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abUse the Force - Being a Good Player

abUse the Force divinityofnumber

With the World Championships for our beloved LCGs approaching quickly, let's discuss and develop a set of community standards for tournament play. Fantasy Flight Games has done an excellent job of releasing Tournament Rules for most of the games for which said rules are relevant, yet those official rules lack clarity about a number of domains that are highly relevant to both the fairness and enjoyableness of the games.

The goal here is to develop a living document that reflects an unofficial community standard for LCG organized play, for issues that do not warrant inclusion in official tournament rules documents for a specific game. The aim is to delineate a set of guidelines that are hortatory rather than jussive, a community driven code of conduct. That is to say that the goal of this article is not to present things that should be carved-in-stone rules, but rather ideals and standards that we should strive toward. FFG’s tournament rules cannot and should not cover all relevant points, so we strive here to fill in some gaps, and make organized play a more enjoyable atmosphere for all involved.

Before we begin, let us be clear about this; this article and these suggested guidelines were in no way developed, approved, considered, screened, etc., by FFG. These have sprung out of my own head, and are loosely based on either 1) things that have annoyed me at past tournaments or 2) things that I have heard people complain about online in the fora or in person. The goal is to develop (with the help of all you readers) a set of suggestions that, while they are not issues that necessarily demand attending to in an official tournament rules document, help promote fair, kind, and enjoyable competitive play.

In my years of playing competitive card games, I have found the LCG community to hold perhaps the brightest and most talented competitive card players. In my opinion, FFG's LCGs demand more cognitively from competitors than most (if not all) other card games. Let's take this opportunity to further emphasize what else sets the LCG community apart from the others, namely respectful and quality competitive play to a degree that surpasses that mandated in official tournament rules documents.

The goal is for this article to change as you all read it. This is me taking a stab at it. Let me know where I went astray. Discuss and contribute in the comments!

*Latest update: 10/21/2013


Initiating a game/match:
As in chess, let us deem it proper to shake hands and provide a brief introduction (i.e., your name) before any play occurs. It is also nice to wish your opponent well by saying something such as “Good luck” after you both have shuffled sufficiently and are cutting each other’s decks. Also, make an effort not to vent previous frustrations on your new opponent (e.g., trash-talking certain decks, cards, etc.).

It is also considerate to make sure that your phone and/or other electronic devices are turned off or set to silent mode (not vibrate mode).


Game pieces and materials:
In casual play, it is not uncommon for players to use a variety of objects in place of the standard materials for a given game. However, in competitive play, this becomes less acceptable. Alternate art cards and various items produced by FFG are one obvious exception to this guideline. In the spirit of good sportsmanship and fairness, players should refrain from using seemingly random tokens, dice, counters, and other objects that have potential to become confusing as game pieces. Ideally, players should use the tokens, etc., that are provided with the core set (or official expansion) of a given game.

Things such as randomly colored glass beads, poker chips, dice, Lego figurines, etc., should be reserved for casual play only. In other words, your play area should not look like someone dumped out their kitchen junk drawer onto your cards. Players are encouraged to call a tournament judge and request that an opponent use minimally obstructive, easily identifiable game materials, and, in my opinion, judges should see this request through. As was mentioned, the tokens that were manufactured and included with a specific game are usually best. But, in their stead, the second best thing is the use of tokens of similar dimensions and colors (e.g., round gold tokens to represent AGoT gold and round blue tokens to denote AGot power).

However, please note the following; If both players are satisfied with each other’s choice of tokens and game materials, this becomes irrelevant. But, if you have an opponent who wishes you to use the game standard materials (or materials that are distinct and easily identifiable) in a competitive environment, this should be accommodated, and not begrudgingly.

Also, be respectful with your opponent's game materials and cards. Most people do not care if you flip a card toward yourself to read its text, or lift a card slightly to read the enhancement/attachment/etc. that is under it. But, nonetheless, it is polite to say something like, "Do you mind if I read this one?", while reaching your hand toward a card, but before actually grabbing it. One would think that a "do unto others..." sort of rule would work here. But, some players even treat their own cards in a manner that I would consider harsh. So, regardless of how you treat your own cards, treat your opponent's cards as though they are priceless (i.e., with a high degree of care and consideration). Also, count your cards and double check at the conclusion of a match that you have all of your cards and materials, and that you are not walking off with any of your opponent's cards or materials.


