the game avoiding him and going to ground knowing he can't win.

In some ways playing for the table is merciful. Smile

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Grub
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Sun Jul 21 2013, 23:06

At the end of the day, at tournaments you are playing to win. Winning is not unsportsmanlike. The way you behave in defeat or victory defines what sort of gamer you are. It's not nice to get tabled and its no doubt a blow for players and it can be irritating at the hands of Dark Eldar. Me and my friends play regularly and occasionally play small tournies. Often after a squad of 5 incubi chew through a 10 man terminator squad no problem opponents get annoyed and start blaming everything but tactics. I simply then draw there attention to the squad of warriors and raider wiped out by a single flamer, the reavers gunned down. It works two ways and as long as you are light hearted about it and accept defeat as well if not better than victory anyone accusing you of being unsportsmanlike is ironically a bad loser and thus being unsporting!
-On a secondary note, tabling is good for dark eldar fluff. Often if im playing for fun I will ignore objectives and just try to wipe the enemy off or remove all scoring units. Smply because it is playing to our strengths and it is more suiting for Dark Eldar to do that! (even if- often it is considered a weak tactic)

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Sun Jul 21 2013, 23:34

I've always found that to win with Dark Eldar you have to go straight for the juggular, there is no messing around as small mistakes can easily cost you the game.

When I end up tabling someone it is often drawn slowly over 5 turns until it becomes all very apparent, very fluff in my view. Razz

What was in your list, Dark_Kindred?

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Dark_Kindred
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 01:00

Mushkilla wrote:

Tabling is a valid strategy. I don't see why they complained about it. If anything (like you said) it's a very suboptimal strategy in a lot of missions. The fact that your playing aggressively also means your opponent will always get a fight. I have had games where I have patiently waited at range for the whole game only to strike on turn 5 denying his objectives and knowing he won't be able to take out all my denial units before the game ends. I have had games where I have focused on killing all my opponents troops in the first few turns and then spent the rest of the game avoiding him and going to ground knowing he can't win.

In some ways playing for the table is merciful. Smile

Oh no, I agree that tabling is a valid strategy--it's a war game. That said, stunlocking someone in a fighting game is also a valid strategy but is unsportsmanlike like. With respect to being aggressive, I usually deploy and then move conservatively. I try to pick off exposed models with liberal use of focus fire and crush troop choices once I have achieved long range superiority. This is my play-style for about two or sometimes three turns. The most notable example I can think of was beating a Fire Warrior blob in a ranged shootout by eliminating my opponent's Hammerheads and Pathfinders and then slowly picking apart the Fire Warriors.


Sky Serpent wrote:
I've always found that to win with Dark Eldar you have to go straight for the juggular, there is no messing around as small mistakes can easily cost you the game.

When I end up tabling someone it is often drawn slowly over 5 turns until it becomes all very apparent, very fluff in my view. Razz

What was in your list, Dark_Kindred?

Both points are certainly true.

With respect to the actual list, it wasn't exactly "competitive." The tournament winner was a Saim-Han list with about sixty Wind Riders, Shining Spears, Vypers, a Wraithknight, and probably a Seer Council. I did some research and it turns out that he was doing something very illegal (moving 2d6 in the assault phase after turbo-boosting).

Here was what I brought:

Head Quarters
• Vect 240
• Haemonculus w/ LFG, Haemonculus w/ Venom Blade 115
• Farseer 100
Elites
• 5 Incubi in Raider w/ Dark Lance and Night Shields 180
Troops
• 5 Rangers 60
• 5 Kabalite Warriors with Blaster in Venom w/ 2 SCs & Night Shields 135
• 5 Kabalite Warriors with Blaster in Venom w/ 2 SCs & Night Shields 135
• 5 Kabalite Warriors with Blaster in Venom w/ 2 SCs & Night Shields 135
• 10 Kabalite Warriors in Raider w/ Dark Lance, SR, & NS 170
• 7 Wyches w/ HWG led by Hekatrix w/ Agonizer & PGL in Raider w/ Dark Lance & NS 194
Heavy Support
• Ravager with 3 Dark Lances and Night Shields 115
• Ravager with 3 Dark Lances and Night Shields 115
• Razorwing Jetfighter with 2 Dark Lances and Flicker Fields 155

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 01:38

If the *only* reason they cited you as 'one of those guys' was you tabling them, then I wouldn't worry about it. That's part of the game and, strangely, that whole shop has apparently a strange unwritten rule wherein you don't kill the opponent's units...I dunno.

If there were other reasons in addition to the tabling they called you 'one of those guys' then you may have something to be concerned about.

I will admit I do a lot of tabling and have had people dock me sportsmanship - but it was during a period I was being more focused on the game. I wouldn't talk much, I'd just focus on the game. Nowadays I always work really hard to keep up a random stream of chatter and congratulate the opponent on whatever goes well for him (including high-fives when he makes all his Termie saves, even if inside I'm roiling). I still table a lot of people - I get consistant good reviews for sportsmanship.

