First time bringing down an ISD
With that out of the way, let's talk about how my newb preparations are going. In Part 1 I went over some basic outlines that apply to many competitive games. In this article, I'm going to go over another critical aspect of preparing for a big tournament: PLAYING THE GAME!! Of course, it's not that simple, and there are some tricks that can help maximize the value of your game time.
When it comes to any form of competition, practice makes perfect. For wargaming, this means actually playing games and putting all of our theory-crafting into practice. Of course, as an adult with work and family obligations, this is easier said than done. However, thanks to some careful scheduling I've been able to prioritize my gaming time and gear it toward Armada as much as possible. So, how do I make the most of this time in terms of getting ready for the regional?
New Players: meet the Demolisher double/triple tap
1. Take notes - I've brought a notepad to my games, and every time a rules question arises or I make a suspect maneuver, I jot it down to review later. By doing this in my first couple of games I realized that I needed to re-read the sections on spending tokens as opposed to using command dials, as I kept having to look at what they do. Another weakness in my rules knowledge was the exact order that players resolve damage, and by jotting down some notes I have been able to commit most of it to memory.
Note-taking can also be useful as a new-ish player when you get to a critical point in the game and you must choose the correct course of action. In a recent game I had a chance to easily grab the win, but snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when my commander (in a CR90) was destroyed by an ISD's rear-arc shot. I made a note to check the odds of this happening after the game. Turns out, I should've been more careful and just gotten my CR90 out of harm's way, rather than taking a couple long-range shots and weathering return fire.
Still figuring out deployment
2. Practice with the list you want to bring - If you're new to the game, it can be helpful to find a list that you think you like and play it consistently until you know all of the rules. By jumping from list to list you risk getting rules and game interactions confused. Of course, playing other lists is useful to understand the options available to your opponents, but when you're starting out it is much more helpful to have an expert knowledge of your own force and its capabilities on the tabletop.
The dreaded Speed-Zero Rhymerball Turtle!
3. Ask your opponents for their opinions - Chances are, if you're new to a game, your opponent will have more experience playing this game than you will. Armada can have a pretty steep learning curve at the competitive level, so it doesn't hurt to take shortcuts when you can. After the game, ask your opponent for what you could've done differently. Maybe have him look over your list and get his advice on upgrades and commanders. Definitely take a look at his list and ask him about the important combos he uses.
Thanks as always for reading, be sure to follow my on twitter @ParkerInce or on Instagram at parkerince. Wish me luck on May 15th!