Some people might think that being a League Marshal in Stormfall: Age of War is a glamorous job, but it has all the glamour of herding cats. Forget about the spotlight and get out the lint remover, because if you want to start your own League, you need to be ready to handle things when they get messy.
When assuming the mantle of a League Marshal, the first thing you need to decide is what the focus of your League should be. Do you want to pursue Beacons and fight to be in the top 10, or would you prefer to leave all the wars to the big Leagues and focus on training new players instead? Do you know enough tactics and tricks to pursue your goal of being number one? Do you have the patience to train new players and guide them through the basics time and time again? You can’t even start accepting players before you can answer these questions.
Here are a few more questions you should ask yourself: What type of leader are you? Has your leadership style worked in the past, and if not, have you worked to understand your weaknesses and correct them? Can you be flexible enough to change your approach if your first option isn’t working, or will you fall back on old habits? It’s important to know who you are as a leader before you start a League.
If you don’t have enough game experience right now, do you have a plan to gain it? There are several ways – reading everything you can find about the game mechanics, talking to experienced players, or possibly getting a mentor to help you through the learning process. This will take time though – meanwhile, your players will be depending on you to make decisions that affect their success. Not understanding the game can be a disaster for a leader, so maybe you should wait and see if you can learn from a more experienced Leader first.
It is possible to improve your game skills, but if you really don’t have the personality for leading, then it’s best to know it now, before other people are depending on you. Be honest with yourself; do you have the skills needed to follow through with what you want the League to be? Have you ever been a leader before, and do you know how to manage a full-sized League and lead them to victory, or are you better suited to leading a small group of less experienced players?
Know your limitations; your available time, money, and skills can determine what you can really handle. Good leadership requires a lot of all three.
Can you build a team that you can work with? Find people who have the skills and specific experience you don’t, and promote them as Officers so the whole League benefits. A Marshal is like the tip of an iceberg - visible and only represents a small part of a huge thing. The more minds you put to a problem, the more possible solutions you’ll find, but you’ll need to find people able to work together and keep them all moving the same direction.
You have to be willing to listen to your officers and follow through on their suggestions. Doing so improves the team morale. The strongest Leagues are run by leadership teams, and it’s teamwork that leads to success.
Teamwork is nothing without communication. Explain your goals, and the way you intend to reach them, and help people understand their place in your plan. You need to be accessible to your players and accept feedback from them on how you could improve. Make sure you take time to help your players improve by giving them your feedback as well. You can’t wait until something bad happens to let your players know how they’re doing.
You will need to recognize potential conflicts in your League before they happen, and learn how to prevent them. You'll need to be able to set policies that everyone can agree on, and be willing to enforce them for the good of the League, even if it affects friends.
In the end, you’ll be accountable for the happiness of your players and the success of your League - so make sure you can handle the challenge. Honesty, respect, and open lines of communication will go a long way.
People like recognition, and they need respect if they’re to trust you as a leader; be sure to give them both. You should always celebrate a win, and acknowledge the people who helped make it possible. No war is won by a single player, so you will need to let your players understand why the plan worked, and how each of them helped – the biggest successes are usually team efforts. No one ever left a League because they were praised too much for their accomplishments.
Always remember - League Marshals are only as successful as their teams, and great leaders know that with good teamwork everyone wins in the end. If you understood all the points I made, and can honestly answer "Yes, I can do that", then you may be ready for your own League.
This article was written by player Lady Nerium, who granted permission for it to be posted on Plarium.com. Any thoughts or views expressed herein are the player's own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Plarium Global.