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gronnelg

Does Jack Armstrong need to be nerfed?

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He wins pretty much anything he attends to. I was under the impression that amongst the guys at the top, there was a bit of luck involved - as to who got an easier route during the 5 games, or having some lucky dice during a clutch game. 
But not Mr. Armstrong. He just strides through with his... Strong Arms! 
Is he really that far ahead of everybody else?

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Naw you don't nerf people at that stage - you make an icon of them! You let them win and win and build up the god-like worship of them and then he markets himself out like mad - the JA T-Shirt; coffee mug; mousepad; game ruler etc...  Along the way he gains sponsors from big names in the market such as GW, Battlefoam, KR, that company that makes those little counters on ebay etc.... 

Once he attains near god-hood he either takes a crushing defeat that suddenly sets him up for a slide into nothing - continual defeats and being forgotten. 
OR - he retires from competitive gaming whilst he's ahead. Then he starts up a patreon or youtube or something and you pay for tutorials; then there's the weekend retreat at a fancy hotel where he gives a select few even more in depth teaching of his winning method.

At that stage he also becomes a "guest of honour" and gets invited to judged painting competitions, events and the like. Being interviewed by all the big-name youtube and twitch channels. 

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For people who do not know who Jack is - He's one of the best players ever and constantly does well at events (and I think he was the first player to get the magic 400 score in the rankings).

1 hour ago, gronnelg said:

Is he really that far ahead of everybody else?

I know this is tongue in cheek but just to turn it into a interesting discussion...

I think the reason he is such a good player is because he constantly plays. Somehow he is able to get regular games quite often (even being married and having children) and I think this is the secret. If you look at any of the players that do well in an event, most of them get chance to play a lot of games.

Yes some luck is involved but I think having the experience to recognise situation, assess the risk and deal with it helps massively. 

I also suspect Jack is actually the Chuck Norris of the Warhammer Scene and occasionally looses because the world is not ready for him to operate at 100%

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27 minutes ago, Gaz Taylor said:

 

I also suspect Jack is actually the Chuck Norris of the Warhammer

 

I heard he sneezed the realms in existence..

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I think the other thing is that wargamers are notoriously bad at talking about playing the game 

There's a few subjects we talk about super well - painting, model building, army list building. 

Then there's those that are sort of known but a bit harder to find info on like higher level sculpting and casting - the info is out there you just have to hunt a bit more and ask the right person.

 

Then right at the bottom there's actual playing of the game and tactics - this is almost impossible to find detailed info on and really hard to start threads or discussions on. You can get a few general comments like "go for the objectives"; but otherwise this area is super poorly understood at a higher level. I think its because it requires actual writing in detail and often diagrams to show and oddly the youtube scene just hasn't picked up on the gap in the market to fill. Partly I think its because even at the top end a lot of players are more "trial and error/instinctive" players so they don't really formally know what they are doing to put the theory into clear words to teach another. 

This creates a huge potential skill gap because there's fewer ways and means to advance ones skill through external sources; its all down to personal self teaching, self assessment and playing LOTS of games against good players. So its not just playing lots; its playing lots against challenges and its playing with a mind to being self critical of the game - of seeing what went wrong, understanding why it failed; of finding new approaches and new ideas etc... So really its bringing together a lot of critical and assessment thinking coupled to repeated experiences and such.

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Totally agree with you @Overread. I think it's easy in a podcast or Youtube event coverage to say "Go for Objectives" but not everybody can visualise that. I think it would be cool to have a 'masterclass' type video where a turn of a game is talked about by the players so we get an idea of what they were doing. Problem is, I imagine that this is a fair bit of work as well as difficult to watch as some viewers may get bored depending on how much detail it goes into.

I think the key thing about getting better, is to play more games and try to play against the best players you can. Are you beating everybody at your local club? Try another club as well or arranging games further afield. 

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I think the boredom issue is overblown, people will spend hours watching chess games and most of that is staring at a board that doesn't move for hours ;) 
I think its more that there's a lot of work involved, you've got to set things up well, explain them, understand the game formally (this is a big weak area) and you've got to have skill in the game too. I think its an area that is just way under supported - even GW doesn't really push it either and they are firing out articles and videos on the game all the time now. 

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Posted (edited)

 

48 minutes ago, Overread said:

I think the boredom issue is overblown, people will spend hours watching chess games and most of that is staring at a board that doesn't move for hours ;) 
I think its more that there's a lot of work involved, you've got to set things up well, explain them, understand the game formally (this is a big weak area) and you've got to have skill in the game too. I think its an area that is just way under supported - even GW doesn't really push it either and they are firing out articles and videos on the game all the time now. 

I agree from a content point of view it’s harder to create. But I would like to throw into the mix that there are probably few players that do have the gaming skill and the willingness to invest that time. 

