Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Magic of Guessing Range part 2

In our last installment we talked about math and using parts of your body as reference in aiding you in guessing range. In this installment we are going discuss battle field reference points and advanced math techniques. It always helpful to have a scratch pad at your table for these techniques.

Battle Field Reference Points

This technique was garnered by watching the movie “Kingdom of Heaven.” In Warhammer Fantasy Battles you cannot pre-measure out into the field, but while you are deploying you can use a ruler to measure spacing between units and leadership radius. You know the depth of your deployment zone what you’re determining is the width. Get a rough idea where the middle of your deployment zone is. Get to know where the middle of each table quarter is. (It is real easy. In a basic game of WHFB it will be 12” in from the left or right table edges at the front of your deployment zone.) Make mental notes or written notes where these points are. Also make written or mental notes where these reference points are in your opponent’s side. (This is accomplished by drawing mental lines from your points to the front of your opponent’s deployment zone.)

Now that you have made a mental or written map where these point are you are ready to apply step two.

Advanced Mathematics

Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz” summed up the principle we are going to use: Pythagorean Theorem. It states: In any right triangle the length of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the two sides. Simply put a2 + b2 = c2. This is where we combine techniques.

Using our battle field references, we can now determine where a unit is on the field plus or minus to the closest point. So now all we do is apply a little math and we will know exactly where they are.

Example: Enemy unit is 6” out of their 12” deployment zone and 6” to your left of the center line of the table. Your Empire Mortar is at 6” in your deployment zone and 12” from your right table edge. This means that your opponent’s unit is 18” to the left of your mortar and 24” forward. This makes their unit exactly 30” away from your mortar.

Tips on These Techniques

First and foremost: work on these calculations during your opponent’s turn. This will speed up how long you take during your turn. Next you want to practice. If you practice you will increase your speed, and after a while you’ll be able to eyeball ranges. Third don’t be afraid of over or under guessing you will improve with time.

Tricks of the Trade

Tip 1 A very common occurrence in WHFB is to see your opponent measure the distance between their missile troops and your troops to see if they are in range. This measurement works both ways. So the tip is never let any measurement get wasted. If you get quick enough you’ll be able to see potential charge distances, firing distances, and other items that are considered guesses.

For example I had an opponent not believe that I was in range with a Whirlwind shot I had made, and asked me to measure it out. I measured the distance for him, but as I was doing this I made mental notes of everything that I could possibly hit.

Tip 2 Mark your deployment zone short at the beginning of the game. You can mark it short, at most, by about an inch to an inch and a half. The human eye, and most casual observers, won’t be able to tell 10 1/2” and 12” apart. It looks pretty close. If your opponent is working under the assumption that you deployed 12” in when you really deployed at 10” then you might experience a failed charge or they miss with missile troops. I’ve seen many a dwarf player do this so that they get the ability to charge.



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