30 December 2006

Wargaming and life

Today Eric and I played a Lord of the Rings wargame. I quickly realised that he had set the game up a little one sided. He had six heroes worth around 600 points and I had around 480 points worth of weak goblins and orcs and a few trolls. As you may be able to tell from the photo, there were a selection of tins and ice-cream containers joined by thin bridges. My forces were set up on each of the highpoints and the plan was for Eric to plough through my forces like a knife through butter.
I had other plans. I retreated when it was hopeless and moved up the other forces and generally caused so much havoc that he was forced to change his plans.
Only one wounded hero ended up escaping the demise of his companions.
Anyway, the point of this tale isn't just how the tables were turned, but more how the wargame we played can be a useful lesson.
At no point was any plan a sure fire winner. Each action could be thwarted by a series of good or bad dice rolls, so the aim is to increase the odds in your favour and have plenty of back up plans depending on circumstances. At some points I had good dice rolls, at others Eric rolled much better. The difference was I kept changing things so the odds at each encounter were more in my favour than Eric's.
"In life, Eric," I said, "nothing is a sure bet. You have to accept changed circumstances and plans not coming to fruition as the normal state of being. If something actually goes according to plan be grateful. Just make sure that you have options when your circumstances change. This may involve some savings, backing up your data, or even just an extra pair of underpants in your bag."
Eric nodded and added, "and be grateful for the good dice rolls."

1 comment:

Henry Cate said...

While watching TV I've commented to my children a couple times that the secret to life is having the script writer on your side.