Wargamers, a spotters guide

- By Geoff Cooper

There are as many types of gamer as there are reasons to play. Listed below are some of the ones I have encountered. I'm sure that there are more but these are the one that spring to mind. Just so that people don't feel got at I too either fall into or have fallen into some of these categories.

Bunny / Newbie: Almost every one starts as one of these. Tons of enthusiasm and willingness to be slaughtered seem to go a long way. Over time bunnies evolve into one of the other forms below. Sometimes this change is gradually and sometimes it seems to happen over night. Many people remember their first defeat at the hands of a recently upgraded bunny. There's something about the whole "when last we met I was but a pupil. Now I AM the master" moment that makes it memorable.

Munchkin: Like a bunny but with more combat hours. Also used to define all gamers below the age of about 14. Beware sometimes youth disguises ability. I recall a tournament where I was playing a 'munchkin' with my Nurgle Marines and half way through the game I realized 'hey wait a minute - his marines are kicking my arse". Some desperate re-deploying and a couple of all or nothing charges latter and I snatched victory from the jaws of defeat but dear god it was a close one (old age and treachery will usually win over youth and ability).

Muppet: Any age, any period, any number of years gaming the muppet will always be dreadful. Some how they just never got any better than a bunny. Can be counted on to thrown you the victory by doing something really daft like charging across open terrain with LMI at aggressively advancing SHK. Sometimes you look at what they're doing and think something like "what are they up to? What do they know that I don't" And then the realization hit's that they don't know something that you don't. They really are committing suicide at you. Often when they get cremated they're surprised. "But I think my tanks SHOULD be able to drive your dug in infantry out of that village without infantry support". 'Um OK - whatever - you're still dead though.'

Cheeseball (had some one suggest that I rename this category to 'The Eldar Player') : Whatever period this type of gamer will always have identified the most cost effective thing or the most effective, and perhaps under-pointed thing. Motto: If some is good more must be better. They'll often come up with that unlikely combos of things that just plain kill you without any thought to whether the army they're using is a) Historically accurate, b) Reasonable c) Any damn fun to play against or d) all of the above. In 40K most often found playing Eldar, Blood Angels or Black Templars (which isn't to say that people that use these armies are cheeseballs - just that Cheeseballs go for the armies with the funkiest toys and/or best special rules). Typified by the kind of A+B+C and therefore D = You are Dead type of thinking. None the less the cheeseball is still often let down by their poor grasp of tactics. They've got the gittish combos down but their tactics often can't carry them the rest of the way to victory.

Power Gamer: The power gamer shares many of the characteristics of the cheeseball. Unfortunately for us they DO have a better grasp of tactics and so will routinely krush kill and destroy all they meet. Now if only they could make the process just a little more pleasant for their victims. Tends to have trouble getting a game as people seem to always have something else they're supposed to be doing ("Sorry. I'm supposed to be playing Clay in the next game - aren't I Clan?" Watch the eyebrows for the desperate semaphore and the look of desperation as they hope that Clay is on the ball enough to agree")

The Historian: The Historian doesn't care if Early Imperial Romans are crap. He knows that this was the army that built the empire so dammit they must be good. They have researched and carefully named all their generals. Will always have a large number of amusing anecdotes about his period.

The Trainspotter: The Trainspotter has a meticulous fascination for the minutia of their period. They are quite prepared to have a long drawn out and extremely technical argument about (for instance) the penetration characteristics of 45mm late war Soviet AT ammunition. Also the guy to ask if the Gottinhimmelnebelwebellebelerfer was introduced at 2pm on June 17th 1943 as is commonly thought to be the case or whether the Gottinhimmelnebelwebellebelerfer was in fact introduced at 2:15pm on June 17th 1943.

The Sulker (Grumbler/ Mutterer): Often this gamer has a much higher opinion of their ability then is actually the case (incorrectly believes himself to be the reincarnation of Alexander the great). They will get bogged down in arguments about how their aux(o) should have been able to win against your knights (s) in the open. They can get a tad terse and grumbley when things don't go well and will blame the dice, poor rules design, your army list, the direction of the wind, an absence (or abundance) of solar spot activity and just about anything else to explain why it was that they lost, and why they should have won ("I would have got away with it too if it wasn't for those darned kids")

The Loony: Well it can be argued that we're all loonies to one extent or another. So in order to really stand out they have to do something truly odd. Painting your tyrannids bright yellow and then giving them protest signs saying 'Save the Earth - we'll probably be a bit hungry latter' is one memorable soul. Fielding baggage that is beer tents and foot ball stands is also another good step in that direction. Putting vanity plates with VROOM, ZOOM, and FASTA onto all your Ork buggies probably qualifies too.

The role-player: The role player is really a subset of loony. Typified by the kind of chap that where's the uniform of his forces to tournaments (be it Napoleonic French or Ork Kult of Speed). Great people. Hugely entertaining to watch and all to prone to being heard from the other side of the hall screaming BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD as their Blood Thirster appears on the table top.

The Dice Nazi: They just don't like people using their dice. More often then not seen in ancients gaming and can be recognized by the characteristic sound of teeth grinding as their opponent reaches for their dice ('sorry mate I left mine at the motel. You don't mind do you?').

The Screamer: Shouts at their dice and / or their troops when they fail to perform (but really who hasn't from time to time). Frightens small animals and children. The shouter has a 'voice that carries'. And can often be heard from the far side of the hall (however large). If you are within a one mile radius you can tell when their game has just turned to custard. The 'Oh dear god! What the bloody hell was that load of #$%#!' has a tendency to carry. Often a dual class character with the Ballista (see below)

The Ballista: Hurls dice that fail to perform across the hall (ricocheting off 2 walls and the roof) or out a convenient window (depending on accuracy). "Fly be free crappy dice of mine"

The Statistician: Will be able to tell you what their dice 'should' have been and in extreme cases will calculate the odds against something that just happened. (Lets see 12 guardians with shurican catapults killed 4 out of 5 of my terminators.. hmm lets see 24 dice = 12 hits = 6 wounds = 1 failed save not 4 SO the odds against this are 1 in 72,427 against - you lucky lucky bugger).

I got this off the Wellington Warlords gaming club of New Zealand website. Good Stuff!