Hacking the Cortex: It is a good divine that follows his own instructions

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This week, I’m going to be following my own advice, and simply making a list of things which I need to improve through deliberate practice in the coming weeks. The WTC is looming ever closer, and I want to be at my best when I get there. But what am I still doing wrong?

General Goals:

1) I need to be deploying faster. It shouldn’t take more that 3 minutes, even though both armies have quite a number of models in them. (Cryx lists? Infantry heavy? You jest, surely?). This is easily practiced solitaire, so I have no excuse. Timer, kitchen table, go. I want to have my “standard” deployment in muscle memory. Most of the time, you just mirror image flip it for matchups or scenario anyway.

Goal: Deployment in under 2 mins.

2) I need to make a clear plan for what I need to acheive this turn, rather than getting greedy about what I could kill this turn. I’m often tempted into ill considered moves because I see a chance to wipe out lots of models or score 3+ control points in a single turn. Sure, big swings like that are powerful, but particularly in the latter case it’s not worth taking a risk to get half way to winning and then getting assassinated.

Goal: Slow Down, Win Steady.

3) Respect your opponent’s longshot. If you give your opponent a 20% chance to win every game, you don’t win a tournament.

List Specific Goals

1) eLich’s soul catcher – I forgot this way too often because when excarnating or feating I rush right to activating the new model(s) and having them kill the world. It’s the cackling laughter in my internal monologue, it’s distracting.

SOULS! will probably be written in marker on the back of my hand at the next event.

2) Making sure I leave an avenue for my arc nodes to run forwards. Nothing is worse than screwing your activation order up by mispositioning your arc nodes.

Goal: Activate the arc nodes first, and arrange the infantry around them, rather than the other way around. (Also deploy to reflect that plan) (This point could apply to lots of other models, and probably deserves more time talking about it, but it’s hard to write about without diagrams).

3) When jamming, only give the opponent the minimum number of models. There’s no need to let him kill 70% of the unit when 35% will still jam him up as effectively. Make him work for his kills, even as you restrict his table space. (I’m generally pretty good at this these days, but it should still be on the list, because old habits die hard).

As you can see, the biggest psychological factor in these points is getting overexcited and overextending. It’s a theme that runs through most of my bad play. I’m an aggressive player by nature, and I love winning games with big, decisive moves. My problem is that when putting together those decisive neck-stomp turns, I forget the little things that set you up to capitalize the next turn, or I leave my caster (or other important pieces) more vulnerable than they need to be. “Slow Down” is always the advice I get from the wings, but I haven’t internalized it. In order to do so, I need to make it central to every practice game I play.

Te Nosce,


Read more from I_Avian and the rest of the Overload Online posse (we’re a posse now, I decided.) at threediceoverload.wordpress.com

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Author: I_Avian

Anthony began his Warmachine journey on the raggedy edge between Mark 1 and Mark 2, playing just enough Mk1 to be certain that Mk2 was a good thing, and just enough field test models to lament what might have been if Mulg had remained at 11pts and Stalkers could still Leap. Some of his early trials and tribulations were documented on Lost Hemisphere, which was also home to a short “Storytime with I_Avian” series which now continues on Overload Online. Anthony channels his constant urge to talk about Psychology into a series of articles about “the mind game” aspect of Warmachine and Hordes. For a brief moment in time, he was a Hunters Grim player, but WTC duties have brought him back into the cold, cold, embrace of Cryx.

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