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Gunnery Sergeant
Active Since: Mar 5, 2012
Last active: 1mons 29days ago

Awards and Achievement Stats

Highest Score:
Highest Rank:
Total Medals:

Rank and Stats

Rank Image
Rank: Gunnery Sergeant
Class: Grunt
Score: 1871
Honor: 79(366)
Diplomacy: 1000(0)
Games: 5992
Turns Taken: 51406


Tournament Organizers Image
MajCom Play Testers Image
Cosa Nostra Image
The Wiki Bar Image
Opponents defeated: 7733
Current streak: 0
Longest win streak: 33
Longest losing streak: 100


Map - Philippines - Gold Medal ImageMap - Classic Massive - Onyx Medal ImageMap - British Isles - Gold Medal ImageMap - Evolved - Onyx Medal Image

Tour Of Duty Ribbons

Event: The Changing of the Guard Tour Of Duty Badge Image

Service Awards

Onyx Donor Service Award ImageTourney Master Bronze Service Award ImageTourney Master Silver Service Award ImageTourney Master Gold Service Award ImageTourney Master Onyx Service Award ImageMap Playtester Service Award Image


Age: 44
Gender: Male
Location: Elk Grove Village, IL
Favorite Settings: Escalate / One / Anywhere
Favorite Map: Classic Massive
Interests: Sylvan Esso (Durham, NC)
Quote: Malazan Book of the Fallen


Fri Dec 4 19:35:59 2015
August 6th, 2012

"Courage is looking fear right in the eye and saying, get the hell out of my way, I have things to do." -Author Unknown

Each and every one of you reading this made the decision to sign up here at Major Command. What motivation led you to be here? Why this particular brand of strategy gaming? For some, it was competitive spirit: a desire to display intelligence and assert dominance. For others, it was an an opportunity to play a beloved game which is often difficult to organize (and play to completion) in the real world. Personally, I just like bright, pretty colors and cartography.

That's not the whole truth. There have been a few times in my life that I unfolded a board, counted out plastic armies, and rolled the dice for a couple hours with friends. I've never finished a game, though. Inevitably, the guy who drank too many beers too quickly would bump into the table. Plastic would tumble helter skelter and any attempts to correct the mess would lead to disagreements. Every player had a slightly different memory of what the board had looked like. I've learned to not even try anymore, at least with my inebriated crowd.

I was glad to find Major Command. Somebody in a wildly different online game recommended it to me. I signed up on a lark, unprepared for the all consuming addiction soon to follow. Within a week, I'd bought a Commander Class subscription. Four games at a time wasn't enough. It wasn't long before I was up to forty.

This, of course, was quite the humbling experience, at least at the beginning. I lost. And lost. And lost. It wasn't until I began to read the game records of my defeats and tried out a few real time games that I fully realized the ramifications of the escalate setting. Watching games finish on a chain of eliminations and steamrolling reserve call-ups was impressive. I wanted to be that guy.

When I began playing, I took what appeared to be the obvious route to victory on the Classic Evolved map. Different commands were different colors. The map was practically begging me to grab a bonus as quickly as possible, hold it, and enjoy my troop bonus.

So that's what I did. If you're reading this, by now you probably know exactly what that got me: the eighteen game losing streak that still disgraces my profile, and an ugly score. I bottomed out to Kitchen Patrol before I finally won a game.

I turned it all around when I stopped being a command monkey. If you've never heard that term before, and it isn't obvious to you, it's a player who compulsively reaches for a command, even to his detriment. That was me.

While securing commands certainly has a great deal of importance in escalite and flat rate games, I think that chasing them in escalate games is a recipe for disaster. My experience has proven so. The more escalate games I played, the more strategies I toyed with, and I eventually found a few that worked for me. I tend to employ a combination of the following tactics, depending on how the first couple rounds shake out:

Path of Least Resistance: If I see a region with one troop in it adjacent to me, I take it. Quite often, I lose no troops. After a few rounds of this, I often find that I'm the troop leader, primarily because everyone else is going through the pain of taking regions defended by three troops, and losing half of their allowance or more each turn. They're also leaving behind regions with one or two troops in them, which I'm happy to attack. If you haven't already, try this out. It's as easy as taking candy from a baby.

Stack and Wait: If the game is nine or more players, it may not be worth burning troops early to get a card in the first round or two. I'll just spread my deployments out across the board, boosting my threes up to fours, then to fives, making myself a less appealing target. Once I've established a solid foothold, I begin my expansion.

