Natties has been dividing the community for a while now, some like it, others despise the mere echo of it reverberating around the gaming hall like the sound of the underground.
In the third and final part of the “Nattie Trilogy,” I look at the positive use of the term. Part one, “Natties: A Scourge Upon Our Green and Pleasant Land of X-Wing?“ was a piece of accurate and well-researched journalism covering the introduction of the term into the UK X-Wing scene prior to Nationals 2017 and part two was a guest piece, “Natties or Nappys,” by the totally real Sir Alister Grantham-Smyth MP of the Staines Upon Thames Massive Squadron. This piece reflects how the term has impacted upon me and how I look at the game and dice.
The term Natties for me is something new. I’m not sure how it translates across the globe, as for example, I can’t’ speak French and know not the translation, but it does seem like it’s here to stay, like it or loathe it. Initially, I found it rather un-British and against the biology of the game. Then after employing it in a mock term against one of my regular opponents, I found it rather pleasing. In many ways it seemed rather British, or maybe English, to graffiti my soul by shouting it.
Something Kinda Ooooh: Muh Dice!
Good Dice, bad dice, we build a whole lotta of history in our minds with dice rolls. Generally, depending on our perception bias we tend to remember bad dice and blame them for it. I’ve witnessed gamers before punting chairs whilst blaming their dice, when in all likelihood bad decisions led to that point, relying on the dice, relying on natties to get them out of jail. The point when you are allowing dice to call the shots is the point you are gambling. Sometimes it is the right decision, others bad, but the majority of the time a bad decision at some point has led to this moment.
Lady Luck and Dice Spike Variance, (still Muh Dice)
A better and more thorough article about how lady luck works in relation to Vassel can be found if you jump to team covenant and Theorist’s self-titled article a while back. A link would probably be helpful, but he-ho.
In short Lady Luck examines all the dice rolls made in the game and gives you a bell curve on your averages in that match. What it doesn’t do, which is what Theorist feels is key, is match up when you roll three nattie evades versus just one hit from three or four dice and vice versa.
You and your opponent’s dice rolls may averagely match up more or less, but it is the timing of these and how they are affected by modification and position that result in the biology of the match. Hot dice rarely come at a time of our choosing and good positioning, (not getting shot at), and sensible token spending can mitigate the vagaries of the dice.
Natties: I’ll Stand By You
Calling for natties and/or celebrating them afterwards has led me to mentally record the good dice rolls more. The surprising thing is that I’ve found the dreaded call of ‘natties’ tends to be very few in a game, whether to Jump and celebrate your own dice or that of your opponent. Even ‘Blankies,’ is not quite that often an occurrence.
Quite often the reason that some players dice seem hot or that a ship is Untouchable is due to their good positioning and use of token stacking. For example In 1.0 if you had BB8 intensity Poe at the right spot he was very hard to punch damage on, even with his two greens and a lacklustre roll thanks to Auto thrusters, evade and focus tokens.
Whether natties makes you want to stand on a tutu or makes your heart go boom is subjective but it has managed to switch my mind on tracking good rolls over bad. Or if I’m rolling green dice I’ve put myself in a place to take damage. The Promise I make to myself is to not to blame the dice but to accept that the moment that I am relying on a nattie roll, is the moment I have made bad decisions prior to that.
Is the term Natties Sexy? No no no…
The phrase may grate but even the most mathematically trained person can lose sight of how a game is going. The term has helped me analyze what is going on from a dice roll perspective to keep an eye on whether my manoeuvres or the squad build is benefitting from rolls above average. When practicing, a spate of above average natties may persuade the subconscious that this is a good squad or the right play, when nine times out of ten it is not.
For me, a quiet and refined call of natties is acceptable. Unless of course Smack talk with a regular opponent is engaged to 11 out of 10, then all bets are off.
Nattie rolls are surprisingly rare, even two hits/crits on two red dice is only a one in four chance. Maybe celebrating natties is not all that bad after all.
Thanks to the community Love machine that is The Ed Holmes for inspiring me to pull my finger out and write some more again.
He also hates the term natties.