Tavern Talk – Rituals

Right after Happy Hour is Tavern Talk!

As we all know gamers are creatures of habit.  This extends into the realms of our gaming, whether it be how we treat our dice to how we prepare for a game.  Some place their dice with the ‘six’ up to “inspire” good luck, while others will not roll the same dice twice in a row.  Some gamers have mascots for their armies – either a specific model or even a cuddly toy.  So the question posed is; what are your gaming rituals?

Are we talking rituals as a generic term for things we do, or as rites we perform to bring on the superstitious or supernatural? I’m treating this as the former, as I don’t believe there is any way to influence luck. Purposefully altering luck has a particular name. That name is cheating. Otherwise luck is just luck, and you have no control over it.

For your average garage game, I suppose the only ritual I have is to prepare a drink before hand. Crazy, I know. Oh, and bathe in goat’s blood. But everyone does that, don’t they?

Though I do think I have something that could equate to a ritual when I attend tournaments.

Whenever I attend a tournament, I always bring my satchel bag and pack it in a particular sequence. Rulebook, Army Book, paper pad, relevant tournament printouts, templates, measuring tape, dice bag, bottle of water, pens, phone, wallet. The sequence is the same every time, though not to encourage good luck or nonsense like that. I do it the same way every time so I don’t forget anything. It is a checklist that has been mentally developed over the years.

The order isn’t just random, either. It is the sequence in which everything packs into the bag. Heavier stuff first, followed by flat items, then the irregular shaped things. Basically it is a game of Tetris, minus the midi music and unpredictable piece order. It is not (I repeat, NOT) like Dr Mario. I hated that game.

I have seen other people who had rituals. Organising dice in certain ways, things they put onto the table, things they had to wear. Not to make a blanket assumption, but any of these players with elaborate or over the top rituals normally have something in common. They all seem to be either poor losers, or poor winners (or in some cases, both). The kind who get frustrated when things don’t go their way, or the dice don’t roll in their favour. Or if they are winning, gloat about things that they obviously fluked.

I’m just saying, in my experience, the more elaborate the ritual, the worse the person is the play against. So for the sake of everyone, just watch that your rituals don’t get out of hand and become the focus of the game for you. Because if they do, I’ll be forced to kick your arse.

And I have some lucky underpants that will help me do just that.


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About matt

Freelance Graphic Designer, thinker, and Warhammer tragic.

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