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"Your worst mistake ever in a wargame?" Topic

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Action Log

03 Jul 2018 5:22 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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940 hits since 28 May 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2018 11:49 a.m. PST

I have not seen many because I am a "solo" wargamer … but I clearly remember two that were fixed in my memory.

a) The player "canchero" (I'm not sure how this term is translated) … the one who thinks he knows all about wargames … that who is the best in everything … that who looks a superiority bordering on insult to anyone … well, this character was clearly winning when he decided to put aside his "lucky dice" and play with those of his "enemy" … as a final thrust to his sure triumph … that was the worst mistake of his life … he clearly lost a game won by far! …

b) The screamer or bully … who tends to frighten his opponent with great gestures and words at the limit of the aggression … given that his opponent is much younger, inexperienced and his look is nerdy … final … with patience and intelligence the nerd knew how to capitalize on the grandiloquent errors of his adversary (a veteran in those conflicts) and gave him an unforgettable beating … Seeing the nerd playing again … he never had such a blunt triumph again … he was very kind and even helped his opponents … with which … by treating him well, it was very possible to beat him that day …


VVV reply Inactive Member29 May 2018 12:52 p.m. PST

Giving command of my French Imperial guard to a wargamer who I did not know. They promptly marched the guard into a village filled with British rifles.

coryfromMissoula29 May 2018 1:02 p.m. PST

Massive eight player 2 day 15mm game.

Early on Saturday I was playing the far left flank and noticed cavalry on a nearby hill. I commanded our artillery as well and was distracted, but every turn I would see the cavalry growing larger and by the end of day one had begun maneuvering my entire division to deal with this flanking maneuver that was coming in drips and dribbles.

Late Sunday tempers were fraying and a player on my side demanded to know why I had spent the whole weekend lagging, spending more time moving supply wagons than troops. I pointed to the cav and he looked at me in amazement. "Those are their casualties Dumb---!"

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2018 1:30 p.m. PST

Listening to our beloved commander and marching a Confederate Corps out of a very nice line of hills to take on two Union corps awash with artillery instead of waiting for them Yankees to come at me

Legion 429 May 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

Teleporting my[Epic] Terminators too far from my Opponent's CI.huh? Those Termi Cyclone Missiles would have blown that Big Mutha' to bitz ! evil grin

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2018 2:12 p.m. PST

Oh, my, so many from which to choose. Having all my parachutists wiped out immediately upon landing on game turn one. At least it allowed me to get over to the flea market when it opened (convention game). Or leaving my Russian Cavalry exposed to the Turkish Krupp batteries. THEY didn't last very long. Or this past weekend at the play test of some SYW rules I suggested switching things up to test the rules by putting our Cavalry in the middle of our line and charging forward to sweep away our Prussian and Hanoverian opponents. Well THAT didn't work out well either. grin

whitphoto29 May 2018 2:16 p.m. PST

Starting a game of 40k with 'That Guy'.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 May 2018 2:44 p.m. PST

Cory, I feel that one!

evilgong Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2018 2:55 p.m. PST

Swapping my 15mm painted Hun and Greek armies to a guy who was moving interstate. A fortnight later I join the Uni club, only to find that 15mm ancients was their most popular game.

David F Brown

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2018 3:11 p.m. PST

Cory, we feel your pain.

My own worst is probably letting that one guy drink during a Diplomacy game, which resulted in him leaving in tears because his interpretation of a rule didn't make actually make sense, but he could not appreciate that.

My favorite to remember is when an elite commando platoon HQ entered from a certain table edge and crept across open terrain to the fence line around the objective. The player had read the scenario's deployment and reinforcement rules, and knew that the enemy had patrols off-map that could enter from any table edge.

A player from the other side looked at those rules again, and confirmed with me, sotto voce, that he could have a squad enter from any table edge. So on the next activation, an enemy squad entered from the same table edge as the elite commando platoon HQ, got into cover well within short range of the HQ squad, and nearly wiped them out to the last man with gauss rifles and a plasma gun.

vicmagpa129 May 2018 4:35 p.m. PST

MY MOST MEMORABLE, THE NAPOLEONIC Italian ARMY COVERING RIGHT FLANK. We used a computer generated system.

general Pino set up the right flank.
My Italian 5th line took one shot and ran away. 5000 man regiment took one shot and ran! The French only looked away for a moment and then was left holding the bag. The Italian Horse artillery took over 10 shots and stood. could not hold back those dam Russians.

Personal logo T Callahan Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2018 5:34 p.m. PST

My worst mistake was when in a Command Decision game. We placed a one foot long hidden checkerboarded minefield on the map board. At one point I pointed at the position of the mine field as one of the German players was advancing on with a column of PZV's. Immediately realizing my mistake I pulled my hand back and looked at my playing partner sheepishly. He said "You didn't just do that did you?" I nodded yes and changed the subject.

The other player proceeded to freeze not moving his 15 tanks for the next five turns or so. The GM threatened to take the tank unit away if he didin't get a move on. So he moved onto the minefield and lost the first five tanks that tried to cross it.

He then moved down the line to the board's edge and found an open spot two inches wide between the table edge and the minefield, thus flanking our position. But by that point it was too late for the Germans.

My partner and I almost outsmarted ourselves by being stingy with our minefield leaving that gap.

We always have a good chuckle about how the other player froze for five turns and lost the game.