Sometimes it's about how you do things, not what you are doing.

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Dark_Kindred
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 05:37

Thor665 wrote:
If the *only* reason they cited you as 'one of those guys' was you tabling them, then I wouldn't worry about it. That's part of the game and, strangely, that whole shop has apparently a strange unwritten rule wherein you don't kill the opponent's units...I dunno.

If there were other reasons in addition to the tabling they called you 'one of those guys' then you may have something to be concerned about.

I will admit I do a lot of tabling and have had people dock me sportsmanship - but it was during a period I was being more focused on the game. I wouldn't talk much, I'd just focus on the game. Nowadays I always work really hard to keep up a random stream of chatter and congratulate the opponent on whatever goes well for him (including high-fives when he makes all his Termie saves, even if inside I'm roiling). I still table a lot of people - I get consistant good reviews for sportsmanship.

Sometimes it's about how you do things, not what you are doing.

I'm not sure if there are other reasons. I left the store with my pals and got a sandwich between rounds. When I came back, I saw a group of about 5 gamers huddled around the table I had just played on. That unfortunate soul was the noob who I didn't know was a noob until half way through the game. He was a pretty chill guy and I spent the rest of the game walking through the rules, giving tactical advice, and whatnot. Anyway, these guys were hanging out around the table and talking. Among other things, I got the impression that they were talking about what happened--primarily because my army list was on the table and my army isn't a especially well painted.

I wouldn't say that I'm especially nice or chatty when playing the game with strangers. Also, my voice is about as monotone as you can get. That said, I'm not mean either and don't revel in crushing an opponent... unless he's a complete tool.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 06:29

I am not in a position to offer any opinion or insight into any of that for you.
All I can report on is my own experiences and conclusions about them, and I can say that I've never experience 'tabling' as a reason to be called 'that guy'. I also add that it seems unusual as a reason to call someone 'that guy'. Now, as I said, for all I know it is a weird store and being tabled is a big faux pas there or something, what the heck do I know, maybe they're all weird and really hate anyone who is remotely competitive (and, frankly, looking at your list, I don't even consider it a power list, like, at all).

But the fact you posted this thread suggests you're worried that maybe it's you, and I'm just offering some thoughts about how to try to remove the chance it is you. I do think when playing the game of 40k, even while pile-driving the other opponent's list through a table, that a pleasing disposition and friendly talk about the hobby you both share is a A+ solid way to do it. Heck, I'm a pretty snarky and difficult guy at heart, but I know this and make sure it won't effect me when playing, and as a result I have a pretty solid rep as a guy who will likely wreck your army, but I'll help educate you and be generally fun to talk with while I'm doing it.

My favorite default ways to ensure a good sportsmanship score at events (and, yes, I play enough competitive tourneys that I focus on this to help me get in proze contention) is to talk about their army. Yes, smash their face in, but point out their well=painted/cool conversion model and compliment them on it. Ask them how they came up with their paint scheme. Before the game ask to look at a model that 'caught your eye' maybe ask them how they acheived a given effect or how long it took to paint it.

Good sportsmanship scores tend to follow.
And I'm a fan of those, and at the end of the day want my opponent to enjoy the brief and brutal murder I am about to put his army through.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 07:11

I play as many turnements I can find time to attend myself, and I do some tabling myself. Actually it was my overall strategy untill quite recently.

I also play a list that just isnt fun to play against, and that is the problem with most good Dark kin lists, they are just really sucky to play against. And there is alot of the problem, because not to be stamped as "that guy" you might have to give abit more of yourself than a competitive player of another race have to, because its a more fun list to play against.

Now I am a chatty chap, and always offer advice if they want it after the game. And I usualy asks the oponent if he thinks I did somethign wrong, to offer him a chance to educate me (you can learn something from everyone even tho you tabled them).

There is also that I dont challange any LOS rulings. I let everything go. THat might sound stupid? Ye maby, but I am confident enough in my skills as a player that I know that harsh LOS ruling going my way, and poor rolling wont loose matches.

Everyone who knows me, knows I am a "cocky" person, and I work hard not to show that when I am at turnements.

There is just 1 person so far that have given me bad sportsmannship so far. But that was more to him being an ass. I gave him bad sporsmannship aswell. Worst turnement game I have had so far.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 09:24

Sounds to me as though there was something more than just tabling your opponents that was upsetting the locals but without having been there or knowing any of the people involved it's hard for anyone else to say what that might be. Perhaps the store you were playing in is more casual in it's play and you guys came across as WAAC? Who knows?

