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IcedCrow
08-09-2011, 17:17
Related to another thread on "do I have to take a level 4 wizard or else will I get tabled?"

Last night after my soccer game (I play indoor soccer) I was thinking about warhammer as some of the guys on the team also play with me, and I got to thinking of this "gotta have or else will get pwned" mentality and I realized that this mentality has run pretty wild since I started playing in the 90s.

Some background, from 1999-2006 I was a fairly hardcore tournament / competitive player. My local meta pretty much only supported that playstyle as getting campaigns was difficult. In my area you either were playing in a competitive tournament or league, or else you were practicing for a tournament or league.

I won my first tournament in 99, it was 5th edition fantasy and I had been fielding Chaos.

6th edition was a fun time for the hobby as the game moved from heroes to units. It was also during this time that I mastered the art of stacking the deck in my favor as well as taking advantage of some loop holes. My armies of choice were the Vampire Counts (fear autobreak for the tactical win!!!) and chaos.

Overall I have three golden griffons, and four tournament plaques for overall winner hanging on my wall as well as a large host of best painted plaques (some on my wall, most in a box in my garage now)

Toward the end of my tournament career I had begun doing the big tournaments in Chicago as well as the placer events for the Indy GTs which were very popular back in 2005-2006. They may still be but I stopped paying attention after.

My last big tournament was an 85 player fantasy tournament which was a placer event for an Indy GT held in Arkansas I believe. The placer was held in a hotel in Indiana.

It was about this time that I had stopped taking armies that were stacked to statistically win and started fielding some B units in my list, inspired by a couple of players who were known to place 1st at GTs and these big events with crap armies lke High Elves, etc... (I wanted to improve my game and not have to rely on math crutches any longer)

While in Chicago in 2004 we were at one of the pubs after hours and I had a good talk with one of the guys who had been fielding high elves and was doing well. This was back in the dreaded "HE are horrible" days, and this guy was table spanking people with his (and his army was a mixture of infantry and cavalry... something that the internet said true serious gamers NEVER took esp in a high elf army)

I remember pointedly him talking about table psychology and how often his games were won not because he had a numbers advantage (because playing HE, you never did either in count or statistical probability) but because he found ways to make his opponent doubt himself and his ability during the game and they'd fold.

I found this to be a good conversation because I knew several math gamers in my own circle who had great W/L records but looking at their losses they were always self inflicted and usually resulted in them folding.

So anyway the last big tournament I went to I took my khorne army. I called them the heralds of Archaon and horns and trumpets were their thing. It won a lot of painting awards, and I was proud of it, but it had a couple of severe handicaps in it.

One, the army was frenzied. Which back in 6th and 7th meant that they were led on a merry chase around the table.

Two... I commited the cardinal sin of including an infantry unit. Not just any infantry unit... a chaos warrior unit! You see back then, taking chaos warriors in a chaos army was akin to today showing up without a level 4 wizard in your army. People guffawed.

I ended up going 4-1 at that weekend event, losing to an empire player who had a nice looking army that was predominantly cav backed by the steam tank and a few cannons. The game was close, but I ended up losing due to positioning.

Two matches that weekend really stand out in my head. The first was my second match of that weekend. I had just beaten a dark elf player running cult of slaanesh and my second match was against one of our own league guys who always made the playoffs and had a very good W/L record. He fielded an orc and goblin list which was min/maxed and he was a pure numbers guy. Everything was about statistical probability and he even had a power coefficient formula he used. He could in a matter of seconds tell you the exact statistical probability of any match up on the table and he, like many tourney guys, stacked that probability to be in the high 80s at min before he'd charge.

His giant shortcoming was that if the dice rolled bad for him, he'd instantly give up because statistical improbabilities were things that he coudld *not* deal with.

So against him I made a gamble. Turn 1 saw his dice a little frigid for him. Knowing dice how I know them, I know that players go through "streaks". Yes yes they are random, but I notice a lot that a player on a hot streak will stay on that streak and vice versa. I took a big gamble... this player was good, I had played him many times before, and I knew his weakness was in improbabilities happening and his dice were rolling cold for him... so I made what seemed like a tactical blunder in turn 2.

I purposely exposed my chaos warrior's flank to his Savage Orc boss and hero's boar unit while pretending to fuss and muss over another unit on the table that I pretended to fear. Thing was, statistically this should have been game over... and I knew that. He was practically salivating and was daydreaming of an easy win #2 for the day. This again is in turn 2 folks.

I congratulate him on his flank charge. I baited him into doing it, gambling his dice would continue to stay cold. The odds were roughly 70% that he would roll that unit. My gambit paid off. Indeed his dice stayed cold. And he lost combat... he did not break, but that right there was enough to snuff him psychologically. He was already beaten by that point because of two rounds of "statistical improbabilities" and I ended up taking the game after he gave up in turn 4 (at that point the game was roughly a draw but he couldn't get over the numbers not working like math said they should)

Table psychology, as that gentleman in Chicago pointed out who regularly whipped opponents through the table with a "crap HE army", played a huge role.

Fourth game, next day. I'm 2-1. My first game of the day is against another chaos player. This guy even has an entourage. Two of his buddies are with him. Guy is very cocky. Talks about his many wins. Fielding a typical chaos army of the era (all cav with a couple chariots, two knight BUS units each with two heroes in it (one had his lord))

We are done deploying and he makes an off handed comment about how this tournament is full of newbs and how this should be an easy game for him since I have a *snort chuckle* chaos warrior unit on the table, which indicates I am an obvious rookie (being 2006, this is my 7th tournament year). He is fairly chatty throughout the game. Until about turn 4.

When again I play the numbers game on him, in that I gambit something I should lose hoping it will demoralize him should it play off.

By turn 4 I was down about 300 points. Not over by any stretch but I need to make up some points. So again... I expose the flank of my chaos warrior unit. He charges home with what's left of his knight unit, though by this time he's not so sure of himself. His dice go cold on him. I end up running him down and he concedes at that point, shakes my hand, and tells me the dice beat him.

Of course they did... I counted on it =) I ended up placing in the top 10 overall with a 4-1 record, and high soft scores. I also managed to help change the local meta a bit as chaos warriors had started sprouting up in our local scene, though not in a unit like I fielded, but in small 10 man MSU blocks and for the most part they did ok with them. This again defied conventional internet logic that chaos warriors were absolute crap and should never ever ever be taken or else you'd get tabled.

Granted I've had that gambit fail me before as well... but the fact is numbers aren't ever absolute and nothing is given in a game. The best players I've ever met could beat people with what the internet tells you is wrong, crap, and should never be taken by any serious player. Don't be afraid to try new things. You will find that often you will be surprised.

That was my very last tournament. After that I played a few more friendly games and then got pretty burnt out on the game as a whole and after the 2006 league I shelved my armies and got out of the hobby until last fall, and now pretty much only play in campaign settings.

Discuss any similar stories you may have.

theDarkGeneral
08-09-2011, 17:41
Very well written IcedCrow! Our stories sound sooooo similar it's kinda scary! LOL!

I too have been playing on a much more "toned down" version of the game, and recently went to a local Indy GT with Khorne Daemons...just 2 Heralds on foot, and ALL TROOPS!!!! I fought 3 Skaven Armies, an Empire and a Warriors of Chaos Army...i walked away gaining 4 Massacres and 1 hard fought (and fun!) Draw!!!! Took 2nd Best General...all on the same concept, which is you call it Table Psychology, and I refer to as "smoke and mirrors".


Much thanks for the great post!

Jolly Puggles
08-09-2011, 17:42
I'm not a tourney player...I can't wrap my head around the mindset you need for them...but "table psychology" has won me more than one game. Back in the old days, before Horde units and Strength in Numbers, I was fielding pretty much the exact same Skaven army that I field in 8th ed., to whit; vast quantities of infantry backed up by Clan Skryre toys and very few characters...and this in the true Herohammer days of 4th and 5th edition. The sheer quantity of models I was putting on the board, more often than not, was enough of a distraction that, though I was young and tactically inexperienced, my opponents' strategies went to pot, allowing me, if not an easy one, a win nonetheless.

This kind of "fear" tactic is also the reason I still field Jezzail Teams. Mathhammer states that Jezzails are waaay overpriced for the effect they have on the table, but I stand by my two units of 5 teams. Why? Because people are scared of them. If you field an MSU of 3, they'll be ignored. Field 2 units of 5 and you can pretty much control the battlefield, just by their presence. Any army with any independant characters or units that come in small numbers and a high points cost will avoid being in their fire-arc, even at the cost of simply not using them for the whole game.

pointyteeth
08-09-2011, 18:13
Great post Iced Crow. Its much like the poker analogy "don't play the cards, play the player". I'm a tournament player as well and have been a victim of table psycology myself many times (mostly due to my dice being cold for the past 10 years). I try to avoid the must-haves when I make my roster; it just feels so much better winning with something you mustered than winning with a cookie cutter list. I've just started with Vamps though and after my first initial games those cookie cutter lists aren't looking so bad....:(

Toshiro
08-09-2011, 18:58
Good and interesting post IcedCrow :)

Fuzzymoldyork
08-09-2011, 19:00
I'm not a tournament player but I'm working on my first tournament army. This post really resonates with me.

More than a handful of years ago, I was playing at a local tournament with my Space Orks (note, not Orks) and was doing really really well. My first game was a major victory against guard (not a good army then either) and my second game was a massacare due to the opponenet not showing up. The final game however was against Daemon Hunters (mixed grey knights and guard, Vostroyans specifically). Up until this point I had never beaten a Daemon Hunter army, Hell, I never even got better than a minor loss against them.

