Welcome to Steamforged Games Forums

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

  • Announcements

    • Mako

      Scholar's Guild Forum Challenge   06/26/2017

      There's a new contest running through July, to write a 1000 word short story about a rookie For more details, head to the Tales of Infamy section down below. Happy writings!  
RTOAHB

As an aspiring player, what does it take to get to the next level?

Hi guys. My names Aaron Wilson, I'm not a bad player and I've played table top games for about 11 years now. Once Vengeance is added to the rankings I should be placed around 50-60th on Black Orifice. 

I wanted any advice you can give a player who is fairly average wanting to become one of the better in the game, how to get there? Is it just raw practice or is there some things which you've found personally have really helped. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that it definitely comes down to a lot of practice especially in a tournament setting.

Having a strong local meta certainly helps as well. 

Play games in which you focus on specific aspects of your game. When your opponent is up for it, try to squeeze in situational practice (Kicking off, receiving, 1 Minute activations, specific board states etc.)

I also feel that GB take most people a while to truly "click" even, or especially when, you're an experienced wargamer. While the dynamics of the ball mechanic are a huge aspect imho, I have seen a lot of players going through a couple of guilds before finding their personal sweet spot. 

Hope this helps a bit

Cheers

Leo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hay Aaron. As it stands right now I'm 24 on BO and 3 with Hunters. So im probably in a similar place to yourself really in the pursuit of making that next big step up. 

I have started to see my competitive games improve recently and for me the biggest thing has been exposure to the game. You obviously have an idea now off what works for you with your team. The next thing I found was starting to ID which players or teams make doing your thing harder and learning what roster adjustment helps. 

Equally learning where the key players in the opposing team are and how to limit their impact on you.

Practice, Practice, Practice 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't by any means claim to be a good player but there's a couple of things that serve me well.

1) Know the skills - building your turn around a must succeed charge only for your target to UM away can be frustrating. You've got to know what yours and your opponents skills are.

2) Don't do the obvious - as with all games, the design is there to follow a preconception. Good players can predict how a game will turn out if everyone does what they are supposed to do. The best players to watch are those that find ways to use the rules to not follow the preconceptions and not do what they're supposed to do.

TheLieutenant won't like me for this, but a good recent example was during one of the Twitch streamed games. Bryce (Fish) scored, his opponent James Long got the ball to Vitriol, everyone was expecting the quick counter goal. This is what Bryce wanted as it gets the ball back in play and he can quickly score a second. Instead James punts it well out of everyone's range. With no way to get it back, Bryce didn't know how to respond, immediately made an error with Shark and that was pretty much game.

Watch this game from the 30 min mark, just as Bryce scores the first goal

MechMage and speedfreek like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't pretend to be good at the game (if I can remember that teamwork actions are a thing I'm doing well!), but @Henry's comment reminds me of something my old martial arts instructor said... "If you do every move perfectly, anyone that knows that art will beat you. If you never finish a move properly, they won't know what's coming next."

 

Strangely practical advice here it seems!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really solid advice so far, thanks all. Keep it coming! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing I've been looking at recently has been judging board states accurately and determining your best option / your opponent's likely course of action. One of the big components of this is taking your time to evaluate the board state and your options, especially on the clock.

- You have 45 minutes of clock time in a round.

- Most games where both players get to put their models to good use are ended by the first activation of turn four or earlier.

- Most models in a game of GB will activate between two and four times.

- Approximately four activations per turn will actually involve rolling dice / spending influence - fewer on turn one.

- This means that over the course of a game, you will probably make approximately 10-12 actually important activations (ones with a chance of generating VPs), and 5-10 unimportant ones, and allocate influence 3-4 times.

- This means you should have time to consider exactly what your plan is before every activation where you are spending influence. Some of the time this is going to be obvious and can be skipped, but in a lot of situations you will have multiple good options to choose from.

