Man, that's an awful title. Damn 60 character limit. Basically, I need advice on dealing with a difficult member of a small gaming community I am a part of.
A few months ago I stopped really playing with my normal group of guys, and joined a new group. It started out as a group just to play ArmA with, but as my old group kind of stopped playing or every being on Skype, I ended up migrating to this new community. I have had a hell of a lot of fun playing with these guys and I really, really don't want to stop playing with them. Especially because it's not easy to find a community like this with a couple guys I know personally for ArmA in particular, and I don't want to have to look for another semi-serious group of dudes to play. ArmA 2 is my game right now has been for a while, and I'd like to be able to carry on that way.
There's a problem though. There's a member of the group that I've been butting heads with lately. And worse yet, he's the sort of "leader" of the group, and clearly feels entitled to that spot. Which is fine, he's certainly the guy that everyone looks to for organizing games and that shit, we don't usually play when he's not there because he's the guy we all know, and we've really only met each other through him. However, as a result of what I believe to be a feeling of entitlement, whenever you disagree with him, he basically shuts you down.
To give some examples, we have a Marine in the group (woo!) that plays ArmA with us. They got into an argument over what the military considered "suppressive fire," in the context of this guy not laying down enough fire as the Machinegunner. And in this situation, a 19 year old kid who doesn't have a lot of knowledge on the subject of military tactics. Honestly, both guys were a bit off in terms of how the Machinegunner in ArmA should operate (more fire, but not as much random fire as our "squad leader" was saying he needed to lay down, but obviously the former fucking Marine had a better idea of what his role was. But the other guy just remained completely stubborn the whole way through.
Another example occurred tonight, and is really the trigger for this post. We recently dug up SWAT 4 and started playing it on Hamachi. Now, this individual is a young LP (loss prevention) employee at a major retail chain. And from what I've heard, he's good at his job, and that's pretty impressive considering the area his store is located. But, he's just LP. He's not even really a security guy. He just stops people from stealing, that's it. So, when we start talking about tactics in SWAT, because I made a joke about how our score (there's a pretty silly score mechanic in the game that takes away points for friendly fire and lethal force, and gives points for arrests, etc) was low. I said something along the lines of "Aww man, we failed," a reference to another night (he was not present) when we played SWAT and I made a similar comment because of the "out of one hundred" format of the score reminded me of a typical high school grading scale.
He got all offended at this, probably not recognizing it as a joke, and because I also mentioned the unauthorized use of lethal force (which is questionable, I'm still not clear on what it considers unauthorized and am not sure if they fired on us first but I feel like at least most of the targets did). Again, it was all in jest, and moments after I had talked about the mission going really smoothly. So he was talking about how it's unrealistic to penalize us for using lethal force. I responded that it is actually fairly realistic as the SWAT is trained for a wide variety of missions, many of which they would prefer ended with absolutely no bloodshed. Of course, he took this and because it was a counter to his statement, completely blew it out of the water and went into his troll mode (his favored mode of operation, especially lately). He was saying that I was totally wrong and that I was trying to describe SWAT as the Peace Corps (totally false, as I made it clear that my understanding of SWAT operations is that there are a lot of different kinds of missions they go on, some of which are about violence of action and others that are trying at all costs to avoid escalation. Actually, I would argue that almost all SWAT missions are probably trying to avoid escalation to some extent, but that's besides the point. Considering that SWAT basically handles any situation that is outside of the average beat-cop's training, it seems silly to assume that all SWAT operations end with any threatening individual dead from a .223 Full Metal Jacket through the jugular just because he feels that in that situation, he would just shoot anyone with a gun the moment he saw someone with a gun. Granted, I doubt many SWAT operations end without violence, but it was bothering me that he was speaking mostly based on how he feels that he would act as an untrained civilian in that situation, and that he was unwilling to listen to a different perspective. Even one that was never claiming to be accurate.
As he got more sarcastic and troll-y, I just finally said that if he was just going to be an idiot and troll me, I would leave the game/vent for the night. He of course took this as a reason to escalate, and just said the equivalent of "try me bro." Now, I was hoping that we could just stop bickering and get on with the game. I even started talking about our planning for the mission we were about to undertake. But the instant I opened my mouth to point out that we should go heavy because the situation could present contacts with body armor of some kind, he kicked me from the Vent.
Now, I don't mind him having his point of view, and I don't mind it being different from mine. I do however mind when he acts like a stubborn, entitled 13 year old on 4Chan, because the only way he knows how to interact with people who critique his understanding of something is to start trolling them. And the guy's actually a cool guy the rest of the time. 90% of the time, I really enjoy talking to him, I enjoy playing games with him, and I want to continue to play with him. However, I have no idea how to get around the issue of his stubbornness without just giving up any time he does something unrealistic when we're trying to be realistic. And I'd like to be able to be in a situation where I can potentially be in a leadership role at some point on a mission here and there, just because it seems fun. The problem is, I don't see any of those being possible when he's going to talk to more informed people like he's the expert on the matter when in actuality he's basing all of his "knowledge" on assumptions based on how his untrained self would behave in a situation. Or just on whatever preconceived notion he has.
I'm not really very good at dealing with such people diplomatically. It pisses me off, to be honest, when a 19 year old guy that works in LP is trying to tell me that the research I've done is totally wrong. Even when I've got sources like the actual military field manuals that I've read or the former member of the military in our damned group. It's frustrating for me when the guy claims to want realism but in reality wants his own conceived version of realism. One in which as a squad/fireteam leader he doesn't need basic land navigation skills (Just the ability to read coordinates and guestimate a position would be nice, I don't even need the guy to be capable of triangulation or anything like that), or listen when I say "hey, if we're going to be splitting into fireteams at night and operating in different locations, we should make sure we have indicators (in ArmA's case, IR strobes) so we don't have blue on blue fire" and then he runs off into a field away from everyone else without communicating that movement to the sniper overwatching the situation, who nails him in the ass after asking if there was anyone moving in the field to the north. Where he was.
We have a former Marine and a future Marine (me) in the group, but he seems to think that he knows best. And at times, that can hurt the group.
So, this was a bit more of a rant than I intended, but I'm really damn frustrated, and I don't know how to deal with this. I'm not good at being nice to people like that when they are acting like that, and it's pretty difficult to do anything more than ignore a troll, which gets me nowhere. So any suggestions would be awesome.
Not really sure if this counts as general discussion or not because it's about gaming, but also kind of not, so sorry if this should be in off-topic.