Sep 19th, 2012 by Terence Jason Dorman
by Terence Jason Dorman, Goatee of Great Writing
If you’re reading this Blarg, it is probably safe to assume that you play at least one card game (and hopefully that one is The Spoils). It’s also pretty safe to assume that you have played other card games, or at the very least other board games/miniatures games/deck building games etc. We’re gamers and we play games. Problems can arise, however, when we have to remember all the rules to all of those games we play.
I’ve already written about ways in which players and judges can better learn the rules of The Spoils, but for this Blarg I’m going to be talking about the rules of other games.
There is certainly nothing wrong with playing other games or learning the rules of those games, in fact I encourage it. There are plenty of other fun and exciting games out there and gamers should always look to broaden their horizons (but always come back to Spoils!). Things can get kind of murky, though, when you know the rules to so many games that they start melding with each other.
It would certainly be a shame if a player at a Spoils event called a judge and received a ruling that was correct for Magic but was wrong for The Spoils. On some levels I cannot fault the judge as it is certainly difficult to learn all the rules for one game, not to mention learning all the rules for multiple games well enough to judge them. However, judges have to learn to keep their heads straight and not let the rules of multiple games overrun into each other.
To be honest, I’m not really sure if there is a way to teach that. I guess the best advice I can offer is just to keep a focused mind and a level head when judging for your particular game. Make sure you are committed to the event you are running and don’t have your mind on other games. On top of that, make sure to get good rest before the event and always remember to eat!
Knowing the rules to other games does have its perks, though. While knowing how “The Chain” and “Links” work in World of Warcraft won’t help you resolve cards and abilities in The Spoils, knowing the Tournament Policies (or similar documents) of other games certainly can.
Although it is certainly the dream that every game will have tournament documents that will cover every possible situation, the fact of the matter is that this isn’t usually the case. Some games think of situations that others don’t, and some situations may not have been thought of by any game.
While Magic, World of Warcraft, Yu-Gi-Oh, and other games may play completely differently than The Spoils, card gaming tournaments are all generally run the same way. With this in mind, knowing the tournament policies of other games can help you judge Spoils events if, on those rare occasions, something occurs at an event that isn’t covered by our Tournament Rules or Penalty Guidelines.
First and foremost, though, always abide by The Spoils rules and guidelines when judging, even if you think other games may do it “better” than we do. While you may disagree with the policies, those policies are what the players are following and expect their judges to do the same. It just makes life easier for everyone if they are all on the same page.
Don’t be afraid to call us out on our policies, though. Hit up the forums if you ever have a suggestion regarding additions or changes that can be made to our tournament policies, we welcome the input! We want the game to be the best it can be, and we can’t do that without the voice of our community, so speak up!