In the Spring, I dedicated this year to getting the Old Guard back in the picture. It's not proven as easy as I had hoped. This article deals with some of the "what's the point" that those who have lost something go through to regain it. Myself included:
QUE FLASHBACK! As some of you may remember from way back when Duke introduced me, I was once a feared master of the 4th edition Imperial Guard. It would be safe to say that I was authoritative on what worked (Iron Discipline and Russes), what was ok (Sentinals), and what was unusable (mass mech). Many of us get to the point of being able build lists off of a flash of inspiration; recalling points costs, unit options and restrictions, and size requirements as fast as we can jot them down on a napkin. Using this knowledge, there was no prayer to the emperor a marines player could utter that would protect him from me. I had elevated killing marines (and MEQ) to an art, you see. I could go to any minor event in the state and expect to place in the top 3. Once, I was great!
PRESENT DAY! - Once. Two years now I've been off the horse, and to be sure, I can still play a mean game at a game store with just about anyone who wishes to play a pick-up game. But tournament wins are now a long way from what I can accomplish. One thing I've always known is that greatness is not achieved through chance. It is achieved through dedication and effort. In order to be good at something, you have to really want to be good at it. This is true of my 40K skills as well. And now I find myself remembering what it took to become that grandmaster of the lasgun, and I face that journey again. That first year of getting beaten, badly, over and over again. I lost over 40 of my first 50 games, as many new players often do. I understand the costs. I understand what I need to do to regain my skill. I just don't know if, having already paid that price once, it is worth it to me to pay it again. And even if it is worth it now, will it be worth it again when I return from a year-long deployment, and must start all over yet again? What do I ultimately want to be? The old man staring at his trophies regretting the changes that dethroned him, or the man who spends all his spare time diligently working to get better at a thing, but never able to quite master it again. I have yet to decide.
Looking back at the first piece I wrote for this blog, some of the things I said to make my position clear, are ringing hauntingly true.
Specificly two things: 1 That much of the IG community "wisdom" was lost, and 2. that the community has gotten lazy. I have asked every guard player I can find how foot guard or hybrid guard can pave thier way to wins. The gist of the answers I got - "They don't". (in person at least. I never ask the internet these things...) I'm sorry, it may be true that foot guard have a harder road than the rest, but I refuse to accept that they can't win. No one has put forth the effort to try. I guess that means it up to me to soldier on, and preserve that particular chapter of the Tactica Imperium more or less on my own. It had been my hope this year to place well in the feast of blades, as proof to myself and others that I could. It doesn't seem to be in the cards for me, and I have pretty much missed the boat on getting on board with the new thinking. I've been gone too long, and given myself too little time to recover. That's ok. Disappointing, because such opportunities are not likely to fall in my lap again for at least two more rule editions as a guard player. Once again I'll be that guy with a huge bag beside him. At the store, people will point at me, "you see that guy. He runs foot Imperial Guard. you know, tons of dudes with commissars screaming hate at you as you murder them in droves. No, no, he's good at it. Just play him once, you'll see..."
I think I can live with that....