Another time I got in trouble pointing at the table was in a Johnny Reb game. I pointed at the point where my command and another player's command came together. The Union players saw me do that and immediately commenced to attack that point. It was a disaster for the Confederates.


darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2018 7:55 p.m. PST

Late Sunday tempers were fraying and a player on my side demanded to know why I had spent the whole weekend lagging, spending more time moving supply wagons than troops. I pointed to the cav and he looked at me in amazement. "Those are their casualties Dumb---!"

That's awesome, Cory. :D

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2018 7:56 p.m. PST

Great topic, Tango. Nice to see you start one with some personal anecdotes. thumbs up

Aquahog30 May 2018 1:22 a.m. PST

Cannons, crossbows and handguns? Pfft, this is Warmaster and cavalry rules the day! Approach the opposing infantry head on in their defended position! I will use column formation to squeeze as many units of knights through the gap between these woods here…

I guess there is value to having experienced one's own Agincourt on the losing side. Live and learn.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2018 1:34 a.m. PST

Believing people when they claim they "have played this before" and allow people to convince me that the flaws I noticed in a set of rules merely are figments of my imagination.

So we were testing new rules which I found overly complex and flawed.

We were going to do Agincourt, I shared the English command with another player who claimed experience with said rules. Most of things that raised a question mark above my head were brushed aside by assurances that this is how the game works.

To make a long story short the English archers (deployed in depth though it appears only the units in front were able to shoot thus leaving less than a fifth of the army able to actually do something, not that putting all the archers in the front rank was any use as archery ranges were about the size of a single element and cavalry could cover that distance several times in one bound) were able to loose a single volley which didn't even cause a "mildly inconvenienced" result on the French before they crashed into our lines and bulldozered the front rank, causing the rest of the army to run away in panic.

I'm more than happy to delegate things to a player with more experience, but when every decision they make raises logical concerns that are brushed aside with a "Hold my beer junior, I'm going to show you how this game is really played." attitude, which in turn raises more concerns …

Personal logo FingerandToeGlenn Sponsoring Member of TMP30 May 2018 6:38 a.m. PST

In the original Avalon Hill Gettysburg (squares and different sized unit counter), I attacked with Pickett--backwards. Always remember your facing, cadet.

DrSkull30 May 2018 8:26 a.m. PST

Entering a Warhammer Ancients tournament, having never actually played a game of it before.

rmaker30 May 2018 10:34 a.m. PST

Several different conventions games where the GM spent most of the time allotted "explaining" the rules and the scenario. My mistake – not walking away.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2018 12:03 p.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friend!. (smile)


Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP31 May 2018 5:10 a.m. PST

Playing a specific game at a con with a group that had already demonstrated, the previous year, that they didn't really want walk-up players and were not beginner friendly, despite such statements in the event listing.

Forgetting to bring rulers to a con for the second year in a row, so DOM had to print and tape together some rules for my game. Over a decade ago, and yet last week, she still had sarcasm in her voice when she asks about whether or not I had rulers available.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2018 12:41 p.m. PST

CLS game with restricted visibility, going forward in column with a thick skirmisher screen. Reasonable historically, but I was caught in a "moot melee" by hostile cavalry accidentally on purpose colliding with me during simultaneous movement. Got out of it, but with serious losses. What really stung was that I remembered--too late!--having made the identical mistake 10+ years before.

CSherrange01 Jun 2018 6:58 a.m. PST

Leaving guys in the open in Bolt Action games praying for first die- Never works :(

Using plotted movement for sailing ships write port instead of starboard for maneuvers.

Flying off the board in XWing because i mixed up dials. And flying off because i choose a red maneuver while stressed.

(cant remember the rules) But it was a colonial game. You did better the lower you rolled. Accidentally used a d3 instead of a d6 for about the first 15 turns. Luckily everyone had a good laugh and an amazing story about the crackshot immortals i commanded :)

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 12:08 p.m. PST

Playing an entire game requiring a 10D and near the end of the game noticed that I had been rolling a 4D.

etotheipi, I had the same thing happen to me but I was able to borrow a tape measurer. I have always wondered why vendors do not sale tape measures?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Jun 2018 3:56 a.m. PST

I have always wondered why vendors do not sale tape measures?

I should suggest that to the sponsors of the cons I go to. Buy a big bucket of cheap tape measures at the Dollar Store and sell them for a small value, but large percentage profit at the registration desk.


OK, here's one of other people's biggest mistakes that I witnessed … Thinking it is cute that that little ten year old girl is playing in our MechWarrior tournament. DOM won the tourney and an Andromeda class dropship prize. [/Dad Brag Mode]

Old Wolfman03 Jul 2018 6:00 a.m. PST

Sometimes my worst mistake is showing up to begin with.

custosarmorum Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2018 10:17 p.m. PST

A three way tie:

Trying to figure out a melée with three or four units involved in Shock of Impact.

Playing a very neat looking set of computer-moderated computer rules (Hard Pounding, perhaps) — which had different muskets for every country and variations in moral and training — that looked very interesting but after hours of gaming (at my bachelor party no less) virtually no units had moved and nary a casualty was caused by nearly a dozen batteries between the two sides.

Trying to play a large corps-sized game using Fire and Steel which were great for a couple of brigades or a division but not huge battles and then deciding to switch to Empire, doh!

As far as other's mistakes, watching a friend learn about "hold canister" the hard way in his first game of Colunm, Line, and Square!

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