The game went as I predicted, I was pretty much tabled by the end of turn 4 due to all the shooting. But my biggest problem during that game was that I didn't stop complianing about how there was no chance for me to win. Looking back on it that loss was half because I was unprepared to fight that army and the other half my table psychology.

I have since become a more gracious loser (unless its my brother) and have become a better general with a better understanding of the game. I'm thinking that this year will be my year to start getting into tournaments and this article has really helped me out. Thank you for the insight.

Good luck, and happy gaming :)

yabbadabba
08-09-2011, 19:47
Great article, thanks Iced Crow.

Gaargod
08-09-2011, 19:54
Going to be honest, that trick once screwed me over.

7th ed, was using a very non maxed lizardmen army (no saurus infantry at all - 3 units of cavalry and a carnosaur mounted oldblood were the main focus of the army). I used to love that army, and I made sure it was as good as it was going to get keeping to the theme of cavalry.

Anyways, at a tournament I was playing against a beastman player. Very nice guy, in all fairness. Turn 1 I put my carnosaur out in front, where 3 chariots 'might' be able to charge him. See, I actually thought I'd just possibly put him out of range of 1 of them (it was in by less than 1/6th of an inch. Very annoyed), and even then I was hoping for terror to stop at least one of them with only Ld7 with a reroll for chaos undivided (which would probably have meant the chariot fleeing off the board turn 1) or at the very least, for my well equipped lord to not die and beat some chariots up (Carnosaur at S7 + blade of realities = dead chariots).
Beastman player proceeds to pass all tests, and charges me. Rolls up a crazy number of impact hits and kills the carnosaur, and puts a wound on the lord. Lord returns fire, but the beastman player again passes LD checks for blade of realities, so only does a couple of wounds. Luckily, i managed to pass his Ld4 test (on coldblood with a reroll, not impossible).

Very irritating, as I took a reasonable gamble, and failed.

drear
08-09-2011, 20:10
your articles doesnt seem to discuss psychology , as much as waiting for your opponent to fluff a dice roll, and hoping next turn he does it again?

there was a tiny bit of psychology where you focused on a unit that didnt mean anything so your bait didnt look obvious with the warriors.
but then you had no dea the gamble would pay off, just an idea that if you fluff a roll once you will do it again and again.

where have you listed 'must haves'?
you must have an army and you must know how to play it?

*shrug*

cptcosmic
08-09-2011, 20:18
the first thing you really need to learn when you play in such a high level of competetiveness (regardless of the game) is to always try to do your best, do not care when you get smashed and fight to the end. you will wonder how often a sure loss can suddenly turn in your favor. if you give up in the middle then you also give up the chance to turn the tables.

wizbix
08-09-2011, 20:25
What the OP is suggesting is that he didnt win by tatctics at the start, he won by taking a very powerful army list.

He then goes on to suugest that he continued winning by using psychology on his opponent rather than true tactics on the board.

I destinctly detect a lack of tactics in either.


Of course I jest. I did wonder however why I used to loose a lot back in 5th and 6th editions with my High Elves.

Andy p
08-09-2011, 20:29
I really enjoyed reading this post Iced and I can see how psychology plays a very important part in this game.

Of course ive always had a rather dim view of mathhammering, yes it is useful and I dont mean to knock it too much as it can help give a good overview on what might happen in theory, but that's just it, it's a theory.

It can help to predict and it can help to give people an idea of what will beat what, but it is not the be all and end all, just because a calculation states that something should happen a certain way, does not mean that it will.

I prefer people to branch out and try different things anyhow. There isnt anything wrong with playing to win after all, just dont play to win at all costs, enjoy the game, dont hammer it into a bunch of boring statistics.

ps: For clarification, the psychology part of this is people mentally 'giving in' just because they have made a bad roll or things havn't gone as they predicted.

IcedCrow
08-09-2011, 21:04
Thank you Andy. The psychology is indeed in getting them to defeat themselves. Once you start beating yourself up for bad dice, a stupid move, etc... the game can quickly derail on you.

Gambits are not 100% obviously. You can get seriously burned by them. But when they do work it can leave someone who relies 100% on numbers scratching their head as to how it was the numbers betrayed them. Pure math gamers, of which I have encountered many mostly at tournaments, usually are strong players whose glaring weakness is that they get down quickly when the numbers go against them. At this point it is where psychology as opposed to their maxed out army list takes a greater role, but you will have to gamble a little bit to pull that off at times (such as offering a flank that could destroy you if your gamble fails)

I find gambits to be a great deal of fun though (one of the reasons I like 8th so much is there is by the nature of the newer rules more gambits such as charging in general now... nothing is absolute)


What the OP is suggesting is that he didnt win by tatctics at the start, he won by taking a very powerful army list.

He then goes on to suugest that he continued winning by using psychology on his opponent rather than true tactics on the board.

I destinctly detect a lack of tactics in either.

It is not that I am tactically dumb. I studied military history and tactics and served in the military and had my dose of them there as well. I am also an avid chess player.

However, warhammer tactics tend to be on the simplistic side. Not simple in thoughtless, but the tactics are not often as deep as some would have you believe. It is a game intended to entertain with a mild level of strategy and tactics, but strong lists and comp strongly win games over tactics. Winning with psychology is a tactic. Bait and switch is a tactic, though rarely used because of the risk involved (what I was doing above in my OP is a form of bait and switch)

I have seen people who are totally devoid of any tactical play do well at warhammer simply because they were using a powerful A+ list which had the odds stacked heavily in their favor. Undead armies, particularly vampire counts, and daemon armies were very popular vehicles for the tactically challenged because fear and auto break minimized the tactics you needed to have. You basically just made sure you won combat and had more of you then them and you were guaranteed to break them. I am glad fear was toned down (though i think it was smacked a little too hard but i digress)
My first army was undead (before the split) and then vampire counts, and within a few months of breaking into the hobby i was holding my own and beating guys who had played for years simply because of fear, not because I was a particularly strong player (i was still largely making rookie mistakes at that point)

My tournament wins and high placements in the early 2000s were not devoid of tactics, but my tactics were not difficult. I loaded up on the most abused item combos my army had and then unleashed them. The real tactics that I needed was target acquisition and guess ranging. The former was learned in about six months in the 90s when I started and the latter was learned after I figured out how to grid out a table with my eyes. I also learned to note how far terrain was on the table and used that as markers. End result was my guess range was basically perfect (a reason I'm glad it's not in the game now, it's not a real skill or tactic imo)

Lordy
08-09-2011, 21:10
Can you please stop using the word "soccer" an Englishman dies everytime you do.

Lord Inquisitor
08-09-2011, 21:15
I'm... not convinced that these are good example of tournament psychology.

Each example seems to be you deliberately making a tactical blunder and it paying off through sheer luck.

They're nice anecdotes and certainly I agree that in tournament games when the chips are down, I'll start to gamble higher and higher stakes hoping for a big payout that will turn the game (and I've had a couple of amazing ones, a scraplauncher at max range charging the rear of a fully ranks dwarf hammerer unit, beating them and running the whole unit down!) but that's much more about playing the odds - when the game is in hand, play it safe, when things go to hell then gamble!

yabbadabba
08-09-2011, 21:16
Can you please stop using the word "soccer" an Englishman dies everytime you do.Damn right!



Should only be talking about Rugby Union or Cricket *nods*

Bingo the Fun Monkey
08-09-2011, 21:21
Like others have said: good post. I never really employed "Table Psych" in WFB mainly because none of us played math-hammer anyway. We play FB for fun.

Warmachine (and now Infinity) is a different story. But I won't go OT in this forum.

What I will say is that I am the best dice roller in my gaming group. I consistently roll what I need most of the time. All the dice I own were hand-me-downs from friends or were bought at the LGS that my friend works at. This also applies to when I use friends' dices as well. I also don't roll flat or straight. I chuck them with great force into a cardboard box. Ok, now that that's out of the way, here's why I so good at rolling dice: I don't care and I'm happy. I'm always happy to be playing a wargame so things....just turn out how I want them to.

Bodysnatcher
08-09-2011, 21:39
I've always taken fluff Tzeentch lists to Fantasy tournaments and the psychological impact is wonderful.
The Palooka nature of horror units and the grind it can force people in to makes them doubt their unit effectiveness and overcommit. Stealing spells through glean and flinging them back makes your opponent feel worse than if you had just cast a basic spell, so they start to go to lengths to hide their high level decent spell wizards. And I have a big shiny target in the shape of a Lord of Change - far too tempting for some.

IcedCrow
08-09-2011, 21:51
Can you please stop using the word "soccer" an Englishman dies everytime you do.

My apologies. Football is on tonight though. Packers and the Saints ;) lol

Woodsman
08-09-2011, 22:19
So tournament players don't play to the end of a game? Weird don't you pay to take part as well?

Sexiest_hero
08-09-2011, 22:27
WOOOO saints. Also Quitting is an topic I already touched on not to long ago. If you can make a gamer think he will lose, he's already out of the game. defeat his favorite unit, or broken combo and he'll throw in the towel. It what made gamers such easy targets to bully. They don't even try to put up a fight once they think they may lose(most not all). oddly these same guys go on to try and bully other gamers on the table top in forums and online games. If you break their net deck/list. They will give up, then blame everything but themselves. Sadly the normal gamers is more the alliance pvper, call of duty douche bag, then fun to be around guys.

T10
08-09-2011, 22:29
your articles doesnt seem to discuss psychology , as much as waiting for your opponent to fluff a dice roll, and hoping next turn he does it again?


