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Charleston

How do you guys deal with frustration or losing games?

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Hi dear TGA Community!

I want to ask you about your opinion and personal experiences on a topic that bothers me more and more in the last time: Frustration. And how to deal with it in the best manner possible. I am feeling quite unhappy right now with my temper after some frustrating situations, but often feel also overwhelmed n how to handle this.

What I am actually refering to are situations in that a pretty nice game turns into 2 hours of simply beeing crushed. I have this quite often when playing against two friends of mine who like to play board and card games in a rather competetive mindset . We have  good games, but they end often in becoming salty because of some rules of the enemy that seem unfair or due to the feeling that the powerlevel of the game was ****** from the early beginning on. In the aftermath we often talk about the games and about what could have been done differently and come always to the conclusion how good (close/tense) the game was actually. Therefore I guess it is also about my frustration and how I deal with it.

I would love to hear your stories. Do you have any tricks or tipps how to keep frustation away from the table? Or Anectodes which somehow match the topic?

 

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I think the best way is to realize that AoS is not a balanced game.  Even two different factions at the same point level are not always "fair". 

If its a runaway game just concede and start a new one.  If it's that you're army is always getting crushed, just ask for an extra unit, etc to balance it out.

 

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Posted (edited)

Most definitely do not play AOS if you want a balanced game.  You have to go into AOS knowing that the game is not balanced at all and if winning is what you want, then you need to do research and find the armies that do well and more importantly the builds that do well and collect that.  And then when GHB drops every year and changes the power meta, you're going to need to be ok with selling your stuff and buying a new army to stay competitive.

I've been through three different armies so far because I play in tournaments mostly and that was something I had to be ok with.  As a magic player, that is what I'm used to anyway.

Edited by Dead Scribe
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I'm with @chord on this.

Frustration comes from expectations that or not being met or a feeling of not having control. 

The first is managing your own expectations. It isn't a perfectly balanced game and not all players are equally talented. So maybe accept that you will lose but find the fun in making it hard until you start tie'ing and winning. 

Or if you don't want to invest that time and energy play some more 'unbalanced' scenarios in your favour. Most army books have great scenarios where one player is outnumbered and those are great fun in my opinion. 

Another thought is maybe getting the open war cards (or use the system in the book) and if a player lost two games in a row they get a sudden death. So if you win one... the next one is on equal footing... win again (hurrah) he gets the sudden death. 

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Like @Kramerand @chord said the game isn’t exactly fair and suffers from the rolling power creep that is just as much a part of GW as plastic and pewter(at least used to be).  The only advice I can give as a player who has only won two games over the past 15 years is to enjoy the games you do get to play and that life allows you to play.  Just like anything else you have to roll with the punches and try your best to get the most out of it.  I used to get into screaming matches with my best friend over how unfair it was that his great axe dwarves slaughtered my clan rats every time and near refused to play some times.  The same could be said from back in 3rd or 4th ed 40k when Bloodletters had power weapons and ten of them swept through half his space wolf army.  

In the end it’s really just about how you can find enjoyment out of the situation and if it means rooting for your enemy as he wipes out your entire army without loosing a single warrior then that’s fine too.  Nowadays I just find small pleasures in painting and collecting neither of which I am very good at but it is something I make my own.

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Something to also think about is your tactics.  Are you charging a unit into an disadvantaged fight? Are you making sure you are making the optimized moves for your army and using the abilities to fill advantage?

Is your luck really horrible? How bad are the dice you use? Do they roll below average considerably? Maybe they aren’t properly balanced to be rolled for the game. Chessex dice are horribly unbalanced for rolls. Or you are having a really good moment with luck and it turns over halfway through.

Another good thing is to just accept the possibilities of defeat or things going wrong. It happens to everyone. Find some humor in how badly it goes wrong. Of course I rolled six 2s when I can reroll 1s, Captain Lightbeer’s squad is drunk again!

And another alternative is to go play a very violent video game and just enjoy the slaughter imagining its all your opponents models.

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A big part of it has nothing to do with games, and everything to do with how you live your life.  I don't get frustrated because I choose not to get frustrated - I am the boss of my own experience.

(Not to say that I'm perfect at that approach.  I'm a fallible human person.  But it's what I strive toward, and am largely successful at.)

The Dude abides.

