Sunday, 12 December 2010

That guy?

You hear a lot about “that guy”, he pops up in podcasts, people write blog posts about him and GW have even made reference to “that guy” in White Dwarf. However I can't say that I've ever had the displeasure of bumping into “that guy” at a tournament, maybe that's because I spend most of my time playing far away from the top tables but I don't think he's necessarily a top table fixture. Maybe I've just been lucky but I think there's more to it than that.

I think a player's own outlook can greatly affect how he perceives the person across the table from him. So perhaps “that guy” is just a reflection of certain people's perceptions and expectations? A little harsh and certainly not the whole story but I do think that there's a good chance that some people will meet “that guy” more often than others will.

This may also partly be down to the fact that I expect everyone defines “that guy” slightly differently. Someone may see a MSU Space Wolves player and immediately label him “that guy”, alternatively it may take another player to have to cheat or do something blatantly rude before his opponent would remember him as “that guy”. Is “that guy” a win at all costs gamer or someone who is just genuinely unpleasant?

For me “that guy” is just someone who I really didn't enjoy playing against, not because I lost or because he played a tough list but just because he didn't make the game any fun for me to play. I expect this is a common definition for “that guy” but what makes an opponent fun to play against is a personal thing and is going to be different for different people hence my comment above about him being a reflection of a person's own opinions.

So after all this pontificating I think I must conclude that “that guy” doesn't exist, he's literally a figment of your imagination. I'm a firm believer that you are in sole control over your own emotions so your opponent shouldn't have any effect over your enjoyment of the game. Play it how you want to and make sure you enjoy it!

Uh oh! I'm doing the BOLS “change-the-colour-and-ask-the-audience-a-question(tm)” bit. Have you ever met that guy? Do you think there is such a gamer? Tell us about your experiences and how you cope when you do face off against “that guy”.


  1. As you said in the article everyone is different when it comes to defining "that guy". I think I have a high tolerance to "thatguyness" since I am a patient and friendly person most of the times. Also since I like playing competitively and building strong list, I can't hold that against my opponent if he is doing the same thing.

    "That guy" would be for me a person who will willingly try and cheat in order to win the game. This could be in many different ways. Bending the rules to gain an unfair advantage, stalling the game on purpose, trying to psych you out by constantly bickering about the way you play etc. Or he can simply be a genuinely unpleasant guy (rude, obnoxious, unfriendly). If you come across him in a tournament just grit your teeth, play as well as you can and be really careful since you can't avoid the situation. Otherwise never go against him in a friendly game down at the FLGS since it won't be a pleasant experience anyway.

  2. Having played in a grand total of one tournaments I can say I didn't meet "that guy". I can however, say that i've met a few of "those guys" in my local GW. They tend to work there actually. I think for me it's the 40K player who lacks the social skills to get his point across without trying to make you seem like an idiot.

    I think you can create "that guy" by being the sort of person who reacts badly to certain play styles/armies/tactics but like you say he's a figment of your imagination. If you thought he was "that guy" at the start of the game I'm pretty sure if you beat him you wouldn't any more!

  3. I will tell you "that guy" most certainly does exist. However, "that guy" isn't nearly as prevelant as the internet makes them out to be.

    I have seen "that guy" and I quantify him as such - in a couple of tournaments so far. Though I have been pretty lucky in my opponents and have not faced one of them yet. Throwing temper tantrums, yelling, being a general jerk when things aren't going his way... it does exist.

    Fortunately the majority of 40k Gamers out there are great folks and a lot of fun to play with.

    The Independent Characters

  4. Sadly I too can confirm 'that guy' exists. I played against him last month in what I can honestly say was my worst experience of the game in 13 years of playing. Thankfully he doesn't seem to show up too often, but when he does, you'll remember him.

  5. I played that guy last Thursday night., he ran Lysander in a Vanilla marines army.

    Nah I have never met him, I have felt I might be being him when I was getting thrashed the first time I played a blood angels army and the bottom lip came out. That fear is worse for me, being the bloke rather than meeting the bloke.

  6. OK, tantrums and dice throwing are definitely not a figment of the imagination. I've got to say I've never even seen that kind of behaviour and feel very lucky in that respect. I honestly don't know how I'd handle that sort of behaviour actually!

  7. Was there anything specific he did to ruin the game for you? Was it related to his social skills, the way he played the game, both or something else?

  8. Yeah, I hate that guy too, bloody cheese-monger but if he could somehow fit Vulkan into that list as well, that might just tip him over the edge ... *evil laugh*

  9. The main thing to remember is not to become 'That Guy' yourself. Oddly I find the worse my dice rolls are and the worse the situation, the funnier it becomes; like last week when five Marines destroyed a 30-man Squat infantry squad by inflicting 3 wounds on them in close combat (ahem). That was one of those times where both of us playing just had to laugh for the comedy of the moment!

    I think we all sometimes forget that we are just playing a game, after all. We've all done it; I know I have, especially in my early days of coming back to 5th edition, when I got spanked on a weekly basis by some special rule or other that I hadn't gotten round to learning, and more importantly learning how to counter. I think 'The Face' is associated with 'That Guy' and usually comes from either bad luck with dice or coming up against a special unit/character or special rule you've not faced before. Then you just have to admit to yourself you're not omnicognicent and take it as a learning experience.

  10. I can confirm [That Guy] exists and he is American....just kiding I have nothing against the Americans but wanted to steal the Watchmen quote.

    On a serrious note, he probably does exist, not that I've ever come across him but I think it comes down to two factors you touched upon. 1) personal perception/outlook on the game (probably the biggest factor) 2) Internet hype.

    It seems every Blog I read from across the pond has "that guy" in it on a weekly basis, and I'm glad to say I see it pop up less often this side of the pond. Now I'm not saying its a purely American concept, but from what I can tell it seems to happen more over there than it does here...however, that could just be down to the same reason my Orks appear to be better at shooting than my marine...weight of numbers.

    In a complex math[hammer]-amatical system irregularities will occur should the system repeate itself enough times...flash backs to "all of this has happened before" and a certain red dress....anyway....back to the point. Because the States appear to have larger, more frequent tournaments that appear on the interwebz all of which seem to contain a "that guy" its only natural for one to assume you will come up against him. This leads people to assume that at least one of their tournament games will be against "that guy" and should the player go to the tournament, come up against a (in their opinion) difficult opponent then its obvious who it is must be that guy. Now this opponent may not in any case be difficult but the players perception of the game makes it appear as such.

    If every tournament report I read about player spoke about coming up against a zombie and how slowly they played, and how little they spoke then it would be natural for me to assume that if I rocked up to a table to face off against someone who was a little socially akward and played slowly that naturally they are this "zombie" I've read about so much, and I should grab my shotgun and prepare for the end!

    This also leads me to another often do we see reports that go into as much detail about players who are really good, and make the hobby enjoyable...yes they pop up, but only as a foot note to the article such as "game two was against the baron, nicest player in the world, I want him to teach me everything he knows"...and thats it.

    Its a sad fact of human nature, that more hormones get pumping around our under developed brains by bitching and moaning about others than by reading something good and complimentary.

    Now this is turning into a long coment now...probably nearly as long as the original article so I'll end by just saying I'm that guy!...and I'm awesome...

  11. I commented on another american blog about how it seemed more frequent over there.


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