Respecting space limitations:
Often, at major tournaments, table space is quite limited; players must play in a much more confined space than they are used to when playing casually. Thus, it is necessary that each player be respectful to the other when arranging game materials. For example, the tables on which games are played at the FFG Event Center during World Championship events are not large enough to accommodate two regularly sized playmats (which is funny, since FFG often gives away playmats at these events). All too often one can witness one player with a playmat fully unfurled on the tabletop, leaving the other player a small and cramped play area. Often people are too kind to bring this up to their opponent, or they simply do not notice. For example, examine the the two images below.

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In the above image, we see a considerate and relatively symmetric play area. Each player commands roughly half of the available play space. This seems like common sense, but sometimes things move quickly, and neither player takes the time to consider the amount of available play space that they are using. Different LCGs obviously require different tokens, counters, etc. These should be accommodated in a logical way that does not unfairly deprive one player of play area.

Now, let us consider the bad example below.

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Here we see one player who wished to use a playmat taking up more than his or her fair share of the available play area. This situation can be awkward, since many events give away playmats for various reasons. So, some people want to put them to use right away. But, as has happened at events that I have attended in the past, the tables that are available for gaming cannot handle two playmats. In this case, be considerate of you opponent's play space. It is not courteous to unfurl your playmat on the table completely, expecting your opponent to have his or her playmat hanging off the table's edge into their lap. Likewise, avoid the situation above if your opponent happens to not be using a playmat. And, regardless of the playmat situation, make sure that your cards and materials are within your half of the play space.

This is common sense; use only half of the available play space. But, if you look around the internet at pictures from card game tournaments, as common sense as this is, you see violations often.

If you witness another player being denied a fair share of the play area, notify a tournament official to correct the issue. It can also reasonably be considered the job of tournament officials to comment on and correct improperly organized play areas. Even at quite large events, it takes only a minute or two for a judge to peer down the rows of tables and detect inappropriately arranged play areas. Situations like that pictured above are simply inappropriate and unfair. The community as a whole should not tolerate such situations. It is our duty to comment on this when we see it.

Also, because space at large tournaments is often so limited, it is courteous to not carry any more than you have to at any one time. For example, if you are playing in the AGoT Joust tournament, have your tokens and your deck on you, but try to leave other things elsewhere (e.g., in your vehicle, in your hotel room). It can be awkward and largely pointless to try to carry around a large duffle bag with every AGoT card ever printed in it when you are spending the entire afternoon only playing with one deck. So, it is courteous to only carry on your person that which you need for the tournament in which you are currently playing. Sometimes this is not possible; there are always exceptions. But, the main point here is that when space is limited, it is decent to not carry around more than you have to. If you do have to carry around additional materials, it is best to place them under your chair or down by your feet when playing, instead of trying to find room for them on the tabletop.

Also, having to do with respecting space limitations and your opponent's game materials, it is best to try not to eat and/or drink while playing in a tournament game. It is not fun to play against someone who has a bag of fast food sitting on their lap, or a massive fountain drink sitting in the play area. First, food and beverage could be spilled, leading to damaged game materials. Second, food and beverage take up space, which is often in high demand in competitive environments. Even the longest of tournaments are not that long, given the human ability to persist without food or water. Furthermore, you can eat before and after the event(s), and most long events have at least one major break along the way. Once you stand up from the table, by all means eat, drink, and be merry. But, it is best not to try to eat and drink while playing a competitive game or match.


Announcing game states and action windows:
Players should do their best to vocalize the flow of action windows in a given game. For new players, it would serve you well to memorize the flowchart for the games that you play. But, sometimes this is not possible. Thus, it is recommended that you bring a version of it for reference. Simply print it out and keep it in your back pocket. Many things can be settled before they become issues by simply having this to reference. It can save time for both players and judges. Active players who have no actions should ask if their opponent has any actions before proceeding into new sections/phases of the game. For example, in the Star Wars LCG, the active player may play units during his or her deployment phase as an action. The player should first pay the required resource cost, and then say something like, “Luke Skywalker (placing him in the play area). Do you have any actions?” We are all quite used to saying things like, “Cards in hand?” Let us try to make a better effort to note the transition of game phases and action windows. It is a simple gesture that can prevent many issues.


