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Came across an interesting issue in a game of Dreadball I was playing a while back, although have had it happen to me in Blood Bowl too (having been on both sides of it), and wondered what people's thoughts were on doing this in games and whether it's considered good sportsmanship? Should what is considered 'good sportsmanship' in athletic sports have any bearing on a board game?

For anyone not familiar with the term, 'running up the score' refers to an event in sports (usually team events) where a team has such an advantage that they are practically guaranteed victory and so, perhaps to stop humiliation of an opposing team and in the interests of sportsmanship, don't rub their faces in it. In football/soccer for example, if a team is up 4-1 they might sub some younger players onto the field or bring on defensive players in place of strikers just to see the game through to the end. In the NFL, the coach will start calling more conservative play calls to run the clock down.

To bring this back to wargaming, the worst example I saw was in a game of Blood Bowl where a Goblin team player (on a side note, I do think anyone who plays Goblins needs a bit of a kinder opponent as they are doing well if they don't have to restart their team after every game!) was down 3-1 with 2-3 turns left. They had just a couple of players left on the pitch while the opponent (think Chaos) had almost a full squad. Basically it ended with the Chaos player having one guy with the ball stopped 1 square from the endzone. One goblin on the pitch was prone and surrounded by 8 players who just proceeded to foul him each turn. Eventually enough people watching shouted at the guy and the Chaos player ran his player into the endzone to finish the game!
In a similar instance, playing Dreadball I was about to lose - guy just needed to make 1 throw to win the game and wrap up victory. But, a round of kerb-stomping took place and one of my players was killed. Not really any benefit to the other guy, but it was a league game and I had to restart my team as a result.

It's not something I've ever done to someone when I was winning, but does it make me a weaker player for doing so? Should I just be playing Elf or Halfling teams perhaps?!

I actually think this is a question beyond just sports games and can apply to many other wargames - you've got the win in the bag and just winning is enough, you don't need to destroy your enemy, have them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women?

What are people's thoughts on this?

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From a lore standpoint, I think both games especially in league play are built with that sort of play in mind. You’re not weaker if you don’t play that way but league play is about the overall season.
   
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I dunno. In Blood Bowl it seems kinda fitting to pound the other team into the dust, even if you're clearly winning.

That seems to be within the spirit of the game.

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If your opponent is having fun, sure. If they're not, you're being a dick.

   
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MN

Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do something.

Personally, why would i expect someone come back and play another game with me (or anyone else for that matter) if I purposely used them like a virtual punching bag for no real reason than my own ego.

Even in league play, it is unnecessary. After all, the point of the game (and the league) is for all player to have fun, not your personal win/loss record. Now, some leagues are super cut throat and vicious because that is how that league has fun. Great, just don't expect people who have fun a slightly different way to come back to the league (or even the game potentially).

Then, if no one (or a very small handful) comes back to play, what do you have?

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Totally dependant on the situation. In a tournie where TD's & CAS are part of the scoring? No mercy. A random pickup game, no point. Against a good mate, DEFINITELY no mercy

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In general, in the circles I game with, we always "run up the score".
Especially in board games or league type play.

Board Games: We keep a high score sheet in each games box. Name/pts/date. That then becomes the target # to beat in future games.
In league type games? Same thing. But sometimes it's used as a tie breaker etc. And if injuries/xp can be gained by models? Like in Necromunda, 40k Crusade, etc? You better believe we'll keep pounding away on the other team until the end of the game.
We WANT those xp, we WANT to see injuries handed out.
   
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Seem to be a few people channeling the spirit of Conan here then

Nurglitch wrote:If your opponent is having fun, sure. If they're not, you're being a dick.


Think thats a good point actually. I probably wouldnt run up the score against someone I dont know well, although have had it done to me. Against friends I might be a bit more brutal though..

H.B.M.C. wrote:I dunno. In Blood Bowl it seems kinda fitting to pound the other team into the dust, even if you're clearly winning.

That seems to be within the spirit of the game.


Yes although the guy had already been pounded in the example of the blood bowl game.. Perhaps he should have known he would have this coming playing a goblin team but still!

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 Pacific wrote:
Seem to be a few people channeling the spirit of Conan here then

Nurglitch wrote:If your opponent is having fun, sure. If they're not, you're being a dick.


Think thats a good point actually. I probably wouldnt run up the score against someone I dont know well, although have had it done to me. Against friends I might be a bit more brutal though..

H.B.M.C. wrote:I dunno. In Blood Bowl it seems kinda fitting to pound the other team into the dust, even if you're clearly winning.

That seems to be within the spirit of the game.


