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Losing friends from the tournament circuit due to "NPEs"

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4 hours ago, Lena said:

Are farmers really that problematic then? Cause I was considering starting with them...

If you’re new to GB they aren’t a problem, as just starting out this game has a learning curve. The Farmers have eccentricities that mean you need some experience for them to shine. If they are the team that interests you most you should play them and ignore all the people whining about how broken they are.

That being said they are also in line for a balance change so I suspect that they won’t even be overpowered for too much longer

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On 24/01/2018 at 6:17 AM, Wynter said:

Farmers guilt is definitely a thing. None of us are using them at the moment (except with certain line ups) for this reason and it's a shame.

The gent that won our last tourney apologized after for playing Thresher. That team is cranked up.

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18 hours ago, Dirt Rey said:

The gent that won our last tourney apologized after for playing Thresher. That team is cranked up.

So Farmers Guilt is a thing. 

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Some interesting reading for sure and its eye opening to read peoples perceptions of competative players.

 

As a compatatibe player i rarely practice for events or even play tournament mode unless asked to. I'm maybe getting one gaming night in every week or 2...so < 6 games a month and i switch teams alot when i play.

As i believe @Gauntlet described, giving pointers for guildball is very hard as its based on your understanding of the board state, models interactions, threat ranges and influence allocation....and there is alot of room in there for personal preference that suits your own play style. This state changes activation to activation and in order to improve its about understanding spending resources (when to def stance, counter attack), improving your positional play and the hardest thing setting up for the next turn as the turn progresses. 

The decisions and team i pick wont be the same as another top player, neither will my reasoning....so i can explain options and which i'd choose at that moment but that isnt necessarily going to make someone a better player. You really do need to learn by experience once you have the basics down and improve your own understanding to improve competatively if thats your wish.

I often watch my friends play and my understanding of the board state and options differs greatly from theirs...they find it highly amusing as i sit there looking totally perplexed activation to activation at whats unfolding. 

 

Team selection (your 10) and counter picks during selection is often overlooked. That one model you picked because you're comfortable with it and always play it could be a weak link thats exploited....playing a net list 6 means your opponent probably has experience playing against them and a counter in mind.

 

I think there are very few bad models in the game and you should work out whats in your 10 and why and when to pick them. I also think the internal balance across guilds is generally very good....i am currently playing Brewers mainly because they are fun and because general consensus on the internet says they are bad....most top players i know would disagree with that statement. It really is how you use a team.

 

The really top players i play against are generally a really nice chilled bunch of guys, clean knowledgable players, and its always a real pleasure to play against them.....i have had very few bad experiences at events over the last few years and then it was mainly due to sloppy play.

Because of all of the above alot of peoples decisions/reasons are down to personal preferences and how they use a model so it can be hard teach from there. I would also agree there is a big gap in ability between top players and people new to guildball....but if any of my opponents at an event told me they were new id happily talk them through stuff during and after the game. The enjoyment for me as a competative player comes from an even match of skill not from smashing new players.

 

Im all for a wiki but i think people might learn more from some of the videos that have been linked and comentated on (sfg/wtc/world champs). Having an overview of the whole pitch and not being focused on just your team and trying to understand why people are doing some of the things might up your game.

Final point - i've said this before, and i think its kind of been misquoted in this thread. Don't listen to the internet, play what you want to play and get good with it.

I think my track record in this area backs this up. Its not the team you play, its the players you pick and your skill in using them that makes the difference.

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  1. If I play newer players I tend to do this with guilds/players I don't play that often. I tend to try to play clean and whilst I dial it back to a decent degree I don't tend to give too many freebies, although giving up the odd goal or take out that could be avoided will happen. I will offer some advice, but like Beaston said, it isn't always that easy and to my experience not everyone enjoys getting extensive advice. 
  2. In general I don't play newer players often because I don't feel like I'm that good at making it an enjoyable experience for the opponent whilst still having fun myself. We have some great people at the LGS, including our pundits, who are far better at that.
  3. I do feel GB has a very relaxed and cool competitive  ( compatatibe? :D) scene. There is the odd game that might be a bit off but it is more the exception than the rule.
  4. Coming from Warmachine, I don't find GB that harsh for newer players. Thanks to the alternating activations newer players can still get some attacks/ goals in even if they only have a very limited knowledge of what they have to do.
  5. What might be interesting for newer players is breaking down plays to it's bare minimum.  One of the things I loved when I started out was Singled Out "how do you" https://singledout2016.wordpress.com/how-do-you/ .

