Have you ever tried to go full competitive? Maybe got close at a couple RTT’s, but got paired with Sean Nayden first round, got touched in a bad place and lost all hope of leaving Scrubdom? ME TOO! Let’s start over from the bottom, and work our way up!
Hey guys, BigVik back with a series about getting good at games. This article series is being done in parallel with the Line of Sight Warmachine podcast and blog, if you’re interested, visit them here.
This series will be framed in 40k primarily, but is absolutely applicable to any game, or quite frankly anything, you want to get better at. This week we’ll discuss mindful practice!
Since 8th edition released I’ve started trying to play semi-competitively, started looking at tournament lists, and watching battle reports online. As a mon-Imperial Guard player I’d seen moderate success, placing top 10 in 2 GT’s and coming top 3 in most local events, but never a win. That’s where this writing kicks in!
This article series is my effort to force myself to improve my playing quality through showing all of my success and failures to you the reader. My true goal is to build an ongoing conversation with the readership which will engender continuous improvement among those who find my content at least somewhat interesting to read.
The competitive play field is something that many have looked at from a variety of perspectives and said anything from “That’s not so hard” to “Holy crap! How do you even do that!?”
This set of articles will be about the mentality needed to continually improve and will be game agnostic, my first subject
This is a notion which I see often among the highest tier players from games like chess, to Baseball, to Football, to what have you.
This is the idea that even if you play 15 games a week, you may not be gaining anything from those games played if you are not Mindfully Practicing. So, what is mindful practice?
Mindful practice is playing a game in such a way that when something goes right, or wrong, that you break down what the root causes of that event. The greatest hurdle to doing this in a dice game is the dice, many people look at the dice and say that was the root cause, but remember, if you needed a raw 8, you failed before you even rolled the dice.
Let’s look at an example:
I’m playing top table at a local tournament. It’s final round and I’m paired up against an ork player. I think I’ve got this, my guard list can kill ALL of the dudes. Well I was wrong. His list was built to give 5++/ 5+ feel no pain to all of his orks near his support characters, and my list didn’t have the capability to drill them out.
I start by figuring out what his biggest threat to me is. It’s a combination of his mek guns, Ghazghkull, and his storm boys. So that’s what I try to focus down. I kill as many of his guns as I can, and reduce both of his storm boy mobs down to below 10 models so he couldn’t mob them back up into each other. Sadly I just didn’t have the dice to focus out Ghazghkull, and he lived.
Ork builds being Ork builds, he got most of his army up in my face, but I was able to keep him off of my tanks by denying him landing zones for his psychic jumps, and forcing him to use his first Waaagh to clear guardsman bubble wrap. Using his positioning I was able to get an assassination run on Ghazghkull, which failed, and kill just about all of the boys in my face.
Sadly we only got to bottom of 3rd turn and time was called. I ended up losing by 1 point, due to many… many errors on my part. But let’s take a look at what mistakes I and my opponent made throughout the game.
- Time management was a thing. Though I had a clock going to ensure I didn’t get slow played, I played around a third of the round time, meaning my opponent had had twice the play time I had, ensuring that he could park on objectives and keep me from hosing him off of them
- I forgot that his mek guns counted as separate units for kill points, which he neglected as well and lost me 2 rounds worth of higher kill points, lesson? Know the mission rules, and read your opponent’s rules if you have a question.
- I just didn’t use my mortars effectively. There were always targets they could’ve been being used on, but I got too laser focused on something that had to die, my army was built to give me 2 to 3 turns of good quality shooting, I should have had more faith in my bubble wrap and kept the mortars shooting at grots, or boys out of buff range.
That is my input for the week. I’d like to hear from you guys, tell us what the situation was and what you learned!
Saying of the week- every player is playing by the same rules, and any player can be beaten.
And as always, Frontline Gaming sells gaming goodies at a discount, every day!
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