Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Ruthless Casual #1: What IS Casual/Competitive?




Right, it's time I at least try to understand my own gaming philosophy. Therefore, it's time for more meditations. Like when I tried to figure out the points formula, I will conduct Cartesian meditations to find out exactly where I stand, and establish the definition of the Bryssling Ruthless Casual philosophy. Now, my points meditations failed, like Descartes' ones did. Here's hoping these ones work better.

Meditation #1: On the Nature of Casual and 'Competitive'

I would first propose to you that casual gameplay is very easy to define. It is gameplay that is not taken seriously and is not played to an overall objective of victory, but to the overall objective of having fun. Note that these meditations will only discuss gameplay, not also modelling and painting, which influence the spectrum in different ways.

I would then propose to you that the word 'competitive' is the wrong word to use to describe a harder gameplay style. If I am competitive, I want to win. This does NOT immediately pigeonhole me into a certain style of list-building or tactical style. It just says I like winning. The two aforementioned factors do help with that, but are not required at all to be able to play competitively in the true sense of the word. Therefore, we need a new word.

One of the more obvious alternatives that jumps out is the word 'tournament.' This could be argued to be even worse a choice than 'competitive,' as many tournaments are simply an excuse for organised casual gameplay. There are also those who would carp on about how tournaments are run, and how they're not good enough for what they feel they should be designed for.

It's clear we need to be specific. I've heard many netvoxes extol the virtues of the so-called NOVA system. However, we cannot use the term 'NOVA gameplay' as that's just elitist and condescending. There is a reason why John Stuart Mill said that competent judges could be pretty much anyone, and even then his system of Higher and Lower Pleasures is still elitist and biased.

We also cannot base our new word on any of the aforementioned netvoxes, such as 'T'Leeks' gameplay. This is because it is A) even more elitist, and B) it feeds into the personality cults of the more acidic and vile of these netvoxes, who inevitably blog to build such a thing and make themselves feel superior, often under the facade of an educator.

Now that all that's out of the way, let's try this. Let's keep casual gameplay as Casual Gameplay, and call the other thing Hyper-Efficient Gameplay. Hyper-Efficient Gameplay is simple. It is a system with little true variation, samey effective tactics and scalpel-sharp lists. It is designed for fun in the same way that maths is. It is fun for maths nerds, whom the rest of us should leave to their little spreadsheets and matrices. If I had my way, the HEsphere would be blocked from accessing the main gameplay nexus and left to their own little world, but then I'm harsh.

Right, now I've got the word 'competitive' back in the real world. When I get round to the second Meditation, I'll explain what I want from an RC gameplay style. And then I will wax hyperbole about how scary a Destroyer Lord with 15 Flayed Ones can be in that world...

Hint: at 1250 points, very. I'll explain later.

2 comments:

Cyberscape7 said...

Yes. Destroyer Lords and Flayed Ones ARE scary...

But so are Dark Eldar Incubi so there!

Master Bryss said...

Incubi are only T3 and cost mega points for ten men. Flayed Ones are ten-a-penny and lethal to anything equal to or below Assault Marines. So there.