 

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My own experience has been very similar to Beaston/Huggy. I wouldn't compare my self to the Botts, Metz or Beastons of the game but I feel like I play at a high level and even playing at that level we're all here to enjoy the game. Playing cleanly, being clear with you're actions and being sure your opponent is clear of what's going on is what I personally think are key things to avoid a negative game, as well as of course having a laugh during the game. 

The worst "NPE's" I've found are players who measure poorly, selectively to remember things about there rules and are sloppy with tracking health of players / momentum. They're rare but's hugely frustrating when people have the tools to do thing accurately, which ensures a clean game in which both players are happy and don't apply them. 

 

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So as many of you probably know I am the nicer half of the beaston brand 😂😂

I am not a good player or particularly competitive but I know I can be middle of the table if I practise lots, so where am I going with this....

Our close group of friends includes players from each area of the bottom, middle and top play brackets, 2 of the England team 1 and a lot of newbies too.

And I have to say we all share experiences and ideas. There are the newbies that will ask for a good 10 starting block and they are given ideas however the best advice really is learn and decide for yourself! My choices on team line ups will rarely get the complete approve of them however I play what I am happy with and confident playing.

Why should anyone win due to a stronger opposing team instead of a better and more thought out play. And I don' know what events you have been to recently Ben but the ones I have see everyone stood around giving advice etc after a game esp the better players!

Frankly I rarely hate playing against people but I know I play tightly and would NEVER want to be let off mistakes (those truly are what you learn from) or cheat my way better however I have found on the occasions I have had to play you this is unfortunately your style and I would say likely to be the reason your UK masters has no one wanting to go! So maybe a response would be better as "get clean" and not "get good"!!

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On 30/01/2018 at 8:16 PM, DrJekyll said:

... From this, I think something I (I did mention I am rather quite bad at this game, right?) would appreciate is games, or even tacticas, where the flow is interrupted and the rationale behind moves is briefly explained. Or games with a voice-over if you want the game flow to be more like a "real" game. Advanced Maneuvers do some stuff like this for Warmachine; some of the @tandgproductions stuff also have the players explain their reasons. I really like podcasts (great audio backdrop when painting!) but at least I feel like I need the visuals to really appreciate tactics.

If you're looking for a bit more of a high level play bent than tng but with rolling commentary about the why and plan of moves may I suggest having a look at YouTube for Run the Length from Vince of STW fame and suggest searching for other Guildball channels where you might find some gold. Or more garbage ones like mine https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaK5nh-vD9tJIO4mJvM_a-A.

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I don't think anyone here is really disagreeing that the tournament scene for Guild Ball is great when you're "in it," or saying that competitive players are a bunch of super-serious assholes. Pretty much everybody who's ever been to a tournament has great things to say about the community, and that seems to only get stronger as you go deeper into the scene, eventually making it to Worlds or WTC or whatever. The issue that this thread started with seems to be the part about GETTING there. I'd say that Guild Ball is an incredibly interesting, inviting, and satisfying ecosystem for a player at the top 40-50% of the curve in terms of investment and/or skill. But everybody pretty much starts at 0%, so... that's not a great look for the game's longevity. I don't really think that telling these players to "stick with it and git gud" is useful; new players don't want to be told to keep playing for some reward a year down the line, they want a reason to continue playing NOW. This is a hobby, for god's sake. 