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Understand that at their core GW games are designed to be shared narrative experiences, enabling cool-looking models to play out epic conflicts and awesome stories over an evocative tabletop. Winning or losing is really a rather small part of the whole game experience. I lose the vast majority of my games but I enjoy them all.

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AOS has always been a story of a battle told with the help of dice to me. My chaos lord doug has never got his big dumb 2d6 damage reaper blade attack to land which while frustrating is also a cool character moment for this guy who can carve through chaff or hit his normal attacks well on heroes only to then completely whiff every time he winds up. Mind you I've never really played warhammer competitively i get my competition buzz elsewherereceived_2323032934638336.jpeg.6fc2f73ed75be6f9166ff92323ef620c.jpeg

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I haven’t seen anyone say it yet so I am going to. (Didn’t mean to post again so soon but had a thought)

It is perfectly alright to be frustrated.

There is nothing wrong with having frustrations during a game especially if have a competitive spirit and game.

But think about what kind of frustration you are having. Are you just feeling like you can’t do anything because of how powerful your opponents models are? Is it frustrating that you aren’t making good moves or getting countered to quickly? Would switching things up help? Swap forces for a game or two. See if you can find flaws with how you play your army by playing against them. I pointed out a couple of other thing me in my last post that might be cases.

Frustration is fine and if it’s only during the game or even little after a crushing defeat it is perfectly fine. Long as it isn’t becoming something you have an issue with when you aren’t playing, talk to your friends and see if they have any suggestions. Maybe there is an unit you can ally in to counter their tactics or make the game more interesting 

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If I’m getting really trashed (or think I’m about to be) then I find the best thing is to set myself little targets or objectives. For example, things have gone south and there’s no way you’re going to beat that oncoming hoard of Skaven, but you’re going to make sure you snuff out that pesky Grey seer  before the game is done. 

I find little moments can often be more rewarding anyway- I’d struggle to recall much about games where I tabled someone, unless it was recent. But I’ll probably never forget when I was down to a single model- a loremaster- and decided to see how long he could stand against the onrushing hoard of blood warriors (3 rounds of combat, as it turned out).  

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8 minutes ago, Azamar said:

If I’m getting really trashed (or think I’m about to be) then I find the best thing is to set myself little targets or objectives. For example, things have gone south and there’s no way you’re going to beat that oncoming hoard of Skaven, but you’re going to make sure you snuff out that pesky Grey seer  before the game is done. 

I find little moments can often be more rewarding anyway- I’d struggle to recall much about games where I tabled someone, unless it was recent. But I’ll probably never forget when I was down to a single model- a loremaster- and decided to see how long he could stand against the onrushing hoard of blood warriors (3 rounds of combat, as it turned out).  

I like this - i have a little ongoing narrative about what my Lord-Arcanum manages to kill, and the continued escapades of one of my primes that not only prolongs the drama in a game but creates a deeper connection with the army.

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A few things, some based on other comments, some based on my experiences (or a combo of both):

Frustration can come from many sources and manifest in many ways. You can respond in many ways as well.

For instance, you may lose a bunch of games and get down on yourself for being bad. Or you may think your opponent is a cheeseball. Or you may buy into the false narrative of power creep* and think there is no hope for your army. Lots of things can bug you, and you may not always be able to just turn the page**.

I have been frustrated a good many times over the years. The number one trigger for me is when I plan well, execute the plan very well, get into position, have backups, rerolls, etc. and then the dice still come up with that one-in-a-million roll that hoses me. I can take being outplayed or outprepared.  I cannot abide being outlucked (not that luck exists or that I believe in it).

Anyway, yeah, lots of things frustrate, so when that happens, I try like heck to shift gears and find a new thing to make me happy in the game. As an example, I used to play with my Tomb Kings against a Chaos Dwarf opponent with great regularity. Most of our games were over in two turns, and often on the first turn. I'll spare the details, but it got so bad that my opponent offered to switch to a new army. I would never expect that from an opponent, but I was really not enjoying the games. What I did to start enjoying them was to see how long I could last, and how many of his models I could kill before the inevitable defeat. I made things much more pleasant. I didn't blame him, luck, or any other thing of the sort. It really was just about the most horrible matchup out there for TK (that and ogres with the Hellheart). It was not that his book was overly powerful or that there was creep between when my army came out and his did.  It was just a specifically awful matchup. Shifting my mindset let me move beyond that while we still both got to use the armies we liked.

