Thursday, August 23, 2018

Wargaming Cheat Sheets

Book keeping has always been an inescapable part of wargaming. From spells to special rules to command abilities, no matter what army or game you're playing theres always a lot to keep track of when you're playing your game, and sometimes this can lead to mistakes. What's the easiest way to make sure you don't forget that vital spell? A cheat sheet of course!

We've all done it. You're playing your game and then all of a sudden you realize you forgot something important last turn. If it's not too late and you have an understanding opponent you can often just go back and do it, but if you're playing in a competitive environment you would need to be more accountable for yourself. Even in friendly games you don't want to keep forgetting the same rule over and over again.

In AoS Warscroll cards go a long way towards helping with this, but even these can be supplemented a little bit. I first really ran into this issue at the dawn of AoS with my Tomb Kings. I had so many different abilities and command abilities to use each turn, and they were all pretty important to my strategy. Unfortunately, I often kept forgetting things and with my first AoS tournament coming up I knew I needed to keep it all straight. While I could have just gone ahead and printed out a piece of paper with the relevant rules on it, I instead made a set of ability cards that covered ever command ability, basic ability, and spell in the Tomb Kings army. At the start of each game I would just pull out the cards relevant for the units I was using and hold onto them at the start of each turn. When it came to my hero phase I would look at all of the cards in my hand and use them one at a time, often laying them down next to the unit I was using it on, and then putting the ones no longer usable off to the side. This way I could see in front of me exactly what rules I had left to play.

On the other end of the spectrum you can always do something much simpler. When I first played the Idoneth Deepkin I was concerned about forgetting their Tides of Death rules, so I jotted them down on a piece of paper and had it next to the table and in my field of view. This made sure I played all of the rules right and in the correct order.

Between these two methods are a ton of different options. If I were to make something like this for the Deepkin or the Daughters of Khaine to use in ongoing games I would probably design something on a single page and laminate it. You could also just use index cards, or a more simple typed print out of the rules that's laminated. For my Nurgle Demons I have the Wheel of Corruption from the Blightwar set, which is a wonderful little trinket to use. If I didn't have that I would probably have made something similar for myself. These little cheat sheets are just another extension of all of the varied tokens and such that we already use to keep track of ongoing abilities in our games. Even if you're experienced with your army it doesn't hurt to have something like this on hand. In the midst of a tournament when you only have so much time to play your game it's easy to forget stuff. If the army is new to you then I would definitely recommend using a cheat sheet, especially in tournaments. You don't want to be slowing down the game by constantly checking through your various books. With the addition of realm rules as well as spells and artifacts for those realms it wouldn't be a bad idea to make something similar for them as well.

I have a tournament coming up in October that I plan on taking my Nighthaunt too. I already have the warscroll cards, but I will probably make something up like my Tomb Kings cards as well so I have all of the different abilities and spells in front of me and can discard them as they're used.

Though I used AoS as my example for this article, the idea of cheat sheets applies equally to 40k and all other wargames as well. Do you use cheat sheets for your own army? What style or format do you use?

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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