Wargaming Tactics: Active Vs. Passive Players

Are you an active player or a passive player? 

Allow me to offer my definition of the two first… 

A passive player is one that waits to see what happens. They set their models up on the table and don’t really have a direct plan to win the game; instead they react to what their opponent does. Using Warhammer 40K as an example- if a Land Raider moves out, they intercept; a unit goes down, they reinforce; an objective frees, up they take it. 

Passive players react to the army and player across from them, THEN the mission or tournament goals they are playing. 

On the other hand, an active player knows what they are going to do – they have built their army to perform as an overall machine with each unit having a function creating form. 

Active players don’t care what they opponent does since their army will counter every move; and they are playing to the mission/tournament goals first and foremost and NEVER the other play or opposing army. 

I want you to be an active player, so if you are more passive it’s time to throw that out the window and redefine.

If you are already naturally active, it’s time to refine that into a razor like edge. 

Passive players are ultimately at a huge disadvantage simply because we can’t read minds, only guess or narrow things down tactically. 

I can attempt to understand what my opponent is doing based on the function of the units in their army and how they are moving and shooting, but can I ever really be sure? AND, even if I am sure, by playing the game in this manner I am always one step behind. 

For example: my opponent has a Land Raider full of terminators and it moves out heading towards an objective I’m holding with some warriors. 

We can pretty sure guess what it is going to do – let those terminators out, and assault with a sweeping advance. By being passive, even if I guess correctly I’m already one step behind since I allowed my opponent to move out the Land Raider. Being one step behind allows my opponent to dictate the game. 

Keep in mind we never really know what is happening or what the real plan is. 

On the opposite side if I am an active player, my army moves out to accomplish the mission, forcing my opponent to react to ME with our Land Raider example, making sure they are a step behind, and can never really know what I am doing. 

First step in competitive wargaming is to be an *active* player. 

Tabletop immortality is yours, take it!

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