Thursday, March 24, 2011

Strategery of the winning variety

I play a lot of games.  I know, big surprise, right?

As I play games repeatedly, I often start to develop new strategies for those games.  Sometimes strategies develop over time.  Sometimes I think of a crazy idea and try it out.  Sometimes I read up on strategies online.

The point is, I'm always trying to further my game, to get better, to refine my skills.

Usually, though, when I discover a new strategy that works, I share it with my gaming group.  Okay, i'm not super-nice - I usually try out the strategy at least once without letting on my ideas or discoveries.  But after that, I let 'em know how I whacked 'em.

Sure, there's a gloat factor, but the truth is, I don't see the point of keeping a single winning strategy to myself. Sure, letting on my secrets to other players can take away an advantage, but I feel like the benefits far outweigh the consequences.

First of all, sharing strategies encourages other players to share their strategies as well.  The end result is that the overall skill level of the whole group rises as we learn to approach a game from all different perspectives or angles.  My own approach becomes far more well-rounded, not limited to a single line of thought.

This also forces me to continually seek out creative ways to approach each game.  I can't rely on a simple golden strategy, which to me seems a little cheap anyways.  If you have some secret that the other players don't know, that doesn't necessarily make you a better player - it just means you have an extra piece of knowledge that keeps you ahead. 

Leveling the playing field by sharing strategies means I have to continually use my brain to think, to strategize.  It keeps each game fresh just by requiring me to stay on my feet.  I always have to get better, to learn.  It's always a challenge to win, and I don't always do so.

But games are not all about me winning.  They're about getting together with a group of guys and/or girls and enjoying each others company while playing a game.  I like the challenge and I like keeping it even so others always have a chance to win.

Every time I introduce new players to a game, I try to go over a few important strategies so they don't get totally lost or overwhelmed in the first play.  Obviously I can't go into detail about every possible strategy I know of, but it can help to give them a little push-start.

I know that some people really like to win, and keep their strategies tight-lipped.  As for me, I just think it's more fun when everyone is playing on an even level. Plus, I love to learn new strategies or approaches from other players.  Sure there are some situations where I wouldn't blabber out all my thoughts - for example, if I was in a tournament, or even during a game, I'm not going to flesh out my exact plans for everyone.  But after a good game, I like to go over what happened, so everyone can gain a little something.

So what about you guys?  Do you keep your strategies a secret or do you share with your gaming groups?  Do you ever keep one secret hidden back as a secret weapon while you share the rest?  Leave a comment with your thoughts!

Oh, one more question - do you think iSlaytheDragon needs a facebook page?  Let me know.  Also in the comments.


  1. I share strategy after games, not during. My friends and I will talk a game to death when it's over, but we're tight lipped competitors during the game...unless someone does something truly boneheaded in game... then...we're pretty vocal about it.

  2. I like to share strategy points, especially with new players. I'll help new players during the game (especially new players who aren't familiar with hobby board games), but otherwise I typically wait until after the game to share strategy points with other players.

    Also, for what it's worth, I subscribe via RSS, so Facebook wouldn't make a difference for me.

  3. Yeah, I'm like you. After just about any game, my group will briefly discuss the strategies we tried - especially what worked and what didn't. If I won, I'll tell my secrets. And if I didn't, I'll point out what other people did to masterfully upset my victory. :)

  4. I think sharing strategies after games is a good idea, unless a player does need help during then it's not a bad idea to gives tips. Obviously giving tips without showing your hand, still I don't think I've ever had a golden strategy that I could share with others. Maybe telling them my strategy after a game could still encourage ideas and new strategies though.

  5. Also, I think I Slay The Dragon should get a Facebook page. Do it!!!!


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