Monday, October 14, 2013


I'd really like to see a lively and serious discussion on what an ideal way to deal with sportsmanship is.

At the shop I play at primarily, though I admit to fidelity issues in that regard, they are very very big on sportsmanship, a reflection of the owners own feelings on the matter.  Sportsmanship awards are almost always the second largest at our tournaments and I really have zero beef with that point of view.

The rub comes when you think back to all your games, can't remember doing anything that would bother someone in game, and yet they give you 7's out of 10...or worse!

It's probably happened to everyone at some point.  So then how should we go about this because we all obviously benefit from having a mechanic to award as well as punch for sportsmanship.  We all know it's necessary to restrain certain types from being completely difficult.  Doesn't solve everything so lets not go down the path of complaining because "No system fixes everything".  We should go in knowing that, accepting that and then moving on to the next logical thought which is "yes, but if we set it up right it CAN do a lot"

A few key attempts we've seen through history:

1.  1-10 systems, each number linked to a certain achievement such as "Had all his materials ready" or "showed up for his game on time"
2.  3-2-1 system, where you can give the 1, the 2 or the 3 to only one person each.  The idea is to give a comparative number, with a lot of people getting 6's and the outliers are getting truly high scores so they stand out.
3.  Linking sportsmanship to a nebulous 1-10 which is left entirely to the players imagination.  essentially unlike option 1, the person doing the rating is deciding what those achievements had to be.
4.The "Would you play him again?" type system where barring a no to that question, we just kind of accept that most people are generally cool to play against or at minimum tolerable.  This system is more punitive because it really only serves to punish players, not to reward them.

And then there are the tie breaker scenarios to be considered  different tourneys use VERY different tie breakers for the Best Sportsman award.  Should the award be totally separate from all others or should it be part of the overall scoring?  Should a tie be decided by who had the least success?  Or the most?

And lastly, doers sportsmanship extend to army composition.  Ive seen on more than one occasion, people claiming that they will forfeit games against certain builds.  I was right next to one who forfeited without even pulling his models out and told the judges to give his opponent a zero for sportsmanship, all because the dude hated Mechdar lists.

So how do we deal with this problem.  The following goals should be part of any discussion.

1.  The solution should not allow someone to lose 2/3 of their games and still win Best Overall.  Weighting is important
2.  The measure or meter for this scoring should be easily understood
3.  The solution has to stop the"I wont mark you down if you don't mark me down" love fests we sometimes see.

I'm very interested in what you people might say to that.


  1. On who should be able to win - perhaps someone in the top 6 or 8 should win. I would keep the "sportsmanship" to normal questions like "on time" and "ready on time" to yes/no, "knew his rules" and "knew his army" etc. to a rating out of 5, with 3 being average/below par already. Then have a normal "overall feel" out of 5.

  2. well, list me out what YOU would include, EXACTLY. I'm interested.


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