Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Learning from Defeat

Whenever I go to events I'm not aiming to finish in the top three or anything, but I am usually hoping to finish top third, or top half. This usually means three wins and two losses, a respectable finish. What happens when you do much worse than usual though?

This past December I went to the Rend 4 Winter Tournament, which was a ton of fun! Let's get that out of the way right now. All of my games were fun, my opponents were great, the atmosphere was good. All around the event was a ton of fun and I definitely enjoyed it! That being said, I ended up finishing with only one win and four losses and came in near the bottom of the bracket of players. This is much worse then I had hoped to do.

I knew going into it that I wasn't taking the most competitive army, a Tallyband of Nurgle, but I had hoped my skill as a player could level the field a bit. My losses came from a number of reasons, some of which had to do with bad matchups and general mistakes I made while playing. These are unavoidable during an event most of the time. I have to admit, I was a bit bummed about how I placed and how my army did since it's what I planned on taking to Adepticon. When I spend a lot of time painting an army I want to take it to a few events.

What do you do with defeat like this? You learn from it of course. Over my five games I picked up a few things that will hopefully make me a better player next time. One of the biggest things I did though was talk to people about my games and my army. Firstly I talked with my opponents after each game, thinking through what choices I could have made differently. If you have the time and your opponent is willing to do this then I highly recommend it. They have the most first hand experience besides yourself on what happened during the game. The same goes for if you win and your opponent wants some feedback on how they did. I almost always talk through the game a little bit after each one.

I have also recently started recording my games in my handy-dandy Age of Sigmar journal from GW.  To be fair, I also do this so I can write up battle reports for here, which is what I was doing at this event. After how I finished I thought this would be a more constructive use of those results though. You can write the results down on anything, but it will help you when you look back on them to remember what you did. I try and jot down important moments whenever there's a lull in the action, usually between turns. Not only does it help with remembering what you did for later, but writing stuff down can actively help you remember to do stuff during the event. Do you keep forgetting to use a key command ability? Well, I'm sure after you've written down how you missed it and it cost you the game you'll have an easier time remembering it in the next game.

Lastly I talked with the other members of my club. It's no secret that the Detroit Warhammer Club is a gang of top tier level players who demolish event after event (Jake from my Club took out this very event), so I have a bottomless pool of experience to draw upon. We talked through my army composition, what I could do to improve it, what to add, what to drop, all of it. Let whoever you're talking with know what your limitations are. I've seen plenty of suggestions online saying things like "Well, just paint this 50 strong unit for your event in three days, that's the best option." While that may be true, time and money are real constraints. I usually say what else I already have painted and/or what else I think I could conceivably get painted in the time I have. It's not just time constraints either, sometimes it's due to aesthetics or lore. That unit may be really good, but if you really don't like the way it looks and won't have fun painting it, then I probably wouldn't suggest adding it.

One other thing I would suggest is to practice with your army before going to an event. I finished painting this army days before I went and hadn't played any games with Nurgle at all for over a year. This definitely hurt me. If you don't know your army then you can't be surprised when you don't do well. This time I have a practice event lined up before Adepticon, so I'll have a bit of time to tweak stuff if I need to and also get a grasp on the army. I'm not going to lie, I'm sure the points drop on the Tallyband battalion and the new rules from Wrath of the Everchosen will help me quite a bit too. All said, I'm feeling much more confident about taking my Tallyband to Adepticon. I took a few knocks on my way, but I think I have a better grasp on what I need to do to succeed.

What are some ways you try and learn from defeat in Warhammer?

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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