Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Practice Makes Competent

Over the weekend I managed to get in four games with my Ogres, taking the opportunity of the extra day too its best advantage.

I’m finding that I am really getting my head around the army and have tweaked the build where I found weaknesses and where I could squeeze better results. This got me thinking about how practice really does improve your play.

Since Xmas I have played 20 games with the Ogres at 2400 points. These games have been against 10 different opponents and also 10 different armies. From these games I am starting to build up my experience bank, knowing what I can and can’t expect units to do and, in particular, the special nuances of the rules I need to know,

There is an old adage that goes “The More I Practice, The Luckier I Get”. I certainly think this holds true with wargaming. There are a special few players that can pick up an army and be excellent right from the get go. I think in the past decade I can name, one perhaps two that I’ve encountered. The rest of us need some familiarity with an army before we are truly confident or competent with any army.

This is because while you can Theoryhammer things there is nothing like see things in action to learn lessons. Be it from how you deploy, what Lore or spells to choose to the expected duration of a particular combat. Add in scenarios and there are so many variables to consider and make assessments in regard to.

I’ll give you an example from the weekend. Playing Watchtower against Tom’s Daemons, I knew that there was no way to shift his Bloodletter plus Herald from the tower. We were playing the tower was worth 500 points so I knew that my only way to compete was to ignore the guys in the tower. This ceded him 500 points but also took his most hard-hitting unit out of the rest of the game. I got lucky and was able to take apart the rest of him army to grind a small win out of what was a scenario heavily stacked against me.

This result came down to me knowing what my army could and couldn’t do. I was lucky in the game – sniping his Tzeentch Herald from a Horror unit with cannon shot in Turn One (4.7% or roughly 1 in 20) – but experience with your army makes you aware of how likely something is AND if it happens what the effect is.

My advice to all players who want to get better is play lots of games, against a variety of armies and opponents. In particular, vary the skill level of the opponents you play so you can develop the skills to assess when you can put your foot down or ease off the accelerator.


  1. Just out of curiosity, who would those one or two players be that you felt could pick up an army and do very well with them?


  2. Alan Borthwick (40k)is the best example.