How to get new players into Guild Ball and keep new players dedicated to Guild Ball long enough to see the parts of the community that are best is a crucially important question, but it's tough. Huggy has good ideas above, but not every community can be blessed with a great teacher/demo-er for new players. I try to avoid playing new players too, because it's hard for me to "turn off" when it comes to Guild Ball, and I think that's a problem shared by most top players. Casual formats do help with that in my opinion, and I think a lot more of those types of events should be run; it's a lot easier to shrug off the competitive drive and fuck around when you're playing doubles. A problem with that solution, though, is that some of the alt formats just flat suck in my opinion. Does anybody REALLY enjoy Homelands? I sort of like thinking about it until I remember that the Skaldic team is just flat, no-question the best team in the format, and then I forget about it again. More action-packed, fast-paced formats would be welcome, but how much the dev team can and should dedicate to that is an open question. 

Different regions have different problems in this case too. The UK has typically had dramatically more events than any section of the USA of similar size, so I think for the UK more casual events where top players are encouraged to play but relax is a good direction. But in the USA, we struggle to have enough events (and big enough events) to satisfy the dedicated players. More casual events would still be useful, but as a competitive player I'd be pretty frustrated if my already-inconsistent tournament selection got overrun by Dodge Ball. Other than, again, the arrival of a super energetic and patient teacher, I'm struggling to come up with a direct solution I can help implement that satisfies the community AND grows it, while also (hopefully) being at least sort of fun for me. 

I think Steamforged is to blame here as well. About a year ago everybody was hyped for the Season 3 changes, trying out new stuff, finding good plays and bad plays, and generally the established community was gushing about the game. I don't really think the game has gotten worse—in fact I think it's better than it was then—but it's hard to get hyped with such a dramatic change to the game notably missing. I think Season 4 happening sometime around now would have been good, or at least a patch involving buffs to most guilds' least-played models like Venin, Bonesaw, VetSpigot, Locus, etc. Compound that lack of excitement with the weird uncertain place metal teams are in right now regarding their sale and relation to the plastic teams, and the fact that of the four currently available plastic teams, one might get you shamed for playing them and another is considered maybe the most complicated guild to play in the game, and it's pretty hard to figure out exactly where to point a new player's money. 

The wiki idea is a great one and if one starts getting built up I'd happily help add some tactica/tips for parts of the game or specific models. Maybe a more honest and direct pitch for Guild Ball would be good too. Is there something so bad about being THE competitive miniatures game? If you want fair fights, rewards for skill, and a deep tournament scene, come to us.

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All good points everyone. Of course Guildball is a game where there is a skill hill to climb. However I do think we can do better with beginner starting. Sure there is no ‘perfect 6’, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a generalist 6 beginners can start with. The KO set demonstrates this. Those models are not the best into every situation, but they are the best in any situation. 

It’s advice like this, and how some of the models work and synergies (e.g a beginner looking at Smoke might not ‘get it’) etc as well as explains basic concepts like threat ranges and ball control. 

I definitely think there is room for either a rookie section here or boosted wiki. Warmachine and Malifaux have the same skill hill but they also have much better beginner info sites. 

Maybe sometimes what rookies need is to understand what their opponent does. Knowing what Fillet is trying to achieve can help them avoid a crushing and frustrating defeat. It will also help with the ‘X is OP’ comments when people learn of a models weakness. 

So yes the best way to learn is play, but sometimes if you’re just starting you appreciate a guide to get you going. 

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That process has been started on here, though it needs support/ideas from folks to really take off (so I’m pimping it here ;) ). In the tech update I suggested I was open to creating and curating a tactical summary thread in each guild section, covering each model in a short summary. 

That could also extend to a single thread in the training ground (which again I’ll create, pin and take the time to curate as it grows if people think it’s worth it) covering a good basic generalist six for all the guilds, and maybe their basic game plan. A good simple overview, couple of lines only - nothing too detailed (we can have that in the guild sections).

 

http://forums.steamforged.com/forum/78-training-ground/

 

 

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I turned up to a tournament in July knowing one person and was made to feel welcome. Got battered round one, won the next two. Through my local meta I met a group of great people that started showing me the ropes. At my next tournament I managed 2 wins and 2 losses but again people were friendly. At a similar time I played a malifaux tournament. One player was rude, another wiped me out turn 1 and the only nice person was the to who I already knew. Having had a similar malifaux experience 3 years ago I have now quit.

