Friday, 27 March 2015

And then I rolled a ‘6’

Wargaming is a game of random odds, combined with strategies and tactics and matchups designed to remove (or maximise/minimise) those random odds.

Luck (or as some cads people like to call it, ‘statistics’) is often cited (or blamed) as one of the key contributors to the outcome of a game. There is even a word to describe the application of statistics - Mathhammer. This is a noun and a verb, and there are even apps that can help you mathhammer your own... luck... out there.
I know that I have been a believer in swings of ‘luck’ influencing some games. While there is always an element of this to be had, bad luck is usually more because ‘I threw this unit into a combat needing three 6’s from 6 dice to win, and it didn't work, man that was bad luck and that cost me the game’ – as opposed to it being a dodgy risk via a pretty crappy statistical chance that didn't pay off costing you the game.

OR you could read something like this for a bit more analysis. I'm sure there's plenty more articles out there too.
Once of the key things that I loved about my Space Wolves was that I truly believed that they would pull off the impossible odds. Hero-style. It was one of the rewarding things about using them (and what all good sagas are made of). For example, at the NZ Nationals one year Wolf Lord Haakon Ironwolf made 14 4++ saves in a row (vs lascannons and plasma guns), and went on to help win the game against a force of Dark Angels (ironically, he failed two 3+ armour saves vs a bolt pistol and a CCW and was left on 1 wound). Statistically that's pretty unlikely... and some would say very lucky :). I'd say it was pretty normal (for him) <ha ha>.

So I think it is important, in the flush of the post-game excitement, to try and review what happened on the table with some measure of dispassion. The eternal struggle is to focus on actual statistics, but not at the detriment of the dynamic of the game. This helps you improve your matchups and tactics to bring them to fruition.

The danger, as in any hobby, is to focus purely on one aspect to the exclusion of all (or most) of the others.Practice your rock/paper/scissors matchups. Practice your mathhammer in your head (it will help you play better).

But play the game for the multi-faceted (and very social) hobby that it is. And make sure you and your opponent have fun.

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