Indeed. This has nothing to do with actively using psychology to win. Admittedly, the opponents were fed a bait. However, the fact that they failed when taking the bait was solely due to bad luck. And that their bad luck demoralized them, well, that's hardly the OP's doing either. Hell, it's only natural that a sure win that turns to victory puts the enemy on the back foot: he was counting on it and moved the rest of his army to take advantage of it.

The only thing I got from this was that sometimes you can "feel lucky" and take a big risk and see it play out to your advantage. I do that more or less with every game, and I can tell you that betting against the odds means you lose more than you win.

But the wins are at least spectacular!

Student
08-09-2011, 22:37
Isn't the tactic in this putting some points into a unit that is considered to be useless then putting it in a position to get hammered. If they die then you've lost a few points but not the game and on the off chance that they pull through against the odds let your opponent get stressed about it?

Lord Inquisitor
08-09-2011, 22:40
Perhaps tenacity to the point of foolishness is a good thing in a tournament player then? I know I for one am a stubborn bugger and I won't give in until the last dice is thrown.

Certainly I've had experiences like I was playing at the top tables of a GT a bit over a year ago and my opponent conceded at the top of turn 2 - I hadn't even killed anything particularly in his army yet, I had just pulled his deathstar so far out of position and surrounded it that he just called it a day so he could leave 2 hours earlier...

Count_Orlock
08-09-2011, 22:42
I've never been one for cookie-cutter lists. I mean, I've played Ogres since 6th. Took them to the Swedish Championships a couple of years ago, this was in 7th Edition of course, and I almost made it into the top half. Got loooot's of comments about playing Ogres, but most were positive. But you could see some people raising their eyebrows cause I was playing a weak army, and list for that matter. And I think that gave me an edge of some sort, people didn't really fear Ogres. So it felt good to get two Massacres. :D

Sexiest_hero
09-09-2011, 06:26
Certainly I've had experiences like I was playing at the top tables of a GT a bit over a year ago and my opponent conceded at the top of turn 2 - I hadn't even killed anything particularly in his army yet, I had just pulled his deathstar so far out of position and surrounded it that he just called it a day so he could leave 2 hours earlier...

This is the major issue in Fantasy. bad sportsmanship.

T10
09-09-2011, 06:38
Bear in mind that the part of the function of these "death star" units is to endure: Even if they don't get to kill anything at all they keep the player in the game simply by merit of not dying. When the player relies completely on a single unit in this way, the game effectively ends early when that unit is eliminated.

Andy p
09-09-2011, 10:16
Can you please stop using the word "soccer" an Englishman dies everytime you do.

Even though as an Englishman it pains me to point this out, but look into the origins of the word 'soccer', we have only ourselves to blame. :D

Scythe
09-09-2011, 12:11
Psychology can play a large part in the game, whether you are aware of it or not. The moment you put your large, shiny, freshly painted monster on the table, it might attract more attention than it is really worth. When you are boasting on the performance of unit X in the last few battles, eyes are drawn away from that unit Y over there. Your opponent might be thrown of guard when instead of the expected cookie cutter list, you turn up with a lot of strange b-choice units. Killing an opponents general often also has a special value for players (besides the victory points), so he is often very usable as bait.

It's all part of the game. I am not a very competitive player, but playing a few mind tricks on your opponent can be rather funny ;)

Toshiro
09-09-2011, 13:34
Perhaps tenacity to the point of foolishness is a good thing in a tournament player then? I know I for one am a stubborn bugger and I won't give in until the last dice is thrown.

That's the way I like it! :D

IcedCrow
09-09-2011, 13:40
Even though as an Englishman it pains me to point this out, but look into the origins of the word 'soccer', we have only ourselves to blame. :D

I believe a good chunk of the world calls it soccer. I can't say football here, because we have American football and when I say football, 99% of americans are going to think I was talking about that ;)

I do sometimes say futbol though.

IcedCrow
09-09-2011, 13:42
The most dangerous opponents I have ever played against are those that

A) have a game plan that is more involved than simply "I have a death star and my plans revolve around it and if it dies then I am done"

B) stick to said game plan without despairing if things start to go against them

C) adjust game plan as the game goes on.

I hear a lot of people claim to do these things but in actuality it seems that this combination is a very rare thing to actually witness.

N1AK
09-09-2011, 13:51
So against him I made a gamble. Turn 1 saw his dice a little frigid for him. Knowing dice how I know them, I know that players go through "streaks". Yes yes they are random, but I notice a lot that a player on a hot streak will stay on that streak and vice versa.


No they don't. You cannot predict the results/trends etc of future dice rolls by considering previous dice rolls. You can't. You can guess; and by sheer luck get it right more often than not.

All the other points you make are valid and/or interesting. You're certainly right about some peoples mentality to odds.

That said, if you make a move which would be retarded if something with an 80% chance happens and good in the other 20% you're making bad decisions. If you're making a move where you know the odds of losing that unit are high, but if you keep it there's a benefit and you can afford to lose the unit comfortably then it could make sense.

Finally, previous dice do not predict future rolls. If you can do that go and play craps and make a fortune.

IcedCrow
09-09-2011, 14:13
I am aware that technically they are always random. I also know that in almost 20 years of gaming of some kind that people get on streaks that border on the supernatural in terms of predictability (hot or cold).

I had a streak that lasted several years that sometimes reemerges to this day where I always always rolled horrid. (one reason I played undead so long was that it negated dice influence on my games as autobreak didn't require you to roll dice and character bus units meant that if i stacked the dice in my favor I'd roll at least average which helped me autobreak. Meaning I'd put three vampires in a unit because I usually rolled like crap, but the three vampires together usually rolled combined as well as one vampire on an average to hot streak)

They had a T-Shirt made about me at our game store and tournament team. I had dozens of people say exactly what you just said right there. That my luck couldn't POSSIBLY be that bad. And then after the game they'd shake my hand, shake their head, and say that I must have loaded dice (loaded to bad) and I showed them my bag that had 8 dice cubes in them that all rolled like that for me.

We kept track of dice rolled for three seasons and we found that there were people like me that rolled horribly most of their games for three years, and there were people that rolled hot constantly for three years.

They are random yes, but streaks are streaks, and we put them to paper and saw that some people for whatever reason go hot and stay hot or go cold and stay cold no matter how much science says it should all be random.

We had three hot players who rolled 4+ on dice 75% of the time or so, and there were four of us that rolled 1-3 75% of the time or so. I had one game where my 1-3 rolls were 90% in a portent battle report where we broke the dice out at the end of the game. You can bet my opponent hedged on my cold dice rolling (and he admitted to doing so by pulling outrageous stunts on me)

We have a player in our campaign now that is constantly hot with dice. He's hot in RPGs with us and he's hot in wargaming, and he's using store bought dice so we know they aren't loaded. Last game I played him I wounded his level 4 wiz 15 times and he made 15 4+ armor saves (and I failed 8 4+ armor saves in a row and failed 2 1+ armor saves on top of that all concurrently shortly after). Next game he needed a 6 to start the game (we hedged that we'd get to go first and block off a bridge where his steam tank was since we needed a 1-5 to go first) and sure enough the man tosses a "6" to go first. This is a regular thing with him, I'm just giving the last two incidents.

In the end it is all luck. But I will always hedge on a streak if a player is going through it (myself included) because in my own experience, though it is 100% luck based, those streaks usually continue.

Bad decisions or not, it is also said to be bad decisions to do many things in this game. In the past two days alone I've read that it's bad decision to:

1) ever take a monster other than hydras or other broken monsters that are undercosted
2) never take cavalry when steadfast infantry is better
3) always have a level 4 wizard in your army or else you will get tabled because you are losing 1.6 spells a tur nor something to that nature.
4) never use chaos lords because they are worthless
5) never use skeletons in a VC army because they are worthless

Math-hammer is as much of a weakness as it is a strength in knowing the odds, particularly for those who are slaves to it who won't deviate from the odds.

I don't regularly make decisions where I have a tiny chance of success unless I'm losing, nor do I advocate it, and it is useful to know how to calculate odds, but I think those people that require your power ratings to be A+ all the time and who won't do anything without it being an 85 - 90% chance of success all the time are hamstringing themselves when their plans revolve around it (which is why those people have nice W/L records but can't ever seem to "finish" a tournament on top or a league on top)

Coincidence or not I also find that most of the math hammer guys I used to play with don't play 8th now because of the random factor that skews their odds.

Tregar
09-09-2011, 14:28
In my last two friendly games, I had my Prince's cavalry bus (Yes, I use cavalry, and yes, I am very smug about it) charged by 1) Blood Knights and (2) Grail Knights, and both times my guys held, and annihilated the enemy unit the next turn. All because I psyched my opponent out into doing the charge that I didn't expect. And yes, I'm very smug about that too.

But then in the actual tournament the bus done got charged by a Stegadon, which killed 6 and ran the rest down. I don't understand, why does my superior psychology not always work? :(

GodlessM
09-09-2011, 14:36
This is a very interesting post, though on the flip-side of things it as actually made me more aware of my own downfalls as a player that an opponent could exploit, namely if one really bad thing happens to my army, even though as a whole it mightn't be game breaking, it can often leave a sky-is-falling feeling over me which makes me sloppy as I feel like I am struggling to hold the game even though I'm not.

Fuzzymoldyork
09-09-2011, 15:04
Basically what I gathered from this post is that one way of defeating an opponent is to "trick" or confuse them with something they are unprepared for due to lack of experience with it or precieved uselessness. This can be accomplished by luck, clever use of an underused unit, or good synergy. However, it is not to say this unit is suddenly amazing and that everyone should start taking this unit.