In the mean time I have played a team tournament, playtested and met a tonne of super friendly, welcoming and helpful people. I have learned a lot, and am trying to help others. I'm currently signed up for 3 more tournaments. I say this as someone with serious social anxieties who has had the same best friends for 30 years.

The guild ball community is like nothing else. Yes it's competitive,but everyone I have played is nice with it. 

Thanks to zi, Steve, Anna, myk, Owen for making me welcome and teaching me the ropes. Thanks to Nathan for all the games as we both pick up the game at pretty much the same time. Thanks to all my opponents. Thanks to my wife, who won't read this, but continues to play me.

GuildBall is just great :D

P.s. In turns of Npes, yep I've had a few. But I've had revenge on corsair and obulus and thresher. Ànd having given one npe myself, I now try to not play smoke like a total #@* although the missus would disagree ;)

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3 hours ago, Slothrop said:

I think Steamforged is to blame here as well. About a year ago everybody was hyped for the Season 3 changes, trying out new stuff, finding good plays and bad plays, and generally the established community was gushing about the game. I don't really think the game has gotten worse—in fact I think it's better than it was then—but it's hard to get hyped with such a dramatic change to the game notably missing. I think Season 4 happening sometime around now would have been good, or at least a patch involving buffs to most guilds' least-played models like Venin, Bonesaw, VetSpigot, Locus, etc. compound that lack of excitement with the weird uncertain place metal teams are in right now regarding their sale and relation to the plastic teams, and the fact that of the four currently available plastic teams, one might get you shamed for playing them and another is considered maybe the most complicated guild to play in the game, and it's pretty hard to figure out exactly where to point a new player's money. 

That's actually a lot of things that are individually irritating, but when I saw them all written down together made me realise how frustrating they are when combined. The metal/plastic transition and lack of communication about exactly what is going on with it casts a shadow over the future of the game (for me, at least), then, with the minor guilds and lack of updates for players who've been begging for them for 2 years or more, gives a feel of SFG being a little "fire-and-forget", "more releases = more money" on their products. Certainly made me question how much more money, if any, I want to drop into the game until I know what the future holds.

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Hi, I've recently joined the GB community, I used to play Warmachine at a high level with going to the WTC with team England 1. I honestly think that the GB community is far better than the Warmachine community however I do feel that the GB community just needs to chill out a bit :)

I have been lucky enough to be able to play against the likes of Beaston on a weekly basis and I feel players like Beaston, Myk Myers, Owen, Anna & all the people in the Sheffield(UK) community have really helped me along & made me feel welcome.

I think the most important thing about when new players come along is not to spoon feed them. More importantly just to make them feel welcome and have discussions about the game. Granted I have had some pretty bad beats when playing the game but surely that is part of being a noob :)

So let's chill, have some beers & play some guild ball :)

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One  argument seems to  be forgotten,  whatever hobby you  choose (except watching tv) there  will be a learning curve. If it is playing sports, practicing martial arts, even collecting coins requires investment time. It's the same for gaming. And because it is a hobby it should be time you love to spent (to waist according to my wife ;) . The sparring partner on my first karate training was a ten year old girl and she hit me in places I didn't even knew I had them :) It was considered normal,  nobody mocked me, everybody gave me pointers how to avoid it. Everybody learned from it even the black belts. Because at your first karate tournament they literally beat the crap out of you but isn't that the way you grow? So why would it be any different in gaming.

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1 hour ago, Domlaar said:

I do feel that the GB community just needs to chill out a bit

So succinct and absolutely spot on.

It's a felt a bit strange recently, like when GW blew up Fantasy and introduced Age of Sigmar. Only there's no blowing up of the GB world as far as I know. Just seems to be a lot of... resentment? Can't really put my finger on it.

