Seth Owen

Seth Owen

Guest Writer

Block Wargame Strategic Principles: Being Kenny

No, not South Park’s Kenny, but the Knowing-When-to-Fold-Them guy of the Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler.” The single most common tactical error I see made by players in block games is fighting too long in a losing battle. This tendency is encouraged by the occasional exceptional run of luck or fistful of hits that can dramatically turn a battle around. Hey, it’s fun. It happens sometimes . And when it does it can be a game changer. But it’s not a strategy.

While all die rolls are not created equal, the number and nature of die rolls in nearly all block games is going to hew to the mean over the course of the game. The tactical implication is clear, if you are at a significant disadvantage in fire power and/or steps, seriously consider bugging out. Replacing lost blocks is never easy and often impossible in every block game. Even a 1CV unit provides you some options for the future. A vanished unit does not. As tempting as it may be to ask the dice to save you when you are in trouble, they probably won’t.

I usually try to arrange my battles so the true advantage for my force is not obvious to my opponent at first, so as to let the opponent indulge in his hope that the dice will save him. This may be the hardest thing to learn in block games and it really has no counterpart in hex-and-counter games, which typically don’t have multi-round combat systems where each side is constantly faced with deciding whether to retreat or fight on.

(to be continued)