04 April 2009

Of 40k Playlists and Other Matters

Music is one of those things that speaks to people on a very elemental level, and can enrich any experience, including miniature war gaming. I've become keen recently on adding music to my board gaming experiences, and I was wondering if anyone else had done this? I know that the d6 Generation has started doing this, as they have a segment of their show called "The Score" that gives some excellent music suggestions for gaming, but I'm trying to gauge how popular this is with the general gaming public. My current 40k list is as follows:

"Dawn of War" Soundtrack
"Star Wars: Republic Commando" Soundtrack
"Gladiator" Soundtrack
"Orion" by Metallica
"The Dark Side of Phobos" Soundtrack (pieces of it, anyway.)

I've noticed that the best tracks are usually all instrumental, because lyrics tend to distract you from clear thinking or otherwise take you out of the experience.

So, on to other things. These will be a bit random, but still relate to 40k as a whole. They are also my thoughts as a relative noob, and will be old hat to veterans in all likelihood.

I think that it's very important to have a printed army list with every point accounted for, and to have it ready to go when you get to the table. It shows a general respect for your opponent's time, because even in a friendly game, you've showed up to punch in and play, not wait on a guy while he's getting his stuff together. It doesn't even necessarily have to be printed, it just has to be done beforehand and be reasonably legible. (Note: this is not a complaint directed at anyone in particular, it's just me ruminating over what might be called "gamer courtesy.")It greatly smooths things along, and will earn you gamer cred.

Another reasonably important courtesy note is to not behave badly when playing someone you don't know. (I'm thinking trash-talking here.) Sure, some good natured ribbing is ok, but basically saying to someone you've never met that you're going to essentially violate their army and make them never want to play the game again is just bad form. This may not be a big deal for some people, but considering how small my gaming group actually is (4 people, myself included) we really can't have a "that guy." And mercifully, as far as I can tell, nobody in our group is. But just consider that next time you play someone completely new. If you bust their chops too much you're setting yourself up to not only look bad, but potentially drive away another competitor to sharpen your skills with. Another thing you want to avoid is making a personal attack on a player just because they're doing better than you during a game. You can have the best list in the world, but if the dice aren't with you that day, it probably won't matter too much. That's not a bad segue for my next topic.

When it comes to dice, some are definitely cursed, others strangely blessed. Then again, there are also players like that, to where no matter what dice they pick up, they will get an inordinate number of necessary results. For those cursed by the dice gods, however, consider asking your opponent to let you use a dice tower if it's a friendly game. Sure, they may not be tournament legal everywhere, but unless you're practicing for a tournament, there shouldn't be a huge problem with it.

A rambling post, admittedly, but sometimes you just need to get a few things off your chest. Next post, I'll be covering some of my thoughts about the upcoming Imperial Guard. (As if my pocketbook weren't flogged enough...)


The Inner Geek said...

I'm a bit of a rambler myself, so I can appreciate your post. Also, I'll be writing down 'pocket book flogging' somewhere as I really like that turn of phrase!

FoxPhoenix135 said...

If you like instrumentals in your playlist, Apocalyptica's new album is mostly instrumental, and very fitting of the 40k gothic scene, in my opinion. I love the album! Definitely worth a look.