Physical manipulation of game materials and vocalizations:
All too often in card gaming players fidget with and move around tokens and other game materials. Let us make an effort to hold ourselves to the standards of modern chess competitors. Our games are complex, and deserve that level of respect. Thus, generally, if one touches a token (e.g., gold token, focus token) or tokens, he or she should use them. For example, in AGoT, after gold has been marshaled and placed onto one’s plot card, any gold that makes contact with that player’s being ought to be spent. Likewise, any card that is touched by a player (other than those in his or her hand, of course) should then be used. For example, in the SW LCG, after the conflict phase begins, and both players pass on actions, if the active player pushes forward a unit card that is in play, they should then attack with it. Likewise for the non-active player with respect to defenders. In sum, no game materials should be touched without the logical follow-through occurring. There is no comprehensive list of official rules about touching game materials. So, let the above serve as a guide, as something that we should strive toward.

There is an important qualification to the above statements about physical manipulation of cards and game materials. Sometimes it can be helpful to rearrange things, lift cards up to read cards beneath them, move some things around to help work out some math in your head, etc. These are all normal and acceptable touching of cards and game materials. The key to avoiding problems is clear and consistent communication. For instance, one can simply say to an opponent, "I'm going to move some things around for a minute or so, just to help work out the math in my head", to which the likely response will be something like, "no problem, take your time." Problems arise when one players says something like, "attacks", and pushes forward some cards, lightly patting them with their fingertips, and then the other player lifts his or her arms and starts pushing forward defenders, only to have the other move back the pushed forward cards, saying, "actually...hold on." Thus, it is normal to adjust and move things around to some degree. But, it is less acceptable to move things around that suggest a change in the game state. For another example, lifting up your gold in AGoT to count it out is normal. Grabbing a few gold coins, tossing them aside, saying, "three", but then picking them back up and saying, "wait...nevermind", is less acceptable and I would be inclined to call a judge.

This is really common sense. It is not courteous or fair to your opponent to start grabbing gold, focus tokens, etc., or sliding cards around, changing their position, when you have not actually decided what you want to do. The play decisions themselves do not require fidgeting with the cards and game materials to make; so, make the decision about what you want to do, and then start moving the appropriate game materials. This will help eliminate confusion, and is simply a conscientious way to play. As noted, this is a general principle and there will always be exceptions.

In this same manner, anything vocalized by a player should happen. Thus, if a player asks his or her opponent about taking actions, and then proceeds into the AGoT combat phase, saying “ok, if you have no actions,
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we’ll proceed to combat”, there can then be no take-back of that phrase, and the combat phase has officially been entered into. It is unacceptable for a player say, “I’m going to attack with…well, never mind...actually, before combat...” If a player announces an attack, an attack should occur.

If a player attempts to take back the placement or arrangement of game materials or vocalizations, you are encouraged to immediately call a judge. For example, if your SW opponent places a focus token on their only available Jedi resource, but then picks it up, saying, "actually, I am going to use this resource", placing the focus token on a neutral resource, call a judge.

Another rule of fairness and politeness at tournaments involves the spectating of games. If you do not make the cut, it can be fun to stand around and watch the final games. But, this must be done with respect for the players involved. This means refraining from making comments, facial expressions, or gestures after a player draws cards, makes a play decision, or effectively wins/loses some aspect of the game (e.g., an engagement, a challenge). If your friends are playing, you must refrain from doing anything that would benefit them. If you see others doing such things, please notify a tournament official.


Recognition of illegal game states:
There are some instances where speaking up during a match that is not yours becomes an ethical imperative. If you witness an illegal game state, outright cheating (e.g., knowingly playing cards in a manner other than which they were intended), collusion, etc., it is your duty to report it to the tournament officials. The onus is quite obviously put more on the veteran players here to look after the newer. For veteran players to play quickly, fail to announce action windows, use cards other than the way in which they were intended (e.g., taking advantage of the fact that the new player with whom you were matched has not committed every line of the latest FAQ to memory), or be otherwise disingenuous is simply not acceptable. So, when you notice something like this going on, whether as an outright spectator or simply overhearing it at the station next to you, please inform a tournament official.


So, readers, what did I miss? What should be removed? What should be added? What should be altered?