 

* The only power creep I acknowledge is the inherent power that comes from flexibility/variety. Newer Battletomes, for instance, have more options than older ones.  Not more powerful, just more. That does give a chunk of the tomes an edge over the older ones, but only slightly. There is, however, perceived power creep for new books because they are new and people have not figured them out yet. I can't really think of an Army Book/Battletome that has been so good that people out there couldn't adjust to what it offered over a relatively short period of time. When that adjustment happens (usually coinciding with another new book coming out, thus making the creep "obvious"), the hotness decreases and it becomes just another cool army.

 

** Not to get into a different discussion, but the idea that everyone can just 'buck up' or 'be positive' has been roundly booted to the curb now that our world has sufficiently progressed (read: de-stigmatized) to the point where we recognize that the brain can be just as 'off' as the rest of the body.  You would not expect a person with a broken leg to just tell himself to start running and have his leg magically work. Now we know that you cannot just tell a 'broken' thought process to get better and expect it to do so.  That's not to say you should not try to be positive! It's just that it's fair to recognize that all our brains are different, and not everyone can cope with certain emotions or thoughts as easily as others can. In essence, if you are getting frustrated often and can't seem to shake it when others can, realize that this is normal and ok.

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1 hour ago, amysrevenge said:

A big part of it has nothing to do with games, and everything to do with how you live your life.  I don't get frustrated because I choose not to get frustrated - I am the boss of my own experience.

(Not to say that I'm perfect at that approach.  I'm a fallible human person.  But it's what I strive toward, and am largely successful at.)

The Dude abides.

I suppose I should add that I'm thankful that I have brain chemistry that lets me do this.

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After the game I think its important not just to pack up and leave.

I try to talk to my opponents about the game, asking what they though my mistakes were and vice versa. This usually helps me to realise that even if I got some really bad luck, I still made mistakes, so I can focus on that rather than something being OP or when I rolled a bunch of ones. It also stops you bottling your frustration up, talking about the annoying part of the game can also make you realise that you could have avoided that situation if you did some other strategy or whatever.

Also just going outside for some fresh air and a chat can help to take your mind off the game before you head home where you'd dwell on it all.

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I think the most important thing is to remember that frustration is normal and to be expected, however once it starts to bleed into your enjoyment and can turn to hate/anger/dislike of what you're doing then its important to pause and step back and start to self asses what is causing you the problem (remembering it might be more than one thing and might not be the same thing every time - though if its happening often enough for you to notice then chances are there are some patterns). 

 

We can suggest our own methods but they will be tinged by what the cause(s) of the frustration are, so its not totally easy without hearing more from yourself @Charleston

 

That said a few common observations and methods from myself:

1) Outclassed. Sometimes your opponent is better than you and this, esp if youv'e a limited pool of people to play against, can result in continual losses for you and continual easy wins for them - neither of you is really enjoying it as much as you should. So what you can do in this situation is to try one of a few things

 

a) Learn the game better; turn the game into a learning match and encourage them to help you improve your game. Improving you helps them too because it gives them more of a challenge and if they are in any way a decent sport and player and friend then they will welcome that and - within their ability - should help you learn*. This can also include reading your opponents battletome; reading yours; reading the rules etc... ergo putting in the TIME to learn between games during the week. 

b) Change the game state. Perhaps use a custom battleplan like a siege where you get a higher number of points and your opponent is then more challenged to win the game. You might introduce more random rules; cut out elements (eg remove endless spells etc...). Changing the game state isn't cheating, its agreeing to a set of parameters that account for your difference in skill with your opponent and seek to give a rough level of balance by changing things. It might take a while to settle on a fair approach and you might also learn as you go so in theory the bias should lessen over time. 

c) If its partly due to model access consider running smaller or simpler games so that your limited pool of models isn't outshone by your opponent bringing a huge army of varied options. If they've a chance they could also be encouraged to simplify their list.

d) Swap armies a few times. Yep you might still lose if skill is the issue; esp as you won't know their army as well as they do. But you also get to learn a bit more about how their army works; about what makes it tick and about what is pain to lose. This might well teach you some basic skills that you can use with your own army against your opponents.

