Get Gud Scrub
By Mike Corkhill
You’ve been playing a while. You can play the game without having to follow a tutorial, have the book open, or asking questions about how the basic rules work. You go online and start commenting and asking more in-depth questions. Invariably you come across that guy, and they’ll say the line “Get Gud Scrub!”, and ignore what you said or asked. When you get calmed down by being disrespected and being told to “Get Gud” by a garbage person who belongs to the Keyboard Commando Battalion, you start to wonder “How”?
How do you “Get Gud”?
To “Get Gud” you have to put in the time and energy to play games, but more than that you have to learn from those games. This is a skill based game. Those who are at the top of the game know 99% of the rules, 99% of the models, and make good decisions based on that knowledge. This is built upon playing as many meaningful games as possible. While an average player gets 1-2 games a week. These players log in 4-8 games a week maybe more. So in this article, I’m going to give some tips, tricks, strategies, exercises to make your practice time more meaningful, and help you become more skilled at this game we love.
As a martial artist, I was taught that training without thought was a waste of time, space and energy. This concept is not exclusive to martial art training, sports, or competition. Time practicing a skill, hobby, or profession must be meaningful and mindful for the person to grow in that endeavor. Are you playing to throw dice, drink beer, eat pretzels? If so, that’s great! If not, then your time should be spent being mindful of the table, and what you are trying to accomplish.
Knowledge of Rules and Model Rules is key to understanding this game. You know because you’re reading articles like this, listening to podcasts, and watching battle reports soaking in as much as possible. All good things, but what about the army you’re playing? Do you take time to review their cards when not playing? As a guy, the porcelain throne is my sanctuary. So instead of reading Facebook, or comments about my garbage articles, from time to time I will review my army and see if there are things I’m having issues remembering. Playing Grymkin things like out of activation triggers are usually what I forget.
Back in Mark II, I played Cryx, and when I started I had an issue with deployment and unboxing.getting 50+ models on to the table and out of each other’s way. A couple of convention level players told me to practice my deployments.
Easy peasy right? Take over your dinner table or coffee table. Tell your SO it’s my fault. Set up your deployment as if you’re going first or second, make sure you practice both. Spread some terrain, and deploy. Time yourself. Deployment should take at most under 5 minutes including advance deployment. If you’re over, think about where your bottleneck is. Is it because your models are blending together and you’re hunting down who belongs to what unit? Maybe you’re trying too hard to make your line super perfect. In either case, once you Identify what the hang up is you can fix it.
If you are spending time looking for tokens, dice, widgets, and other accessories then you’re not spending time increasing your skill. Separate your tokens by caster, or army list ahead of time. If you play King of Nothing as I do, you should have 4 3-inch rings ready with you.
During the game
Understanding and Learning
The big one is to take pictures of your turns. Later on, you can review what happened. You can be your own John Madden and draw circles, lines, and Xs all over it to figure things out. The key is like Madden, you can review footage, and pictures to learn from past mistakes.
Take notes and log games. Having a win/loss record is a good thing, but if with each game you take notes on why you won or lost you’ll begin to understand what is going on. If you won because of hot dice make a note of it. Maybe rerun the assassination with average dice and if it wouldn’t be successful you have data for the next time you run into that situation.
Another thing we do in the SWORM is if we think we have an assassination but don’t know how viable it is or doubt our numbers, we will proxy out the turn. Meaning we will use proxies for all our relevant movement and we will roll things out. If it’s there then we will either rerack, or the opposing player will start examining where they went wrong and reposition their caster to a safe place and we will play the rest of the game out. Afterward we’ll take our notes and note the win/loss for both games.
Re-rack, there is no reason to play out the rest of the game for a hail mary that more than likely will not work. If you play 3 rounds and the result is pretty evident, re-setup the table and learn from your mistakes. Keep the same initiative, terrain, and sides. Remember you’re trying to build up a skill, and repetition is the mother of skill. Understand you will lose a lot when trying to get better. Check your ego at the door and bring a mind ready to learn.
After the game
Just as after a football game or other sports game, you’ll want to know what your opponent was thinking, or why they made a specific decision. It’s time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t from your opponent’s point of view. Don’t fall into the trap of defending your decisions. Listen to what they have to say, and how they felt about what your army was doing on the table.
To “Get Gud” is all about being mindful of your decisions and your tactics. Data is key. The more data you have the better informed you can be for your next game. Here are the tools I use to help me with that
Iron Grudge on Android: This is my main game tracking software, there’s a note-taking section in the additional info section.
Camera App: I take a lot of pictures of my games and turns. Make sure you have something in the frame that shows the round/turn so you know what picture you’re looking at.
Proxies: get some if you don’t have some. While empty bases are viable, invest in some actual laser cut proxies. They are easier to pick up off the table.
Laser line: whether from Broken-Egg, Muse, or Gadzooks, having a laser makes the LoS and charge lane measurements as clean as possible. Toss a proxy out where you intend to be, shine the laser line from the outside of your model’s base to the outside of the proxy, no questions.
Widgets: Parallax with tape measures will mess you up. Getting a widget down at base level gives you a definitive measurement
Tokens: again it doesn’t matter where you get them from. Having every ability or trigger on the table represented by a token will give you the best overall view of the battlefield so you can make the most informed decision.
A word of caution. Remember this game’s main purpose is to have fun. If it stops being fun because you are so focused on “Getting Gud”, then stop. Take a break. Play something else. The main objective may be to win the game, but if you lose sight of the purpose of playing the game are you really winning in the grand scheme of things?