Many other blogs and forums have made similar posts, but I'm here with Dave's edition of HOW TO 40K CORRECTLY!
People may have varying opinions on some of the different aspects of 40k etiquette (especially when it comes to list composition), but I think it's safe to say we all agree that the following six points are expected of each and every 40k player:
- Whether you're playing in a Grand Tournament or a quick pick-up game at your local game store, you should always HAVE AN ARMY LIST with you. This can be written out by hand, printed off of a program like Army Builder, or written in a text application on a device. Either way, you need to provide a list to your opponent so they can ask questions if they have any. Just because they want to see your list does not mean you're cheating. It is proper etiquette to allow your opponent to see the wargear options you chose and how much each unit costs. When you go to write out a list, you only have to include the total points for the unit, and anything above and beyond what the entry comes with by default. Write how many models are in the unit, and what options you took. It isn't that difficult, and you certainly don't have to transcribe the unit entry onto your army list. Also, if you hand-write your list, MAKE SURE IT IS READABLE!
- You should NEVER TAILOR YOUR LIST against your opponent. If you somehow gain advance knowledge of what your opponent is playing, or if you play against the same player each week (which is unfortunate for both of you), you still need to build an "all-comers" list. What that means is you should build a 2,000 point list (or 1,500 points) that is designed to be well-balanced and is able to take on multiple threats. This list shouldn't be strong in any one area. For those that think this could be a bad thing, just know that more 40k tournaments have been won with balanced, toned-down lists than with the gimmicky crap you read about online.
- Be CONSISTENT with everything you do! When you roll dice and you pick up failures, always do it that way throughout the game! If you're measuring from your Battlewagon's Deffrolla for its hull, let your opponent know and keep it that way for the whole game! If you measure from the center of a miniature for movement, make sure it ends its movement measuring from that same point, and don't change it from unit to unit or from turn to turn! Consistency ensures fairness!
- Be a GOOD SPORT! Do not complain about your opponent's good luck, or your bad luck! Also, do not complain about their codex or your codex! It discourages people from wanting to play you again, and may discourage them from showing up at the store! Imagine how it would feel to be on the other side of the table. Wouldn't you rather play against someone who is enjoying the game, win or lose, than someone who's whining about everything under the sun?
- TALK TO YOUR OPPONENT BEFORE THE GAME! Most disagreements in 40k happen mid-game because the players were too hasty in getting their game going to discuss the things that matter. Before you roll your first die, you should ALWAYS talk about your army lists and what's in them (plus what everything does), what effects the terrain will have in-game, what your conversions count-as, and if you're using any Forge World models (and what they do).
- BE PREPARED! That means bringing your Army List that you painstakingly made in rule one, and bringing your tape measure, dice, rulebook, codex, and FAQ documents! Forgetting something is one thing, but intentionally not bringing them is another. You are trying to play a very complex game that involves a lot of resources. Make sure you bring them with you every time you want to play! Also, TAKE A GOD DAMN SHOWER!
There are more rules out there but they're either not quite as important as these or I've simply forgotten to add them. Either way, if you're not playing 40k with these six rules of Etiquette, your opponent is probably not having a very fun time, and that's YOUR FAULT!