2) Lack of self confidence - this can often strongly link to a lack of understanding of the game (real or imagined). 
This is a tricky one because there's no "gain confidence here" method to use. Instead try to identify within yourself where you feel the weakest and what is pulling your confidence down. There might be more than one aspect so write them down whatever they are - written down you can look at them and then start to work toward resolving them steadily - one at a time.

3) Don't suffer in silence. Talk to your opponent about it; talk to people online about better tactics and learning. Heck write battle reports (even if you never publish them) right after the game - use it as a tool to revise the match when its fresh in your mind

 

*Remember teaching is a skill as is self learning. Sometimes people can be very skilled at something; but lack the actual experience and vocabulary and thinking pattern to put it into meaningful words to teach another person. Furthermore sometimes an average player might have a higher degree of known skill - they can teach it to you even if they dont' get it right themselves all the time. 

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This was a topic that I struggled with for a while. I used to get upset at dice, or my own mistakes, or any other number of things that would result in a defeat. I stopped asking questions, or looking at my play - and it was resulting in worse and worse games. How I finally learned to deal with the frustration of losing was to just focus on having a good game. Treat a bad roll as a positive experience for my opponent, congratulate them on a good tactic, or help point out some tactical options. Once I began doing that I had much better games which helped my frame of mind - and I started winning more whilst having more fun doing it.

So, while losing can be frustrating I have to remember that it's a social game between two or more folks. The point is to have fun, while the objective is to win - and I try not to confuse the two. Make sure to have a good solid conversation about things you did right, wrong, and things that your opponent(s) did right or wrong. Things look different from other points of view.

Also, if you blame your dice you won't ever be able to look at any decisions you made critically as it was always 'the damned dices' fault'. That was a big hurdle for me.

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Interesting topic, thank you for bringing that up.  How do you guys deal with the fustration from playing against someone you felt had cheated? 

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2 hours ago, Charleston said:

What I am actually refering to are situations in that a pretty nice game turns into 2 hours of simply beeing crushed. I have this quite often when playing against two friends of mine who like to play board and card games in a rather competetive mindset . We have  good games, but they end often in becoming salty because of some rules of the enemy that seem unfair or due to the feeling that the powerlevel of the game was ****** from the early beginning on. 

After reading your post I think what you need to do is take a step back and think about the experience you want from playing this hobby.  This is a perfectly fine thing to do and just about everyone who plays for a decent amount of time has to figure this out.  This is a pretty broad hobby and people can have very different motivations for spending their free time playing/painting.  The key to long-term enjoyment, as with most things in life, is to figure out what you enjoy the most and then do your best to maximize that.  In my experience most of the people who quit playing the game do so because for whatever reason they were not able to generally enjoy the bulk of their hobby time.

Some people are mainly interested in painting & modeling and the game is secondary.  Some people just want to have a laid-back fun time pushing toys around the table in non-cutthroat games and using models they simply think are neat without having to worry about hardcore list optimization.  Other people want the most competitive games they can and are interested mainly in the competition.  Other people want to play in narratively designed games that tell a story (a small force making a valiant last stand, sieging an enemy fortress, a small force making a surprise raid on an unsuspecting enemy, etc).  And some people like a mixture of the above. 

Nothing is wrong with any of these preferences.  However, something that I think everyone should try to remember is that this is by default a game for two or more people.  Outside of specifically pre-planned events (a narrative store event, a large competitive tournament, etc) it is the responsibility of everyone participating to make sure that a good compromise is made in order to make the game as enjoyable as possible for everyone involved.  Otherwise why bother?  Playing a game is an investment in both time and money and no person's personal preference is superior to another.  In my experience most of the worst frustration in games comes from a mismatch of player expectations.  The players are each looking for something very different from the game and they did not make much effort to compromise and so the end result is something that leans heavily in the favor of one player and can be frustrating for some or all of the players.  Many competitive players are looking for a challenge and some sort of practice and are not that interested in overly easy games.  People who are there just to play and have fun can be frustrated if they have no success at anything and end up just getting chewed up and spat out.

There are a lot of things people can do to adjust their game towards an opponent.  If you play more casually in general you can often try to play something a bit stronger and competitive.  You can even have your opponent adjust your list if you don't like the optimization aspect of the game and they want to fight against something stronger.  Competitive players can dial it down a bit sometimes also.  They can either decide to take a break and just play a relaxing game for fun or they can try to purposefully bring weaker units and concentrate on their tactics and gameplay.  If your goal is to get better at gameplay then there can be a lot of learning value in playing weaker things and trying to still be victorious.  It is like cranking the difficulty up in a video game in order to get better.

