Friday, November 30, 2018

Prepare So Your Future Self Will Thank You

Preparation is a key part of success in your life, in fitness, and in wargaming.  Taking active steps toward better preparing yourself will cause your future self to thank you and make you more successful in life and on the tabletop.  Recently, The Honest Wargamer launched their Workbook which I worked through as part of the preparation for an upcoming two-day event I am attending.  As I gave it a read through I began to feel silly for never having thought to prepare so fully for an event.  You have likely seen my article series "Life Lessons and Wargaming" that takes lessons we learn in life and how to relate it to our wargaming hobby.  Usually looking at Goals, being motivated, and developing dedication and habits to reach your goals.  I never looked at being properly prepared in for a Warhammer event before, but I plan to remedy that today.

The reason I felt so silly after reading through the Workbook was the realization that I spend a lot of energy being prepared in every other aspect of life and enforcing those habits within myself.  When it comes to life I balance my checkbook, layout budgets, buy groceries, lay out my clothes for the following day, I do the laundry, feed the cats and always keep an updated list of home repairs and improvements.  In fitness, I prep my all my Breakfasts and Lunches for the week, pack my gym bag after I put my dirty clothes in the hamper, scoop out my protein powder and supplements for the next day and do my best to get to bed early.  In my wargaming hobby, I make sure to plan out my blog, have enough time to paint my armies, and set aside plenty of time and energy to prepare for any events I run

When it came to playing in wargaming events I would read the battletome, glance over the pack, paint up anything I needed, and get a few games of practice in if I found the time.  I once felt happy with this level of preparation, but not anymore.  I never leave my house without knowing where my next meal will come from and that I have enough gas in my car, but I haven't been willing to put forth any energy to make sure I am ready for a weekend of Warhammer with friends.  Two days of time away from my home and wife is a commitment of time, money, and energy much like everything else.  Looking back at it I was squandering my chances of doing well at the event and ensuring I give my opponents my best possible games.  I do not want to imply I had a bad time at any event I have attended as I have always had a fantastic time throwing dice for a weekend, but I wasn't respecting the time or money I was investing in terms of playing to my best ability.

After setting aside a few hours during my week I sat down and read through the event pack a few times and began taking notes.  I already knew what army I was taking as I have been playing them for the past year so I know very well how it functions and how it plays, but I only looked at it within a bubble of sorts.  I took notes on how my army would tackle each scenario and if I would be aggressive or defensive and how I planned to deploy my army so I would not end up simply reacting to my opponent but instead following my plan.  I looked at the secondary and tertiary objectives and broke down which ones I could get accomplish without trying and which ones were an uphill battle.  I even went so far as to look at the realm rules, features, and spells to find the threats and note how they might possibly assist me in my games.  Even though I have no casters in my list I know which realm spells I need to stop if my opponent goes to cast them in our game.

The result of realizing my failure to ever properly prepare for an event I play in was to immediately adjust my habits and as of now with a week to go before the event I feel more prepared to play than I ever have in my time in this hobby.  In truth, I already feel accomplished because I am giving it my all and even if I come up short I can fail knowing I tried to my fullest potential and will be energized to try again.

Just as my future self gives my past self thanks for preparing my food and not having that last drink that will make me feel worse in the morning it will now give my past self thanks for preparing and printing out my notes to have at the event.  I am excited to see how it all goes and to know what other bits of preparation I am still missing that I can adjust for in the next event and my preparation.

Happy Hobbying.

Chuck Moore