However, another way of winning that Scythe mentioned is by manipulating your opponent into attacking something because of its percieved effectiveness rather than how effective we know it to be. This is a perfect example of the shinney model effect. We are more likely to attack something that is well painted on a table to grey/black models because 1) its important to the user so they put the time and effort into painting it before other models 2) its shinney and we (or at least I) have a natural attraction towards shinney things. If the model is actually important to the person killing it early might demoralize them enough to start making mistakes.

IcedCrow
09-09-2011, 15:13
No I am not saying a sub-optimal unit is amazing. What I'm saying is that don't be a slave to the numbers game and take cookie cutter internet lists because it can bite you.

Lord Inquisitor
09-09-2011, 15:16
This is the major issue in Fantasy. bad sportsmanship.

I wouldn't go so far as to say it was terrible sportsmanship. We both knew I had more or less got the game in hand but he conceded gracefully and it allowed him to leave several hours earlier for the long drive and see his family. I was taken aback a bit (I sure as anything wouldn't have conceded!) but it allowed me to wander around and watch everyone else's games, which was a nice experience. So no bad blood about it, it was merely the most extreme example of someone conceding early I have.


No I am not saying a sub-optimal unit is amazing. What I'm saying is that don't be a slave to the numbers game and take cookie cutter internet lists because it can bite you.
This I can agree with. I'm still not sure your examples are anything but extraordinary gambles that paid off, but there is certainly something to be said for taking an army consisting of choices not seen often as these units give you something intangible - the element of surprise. I've won tournaments with my ogres (admittedly with a very standard ogre build) and I'm sure the "whoa I didn't know you could do that" effect helped enormously. Sadly with the new book I doubt that'll be the case anymore, but such is the price paid for lots of lovely new toys...

Likewise I've been wrong-footed more than once by a "suboptimal" choice. I played a Wood Elf player in the first round of the ard boyz and got a dreadful shock simply because I didn't know what he could do (pre-errata moonstone nearly got me!) and I only got out of it by laying on lashings of daemon cheese.

Bodysnatcher
09-09-2011, 18:23
lashings of daemon cheese.

Horrible image of something scraped from a GUO's foetid folds.......

IcedCrow
09-09-2011, 19:57
Surprise is one advantage. Them being overconfident (or you being overconfident playing someone who is using "sub optimal trash") is another tool at your disposal, which also plays into the psychology game.

Overconfidence breeds sloppy playing.

catbarf
09-09-2011, 19:59
As interesting as the OP is, I think giving the opponent a clear advantage and just hoping he rolls exceptionally poorly and hoping he won't be able to deal with the psychological trauma of still-winning-but-didn't-make-that-roll is, to be blunt, a terrible strategy. Instead of counting on the psychological damage of fluffing a sure thing, couldn't you avoid intentionally hamstringing yourself, and do the same damage through tactics more likely to pay off?

Edit: Were I 300pts down, I would not use a tactic with a 30% chance of making the opponent feel intimidated and a 70% chance of rendering me further unable to make a comeback. Surely you could, by the same reasoning, play normally, hope your opponent gets bad rolls, and beat him psychologically by coming back and getting even?

IcedCrow
09-09-2011, 20:05
You're looking at the examples in a vacuum and I'm guessing through the view that if X is not greater than Y% then strategy = terrible.

Yes in a vaccum that's a terrible idea.

catbarf
09-09-2011, 21:01
You're looking at the examples in a vacuum and I'm guessing through the view that if X is not greater than Y% then strategy = terrible.

Yes in a vaccum that's a terrible idea.

Eh. Maybe. I still feel like you, as a tournament player, must have some options available to you beyond one with an objectively minimal chance of succeeding. Looking at this from the outside, you're saying you intentionally used a strategy that only worked because it was ridiculously unlikely to succeed. Missing are the corresponding anecdotes of people who get charged in the flank and, as expected, get wrecked- which should exist in greater numbers.

Just to summarize, your strategy was pretty much:
-Intentionally make a poor move
-Opponent capitalizes on your poor move
-Against all odds, opponent fails to trash you
-Opponent recognizes this and becomes depressed

...Does this not seem the least bit unwise? You're essentially taking a less-than-optimal list (on purpose), and making poor tactical decisions (on purpose), and hoping that random luck helps you out so much that your opponent recognizes that he's only losing because of the dice and quits.

Woodsman
09-09-2011, 21:20
Yeah I kinda agree with the above. I mean I have done similar things to those described and won and lost because of such a move. I don't think there was any psychology thogh, maybe because I don't play people who give up at the drop of a hat. Also sounds like a fairly useless move if your opponent doesn't give up.

I do run a knights errant unit 12/15 knights with full command. Painted by my brother-in-law it looks so much better than the rest of my army with big freehand banner and cool conversions. I do find it gets targeted much, much more than it's potential deserves.

I'm curious why people hate 'cookie-cutting' and 'crutches' so much, almost every post I see of yours IcedCrow seems to be related to it?

IcedCrow
09-09-2011, 21:28
Well we can hopefully agree on one thing... for every army there is one or two "A" builds. These are what 95% of the tournament population seem to gravitate towards.

Then there are "B" builds. These are still competitive but not overwhelmingly so. These are the lists that I take.

"C" lists are mostly for fun lists... and then there are "D" lists which are horrible and usually created by rookies brand new to the game who don't know any better.

So off the bat, my list being a "B" list against an "A" list does put me at a disadvantage, but not grossly so.

Into the game I did make a gambit that was mathematically a poor move hoping to take advantage of something you can't gauge with numbers yes.

Bad strategy? I've had it bite me before. But then in war some of the greatest battles were won like that.

If I based all of my games off of statistical probability I also would have lost a great share of games. Such as my last game. Which I did base off numbers, and the dice turning frigid messed my entire plan up and I unfortunately had no backup plan (and therefore got outplayed)

PersonalGlitch
09-09-2011, 21:35
I've had similar experiences to the OP.

I play my games very competively and always try to overcome my opponent by tactics but I have seen way too many people give up before the game is over.

Their big unit or character dies and they just give up hope. They stop actually playing the game and trying to win. Instead, they moan about their bad dice rolling or that the improbabilities won me the game.

I refuse to give up and even if I lose something very important, I will always push to victory. I feel that my determination to at least put up a good showing if I can't win usually pulls the game for me.

I play dark elves and in almost every game either my Black Guard get slaughtered by a big spell, I lose my supposedly "unkillable" dreadlord or my lvl 4 dies before she can do any damage. Heh, I once had my dreadlord shot in the face with a cannon turn one and died. My opponent then usually becomes overconfident while I become more determined. They will start making mistakes because they believe they can afford to or get overly cocky. But, one bad dice roll or decision brings me swinging back into the game and I end up crushing them.

Moral of my story, don't give up even if you believe the game is over.

Now, if you just have 100 points of models left against half an army, then its quite alright to call it.

Deff Mekz
09-09-2011, 21:38
Icedcrow, bringing reason and general sanity to world of whining, trolling and hyperactive nerds. :D

Great post mate, to be honest I think we should have a sticky for posts like these because as many possible need to read this.

Deff

Woodsman
09-09-2011, 22:11
So I'd play a 'C' list, probably. Maybe veering into B and/or D territory now and again.

I defo agree that inflexibility and expecting your master plan to pan out is what holds a lot of us back at times. I've done it, probably still will; although we try not to!

Drongol
09-09-2011, 22:16
I've got to be honest here.

I don't get it.

I'm not saying that I don't understand not bringing the absolute best, most face-wrecking army you can find, every game (hell, I play Ogres). I don't see how taking a bad gamble and winning is anything that people can learn from.

To give an analogy, I've chased an inside straight and got it before. This doesn't make that a good strategy. It makes me a donkey.

eron12
09-09-2011, 23:03
I don't think any plan that hinges on "my opponent rolling badly," is a good plan. Furthermore I think any plan that requires your opponent to go on titlt after rolling badly is a worse plan. Lucky circumstances and opponent reaction is a bonus to be exploited, not something to rely upon (unless you know your opponent very very well).

That being said, sometimes there is no good plan. In those cases taking a wild gamble is the best of bad options. That's the reason quarterbacks throw hail mary passes, but there is also a reason why they don't throw them every play. Desperate times call for desperate measures, but leave the desperate measures to the desperate times.

IcedCrow
10-09-2011, 00:19
Icedcrow, bringing reason and general sanity to world of whining, trolling and hyperactive nerds. :D

Great post mate, to be honest I think we should have a sticky for posts like these because as many possible need to read this.

Deff

I do appreciate the sentiment =)

For those of you who just don't get it, I think I've tried to clarify many times but you still just don't get it. Maybe it is that you are too focused on the fact that I advocated doing something that would seem to be "bad" numbers-wise, and you can't get over that part. I don't know. Fortunately, from the responses here and on other forums where I've posted this and in the Pms i've gotten, a large number of you guys have "gotten it" and I'm glad we were able to discuss alternate ways of playing other than netlists and what you "have to have".

I don't throw hail mary passes in every game, nor do I play every game baiting and switching. I dont' walk into a game hinging everything on my opponent rolling bad either. Nor do I advocate that as a primary game plan. However it is a viable part of my arsenal. And again the point of my post was generated from all of the "if you don't take X then you will get tabled" threads which abound on the internet. And I've never taken X and I've done quite well. "YOu have to take a level 4 wizard or you will get crushed. Don't ever take that unit or you will get pwned. Never take a dragon because it will just get shot and killed in turn 1. etc etc etc"

Believe it or not there is a large portion of people who take what is said on these boards as the bible and gospel of wargaming, and if it's read on warseer that you should never take a dragon then they will never take a dragon because they want to win and dragons will make you lose. This is the part that I feel is a shame.

