GW Grognard: Learn to Read the Room(Tabletop)

Hey everyone! Adam, from TFG Radio, here to clear the cobwebs from your mind.

I don’t get to play in as many grand tournaments as I would like. I do get to judge a lot of them though. Luckily, we have a league we can play in and this give me ITC points, but more importantly, they give me the opportunity to play some games of 40K. In addition, there are always people either looking to get into the game for the first time, or they are returning to the game after being gone for a while. Whatever the case may be, there are times when it’s important for you to be able to read the table.

What do I mean by “reading the table”? As you play more and more games, many times people will be able to extrapolate the game past the turn they are currently playing. As a result, some players can envision how the game will most likely progress. This allows them to make the proper responses to the situation as it develops. Another benefit is that it can help them see if they are in a winning position, or not, and by how much. This knowledge can be used to sometimes soften the blow you are giving to your opponent. There are many occasions where a player may not realize the situation on the tabletop and continue to play as if they needed to squeeze every single point as much as possible. When this happens, it can cause some unnecessary tension as their opponent may take it in a negative sign and feel like you are just “running up the score” so to speak, or just doing things that are irrelevant to the game, at that point, as a way of rubbing your nose in it.

This also happens in casual games too. I mean you’re just playing the game, right? I’ve actually done it myself and it has resulted in sometimes never seeing that person play 40K again. From what I have seen it is usually just a case of someone being too focused on the moment. They have tunnel vision and focus on the turn they are playing and what they need to do, so that they don’t see that you only have a handful of models left, or that  you and your friends are just waiting for the game to finish so everyone can go eat. Your opponent may not just concede because it’s a league or tournament and they want to get as many points as possible, or this may be their only chance to play in a long time. In any case, do you really need to move that one company commander, that you haven’t moved all game, those 3 inches even though it has no effect on the game at all? Do you really need to fire your one lasgun at the shadowsword that is still at full health. Only doing the actions necessary both help speed the game towards the end and lessens the agony of being blown out for your opponent. So if things are going well for you, take a moment to check the score, read the table, and see where you guys are at. It will help you become a better player and better opponent.

That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts, and your stories tabling or being tabled, in the comments section. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!

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About Adam

Adam, aka Latin Gandalf, has been gaming since the early eighties and has played 40K since Rogue Trader (among a number of other games). He listens to more podcasts than any healthy person should and is currently the host for TFG Radio. He also is judges for LVO and head judges other major 40K Grand Tournaments.

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