Daily Illuminator

January 8, 2024: Underrated Pleasures?

If you're reading this, you're probably a fan of games – hopefully ours! There are certain pleasures that are near-universal in gamedom: the excitement of winning, the joy of camaraderie, the thrill of a great card draw, the never-gets-old hijinks of pretending you're a walrus via pretzel rods tucked in your cheeks. But do you have any gaming goodness that may not be universal, yet you find particularly satisfying?

Speaking for myself (let me swallow these pretzel rods first), I love helping other players. "Did you notice you could do X, Y, or Z?" "Did you take advantage of that once-per-turn ability this go-around?" And so on. Even if it puts me at a disadvantage, I have no problem "rewinding" to let a player do something smarter or cooler, so long as it doesn't assume future knowledge they couldn't have known about before they failed to do something. I figure we're all there to have fun, y'know? I want to win because of my own brilliance and/or luck, rather than another player making a mistake.

Of course, I fully understand that not all tables enjoy this style of play. Some people don't like outside help. For others, a win's a win no matter how it comes. I respect that! And if another player has trounced me for the past seven games – not naming names, Matt – I may be less than forthcoming in pointing out lapses in strategy. Otherwise, it gives me warm fuzzies to help out and is one of the elements of competitive gaming I genuinely enjoy.

And what about you? If you have some underrated element of our hobby that may not be commonplace, but still warms the cockles of your hobbyist heart? If so, I'd love to hear about 'em on the forums.

-- Steven Marsh

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