Monday, August 12, 2013

Getting past that first step - your first tournament.

I'm a huge fan of the trial by fire. I like that moment of confusion that makes one conscious of their incompetence and forces us to learn.

Last week there was a great hullabaloo about Beerthralls at a steamroller.  Lets tone it down a bit: it was four people strong - three of us Beerthralls.  The truth is that one of us won because of: luck (retribution mage hunters versus banespam stealth) and a mistimed feat (Constance Blaize vs. Scaverous). Second/third place came down to army points.

Fourth place had played a whole lot of theorymachine, and lost track of the sequence:

Play your army
     Be aware of what your army does and does not do well.  Know each unit's primary and secondary tasks.
Play for Caster kill
    Self explanatory.
Play the Mission
     If you're playing a mission there are objectives to achieve. Objectives are usually the first tiebreaker for win/loss. Points are usually second. This is the fastest way to slip down your rankings in larger events.
Play the opponent's army
     Sometimes we know the opposing army, or have soaked up secondary knowledge on a faction. Knowing what is a good move for the opponent can let you bait a trap.

I'm becoming more convinced that breaking from this pattern is toxic to competitive  play, and paradoxically useful to force learning.

Fourth place however was, IMHO, critical to learning. To me this is more important than a shiny coin.
The overwhelming sense of being lost in cards, traits, an unfamiliar mission, and a new caster is better for learning even mired in the amazing level of suck.

Conscious incompetence forces us to look at what we've done and see if we can apply the lessons from losing to another game.  We look at avoiding the same situation un the future tether than taking the same route to victory we had before.

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