Ultimately you can do very well at the game without shackling yourself to a netlist and feeling like you always have to bring A+ units and armies to the table. Many A+ armies do well overall but can't "close the door" so to speak, because the numbers betray them. I'm not talking all, or absolutes. I'm talking in general, from my own experience, which is why I posted this here, on a warhammer forum, to discuss alternate ways to approach the game other than "the internet says I have to do this or else I will get rock-bottomed through the table", which causes large portions of our population to field identical lists... which in turn burns people out on the hobby...

Here's to hoping the new books coming out take away the "must haves" and give us more "cool to haves" and more viable options.

Gonzoyola
10-09-2011, 01:55
Very well written IcedCrow! Our stories sound sooooo similar it's kinda scary! LOL!

I too have been playing on a much more "toned down" version of the game, and recently went to a local Indy GT with Khorne Daemons...just 2 Heralds on foot, and ALL TROOPS!!!! I fought 3 Skaven Armies, an Empire and a Warriors of Chaos Army...i walked away gaining 4 Massacres and 1 hard fought (and fun!) Draw!!!! Took 2nd Best General...all on the same concept, which is you call it Table Psychology, and I refer to as "smoke and mirrors".


Much thanks for the great post!

Not to sound rude, but its supposed to be a surprise that you won a tournament with Khorne Daemons?

catbarf
10-09-2011, 02:06
I do appreciate the sentiment =)

For those of you who just don't get it, I think I've tried to clarify many times but you still just don't get it. Maybe it is that you are too focused on the fact that I advocated doing something that would seem to be "bad" numbers-wise, and you can't get over that part. I don't know. Fortunately, from the responses here and on other forums where I've posted this and in the Pms i've gotten, a large number of you guys have "gotten it" and I'm glad we were able to discuss alternate ways of playing other than netlists and what you "have to have".

I don't throw hail mary passes in every game, nor do I play every game baiting and switching. I dont' walk into a game hinging everything on my opponent rolling bad either. Nor do I advocate that as a primary game plan. However it is a viable part of my arsenal. And again the point of my post was generated from all of the "if you don't take X then you will get tabled" threads which abound on the internet. And I've never taken X and I've done quite well. "YOu have to take a level 4 wizard or you will get crushed. Don't ever take that unit or you will get pwned. Never take a dragon because it will just get shot and killed in turn 1. etc etc etc"

Believe it or not there is a large portion of people who take what is said on these boards as the bible and gospel of wargaming, and if it's read on warseer that you should never take a dragon then they will never take a dragon because they want to win and dragons will make you lose. This is the part that I feel is a shame.

Ultimately you can do very well at the game without shackling yourself to a netlist and feeling like you always have to bring A+ units and armies to the table. Many A+ armies do well overall but can't "close the door" so to speak, because the numbers betray them. I'm not talking all, or absolutes. I'm talking in general, from my own experience, which is why I posted this here, on a warhammer forum, to discuss alternate ways to approach the game other than "the internet says I have to do this or else I will get rock-bottomed through the table", which causes large portions of our population to field identical lists... which in turn burns people out on the hobby...

Here's to hoping the new books coming out take away the "must haves" and give us more "cool to haves" and more viable options.

I don't think anyone truly believes that you absolutely can't win with certain choices- what we recognize is that not all choices are equally powerful, and if you're playing to win, taking choices that are known to be poor is a tactically unsound decision. I take plenty of 'bad' choices in friendly games, and people tell me they're bad, and I recognize that I could get more bang for my buck elsewhere, but I use them anyways because it's fun. The key is, I'm not playing explicitly to win.

If you're playing to win (as in a tournament), you want an army that's maximally competitive. Deliberately using underpowered choices compromises the effectiveness of your army. It's not the fault of the players or the player mindset, it's the fault of the game designers who failed to create a game in which all choices are balanced and equal. And because of this, if someone has a less-than-optimal list, it means one of two things: either they're inexplicably taking a weak army in a context that is all about winning, or they don't know any better. I don't see it as odd that your opponents would mistakenly assume you to be in the latter category.

Gonzoyola
10-09-2011, 02:40
I don't think anyone truly believes that you absolutely can't win with certain choices- what we recognize is that not all choices are equally powerful, and if you're playing to win, taking choices that are known to be poor is a tactically unsound decision. I take plenty of 'bad' choices in friendly games, and people tell me they're bad, and I recognize that I could get more bang for my buck elsewhere, but I use them anyways because it's fun. The key is, I'm not playing explicitly to win.

If you're playing to win (as in a tournament), you want an army that's maximally competitive. Deliberately using underpowered choices compromises the effectiveness of your army. It's not the fault of the players or the player mindset, it's the fault of the game designers who failed to create a game in which all choices are balanced and equal. And because of this, if someone has a less-than-optimal list, it means one of two things: either they're inexplicably taking a weak army in a context that is all about winning, or they don't know any better. I don't see it as odd that your opponents would mistakenly assume you to be in the latter category.

By this train of thought, no one should ever bring anything other than a top tier army to a tournament because its not a sound tactical decision.

IcedCrow
10-09-2011, 02:57
Many of the overall winners I saw in my time weren't using internet top tier armies. The internet top tier armies were very heavily represented, and many indeed placed high, but the overall winners often weren't using them. (not always, there were times when this was the case)

Were those players tactically unsound players?

Kamenwati
10-09-2011, 03:54
I think it really comes down to playstyle in making a non "optimum" list work. I played chariot heavy with no skeletons TK in their last book and I played very aggressively with them, often times risking frontal charges that common wisdom held at the times you just didn't do. People expected you held down with skeletons and you flanked with chariots.

For me the playstyle allowed me to make use of a speed people didn't not expect from TK. If you understand your army inside and out and you find a style that suits you better then the net lists you'll still most likely perform a lot better because you are sure of your decisions in game.

catbarf
10-09-2011, 06:02
Many of the overall winners I saw in my time weren't using internet top tier armies. The internet top tier armies were very heavily represented, and many indeed placed high, but the overall winners often weren't using them. (not always, there were times when this was the case)

Were those players tactically unsound players?

What is the 'best' choice is not always objective, it depends on the skills of the person using them. Nonetheless, there exists in every army book certain choices that are downright irredeemable. There is the novelty factor in using a rare choice that the opponent may not be familiar with, and a good player can win with even a poor army, but in the end, it's just not true that all choices are equal when it comes to building an army in the interest of winning.

Woodsman
10-09-2011, 07:18
I do appreciate the sentiment =)

For those of you who just don't get it, I think I've tried to clarify many times but you still just don't get it. Maybe it is that you are too focused on the fact that I advocated doing something that would seem to be "bad" numbers-wise, and you can't get over that part. I don't know. Fortunately, from the responses here and on other forums where I've posted this and in the Pms i've gotten, a large number of you guys have "gotten it" and I'm glad we were able to discuss alternate ways of playing other than netlists and what you "have to have".

I don't throw hail mary passes in every game, nor do I play every game baiting and switching. I dont' walk into a game hinging everything on my opponent rolling bad either. Nor do I advocate that as a primary game plan. However it is a viable part of my arsenal. And again the point of my post was generated from all of the "if you don't take X then you will get tabled" threads which abound on the internet. And I've never taken X and I've done quite well. "YOu have to take a level 4 wizard or you will get crushed. Don't ever take that unit or you will get pwned. Never take a dragon because it will just get shot and killed in turn 1. etc etc etc"

Believe it or not there is a large portion of people who take what is said on these boards as the bible and gospel of wargaming, and if it's read on warseer that you should never take a dragon then they will never take a dragon because they want to win and dragons will make you lose. This is the part that I feel is a shame.

Ultimately you can do very well at the game without shackling yourself to a netlist and feeling like you always have to bring A+ units and armies to the table. Many A+ armies do well overall but can't "close the door" so to speak, because the numbers betray them. I'm not talking all, or absolutes. I'm talking in general, from my own experience, which is why I posted this here, on a warhammer forum, to discuss alternate ways to approach the game other than "the internet says I have to do this or else I will get rock-bottomed through the table", which causes large portions of our population to field identical lists... which in turn burns people out on the hobby...

Here's to hoping the new books coming out take away the "must haves" and give us more "cool to haves" and more viable options.

Yeah I agree with this sentiment just not the original tactic you put out.
I mean yeah occasionally its viable. Even my suboptimal list has times when dice go against me this doesn't mean my opponent was a genius or doing anything tactical. On the otherhand someone with a min-maxed list could do the same thing you did. Maybe a unit of re-directors luckily beats off my general and lance of KotR.

I just think your two points are separate things and that's what some of the above posters don't agree with or 'get'.

eron12
10-09-2011, 07:24
I do appreciate the sentiment =)

For those of you who just don't get it, I think I've tried to clarify many times but you still just don't get it. Maybe it is that you are too focused on the fact that I advocated doing something that would seem to be "bad" numbers-wise, and you can't get over that part.

Personally I think it's more the way you went about it. If you are trying to see you can not take netlists and still win, perhaps antidotes about how good tactics led to victory, instead of risk and dice superstitions leading to victory would be more convincing? I appreciate not always doing what warseer says is the best, but a story about how you knew your opponent's weakeness and used it to psych him out while taking a major risk doesn't convince me it's a viable tactic. Getting lucky is not skill (note I am not saying you are not skilled, as I think you are rather skilled at the game, but the story you cited was not an example of said skill).


I don't throw hail mary passes in every game, nor do I play every game baiting and switching. I dont' walk into a game hinging everything on my opponent rolling bad either. Nor do I advocate that as a primary game plan. However it is a viable part of my arsenal.

