Wednesday, 10 September 2014

I'm a quibbler through and through; Rules

Sometimes, you just have to walk away, and cut your losses. Sometimes you just won't know every single rule, from every codex, through every connotation, and how you manage that un-knowledge can really define what kind of experience you get from the game.
We all have those moments of brow-furrowing when you think 'do I know that off by heart?' And that doubt can be a real pain in the ass, and I'll illustrate a few with my big dumb mug.

I'm fairly casual, at no point have I played in a tournament, at no point has anything hinged around money, or positioning, or club standing. Everything that I have enjoyed thus far has been on a casual basis. And yet overall, I find that the game gets a lot more competitive (and therefore fun) if you play it as accurately as you can.

Because if you don't take your game seriously, you will one day meet someone who does, and you will not have fun. Play serious, and no shocks will come. (sorta, thanks to Dakka)
Accuracy when playing comes down very often to knowledge of the rules, that lovely 208 page book which we love to try and memorise. Salute to you who do memorise it. I have a sucky memory.

The stock rulebook is 208 pages long, on most pages it averages around 5 pieces of factoids that you should learn per page maybe? 
That could be AP's, Special rules. Whether it affects unit or model. One or more of them. 

That's about 1000 odd facts that you need to know, to never need to refer back to the book. 
This ability fails me.

I can't do this, so I'm fairly sure (and rightly so) that I'm known as a Quibbler.
'Quibble; a slight objection or criticism'
'Errrm.'      'Not suuuure.'       'Let me check.'
These are my go-to phrases. Those are brought out when I see something that I'm not sure about, it might be a rule that I'm not 100% familiar with, or something I've not tried very frequently. Which for me is about 10% of the overall rules. Here are some examples.

Column A. There are the classic minor quibbles, that you should know, but just escape you at that time.

  • What is the AP of a heavy Bolter?
  • How far can fast skimmers move and shoot two weapons?
  • What is the side armour of a Rhino

Column B. To the lesser used but as easily book-answered;

  • How do ram attacks affect walkers?
  • How far can a superheavy move?
  • If I hide my Tanks behind a screen of men, should I take the 'obscured vehicle' save or the 'shooting through intervening models' save?

Column C. The things you just get wrong. And no amount of 'book' will solve 'Idiot'
In 6th, there was a wording format that tripped me up. Whereby I (and I do mean I) read the template rules too much, and got in convoluted loops, but it generally boiled down after several reads to;
'The Blast rule uses a template to resolve its effects but is not in itself a template weapon, only flamers are template weapons'

My brain lets me down and plays games with me, not only does it make me forget column A and B and misread C but because of how my brain works, I then assume that yours works in the same way.
'You sure?'             'Hmm,'              'Don't think that's right.'

Some more favourite phrases that I throw at people to get them to check their own gameplay. This is infuriating to me. It annoys me when I say it! 

If I'm only right when I question their knowledge 3/4 times this means there are times when I get people to check their rules and then realise that my recollection of the rule was wrong.

Aaaaaagh! Can you imagine playing me? Not only am I only confident in 90% of rules, but I'll question whether your 90% knowledge is right because I assume 'well if I could be wrong then so could you?'

I'll definitely question the 10% remaining rules. 

Sometimes though, we get really kicked by our own brains. Those times in game when you forget something, genuinely or falsely. Those are the times when you leave a game having won or lost (most frequently lost) and you realise that something happened that shouldn't because of Rules remembrance.

How you manage those situations is how you develop, An example of each and how I've dealt with them.

My opponent realised the destroyed Land Raider he'd forgotten about had a squad of Terminators inside. We back-calculated the likely distance they would have moved across the board in the intervening turns and continued with the game. 
Amicably happy to retro act and include them in the game.
In the car on the way home.
My opponent scouted his bikes forwards in deployment and as I had first turn I attempted to assault them. I was out of range. In his following turn he assaulted me with the scouted bikes, despite it still being the first turn. 
I paid a game-long price for that and felt annoyed at having not picked up on it

Using your army. 
I'd forgotten how the New Imperial Guard Tank Commander had to pass a LD test to shoot at alternative targets. It wasn't until the next time I used him I realised that could have swayed the game.
I felt guilty about it, and made sure not to re-offend.
Facing the same army again.
Some flame tanks scouted forwards and allocated hits from a flamer onto the unit as a whole, rather than just those underneath. This was just a bad interpretation of the template rule that I didn't fight, as I could see how much of a fight the other person would put up. The second time around I called him up on it, and we played properly.

Years later. 
How many units can you fit in a transport? 1. For how many years was I putting 2 combat-squadded Tactical units in a single drop pod? 2. Only recently did someone look at it questioningly. 
Yeah I kicked myself for many a day after that.
Bad man.
3/4 of the time. where I've 'Quibbled', there is a little frown at the annoyance of having to double check rules, but then a continuation of the game.

Its that 1/4 of times when I say 'Hmmm', question the rules, and then just look like a pandering dickhead.

Don't be me, know your rules!

1 comment:

  1. The best advice I ever got from fellow players in regards to rules.

    1) Pick a list.
    2) Play that list.
    3) Don't change the list.
    4) Play it over and over and over and over again.

    You'll get better. The reason? You'll finally remember every single tiny little special rule for every thing in your list.

    Btw it's legal to put a combat squad unit in a drop pod :). (as long as it's just the one unit itself combat squaded, such as a unit of 10 sternguard split into 2x5.)