Friday, August 13, 2010

The fine art of Dirty Hammer

Well up until 10 minutes ago I thought this term to be purely for gaming purposes... boy was I wrong! I highly recommend you dont google "Dirty Hammer" unless your up for the more... liberal.
Anyway im here to talk about our favourite social past time (not that one!) and where the line falls between competitive play and down right dirty tricks. At what cost do you place winning?

Now recently I played at a local tournament to good effect, finishing in the top 15 and all with friendly play. But being nice across the table didnt mean I was nice on the table, to be fair I did not play any tactics that would have been considered down right nasty that day. Has this stopped me from playing those tricks in the past and had those self same things down to me before? Hell no!

Let me clarify for a moment what is meant by "dirty tricks", for instance loading dice, affecting dice rolls by "dropping" the dice or any other form of dice manipulation is in my book not on. The great gods of probability frown down upon those who try to turns fates hand, if the dice arnt going your way that day then so be it. Rule manipulation is also a no no, telling someone the wrong thing about your army to gain an in field advantage is just low, in my books thats grounds to never play that person again (and I realise that at times your bound to get the rule mixed up as long as you learn, apologise or clarify at the time thats ok) but gaunts do not have rending and dreadnoughts do not take shooting hits always on front armour.

I personally am one of the gamers that appreciates the sublime, continuously thinking of ways to achieve tactical surprise in an element that shows all your cards on the table from the get go. Its a method of making your opponent focus on something to such a great extent that the little things fall from their vision (go go chaos raptor's!). Im sure all of you have had that sneaky rhino contest an objective at the end of a game and if anyone played against the Doom of malantai pre faq (about time) you will know what a dirty trick entails.

So where do we draw the line? when does a finely tuned army become a block of cheese? Ive seen my mate go through those moments of roller coaster emotions during a game when you thought you had the win in the bag, only to realise that due to a tactical error on the part of misdirection or being in the moment that they have not only not won but are about to suffer a loss, recoup to a draw and then lose. I admit that im a hard player at times, I have studied strategy, tactics and battlefield deception for many years and attempt to apply them to the game, but at times I feel perhaps the loss would have been the morally better place to stand. As I said to a friend I was teaching the game to the other day "These tactics will win you games not friends"

So where do you all stand? Is it the win that drives you? Will you play dirty to get that sense of pride? would you rather play a straight down the line game and walk away the prouder?

Feel free to share your experience's playing or being played, your favourite units for sneaky and anything else you may think relevant.

Good gaming!