In most collectible games, like Magic: the Gathering and HeroClix, there are typical tactics and strategies to follow. Lots of players will look for “killer combos”–cards or miniatures you play together to win more or more quickly. (In the case of Magic: the Gathering, people often put their most tournament-capable decklists up online for others to copy and play.)
Sometimes, these combos will suit your playstyle perfectly. Other times, it will seem completely alien to play these cards or these miniatures together. It all depends on what kind of player you are–proactive or reactive.
My Personal Type
Personally, I’m much more reactive than proactive. I tend to play like a spider–camp out, weave my web, and wait for the opponent to step into my trap, while building up so much redundancy that by the time anybody realizes what a threat I am, it’s far too late for them to do anything about it. But I don’t generally attack first–I wait to be provoked into action. In multiplayer games, where I have the most fun by far, I often find myself allowing the other players to thrash each other before stepping out from behind the curtain and mopping up.
Do We Game Like We Live?
This self-knowledge led me to ponder something, though: as gamers, are our favorite strategies reflective of how we live our lives? I found out that I’m pretty reactive in real life too–I’m your ally unless you cross me, and then I am your enemy until you explain yourself. Otherwise, I try not to make enemies of people because I hate the feeling of another person being angry at me. I don’t necessarily have to have the last word, as my “mop-up” strategy implies, but I do prefer to stay out of a fight unless personally attacked. Once I’m attacked, all bets are off!
If you’re a gamer of any sort, think about this the next time you sit down to a game, and see how your tactics fit into one of these two basic types. You might just find a little self-knowledge hidden among the bits of your favorite hobbies, like I did!