Thursday, September 1

6 Stages of Grief: The Losing Streak

A Veteran's guide to getting your arse handed to you.
By Immortal

"It was the dice, I swear." Yes, failing five of your eight 2+ saves against grots is mildly disconcerting, but hang in there, it can only get worse. Having this kind of luck every game has seemed to by my norm as of late, and many of my dice have been severely punished as a result. Draigo Paladin-Stars, rampaging Wolf-Stars, and being melta’d to death by Vulkan, these have also become the norm… sounds fun ‘eh.

So how do I survive in the meta game? Clearly I don’t, not right now anyways, but I manage to cope with it. Here are my thoughts and ramblings on how to get through that inevitable losing streak. 

I play mech Blood Angels, arguably a top tier army but perhaps not the highest rung anymore. My army is stereotypical for mech BA complete with razorbacks, priests, auto-las preds, the works. I’m an experienced player, been at this a bit. There must be an explanation. So, the losing streak… it’s been a rough one. I’ve played about ten games in the last month or two, and lost eight of them. Oddly enough, both my wins were verses Dark Eldar, so I got them down pat.

Why am I losing then? That’s a question I keep asking myself, or coming up with excuses as to why it’s not my fault anyways. For the purposes of this article, I will relate them to the 6 traditional phases of grief.

1. Shock
2. Denial
3. Anger
4. Sadness/Depression
5. Numb
6. Acceptance

Shock. “Stupid Deathstars.”
I had a hard time trying to figure out how I could go from out gunning Space Puppies to losing horribly due to my inability to stop a Wolf-Star. 10 kill points lost in 3 turns to 5 of them. And again to Grey Knight shenanigans (“Hey Farva, what’s that restaurant you like, you know, the one with all the s*** on the walls?), I’ve never hated grenades so much. Why is this shock, because I couldn’t mentally deal with it not having a deathstar of my own to deal with it.

Denial. “My friends are dirty, dirty cheaters.”
Clearly my friends and the people I played at ‘Ard Boyz must be bending the rules to their own whims. How else could they be able to field such indestructible units and kill my Landraider with a single Lascannon. Perhaps their dice are somehow in league with mine (see the next paragraph). Granted, BA have their tricks, and either I haven’t learned to use mine, or they’re not as good as everyone else’s… so they must be cheating, it’s the only ‘logical’ thing to think. Sadly, this is partially true, but they are by no means cheating. This is just the nature of the meta-game or codex creep or whatever you’d like to call it. Have I mentioned shenanigans?

Anger. “Stupid dice.”
Now, I have bad luck with dice. It’s legendary at this point. I swear that my terminators prefer cardboard over adamantine and the tech marines that maintain them are drunk. I would have failed statistics in college had I ever taken it (History for the win… till you have to find a job after college.), and my dice don’t even know what probability is. My dice have suffered greatly at my hands due to their incompetence, but despite shows of force, banishments, and summary executions, they remain defiant. But alas, it’s not the dice. I’ve won plenty of games despite them (take that you cube-shaped demons).

Sadness/Depression. “I suck.”
That’s it, I’ve lost my touch and will be forced into the proverbial gamer gutter, forever damned to talk about my glory days in the back room of my game store and be rarely seen playing a game again. This is perhaps the worst phase of the grief scale, as you start to lose what little faith you have in yourself with each consecutive time your friends kick your teeth in. This is the phase that many turn to other games, as it’s a chance to start over. Most fail to realize that by starting over, you have, in fact, become a noob. Congratz. For me this phase didn’t last long, as I looked back at all my former glories (wait, I can’t remember any… screw it, former glories damn it), I realize that I can and will do better, eventually. Or I just stop caring, which brings me to my next phase.

Numb. “Ah, F*** it!”   
This phase effects every gamer differently. For some, it’s a realization that you probably won’t win, but you continue to play anyways. Other’s give up, and an annoying minority choose to be that dude that only sits in the store and complains about how bad he sucks, although this is arguably still the depression phase. Still, no one wants to be that guy… snap out of it.