Yes although the guy had already been pounded in the example of the blood bowl game.. Perhaps he should have known he would have this coming playing a goblin team but still!


The new blood bowl 2020 rule book is good at highlighting different teams are different tiers, not all teams are supposed to be the same power level, and low tier teams are designed to “provide a challenge to play for experienced players” or something like that.
   
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If your going to play a goblin team in a BB league you should expect this to happen. Why would an opponent hamper his xp just because you have a squishy team or a game of bad rolling.

Two elf teams rack up a half dozen touchdowns and pass around the xp all they like by throwing long bombs. Meanwhile your team folds to a dozen ko's and the opponent is supposed to stop at two touchdowns so you don't feel bad? In a league game, how is that fair to your opponent?

If you go into a league with a team known to be weaker then you shouldn't expect others to pull punches.
   
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I will also admit that my first learning game of blood bowl (and 3rd edition 40k for that matter) were about my opponent tearing me to pieces. For 40k it didn’t matter so much but the blood bowl experience put me off the game for a while.
   
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I really hate to hear about things like that happening. The first (and I think most important) rule of introducing a person to a new game is that they have fun with the game. I wouldn't ever deliberately give someone a 'win' but I'd take my time with it, explain decisions (while you are covering the rules) and absolutely, never, ever, ever kerb-stomp someone in their first outing.

I had someone do it to me I think with 4th edition WHFB, absolutely tore me a new one. The game was just so awful generally that I didn't go back to it for 2 editions and had a painted army just sat in a box.

From my experience I think the people that do this tend to struggle to find opponents and with good reason, it's just not very good behaviour IMO.

Veldrain wrote:
If your going to play a goblin team in a BB league you should expect this to happen. Why would an opponent hamper his xp just because you have a squishy team or a game of bad rolling.


Well I suppose the point to make here is that you don't get XP for fouling. The only benefit is to weaken your opponent, and if they only have 2-3 players on the pitch you have already achieved that objective.

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MaxT wrote:
Totally dependant on the situation. In a tournie where TD's & CAS are part of the scoring? No mercy. A random pickup game, no point. Against a good mate, DEFINITELY no mercy

this

playing against a new player or person I don't know, no need run it down but rather spend the rest of the game talking and explaining what he could do

against a mate in a league, no mercy, never

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I think some folks might want to visit the State of War machine Thread on this board, and read about the struggles of the War Machine community. It might be a bit eye-opening.


Another reason why I don't bother running up the score and always trying to kill folks is that the game is all ready 2 hours long. If it is clear I am going to win, I try to hurry it along in the second half so I can finish the flipping game. Taking all the time in the world on every possible CAS opportunity, resetting after every TD, doing all the Kick-off stuff, is a waste of time when we could be playing another, more rewarding game.

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 Easy E wrote:
I think some folks might want to visit the State of War machine Thread on this board, and read about the struggles of the War Machine community. It might be a bit eye-opening.


Another reason why I don't bother running up the score and always trying to kill folks is that the game is all ready 2 hours long. If it is clear I am going to win, I try to hurry it along in the second half so I can finish the flipping game. Taking all the time in the world on every possible CAS opportunity, resetting after every TD, doing all the Kick-off stuff, is a waste of time when we could be playing another, more rewarding game.



Warmachine had a page in the rulebook which pretty much enabled/empowered being a dick. Blood bowl, Dreadball etc are the opposite. Blood bowl has been around for like 40 years and is going from strength to strength.
   
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MaxT wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
I think some folks might want to visit the State of War machine Thread on this board, and read about the struggles of the War Machine community. It might be a bit eye-opening.


Another reason why I don't bother running up the score and always trying to kill folks is that the game is all ready 2 hours long. If it is clear I am going to win, I try to hurry it along in the second half so I can finish the flipping game. Taking all the time in the world on every possible CAS opportunity, resetting after every TD, doing all the Kick-off stuff, is a waste of time when we could be playing another, more rewarding game.



Warmachine had a page in the rulebook which pretty much enabled/empowered being a dick.


Yes, but that was just encouraging being a dick in general play.
If you're mangling another team, or running up the score, in some sort of league or campaign? That's different. There's a reason to do it. And you're not necessarily being a dick while you're doing it either

** For ex; In our 40k Crusade I take agendas that reward my army with bonus xp for A) killing the most enemy units, B) for each enemy character slain.
The games last 5 turns regardless what agendas are chosen. Within those 5 turns, in addition to trying to win, I am going to try and eliminate as many units & characters as I possibly can - because that's the primary way my force gains xp/gets better. I'm not going to stop just because I've also practically won the game on turn 3. No, I'm going to keep eliminating units/characters right up till turn 5 ends.

