I’m not even sure if I’m posting this to look for advice or to just vent.
I have known this friend of mine in real life for literally a decade and we both have a sizable group of real life mutuals who get together with at my place every week for game night/day (depending on my work schedule). We play a broad range of games ranging from console to board game to card game. Off the top of my head here are the games we play starting with the most common:
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch
DC Deck Building Game: Teen Titans (card game)
Drop Mix (card game)
Alien Frontiers (plus its expansions) (board game)
Sheriff of Nottingham (card game/role playing)
Twilight Imperium (one hell of a board game)
Looking at these games, most of these don’t take long to finish at least by design with Twilight Imperium being the longest estimated to take maybe 6 hours at the most. My other friends told me they were able to play DC Deck Building Game in 45 minutes and that’s when playing with a player who seems rather distracted in his group.
But this dude, I’ll refer to him as John Seward from this point on for reasons that will become apparent, comes to the game with these problems:
- He overstrategizes during his turn.
- He plays everyone else’s turn or manipulates us.
- He only plays to win.
His first problem is what starts it all off and it gets worse when we’re playing cooperatively. I’ll refer to a new game called Fury of Dracula in this instance since that is the game where this all started to come to a head. We were playing this game for the first time and already he was overstrategizing during his turn. He takes too long to make a decision to the point where I’m already browsing Twitter for Hatsune Miku memes by the time his turn is over and we still have 3 other players to go through before it’s my turn again. Keep in mind we were only playing the tutorial version with the player who is Dracula being nerfed in the tutorial mode. Meanwhile the player who is Dracula, we’ll just call him Dracula, was already looking bored as hell and one of our players was beginning to fall asleep due to lack of engagement.
But wait! There’s more!
John looks at me with a annoyed look on his face and says to me “Godalming, put down your phone, we need you to focus here” and even goes further to say “everyone needs to get off their phone.”
FACE - FRAKKING - PALM!!! at least that’s what I was about to do. I so wanted to tell him off and say “the sooner you finish your god damn turn the sooner I can get off Twitter.” But I kept silent instead.
Which is when you saw me post THIS:
When a player drags his turn for so long that I’m imagining myself playing Eve Online on the table like that. Yeah.
John’s second problem just makes the first problem worse and it doesn’t help that this always happens in a coop game. Since Fury of Dracula is a coop game, it reared its ugly head. When it was finally the turn of the player after him, which was Van Helsing’s, John decided to act like he knows what’s best for the whole group playing against Dracula and takes control of everyone’s decision making process. He kept leading on Helsing to take a slow approach to a game where time was of the essence. Meanwhile Dracula was already on the move and he looked bored as hell. I quietly texted him saying “Now I wish you were playing as the buffed Dracula” to which he texted back “LMAO.” Remember, this is the tutorial mode.
Yes, I’m referring to everyone here by the characters they played in this game. Myself included.
When it was finally my turn, I so wanted to go full steam thanks to Lord Godalming’s Privilege ability which collects two tickets instead of one as an action which effectively allowed me to dominate movement through the railways.
But no, John decided to use a passionate plea to convince me to coordinate with him and stay close despite my mobility. I reluctantly agreed with him but only to see if I can use the outcome of this decision against him.
Sure enough, we lost the game. Turned out, because I was wanting to act out as the rogue in the group, Dracula was more worried about me than John because of my mobility and the lack of intel he has on my and my items. Dracula doesn’t know anything about what I planned to do other than just where I am on the board. But because I held back at John’s request, NERFED DRACULA GOT AWAY! He said, we should have bum rushed the whole region spanning Eastern Europe and cut him off that way, but our delay enabled him to sneak out and caused Mina Harker to die in the process. That’s when I, and everyone else around John, jumped on that mistake caused by him and let him know how selfish he was.
He plays to win. Only to win. Not to have fun, but to win. Because apparently the only way he can have fun is if he wins and keeps winning. It’s like he thinks we’re playing in some sanctioned tournament where prestige is on the line. He is like Seto Kaiba and I’m like Joey Wheeler in Yu-Gi-Oh. I just want to play the damn game, not some tournament. Meanwhile this guy has an ego as big as Obelisk The Tormentor.
Dracula went off on John as well and he didn’t hold back on his criticism either. For ten damn years this was a problem. It just didn’t come to a head until Fury of Dracula came around in Tutorial Mode with a nerfed bat. A game that should have ended in literally 1-2 hours at the most but John took it to Twilight Imperium levels of meta here.
(PS: We almost finished the game… 6 hours after starting)