10 Things I Learned About Life From War Games

For the last few months, I’ve been playing this xbox game called Happy Wars. I like pvp team combat, and this a great game for it. You get less of the “in it for themselves” snipers that you get in Battlefield, Gears of War, etc. That’s because it’s a fantasy setting, you have to be in close to kill, and the combination team skills are what will win you the match. It’s the same thing that I liked about WoW pvp settings (Arathi Basin, Warsong Gulch, etc)

I noticed that a lot of winning tactics are the same as what you see in team sports like football and basketball. They’re also similar to truisms I’ve heard about life. So in an attempt to be a douche, I’m taking what I learned from war gaming and apply it to life.

1) Speed Kills: The best team skill in Happy Wars is Group Rush. With this mass speed attack, you force the other team back on its heels. Once they start retreating, it’s hard for them to regain momentum.

Historically, you can look at the classic cavalry charge, or Nazi Germany’s blitzkrieg attack. In everyday life, it means that we are all going to die, so do the shit you want to do now. If you want it, stop dicking around and do it.

2) Fight Past Your Goal: This is a common mistake in both Happy Wars and World of Warcraft. If you want to capture a tower (or whatnot) you have to set up your front in front of it, preferably at a defensible position. If you set up at the tower, you’ll be constantly fighting for it.

In everyday life, interpret it as: try harder than what you want to achieve. Turn disappointment into motivation. Even if you fail to reach it, you’re exactly where you wanted to be. I wanted to be a novelist, so I decided that I’d try to be a famous novelist. I’m not famous, but good goddamn, I’m finishing up my second novel.

3) Work As a Team: I’ve seen it so many times in video wargames, and in live combat games like Dagorhir. A small group that works together will beat the hell out of a larger group with no cohesion. The mage does the damage, the fighter protects the mage, the cleric heals both. In Happy Wars, all it takes is an engineer and someone to protect him, and they can win in a few minutes. The losers feel stupid afterwards, and blame the rest of the team. But it’s their own fault for not working together.

From a fictional point of view, think about how comic book teams like The Avengers and The Xmen work together. If you can get your friends to work like that, you’ll win every time.

In real life, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Humans are at their best when they compliment each others’ skills.

4) Find a Buddy and Stay With Him: One of the biggest mistakes you can make in these kind of games is go off on your own. There are times when it’s inevitable, but you should do everything you can to stay with at least one partner. It allows you to outmaneuver the enemy. Historically, you see this in the early dogfights of WWI & II.

In real life, love your friends and never let them down. Some day you’ll be old and lonely. Push that back as long as you can.

5) Technology Rules but Soldiers Win the Day: I’ve seen cannons and rocket launchers completely change a match in Happy Wars, not to mention the Ultimate Weapon team skill. They can lock down a game and force a stalemate easily. The attackers throw themselves at the artillery, and they die in heaps. Engineers are freakin amazing.

In real life, social media is awesome, but hang out with people every now and then. Play some D & D, Settlers of Catan, or Cards Against Humanity instead of a video game. It’s fun, I swear. Remember, you can’t get laid over the computer.

6) Don’t Be a Douche: Don’t be the guy that curses and screams into his headphones and mic. Don’t be the guy that trolls his own team. You’re ruining it for everyone else.

I don’t think I have to explain how this applies to real life. Douchebags soon find themselves alone. See numbers 3, 4, & 5 for why that sucks.

7) Have a Plan: This goes back to #3. If a team comes out with a game plan, they will almost always win. In Happy Wars, a planned rush attack throws a less-prepared team into chaos. In sports, it does the same thing. Football (my favorite sport) is a complicated game where each play required a complicated plan. If you choose the right plan, bully. If not, you get bullied. (See what I did there?)

I plan out my days by keeping a list of what I want to do. I plan out my stories with an outline, plot point study, heroic journey analysis, and chapter by chapter walk through. This is all before I write. I don’t go anywhere without a map.

8) Protect Your Long Range Attackers: Your long range guys like mages and engineers are very important in Happy Wars, but they can’t suck up the damage. They should always have a buddy or two (see #4) to protect them, preferably a Warrior with a good Smash Attack. Let them do the damage. They might get the glory, but it’s winning that matters.

Ok, I don’t really have a real world example for this. Just protect those that need help. Give to charity. Volunteer. Try to be a good person. There’s no glory in it, but we’re all better off.

9) Use the Terrain: My favorite things to do in Happy Wars is to beat a player with terrain. Too close to the edge? I use Smash to knock you off the board. Too close to a wall? I’ll pin you with Spinning Blade or Double Spin. Rocketman from a ledge. Guard/Smash to protect a choke point. It’s very satisfying to win with proper tactics instead of awesome gear.

In the military, they use this all the time. When I did Dagorhir, I would purposely fight so that the sun was in my opponent’s eyes. In everyday life, it means “use what you have instead of wishing for better circumstances.” No excuses. We all have to play the hand we’re dealt. It took me a long time to learn this, and it’s something I still have trouble with, but it feels good to overcome something that fucking sucks.

10)Protect Your Supply Line: I see this in Happy Wars. I saw this in WoW. People get too aggressive and push forward without protecting what’s behind them. The enemy sneaks around and takes down your towers, and now you’re screwed front and back. Don’t let them get behind you.

Yeah, I don’t have a good real world example for this.

This was one of the stupidest, most pretentious posts I’ve ever done. I apologize for wasting your time. Unless you liked it, then you’re welcome.


4 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned About Life From War Games

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