If you play regularly, manage personal life, have a job, etc it’s hard to find the time if it doesn’t pay for itself in some way. 

Likewise it’s all so situational that it’s hard to do a instructional series. You could teach skills but how many episodes could you make until you end up repeating the same skills in different scenarios or just highlighting different potential synergies in isolation? 

EDIT: But if someone is looking to do so and wants someone to bounce ideas with on the video/content side of things I would be interested in that. 

Edited by Kramer

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1 hour ago, Overread said:

I think the other thing is that wargamers are notoriously bad at talking about playing the game 

There's a few subjects we talk about super well - painting, model building, army list building. 

Then there's those that are sort of known but a bit harder to find info on like higher level sculpting and casting - the info is out there you just have to hunt a bit more and ask the right person.

 

Then right at the bottom there's actual playing of the game and tactics - this is almost impossible to find detailed info on and really hard to start threads or discussions on. You can get a few general comments like "go for the objectives"; but otherwise this area is super poorly understood at a higher level. I think its because it requires actual writing in detail and often diagrams to show and oddly the youtube scene just hasn't picked up on the gap in the market to fill. Partly I think its because even at the top end a lot of players are more "trial and error/instinctive" players so they don't really formally know what they are doing to put the theory into clear words to teach another. 

This creates a huge potential skill gap because there's fewer ways and means to advance ones skill through external sources; its all down to personal self teaching, self assessment and playing LOTS of games against good players. So its not just playing lots; its playing lots against challenges and its playing with a mind to being self critical of the game - of seeing what went wrong, understanding why it failed; of finding new approaches and new ideas etc... So really its bringing together a lot of critical and assessment thinking coupled to repeated experiences and such.

I would agree with this.  The community is very very barren in terms of detailed reports and and detailed blogs or youtubes discussing an actual game and what goes into an actual game and how to improve.

Sports we have film we review.  Age of Sigmar, we have "don't forget the objectives, use screens, and good luck".

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1 hour ago, Gaz Taylor said:

Totally agree with you @Overread. I think it's easy in a podcast or Youtube event coverage to say "Go for Objectives" but not everybody can visualise that. I think it would be cool to have a 'masterclass' type video where a turn of a game is talked about by the players so we get an idea of what they were doing. Problem is, I imagine that this is a fair bit of work as well as difficult to watch as some viewers may get bored depending on how much detail it goes into.

1 hour ago, Overread said:

I think its more that there's a lot of work involved, you've got to set things up well, explain them, understand the game formally (this is a big weak area) and you've got to have skill in the game too. I think its an area that is just way under supported - even GW doesn't really push it either and they are firing out articles and videos on the game all the time now. 

Interesting that you are both saying that as I was thinking similar from a painting perspective the other day (although we do have painting courses available which sort of cover this).

I do think that time is one of the biggest factors, video or article editing requires a huge commitment of it which most of us would rather invest in hobby.  One of the other things I feel contributes is that some people aren't natural teachers / public speakers.  At work we've done a number of training videos and got a number of people in to present them.  The person who was the most engaging was the chap who was formally a teacher at a secondary school, even though he probably knew the least about the subjects, he was hugely more interesting to watch.

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3 hours ago, gronnelg said:

Strong Arms

Haha, i stalked his twitter once , saw his arms - name checks out.

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Posted (edited)

Oh lord, what is happening here? His head is big enough already 😂

Don't know what all the fuss is about tbh - why is anyone surprised that a guy who is good at the game and only plays the best lists in the meta at the time is winning events? 😋😉

Give the man some Ironjawz and watch the Jack shaped empty space in the crowd during the awards when he doesn't win a trophy.

Edited by VonSmall
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kramer said:

Likewise it’s all so situational that it’s hard to do a instructional series. You could teach skills but how many episodes could you make until you end up repeating the same skills in different scenarios or just highlighting different potential synergies in isolation? 

EDIT: But if someone is looking to do so and wants someone to bounce ideas with on the video/content side of things I would be interested in that

You'd have a surprising amount of content as long as the way you present it is open enough that you can go into details and variations down the road. 

For example, there's a big difference between having a mindset of playing the objectives, and having the mindset of playing the objectives while getting tabled//playing a specific faction. (The current approach I tend to advertise when facing tabling is the "slow death", where you'll push the most out of your models before they die, and just be a pain to kill) -- but I digress. You'd have enough for at least a year, and then GW updates the GHB, which gives an additional half a year, assuming you don't have to go then also go back and adjust a majority of the earlier things you've talked about. Assuming 4 videos a month. 

 

Edit: Oh, and Jack has to be nerfed. There's no way to beat him. Broken player. Deals a gigabazzilion objective damage over the course of the game, and there's no counterplay.

GW has clearly written his rules to get as many people to buy the Jack Armstrong model as possible. Booo! 

