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Charleston

How do you guys deal with frustration or losing games?

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In my personal experience, I have a few options. I can either choose a small victory, like taking out a specific hero or unit in my opponents army. Or I can ride out the storm and either hope for something to turn the tide or come up with a narrative reason that I lost. It also inspires me to play the next game. I know it won't work for everyone though, so at the end of the day people have to find their own way of dealing with it. I'd always advise, however, if it really stops being fun, to just talk to your opponent and say "this has stopped being fun now, can we change things up?"

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 "this has stopped being fun now, can we change things up?"

My problem with this is that it starts introducing house rules or concessions to the official rules.  If having to change lists around to accommodate people is the norm, then nothing stops people from just not wanting to have to face any type of competitive list and just demanding you change things up.  But that is (what is and is not a competitive list) very and highly subjective to each person...

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You should only be angry if you lost money. Learn to laugh while playing. Especially when rolling ones.

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Well it seems like you were having fun playing at the GW store, and now you’re playing with the same two people and keep getting frustrated. I’d give the GW store another try, or see if there’s another local club or game store to play at. And there’s no reason it’s one or the other, you can always have your buddies go with you.

Another option would be trying some more narrative stuff. It doesn’t need to be anything super elaborate, but you could put together a narrative campaign to add an extra element to your games. So if you lose a game it’s not “wow I can’t believe I charged that unit and wasted my knights” or “That unit is too strong” and that’s it till next time. Instead it can be a matter of, “well I lost and now the deepkin have captured the Xrathian Chasm, but next battle I can see if the Knights of the Bloodly Dawn can…”. Instead of just ending and ruminating on what went wrong, you can think about the story you’re making.  

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I dealt with a bit of frustration last game I played. I was running Dispossessed against a Skaven army running the new battletome rules. Turn 1 the warpflamethrower took out my entire Warrior unit with 23 mortal wounds striking them.  To add further injury, he then took out my now exposed Warden King with his Warp Lighting Cannon by dealing 6 mortal wounds. I know it's just a game of pushing around plastic men, but I was so darn angry after that. After a bit of pacing on my side of the table and clenching dice in my hand, I regained rational thought and decided it was better to continue the game than give up as a sore loser. I refocused that frustration I felt and focused on tactics and how best to salvage the game. I usually only get maybe one game a week so these are experiences I savor. There's also not a good amount of AoS players at the store so there's no reason to act like an ass and lose potential players. I actually managed to turn the game around and beat the Skaven player in the end. For me this was a valuable experience about frustration. It's best to try and keep a cool head and go with the punches. Even the most frustrating events can be turned around given effort.

I'd suggest talking to your friends and seeing if they wouldn't mind trying to play a bit more casually if that's more your speed. I know the first game with the local Skaven player went pretty badly because he was playing super competitively and ended up creating a mortal wound gunline that he kept pulling back every time my Dispossessed would move up. Talked to him afterwards about how this is more of a hobby for me and that I enjoy seeing my miniatures on the table and watching epic clashes instead of WW1 no man's land style meat-grinder marches. Since then we've both had more fun and often recount the exploits of our generals on the battlefield and epic last stands. 

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All these people talking about dealing with losing a game- You merely adopted the loss. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see a victory until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but blinding!

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Pretty interesting topic and also answers! From which the advice to "talk it out with whoever is playing with you" and "take it easy" seems to come back. And without surprise I agree with those two.

I often play with a friend who is as much a beginner as I am, so most of the time we sit down after the fight to discuss, what went wrong, what was our mistakes and so on. It's always really interesting talks and it allow us to share any frustration we had during the game. Also, during our game the fight is usually pretty even, I might loose some of my important troop at the first turn and start thinking the game is over, but at the second turn I manage to kill some of his troop and start thinking that finally it is not as hopeless as I though.

Anyway, like any game (tabletop rpg, boardgame, etc...) make sure that your expectation is the same as your opponent :)

 

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To offer a different perspective - I don't know that I've ever been frustrated by a loss. I long ago adopted the mentality that failure is simply a step in a process. I read Bernard Roth's The Achievement Habit at a fairly young age and found it to be greatly influential (in both my professional and personal life). Since then I've approached loses as just another step in a feedback loop. Why be frustrated when its just a natural step in the evolution of a process? To get past that I think you have to examine why you're playing the game in general, what is your desired outcome? If your why doesn't align with your how I think you'll be consistently frustrated because you're never able to process the feedback appropriately. If you're primary goal is to enjoy the game with friends but you focus on wins or perceived power imbalance then your looking at feedback from one process that isn't relevant to your goal. 

Thanks for coming to my TEDtalk. 

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I think it's really subjective.

I got frustrated in my last game against DoK, because his Witch Aelves one hitted 20 Clanrats +Warpfire Thrower.

And THEN he got the double turn.

 

I tought this was it and nearly conceded.

But I played a friend of mine and he is fun to Play so we played it out.

 

In the End I won it on objectives, because I won the roll off for Turn 5.

 

In the End one of the best and most fun games I played in a Long while.