Games are a better experience for everyone when all of the players are having a good time.  In my experience most people are usually willing to make some effort at compromise.  The key is that this requires some amount of discussion.  Talk with your opponents about what you like and what they like and then figure it out from there.  In the end the result of the game is really not the important thing.  This is a shared activity and the important thing is that the players get what they want out of the time they are spending. 

If you are wanting to be a competitive player and your issue is managing the frustration of mastering the game against practiced opponents then there are a few things you can do.  First, you should do research into the various factions and armies to better understand what you may be up against, common tactics to use against them, mastery of your own force, and to determine which forces are simply better (not all armies are built equally in GW games).  In addition, you need to view games as learning experiences and manage your expectations of success from that point of view.  Losing can often teach you more than winning and so as long as you learn and get better then you have succeeded in that particular game.  I won't go too much more into how to manage frustration in a competitive mindset/environment because it has already been covered pretty well by various above posts.

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15 minutes ago, Sigmarusvult said:

Interesting topic, thank you for bringing that up.  How do you guys deal with the fustration from playing against someone you felt had cheated? 

If they are a friend of mine then I bring it up and I am generally pretty blunt about it if I don't think it was an honest mistake.  If it is a casual acquaintance or random opponent then I will often either not play them anymore or will take note of the game and stop playing them if the same sorts of things happen repeatedly.

Someone willing to cheat to win at a silly game of plastic toy soldiers & monsters really should do some personal introspection.

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First of all: Thank you all very much for all of your Feedback! I am very happy to see such eager participation on this topic! There were many very interesting suggestions and also aspects of the game that were mentioned. Quite funny as some of the mentioned aspects, especially the fact that the game ain´t perfectly balanced, were something I tought already about and simply forgot as it was before my struggels with this topic started :) I am quite eager to read more from all of you on this topic :)

22 minutes ago, Overread said:

We can suggest our own methods but they will be tinged by what the cause(s) of the frustration are, so its not totally easy without hearing more from yourself @Charleston

Thank for all these very detailed and explicit suggestions! I guess I will trya some out! :)
A bit of my background: I jumped back into 40k October 2017 and started with AoS about a year ago. My first steps were all cound to the local gw store and quite positive. I started a small StD-Force with a SC!-Box and played a lot with the few units within it. I enjoyed it really much, althrough I lost like 90% of my games. I wasn´t frustrated but knew that there is more possible in the game with some more units. So I stocked up with some more StD´s and was even able to compete in a local casual tournament. I had only one "bad" game against a friend of mine who was concidering to start AoS as he had his old WHFB Forces left. I guess it was the first time I felt somehow treated "unfair" by the game as I noticed how his army seemed to have anything mine didn´t had.  (Rend, cool offensive Spells etc). Althrough it was a fun game I noticed I was a bit to stuffy about the rules during that test game and felt horrible afterwards for this. That was a point were I actually decided to play for fun. And althrough my friend didn´t jumped into AoS I had a great Summer with the last months og AoS 1.0 in which I also merged my Slaves with Khorne Units to add the touch of killy meele that I felt was missing. The SoulWars and 2.0 Launch was also great and that was the time I learned to love the game. Only downside was the travel required to the local gw store. As our store got a new manager by the end of the year who really killed the community there I stepped a bit back from the hobby until January were a friend of mine and his brother started AoS with Idoneth and Seraphon. And at this point I somehow more frustrated about the games. While playing in my lgs was all about having an army, tell a story and stuff, I suddendly play 80% of my games against the same two players who are still testing and tailoring new lists.

It´s funny at that point because as I am writing and want to share some examples on where frustration comes up, I noticed that most issues come from the other two players trying new stuff for their armies, which actually isn´t an issue at all but rather a kind of service as I get some cool games served. I often land during games in some situations I could totaly avoid by paying more attention to my enemies. Like charging fully buffed Chaos Knights into an Eternal Starhost (that 2+ ignore Rend Battalion for Seraphon) which was dumb as it costed me 4 CP only to get my own unit wiped out by 10 Saurians with 1 Wound. I was frustrated like hell and currently it became a really fun anectode. I guess through the fact that my enemies play verys different lists which I am not used from a single faction I also only see some strong combos and get the false sense that the whole army is straightforward better than mine. Which actually isn´t as our group as a winrate of Idoneth 40%/ me (StD/SCE)40%/ Seraphon 20% which isn´t far from 33/33/33. Therefore there is no real reason for me to be really frustrated, but still I get salty sometimes even before the game when my enemy tells me "All the great mean stuff in his list" that he has prepared.

