Sunday, 7 June 2015

A Wealth of Experience so Poorly Used

I have been Wargaming for a number of decades now, and in all that time you would think that my experiences would have taught me a great many things about the art of generalship and how a wargame can be won. Well yes, but my problem,  can be described as follows:

A tournament - time to put on the game face.

I so enjoy the activity of wargaming I forget, or just fail to do, the things which would bring about victory. Example, I can spend a whole turn planning some brilliant tactical manoeuvre, but in the next turn forget to carry it through because I suddenly get distracted by something, for instance, realising I had a slim chance of shotting and killing the enemy's warlord. 

I cannot help myself, and therefore, fall foul of the 'oh, look at the bright shiny thing' effect. I just don't have that level of competence or discipline which allows others to fully concentrate and focus on the vital aspects of the game.

Don't look behind you!
Now this might be fine for a game at home, or a pick up game at the club, but not in the tournament arena. The problem - if I am going to be fair to all the competitors I should play hardball in every game. Otherwise some lucky person is going to score more highly than their skills and army choice should allow because they played me. Perhaps I am being a little harsh on myself (let's get out the IKEA catalogue to see what they have in their Psychiatrist's couch range), but maybe I do need a different mind set than my usual approach to tournaments, which can be illustrated by my usual tournament score (played five, won one, drew one and lost three).
So close but yet so far. The result of a disappointing run move! 

So, before my next tourney, I need a list of rules for me to follow before and during a game. (I must condition the following list by saying, there may be other important points I have missed, and some of you will not need to think about these when you play because they just come naturally). So here we go - Epitude Rusk's 10 Point Wargaming Mantra:

1. Learn the game rules. Don't fudge it in practice games. If you don't know the rule, look it up.

2. Learn about your army. What are its strengths and weaknesses?

3. Learn about you opponent's army. A unit's effective range is the distance they can move and fire in one turn. Keep outside that distance and they cannot hurt you.

4. Focus on the objectives in the game. Eyes on the prize. Many a game I have ended with very few figures left on the table. But this does not matter if you win on the mission objectives.

5. If you cannot win, focus on stopping your opponent from achieving their objectives. A small loss, is better than a big loss.

6. Play the numbers (don't attempt the impossible). Rolling more dice is normally a good thing, but you do need to give yourself a chance of hitting and wounding.

7. Killing one unit outright, is much better than wounding two and leaving them on the table to both cause mischief.

8. Plan to have you units in the most opportune position at the right time. Some game systems allow you to pre-measure. Do it. Don't hope you are in range, or think you can make it to the objective in time. Measure it first to make sure.

9. Pay attention at all times. Get a good night's sleep if you are attending a tournament and want to do well.

10. Have a good time and try not to be an arse! Win graciously and lose without emptying the pram of all the toys.

Here endeth the lesson. Happy wargaming.


  1. A good post, I agree on all the points. Lack of concentration is the killer though. If you are not focused on your game, you will miss key moments, or little moves your opponent makes.

  2. Thank you as always for visiting my little blog. I only hope that by writing all this down will lead me to victories upon victories. We shall see.