I keep thinking about something from an Extra Punctuation, a few weeks back.
I’m fine until I’m expected to pit my skills against those of another and then I just get edgy. And I think I have a good grasp on why. It’s because I have half of a competitive streak. When I say “half” I mean that a full competitive streak means that you love winning and hate losing, whereas I just hate losing and aren’t particularly fussed about winning.
In yet another demonstration that the Sassy Brit factory does exist, and ships its produce out complete with waistcoat, beard, receding hairline and fancy hat, this is a statement substantially applicable to me. I am prone to edginess at the gaming table – while it’s been some time since my last figure-hurling tantrum, I did recently destroy a set of square-edged dice because they’d offended my delicate sensibilities (through poor rolls, yes, but also through being almost impossible to read in less than optimal lighting conditions, so I think I’m better off without them) – and, while I do indulge in a spot of PvP on the WoW thing, I chiefly do so because instance DPS is dull and most other endgame activities require adherence to a schedule.
It’s telling that I derive the most fun from roleplaying games, which are (or should be) a co-operative experience, and that my ideal wargaming event does give out some sort of participation reward, but it’s not necessarily one for the single undefeated player who has accumulated the most decisive victories. When I’m winning, I’m often less concerned with securing the win than I am with the good cheer of my opponent, particularly if the game has advanced to a sort of accidental Zugwang where I’ve won simply by including two Incorporeal models in a game where two flags must be captured at once.
It’s a curious and awkward state to exist in as a wargamer – I think I derive my greatest satisfaction from playing for the draw, an exercise commonly derided by players active on the tournament circuit, who tend to opine that if you’re not trying to win a game with competitive victory conditions, you have no place playing it at all.
I have to wonder, sometimes, if I wouldn’t be better off playing Inquisitor, a game which seems more favourable to a capture-or-neutralise-rather-than-kill approach to the enemy’s d00dz, since all participants are in theory on the same side, despite being engaged in armed and dangerous theological disputes.
Your thoughts on this matter, dear Internets?