Thursday, 7 June 2012

Keeping Track

Thursday Theories

List Building
Many people I know in the wargaming community make hundreds upon hundreds of army lists. We build them in our spare time creating the "perfect" list to kick ass, chew bubblegum, eat our cake and smite our foes. Hours upon hours are spent honing the list to a razors edge, sharpening our list building skills using mathhammer, past experiences and straight-up assumption of our foes. We plan secret attacks, build up battle plans in our minds and create devious combos to lay our enemies low...
and then toss the list in the trash after our first game with them.

What a waste.
Today I propose a change in tactics.

Over the past few years I have been keeping ALL of my army lists that I have tried out on the battlefield. I keep an exercise book filled with each and every list, along with annotations and remarks I've made post battle with the list, with concepts and ideas on how to improve said lists. THIS HAS, WITHOUT A DOUBT, IMPROVED MY WARGAMING SKILL BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS.

Why? (Oh Mr. Strawman, how I love you're perfectly timed questions...)

Because I always have real "battlefield" input from my post-game chats directly in front of me when building new lists. All of my experiences with the units in question, All of my opponents suggestions, and all of my own critiques, lay at my fingertips for when I upgrade and test my list again. In effect, it's Field research without error. We all remember how games went. The good. The bad. But we may not always remember how things went wrong or right. The circumstances for our victories and defeats. With this little field manual, I always can remember the why's and how's of victories and defeats, great and small. And all through a little book-keeping.

Book keeping doesn't always have to be boring...
It really is a simple concept. After your game, everything is still fresh in your brain. You and your opponent are having your post-game wrap-up and chatting amiably about the game, which dice rolls changed the game, which fight meant the turn of the tide, and what to have for a post battle meal (you ARE talking to your opponent after your games right?). Hopefully you are also asking them what changes they think you should make to your list to make it more effective in the next game, and commenting on the same for them (Win or Lose).
Well I'm suggesting you WRITE THIS ALL DOWN. The good and especially the bad. Outside input is only a good thing, no matter the skill of your opponent, and they might just surprise you with what comes up.

As an added side bonus, this amiable talk after game, will, if you arn't an a-hole, give you a rep wherever you are playing, as someone to talk to and to play against. Because EVERYONE likes the person who helps up their game without being a jackass about it.

Just sayin'

The next time you make your army list, you'll have all this insider info you've collected to help with your next, fine-tuned list. You'll know what your mistakes were and what worked well. You'll have info at hand to up your game, and you'll find that, very quickly, you'll improve on the tabletop as well.

Try it out. Just for a month, and see if I'm lying to you.

Until next time,
May the Dice be with you.
Bean out~

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