It’s pretty obvious that the My Little Pony game is the the setting of the future, but for gamers weaned on hack and slash and brutal rules debates, stomaching the saccharine sweetness of the MLP philosophy of friendship and tolerance and happiness can be like swallowing a horse pill. For those of us with a little more starch in our shorts than the average Brony, I present the solution in a conveniently familiar package:

Edition wars!

Deep down, every Brony has a favorite Generation. It’s not generally kosher to say so but it’s true. For most modern fans it’s clearly G4. Heck, plenty of them don’t even know that G1-G3 existed. For us Grognards it’s clearly G1. You know, back when a pony looked like an actual pony.

MLP Edition Wars

So if you find yourself hankering for the kind of dice throwing, yelling over the table, spilled soda conflict that used to only surface when someone discovered their 100,000gp gem was missing and the party thief (excuse me. Rogue) had just bought a few new gewgaws, all you need to do is follow this time-honored tradition:

  • Know everyone’s favorite generation. This can be tough to ferret out because it’s poor form to come right out and say it, but there are clues. Watch for which generation merchandise they carry, show off funny pictures and gauge their reactions, etc…
  • Know who’s been having a bad day. Who just got dumped? Who worked a night shift? Basically you’re going to have to prey on the weakest link here and pick on the guy who’s just about ready to snap anyway. With the positive attitude of the average Brony-centric game you’re not going to make traction with anyone else. There are just too many good vibes floating around. It’s kind of low to kick a pony when they’re down, but it’s your best shot.
  • Keep a running list of comments others in the group have made or fans have made on message boards or comment threads. Collect all the divisive ones and the ones that you think would push the buttons of your group.
  • Make sure to slide heavy objects like metal dice and things with splash radii, like drinks and dice bags near one or both of your pigeons. No use inciting a boring fight.
  • Now, don’t actually pick on the guy who got three hours sleep last night. That would be mean, and a little too obvious. Instead, target the guy at the table with diametrically opposite opinions than the target. Dig out the right prompt and push HIS button just a little. Act all innocent. Say something like “I read a comment thread last night where they said that the animation in G4 is far better than G1. Some people, right?” Your target will refute or agree, the loose cannon will take the bait, and BAM! Old-school table-flipper, and you’re not even involved!
  • Make ineffectual attempts to diffuse the situation. Say things like “Guys! Calm down!” a lot. When has that ever worked? It’ll only enrage them more.
  • Cell phone. YouTube. Duh.

Some day down the road, you’ll really need to grow up and learn to vent this kind of destructive and anti-social behavior in healthy ways, but with this easy guide, that day doesn’t have to be today. Discuss your childish behavior with your mental health professional. That’s what you’re paying them for, isn’t it?