Maybe I should I get to NWGC more, and play new people and try to be the chill and fun player I want to play against. Or I could continue to grumble about it online... :D 

Edited by Lee

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On 08/02/2018 at 2:15 PM, Anna said:

Frankly I rarely hate playing against people but I know I play tightly and would NEVER want to be let off mistakes (those truly are what you learn from) or cheat my way better however I have found on the occasions I have had to play you this is unfortunately your style and I would say likely to be the reason your UK masters has no one wanting to go! So maybe a response would be better as "get clean" and not "get good"!!

Wow! Way to make things personal!!! That said, I will hold my hand up and say fair point. I make mistakes. I'd like to think they are honest mistakes as a symptom of the lack of practice games I play. And the one time we have played was 1st round of an event, so when I'm likely to be at my most rusty. My apologies if I gave you a bad game. I've posted about sportsmanship before and try to set myself a high standard for sporting play that I thought would give people a good game. I had thought that that meant be relaxed and laid back about things, but perhaps I was wrong.

I will add, though, that this is kind of the point I was making, and touches on Aaron's similar point about clean play. If you're a new/casual player you're not getting the experience in to be practiced enough to be perfectly clean and remember everything accurately in everything you do, and being a bit more casual about it might help retain newer players.

I'd also argue that's there's things the more experienced player can do to help the casual player get clean and learn. If you think someone is mismeasuring get out some base steppers and show them how to measure it accurately. If someone keeps forgetting rules, pre-empt when they might and fully explain why what you're doing is going to do what you say it is. Communication can only help smooth things over, surely?

Anyway I will take your criticism on board and strive to be cleaner in my play, if I can manage to start getting some regular games in. If not maybe I'll just have to stop attending tournaments as the standards of play require, for me, more practice than I can manage. Maybe I should just stick to god tear. A simpler game with hexes is probably more my speed.

23 hours ago, Lee said:

So succinct and absolutely spot on.

It's a felt a bit strange recently, like when GW blew up Fantasy and introduced Age of Sigmar. Only there's no blowing up of the GB world as far as I know. Just seems to be a lot of... resentment? Can't really put my finger on it.

Maybe I should I get to NWGC more, and play new people and try to be the chill and fun player I want to play against. Or I could continue to grumble about it online... :D 

I'm feeling it too, Lee. And you should get down more. You can help me clean up my game 😁

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On 29/01/2018 at 3:09 PM, Gauntlet said:

I think this is actually one of the issues with guild ball, in a weird way. It's very easy to give advice to someone in MTG, for example, because a lot of the game is in deckbuilding, and that's done in downtime. You can give someone your list and ask 'how can I make this better' and get a concrete response of choices to make, replacements and upgrades to consider.

In guild ball, almost every 'bad at the game' mistake is something that happens on the pitch, rather than off it. You can give someone an optimal lineup and a 'counter' matchup and they will likely still lose to a player with a reasonable amount more experience than them. This means that coaching people at GB is hard. The only really good way of doing so is to play a lot of games and talk them through things. Giving advice on choices to make in-game is nice, but a lot of the time the common things you need to learn (threat ranges, expected damage outputs, when to engage, how to avoid wasting influence, when the ball is safe and when it isn't) are not very easily learned and they are not questions with hard and fast rules which can be used to answer them.

Honestly, there's a lot of truth to what you say, and I appreciate that giving good, specific, advice can be difficult and situational. That said I do think things can be done to shortcut new players to some useful set up steps and some useful plays to aim for. They might not always be the best set up or play to make, but the idea for it may not have come to them. Giving people ideas for starting points when they're new and explaining some common decisions is something that I think can be done and would be appreciated by people at several levels of play.

For example, I had completely written off Shank in S3. I'd tried him so many tines and he'd just been a liability in every game. But then I read Greg's article about using him and there were ideas in there that if not thought of and there was enough explanation of some of the common decisions that it allowed me to retry him and finally find a place for him in my team. I think more similar articles would help new and casual players discover things to try out that may add to their ability to make good decisions.

Videos with good tactical commentary from top players commenting on their own games and the decisions they made, or trying to work out what another top player might be doing are also very helpful things to have - I for one love Alex and Jamie's commentary and have learnt a lot from listening to what they have to say. This is something xwing has lots of good resources for.