What have been your past tournament annoyances?

As always, thank you for reading abUse the Force!
  • schi0384, kurthl33t and Nightmare588 like this


47 Comments

I like allowing takebacks. There are two reasons:

1. Winning or losing because of a quickly realized mistake is not fun.

2. People playing at the tournaments I go to are still in large part casual players. Many don't have a regular playgroup and attend because it is the best way to find opponents.They still make simple mistakes that can easily be undone and are in no way comparable to chess players, so it is unreasonable to require the same standard of them.
    • lejon likes this
If you let them take back mistakes do they learn anything ? I wouldn't let them at the time but I would tell them later what they missed.
    • pojomtg likes this
At our regional and the national championship (in game of thrones) I told everybody to communicate at the beginning of each game if they want to allow take backs or not. Most of the people decided to allow take backs. These games are much more relaxing and are played faster, because you don't have to think everything before you do it. Anyway I was one of the players, who want to play without a take back, because I find myself to learn it. So in my oppinion the best choice is the player's choice and to communicate it the beginning of the game.
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RedSquadronK
Oct 17 2013 02:41 PM
Even in local tournaments a quick "oops" takeback is fine and encouraged, but if we are talking about the World Championship, takebacks are a slippery slope towards gaming your opponent and will usually just end in bad feelings all around. I know I won't allow myself or my opponents any leeway with takebacks in the tournament setting of Worlds.
    • scarletnite, PJOmega, divinityofnumber and 1 other like this
This "manifesto" is the bible for casual player who want to be competitive players!
I agree that "simply touching a material like gold or resource means you must use it" is harsh. however, on the other hand, i have experienced confusing slop play where both players are baffled on how something got deployed or marshaled. so i think if we as a community practice and strive for a chess level standard (but not necessarily enforce it) we'll be better off.
i will say this. i have enforced or called judge on bad timing misplays of my opponent and then solely won because of it. i never felt like i earned that win or that the other player learned from it. they were too mad and cussing me out to their friends across the room. some level of immediate take back is necessary to have a good "fun" game.
new players should definitely memorize and practice flow chart timing and be confident enough to slow play down and not let a experience player speed through action windows.
    • divinityofnumber likes this
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KarzinomEngel
Oct 17 2013 02:45 PM
I see it the same way. We allowed take backs at our official NetRunner und X-Wing tourneys and it was for the better of the atmosphere.

Getting a cheap win out of an opponent who does a grave mistake is not worth anything. Not even in a tourney.
And later telling them like Toq hinted, is even worse.

If you can't win in a polite, friendly and open way you should really consider why the hell you are playing this anyway.
    • lejon likes this
I feel like the first time you give some one a take back, then they deny you one it changes your stance on them. Some people want to win more then they want to enjoy playing the game or making friends they do not care about you or if you are nice they simply want to win at all costs, they get upset if you dont let them take things back but they will just as soon deny you the same take back opportunity. Its easy to just not allow them, and when you play dont allow yourself to do them recognize that you made a mistake and dont make it next time.
    • pojomtg likes this
This is a really good post, but also points out why I've never been brave enough to try tournaments despite being so close to Worlds/FFGEC.
I normally point at opponent's mistakes (ex: not shielding) once per match and allow one take back, with a friendly warning. After that, they're on their own. if you're too permissive, you're prone to abuse and encouraging bad plays.

Of course, this is assuming tournament environment.
    • Amuk and KarzinomEngel like this
"If the active player touches a unit card that is in play in any way, they should then attack with it." I think this is overly harsh. I understand that a player moving their cards and bits around for no reason is distracting and should not be done. I find myself frequently pointing to, or holding my finger on this card or that, as I'm weighing my choices, making my physical action help me see mentally what I intend to do. LCG's are complex, and a lot of choices are made. I feel I need to do this to a degree to play LCG's.

Take backs are tricky but not horribly tricky. I think resource uses, or other rudimentary choices which involve no change of game-state should always be allowed when noticed immediately. However If a resource was used, another action has been taken, and that player want to then change their resource use, that is not acceptable, as the game state had changed.

