Saturday, June 16, 2007

OPINION: On Luck - Maximising your opportunities by building a network of luck

According to Blogger this is my 100th post. Whoo-hoo! It's a small milestone, but a milestone none the less. Here's to another 100 posts and more!

Anyway, back to the blog. This post topic is the first real article on luck in wargaming and how it doesn't really exist. I have had to split this first article into two posts as it was so long, so this is part one of article one. Keeping up? If so, read on...

On Luck - Maximise your opportunities

Building a network of luck
Are you an extrovert or an introvert? If you're an extrovert, the chances are that you will be more lucky than an introvert. Why is that?

Imagine an extrovert who is playing 40k at his local store, games club or at a tournament. During games he will chat with his opponent, examine his opponent's army and talk about previous games or players they have in common. Between games he will walk around and chat with other players, he'll shoot the breeze about anything and everything from rules queries to tactics to other players. He'll watch other people's battles, checking out playstyles and army lists, getting a feel how others approach the game. He might chat with the store owner, the club manager or the tournament organiser and ask their opinions about about 40k, what he thinks are strong and weak armies, how he approaches rules disputes and why he favours certain types of terrain over others.

Now imagine an introvert at the same store, club or tournament. He'll show up for his games and set up in silence, giving one word replies to his opponent's questions about his models and the terrain. He'll play the game quietly and efficiently, then pack up his army to be ready for the next battle. Between games he'll sit to one side for some peace and quiet and will get really annoyed if anyone deigns to talk to him. He'll leave for the night and no-one will even remember he was there.

The extrovert will be more lucky, perhaps not in each individual game, but in the long term, because he is building a network of luck. He will have a broader vision of the game than the introvert who only has whatever thoughts pop into his head. The extrovert will get a better feeling for how the game is played in that particular environment, which armies and lists succeed and which fail, which players are competitive and which are laid back. He might encounter a new tactic for a unit which he never thought of, a rule he was never aware of or see a rare army being played. He will also have a better knowledge of the quirks of his local 'scene' - which ways rules questions are likely to be enforced, what terrain will be used and the armies and tactics of the best players.

All of this information will inform the extrovert's game and what decisions he makes in terms of which army to play, how to build an army list and what tactics will make it work. He'll know when to push a rule and when to pull back. Things will just seem to work his way in lots of his games and he may not even be conscious of the reasons why. He just does what 'feels' right.

The introvert will have no such insight. He might play an army that, even though it is perfectly potent in general, is inferior to others in his area. He might assume rules work in a certain way when in fact his common opponents play them differently. He might turn up for a tournament with his static Imperial Guard army only to find tables crammed with area 3. He'll fall for the bait against an average player who always uses the same tactic. He'll probably put it down to bad luck.

But he would be wrong. It's just that outgoing, social people have built up a network of luck and that reserved, solitary people haven't.

Part two will follow soon.

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