Saturday, November 8, 2008

Rituals, Deployment, Cheating...

This week’s FtW Blogger Group Round Table was about pre-game rituals. Being newly returned to the hobby and having played less than 12 'real' games I know I don’t have any set rituals yet. Now, I’m treating ‘rituals’ and ‘routines’ as things you do to get you ready for the game or because you think it’ll bring you luck if you do them, or bad luck if you don’t. Based on this explanation I don’t have any but there is something I find myself doing pre-game: I second guess my army config until the very last second.

I’ve gone through the trouble of setting up multiple lists at the standard army sizes. So for 750, 1000, 1500 and even 1750 I have 2 sometimes 3 lists. Now, they aren’t very different from each other but, they are different enough, and I’m inexperienced enough, that I don’t have that seasoned intuition on one list that works at a specific size. For each size I lists to field a full Deathwing army, a Deathwing with Greenwing support, a Mixedwing… at maybe for each ‘flavour’, one or two dreadnaughts? A 5 man devestator squad or a full 10 man unit? I’m here to tell you there is such a things as too much variety!

That said I know that as I gain more game experience I’ll start to get a feel for what force I want to field for what army size. But it’s slow going and there’s one aspect that I know I will continue to have difficulty with because it sits wrongly with me in principle:

Having to decide your force makeup before you know what mission and deployment you’re playing; I’m new, but I haven’t found the actual rule besides being implied when reading the book that you would know your army size and makeup before the rolls are made for mission type and deployment. I know there’s a school of army-building-thought that this is what makes the game fair and challenging: having to create armies to be flexible enough to execute in any mission. This makes complete sense to a point. But come at it from the other side, it just doesn’t sit as practical for me to pretend that I (as a commander) wouldn’t know what my general objectives are (mission), what the terrain is like and my direction of travel and patrol (deployment) before I choose the units to participate in an action. So question; for one game my opponent and I ended up rolling for mission and deployment before we took out our models, so both of us had this information before we setup our armies. Based on the info it informed my decision but I don’t know if my opponent did the same. Did I cheat? Would it be cheating to have the units ready for a range of configuration and make the final decision at deployment? oh, and we played to a decisive 6th turn win for me, and I know that I was more comfortable/in control from the start.


RonSaikowski said...

I only play at 1500 points, it's my comfort zone. So... my list never changes regardless of the mission or deployment. I'm Deathwing, we can handle everything or die fast trying.

When I had Templars though, with the variety of units, I would always second guess my deployment of them until I got used to playing the army.

Peter said...

What i hate about starting a new army is that you don't have many units to test it at the beginning and so the objective missions are really difficult and almost impossible to play. I don't really play a set point limit we use whatever the person with the lowest amount of points can field as the maximum number of points

Gamers World said...

I play with 6000 points so I always have a choice.

CrusherJoe said...

I wouldn't say you were cheating.

As you said, there's nothing in the rules that say you -have- to lay down what army list you're playing until you actually begin deployment.

Of course, that's a different story if you ever decide to play in a tournament. :)

I say play with your multiple lists until you get comfortable with your army and its capabilities. Think of it as "training wheels".

Oh, and I usually play at 2000 points. That seems to be the de facto standard here in Austin (I played my first 1500 point game in almost 8 months a couple of weeks ago for the Macharian Crusade, it was...well, very different, but in a good way).

Malthius said...

Thanks for the input everyone. It's pretty clear that this is a 'growing pain' of the new army/new hobby thing. I actually have the most trouble in the 1000-1500 range since that's where the most compromise needs to happen. Most games here are 1500 so I'm struggling a little bit. I think if I prompt my opponents for more 1700 or 2000 pt games I might be better off. Well, the battle continues.. Thanks again!