Other things to consider:

- The most powerful thing you can do in Guild Ball is reach 12 VPs first. Having an actual path to winning the game is important, as is ensuring your route to victory is faster than your opponent's. The obvious example here is 'don't score when you're on 6vps and your opponent is on 8', but that's just the most obvious example. Engineering six-point or eight-point activations is difficult to do correctly, but often ends the game when done right. At the same time, VPs are irrelevant if you're pinning yourself into a corner to get them. Scoring with A&G is great, but doing so next to a fully-stacked Fillet and Harry is probably giving your opponent two takeouts and a goal in exchange.

- Play to your outs. This is originally a Magic term, but it applies equally here. If you need something to go your way to have any chance in a game, assume it's going to happen. If your opponent goes to 8VPs with a goal, play that Who Are Ya? because it's never going to get used otherwise. If your opponent is one shot roll away from winning the game, and you can't stop them from making that shot, plan for what to do if they miss, because if they score it doesn't matter how you allocated your influence anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, please don't watch any more of that game. I made a crippling error with the Shark activation at top of 2 (didn't look to me like Shark would take a Parting Blow from Katalyst, but like a fool I broke the first rule which is "Measure it anyway". When we measured, it was a Parting Blow, and that ended up knocking down Shark, which effectively lost me the game right there), so it's not much of a game after that. 

That said, James absolutely made the right play in kicking the ball miles away behind my goal line. I've said before that someone who knows to do that is my nightmare opponent, and that was borne out in this game. 

My best advice would be just play games. Play match ups you hate. Play terrible match ups. Play okay match ups. Smash out games as often as you possibly can. Get a lineup you're comfortable with and play, play, play. Practice makes perfect like. I would rather face an unpractised opponent with the 'top' list in the game than someone running a 'subpar' list that they've played 100 games with and know inside out.

Particularly, get into the habit of widgeting everything and agreeing with your opponent that movement is legal before moving the model. I didn't exactly follow my own advice in that game, and it's the only one I lost all weekend, so learn from my mistake. 

(It's really annoying, and classic, that the one game I made a really stupid mistake in is the streamed one. At least, the one game I made a really stupid mistake in and got punished for it. :P Heyho though,  I ain't gonna make that mistake again!) 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make lots of irrelevant forum/facebook/twitter posts. That's what I do. :ph34r:

 

In all seriousness just play a lot. Play against people you feel are better than you. You learn a lot more from a loss than you do a win. Play on the clock. Go to tournaments. Just like anything else in life 80% of success is showing up.

 

A quick-ish thing to do if you are gifted with a good memory: If you play mainly 1 or 2 teams memorize all the key stats playbook results. I play Fish. I know where all my tackles, KDs, and GBs are. I know most of my guys have momentous dodge on 1 success. I know who has momentous damage and where it is. This will really up your clock game since you don't have to constantly consult your cards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One training technique I have comes from competitive WMH players that I know: when playing practice games, give yourself a short clock (e.g., take only 30 minutes but give your opponent 45 or even 60).  This forces you into making decisions more rapidly than your opponent while they have the luxury of studying the board state more than you can.  When you get good at going through decision trees rapidly like that your game at the standard pace should improve wholesale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick little plug—STW did an episode on getting the most out of practicing.

I think I improved most quickly when I was taking notes after my games, especially games I lost, and when I was watching and rewatching games by players I felt were better than me. I also spent a lot of time in particular thinking about how I lost—that is, did I lose mostly to goals? To take-outs? Were my losses close games, or slaughters? Did I lose mostly to a specific guild, or a specific player? Really you should be considering both wins and losses in this way, but I think for most people (myself included) it's easier to trace the cause-and-effect of a loss more directly than the cause-and-effect of when exactly I made good winning plays. 

Also, a good player has to be able to evaluate models, strategies, and rules and determine what's good and bad. You won't (and shouldn't!) always agree with the current zeitgeist or what players are saying (good players, bad players, whatever), but you need to be able to say why you agree or disagree. Don't let extremely bad or extremely good dice (or extremely good or bad opponents) skew your thinking about strength and weakness... results-oriented thinking is the death of good play. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm nothing special in terms of skill at Guild Ball but I was pretty damn good at X-Wing before I hung the game up. Something I did that took my tournament game through the roof was to play games against what I expected to have issues with. If you know you struggle with alchemist line up or against engineer tech play games with those teams/models. Play people that are using something comfortable and see where you run into snags. It gives you insight into what gets a player with that team excited and nervous. Not completely applicable to Guild Ball but I did this to develop better feints against popular lists and I went from a 6-4 player to a 8-2 or 9-1 player pretty quickly. Might be worth a shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@RTOAHB if you are ranked 50th I'm sure you will have probably read this already, but I'll post it anyway as it's required reading really. He mainly uses examples from Street Fighter but the ideas can be applied to any game. 

