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