[Weekly Top X] - There's No I In Team, But There Is One In 'Victory'.

Not to mention 'win', 'glorious' and 'triumph' - which just goes to show that trotting out trite little phrases as if they prove anything is not the hallmark of the great leader, but of the prat with a flipchart and a management training certificate.

There's an I in porpoise too. What do you make of that, fancy-man? Eh? Eh?
Despite my cynicism, however, winning is not something you can do alone. The vast majority of the games we talk about 'round these parts require other people to play. I've reached a point where single-player gaming is virtually dead to me; if I'm going to sit at my computer pretending to be an adventurous elf I'd much rather do it in a multiplayer context than not. On the tabletop we don't really have even that luxury; I did try to play tabletop games with myself when I was very young and had no friends, but people look at you strangely if you're putting on funny voices while you're talking to yourself, and I've never been very good with Space Marines and tried to rig all my games so that the Orks won.

Anyway, this week's Weekly Top X is all about people (or things) (unless the things are also people) playing together.

Certs of Certs Tabletop has been a much busier bee than the title of this post implies; the post covers three distinct games of Blood Bowl and highlight the tactical depth of the game by showing how Dark Elves (a 'not very good' team) can take on Dwarfs (a 'stupid over-powered' team) and, umm, at least hold their own. Not only that, but it talks about playing Dreadball with your girlfriend. That's the nicest thing.

DiStudios continues our 'gaming with girlfriends' theme over at The 14th Legion, discussing the Empire and Vampire Counts armies he and his lady are working on. I'm pleased to note that she seems to be making more progress than him; that's a lot of Vampire Counts with a lot of little flair touches like scenic bases on the go. I approve.

Afterimage Dan is also doing stuff with other people, but on a rather more grand scale - rather than pissing and moaning about the demise of the Specialist Games and the lack of global play initiatives by GW, Dan is just playing Specialist Games, and encouraging you - yes, you - to do the same, reporting your results to a global campaign that's at least as developed and attractively presented as GW's ever were, with the added bonus that something might actually happen at the end of it. I particularly like the wry little 'time of ending' touch; the Specialist Games should not be allowed to go gently into that good night. Maybe someone should do the same for Mordheim and Warmaster. Maybe that someone should be me...

Kenzie's Tabletop Gaming covers a run of pre-release Magic games; team games, to be precise, alliances between the various guilds in the current expansion's backstory being the order of the day for this event. I'm leery of multiplayer gaming as a free-for-all but the idea of team play does fill me with slightly more joy, especially in a game as combo-tastic as Magic. Plus there's none of the spatial awkwardness that tends to turn team 40K into a series of 1v1 games on the same board; with no terrain or movement awkwardness to worry about, it seems there's a lot more focus on doing stuff with and to each other's cards.

It's not just people that have to play nicely together in order for fun to happen, though, it's mechanics. The idea of synergy in one's 40K army is currently dwelling on Nick Thrower's mind, and his post at The Burning Eye shows the development from "just use the ones that look cool" into "but wouldn't it be nice if they did cool stuff too". It's worth a read, although I do feel the layout needs a tweak; sketchy white font on a black background hurts yer Uncle Von's tired eyes.

Now, the thing about doing things together is that some people will always try to spoil it for the rest of us. Some of those people will try to sell you things that don't exist or otherwise take your money and return naught but ashes and bones; Capture and Control's Overwatch has a warning about one such specimen, which you may wish to heed. Meanwhile, Sons of Taurus warms the cockles of my cold dead heart, striking a pose and making a stand against the Stupid Virus, attacking the false dichotomy of 'competitive/not competitive' that's brought up by people who don't feel comfortable without a baddie to shake their fists at and pour scorn upon for ruining the hobby for all true hobbyists everywhere (i.e. the people who agree that there are two sides and the other one are the baddies).

Is that enough? That's enough. I'm off to paint some elves.

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