Casual Multiplayer and Threat Assessment
I’ve been meaning to do an article on threat assessment in casual multiplayer ever since I saw someone that only rolled dice to attack, regardless of anything else happening during the game. If you rolling dice for attacking and are not playing Ruhan of the Famori or rolling dice for targeting and are not playing Grip of Chaos, please, please stop. Just because we are playing casually does not mean threat assessment isn’t a requisite skill for everyone to learn. Good threat assessment makes for better and more fun games for the players who aren’t the threat. Bad threat assessment often leads to the player who least deserves winning winning because no one targeted or attacked them when they should have, and everyone else having something less than a good time. So even if you are a casual player, don’t think that threat assessment isn’t something you need to think about in games. Give this a read. And if you know players who don’t consider it as often as they should, consider gently letting them know some of the points I’ll illustrate below on how proper threat assessment can actually make their games more fun for almost everyone involved.
I know a lot of players feel strongly against threat assessment in casual multiplayer - that it’s not needed, that even if it is you shouldn’t fault players for their poor threat assessment or complete lack of it (i.e., they use a random method to make their decisions even when not running the aforementioned Ruhan or Grip of Chaos), that you should only focus on your own play and not everyone else’s. These are all valid points, and certainly there s a thin line between trying to teach players correct threat assessment and talking down to them or between explaining to players the negative results of their poor or no threat assessment and yelling at them in your frustration. I’ve seen and done mostly the latter of those, unfortunately. But even though players who care about threat assessment and try to be good at it are often poor at talking to everyone else without being rude, it doesn’t change the fact that it is pretty important to learn it. As I hope my explanations and examples will illustrate, poor or lack of threat assessment can lead to unfun games for yourself and the other players who didn’t win because of your actions. Of course, the player who wins because of that threat assessment won’t mind at all.