Here again we must diverge. Counting on my opponent rolling bad is never a viable part of my arsenal. Taking risks is one thing, but to me basing a plan on opponent's rolls is just poor tactics.



And again the point of my post was generated from all of the "if you don't take X then you will get tabled" threads which abound on the internet. And I've never taken X and I've done quite well. "YOu have to take a level 4 wizard or you will get crushed. Don't ever take that unit or you will get pwned. Never take a dragon because it will just get shot and killed in turn 1. etc etc etc"

But what you ended up with was, "If you know your opponent very well, and know what his weakness is, and if that weakness happens to be that a single instance of dice going against the odds will shut him down for the rest of the game, and if you take a gamble that will cost you the game unless he rolls poorly, and he does roll poorly, then you can win."

What if the dice hasn't stayed cold for him, but rolled average and you got slaughtered? Would you be here in this thread telling us how great a tactic risking the game on one round of dice rolling is?


Believe it or not there is a large portion of people who take what is said on these boards as the bible and gospel of wargaming, and if it's read on warseer that you should never take a dragon then they will never take a dragon because they want to win and dragons will make you lose. This is the part that I feel is a shame.

I agree it's a shame, but telling back in the day stories about hail mary passes that saved the day isn't the way to change that.

drear
10-09-2011, 09:58
as much of the last few pages that i read..

there is an interesting discussion about an aspect of table psychology ( 40k in this case) on the ' from the warp ' blog.

it talks about how modelling characters to stand out or blend in has its own psychological effect.

Bad monkey
10-09-2011, 10:31
Iv been lurking on here for some time, and i gotta say that this is one of the most interesting threads i have read.

However while I totally agree with the sentiment of the op, If you can unsettle the otherside they will blunder, I dont think the examples used are the best. As has been pointed out exposing the flank of one of your units is an extremly risky strategy. If he hadn't rolled bad he could have done you some damage.

Bad monkey
10-09-2011, 10:38
Iv been lurking on here for some time, and i gotta say that this is one of the most interesting threads i have read.

However while I totally agree with the sentiment of the op, If you can unsettle the otherside they will blunder, I dont think the examples used are the best. As has been pointed out exposing the flank of one of your units is an extremly risky strategy. If he hadn't rolled bad he could have done you some damage.

eron12
10-09-2011, 19:44
Iv been lurking on here for some time, and i gotta say that this is one of the most interesting threads i have read.

However while I totally agree with the sentiment of the op, If you can unsettle the otherside they will blunder, I dont think the examples used are the best. As has been pointed out exposing the flank of one of your units is an extremly risky strategy. If he hadn't rolled bad he could have done you some damage.

First off, I want to agree total with Bad monkey's statement.

I'd like to branch this off in a slighty different direction if I could and this sportsmanship. Is trying to psych out your opponent sporting? Or where is the line where such behavior becomes unsporting?

My normal opponent and I have touched on this topic a little, and he thinks that use of psychology is unsportsmanlike and immmature.

IcedCrow
10-09-2011, 20:13
I don't see how it is unsportsmanlike or immature. Psychology plays a big part in most if not all competitive sports and games.

eron12
11-09-2011, 02:46
I don't see how it is unsportsmanlike or immature. Psychology plays a big part in most if not all competitive sports and games.

Is there a point where it becomes unsporting, or is anything you do to psych out an opponent fair game?

34thGingerbread
11-09-2011, 04:43
Is there a point where it becomes unsporting, or is anything you do to psych out an opponent fair game?

No, in any game where the goal of your opponent is to somehow make you lose psychology will never constitute as poor sportsmanship. Particularly in a game like Warhammer, where troop movement is as much of a game of chess as it is about collection, painting and math. If you were playing someone in chess who complained every time you put them into checkmate, my question wouldn't be 'what should I do?' If I were you I would ask your friend why they're even playing. They sound like a sore loser.

On a more topic-focused note, I've greatly enjoy reading both the OP and the responses. Though I think the moral was lost a little bit when it comes to using psychology against the opponent (I'm not entirely sure intentionally making a bad decision and hoping luck pulls you through is a strategy I would encourage others to consider), I do agree that part of the fun of this game is drawing together an army and using it however you will. Any game with a fair amount of math in it is going to be filled with those who feel that there's only one real way to play, and you're a ***** for doing otherwise until either something better comes along or someone else finally vindicates your opinion. It's always a pleasure to hear from a long-time Warhammer fan who actually encourages spending time and energy on units not often fielded, if only for the sake of fun.

eron12
11-09-2011, 06:42
No, in any game where the goal of your opponent is to somehow make you lose psychology will never constitute as poor sportsmanship. Particularly in a game like Warhammer, where troop movement is as much of a game of chess as it is about collection, painting and math. If you were playing someone in chess who complained every time you put them into checkmate, my question wouldn't be 'what should I do?' If I were you I would ask your friend why they're even playing. They sound like a sore loser.

I'm not sure how your chess example applies. Putting someone into checkmate is winning, not psyching them out. Tutting each time they touch a piece and asking them if they really want to make that move each turn is. Telling them their move is foolish or spending their whole turn describing different things you could do on your turn is trying to psych someone out. I don't know what complaining about losing a game has to do with it at all.

34thGingerbread
11-09-2011, 06:50
I'm not sure how your chess example applies. Putting someone into checkmate is winning, not psyching them out. Tutting each time they touch a piece and asking them if they really want to make that move each turn is. Telling them their move is foolish or spending their whole turn describing different things you could do on your turn is trying to psych someone out. I don't know what complaining about losing a game has to do with it at all.

There's a difference between making a move that may mess with your opponent because it's outside the box, and outright nagging them for any decision they're making. It sounds like you're not describing psyching your opponent out, but rather just being a jerk. Psyching someone out would be effectively tricking them into making a decision they may not otherwise make, not telling them any move they want to make is stupid/wrong in an attempt to make them choose differently.

eron12
11-09-2011, 07:19
Psyching out, according to the Free Online Dictionary and every context I've ever seen is defined as "undermining someone's confidence by pyschological means." It covers a very broad range of options, namely anything you do to get inside the other person's head. This covers manouvers, comments, distractions, even threats, among other things.

It is because there is such a large range that I felt the need to ask the question.


There's a difference between making a move that may mess with your opponent because it's outside the box, and outright nagging them for any decision they're making.

Agreed, but both are froms of psyching out.


It sounds like you're not describing psyching your opponent out, but rather just being a jerk.

Oh it is being a jerk for sure, but if someone was doing it to get inside his opponent's head, it would also be psyching him out.


Psyching someone out would be effectively tricking them into making a decision they may not otherwise make, not telling them any move they want to make is stupid/wrong in an attempt to make them choose differently.

Given your limited defintion of psych out, which seems to be just feints and draws on the table, I can see why you said anthing goes. But there is far more to it than that, and I think such behavior becomes unsporting at some point.

lilloser2010
11-09-2011, 11:25
However, warhammer tactics tend to be on the simplistic side. Not simple in thoughtless, but the tactics are not often as deep as some would have you believe. It is a game intended to entertain with a mild level of strategy and tactics...


Well said. Great article too, very nice to read.

LilLoser

34thGingerbread
11-09-2011, 14:54
@eron12

I think while your definition may open the doors for other things to be considered a 'psyche out' there's still a certain level of respect to be considered for your opponent. I mean, in theory there's nothing with standing around the table and telling your opponent anything you want to lower his confidence, but I think most socially adjusted people would frown up that.

So perhaps the consensus should be, mind games are fine as long as it doesn't turn into nagging, a personal attack, or any other sort of agitating behavior. Granted some people just can't help themselves and feel the need to put down others because they feel superior, but if that's the case why bother playing with someone like that to begin with? Personally, I would sit down with the guy and maybe try and go over the difference. Or maybe you should play a vuvuzela whenever your units march, charge, or break another unit in combat and call it psychological warfare on his troops. That would take his mind off of trying to psyche you out for sure.

Lord Inquisitor
11-09-2011, 19:02
To expand on what I was saying earlier, while I think there's very much something to be said for baiting an opponent, the examples in the OP are gambles, nothing more nothing less. While there's an art to gambling in warhammer, it isn't really an example of baiting or tricking the opponent.

My ogres were kings of this (not sure if this will work so well in the new book). I'd have a deathstar of ironguts or bulls with 3 characters in there. These guys could push to the front of the unit ... but what was cool was that with make way they could do this to the flank too. Leaving the enemy facing a wall of T6 warded characters rather than T4 ogres.

Memorable times at tournaments include when I presented my flank to a big unit of empire knights, allowed them to charge and did the make way move and obliterated 75% of the knights for no damage, and didn't even pursue them, just kept going in the direction I was.

Other examples include smashing a flanking Furnace to kindling and allowing a daemon player to charge 6 fiends in the flank with a fully ranked plaugebearers to the front, destroying the fiends and the plaguebearers losing by 19.

I rated this ability to bait a unit into a flank/rear and then obliterate it as one of the big advantages of the gutstar.

eron12
11-09-2011, 22:46
@eron12

I think while your definition may open the doors for other things to be considered a 'psyche out' there's still a certain level of respect to be considered for your opponent. I mean, in theory there's nothing with standing around the table and telling your opponent anything you want to lower his confidence, but I think most socially adjusted people would frown up that.

I would certainly hope most socialy adjusted people would disagree. I think there are clearly things that go too far, such as constant nagging, yelling, threatening etc. Then there seems to be things that a are a little more ambiguous that people do, such as an ocasional question, maybe putting some fanatics on the edge of the table, or leaving you assasin's visible at the top of your case. All of these things have been described as tactics by people on this forum and all are designed to psych the opponent out.

