Monday, 3 January 2011

A teaching level of response.

Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught....
Oscar Wilde

TKE's last post spoke a bit from the heart, I can almost feel some angst in it as he wrangles the situation. What follows are my views on the level of response and how I handle it watching people play and how I try and assist them.

1). Try to give advice via questioning rather than answering or giving advice first off. A prime example of this at the moment is the new Heresy Online Tactica Forums! We have a few minor noteworthy posters sticking up what they feel are good tactics for certain units... and then low and behold... 10 to 20 people jump on and say I don't think that... or I do think that or that's rubbish. Instead the best response as in any situation is to question "WHY?" Stop assuming somebody has knowledge of something until they show you differently. One of the most telling things is when you face a supposed regular gamer and they have a different interpretation of a rule that you or your group have been using for 12 months or more... and you react with shock... as you assumed they knew that or they played that way.

2). Abuse never works... unfortunately the internetz is full of rubbish... and for a good load of players or those wanting to teach it becomes a place to rant a bit.... But when was the last time you sat down and did a really basic post.. basic comment that actually educated somebody? We discuss lists.... far too much in our comments and critical reception... as that's the highlight... but what about that 17 year old kid or 32 year old returning war gamer who really doesn't understand the assault phase? He gets plastered with idiot... or attacked personally or the ranting becomes sigh... I have explained a million times why vinidcators are useless! That's a no no. But when was the last time you saw a post discussing how to assault with stealer's? How to deploy the dreads in drop pods... How best to use a Razorback with a Tactical Squad? I cant find many.... I can find unit analysis... I can find list analysis... but finding a hey... this is how you should try and assault infantry? Nope...

3). Scaffold learning works better than randomness. I am critical of  lets call him "K" here... he does a great job reviewing lists... but its working in a pure vacuum. There is less and less element as time moves on of what terrain... what LOS.... what cover save... whats the best deployment of a ten man squad as it piles out of a rhino?.... where should the sgt stand with the power fist when your assaulted... when your going to assault? Of course each game is different... but the net fails to take into consideration hey that young dude with the 150 bucks just took my advice on getting 3 rifleman dreads... but did I show him how to use them? (That's a heads up to you K.... more on basics.... you have a following... use it to educate on common game failures, even with crap lists players become better when they know how to use even the strengths or minimize the weaknesses of crappy units.)

4). Try and remain only a specialist in what you know... I think I am ok with WFB, Imperial Guard Footsloggers, Inquisitional Forces and some strategy about terrain, deployment and game psychology. But if somebody asked me hey Z.... what about this Space Wolf List... I would say sorry dude, no idea I can tell you what builds are popular or things you might want to consider... but I have never played them or attempted to build a list, never act as an authority on something your not. The net is full of pigeons and sheep that rote spill what they have seen on other posts or comments by perceived experts... they are speaking out of their ass most of the time.

5). Lastly... try and say something positive about each list that gets reviewed. Even if its the painting on the figures.... encouragement goes a long way to improving somebodies desire to learn and to then come back for further advice.
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