Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thinking About How I Play

So, after the debacle that was 'aaaaard Boyzzz, I've been giving some serious thought to how I play.

I made some pretty serious mistakes that cost me games, or (at the very least) hamstrung my efforts at winning.

Here's a prime example: In game 1, I had a unit of paladins fail a leadership test and scamper (remember my rule about doing well with paladins, "Don't roll 1's"? Well, I rolled a couple of 1's at a very inopportune time, and followed it up with a 5 and 6 on the leadership test...don't you just love those special moments?). In and of itself, that's not so bad. I was only down a couple of guys, and still had 2 psycannons.

I forgot that you can shoot while falling back.

I even commented on it, and my opponent said nothing to correct me -- and that's not his fault, it's a tournament, and it's not my opponent's job to know the rules for me. No, I blame myself.

But by losing that unit's shooting, a good part of my offensive capability was simply not present...but it should have been, and would have been had I known the rules. Would that have turned my loss into a win? Maybe, maybe not. But the fact remains that I blew it because I didn't know the rules.

Second huge mistake: I parked a Land Raider in a place that allowed my opponent to get into position to block enough of my exits that could have lost me the unit should it have gotten wrecked. As it was, I was thinking I would disembark and move to the rear (which was open) all in one move. Faulty thinking? Not remembering/realizing that disembarking and the following movement are two separate moves. As it turned out, I had to sacrifice a unit of terminators to "speed bump" a unit of Logan and his drinking buddies to try for another turn of getting Fortitude off so I could move the LR. Granted, I shouldn't have allowed myself to put the LR in such a situation in the first place, but I didn't think enough about what my opponent was going to do before I did it. So in reality, it's one mistake setting up and then compounding a second one.

Third mistake: I totally forgot to use The Grand Strategy until the start of game 3. My paladins should have had counter-attack, but didn't, because I didn't think about using the ability. Total FAIL! on my part.

What I'm getting at is that my mistakes impair my army's performance and ultimately cost me games -- and I keep making them.

So...I've been thinking about what to do about this.

First thing, I need to play more games. The more I play, the more rules I will be familiar with and the less mistakes I will make that are rules-knowledge-related.

Second, I've actually been thinking of making myself a "cheat sheet" of things I need to remember while I'm playing until those things are drilled into my head and become second nature. 

Third, I think I'm going to have to let go of the idea of pure Draigowing being a "great" army (at least for me). It just doesn't capitalize well enough on the inherent shooting strength of the GK army. I think I can get by with just one unit of them as a death star and fill out the rest of the army with either PAGKs or purifiers to dish out a lot more tasty firepower that isn't as susceptible to losing a guy or two and having it hurt the overall strength of the army so much. The sad truth is I'm not a good enough player to make Draigowing work yet. I'm not saying I won't re-visit the concept later, but it's time to move on and try some other things.

What do you guys think? How do you train yourself out of making game-costing mistakes? Have you ever made a cheat-sheet? How about any advice on remembering everything you need to know while playing a game?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions.

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