I guess I should visit out gw again as I´ve heard they have a new manager again and maybe playsing some other opponents will be a good idea. Writing things up really helps.

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I think one aspect that you are finding annoying is that you've got an army with an old battletome and no recent updates so it is playing a little retro and a bit out of class -that's perfectly normal for AoS at this point in time. Some armies ARE behind. GW is, however, really pulling out all the stops to update them and you can see that we are only in March and we've already had 3 new battletomes (one was a full new army almost with Gloomspite) and we've got Khorne coming up next so that's 4 confirmed within the first few months of the year. Slaves to Darkness have a lot of fans and are a popular army that many hope will get an update to a new fresh shiny Battletome this year. Keep an eye on the news for when it comes :)

That in itself will hopefully give you a lot more encouragement; you'll have an up to date army; with new rules and new ideas and might even get some new stuff (ok you will certainly get endless spells and terrain as that's the new pattern for GW army releases right now). Plus updates to older models will likely render them feeling a bit like new. 

 

So I think that iwll take some big steps toward relieving some of your stress. Another angle is that you keep noting how you don't know your opponents army that well and make blunders when attacking. It sounds like spending a few evenings borrowing their Battletome and giving it a good read through and/or using the GW website (warscrolls are on all the product pages for free viewing so the only thing you'd miss out on is spells and equipment and army abilities in the tome). Do some research on them and learn a bit more about how they function and where their weak points might be.

Another aspect is that if you're only playing the same two people over and over yeah it can get boring esp if the win/loss ratio is heavily biased in one direction. Get back to the GW store and try some other matches against fresh people. A change of scene and atmosphere and social interaction might well recharge your batteries even if you don't actually get any more wins. 

 

 

Note many say taking part counts and that is important; but in a game like Warhammer where its 1v1 most of the time, most people like to win at least sometimes without it being an accident. Yes winning IS important. Its not the beall and endall, but it is important to most people to have some wins under their belt; to achieve during the game.

Sometimes you can shift perspective and instead of winning through objectives/killing (ergo winning the game) you can view it at a smaller scale - winning when your lord slaughters the enemy lord; or when you kill a specific really nasty unit that's been giving you trouble for ages etc... Ergo instead of looking at the big picture you look at the smaller one. 

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Posted (edited)

I’ve found that the relationship of who you’re playing with is the key thing.

I have good friends I used to play Boardgames with,  not AOS but similar in that they were quite thematic and designed with a strong narrative element. That for me was their point at any rate. But my pals just wanted to win and they routinley just railroaded the most characterful and exciting bits of the game’s design so that they or even we (in co-op) would just steamroll the thing.

They weren’t wrong and neither was I in how we wanted to play but we were both looking for enjoyment in directly oppositional places so what made it fun for them made it boring for me and vice versa. So I stopped playing with them in most things. Not in a big acrimonious way or anything, but our free time is too important to spend doing something we don’t want to do.  

From the stuff you’ve said specifically, in respect to establishing the experience you’re looking for it sounds as though you either need to establish beforehand with your opponent that they give you an indication as to what stuff foreign to you actually does, which is decorum that most opponents are happy with in my experience, or just let go and recognise that the challenge against mystery stuff is a completely different challenge to taking on an army that you understand.

This is key to me, the bit you say about your opponent telling you the stuff he has up has sleeves, I find that garbage. AOS is already imbalanced but at the top level people aren’t  trying to win by ambushing people with secret stuff but by using their army better than the opponent uses theirs. That’s when it tends to be the most fun.  If you know that my Lord Ordinator is armed with the Sword of Judgement and with 6 attacks does D6 MW’s to a hero or Monster on a 6+, it dosent make him any less dangerous but it will encourage you to think more about where you put your heroes etc and the rest of your troops accordingly, leading to a greater engagement with the actual strategic aspect of the game. If you don’t and put an important but fragile hero at the back where he would otherwise be fine then I drop in and beat the snot out of them it’s more akin to a mugging really as far as I’m concerned. It’s easy to beat someone when they’re blind. You simply would not have done what you did if information had not been kept for you. Good players win by using the mechanics of the game, not through relying on handicaps.

