20 Game Challenge

A friend from my meta Tony (our main Cryx player), started the twenty game challenge for us. Its pick a caster and play them for 20 games. You have a time frame to finish. I of course joined this challenge, at first I didn’t want to them my game got scored anyways so I decided to do it and so far have 6 out of 20 games down. My caster is Durst and so far he is pretty fun to play. I am glad I picked him up at lock and load this year. I am lacking on it. I really don’t think I am going to finish because of the League and I am slightly lazy haha.
Since I am always wanting more blog posts I asked Tony a few questions about the challenge. It took me a little bit to figure out good questions so I did not sounds lame. lol. Here is the interview questions.
The interview setting was through email.
Me: Was the twenty game challenge fully your idea? Did you hear about from someone or somewhere else?
Tony: I wish I could say it was entirely my idea but no it wasn’t.  I’m a capitalist.  The original idea came from a Chain Attack podcast, where Jay and Trever mentioned that if a player really wanted to get good with a caster they should play a 100 games with that one caster to master them. I thought 100 games a bit too extreme.
In our Boise Meta, Kyle Hoff was struggling with Cygnar.  Trent Bates and Tanner Lauerman told Kyle that he should go back to the basics and play pStryker until he got better with Cygnar.  Kyle vowed to play 20 games with pStryker before switching to another caster.  I saw significant improvement in Kyle’s games.  He protected his caster from assassination, was more aware of scenario, and generally made a lot fewer mistakes.  I remember watching one game between Kyle and Rick Freeman in particular.   The game was intense and very back and forth between pStryker and his pointy hat wearing gun mages vs the Iron Mother of Cyriss and her robotic children.  It was one of the best games I’ve seen at the game store in quite a while, and though Kyle lost, I felt he played a very solid game with few mistakes.
So I thought why not challenge the Boise Warmachine/Hordes community to do the same: Improve their game play by going 20 games with a single caster.
Me: What made you want to do the challenge?
 
Tony: I play Cryx and have always had problems running 50+ infantry in a game.  I was constantly moving models out of their leaders command range, jamming up my own charge lanes, and getting assassinated.  I also had a habit of switching casters between games and never really mastering one caster in particular. I was the Lich Lord of Many Trades but the Master of None.

So I decided to do the challenge with pAsphyxious and work on those problems.  pAphyxious is a great caster to learn Cryx with.   He teaches a player how to use Cryx’s debuffs, how to protect a medium base caster, and how assassinate by melee and spell.  At the same time, I’m working on basics like positioning, piece trading and get the most out of my units.   I’m 11 games in and have seen improvements in my own games with or without pAsphyxious.  I’m still in the process of perfecting a list that I’m really happy with, but I’m getting there. I’m really liking blood witches, bane riders and the mechithrall recursion with him.

Me: Why do you choose the time frame you did?

Tony: At first i wasn’t going to put a time limit on the challenge.  But I didn’t want anyone accepting the challenge and just take their time to get their games in.  The challenge has a purpose, which I’ll talk about below.  I also wanted a challenge that would spark interest in both our casual players and our competitive players.  Finding a happy medium between these two groups of gamers is definitely not an easy task.  Just ask any of our press gangers.
So with the help of a few people in the community, I came up with the following:
20 games in 3 1/2 months.  That’s 1.5 games per week,
Casual players should be able to easily complete the challenge in that length of time.  Competitive players will most likely complete the challenge even sooner.
Players report to me and I use our Meta’s Facebook page to track their progress.

Me: How many people do you think will actually make the challenge? (Everytime there is an event, league or challenge about half way through people seem to drop.)

Tony: Currently, 1 player, Greg Martin has successfully completed the challenge.  I’m expecting about 60% of the players to succeed, but I’m hoping the community proves me wrong.  The journeyman league that just started this week has definitely put a speed bump in the path of a few players.  However, I’ve also heard that some players are more interested in just getting their few games in for the journeyman and then getting back to the challenge.
I should also mention that  our neighbors in the Twin Falls Meta also joined in the challenge.
Me: That is awesome that a different meta wants to join as well. They are a fun meta and I have enjoyed playing game with them. As I am sure we all have. 

Me: What made you think of the patch idea?
 
Tony: If there’s one thing that gets Warmachine players interested in events like this, its SWAG.  I wanted to reward the player who completed the challenge and give them something cool to display to other players.  Patches have seem to become a thing of the past now that Privateer is passing out pins as swag.  So I decided to capitalize on the patch idea.
I found a company online that would print a custom-made patch.  I’m still in the process of finalizing the patch with them.  For example, I’m adding a gear like border to the patch, changing the text to read “River City Meta” at the top in Blue and “20 Game Challenge” at the bottom.
I like the idea of someone at a Con walking up to a player from our Meta asking what the badge is for.  It shows how “Hardcore” our Meta is.
Me: Very true, everyone can’t get enough of that swag. 

Me: What is the most common question you have been asked?
 
Tony: Here are a few of the common questions and answer asked:
  • Do I have to play all the games in a row?
    • No.   You just have to 20 games in with one caster by the end of the challenge.
  • Do tournaments games count?
    • Yes.  Standard Steamroller, Masters, and Hardcore/Softcore tournaments count.   However, tournaments that use “non traditional formats” like Spelldraft & Who’s the Boss do not count.  These not traditional formats defeat the purpose of the challenge.
  • Do games with Journeyman League count?
    • Yes, if the caster you choose for challenge is the same as the journeyman league, your games count towards your 20.
  • If I pay and fail the challenge do I still get a badge?
    • Nope.  However, when I issue the challenge again, if you failed and paid, you can take the challenge again for FREE.  The reason being the $8 entry fee is going toward purchasing the badges.  I’m expecting to have a lot of badges left over because I had to buy them in bulk (50).
  • Can I just pay you $8 and get a badge because I’ve played over 20 games with every caster in the faction over the last two years?
    • F*** NO!  Take the challenge like everyone else before I bitch slap you back into Mark 1!

Me: Wow, that is kind of interesting. I knew that there would be some really common questions, but never knew people would try to get the patch if they did not finish.

Me: What do you hope that everyone will learn from this challenge?
 
Tony: The purpose of the challenge is for a player to understand their faction and caster of choice and to improve their game play.
Some of the areas a player could l improvement on include:
  • Understanding the Caster (play style, spells, synergies, etc)
  • Controlling your clock
  • Positioning (board and model)
  • Order of Activation
  • Scenario Win
  • Caster Protection
  • List Building
  • Not to over extend
And most importantly, how to NOT get pDenny splatted by a Reckoner on her feat turn!
Players should also experiment with their list until they have a good list that they know and can play efficiently.
Again the purpose is to improve your game, not just say “I got 20 games in, achievement unlocked”.
By the end of the challenge a player should feel confident with that caster.
And as always HAVE FUN while doing so!
Me: That is good you are already seeing improvement. I feel that I am slowly getting better with Durst as well.
Me: Do you plan on doing this event again?
 
Tony: Yes, I plan on running the challenge again the same time next year.  I feel that this will give the community time to get amped up about the challenge again.
I’m also brainstorming some ideas for a NEW challenge at that I’ll run at the same time.  A new challenge means a new badge.  🙂
Tony: Thanks for your questions and posting this Tiffany!
Me: No problem, thank you for answering all my questions and doing the challenge. I hope everyone that signed up will finish their challenge and end up better players.
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