|What was my plan again?|
"The key to strategy... is not to choose a path to victory, but to choose so that all paths lead to a victory."
— Cavilo, The Vor Game
Now I will not claim to be a master of this game, there are plenty of people who know more about it than me. I have only been playing for two years now, basically since fifth edition, and while in that time I have won or placed top three in almost all of the local tournaments I have played in, I have never played on the larger national tournament scene minus a regional showing at 'ardboyz. I would love to go to the "tournament" scene and play, unfortunately my job is often very restrictive in when and where I can run around the country to. Now while my experience isn't vast, or amounting to what most would call big fish in little pond syndrome, what I do bring to the table is years of actual real life combat experience.
I know it's just a game, but one of the things that I love about it is that real world dynamics and thinking do actually apply. It's just warfare in a different scale, and once you learn the combo's, rules, powers, etc it's still just that: warfare. I'm not going to go on about tactics vs. strategy, or the many different combo's and techniques that float around the Internet. Hell, I learn most of them by reading others' reports and articles published on the net. What I do that I believe has helped me out is that I apply the principles of patrolling and constantly run through my OODA loop, as just a few examples though there are others too. Planning, Recon, Security, Control, and Common Sense are the five principles of patrolling and they start for me with list design and mission analysis. From there they continue throughout the entire game.
RECON: Now as tempting as it might be to break into your opponents house and see what their list is going to be, so you can bring the ultimate rock to his scissors, this is not what I mean by recon. And for the record I am not condoning or suggesting breaking and entering to win a game. Here I am talking about the age old adage of “know thy enemy.” Study the local scene; study other codex’s, read anything and everything you can about other playstyles, etc. The more homework you do, the more effective your mental wargaming exercises will be and minus the ever present hatred of the Dice Gods (who truly and violently hate me as shown by my amazing skills to roll ones when playing my Deathwing), you will be better prepared and more likely to make that “correct” decision and proper application of force during the game. Here too I include a proper breakdown of the missions that you will be playing, and while you don’t have to tailor your lists to the mission, you do have to understand how they may affect how you have to play your lists at time. This is a whole other topic as well, and one in which I will touch on later down the road. Common misconception of the average Grunt is that he is not intelligent. When in actuality the Infantry has a higher average raw intelligence score than any other MOS in the Army. In short your head is a weapon, hone the blade of knowledge or insert some other cliché of your choice, do your homework or don’t cry when you get hit with a surprise on the table top. Ignorance equals death in this game and in life.
Well there you have a synopsis of the first two Principles of Patrolling. We will continue with the next installment here shortly. As always comments, critiques and questions are always welcome.