As long as you are happy that you weren't cheating, didn't insult anyone or be rude to them and generally played in the 'right' way then I don't think you need to worry too much. If it keeps happening though then it might be nice to just try to ask someone what the problem is.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 12:45

Ppl getting annoyed by our units is problem with their lack of knowledge about DE. Players who are interested in DE quit when they read that DE need uber skill to win, that we have paper planes, paper armor, that we cant make mistakes etc. There are many such opinion around the internet, and some people just say "meh going to take necron /ig/tau, they are easy". Other skilled players dont go to tournaments with DE, cause they want to win, and other armies have less bad matchups. Thats why when you go to tournament you dont prepare yourself against that rare Dark Eldars, but for Necrons, Tau and Chaos. Then we kill someone and he goes with "OMG its broken! Omg cheesy army"

Had first game at last tournament against casual Ravenwing player. It was cool until I started to shoot with Venoms. He was like affraid . Tabled him in turn 4. Still a nice guy, but I heard him whining to some friends about DE later.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 15:36

Also, in your defence against the Grey Knights player, its difficult even if you go soft not to table them simply due to the low amount of models they bring compared to our volume of fire

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 16:26

It sounds either like that that club indeed has some secret rule of "no-tabling", or, a worse possibility, that your friends may be the cause. Im not sure should you ask them about that or not. You never really want to find out you are a pal with a cheater.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 16:35

Thor665 wrote:
Now, as I said, for all I know it is a weird store and being tabled is a big faux pas there or something, what the heck do I know, maybe they're all weird and really hate anyone who is remotely competitive (and, frankly, looking at your list, I don't even consider it a power list, like, at all).

No offense taken Wink 

Thor665 wrote:

Good sportsmanship scores tend to follow.
And I'm a fan of those, and at the end of the day want my opponent to enjoy the brief and brutal murder I am about to put his army through.

Probably the best bit of practical advise I've heard yet. Thank you.

Darklight wrote:

There is just 1 person so far that have given me bad sportsmannship so far. But that was more to him being an ass. I gave him bad sporsmannship aswell. Worst turnement game I have had so far.

Count Adhemar wrote:
Perhaps the store you were playing in is more casual in it's play and you guys came across as WAAC? Who knows?

As long as you are happy that you weren't cheating, didn't insult anyone or be rude to them and generally played in the 'right' way then I don't think you need to worry too much. If it keeps happening though then it might be nice to just try to ask someone what the problem is.

Another piece of good advice.

I actually had a fairly lengthy discussion with several store employees about sportsmanship scoring and cheating. The event did not feature sportsmanship scoring nor should it be construed as anything even remotely resembling a competitive event. From what I could casually observe, I would say that about 6-8 players out of 24 were "competitive." The "top dog" had competed at Throne of Skulls and, to my knowledge, had not been curb stomped. He was also a guy who couldn't turn it off.

With respect to cheating and other unsportsmanlike conduct, the manager told us (off the record) that there were four instances of cheating. I reported another one after the event.

My immediate response to being "that guy" and concerns about cheating is this: just ask the judges to call me out if they think I'm not above board. Different stores have different habits/rules interpretations. Although this could be construed as gamesmanship (inadvertently implying an opponent not making a similar agreement "has something to hide") I just like to make it clear I'm trying to be fair.

Grub wrote:
Also, in your defence against the Grey Knights player, its difficult even if you go soft not to table them simply due to the low amount of models they bring compared to our volume of fire

He was playing a tooled up Draigowing. Less than 20 models in total at 1850. I knew we were in trouble when he thought Draigo's attack profile determined how many shots he had.

Mngwa wrote:
It sounds either like that that club indeed has some secret rule of "no-tabling", or, a worse possibility, that your friends may be the cause. Im  not sure should you ask them about that or not. You never really want to find out you are a pal with a cheater.

I'm pretty sure my friends are on the level. When we spoke to one of the employees, he explicitly stated that we weren't cheating. This was part of a larger discussion. Apparently, his opponent at a Throne of Skulls tournament had implied his dice were loaded. He got out some of the dice from the starter set and rolled all 5s and 6s, completely wiping out a unit of terminators. They put his dice in water and they were cleared. He was from then on "a marked man."

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 16:41

It's not something to worry about. If other players are giving you an unjustified rep that's down to them being sore losers or just stains on the underpants of society. If they do it, go back and do it again I say!

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 17:21

Dark_Kindred wrote:
My immediate response to being "that guy" and concerns about cheating is this: just ask the judges to call me out if they think I'm not above board.

I personally think it's possible to be 'that guy' and not also be a cheat.
I don't consider them the same thing at all.

If you meant people were calling you a cheat when they called you 'that guy' then, yes, the onus is upon them to make clear what rules you were breaking and to bring it to the judge's attention.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar and the Sportsmanship of Tabling   Mon Jul 22 2013, 17:36

Being "that guy" was certainly not "he's a cheater." Being "that guy" was a product of a pretty large skill/list divide in the tournament. This was just a 24 person LFGS tournament but you had some people bringing far better lists than may have been appropriate.

With respect to cheating, I was responding more to Count's statement about playing clean. I'm by no means a "warm" person but I believe in being fair. I remind people about their reserves and psychic powers after they've started moving and what not. Ultimately, I think imposing stronger external controls on myself reinforces that point, will stop other people from cheating, and perhaps make people think I'm looking for a good, fair game instead of a sweep.



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