So you do pretty well at tournaments, but your games always go to time. Now these newfangled chess clocks are coming in, and it looks like you lose a bunch of your time!? Well not really, let’s look at Chess Clocks, their implications, and how we all have to play now that they’re becoming a part of the ITC.
Hey guys, BigVik back (after a month!, though my trip to Italy was amaze-balls!) and we’re here to today to talk about chess clocks, how they work for you, and how we all have to play to ensure we don’t clock out in our games.
Now many people I’ve talked to have acted like chess clocks just appeared out of the Lock Ness when Reece was failing to breach top 50 at the London GT (He was undefeated, t’is the fate of armies not built to table their opponents in battle point missions), and the lady of the lake handed him a chess clock and said “You wanna screw ork players? Here you go!”
Chess clocks have been around in miniature gaming for a while. Warmachine has had them for several years, and they ensure that both players have an equal amount of time throughout the game to do what they need to win. This means that if you’re playing an ork player and they can’t take 90 minutes out of your 2 hour game round, they’ll clock out and you just get to sweep them off the objectives to win the last couple rounds.
So now that I’ve painted a grave view of chess clocks, how do we manage our time to finish our games naturally?
- Practice on a clock- Nothing speeds up your play time like practicing speeding up your play time. As you get reps in, you’ll want to try to figure out a series of tricks and strategies to speed up your play in order to keep that chess clock from its dreaded beeping.
- Know your army- Don’t build an army list in a faction that you don’t play and take it to LVO thinking you’re going to top table. Get reps, learn the army, learn how it interacts with other armies, and have these either written down in a cheat sheet, or on your phone.
- No down time mid game- pee between rounds, have water and a snack, have all of your widgets, measuring devices, and dice out of your bag before the clock starts.
- Practice setting up your army- Since we’re all on Frontline Gaming’s blog, I’m assuming you primarily play ITC missions. Thus I would say to set up a table, lets say with Frontline ITC terrain, and deploy your army for each mission in each deployment type, opponent army type (assault, shooting, melee, brick), and scenario. This will keep you in autopilot during deployment and ensure you use the minimum clock time during deployment.
- Think on your opponent’s time- This is exactly what it sounds like. On your opponent’s turn you need to stay engaged. When they put a model on an objective you need to think of what you need to do about that, can you deny the objective, can you trap your opponent in a corner and control the rest of the board? If you do this, you’ve effectively legally added to your play time.
- Have your dice pre-set in blocks for easy rolling/ use the assault dice app- Do this, period. You don’t like the app? well i guess you’re going to get good at counting those 1’s to re-roll.
- Have widgets that cover common small measurements you need to make (1″, 2″, etc)- I use a 1/2/4 that works great for spacing, deployment, and screen placement, other than that 40k doesn’t quite demand much more than that.
- Consider movement trays- Do you play orks, guard, horde chaos, or horde Tyranids? You might need these guys.
- PRACTICE ON A CLOCK- Do it! arm chair generals the world over think they’re fine then they clock on turn 2, its a thing, get reps in.
- KNOW YOUR F***KING ARMY!- I see this far too much not to reiterate this. By no means do I play 3 games a week, in fact i’m at less than 1 game a week right now, but if I have to remind you on your army’s rules, or how the 12 pages of base rules work, its going to be a bad time for one of us, as rules get sprung or contested and AT THE LEAST, eat a ton of clock due to positioning re-work.
- Fitness and good diet/ no mid tourney benders- This is the anti-climactic ending. Its not rocket science. I’m no Adonis, but I run, and try to eat well. I don’t do it FOR my gaming, but it definitely helps when I’m fine on round 3 of day 1 and my opponent is beyond exhausted. An exhausted gamer will miss rules, and opportunities, make un-optimized plays, and be less emotionally stable. So avoid that person being you by sleeping 6-8 hours, not drinking in excess, and exercising to maintain that great beach bod of yours!
Well that’s it for this week! How do you guys plan on mitigating clock time, do you have any tips or tricks for the rest of us? Post in the comments below!
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