Tuesday, February 22, 2011

40k for Dummies: "What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"

One thing that I see new players struggle with is range guessing. This can really mess up the game for a new player.  Nothing is worse than having your uber terminator unit o' doom set up an assault to fall a 1/2 inch short and then get wasted by high AP shots and a counter charge. 

This never more evident than in younger players.  I teach a summer class for students interested in strategy games and teach them how Warhammer uses math concepts.  It never ceases to amaze me at how bad children are at guessing distances.  I normally teach a WFB class and they student inevitably underguess ranges by large quantities.  I'm talking aiming a cannon at a target 48" away and saying that they are guessing a range of 18".

What to do about a terminal case of myopia?

1) Identify things that give you benchmarks.  A dollar bill is 6" long.  Your terminator's base is about 2" wide.  Etc.

2) Practice making range guesses.  40k is blissfully simpler in regards to range guessing in Warhammer Fantasy and even its latest incarnation (8th ed.) is simpler than the past.  Still, set up models and try to manuever to what you think is in range. 

3) Know the ranges of your guns AND your opponents' guns.

4) Play lots of games.

Eventually, if comes down to experience.  At some point, you just begin to "see" the ranges you need.  So, don't give up.  At some point it will stick and your game will get a bit better, but being able to guess ranges will help out a ton. 

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