As this is a thread on table psychology, I thought it would be a good place to explore where the line lies.

So perhaps the consensus should be, mind games are fine as long as it doesn't turn into nagging, a personal attack, or any other sort of agitating behavior.[/QUOTE]

I think I agree with where you are going with this, though if you opponent doesn't like mind games any attempt at it may be agitating behavior. But I guess that's why it pays to know you opponent.


Granted some people just can't help themselves and feel the need to put down others because they feel superior, but if that's the case why bother playing with someone like that to begin with? Personally, I would sit down with the guy and maybe try and go over the difference. Or maybe you should play a vuvuzela whenever your units march, charge, or break another unit in combat and call it psychological warfare on his troops. That would take his mind off of trying to psyche you out for sure.

That would be some lesson. I don't think it would take long for him to get the point.

AndrewGPaul
11-09-2011, 22:59
I don't think you can write down ironclad rules to govern this sort of thing. It differes from person to person, and you just need to have good enough "people skills" to pick up on how far you can take something.

Pyriel
11-09-2011, 23:09
i disagree. warhammer has a competitive aspect. and 'being competitive' is not about IQ(lol). it's about being a *winner*.

it is about having guts. it is about having force of personality to make a plan and also STAND BY your decisions, seeing the plan to conclusion, *avoid being psyked out*.

it is not about winning because you are the better player. it is about winning because *you are the better man*. "may the best man win"; the heart and core of competitiveness.

i am sorry, but "being the best man to win" is not about being nice. sometimes, it's *also* about being a jerk when it can grant you an advantage. see, in competitive gaming (=read: playing to experience the thrill of hard-won wins, like in professional sports, with professional mentality of playing as if for money, and NOT to have any kind of relaxed fun) it is not aboud being good or evil: it's about being a winner. "all is fair in love and war". see soccer? check how when a team does a counterattack, a smart defender usualy *willingly commits foul play* to force the referee to punish him and slow down the game(hence, slow down the other team's counterattack).

i am sorry, its just how it is; thats why i rarely attend tournaments, and when i do, i damn well try and play more competitive lists and actualy dont play the usual lists i play in normal games for fun. being a fluff player that in rare tournament attendings chooses to sacrifice fluff/fun to win; compared to a player that keeps true to fluff and fun; naturaly "he who wants the most" will win. he who wants the most.competitiveness.

AndrewGPaul
11-09-2011, 23:12
When I play Warhammer, it's because I want to play a game. If I insult my opponent so he walks away halfway through the game, then both of us have failed to have a game of Warhammer.

"it's *also* about being a jerk when it can grant you an advantage."

I play Warhammer with my friends. I don't make friends with jerks. If I'm a jerk, people don't make friends with me. All in all, what's the point?

In any case, you totally missed my point. I was saying that trying to draw a line anywhere and saying that "doing this is OK, but doing that makes you a tool" is doomed to failure, because different people have a different idea of what makes someone a tool, as you and I have just demonstrated. :)

Pyriel
11-09-2011, 23:20
warhammer is a game.
in games, i am always friendly. i play games with my friends. and yes, you are right, drawing a line doesnt realy work as its subjective. hence i am "always friendly".

cometitive warhammer; so NOT a game. not about fun. not at all. its about *doing everything to win against nameless strangers*. yesm i usualy DONT play with friends in tounaments, adn when i am drawn to, i feel weirded out. at the rare times i play in tournaments(3-4 each year), i realy dont even ask my opponents their names. when i am drawn to play someone, i ask who they are based on surname and never even use the name again.

competitive warhammer is about the "thrill"(thrill of doing everything to win). not the "fun". *when i play the competitive mode of warhammer, i do not play to have fun*.

when people play soccer with their friends, they will always play nice. when they enter a tournament, they will use every dirty trick imaginable and make the referee look elsewhere in order to win.

games can SOMETIMES(not always) be played in sports mode.
game(having fun) =/= sport(trying to win).
warhammer; game. competitive tournament warhammer; sport. learn the difference.

AndrewGPaul
11-09-2011, 23:25
If they're not fun, why do you go? Surely to you the competitive element, the thrill, is fun? Or do you have some odd compulsion to attend Warhammer tournaments even though you don't enjoy them? :) Is it some sort of obscure community service? :)

As a counter-argument to your Football analogy, I would raise international Test cricket, where a player from one team will protest the dismissal of an opposing player becuase he thought it was an unfair decision. Just because you're playing competitively for your country doesn't mean you have to be a dirty cheating b*****d. :)

Pyriel
11-09-2011, 23:30
there is a difference between having fun due to good friendly mood and having a thrill due to the adrenaline surge of trying to win.

playing a game is done because one likes to relax, drink some beers and have fun. it's like going for cofee.
playing a sport is done because one likes the idea of competing for a trophy. it's like a JOB. but instead of money(though about 70% of sports, even some cardgames/videogames tournaments i've played, actualy DO involve lots of money), the reward is the thrill/adrenaline rush.

EDIT: a personal analogy:

i never liked basketball. but i worked out hard, did my best and played in high school; it was a good way of "competing"(had no idea what a cardgame or wargame is, found out in college, and i cant just exist without partaking in competitions, right? :P )

eron12
11-09-2011, 23:39
it is about winning because *you are the better man*. "may the best man win"; the heart and core of competitiveness.

it's *also* about being a jerk when it can grant you an advantage.

To me being the better man and being a jerk are mutualy exculsive.

Bad monkey
11-09-2011, 23:42
reckon using football (thats propper football and not that silly rugby type game that some of you funny colonial sorts play) as a comparisson is not the best, as it is a compeditive sport. Even when your having a kick about with your mates there is definatly a compeditive edge to it, and shouting at your oppents is generally accepted. In most gameing circles however question the parentage of your opposite number is generally frowned upon.

I think in this instance going from what I understand the op is trying to say poker might be a better comparison, where you try and make you oppentes make a play that they might not necessarly want to do.

this thing about being a jerk need never come into it. At the end of the day its a game that should be fun, if it aint fun for ya, dont play and dont try and rob the other person of there fun. Bu i say that as a non tournie player.

Can I just say this is one of the most interesting threads iv seen on here for some time.

Pyriel
11-09-2011, 23:44
@eron12: why?
parameter #1: the other guy is NOT your friend.you've never seen him before.
parameter #2: good and evil are irrelevant to the situation since its not real life hence the worst thing that can happen is for a guy to have hurt feelings(yeah, boohoo; i respect having hurt feleings over girls or money or at least relatives/friends. i DONT respect having hurt feelings due to a nameless guy psyking you out in a ******* sport).

so, why not be a jerk? you can be a nice guy, but nice guys,you know, they finish last :P hence, being a nice guy is kinda stupid under these circumstances(remember i'm talking about a sport, not for real life or games with ppl you know)

@bad monkey:
if someone calls my mother names in a tournament, i'll most likely laugh at him. and seriously wont be angry since i know what its about.
if someone calls my mother names in a gaming cycle(see where i am going? game=/= sport) i'll beat the living cr*p outta him.

eron12
11-09-2011, 23:48
why?
parameter #1: the other guy is NOT your friend.you've never seen him before.
parameter #2: good and evil are irrelevant to the situation since its not real life hence the worst thing that can happen is for a guy to have hurt feelings(yeah, boohoo; i respect having hurt feleings over girls or money or at least relatives/friends. i DONT respect having hurt feelings due to a nameless guy psyking you out in a frieakin sport).

so, why not be a jerk? you can be a nice guy, but nice guys,you know, they finish last :P hence, being a nice guy is kinda stupid under these circumstances(remember i'm talking about a sport, not for real life or games with ppl you know)

I want to be clear that I am not making any statements about you. I can only make statements based on what seems to come from you posts. It seems like you are a jerk who is trying to justify being a jerk.

Why does playing a game with someone make your actions amoral?

Pyriel
11-09-2011, 23:50
because i am NOT playing a game. tournaments, for me, are a semi-professional non-gaming activity. and semi-professional non-gaming activities are amoral. simple as that.
(hence why i try and be so different n friendly games, even using monsters and cavalry instead of mages in my friendly lists)

eron12
11-09-2011, 23:54
because i am NOT playing a game. tournaments, for me, are a semi-professional non-gaming activity. and semi-professional non-gaming activities are amoral. simple as that.
(hence why i try and be so different n friendly games, even using monsters and cavalry instead of mages in my friendly lists)

And why does a semi-professional non game activity make your actions amoral?

Pyriel
12-09-2011, 00:02
(note: i am understanding about your questions, eron12. you seem to at least be listening, and i respect that)

because morality is judged on "how much do i willingly harm/help people". at a smaller rate, on how much unwillingly harm people too(disregard their safety).
in a sport, i DONT harm other people. if someone i dont know tries to psyke me out, even by hurting my feelings, i wont care; i KNOW that i never met the guy and whatever he says is meaningless. if he says something and my feelings get hurt, it is MY fault, not his; i should be stronger than that, and if i am not, then i am "too weak a person to win". "he cant hurt me, and if i let him play with my head i deserve to lose".

in a game when i play with people i know, and we try to have fun, i know that i *can* objectively harm the other person , hence playing with his head is evil/wrong. he cant say "he cant hurt me, i must disregard what he says" because i CAN hurt him;we know each other, and we're friends or whatever, so i can easily affect his feelings and hurt him. and thats WRONG. see the difference?

hurting people=bad.
"mind games"=dont realy hurt=not bad.

narrativium
12-09-2011, 00:04
I play most of my games either at tournaments or in preparation for them. I'm a medium-level player; I aim to get in the top 50% of the results sheet at the end, and I'm successful about half the time.