** For ex; Sometimes you're playing a campaign where the casualties suffered one game directly impact later games. A lot of our WWII campaign games are like this. What you lose isn't available later (or costs alot more/too much to replace). You'd better believe I'll keep hammering an opponent even if I'll also achieve victory. Of course the trick there is to avoid losing too much myself while doing this....


   
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 Pacific wrote:

For anyone not familiar with the term, 'running up the score' refers to an event in sports (usually team events) where a team has such an advantage that they are practically guaranteed victory and so, perhaps to stop humiliation of an opposing team and in the interests of sportsmanship, don't rub their faces in it. In football/soccer for example, if a team is up 4-1 they might sub some younger players onto the field or bring on defensive players in place of strikers just to see the game through to the end. In the NFL, the coach will start calling more conservative play calls to run the clock down.


You're asking whether running up the score is fair play while apparently trotting out "since we're winning, we're going to mess around (let the bench players get out to play) or just castle up and let the clock run out" as fair play.

If there were a real life sports tournament where the score in a game carried over in some way, you can bet every single coach's and player's salary that this would immediately stop being a sportsmanship question and instead become "don't be stupid, of course you're going to maximize your score."
   
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Veldrain wrote:
If your going to play a goblin team in a BB league you should expect this to happen. Why would an opponent hamper his xp just because you have a squishy team or a game of bad rolling.

T


Sure if opponent is racking up xp for himself. Here he was hurting his own xp scoring hoping easier kill of opponent(in a way that grants no xp).


This was just mean hurting opponent foregoing own xp in process. Spot the difference?

Only logical time to do this is if you are scared to death of opponent, got lucky and now are trying to boost odds for next match.


But damn i would never ever dare to play bb if i admit publicly being scared witless of goblin team

Edit: well to be fair if it's league where win/loss & td's are irrelevant and winner is one who kills most it makes sense. Are there such leagues though?

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Going from the latest community edition BB rules (I'm not sure if BB16 followed suit) there is no overall casualty caused bonus. I know in previous versions of the game the fan factor could get pushed up or down by the amount of casualties caused but I think that has gone (instead its just based on win/loss). Of course causing casualties in the game has its own rewards, and in fact the hard hitting teams rely on it as its the only way to beat teams like Elves or Skaven, and you do get the SPP for causing a casualty, but you expressly get no XP for fouling.

What I was trying to express in the OP (and I don't think altogether successfully) was when you have already won the game, and you don't get any benefit from fouling the 3 remaining players on the opposing team (who are quite sensibly staying prone) why twist the knife when it doesn't give any benefit to you?

Think Easy E made an interesting point: If you know you are going to win the game and its settled, why not just get the game over-with? I've honestly found myself a few times (NOT playing with a goblin team I should add ) doing the equivalent of 'taking a knee' and just pushing through the last few turns. I wouldn't leave the other guy hanging over the edge of the building and saying a few one-liners before giving them a push...

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 solkan wrote:
 Pacific wrote:

For anyone not familiar with the term, 'running up the score' refers to an event in sports (usually team events) where a team has such an advantage that they are practically guaranteed victory and so, perhaps to stop humiliation of an opposing team and in the interests of sportsmanship, don't rub their faces in it. In football/soccer for example, if a team is up 4-1 they might sub some younger players onto the field or bring on defensive players in place of strikers just to see the game through to the end. In the NFL, the coach will start calling more conservative play calls to run the clock down.


You're asking whether running up the score is fair play while apparently trotting out "since we're winning, we're going to mess around (let the bench players get out to play) or just castle up and let the clock run out" as fair play.

If there were a real life sports tournament where the score in a game carried over in some way, you can bet every single coach's and player's salary that this would immediately stop being a sportsmanship question and instead become "don't be stupid, of course you're going to maximize your score."


Yeah, which is exactly the point.

This is a game of toy soldiers and no ones pay or career is riding on it. Therefore, why treat it like some super serious thing, because if I have read the BB rulebook correctly; it is not. Last time I was at a job interview, no one was asking about my ability to play Blood Bowl and my win/loss record, last time I was meeting a new colleague they did not ask me my league standings in Blood Bowl, last time I was going to meet new gamers no one was asking me about my CAS count in order to join up? Yet, here we are expected to believe that your Blood Bowl stats are so important that we should do everything possible to maximize your chances of winning not just the game, but the Blood Bowl Cup! I guess I do not get it, and that is probably my own failings.