Be Everywhere: I want to be near weak players when the reserve bonus starts to grow. An opponent with three regions totaling nine troops isn't going to be the first link in my chain of eliminations if he's on the opposite side of the board from me, and I have to go through a bunch of other players to reach him. Instead of wasting time and troops securing a command, I try to keep a region or two in every command on the board. It's easy to be in the right place at the right time if you're everywhere.

Turtle/Spider: If I'm getting abused early, and I'm already the weakest player alive in round three, I'll often pick one region and just stack and stack there, turn after turn, and refrain from attacking. A big number looks intimidating to other players, and once I have a strong presence there, I'll attack adjacent regions, advancing either one troop, or all of them. The key is to keep the stack together. With luck, and a reserve set, I can sometimes turn a weak start into a glorious chain of eliminations. Sometimes, I can start this without even turning in reserves myself at the start of my turn, simply because I already have enough concentrated force to kill somebody who holds the cards I need.

As far as Do's and Don'ts go, I've listed a number of Do's, but only one Don't. I'd opine that bad approaches outnumber good approaches by a large margin. That's another article for another day, however.

A disclaimer: Please keep in mind that my badmouthing of commands in escalate games doesn't apply to all maps, just the medium sized ones. In Classic Massive, I absolutely go after commands.

There are plenty of other lucrative approaches to attempt, but I'll refrain from transforming this article into a novel. Instead, I've decided to draw upon the wisdom of the crowd. In that spirit, I turned to the player base for input.

I sent out requests to a number of my Major Command friends to ask them how their play styles have evolved since joining this site, and many of them graciously responded. I've included all of their responses below. Thanks for reading!

"The big thing I've learned is that the map and the board dictate the strategy. Finally -I've learned this - When I lose it's the dice's faults and/or an evil plot by MajCom. When a string of rolls go my way it's an obvious testament to by cunning, leadership and daring do." -IronDuke00

"My style of play has definitely evolved since my first game on Majcom. My style for my first games was to spread myself thin and capture as many territories as I could. I can tell you, I wasn't very successful. Now, I play with patience, but am not afraid to take a "risk" when the time is right. The one strategy that has helped me to win games is to be patient and learn my opponent so I can predict their moves and plan accordingly.

I hope this is what you were looking for. See you on the maps! " -linkintheory13

"i have learned some very cool stuff playing on this site most of all patience, when i play my best is when i take it slow, i think playing BIG4NF and FLAGG and some of the other vets here is the best part of all. I don't always win but i always have fun!" -PITMAN212

"I have learned alot and am still learning. Every map, the rules to the game. They're all played differently Is it flat rate or Escalate? Play your game taking in these parameters. Follow how more experienced players play. It's not just about acquiring a region, but holding it. Watch the cards. Think a few steeps ahead. Put yourself in a position to win. " -riskyone

"I've thought about it, I can't really think of anything profound to say, sorry. " -Cardinalsrule

"Never attack your neighbours! Sounds stupid - who else can you attack? But if you get in a fight with a neighbour, that continues for rounds, both lose troops and get nowhere. So unless you can win in one or two rounds never attack.

Never be strong! When I started playing I slowly got higher rank and became a better player, but then I started to lose more games! (( 8-

Reason was I more often got to a very strong position and that forced everybody to attack me or lose. So a strong position is very often a loser position unless you are careful.

I think that is the most important." -ahungrydwarf

"wow yes absolutely learned a lot from all kinds of different players. Biggest learning has been to go slower. Not spread out too much. Be fine to only add troops and not attack. Wait and hold back. Include all aspects of the game like, when hand in cards. diplomacy. Do a lot with that. ) that is what comes to me now at this point. more may follow. good luck with the Fodder." -MH1958

"Hey mate, interesting topic... I guess the main thing I've had to learn and in fact am still learning is patience, after all, Rome wasn't built in a day! " -BIG4NF

"I've learned that there are so many great players and strategies, and you just cannot take anyone easy. I think I have learned to read when to be aggressive and when to wait. " -copusmentus



riskyone Image


Wed Apr 17 02:31:59 2024
My MC is back to points. Come back.
riskyone Image


Sun Sep 27 17:33:57 2020
100 Medals, Great accomplishment. When we are all long and gone, the Tapeworm will still be inching his way.
elricsbiscuit Image


Wed Aug 5 13:33:43 2020
Im trying, this game gets harder and harder! Thanks for the lessons and introduction to this...addicted now
brianstheman Image


Sat May 16 11:28:25 2020
Now we know who the real MC Yoda is!!! . Anyone who's read Tape's missive on MC already knew.
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