;)

Edited by Mayple
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1 hour ago, RuneBrush said:

 The person who was the most engaging was the chap who was formally a teacher at a secondary school, even though he probably knew the least about the subjects, he was hugely more interesting to watch.

Agreed, teaching in itself is a skill and some of the best teachers of a subject may not know the most about it; but they know enough to set others off on the right track and to present the information in a way that is easy to absorb. Of course the next level on is reading people. Some teachers can teach but they can't read people in a face to face situation - others have that rare skill that they can teach but also read a person so they can spot when a person really is getting it; when they are tired; when they are actually struggling etc.... all before the person even asks (because not everyone who struggles asks for help or always realises that they are struggling to grasp a concept). 

 

I guess one core issue is that wargames hasn't got much money behind it outside of manufacture. Heck even on the company end the only company really pushing media is GW (and fair is fair to them they are pushing multimedia interaction HARD because I think they realise there's thus huge gap too). So because there isn't money floating around to grasped the same way we don't get the same setups that video games and even magic get. They have classes you pay for to learn ;they have courses and books; they ahve detailed videos etc... They've built the culture up around themselves and the top companies ahve pushed it. GW hasn't pushed it so Wargaming in itself never really developed it. Heck the Kirby Dark Ages GW was pulling back more and more from customer and community interaction - all around it video games were getting on TV and Magic was getting bigger and GW - GW was shying away from it all. Even now they are only getting their feet wet and have a long way to go. 

 

PS I'm aware there are other wargames and markets (Eg historical) though I think overall GW is the most profitable in general and the most influential - at least in the wargaming for fantasy and sci-fi market. 

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Posted (edited)

Of course we can nerf him. Forcing him to play subpar if not terrible lists, giving him less playtime or preventing him to sleep in a 2/3 days tournament are a good start.

We can also forcing him to play a drinking game (like one shot every time a unit is destroyed, another at the end of each turn...) and see how does he fare in the last game of the day.

And i'm sure seeing hom a drunk and sleep-deprived Jack Armonstrong playing would rack more twitch viewers than every warhammer tv finals combined

Edited by ledha
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10 hours ago, Overread said:

I think the boredom issue is overblown, people will spend hours watching chess games and most of that is staring at a board that doesn't move for hours ;) 
I think its more that there's a lot of work involved, you've got to set things up well, explain them, understand the game formally (this is a big weak area) and you've got to have skill in the game too. I think its an area that is just way under supported - even GW doesn't really push it either and they are firing out articles and videos on the game all the time now. 

This is a bit odd because if you go back to the battle reports from the 90s they used this type of format.  They showed where the models were positioned with icons.  They showed how the units moved each turn using arrows.  And they showed who died by dropping little red X markers over the individual model icons.  They did less with pretty pictures of the table and more with stylized top-down diagrams that are at home in a historical battle account.

It would be neat if people could make battle reports or tactics tutorials with that method.  I would prefer to read that than watch most of the battle videos that I have seen on youtube.

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I think its important to remember is that if Jack Armstrong needs to be nerfed, well, that is entirely GW's fault. 

Clearly GW doesn't know how to write rules and they don't playtest their games and their playtesters don't know how to play and they can't balance battletomes and their models are too expensive and the points are way off and they can't keep Jack Armstrong in check and they hate the swarming throngs of millions of Bretonnia players and they don't know how to run their tournaments and they don't care about Matched Play and they don't communicate with their fans and Open Play is just muckin' about and they killed my Tomb Kings and AoS has no fluff and they they retconned the Eye of Terror campaign and their last ad wasn't funny and their paints come in pots, not dropper bottles and everything is Kirby's fault and they nerfed my army and something about Thunderers and they hate my Grand Alliance and the Kunnin' Ruk isn't fun to play and they blew up the world and I burned my army and...and...

...that about covers it.  Please let me know if I've forgotten anything!

😀

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1 hour ago, Kamose said:

I think its important to remember is that if Jack Armstrong needs to be nerfed, well, that is entirely GW's fault. 

Clearly GW doesn't know how to write rules and they don't playtest their games and their playtesters don't know how to play and they can't balance battletomes and their models are too expensive and the points are way off and they can't keep Jack Armstrong in check and they hate the swarming throngs of millions of Bretonnia players and they don't know how to run their tournaments and they don't care about Matched Play and they don't communicate with their fans and Open Play is just muckin' about and they killed my Tomb Kings and AoS has no fluff and they they retconned the Eye of Terror campaign and their last ad wasn't funny and their paints come in pots, not dropper bottles and everything is Kirby's fault and they nerfed my army and something about Thunderers and they hate my Grand Alliance and the Kunnin' Ruk isn't fun to play and they blew up the world and I burned my army and...and...

...that about covers it.  Please let me know if I've forgotten anything!