We have many people on this very thread talking like maximizing casualties and scoring in Blood Bowl is super serious business. Sure, maybe that is how they like to play their campaign games, and that is the tone of the league. Fine, That's cool as long as everyone knows the plan before the League kicks off.

However, what about other situations, or someone new to the league? Is there ever a time to tone it down, or is it always full on every game?





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 Pacific wrote:

Veldrain wrote:
If your going to play a goblin team in a BB league you should expect this to happen. Why would an opponent hamper his xp just because you have a squishy team or a game of bad rolling.


Well I suppose the point to make here is that you don't get XP for fouling. The only benefit is to weaken your opponent, and if they only have 2-3 players on the pitch you have already achieved that objective.


That's real funny considering I did not once mention fouling. As you said, there is no XP for it so in a league game there is little benefit to it.
   
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Veldrain wrote:
 Pacific wrote:

Veldrain wrote:
If your going to play a goblin team in a BB league you should expect this to happen. Why would an opponent hamper his xp just because you have a squishy team or a game of bad rolling.


Well I suppose the point to make here is that you don't get XP for fouling. The only benefit is to weaken your opponent, and if they only have 2-3 players on the pitch you have already achieved that objective.


That's real funny considering I did not once mention fouling. As you said, there is no XP for it so in a league game there is little benefit to it.


Steady on chap we are all friends in the same hobby here

The example I'd tried to give in my first post was about someone playing as a Goblin team, and them just having a goblin surrounded by 8 opposing players and being fouled (so I had brought it up rather than yourself).

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But example talked about was team doing just fouls. And you said gobbo player should expect that.

Example in questlon was all about fouling. Don't start talking about entirely dlfferent situation then 

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Sorry mate! No offence intended.

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I have some friends that used to play blood bowl. They no longer do because of a lot of experiences like the one above. Players intentionally trying to kill the other team so they must restart, and run-away players just dominating the league.

To me, bloodbowl sounds like a pretty poor game, where you need great sportsmanship to actually have an enjoyable time for everyone involved.

The campaign mechanics sound terrible, pretty much pushing players to just mash up their underdog opponents, and it also sounds like the balance between teams is horrible. I can think of a ton of ways a goblin team could be good and still feel like goblins. Spiders with webs, backstabbing bonus, extra trolls, squig-shenanigans, fanatics, endless chumps so it doesn´t matter if you knock out the normal goblins etc. "They are meant to be bad" sounds like a lazy excuse for bad game design.

   
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Not Sports game related, but perhaps a similar sentiment, from Necromunda.

During its original run, I was usually to be found jockeying for position in the top three gangs. And my Cawdor usually got filthy hard, and pretty wealthy.

To make things a bit more fun, or at least less punishing against gangs of lower status, I invested in as many Power Mauls as I could afford, and play a close combat strategy against them. Sure, I’d still give them a good shoeing - but Power Mauls never lead to Serious Injury rolls.

It was a happy medium of me being able to stick the boot in good and proper, without my opponent risking ending up in an ever worse position.

To my mind, it was sporting. To others, possibly condescending?

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That's a shame you have had that experience Illumini as from my perspective they aren't the usual ones. I've found most people I've played (going back to release of 3rd edition in the 90s) behave pretty reasonably and don't try and faceplant people they are already beating comfortably. In the example I gave in the OP, that was in a club and the chap doing the '8 players around one Goblin fouling' had a bunch of people around him doing some good-natured jeering after 1 turn of that activity. Eventually he laughed (recognising the behaviour was gakky) and ran his player into the end zone, finishing the game. Perhaps good that I haven't played a few of the cut-throat bastards commenting in this thread by the look of things though

I'm not sure what the campaign balancing is like in BB16, but in the last community edition (which was the fan-edited version of 3rd edition, which had come out of the massive tournament scene and fan community in the many years BB was a 'dead' game) the balancing works pretty well. You have quite a strong handicap system where the difference in team value can be used on inducements (extra re-rolls, extra staff, random events or even star players). Your team can be struggling, but suddenly having Varag Ghoulchewer on the line of scrimmage, or even an extra re-roll, can make all of the difference.

I'm actually just starting a league now (hence me thinking about and starting this thread) and because I'm the most experienced player in the group (couple of the guys have only played once or twice, or only have experience of the computer game) am actually using Goblins. This is because they are in essence a 'hard mode' and their poor strength and durability means you have to play really, really carefully with them. That being said they are *tremendous* fun to play with and some of the things you have mentioned there are part of the team: Fanatics swinging the ball and chain (this moves randomly), a bombardier throwing a bomb (this one a particular favourite against closely packed groups of dwarves! ), or even your troll trying to pick up and throw a goblin with the ball - who might try and eat the Goblin instead! I would say I have lost most games playing as Goblins (I will say lost most, probably nearly all, and quite convincingly!) but it's always tremendous fun playing them, and you are never, ever short of opponents. Playing with Elves and scoring, where everything seems to be on a 2+ and they are so annoyingly good, is never ever as satisfying


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 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Not Sports game related, but perhaps a similar sentiment, from Necromunda.