Acceptance. “Yup, I suck.”
Gamers that get this far have either figured out what they’re doing wrong and fixed it, or have just chosen to be ignorant and embrace their fate. Accepting that you’re no longer (or never were) the greatest player in 40K is no small feat for some. I for one am not there yet, I still rock and all my friends are cheating (clearly). More likely, my friends are just better than me, have more experience than me, and have more math-hammer and metagaming experience then me. But don’t tell me that, I’ll just laugh at you and throw my dice at your head (stupid dice).

Eventually, when I win a game or two, I'll write more on how to pull yourself from the depths of gamer dispair, but seeing as how I haven't firgured that you yet (did I mention my friends cheat?), I'll be sure to let you all know in Part II: Revenge of the Dis'ed.

I hope I confused all of you, that was the point.
Carry on, Immortal out. 


  1. Sadly, I can say I know excatley where you are coming from... A slump sucks! If only your friends weren't dirty cheaters!


  2. Yes, a loosing streak sucks. I have been on each side of this one.

    One of the best defences for this is the "if you cant beat'em, join'em" practice.
    If wolf stars are a problem get your friend to switch with you for a few games. Learn how they do what they do from their side, then use that information against them.

    Play some friendly count-as games for training with GK Pali-stars against your own force that someone else is commanding. They might do something to protect or expose that you can use when you take back controll.

    One thing that I do that proves I am hopeless, addicted and have too much time is to play a game against my self. When you know what your going to do on each trun there are no suprises. You can see how situations play out and learn from it.

    Last thing I like to do is the "reset game". Get one of your "cheater"(He He) friends to play a game to turn 3, then reset and start over using the same obrective/deployment/first turn ect.

    This will help to find a way to position yourself better for setting up a major charge/counter charge/objective denial...

    Other than that beer helps!

  3. Thanks for the advice Swags,
    I actually won vs. a buddy playing Tau and his dice utterly failed. Not sure that one counts.
    And yes, Beer (and duct tape) fixes everything!

  4. Yea, I think that games versus tau are like baseball, each game only counts as a "half game," lol.

    Btw, better with beer!

  5. tau are still a reasonably good army, and your blog is still full of shit.

  6. Tau are a good army, just not top tier.
    Convenient it is to say a blog sucks under the name "anonymous." Well done sir, all you have done is prove that you are, in fact, a chicken shit.If you don't like it, don't read it... pretty simple really.

  7. Yes! Mission achieved... This blog used to only be 90% full of shit. Now we have reached "completely full of shit!"

    I would like to thank everyone involved, including all the writers who don't get paid anything to put their thoughts on the net for like minded people. Oh and to all the people who post in the comments section, you made it hard because I kept trying to be full of shit and your comments made me actually think, which is hard. Oh and thank you to my family, who pushes me to write when I don't want to.... Thank Mom!
    -Music begins to play-

    @ anonymous: come on man, at least have the courage to log in.


  8. What's the phrase? "Haters gonna hate"? Your blog is definitely NOT full of shit, and this article made me laugh...because all of us have slumps (I've been on a totally average win/loss ratio lately, which is an improvement over the long-ass slump I was in for a few months) so some of it was sympathy laughs...but taking a breath, realizing that it's just a game and your hobby is supposed to be FUN also helps.

    At least, it did for me. :)

  9. I love haters! It makes me know Im doing something right, lol.

    @Crusherjoe- you got it right there, sometimes taking a deep breath and just commiting to 'sticking it out,' is all you need. That and an awesome sense of humor!


  10. "I love haters! It makes me know Im doing something right, lol."
    Stop saying lol like a fucking teenager. If someone goes out of their way to tell you how you suck they probably have a good reason for it, just not enough time to explain to every idiot that visits the site why you suck.