In the first two parts of this series (part one here and part two here), the focus was on teaching the beginning player. But now, your newbie is all grown up – they know the rules, are learning the cards and strategy, and are maybe even building their own decks. They may have even started to consistently beat you…
Even as your student-turned-mentee begins to evolve into an independent player, we an still facilitate their development as a player. In this article we discuss a reliable teaching tool and give a couple of real-life examples of how it can be applied.
We Learn by Doing (and failing)
Any experienced teacher would agree that the true goal of education is learning, not teaching. This is why in Chemistry class you do experiments, or in Physics you crash cars together or drop things onto the floor. Hands-on learning, where we are the ones taking the actions and making the decisions, sticks with us far more than sitting and being ‘taught’.
When playing with your student, it is important they are allowed to make their own decisions and play their own game – and, yes, make their mistakes. This is how they will learn. Certainly one of the best phrases a player (of any level) can say is “Oh I should have done XXX” or “Aw, snap, I misplayed”. As long as it wasn’t at a regional, qualifier, or worlds, it’s probably a good thing.
That said, we should rarely pass up an important teachable moment. The key is to approach in such a way that allows the learning to stick, while helping them to develop. One of the best tolls by which to accomplish this is the “Rewind”, where you pause or back up the game to show them a different option.
Rewind & Replay (and Discuss)
With this method, you let play unfold as your student chooses. Let them play as they wish and make their own decisions. Then, and only when things don’t work out the way they expected, you stop the game. Reset back to the ‘decision point’, and then talk them through the options and what the better play may have been.
Taking this approach allows your student to still ‘make the mistake’ and to see what the result of that decision was. But they also get to see how the outcome could have been different. With you slowly and supportively talking them through the logic and the thought process, they will hopefully learn from the incident, and apply that learning in their future games. Sure, no two games of Destiny are ever the same, but thought processes can certainly translate.
What follows are two real-life scenarios, re-created on TTS, that occurred while playing with a quickly developing player¹. They are presented here in the form of puzzles. To the seasoned player these may seem straightforward, but they serve as excellent examples of ‘key moments’ where the rewind-and-replay can teach card interaction, strategy, and board awareness.
As a final comment, I want to stress the importance of ‘picking your battles’, so to speak. Stopping every two minutes to correct a trivial misplay is not going to accomplish your goal; any human will naturally start to shut off their brain and allow the teacher to play for them. Let the small mistakes and misplays go for now. This tool is most effective when used at the critical moments, which in turn lead to memorable situations. In both cases below, these were game-ending scenarios. Such times carry weight; walking away the victor instead of the loser in a close game is certainly memorable.
¹ – Yes, we were actually playing Luminara – one of her favorite characters. It’s fine. Deal.
Your opponent just rolled in and is showing lethal damage in multiple ways. It is now your action; but if you don’t either win on this action or change/remove your opponent’s dice, it’s game over.
What do you do?
- You are out of resources
- You have three dice in the pool: Force Speed (showing special), Rey’s Lightsaber (showing 2 melee), and Lightsaber (showing 3 melee for 1)
- You have two cards in your hand: Rejuvenate and Force Misdirection
- You control the battlefield: Emperor’s Throne Room
You just rolled in Maz and have yet to resolve your two dice; you aren’t showing enough to kill. If Grievous rolls on the next action with his current upgrades, he has a 96.78% chance of rolling lethal damage – which your opponent can then use to kill you on their following action.
You can resolve two dice now, and will (hopefully) get one more action. After that, you’re toast. What do you do for the best chance of winning?
- You are out of resources; your opponent has 1 resource (enough to pay for a single pay side)
- You have four dice in the pool: Maz Kanata (showing focus), Maz’s Goggles (showing special), Ancient Lightsaber (showing 1 melee), and Rey’s Lightsaber (showing shields).
- Cards in your hand are not relevant; you don’t have time to re-roll and you don’t have anything that can save you
- You control the battlefield: Obi Wan’s Hut
Scenario #1 – Resolve the Force Speed special for two more actions. Then hit for 2 melee with Rey’s Lightsaber, and then claim the battlefield to flip the Lightsaber to it’s special and deal two damage. Dead Phasma!
Scenario #2 – You can resolve two dice with Maz’s ability. Resolve Maz’s focus to flip Maz’s Goggles to the 2 focus, and then resolve that die to flip your sabers to maximum damage (2 base melee on Rey’s Lightsaber and +3 melee on the Ancient Lightsaber). As long as your opponent doesn’t have Tactical Mastery or some sort of reroll/removal, you will be able to win!