Author Topic: What to do if you keep losing in the early going and are disheartened  (Read 1329 times)

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Offline Celerior

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Here are some answers to the common question “Why do I keep losing?”

Answer A: You’re using the wrong tactics. Solution: Experiment with tactics.

Playing a new war game is like being a general in a new war with new technology. History is full of examples of generals using out-of-date tactics. Everyone but especially the French in WW1 spring to mind, and also the French in WW2. Also the US in Vietnam, both sides in the American revolution, the Israelis at the start of the 1973 war, etc.
In game terms, you're using your units wrong.
-Maybe you're not taking full advantage of the modern technology of war. Free rhinos from the Gladius detachment have searchlights. Use them. And don't forget that you can ram, too.
-50 fearless conscripts may seem like a shooty unit while an invisible assault terminator deathstar is an assault one, but you should still charge them rather than shoot them when they get close. That way they won't be able to shred your company command squad and russes for a few more turns.

Answer A1: You’re playing the wrong army. Solution: Experiment with tactics or switch armies.

If ISIS established large, permanent bases like the USA does, they would be bombed. Good bye, ISIS. Instead, they play to their strengths: propaganda, terror, and very cynical fund raising methods. In game terms, your tactics WOULD be right, if your fire warriors were dire avengers. But they’re not. They will be caught in the assault because they can’t battle focus back.

Answer B: You’re playing against excellent and/or experienced opponents. Solution: Ask them for advice and listen.

Answer C:  Your list is just plain bad because of low model count. Solution: Get less upgrades. Fritz generally knows what he’s talking about when he says that most anything can be made to work if you surround it with the right things, but for the love of God, don’t give a sternguard squad 2 combi-meltas, 2 plasma guns, and a power fist and put them in a razorback! That’s just WRONG. If your opponent has the firepower to kill one tactical squad and one rhino, he'll take this squad down just as easily. You'll lose 240 points for the price of 105. (Or less if you take the gladius.) At that ratio, you could take your 2000 point list against a well-built 1250 point list and win. Each unit should be built with no more than two purposes in mind. Unless my model has 3 attacks minimum, I don’t give ‘em a power fist. If my squad has a lascannon, the sergeant doesn’t get upgrades.

Answer C1: You only did that because you don't have enough models to play a 1850 point game otherwise. Solution: Play lower point games. And then buy more guys. If you don't have the money,  proxy, scratch build, and look for cheap deals, especially from people leaving the hobby.

Answer C2: You have the money, but gosh, 'evil' GW’s models are expensive and you’re hesitant. Solution: Look around. 40K is expensive for a child’s game, but not for an adult hobby. Compared to smoking, it’s cheap. Compared to golf, it's cheap.

Offline Dirty Harry

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Re: What to do if you keep losing in the early going and are disheartened
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 07:28:15 PM »
Great topic, with a lot of good points. I also want to contribute with my own experiences.

Helpful bits of minutia to newer or less experienced players-

Introspectively examine yourself as a gamer. Do you prefer to play with powerful units that will win, or do you prefer to play units and characters you like? Ex- Eldar jetbikes with scatter lasers are a very powerful unit, but not everyone likes jetbikes. Some eldar players prefer howling banshees or swooping hawks instead, because they might be wanting specialize in a certain aspect or play to a particular craft world. The problem with that is limiting your options makes you tunnel blind to certain tactical advantages. The best competitive players always look at the bigger picture. If you ONLY play the models you want, there's nothing wrong with that. A lot of people in the hobby find more enjoyment as casual level or narrative, if they like to tell a story with their army

If you're met with defeat after playing the same points level, or against the same opponent, change it up. There are massive paradigm shifts between point levels. Lower points games like kill team (200-500) you think in squad size rather than in a bigger command structure. It becomes more challenging to consider what's expendable. Battle group sized games like combat patrol (typically played 500-1000) start to emphasize synergy and tactics between units. Ex- space marine snipers could support a squad of assault Marines by forcing the opponent to go to ground. The assault Marines could then act as the part 2 to that 1-2 punch needed to clean up an enemy off an objective. 1000-1500 is typically where I would say GW designs the game to work best balance wise. This is where you can get a decent character, build a solid core, and with points left over to add toys, like gunships, bombers, maybe a death star, etc. Beyond that is where the competitive scene shines because players can bring company sized forces. At 2k space Marines can bring 102 guys, 10 rhinos and 3 land raiders. TL;DR, CHANGE IT UP!!!111shift+1eleven!!!

Play WITH your opponent, not against your opponent. Don't waste precious gaming time in the court of rules law because GW might not have made a clarification about a rule in a scenario. Either mutually agree how you would enforce or interpret the law in your game, or do a roll off. Save the rules laywering for after the game when you both can sit down and hammer out a concise ruling.

Win with grace, lose with dignity. At the end of the game the appropriate end should be "great game, I had fun," talk about a players bad rolling in jest, but don't blame a game on terrible rolling. Reflect on the game, and consider tactical mistakes you made. I see this all too common where a player wont even BEGIN to reflect on his tactical f*ck ups, but rather stresses the bad rolling they might have had, or the hot dice the other player had. I've had better conversation discussing tactics and choices made in game than simple utterances of "wow bro, or damn gurl, your dice rolls were GAWDAWFUL,"

Galvanize, not demoralize. This one gets a bit more personal for me. If you were playing a game against a list designed to sweep you off the table T3 and succeeded, don't let yourself get disheartened. Don't fall out of love with the army you spent time and money on building, painting, and collecting. Take a step back, and look at what your opponent designed to kill you outwright. Examine weaknesses in the strategy. Take an objective look at the components of that savage beating, and prepare for a good rematch.

I hope this is a good contribution, I might add more later.
Don't try making a unit unkillable. its a waste of time and the dice gods laugh at you for wasting your time. Dedicate a unit to a job and make sure it does it til it's either dead or running.

Offline Htedomsa

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Re: What to do if you keep losing in the early going and are disheartened
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2016, 10:18:52 AM »
Something that helps me especially in the beginning with new war games is having a friend or to to do a more causal set of games so you can learn rules, tactics, and try out different things without being overwhelmed by veterans or your own inexperience. I love to do this when starting or choosing a new army and my friends are happy to help. We all benefit from the loose structure and the absence of 'rules lawyers'. Win or lose in this case is no big deal or really the point. The learning experience is what's it's all about here.