Using action windows properly, verbalizing phases, and moving on to next phases is something that I feel does need to be adhered to strictly. There is a great deal of nuance in play that comes from understanding actions windows and timing effects clearly. If a player missed their action window when their opponent verbally stated they were moving to the next phase, or asked if they had any actions passed, the other player started the next phase and then that player wanted to go back and play that action, this is not acceptable. I even find it acceptable if I or my opponent says, "I am going to attack with this character" and then changes their mind. That is, as long as I haven't already declared a defender. And I always give a gentlemanly moment to my opponents to be sure they have completed the choice they are making.

I do think all these murky areas get sorted out when considering simply that if the gamestate has changed, you can no longer take something back. If the gamestate has not changed, you can take it back.
I think it depends on the environment. Local tournaments fine, take back away. Regionals, grey area. Obvious stuff sure, less obvious, especially after subsequent plays, probably not. Nationals/Worlds nope. Sorry if you are playing in a major event you should expect to not be able to take back and should not allow it. If you can't handle that, you probably shouldn't be playing in the tournament at that level.

Honestly my local group very rarely asks unless its trivial (like missing increasing the DS dial, etc), since we do believe a lot in the "you play like you practice" mantra.
    • scarletnite and PJOmega like this
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Ironswimsuit
Oct 17 2013 04:36 PM
As hard as it may be and as justified as it may seem, spectators should remain silent during a match. Of course, feel free to pass on info of shady/illegal play after the match.

No takesy backsies is a good way to play during a tournament. It's a good learning tool. Also, I'm not responsible for my opponent's misunderstanding of..say.. targeted strike. Still, I like to give a small(a few seconds) window to ensure my opponent has committed to a given action. I'm not a monster.

The touching of tokens or cards in no way requires a player to use them. If anything, that's more information for you. The expectation that a person adhere to this is a jerk move and may prevent a dinner hang out invite later in the evening. Now if someone places a token or positions a card to do something and takes their hand off the piece(like casual chess :P), it's on, and committed in my book.

The rest should be common courtesy, and shouldn't really require TO intervention. If someone is taking up more space than a player is comfortable with, that player should assert him/herself. Basically, don't be a jerkface to your opponent. I like the points you bring up, but ultimately, I am responsible for my own good time at a tournament.
A few of this things seem a little OCD for my taste, but valid points all around. I don't think customization of tokens is a problem in starwars (for me is the other way...hate those core focus tokens and the color that looks like damage).

Aren't shields passives and mandatory? (even if the word may is there is mandatory to have the choice and you as the opponent are commiting a sportmanship error if you don't tell him)
    • Ironswimsuit likes this
"This is really common sense. It is not courteous or fair to your opponent to start grabbing gold, focus tokens, etc., or sliding cards around, changing their position, when you have not actually decided what you want to do. The play decisions themselves do not require fidgeting with the cards and game materials to make; so, make the decision about what you want to do, and then start moving the appropriate game materials. This will help eliminate confusion, and is simply a conscientious way to play."

I don't agree with this at all. If you've ever watched high-level Magic play, things are always being moved around, whether to clarify for yourself what you have available, or to visualize your options. Moving characters on the table around to see how different options compare to what's on the other side of the table doesn't seem like a problem at all to me. Just communicate well with your opponent, make it clear what's going on. I think that's the most important point
    • schi0384, PJOmega and Ironswimsuit like this
Things such as glass beads, poker chips, dice, Lego figurines, etc., should be reserved for casual play only.

if one touches a token (e.g., gold token, focus token) or tokens, he or she should use them.

I like a lot of your suggestions, as they're mainly common sense and courtesy. But I don't agree with these two at all.

Glass beads and other such counters are a very common add-on for constructed deck games and can serve to make the game state less confusing for both players; banning them makes no sense. Local metas often provide nifty little play aids like poker chips or counters as tourney prizes. We play games in which bragging rights and peacocking our spoils (rather than money and anything like real fame) are the only real "rewards". Taking that away would detract from a lot of players' enjoyment. So, within reason (the Lego people at Worlds last year were a bit much but were also self-correcting; my Round 2 opponent pulled them mid-game for being unwieldy and I didn't see any the rest of the day), non-official implements that have no negative impact on the game should not be barred by any formal or informal rules. "Within reason" would mean here that the purpose of the item is obvious and does not interfere with the game (poker chips are fine; Lego people not so much).