😀

This post is a masterpiece, you should feel very proud!

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3 hours ago, Kamose said:

I think its important to remember is that if Jack Armstrong needs to be nerfed, well, that is entirely GW's fault. 

Clearly GW doesn't know how to write rules and they don't playtest their games and their playtesters don't know how to play and they can't balance battletomes and their models are too expensive and the points are way off and they can't keep Jack Armstrong in check and they hate the swarming throngs of millions of Bretonnia players and they don't know how to run their tournaments and they don't care about Matched Play and they don't communicate with their fans and Open Play is just muckin' about and they killed my Tomb Kings and AoS has no fluff and they they retconned the Eye of Terror campaign and their last ad wasn't funny and their paints come in pots, not dropper bottles and everything is Kirby's fault and they nerfed my army and something about Thunderers and they hate my Grand Alliance and the Kunnin' Ruk isn't fun to play and they blew up the world and I burned my army and...and...

...that about covers it.  Please let me know if I've forgotten anything!

😀

I almost fell out of my seat laughing when I got to "something about Thunderers".

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19 hours ago, Overread said:

Then right at the bottom there's actual playing of the game and tactics - this is almost impossible to find detailed info on and really hard to start threads or discussions on.

This is a factor in part of my response to the Community Survey.  I suggested that they do battle reports where they take an aspect of tactics and the associated rules and really drill into it in the article. Explain in painful detail how the rule works and how the player used it to his or her advantage. Over the course of a year, readers could build quite a playbook of in-depth understanding of tips and tricks.

On the topic that started this thread, I have this to say -

First off, and this is important, I don't know Jack Armstrong. I have never heard of Jack Armstrong. I have never heard anything about Jack Armstrong. None, and I mean none, of what follows should in any way be taken as a comment on the person Jack Armstrong.

Now then, I have observed two things (many, actually, but two for this topic) over the decades that I believe can be factors in a player becoming and staying dominant. These are two things that are in addition to skill, knowledge, and so on and are not meant to say that a player exhibiting either one or both of these things is not skilled.

1) Confidence. Having a clean look, firm handshake, clear voice, and an overflowing display of belief in what one is saying and how it is said can go a loooooong way in deflecting any attempt to question a move, action, or statement. Even if a player such as this is not cheating on purpose, little things he or she gets wrong can be overlooked or go uncorrected. This leads to wins, which feeds the confidence, and so on.  Some players consciously use this strength of personality to push things through, dominating their opponents socially. Some are just naturally dominant. Either way, these players don't face as many "are you sure about that" moments because people don't question their confidence.

2) Celebrity. A player gets a reputation for really knowing their stuff and gets the benefit of the doubt in future games, even from judges often times. Once you have developed the reputation for being a great player, people are less inclined to think you are making a mistake. You can see the effect of something similar to this in baseball. A pitcher like Greg Maddox used to miss the strike zone lots and still get the call because "well, Greg is a veteran and knows what he is doing. He wouldn't miss the zone, so give him the call." In our hobby, if you know that the guy across the table is one of the authors of the rules, or has won several tournaments, their opponents may question themselves and not bother to point out things they think are being played wrong ("Surely I must be the one in error. He wouldn't mess that up. This is him after all."). It's not fair, but it happens, and it makes it harder and harder to fail. It's sort of a snowball effect.  Once "he must be right" gets going, it's hard to stop.

 

Dunno. Just a thought.

Again, I don't know Jack Armstrong and this is not directed at him.

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Very amusing thread - yes I think I need comping!

Sleboda - you touch on some interesting points. I think both of the things you say are true to an extent but the way in which they manifest is slightly different.  I find lots of the time people think they have lost before we even start playing and play differently because of it.  My advice to anyone is don't play any different no matter who is across the table from you as if you start the game thinking you've lost, most likely you will.

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He should be tested prior to a tournament - Yet another Armstrong doping scandal incoming? 😋

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Omg! He showed up! Now he's gonna win this thread too! :P

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5 hours ago, Jack Armstrong said:

Sleboda - you touch on some interesting points. I think both of the things you say are true to an extent but the way in which they manifest is slightly different.  I find lots of the time people think they have lost before we even start playing and play differently because of it.  My advice to anyone is don't play any different no matter who is across the table from you as if you start the game thinking you've lost, most likely you will.

I second this. Mentality is everything in a competitive setting, and a lot of the time matches are decided by one of the players reaching the conclusion that they are losing, and starts playing worse as a result (not on purpose of course), leading to the winning player winning even more, and removing the potential for a comeback.

Not the exact point you were making, but expanding on what I got from it ;) now for some digression. 

"I will lose this" - bad. 

"I am winning this" - bad (leads to losing sight of what can be done to make you lose)

"I can win this." - Good. 

"I can lose this." - Eh? Needs outside point of views. 

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