13 November 2013

Wrathen's Workshop: Judging Distance ( Part 1 )

So here we are back for our first real workshop. Im excited and hope everyone else is. We are going to divide this Workshop into two parts. The first one is going to be on a two stage method for becoming better at judging distances. The 2nd part will include other things you can measure, things you know about the battlefield and how to apply your new found or improved ability to judge distance. 

So without further delay .....

One thing I have always found myself good at but have discovered not everyone can is the art of judging distances. I attribute this to many years of practice looking at small precise measurements. For many years I worked as a picture framer. Basically, taking peoples art and sandwiching it between glass, mat board, and some kind of backing. To do this you cut a square hole evenly in the center of the mat and allow the picture to show through giving it the colored borders you see on framed art. I got very used to seeing measurements between ½ inch and up to 24” (sometimes as high as 6’). Doing this day in and day out I got to the point I could look at a mat and tell if a mat was 3” or 4”, ect.

I feel judging distance is a key aspect of any war game, right along side knowing stats and building your army list. In some ways it is more important because it transcends any army or game you choose to play. Some of the advantages you can reap by being a good judge of distance is (but not limited to):
  • Getting into or staying out of ranged weapons range
  • Getting into or staying out of charge range
  • Getting setup for alpha strike or to counter your opponents alpha strike
  • Getting within range of a model with stealth
  • Setting up positioning for future turns
  • Getting out of your own troops way
  • And MANY many more

Just like any and every skill it takes practice and training to become better. Remember the days when you started playing and you would swear that you had range on your Bushwhackers only to come up short on your 14” shot. Where now you could put your guys on target with easy. Well thats because as you put more games under your belt you have measured those distances many a time and you now have it down. Another example is do you ever notice how distances you measure alot you can judge better? For example we move 5” ALOT most things in Trolls move 5” ever notice you can judge without measuring about where your guys are going to end up? This is due to repetition and there are ways we can harness this to improve our game play and I hope to show you one of those ways.

In part 2 I will cover other things to help with judging of distance like what you can measure and when, other things you can use as guides, and helpful tools to have when gaming. So lets get started with our new training exercise.

So a method I developed to help a friend I got into the game was this.

Yes, yes, I know but its not a cell phone signal graph but …. never mind lets move on. So there are two stages to this training method we will call them “Prime” and “Epic” forms (sorry no Method3 or anything yet). For the Prime method we go with the picture above you cut out on something ( I like cardboard or popsicle sticks, or something with some rigidity but paper like here is ok too ). You will need to cut our 2”, 3”, 4”, 5”, 6” & 8” pieces then on one side in pencil mark its measurement. A tip here is to use a material that has two different colored sides so that you always look at the colored side when guessing and put the answer on the white side. Then this becomes kind of a flash card type deal from our days back in school. Put them in your pocket or envelope or something to carry around with you, then pull one out at random put it on a table or on your palm in front of you and guess what size it is. Do this as many times a day as you can maybe pulling from your stash a few times in a row then moving on with whatever you were doing.

This Prime stage should be fairly easy and you should get most of them ( granted it is harder when you only have one out so you don't have any references in view ). Keep this up until you have it down pat. Next add in some with ½” measurements of those same inches and keep guessing. With repetition even if you make 100% on your test you will gain skill so keep doing it.

Once you have been doing this for a week its time to change it up and go EPIC!!!! Now there are two ways to do it adding to or making new. You can ether keep your original measurement sticks and make some more or make all new ones. The goal is to have a more random sampling so make some are 3 ⅛”, 5 ¼” and so on putting the actual measurement on the back. Now try and guess as close as you can with these “non-even” measurements. This is why I like the adding to method as long as you use the same material as before it gives you more changes to be wrong and you still might need to guess for an even number. So here is a list of what I would make: 2”, 2 ½”, 3”, 3 ½”, 4”, 4 ½”, 5”, 5 ½”, 6”, 7”, 7 ¾”, 8”, 8 ⅛”, 8 ¼”, 8 ½”, 10”, 10 ¼”, 10 ½” (and maybe some more). This gives you a wide variety of measurements to now quiz yourself on.

Why some of these numbers? Well 5 ½” is important because what if you're walking your Kriel warrior 5” and want to be in ½” reach? What about moving that Fennblade 5” and reaching 2” … well you need to know 7” then. Will you be charging with your DT Mauler? Im guessing so, then you need to know 8 ½” then don't you. We need to both be able to judge our distances we move but also the reach of the model moving and if we can judge this better we can put better axe to face. The reverse is also true. Are you staring down at a wall of Bane Thralls … well then you need to run your Kriel Warriors up but say more than 8 ½” away from them, while making your opponent to think you are within his charge range. So they then give the order and fail the first one or two and then run all the rest of his troops.

I recommend keeping these in your pocket, at your desk at work, or wherever works for you and quizzing yourself whenever you can as much as you can through each day for 27 days. Its been studied that we humans are creatures of habit and to break or make a new habit takes 27 days of repetition. I think if you tested yourself every day a few times a day for 27 days you will become a much better judge of distance.

So this is just one of many methods but one I have had success with on a friend who recently started playing the game but to make it work it does take work. Doing it once ever few days or sitting down once a day and going through them all back to back will help but not accomplish the same as many times randomly throughout every day.

I hope you have enjoyed this part 1 of Judging Distance and Im continuing to write part 2 which I hope to have up soon. I needed some real world game play pictures to help and don't have time to game for a few days.

.... As a side note it will be my first game with eGrim and I'm thinking about posting up a battle report and a kind of first impressions for eGrim.

Until next time continue putting axe to face.

I know have a snazzy new email address so feel free to post here or email me if you have any recommendations for workshops you would like to see or anything like that.

Still hoping to get time to make some more graphics .... silly work why are you so busy!

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