Of Thoughts and Swords

A blog about Science, Philosophy, Wargaming, Literature and other things, in three or more languages.

Somewhat mixed Post including the Paint Pain, New Venues, To Battle and something about language use.

Naturally I have been doing stuff lately, except much writing. Okay, I did this too, I even started yet another novel project, which right now stands at a massive 3 pages already, Yeah…moving on.

There were some Armada Battles, I emerged victorious both times and shot down a lot of ships, even tabling in the first one:

The second one was closer and I used my squadrons badly, but I managed to fly sensibly and prevent much damage to my ships. The Gozanti destroying a Star Destroyer was the icing of course.

The game has some nice mechanics and gives a good Star Wars feeling, as long as you don´t ridicule it with a ramming fleet or something. Next year we want to play the Corellia campaign, we´ll see.

Second I started Dropfleet Commander as already mentioned earlier, the first models are even finished:

Auch von hier sind die Anzeigen sichtbarDSCN4888

The Black one is a Battlecruiser and I am really gald I did not join the Kickstarter last year, then I had an ugly one right now. I think I like the scheme, but I am not entirely convinced yet.

Nonetheless we had the first battles and they were bloody.

The game mechanics make for a lot of explosions and high loses, there is no way you get out of a mission without something blowing up on your side. That hurts my defensive personality somewhat, as I love to play to minimal loss.

Something which really irritated my LCG opponent yesterday. We had a little meeting of six to play the new Legend of the Five Rings (my favourite pseudo-Japanese fantasy setting) LCG. I have been abstinent from card games for a long time and I vowed to never play a TCG again. And I never will, not knowing what you are buying is just a shitty way to rip people off and I won´t support that ever again. In an LCG you know what you buy and everybody has access to the same cards, so no pay to win mechanic in place (okay a small one, if you don´t want to buy the expansions, but you still can make good decks without them). Some pictures of my humble collection so far:

I had to buy over 500 sleeves to put them in gheez, and the 2000 card box ist almost full already…

The game is tactical, strategical and complex, so I love it. Several evenings already have been burned for deck building and making plans. Which returns us to the irritation. I had my 5th and 6th game against a tournament player yesterday. He did bring his new test decks, not his ass-kicking-tournament-decks (as he insisted to tell me several times over the evening). I relished playing against someone competitive, even though I found his smug attitude (quite common in tournament players) a little bit nagging. It changed somewhat when he was frustrated that “I don´t play like a normal Lion (The Clan I was playing)” Thanks for the compliment first and I am proud that I didn´t actually.

He was totally baffled that I did not adhere to the typical behaviour which he knew from tournaments. I defended provinces he expected me let get destroyed, did not over commit in early game, made honour bids which he neither expected nor was able to exploit with his deck. I totally destroyed him actually. In the second game I was able to get a lucky win because he didn´t pay attention, after I again did a lot of things he didn´t expect of me. After which he was sure to point out (several times again) that he could have won the game, if he hadn´t been playing along for fun in order to prolong the game. Sorry, bad excuse you don´t toy with your prey, do you?

Actually there are several interesting things here. First I obviously managed to put some effort into the game, for being one of two people in the room there who knew the rules and some of them even better than the tournament player. This is important for me, as I wasn´t able to really being interested in anything for a long time (thanks frustration about dead relationships). So I seem to be on the right road here.

Second I do relish in competition and in winning. I always liked to put smug faces into the dirt especially back in my tabletop tournament days, my most beloved activity was annihilating guys who used to abuse their better knowledge of the rules system to crush newbies. Many times newbies who were younger than them, and then boast about their abilities. I used to challenge them to a game, use a, from their point of view, subpar army and ran them over with a clever use of tactics. It felt good, some of them learned a lesson and more often than not the newbies, as well as many others around, were happy to see them put into place. I like bullying bullies as it seems. Now my opponent from yesterday wasn´t that bad, not at all, he was a nice guy, but still he expected to win every game, and he lost them. But back to competition.

I am generally against competition. I don´t think that it brings out the best in people, but the worst instead. As long as one is declared the best, all others are losers and this creates a hierarchy, dissent and sadness. Yet…besting someone in a fair competition is exhilarating. No matter what there is a drive to prove oneself superior and an obstacle, like an opponent, overcome is very rewarding. Our bodies support that, it is a remnant of our stone age ancestors, where competition could end deadly if not won. So the drive to win is deeply rooted in our psyche and handsomely rewarded with endorphins if we do.

A very good sentence in this regard is: I like fighting, but I don´t like violence. Which was said by a friend of mine at the conference I attended in November and I will return to that sentence another day.

Strategy and Tactics (rolled into one for this train of thought) is the last one. We talked a lot about deckbuilding after the matches (and he boasted a lot how his other decks control everything), and during the first round he said that this was a mismatch for his deck. I said “I don´t believe in mismatches.” And I don´t. Okay, a badly balanced game can produce this, but FFG is quite adept at this. To me a mismatch is perceived. Of course I might have the absolutely wrong units/assets/whatever at hand to solve a situation, they are totally unsuited to the situation. What can I do? I can give up and say: It won´t work, they are unsuited or: Let´s see what we can do.

Yes, you may fail, but you will fail without question with the first idea. I tend not to look at decks other people play in any given meta (okay, a little but not much) and rarely ever listen to which card/miniature/whatever is rated to be the most effective/best/whatever at the moment. I tend to constructs my forces to my designs and then try to apply a basic plan. Yet, I am always ready to forget it an improvise. The main reason I love Infinity is that I mostly have to rethink my plan on the spot. I can only work with with what I have and mostly it is enough.

Why did I win the games?

First he did not adapt. When his tactics failed, he tried to stick to them, in order to force me to play his way. Which I denied him, when he thought he could trick me into something I generally was a step ahead of him, because he stuck to his plan.

Second he did not anticipate. Whenever I did something a “normal” tournament player wouldn´t do, he was taken by surprise. He kept on talking about how strategic a game it is and failed to notice that I was applying strategy. The one of misdirection. Some things i just did to put him off his game. As he tried to force his way on the game I kept sabotaging him, so he never knew what to expect next. I became unpredictable to him so he was unprepared here and then.

Third I did not flinch before his strength. Just like me, he knew mostly which cards are in my deck and what he could expect to happen. Eager to put through his plan, he sometimes refrained from playing cards, as he knew I could counter them. Of course I did take this knowledge into consideration but in doubt I still pressed an attack despite his counters. Sometimes he would run out of them or would fail to see what I was aiming for completely.

I tend not to worry what the others might do to me, when you do that you start second guessing everything you do in game/whatever. I am interested to play against his unbeatable (sic) decks, where he will have a lot of field control. I will rattle against this control as much as I can, but I will not meet it head on. I will sabotage his ploy and hurt his plans with all means I have available at this time. We´ll see what will prevail.

Till then.

P.S.: I also noticed again how my ears flinch when people maim the Japanese names in the setting. Man, if you like the franchise learn to speak it right! And also my inability to reproduce the wrongly pronounced names in order to demonstrate to others how bad it was. I just can´t say it wrong like that, I am psychologically not able to murder Japanese like that. Is that interesting? I think so.

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