Playing to win

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not meant to be a snide comment.  I do find it kind of funny that RTOAHB thinks ranking 50-60th in the world on BO is "fairly average". :P

All the info in this thread have been very helpful though (kind of in a similar boat), so thanks to RTOAHB for starting it! :) 

RedSam likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@kryzak Sorry I didn't mean to appear snobby, or anything like that. I meant moving from a player who finishes you know 7th-2nd to 1st. 

Really appreciate everyone's advice though, will keep all this in mind and start the note making! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Pending Forum Suspension said:

I'm nothing special in terms of skill at Guild Ball but I was pretty damn good at X-Wing before I hung the game up. Something I did that took my tournament game through the roof was to play games against what I expected to have issues with. If you know you struggle with alchemist line up or against engineer tech play games with those teams/models. Play people that are using something comfortable and see where you run into snags. It gives you insight into what gets a player with that team excited and nervous. Not completely applicable to Guild Ball but I did this to develop better feints against popular lists and I went from a 6-4 player to a 8-2 or 9-1 player pretty quickly. Might be worth a shot.

This is solid advice. Just play into difficult match-ups against good players. Sure it might suck, but after a while you'll see what works and doesn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/23/2017 at 4:55 PM, Slothrop said:

Quick little plug—STW did an episode on getting the most out of practicing.

I think I improved most quickly when I was taking notes after my games, especially games I lost, and when I was watching and rewatching games by players I felt were better than me. I also spent a lot of time in particular thinking about how I lost—that is, did I lose mostly to goals? To take-outs? Were my losses close games, or slaughters? Did I lose mostly to a specific guild, or a specific player? Really you should be considering both wins and losses in this way, but I think for most people (myself included) it's easier to trace the cause-and-effect of a loss more directly than the cause-and-effect of when exactly I made good winning plays. 

Also, a good player has to be able to evaluate models, strategies, and rules and determine what's good and bad. You won't (and shouldn't!) always agree with the current zeitgeist or what players are saying (good players, bad players, whatever), but you need to be able to say why you agree or disagree. Don't let extremely bad or extremely good dice (or extremely good or bad opponents) skew your thinking about strength and weakness... results-oriented thinking is the death of good play. 

Funny, I was going to say do anything but listen to STW. 

Nah but in seriousness, the chicago guys do an excellent job (mostly) of covering high end topics and providing perspectives that are interesting and at least personally, have helped me to improve my game certainly.

The other advice in the thread has been quite comprehensive. I would say the best things to do are practice, get very familiar with the models across guilds, and develop strategies for how to approach the game in different matchups. 

Slothrop likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Talk through the board state with your opponents in practice matches and see what options you think you have and what they see. Then talk through if i move here etc.

Learn to try and give your opponent multiple poor options. The more you practice the quicker your internal analysis of the board state and being able to read the game. Consider the percentages in risk vs reward plays and then the longer game if it fails, what are your chances to still win? And have discipline, often players lack the foresight/courage to not commit and pull players back to reset the board into a more neutral or favourable position - this is hard to do when under pressure and people often play more by instinct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 23.05.2017 at 10:53 AM, RTOAHB said:

Hi guys. My names Aaron Wilson, I'm not a bad player and I've played table top games for about 11 years now. Once Vengeance is added to the rankings I should be placed around 50-60th on Black Orifice. 

I wanted any advice you can give a player who is fairly average wanting to become one of the better in the game, how to get there? Is it just raw practice or is there some things which you've found personally have really helped. 

Get alchemists

Napoleon and WASandD like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now