Tournament packs - the ones with some form of composition rules, anyway - tend to spend more time discussing what you can and can't take, than how the game is played. Army selection is a devious hobby, but it works on two levels.

At my last event, I took Ogres; their last use with the old book, I decided. My army included a unit of eight Ironguts with a banner (tournament rules prevented the unit from being larger), and my characters frequently joined this unit. It's the Standard of Discipline; I consider the Leadership bubble to be a very useful strategy. However, my opponent doesn't know that - it could just as easily be the Rune Maw. My opponent spends a decent amount of time deliberating on whether he should bother casting spells at the unit, and decides instead to target the other unit anyway.

He suckered himself, really. If he's tried to cast the spell and it had had the Rune Maw and it would had worked, he'd have been targeting the unit regardless. But the pretense that I'd taken the closest I could to a deathstar unnerved him.

I'd also taken a Butcher with the Bangstikk and the Ruby Ring of Ruin. It was a gamble - a dispel scroll might've been a much better choice than the Bangstikk, as it turned out - but I wanted to see what would happen if my opponent thought I only had one magic missile; it also protected me against miscasts and breaking concentration.

So there's some deception involved here or there, but I still find the best deceptions are the ones where you force your opponents to make difficult choices. A unit looks strong enough to put up a fight, and it's a good target, but it could be ready to bait and flee and draw you out of position: do you charge, or give your opponent chance to outmanoeuvre you? Can your opponent add up the points in his head and figure out if you actually can have bought the fanatics, or are you bluffing with those goblins?

Are we cheating to do this? It's like playing poker, except everyone picks their own cards. If it looks too strong you back away and don't engage; you need to offer enough weakness to get your opponent to bet big. You know the rulebooks, you know what everyone can do -

- an aside. It's still a game, with rules, and not everyone encounters every other army in their local circles. I've run through my army a few times with players who don't encounter Ogres often enough; I've had people explain their armies to me. No shame in not encountering particular armies before, so be nice about it. But know the main rulebook and know your own army's rules, that's only fair, to yourself, your opponents, and the tournament organisers who've got to keep everyone on time.

- there is a competitive element, but you've got to withstand the pressure as well. Playing on the bottom ten tables is either depressing or fun (it can't get any worse, and there might be a spoon for the worst of all!); the top ten tables can be heady and nerve-wracking.

It's also among the top tables where you see players paying most attention to the tables around them - after all, if you win, then the winner on the next table should be your next opponent, so what's he taken and how can you counter it? You can't do this so easily from the middle tables, so in a strange way tournaments make it easier for good players to do well.

I enjoy tournaments. Lots of good players around, generally a good time is had. But at the moment, I am starting to feel like I should've named some of my characters by now, so I'm going to address that a bit.

eron12
12-09-2011, 00:10
(note: i am understanding about your questions, eron12. you seem to at least be listening, and i respect that)

because morality is judged on "how much do i willingly harm/help people". at a smaller rate, on how much unwillingly harm people too(disregard their safety).

The moral system of utilitarianism judges morality like this (or at least something close too it), but that is only a single moral system. Furthermore, it still doesn't address the question, because by arguing under utilitarianism that you aren't hurting people you are saying being a jerk in a warhammer tournament is a moral action, rather than an amoral one.



hurting people=bad.
mind games in sports=cant realy hurt people, hence not bad. anyone who cant see that mind agmes cant hurt him deserves to lose anyway.

So as long as someone isn't hurt (and feelings don't count) its moral and ok?

Pyriel
12-09-2011, 00:16
hurt feelings are mixed.
if i hurt someone's feelings because i *can*(like he is a friend) then i am amoral.
if i hurt someone's feleings because i *cannot* but he cant see it and gets hurt because his psyche is too weak, then it is NOT amoral. if he is so weak, he shouldnt be playing competitively.

its exactly like in sports: ppl use physical force enough to stop their opponents but definitely NOT enough to willingly harm them. but if someone is too weak for Premier League defenders marking him, he *should not be playing in Premier League*. he.cant.cut it. its his fault for not seeing it.

its HIS job to say
(option #1): "i am so weak, i wont play in Premier League. OR
(option #2): " i am so weak, i'll go through training from HELL and become strong for tournaments".
it is NOT super-defender John Terry's job to...go easy on him and possibly let him win(LOL).
(on a side note, if "random guy #1" plays with John Terry in a friendly match, outside Premier League, then it IS Terry's job to respect the friendly aspect and go easy)

same thing for mental toughness. can.you.take.it?
period.

eron12
12-09-2011, 00:19
hurt feelings are mixed.
if i hurt someone's feelings because i *can*(like he is a friend) then i am amoral.
if i hurt someone's feleings because i *cannot* but he cant see it and gets hurt because his psyche is too weak, then it is NOT amoral. if he is so weak, he shouldnt be playing competitively.

its exactly like in sports: ppl use physical force enough to stop their opponents but definitely NOT enough to willingly harm them. but if someone is too weak for Premier League defenders marking him, he *should not be playing in Premier League*. he.cant.cut it. its his fault for not seeing it. period.

I think you are mixing up amoral and imoral, but that is besides the point.

I don't agree with you, because we both start with different base assumptions and move through different moral systems. However, I know understand where you are coming from and I accept your thought process. Thank you for explaining.

Trains_Get_Robbed
12-09-2011, 00:32
Really, no one cares.^^^ stop straying off topic ya 'jerks' ;)

Duke Ramulots
12-09-2011, 00:35
I want to be clear that I am not making any statements about you. I can only make statements based on what seems to come from you posts. It seems like you are a jerk who is trying to justify being a jerk.

Why does playing a game with someone make your actions amoral?

He used the wonderfully misused excuse that "it's not real life", I dispise that saying as everything is "real life". If you are a jerk during a game then you're a jerk.

Plexi
12-09-2011, 00:45
When you play Wood Elves all you have is psychological warfare to rely on. Relying on someones bad die rolling isn't what I would call psychological though. That's luck.

I don't really care for tournament scene warhammer too much. I did my time in the tourney scene in 4th/ 5th edition. 6th and 7th were so bad that I stopped playing for the most part and just painted for about 6 years. Now in 8th I find the mathhammer guys aren't really playing because they have to many chaos factors, which is probably why I'm actually showing up to tournaments again. I'm finding this edition to have more fun lists than strict tourney lists.

IcedCrow
12-09-2011, 02:52
Can I just say this is one of the most interesting threads iv seen on here for some time.

Thanks. I was getting rather bored with the same old so I'm glad I was able to spawn something that has proven to be useful and entertaining to read at the very least.

IcedCrow
12-09-2011, 02:54
When you play Wood Elves all you have is psychological warfare to rely on. Relying on someones bad die rolling isn't what I would call psychological though. That's luck.

I don't really care for tournament scene warhammer too much. I did my time in the tourney scene in 4th/ 5th edition. 6th and 7th were so bad that I stopped playing for the most part and just painted for about 6 years. Now in 8th I find the mathhammer guys aren't really playing because they have to many chaos factors, which is probably why I'm actually showing up to tournaments again. I'm finding this edition to have more fun lists than strict tourney lists.

This is being analyzed incorrectly. Relying on someone's bad die rolling is not the psychological element in the game nor was that in any way, shape, or form what I was trying to convey.

The psychological element was knowing the opponent adhered strictly to numbers, and that should the numbers stray from his acceptable statistical deviation, that he would concede the game, so heaping on the unacceptable deviations was the psychological elements.

That can be achieved in many ways.

I do agree with you that a lot of the mathhammer guys have quit with 8th because mathhammer is not as potent with so many random elements added to the game. In fact I'd say the people that hate 8th the most were those that relied on math formulas in 7th and are those that require their game to be absolute like chess is as opposed to random and chaotic.

Plexi
12-09-2011, 03:30
This is being analyzed incorrectly. Relying on someone's bad die rolling is not the psychological element in the game nor was that in any way, shape, or form what I was trying to convey.

The psychological element was knowing the opponent adhered strictly to numbers, and that should the numbers stray from his acceptable statistical deviation, that he would concede the game, so heaping on the unacceptable deviations was the psychological elements.

That can be achieved in many ways.

I do agree with you that a lot of the mathhammer guys have quit with 8th because mathhammer is not as potent with so many random elements added to the game. In fact I'd say the people that hate 8th the most were those that relied on math formulas in 7th and are those that require their game to be absolute like chess is as opposed to random and chaotic.

I didn't mean to come across as one who disregarded your psychological ploy. There is a degree of psychosis involved in making someone think that they are bound to have bad luck.

I can't agree with you more on the fact that if you throw a mathammer player fastballs all day they will park 'em on ya, but they can't hit the slider to save their lives. By that I mean they rarely have a backup plan. Do something out of the ordinary for no real reason an they tend to become overly-analytical and oftentimes beat themselves. Like I said, I play Wood Elves pretty much exclusively (just picked up a Beastman army though cause I ran outta stuff to paint) and with those guys you have to do stuff that isn't expected just to try an get an opponent to waste a turn getting position or charging something that you actually wanted them to charge.

I have found one of the great levelers with mathhammer players in the 8th rules is to just do random measurements for no reason, but look like you have a plan. Just do a few measurements then mumble to yourself an write a random number down on your army sheet. You can sometimes actually watch the gears spinning in their heads.

IcedCrow
12-09-2011, 13:15
Yes indeed. And once they start over analyzing, you have at least managed to throw a monkeywrench into the works.