Thursday, 22 January 2015

Table confidence.

Table confidence.

As with many things your mind set plays a big part of any competitive game and Malifaux is no exception.

Now in Malifaux you have simple bluffing about what schemes you’re doing and how good you control hand is but before any of that you have how confident you are about the game and it shows from the moment you sit at the table.

Let me start off by saying that there is a massive difference between thinking "I can do this" and shouting "I'm going fucking destroy you". One is being confidant one is being arrogant (and a dick). Make sure you remember it's supposed to be fun.

Anything people do competitively will involve mind games; watch any competition and you'll be able to spot someone who has lost their confidence just by their body language. That is the first thing you need to remember if you not confident about what you’re doing people will know. We all know that one player who is technically a good player but just never seems to win when it matters. They'll also be the player who second guesses themselves the most and it comes down to not being confidant in their own ability.

I'm as guilty of this as anyone I'll often look an opponent’s crew and think I have no idea how to handle this or introduce myself followed up by stating how bad I am. They’re easy habits to slip into but it’s hard to stop even when you know they’re holding you back.

To make it clear I’m not an expert and any advice is just an opinion but this is a subject I’ve discussed many time in different settings.

Trying to keep them in some order we’ll start at the beginning.

1.    Be prepared.
Knowing your crew and knowing the rules is a massive boost throughout the entire game. When you first sit down to a game the only thing you can know for certain is you and your crew options. Use that advantage to its best; if you know what your crew can do you can plan from there.

2.    Relax.
It’s just a game, don’t be nervous. The easiest way to do this is focus on enjoying yourself. If you like playing enforcer heavy beat stick crews then take them, if you like load of fast scheme runners make that list fit. You’ll have better games playing in your own style than forcing an “optimal” list and panicking that you can’t make it work.

3.    Targets and plans.
Always have a target in mind before you take any action and make sure it’s as precise as possible. Saying “by turn 4 I want to have 5 points” is useless saying “in turn 4, I will have my two scheme runners in the left side of opponent’s deployment zone. My beat stick will be engaged with opponent’s master and my master will be secure behind hard cover on the right flank.”
Your plan may not work perfectly but that knowledge should be secure with you. When your opponent looks across the table they should see someone who is focused not “um… err …um what should I do… um let just move that there… no move it back…. No um.”

4.    Don’t PANIC!
Even if everything you try fails you keep going plan ABC all the way to Z if you need to. But don’t panic or stop thinking. You will make more mistakes panicking than at any other time. Keep focused and work out what you need to do next. Even if the best you can do is deny points by hiding all your models if that’s your best plan run with it.
Along with this is don’t sulk. If you just start going through the motions that is how you end up playing all the time. (Also it’s no fun for anyone so grow up.)

5.    Keep your chin up.
Most of these tips have been to stop you losing your confidence but before that you need to have trust in your ability as a player and believe that you have a fair chance. It sounds cheesy but telling yourself “I can do this” can be a surprisingly big help. Don’t talk yourself down and don’t be intimidated. Even if you have lost the last 10 games you’ve played there is no reason you can’t win this one.
Once again as cheesy as it sounds a positive attitude going into a game will always help. If you struggle getting into the right mind set try setting yourself an upbeat playlist to listen to before you play. If you are really struggling to do well set yourself simple achievable goals so that you’re always coming away with a positive.  Something simple like I’m going to get 3 points from line in the sand, when you make that goal enjoy it, then set yourself something harder and so on. Small victories form good habits.

Like I’ve said before I’m not an expert and I rarely follow my own advice, but look at the best players you know (at any game) and see how confident they are then ask yourself what came first the wins or the confidence?

1 comment:

  1. Good article, though of course it could arguably apply to any hobby. I'd like to add to the point about 'keep your chin up' to not get intimidated if you're drawn against a player with a great reputation. I've seen players mentally lose the match up the moment they find that they're paired against Greg P, James D, Joel H et al in the UK tournament scene.