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Ten Tips to Take down Tourneys

Posted May 2nd, 2011 at 08:16 PM by Jexik
I've been hassling Joe Knapper (AKA spider AKA the Michael Jordan of Heroscape) for the last couple years to write an article about what sort of preparation and skills are really important for going home with a trophy or 20 dollars worth of stuff you already have.

But he never does. Truth is, he probably doesn't enjoy writing as much as I do, and I finally won a tournament again, beating him along the way no less. I liken it to when MJ came back after baseball and tried to jump right into the playoffs and wasn't even able to wear his own jersey right away. He'll be back, just like the terminator he was.

All right, that's enough analogies. On to the advice, in semi-chronological order. The even shorter version of this is to be confident without being overconfident.

1. Don't stress about your army build.

Nine times out of ten, I may come up with thirty different builds, but the one I actually end up playing is one of the first two that I come up with for the point total. Just do it.

2. Sleep, but not too much.

4-8 hours is about right. You don't want to be up all night worrying about number 1. But you also don't want to be around that 10 hour mark of being halfway through your second sleep cycle.

3. Shower.

You'll be proximal to lots of other people, and don't want to watch them retch when you get close. I often shave too, but I don't think I did this weekend. Don't try too hard.

4. Eat something.

Don't get coffee or mountain dew without putting something else in your stomach first, even if it's just a slice or two of bread or a banana or something.

5. Don't show up early.

Joe is usually pretty punctual, getting to the tourney about 1-3 minutes before it starts. If you have to arrive late, notify the tourney director in a timely fashion.

6. Be firm.

Be a man and look in people's eyes. Don't hide from the human interaction that makes board gaming what it is. Give a firm handshake when the game begins. Sit up straight while playing, and stand up straight when not.

7. Talk

Again, Heroscape is a social experience. If you're just there to crush people, you're missing out. And even if you are very competitive, you might learn something about your opponent through banter.

8. Take charge.

Call out your attacks with verbal commands- i.e. "This arrow Grut with height* and 2 Swogs is attacking down to that Redcoat in Rae's aura. 4 on 4."

If you do this, you won't be surprised by anything in the game and you'll keep it going quickly and smoothly, without resorting to people fumbling with their dice as much. If you make a mistake in dice counting, accept it quickly and move on.

*not heighth.

9. Make observations, not excuses.

Yeah, we get it; there are dice in the game. Stuff happens. No one likes a whiner. Only point out good luck as a way to soften the blow of your own winning.

When you start talking in a defeatist way in the middle of the game, it also impedes your ability to think about the current board state in a rational way. Figure out what it takes to win and put that plan into action.

10. Relax.

Heroscape is a game after all. Not much is on the line.

If someone forgets to roll a die because of height advantage or whatever, let them do it. 50-67% of the time, it'll go your way anyway. But 100% of the time, they won't be thinking that you're an arrogant rooster-weasel.

Each time that I've actually won a tourney, I stopped worrying beforehand and just tried to do well with an army I enjoyed and knew how to play well.

By not desperately needing to win, it actually gets easier.
Total Comments 4


rym's Avatar
"By not desperately needing to win, it actually gets easier."


I need to remember that one against you on Vassal.
Posted May 2nd, 2011 at 08:39 PM by rym rym is offline
Chardar's Avatar
I think DA needs to take a long hard look at these.
Posted May 2nd, 2011 at 09:14 PM by Chardar Chardar is offline
kolakoski's Avatar
Well met!

I still remember that Zen baseball coach in that movie where he advised a kid who was always striking out to try not to hit the ball. Of course, he hit a home run to win the big game.

I remember, when I was a kid, how difficult social interaction was for me. One of the joys of Heroscape for me is is hanging with people among whom I am a middle of the pack crazy, rather than far out in front. They like me! They really like me!
Posted May 2nd, 2011 at 10:22 PM by kolakoski kolakoski is online now
Shockma Ranyk's Avatar
Originally Posted by Chardar
I think DA needs to take a long hard look at these.
Posted May 4th, 2011 at 06:53 PM by Shockma Ranyk Shockma Ranyk is offline
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