Competitive Etiquette

Today I’ll be talking about the importance of competitive etiquette for yourself and your opponents in games of Shadespire from tournaments to gaming nights.

So what is competitive etiquette? To me this broken down into a few sub-categories: timely play, don’t blame your dice and not trying to be a dick.

I decided to focus on this today as I was reminded about it at the tournaments I went to last weekend in some ways but should be useful to help improve your own competitive play and ensure both you and your opponent have a great time playing games.

Timely Play

What this involves is trying to combat slow play when you encounter it in a tournament or even in just casual games. If you and your opponent are both very knowledgable with the game mechanics you can crank out a full game in about 20 minutes or even faster than that. However sometimes a game can last up to 45 minutes or more and when you’re playing in a tournament game, that could cost you a tournament win if you end up losing that game and then have 45 minutes or less to try and win 2 more games.

So what way can you get around this? Firstly you can do it by improving your own time management. For every best of 3 game I play I use a 90 minute timer that me and my opponent can see just (I use my mobile phone for this). Try to aim to get 30 minutes per game to help focus your decision making and play making. Of course this comes down to player knowledge but you can also use the timer to help encourage your opponent to play faster by simply reminding them of the remaining time and by using your own game knowledge to help them.

Another area is banter. While yes we all love to have a great rapport with your opponent, somes a bit of joking can last far longer than you realise. A simple thing is just to leave it all till after the game is finished. You can still crack a joke here and there but in a tournament game, time is everything so it’s better to keep it short and focus on the game at hand. Once it’s all over you and your opponent can relax and have a good old chat.

It’s also important you know the rules and mechanics of the game inside and out to help speed up your game. Making sure you know your warband in a likewise manner is also important. This can all simply be done by trying to get regular games in to keep you on the ball.

In tournaments, if you feel your opponent is slow playing purposefully, the only way to deal with this is to challenge them on it. If this doesn’t improves things then call over a judge. The important thing to remember is that sometimes your opponent isn’t doing it on purpose but if they are you must act upon it otherwise you’ll just end up hurting your game experience as a whole. It’s much better to lose a game set because of errors you made in play execution instead of because you never got to play the full number of games you should have been able to play.

Don’t Blame Your Dice

We’ve all had bad games where nothing has gone your way but at the end of the game going to your opponent and basically saying you only lost because of your dice rolls isn’t really the best thing to say. It knocks down your opponent and puts yourself in a bad light.

I’ve also had and seen opponents focus on the bad dice rolls that lost the game despite being dominating beforehand. When your opponent out plays you and then you fail a crucial defence roll, it’s more your opponent for causing the situation to happen rather than your dice failing. You have to acknowledge the good and the bad.

This was something I used to be guilty of in 40k and AoS but I learned to grow out of it. The game is diced based and we all have to accept that things won’t always go our way.

Don’t Be a Dick

The simplest of rules yet such an easy thing to be ignored. It’s the mantra of my main gaming club HATE (Hackney Area Tabletop Enthusiasts, we’re a nice bunch, honest 😉) and should be the same for gamers everywhere.

How do you achieve this in Shadespire (or any game for that matter) I hear you ask? Simple. When you win, don’t try and rub it in your opponent’s face or lord it over everyone. Always try to be a helpful and nice person. If you’re playing someone new to the game, try to not go all in on them or use a warband you don’t play competitively.

For example, in tournaments I usually run into people new to the game or I do end up getting crushing victories against more experienced players. In this kind of setting you can’t really hold back so after the game I have a good long banter-filled chat with my opponent. I help go through the game such as what they did well, what they did wrong and what changes/improvements they can make to get better at the game etc. I’ll even help them make changes to their deck if they want. This way, even though I may have dominated them in the game they get to see what they can do to enhance their playstyle to get more wins and perhaps even beat me the next time we play.

There are even more ways than the aforementioned points but the idea is clear enough. All in all, these parts of competitive etiquette implemented into how you play will make games more enjoyable for you and your opponent. The good thing is that in major tournaments most people seem to play this way so there’s no need to worry about WAACers (win at all costs) out to ruin your day.

Who knows, all these things could even help you roll more crits 😉

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