Likewise 'touch-move' is a patently ridiculous standard for a card game, especially one this complex. Leaving aside the fact that it would slow down play to a crawl as no-one would want to so much as touch their own nose for fear of being forced to sneeze, a rule like that simply doesn't work for complex card game with as many moving parts as an LCG. What if I need to read the text on one of my cards to ensure that the action I plan to take is viable? Am I now obligated to use that card even if I discover it doesn't? No, no, a thousand times no!
    • HappyDD and Magni like this
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divinityofnumber
Oct 17 2013 05:31 PM

The touching of tokens or cards in no way requires a player to use them. If anything, that's more information for you. The expectation that a person adhere to this is a jerk move and may prevent a dinner hang out invite later in the evening. Now if someone places a token or positions a card to do something and takes their hand off the piece(like casual chess :P), it's on, and committed in my book.


This is essentially what I was trying to get across. As Hascow mentioned, as long as there is clear communication, it becomes a non-issue. If you say something like, "Hold on a second, I need to move some things around to work this all out in my head", that seems fair and reasonable. But, when someone says, "attacks", pushes forward some cards, lets the cards snap down to the table, pats them lightly with their fingertips, and then I move to push up some defenders, but they continue to move things around, or say, "Well, actually...let me think...", that becomes problematic.

I think you are absolutely right in that the key is good communication.


Regarding take-backs, the problem for me is that two take-backs will never be equal; they happen at different times, under different circumstances, with different game states, and contain more or less theoretical risk or benefit than other take-backs. But, the risk and benefit of a given take-back might not be apparent early in a game, so people tend to be more forgiving of it. But, letting them pick up and move that one resource from a Jedi to a neutral objective on turn one to let them play that Twi'Lek, could, in the end, have cost you the game; it is hard to tell because the end result is so distal with respect to the take-back itself. If you do one take-back and your opponent does one take-back, there exists an imbalance, since one of those was worth more from a risk/benefit standpoint than the other. So, in my opinion, it is best to simply not allow them. Also, as others have mentioned, it is a great learning experience. If I lose a game due to a mistake, I never make that mistake again.

But, as some have said, if it is a relatively casual tournament, and everyone in attendance agrees that the game is more fun if people allow take-backs, then there is no issue. But, at larger regionals, nationals, and world championships, I believe that there should be no take-backs.

This is what I meant with the game pieces also; the last sentence or two mentions that, if both players are satisfied with the pieces that the other is using, then there is no problem at all. But, if someone finds your tokens or pieces distracting or odd, it would be good to have the standard ones around and use those.
    • Ironswimsuit likes this
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divinityofnumber
Oct 17 2013 06:02 PM
Also, thank you all so much for all of the insightful comments.

Some of these things seem so common sense. Yet, I am always genuinely surprised at some of the things that go on at large events. I wrote this article largely to start an explicit discussion about some of the nuances of card gaming that we don't directly discuss very often.

I look forward to updating it to incorporate all of the feedback!
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Ironswimsuit
Oct 17 2013 06:12 PM
Sounds like you have some experience with fuzzy actions. Once a card or resource is committed, it needs to stay that way. That sort of nonsense reminds me of string betting in poker. It's the worst.

Oh, and tokens. I picked up some FFG plastic tokens in red, blue, and gold. They're super classy and easy to remember for those who don't like the cardboard bits.
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Nightmare588
Oct 17 2013 07:22 PM
Personally, I think my number one bravo on this is the comment you made about using the FFG offical tokens. Alot of my friends use dice to keep track of their rescources in Netrunner. I personally find this very confusing as sometimes there can be more than one type of token on a card (like Credits and Tags) Plus, I have had a few times where the table got bumped a little bit and the dice they were using as counters got all jumbled up.

I, however, do find myself defiantly doing take backs and figet with cards when I play. I think im going to make a contious effort to stop that...I had no idea that flipping my cards around could cause so many issues but now that you mention it, I can definatly see why that could be an issue. Great article!
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divinityofnumber
Oct 17 2013 07:41 PM

Personally, I think my number one bravo on this is the comment you made about using the FFG offical tokens. Alot of my friends use dice to keep track of their rescources in Netrunner. I personally find this very confusing as sometimes there can be more than one type of token on a card (like Credits and Tags) Plus, I have had a few times where the table got bumped a little bit and the dice they were using as counters got all jumbled up.


