Sunday, December 12, 2010
Scenarios in Warmachine & Hordes...
After running a tournament a few weeks ago I had come to realize something... no one in my community is actually playing any of the WM/Hordes scenarios! I cannot tell you how many times scenarios played a pivotal role in determining the outcome of a game, even more so since very few players were actually taking into account the scenario itself. Players seemed to go for the assassination victory every single game, and were extremely frustrated when they lost a game despite the fact that they felt they were "dominating" the other guy all game. It all boils down to the fact that very few (if anyone) in this area are actually playing scenarios in regular games, and thus were unequipped to handle any of them in the tournament environment. I had been pushing for months to get the local playerbase to play scenarios in their games, but none of them were interested back then... I bet they regretted that fact at the tournament!
So if there was anything I learned from that tournament, it was this: "If you are not playing scenarios in every game, you are not fully playing Warmachine & Hordes", it may seem harsh, but its true. Assassinations are not the only way to win games, and likewise scenarios can easily lose you games if you are not careful! (As the local playerbase found out) Look at it this way, Casters/Locks typically fall into 1 of 3 categories: Assassination, Attrition, and Scenario in their description. If you only play "Assassination Victory" as the only means to victory in your games, you have effectively cut out 1/3 of the game's casters full potential in your games. How are you gonna know all the nasty tricks a Rahn player call pull out in scenarios if you never give him the chance? Do you really want a tournament game, when 1st place is on the line, to be the game that you discover what Rahn's all about? I doubt it.
Another way to look at it is from the Assassination player's point of view. It is no secret to my playerbase that I am a HUGE Terminus (no pun intended) fan, and it is also no secret that my regular 35pt "Tournament Terminus" list has yet to lose a single game. Despite the fact that my Terminus list is a straight assassination list, I still always encourage people to play a scenario against it. Why? Because it gives the opponent a chance to win the game without going toe-to-toe with Terminus, AND forces me to keep an eye on the actual objective of the game and not just kill, kill, kill. In the end, it is a challenge to me that wouldn't otherwise be present in just an "assassination victory" style of game, it helps keep things interesting for me when I play Terminus, and forces to me to think outside my normal strategy.
Long story short, I encourage people to play a scenario in every game they play, whether it is from the SR2010 (or 2011) rules of just the rulebook itself so that you get to experience every facet of Warmachine & hordes and every facet of your Caster/Lock as well. Sure, a good chunk of your games will still end in an assassination, but the option for an alternate win is still present to BOTH players. In the long run, especially in the tournament scene, the person who is familiar with the scenarios will have a distinct advantage over the player without that experience.