On the eve of UK Nationals the talking point and controversy is not of our new Nym or Miranda overlords but of ‘natties.’ The popular cultural slang word penetrating the X-wing scene in the USA is now being heard in gaming venues across the United Kingdom
This term, to some vulgar, is being exhaled when a player rolls all natural hits or evades, ‘natties,’ or natural roll of all hits or crits in the Queen’s English. Already battle lines are being drawn on whether it should be by common convention or tournament ruling banned from use. As recently stated by Alex Birt on the 186th Podcast, “a little piece of me dies inside when I hear that term.”
This was backed up by many on social media exclaiming the same feeling which prompted former UK National Champion and Hey That’s My Fish enthusiast Jesper Hills to suggest that “Just like “beef” became “grievances”, I fear we must naturalise this term also.”
Little known X-wing player and 1800s time travelling MP Jacob Rees Mogg was quoted as saying that “the term Natties is an affront to not only the English Language but the very foundations of British culture.”
A brief history of Natties and personal experience
From what I gather, having listened to the Carolina Krayts podcast of late, ‘Natties’ is a term that they have coined for rolling natural hits or evades. This has penetrated the popular culture to a degree that the recent streaming of the USA nationals had the word flash up on the screen when a natural roll was made.
Personally I don’t mind the term ‘Beef’ too much but I am aware that too much beef can lead to mad cows disease. The TO department of UK nationals has kept quiet in all this and have been unavailable to comment on whether the use of the term will be seen as ‘sledging’ your opponent. This was something I attempted on Monday night whilst practicing for nationals against my regular gaming partner.
First dice roll of the game I rolled three natural hits. I paused, thought about it, (part me of me winced), weighed up whether it could tilt my opponent, then spoke the word. There was deep intake of breath on the other side of the table, one could feel a spike of annoyance, then three evades bounced back at me. If my opponent was more of a gentleman he would have shouted “In Ya face bitch,” but instead he grinned like a Cheshire cat and screamed “Natties.”
This set the tone for the evening.
Natxit or Nattiexit?
Part of the problem for the anti Nattie side is deciding on the ‘Brexit’ style name of the movement. The British public are still scarred by the invention of the term Brexit, whether you were for or against it. It’s an ugly word which now has taken route in anything that involves leaving. There is also the Scottish issue as well. Having lived in Scotland for a bit I’m familiar with some of the cultural references of which Neeps and Tatties is one. Tatties is slang for potatoes which is often served with Haggis, (a short legged and long bodied creature only found in Scotland and is a local delicacy). One can imagine the issue if a tournament venue North of the Wall had onsite catering and cries of Natties were confused for Tatties around lunch time.
A Third Way
Mr Hill’s vision of a rebranding of the term is possibly the way forward to suit both parties. Off record, one of the Marshals for the UK nationals, Kris Mitchell, who wished to remain anonymous stated “Natties hurts my soul every time I hear it. “Rollin’ Paint / nothin’ but paint” is my go to.”
This was when I felt I could help the situation by suggesting perhaps that Rollin paint is a bit of a mouthful and we could shorten it to “Painties,” (pronounced Paint-tees). There was then debate about the number of T’s it should have and that it also sounded too much like “Panties.”
The Eye of the Storm
Uk Nationals is nearly upon us and still no word back from the tournament team on their position on Natties and the use of. I’m personally undecided about the term but would welcome the option of looking at different terminology and putting it out to vote on.
There is debate raging about whether Nym will take yet another National Championship but perhaps the one certainty, for better or worse, is that we will hear the sound of ‘Natties’ being chanted through the great halls of Liverpool’s Exhibition Centre during the course of the weekend.