That is exactly the type of thing that I was getting at. I have played against people who use roll-down d20's to keep track of power in AGoT, or d4's to indicate how many focus tokens are on something in SW, and it just seems easy for things to get confused. Watching an opponent move game-standard tokens to and from cards is easy. But, keeping track of their idiosyncratic system of colored beads, dice, or whatever, can make things a pain.

Also, in a game like AGoT, where up to 15 of a certain token can be on a standard-sized playing card, using things like poker chips or dice make it difficult to tell how much power the person actually has. If the standard AGoT power tokens that come with the core set are used, it is very easy to tell how much power someone has, and more obvious if they take one too many at some point. Poker chips or a d20 make it more difficult to tell if things are being done properly.

In fact, d20's become such a problem in Magic: The Gathering that many people bring a small pad and a pen with, and keep track of each player's life total that way.

I see it the same way. We allowed take backs at our official NetRunner und X-Wing tourneys and it was for the better of the atmosphere.

Getting a cheap win out of an opponent who does a grave mistake is not worth anything. Not even in a tourney.
And later telling them like Toqtamish hinted, is even worse.

If you can't win in a polite, friendly and open way you should really consider why the hell you are playing this anyway.


I think you took what I said way too extreme.

We did not allow take backs at our regionals and this was clearly stated beforehand.

I said I do not allow takebacks in tournaments because you don't learn that way. I was playing in the OCTGN regional, made a blunder, tried to take it back and my opponent said no. It was my fault, only reason I tried to take it back was because I was a total noob to OCTGN and really had no idea how to track everything in it. Match ended up a true draw instead of a win. Oh well, I learned from that mistake.

It is not a matter of being polite or not polite. It is a matter of playing the game properly.

Telling them later is to help them learn from making mistakes or missing things. Would you rather I just not tell them and they continue to make the same mistakes ? I think not. If I make a mistake show me so I can learn from it. Not pointing it out is not helping anyone and particularly not the player who made the mistake. People learn more from making mistakes than anything else in life.
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KarzinomEngel
Oct 17 2013 08:16 PM

I think you took what I said way too extreme.

We did not allow take backs at our regionals and this was clearly stated beforehand.

I said I do not allow takebacks in tournaments because you don't learn that way. I was playing in the OCTGN regional, made a blunder, tried to take it back and my opponent said no. It was my fault, only reason I tried to take it back was because I was a total noob to OCTGN and really had no idea how to track everything in it. Match ended up a true draw instead of a win. Oh well, I learned from that mistake.

It is not a matter of being polite or not polite. It is a matter of playing the game properly.

Telling them later is to help them learn from making mistakes or missing things. Would you rather I just not tell them and they continue to make the same mistakes ? I think not. If I make a mistake show me so I can learn from it. Not pointing it out is not helping anyone and particularly not the player who made the mistake. People learn more from making mistakes than anything else in life.


You are getting it wrong... I talk strictly about a tourney-enviroment here.
Telling people later what they did wrong (except they ask) is just being you a smartass....

I assume that people at a tourney play at a decent level (even if they don't). That's the first level politeness.

I am talking about a real tournament. You need one game to get into, then you have 2-3 games in the 'flow', when you are a real gamer.
Maybe you are hardened gamer (like me), who just can keep this up into the fifth round or even longer
(learned from my days as a Beat' em Up Player - NEVER waste energy getting into the head of another player, because it's all in YOUR head - just push your game through).


But after that, everybody feels the mental and physical exhaustion. And then keeping up a friendly and polite environment is what makes up a real professional.
Playing casual even if your brain and emotions hit ground zero.
I'm a smartass for helping players learn ? Sure...
For me the no-freebee's only start in the combat phase in 90% of the games.

Some other things to note, the multi drop unit play... have any of you had some one drop 2-3 units at once and then focus out his objectives? ugh, its the worst don't do that people!

Ive also seen people mess up on the emperors web ... 1st means 1st not 1st with a cost higher then 0.. i often see people hit you with force choke in draw phase then try to get a discount later on that force lightning or agression
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divinityofnumber
Oct 18 2013 01:22 PM
I updated the article to incorporate the suggested alterations/additions to the section regarding game pieces and materials, and also the section about touching cards and game materials.