For myself, most of the time, wargaming is a narrative event. I immerse myself in the Warhammer 40K, Battletech, or Chain of Command universe, rolling some dice, and blowing up some models…
…but what about when you need to win?
There are times when you might be preparing for a tournament or competitive play.
Maybe you just started a new wargaming system and need to get up to speed quickly.
What about that next game against the one player in the gaming club that you CAN’T afford to lose against or else you will never hear the end of it.
Here are three quick strategies that I use for competitive play:
The first is to have a plan for every unit in your army list. What is each unit going to do on the table, regardless of success or failure. In Chain of Command, my Jagdtiger tank is literally the most powerful tank in the game. The plan for it is to always attack regardless of the mission. Review your units, assign roles for them, and execute them on the tabletop- this will build momentum to put your opponent on the defensive regardless of the mission.
Second is to explore the units in my opponent’s list- as long as I can see them ahead of time. In Warhammer 40K we often set up our models in the deployment zone, put some aside for reserves- there is very little hidden movement/units in 40K. Using the opposite point above, what is the plan for each of my opponent’s units? What are they going to use them for tactically, and what is my plan to stop them?
Third strategy involves playing games.,,
Much of wargaming is getting in the table time and practice, and applying the tactics you have learned in play or through information sources like blogs, forums, YouTube, etc. When I want to work on table tactics from a competitive point of play, I’ll get together with some friends and we will play a game/battle for three turns.
Think about playing Warhammer 40K till turn 3, or Battletech for six turns. Pause, and ask yourself if the game was to reach a conclusion would you win? In tabletop games of finite model resources, by mid game, we often know who the winner is.
Playing dozen of half games in a session, gives you a ton more of table time, and trains you to be aggressive, and action-oriented right away- as you only have till mid game to position yourself for a win.