During its original run, I was usually to be found jockeying for position in the top three gangs. And my Cawdor usually got filthy hard, and pretty wealthy.

To make things a bit more fun, or at least less punishing against gangs of lower status, I invested in as many Power Mauls as I could afford, and play a close combat strategy against them. Sure, I’d still give them a good shoeing - but Power Mauls never lead to Serious Injury rolls.

It was a happy medium of me being able to stick the boot in good and proper, without my opponent risking ending up in an ever worse position.

To my mind, it was sporting. To others, possibly condescending?


I would say this is pretty sporting behaviour!

In a campaign I ran with the original version I remember some gangs coming to resemble small Imperial Guard armies in size and kitted out with plasma guns, grenade launchers, and other exotic kit that would make the Deathwatch blush. Think we ended up having to have two on one games against some of the guys that had had to restart, and some narrative events (have them taking on a genestealer infestation and things like that) just to try and balance, and that was beyond the balancing mechanisms already deployed in the campaign.

Out of interest have they addressed that problem with the latest version? I remember it was omitted from the new release originally (along with a quite dubious advancement table, which looked like it would exacerbate differences in gang ratings) but I haven't kept up with the latest campaign books.

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Out of interest have they addressed that problem with the latest version? I remember it was omitted from the new release originally (along with a quite dubious advancement table, which looked like it would exacerbate differences in gang ratings) but I haven't kept up with the latest campaign books.

The new Necromunda generally has your gangs feeling more like Private Military Contractors than dirty underhive scrappers (right from the get-go!), to the point that one of the Necromunda fanatics at Goonhammer wrote an entire module to capture more of that classic feel and keep your gang dirty scroungers.

https://www.goonhammer.com/necromunday-the-lost-zone-rules-packet/
   
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Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:Not Sports game related, but perhaps a similar sentiment, from Necromunda.

During its original run, I was usually to be found jockeying for position in the top three gangs. And my Cawdor usually got filthy hard, and pretty wealthy.

To make things a bit more fun, or at least less punishing against gangs of lower status, I invested in as many Power Mauls as I could afford, and play a close combat strategy against them. Sure, I’d still give them a good shoeing - but Power Mauls never lead to Serious Injury rolls.

It was a happy medium of me being able to stick the boot in good and proper, without my opponent risking ending up in an ever worse position.

To my mind, it was sporting. To others, possibly condescending?


Rihgu wrote:
Out of interest have they addressed that problem with the latest version? I remember it was omitted from the new release originally (along with a quite dubious advancement table, which looked like it would exacerbate differences in gang ratings) but I haven't kept up with the latest campaign books.

The new Necromunda generally has your gangs feeling more like Private Military Contractors than dirty underhive scrappers (right from the get-go!), to the point that one of the Necromunda fanatics at Goonhammer wrote an entire module to capture more of that classic feel and keep your gang dirty scroungers.

https://www.goonhammer.com/necromunday-the-lost-zone-rules-packet/

Interesting to hear this discussion related to Necromunda.
My club played a short campaign with the "NCE" version from yaktribe a couple years ago. It was a brilliant experience IMHO, basically being the "underhive" version with alot of the kinks and balance issues worked out. Haven't played the new version yet, but it is on my shelf. That it may feel more like contractors than scrappers does not bode well but we'll see.

Even in our campaign we did run into some players pulling ahead somewhat dramatically, but nothing ridiculous and perhaps because of the quality of people gaming we didn't end up with folks deliberately brutalizing other players to get injury rolls or othewise "running up the score". We even allowed deals where captured gangers who were not successfully rescued could be ransomed back to their gang.

With discussions like this I keep coming back to individual game group cultures. Some clubs are no-holds-barred fight clubs and some are recreational groups with stated or unstated gentlemen's agreements. It's when these expectations aren't known or agreed-to that things get ugly and feelings are hurt. My club was more the later so while I played to win, I always want to make sure my opponent is having a good time. I have no problem with their being groups where grinding your opponent into dust is the object.

If a gaming culture isn't established, I'd always err on the side of sportsmanship. What's the value to stomping someone so bad that they lose enthusiasm for the group or have to restart the campaign so far behind that they see no point in continuing?


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/26 14:25:00


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