A Scrub's Journey to Greatness: Clock Management Techniques

Hey guys, Andrew back with my next article in my series of how to be less of a baby seal. This time I’ll be talking about clock management. Aside from just playing faster, there are several things that everyone can do to get a few minutes back here and there on their clock in competitive games.


Don’t Start The Deployment Clock Until You Are Truly Ready

This sounds common sense, but when your opponent has his or her tackle box full of tokens and you’re still quickly trying to write your effects down and get your measuring sticks lined up, oh yea, you  need a 3” aoe or 5 because you’re playing a cloud wall, oh yea just start the clock….

Don’t do that, just take the second, let them look at you angrily as you get your stuff around (however you don’t want to take so long as to lose due to round timer, so be careful with this).

This has definitely screwed me up, so don’t panic… and don’t forget your towel.

Have Your Tokens And Measuring Widgets Pre Setup

This is somewhat redundant, but you know how to avoid the previous problem? Have your stuff pre-set up, have a tackle box full of tokens, have your movement sticks in an small pile which can be organized on your opponent’s clock, have your effects pre labelled before you walk to the table.

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Keep Your Plans Simple, And Plausible To Execute

Are you fielding some wonky Legion list that tries to assassinate every turn? Then continue on, that’s what they do, are you playing ANYTHING ELSE IN THE GAME!? Stop with those ridiculous assassination attempts where you sit in the tank for 20 minutes unless you realize you’re royally F**ked without trying it.

I’ve found the best plans are the simple ones, Kill their screen shoot the caster to death, or score one zone, stick a brick in every other one and wipe the threatening pieces, it works not because it's the best plan, but a well executed simple plan is better than a badly executed overly complex one.

Give Your Plans Leeway For Good And Bad Dice

This is another one of those common sense things, but keep it in mind. 18 on 3d6 has a 1/216 chance of happening, how many dice rolls are in a game, about 150? It happens, so does 3 on 3d6, again it happens. Have a couple extra models in place to mitigate bad dice, and have those models in range of multiple models to mitigate overly good dice.

Furthermore, take a second or two to consider the order of activations required to ensure each model has as many options as possible, or that the intended target has the highest chance of being crippled.

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Use Measuring Sticks

This sounds like a sales pitch, but seriously, having the right widgets and sticks is about 5 minutes a game, maybe 10 in a game with a wonky assassination attempt. Just make sure you have them out, and set up before you start the clock!

These are some things that just about anyone can do, hell I got access to the laser cutter at my school and cut out my own widgets, it was all the proxy bases, 3” to 14” sticks, steppers, etc, and it was just $18ish for the acrylic sheet.

Well that’s it for this week, hopefully this has given you some ideas on how to manage your clock better, what are some ideas you guys and girls have to better manage your clock (barring Git Gud memes, lol)?

Quote of the week- “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” - John Wooden