Perhaps the lack of it is down to the relatively small size of the community, but if just want to encourage anyone who is being successful in competitive guild ball to have a think about what they can do can help support new and casual players get to grips with the game.

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I have said this a few other places as well, but one of the best teaching methods imo is to play the same person twice and switch teams. If I beat a newer Fish player with my Masons, I will play them again but switch teams. They will usually try to use whatever tactics you used to beat them and you can show them the counters.

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The problem with that is that many players want to play the team they have. They are not interested in playing with your team against their own (they are already fully oocupied with remembering the their own models' rules and do not also want to learn your models' rules.

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On 10/02/2018 at 9:27 AM, malladin.ben said:

I'd also argue that's there's things the more experienced player can do to help the casual player get clean and learn. If you think someone is mismeasuring get out some base steppers and show them how to measure it accurately. If someone keeps forgetting rules, pre-empt when they might and fully explain why what you're doing is going to do what you say it is. Communication can only help smooth things over, surely?

I certainly agree with this, coming from Warmachine if i could see a measurement is going to be super important i'd stop the player and ask them what they're looking to do, from there me and my opponent would be able to work together to make sure that it's clean. 

Personally I think it's both players responsibility to make sure each other are "clean". I can guarantee that no one does it to cheat so therefore we should be helping each other not slagging each other off. 

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I'm very new to the game, so I try not to make any sweeping judgement about it. I've played lots of games with steep learning curves, so I'm used to having an opinion, and then playing five more games, and then realizing my original opinion was completely wrong or naive. On the other hand, I've also played games with glaring problems that all of the existing players had rationalized away.

If people are taking requests for articles aimed at new players, I'd love to read an explanation of momentum as a mechanic. As far as I can tell, it is exactly backwards. The better I'm doing the more momentum I get, which lets me do stuff that exacerbates my advantage event further.

The most egregious of the momentum actions is the counter attack, which to me appears to be game breaking. I've just recently really understood how counterattacking works, and I've never had a level-up in skill do such damage to my desire to play the game. I go in to attack someone, they counter attack, and then depending on how well they roll my activation may be done after one attack. 

In addition, it seems like Guild Ball is dominated by low probability, high impact events. It doesn't cost anything to try for the upper level playbook results, and when they happen they're huge. Someone attacks Obulus, I counter attack. He asks if Obulus has a knockdown. I say, "I guess? On the four." So he hits his attack, does  some damage and dodges in closer to beat Obulus's double dodge, and then I crank the roll and get 4 net hits vs a 4/1 model, knocking it down. We both just look at the dice and shrug. I guess I'm winning this game through no fault of my own. I see an extremely high level of dice complaining on this (and other guild ball) forums. I wonder how much of that is down to the fundamental mechanics of the game having a high degree of randomness (see: scoring goals, kick scatters, playbooks, etc).

We're a very new meta and we haven't started doing tournaments yet. A lot of us are seasoned Warmachine players, so we know how to measure and manage a clock. But this game is on the next level. There's always a trade off between time and precision, but GB requires a multitude of precise measurements happening through out your activation.

I also don't understand how clock flipping is supposed to work. There's an ability called tough in warmachine that requires rolling during your opponent's turn, and it causes massive clock problems and bad feelings. Every single activation in GB has this problem. Do I flip the clock every time I attack and wait for my opponent to say "no counter?" If it takes me a half second to decide if I'm going to defensive stance, is that a tactic or legitimate indecision? I see a lot of people complaining about social engineering and sloppy play, and i have to say, that's not surprising at all if you look at the rules.

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@FourOfPipes

Anticipating an opponent's counter attack result is indeed part of the game.

Having lots of momentum is indeed good. Generating it and deciding how and when to spend it is also part of the game.

I go to about 6 or 7 tournaments a year and I've never seen someone play the clock in the way that you describe. I played at one yesterday and neither myself or any of my opponents came close to clocking out. It does happen, but it's not a major thing.

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