Preparation for Game Play

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” - Confucious

    I’m writing this short article in order to make face to face game experiences more enjoyable and competitive, and to scold players who don’t come to the table prepared for battle. Here are some tips I believe everyone should follow:

    1) Know the rules of the edition you are going to be playing THOROUGHLY. This includes any house rules. No, you don’t HAVE to know all the rules - if you enjoy losing. Almost without exception, the person who knew the rules the best was on the winning side of every Axis and Allies game I ever played. The only exceptions were when someone who knew the rules was teamed with a couple of clueless players who got him killed.

    How do you expect to make any kind of plan of attack if you don’t know how far your units can move, and what each of them can and cannot do? The answer is, you can’t.

    2) Know the map you are going to play on. For example, you should know whether your bombers can reach certain places before you even get to the table. Don’t make others wait while you count out spaces to see if your bombers can reach the USA from France. They can’t.

    3) Have a plan before you get to the table. If possible, find out what nation you are going to be playing and think ahead. Especially if you go first.  You should generally know what you are going to try to do to win the war. I have been known to script my entire first turn out on scrap paper, before the game, so I don’t forget anything.

    4) Communicate with and work with the players on your side. They will either help you win or get you killed. Find out what they plan to do and tell them what you plan to do. Have a meeting and set goals for each player. For example, as the Axis players last time, we set goals for the first three rounds. Germany: Take and hold Leningrad, Attack British shipping. Italy: Break out into Africa. Japan: kill China and neutralize British in India.

    You can’t just show up wearing a camo t-shirt, with a beer and a bag of fritos, and expect to have a good game. You may think “It’s fun to play, even if I lose all the time,” but it is really not much fun, even for the guys beating you, because you present no challenge to them at all. If they know the game thoroughly and you are still trying to tell the difference between an artillery and an AA gun - the outcome is decided already. You are just wasting people’s time when you don’t prepare adequately for play.

    Ideally, you want a contest of wits around the table. A mind can’t think strategically and intelligently if it doesn’t have basic information (rules) to work with. Rules and map lines are like the building codes from which your mind can create successful strategies. Without knowing those codes you will never even present a challenge to your opponents, much less win.

    “A winning effort begins with preparation.” - Joe Gibbs  Â

  • Sponsor

    Great post DK, I have the same frustrations when it comes to the level of awareness among my teammates and oponents during the course of a game. I like playing with people who can eliminate mistakes or at least minimize them.

  • '14

    Hmm…maybe I frame and hang that in my game room.  Well said!  I always send links to the rules of whatever version I’m hosting but I don’t think my friends even glance at it.  I always start the evening giving a run down of the rules.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    Yeah and I often have to talk people through their turn “This is the non-combat phase - where you move things around that don’t involve combat” despite sending them all the rules 10 days ahead of time - annoying! 😞

  • '17 '16

    @Young:

    Great post DK, I have the same frustrations when it comes to the level of awareness among my teammates and oponents during the course of a game. I like playing with people who can eliminate mistakes or at least minimize them.

    I prefer to see where a certain kind of strategy is leading instead of winning a game because of few errors due to lack of awareness.

    Usually, I will point out the forgotten units to the player asking him if it is really what he wants or not wants to play.

    It is a shame to ruin an hard fought on the razor edge game for many rounds because one player was exhausted due to many hours of play and made a critical mistake.

    Of course, I’m not talking about any sabotage from a player more interested by boozes and breztels.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Baron:

    Of course, I’m not talking about any sabotage from a player more interested by boozes and breztels.

    That’s an interesting combination: A&A and B&B.  😄

  • Customizer

    Nice Marc! A&A B&B.

    Wife: Oh honey it’ll be so nice to get away for a while.

    Husband: Oh yeah I needed some time away with the guys.

    Wife: What? I thought you said you were taking me to a B&B.

    Husband: Yes. I am. The Axis & Allies B&B. All the guys are going to play A&A in the lodge while the ladies get to take a scenic weekend long boating tour on
                  the lake and take cooking lessons. In the morning all the ladies get too cook breakfast in bed for their husbands.

  • Moderator 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Why would they not go for that? Is a great plan.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    And just to carry the concept a bit further, the A&A game played at the B&B could be supplemented by a few games of Commands & Colors (C&C), Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) and the somewhat obscure Tunnels & Trolls (T&T).  Does anyone know of other double-letter games which could be added to the list?

  • Sponsor

    How about a triple letter game?… H.H.H

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