If your opponent doesn’t want to tell you beforehand they should do you the courtesy of borrowing their army book for a short while so you can make notes or whatever. AOS dosent have a readily accessible source for all the rules relating to all factions so I think people should be willing to share resources so that everyone knows about their respective opponents.

If you’re happy for your opponent to keep stuff from you and just decide to roll with it, then really just lean into that. If you let stuff go, things have a way you of coming round full circle. Everyone remembers that one dice roll that didn’t go their way. They never remember the literal hundreds that did.

It’s a state of mind thing. Engage with your plans, focus on the things which you *can* definitely control-deployment, reserve use, movement, formations, use of Command points, keeping things within distance of buffs, spells ahead of the appropriate phases. You’ll hear it in most competitive circles, whatever the game or sport is: don’t worry about the opponent. Be good at what you do and you’ll  make them worry about you.

Even if you lose, it’s satisfying to make your army “work”. Most times if you really master that you’ll win. But it’s a game with heavy dice interaction. You can make all the perfect moves but you can throw as many dice as you want and statistically fail then all.

Three questions-are you having fun, and if not, do you feel like you’re learning enough to actually get to a point where you can, and do you feel you’re playing with people who are enhancing your experience of the game? I can usually say yes to 2/3 of those every game I play with my club. If I was struggling to say yes to one of them with any frequency I would look to play with other people or take a break for a while. Hobbies should be a cause of consistent satisfaction above anything else.

Edited by Nos

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Posted (edited)

First, I'm sorry for anyone who plays AoS or 40k and expects it to be balanced.  Even in a pure situation where you are both rolling perfectly balanced dice (lol) or sharing dice, have a well set up table of clearly defined terrain, the game simply isn't balanced.  Accept that before you play and the rest gets a bit smoother.

My frustration is my problem - I agreed to play a game with a person, where the purpose is to have fun.  I aspire to have fun regardless, and even if you are frustrated, you should aspire to do so as well.

If you are constantly frustrated, find a different way to think about the game, as others have suggested above, or find a different way to play the game.  If you still can't get to the point where you are actually having fun playing the game or getting SOMETHING worthwhile out of it, move on.  Maybe try a skirmish style game, or one that is more lighthearted - I know much of my early frustration in AOS and 40k stemmed from the ridiculous setup time required for a game that is effectively over by turn 2.

I didn't find myself nearly as frustrated playing Frostgrave, because I bought a bunch of those Wizkids preprimed models and a few D20s and I was good to go.  Don't get me wrong, I love AoS and there's a couple of people I have a blast playing, win, lose or draw.

Bottom line - I'm in the tabletop hobby for the FUN.  Everyone has bad days or tough turns, but if we've played a couple of times and haven't had a laugh or shared amazement as some plastic nobody goes Rambo, then we aren't really getting much out of the time it takes to go to the store, set up, play, clean up etc, and I'll be headed to the gym or the range next time you're my only opponent.

Edit:  Sorry, one final thought:  If I'm on the winning side, and some one is getting frustrated, I will look for opportunities to help my opponent get off tilt ("I'm thirsty, you want a water or a Coke?")  Sometimes it is the little things.

Edited by Zephyr

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2 hours ago, Sigmarusvult said:

Interesting topic, thank you for bringing that up.  How do you guys deal with the fustration from playing against someone you felt had cheated? 

Tends to be a bit of a joyous thing. People who regularly cheat (there aren't a large amount of them, in my personal experience, but environments may vary) hate losing. So I pay extra attention to everything they do, question anything that sounds way off, accept smaller things that ultimately has no effect on my own gameplan (i.e: If you say you're doing a bazzilion mortal wounds on a unit of five clanrats, that's fine by me :p)  -- and then do my utmost to absolutely crush their dreams in game.

If I lose, that's fine. 

If I win, knowing they had a stacked deck, oh sweet glorious day.

Super rare, anyhow, maybe one in twenty do it in an overtly delibarate manner. A lot of people simply forget, or don't know how certain things work. Myself included :)

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