Thursday, April 15, 2010

How do I get in more games???

I think we all probably feel like we could use more practice with our armies, or more test games to help tune your list. Practice makes perfect after all.

But I have a question for all those guys out there in my similar situation. You have work or school, family, or whatever other thing that is more important than your hobby of little plastic toys. How do you find the time to get in practice with your army? How do you play test it enough to know that you have a good list going? How do you know your new tactic ideas are worthwhile or not?

I have read about how some people play games out in their mind. I'm not entirely sure that is valid, but if it works for someone else, then by all means. I have heard about Vassal as well, and being able to play online vs. other people. I have never tried it personally, but I think there would be some loss in translation from table top to computer monitor. Maybe I'm wrong.

There is one idea I haven't ever read about, and maybe because I am looking in the wrong places, but does anyone ever play test against themselves? I'm wondering if this is a viable way to play test an army. Maybe this sounds like craziness, maybe not, but hear me out on the subject.

First off, I would say the majority of players at my LGS are not super competitive. They are all good guys, and make for friendly games. They like to win and all, but it doesn't show in their lists. Read through my battle reports and you will see what I mean. Playing weak lists doesn't help improve my game. Granted it is the only real playtime I get, so I really enjoy it, but it doesn't up my game much. I don't get to see where my lists weaknesses are. I feel like I mostly roll over the people I play. I'm not trying to say I am a great player, and I never lose and so on, I am speaking of the general lack of competition I seem to face. Mech just beats up on foot slogging lists, it is mostly a fact.

Second, one game a week at best, and once a month at worst, does not help with list building skills and playing your best. It just doesn't cut it if you want to tune a list to be tough. It doesn't allow you the chance to hone your tactics with your list either. More games are necessary to really improve yourself.

So what are my options then? My super cool wife would play with me, but only about up to 1000 points. And she wouldn't want to play competitively against me, let alone learn all the intricacies of the game to do so. She is smart enough to stay away from my competitive nature, lol. I can't take off and leave the fam a couple nights a week and be a poor parent, and neither do I want to. I have been thinking these things over and have decided to play games against myself and see how it goes.

I know there are those with disposable income who have multiple armies, sometimes across different game systems, but I'm not one of them, nor will I ever be I'm pretty sure. I do have some extra Tau models knocking about my house and they will soon be recruited into games vs. my Blood Angels, as well as my extra marines that are gathering dust. I will have to do some proxying and "counts as" all along the way, but I'm ok with that. I will have to look at the current winning lists, be they good or bad, and start going up against them. Play as hard as I can for each side, and see how things go.

Has anyone ever tried this before? How did it go? Anyone have any better ideas? I'd love to hear all about it, so please let me know how you all would go about this process. I need the help, so let's hear it!


  1. so I hear ya on not being able to get in many games but I don't think there is any replacement for playing against others. if you try to play against your self, you already know your tactics and can easily throw your own game. Mathhammer can help if you want to know how your BA unit would do against some other unit statically, but that still doesn't replace a good fight.
    Although I only get a few games in each month my gaming skills have improved because I don't often change my list. I build an army I like and think will do well in many situations and focus on improving my gaming skills, not tweaking points here and there, because statics suck.

  2. I agree with you about throwing my own games. That is my hope, that I won't favor a specific army, or handicap one for that matter.

    I feel like playing against myself I will know what my Blood Angels need to do to win, and will be able to counter it easily with the opposing army. That will force me to make tactical changes to adjust to me countering myself. I hope that makes sense.

    For example, I will have to have tight deployments, because I won't leave my Blood Angels huge landing areas inbetween units to split them up and slaughter each in turn. So I will have to figure out how to deepstrike my Angels into tougher situations.

    Anyways, this is just an exercise in thought, I have yet to get anything together. We shall see.