Most games we play whether it be tabletop, card, RPG or other involve two or more players.

I have often said that a game is only as good as the people around you.

So the question may be asked what is good sportsmanship?

I have played many games. I have had good and bad opponents, but one of my favourite games of Warhammer was not only against dwarfs (hobby wreckers to most people) I also got smashed in this game. My Elves just couldn’t deal with the artillery and the iron hard characters never less I gave my opponent my Best Sports vote, he then went onto win the Best Sports Award and he has taken a few more home too.

So I sat here typing this and I thought let’s ask the guy what it takes to be a really good opponent and how important is it?

Introducing Andrew Smith (Smithy) on the right

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Andy please introduce yourself:

I first started collecting Warhammer in March 1992, with dwarfs as my first army, after a short break I restarted again on the Warhammer 7th edition rules.

I’m what you call a mid table player, never too good for the top tables but always happy to play the top players in tables.
I’ve won best Dwarf at No Holds Bared and at Mansfield Maul; I also got best General at the Maul too.
My local club in where I play most is Portal Wargaming in Burton, with a great group of about forty which takes place every Wednesday.

Andy how do you feel about being one of the hated dwarf players and dealing with the (sigh) when people see the Dawi ranks?

In my games I always explain my plans “I show him/her my cards” Yeah it doesn’t always allow me to win, but I’m happy to explain why I do or don’t move my units. My opponent will often back me up in the plays I make.
I use a balanced dwarf list when I game with a more up front style rather than the normal gun lines people love so much. I much prefer a good combat list as I think Warhammer should be won through combat.
I always smile in my games; it is only a game at the end of the day. I never get cross with my dice rolls, it often helps to laugh at your own misfortune and this is key. Getting cross gives the game the wrong atmosphere.

What are your views on the importance of good communication?

I think communication and banter are very important, as it’s a sociable game! You have to speak to each other for rules and dice rolls etc. so never make it a chore; it’s got to be fun.

Getting to know your opponent helps. How’s their list working out? Where are they from? How long have they played for? It’s a two player game and not all about you, so listen to what they have to say, instead of just waiting to have your say.
Don’t forget about them after the game either; see how they get on, have a pint with them too, this always helps.

Every now then we get bad games; it’s sad to say. Andy what should players look out for?

I thought over this question a lot. I don’t mind slow players, rule query players or even quiet players. That’s just their nature, so you can’t have a bad game because of that. Bad games for me are often when the player is all about the winning i.e.  rule bending/breaking and you find this out after your game, to them your just another bump in the road, that they must steam roller over.

Can you tell me about the after game time, with your opponent?

I love this part. I often ask my past opponents how their game has gone with players who I’ve not faced, but have done in other tournaments. I’m not saying after the game you follow them around and be in their pocket, but its good to catch up on others progress. You can end up chatting till the next game is due with a pint.

Andy in action at the maul with bad dices Mark Wildman and current master Tom Mawdsley
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Any tips for first event attendants?

Easy one.

My advice: Always smile in your game, listen to what your opponent has to say about them self, laugh at your misfortune and remember its only a game. Beside you can always get VENGEANCE on them in other tournaments’ if you lost 😛

Hopefully you can gain from this if it’s your first game, event or you thousand and first. Keep your chin up no matter what and enjoy yourself. Even when you lose you learn!

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  • jim

    like* someone* thanks ian i fully agree, also depends on what youput on the table which is why i admire andy, he puts dwarfs out, beats people and they still love him

  • Ian Sturgess

    Andy is a nice gent thats for sureXD
    Sports is a wierd one though some people like gents, some like loud brash people and loads of banter, others liek tactical games and poker faces. There is no wrong or right as long as soemone isnt very nice then at a critical moment get all gamey after having a relaxed game, they are the worst kind of sports in my opinion.

  • Chebhear

    Always admire a person who is humble in a not so arrogant way. Good to know such people still exists.


  • Nicest man I have ever played and also very sexy.

    • Jim

      Fully agree I enjoy playing Andy and talk to him daily he’s a top bloke and never has a bad word said about him