 

Since then I see games from a much cooler perspective.

 

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Personally, I blame everyone and everything, I mean, clearly, it can't be me! I never make mistakes ever and therefore the dice punish me! 

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I never lose fairly. If i did it was because the enemy cheated and refused to fight like a proper dawi. Then the cheaters name goes in the grudge book. But.... man does khorne have a lot of entrys in that book.

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6 hours ago, Maier666 said:

 

In the End I won it on objectives, because I won the roll off for Turn 5.

This can't be emphasized strongly enough. AoS is about so much more than killing. Battleplans! Focus on the actual victory conditions.

This game is great for many reasons, but a big one is how it lets you play with things like Nagash, Great Unclean Ones, and other "nuclear weapons" without letting them dominate or ruin the game, and the reason is Battleplans.

Just this weekend, for example, I played two games where the carnage was insane and the person with the most killing still lost because of the Victory Points earned in the plan.

Maybe some folks who get frustrated are playing just for kills and not using Battleplans?

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13 hours ago, Sleboda said:

Maybe some folks who get frustrated are playing just for kills and not using Battleplans?

This could be a huge contributor in many peoples’ frustrations. Even in real battles losing a great deal of soldiers is disheartening and causes low morale. But sometimes  it’s the focus of the objectives that is more necessary than the survival of most of your troops.

If the enemy is one you know you can’t wipe off the map or not face without severe casualties, it is better to take the mindset of accepting that many of your troops aren’t going to survive and instead focus on making sure that the enemy doesn’t take the objective and make it the Helm’s Deep scenario. You just have to hold out til Gandalf and the Riders of Rohan arrive.

 

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I deal with frustration by not expecting to win and also to think about my wider experience. Lately I've been playing lists that I know are not very competitive but are thematic and fun. I took a troggoth list to a tournament and I lost every game mostly due to objective and low model count. 

My first game against Daughters of Khaine was very frustrating because a giant blob of witch elves charged and killed close to half of my army in one turn. I was powerless to stop it, I tried to position myself to mitigate the damage bit they are so fast it didnt matter. But when I got to go, I ahnilalated the witch elves and ended up almost tabling them. 

I take comfort in knowing that frustration is usually temporary and that I have had many more positive moments and comebacks than frustrating moments.

It also helps that I have too many different armies so when I get frustrated with my Beasts of Chaos I'll switch armies for a bit.

 

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Thank you all for your input! I enjoy to read all your viewpoints and found a lot of good advice here! As I am currently not able to play for some weeks due to exams so I have a short break from the game. I guess with 40k and Shadowspear maybe a longer one. I will for sure check the gw store out again as I miss to play against some of the dudes from the store and their awesome armies. For the last game before the break I adapted the "Play as the dice fell"-Mindset which helped me to snap out from expectations a little bit back into joyfull game so will keep it.

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I’m glad that this community came out in droves to over you advice and support and is something special about this forum.

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My view on gaming as a whole is very much - the game it's self just doesn't matter. I play every game to win but if I lose my partner still loves me, my family are still happy and healthy and the world keeps going round. The only things thats changed is the time on the clock from the start to finish, so enjoy the game inside that time.

Dice are a thing, sometimes dice are ******, some times dice are hot, sometimes you make mistakes, sometimes you'll get rolled over, etc etc. Who cares? Share some good times with likeminded people, create friendships and memories and share laughs brother. Don't let a game that is only played ultimately for enjoyment become anything else then that :)

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You can organise a narrative campaign. Suddenly it is not about winning or losing but progressing the plot.

Think Dungeons and Dragons style. As Game Master, you get to "balance" the game and give your competitive friends an amazing time playing their most broken strategies against near impossible odds. Award them with shiny artifacts to make uber champions and end off with a finale against Nagash or something.

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I think losing only feels worse when you go in expecting to win. I try not to approach games with the assumption that I'll win because of some reason, I go in expecting to be evenly matched and then focus on playing my best. 

Losing never feels good, of course, but when I lose I try to see where I could have won and take it into experience and apply those ideas next time. Trying to improve is not just thinking hard outside the game and then showing up to an event and going undefeated, it means that every game (whether at home, at an FLGS, or at a tournament) is a learning experience and should be approached as such.

Dice losses feel the worst, but that's just part of the game. Sometimes your dice are cold and your opponent's are hot, but you can always play the positioning game and make them work for the win.

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Well, I usually try not to get frustrated and that's works now most of the time. When I do however, I vent my frustration by grumbling at my own mistakes, because, well, I play armies that don't really have impossible match-ups. When I get exceptionally frustrated (that happens only when I lose to one particular piece of WAAC garbage) I finish the game with grumpy face and rant about it with my friends afterwards.

And I think you should ask your friends to tone down their lists so they won't turn a game into a slaughter, asking that perfectly fine.

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The question is what does toning down entail?  It will differ from person to person.  I think its as much on the onus for the other person to tone UP and build a more proper list as it is for someone to have to tone down. 

I know for me I don't own any more than I have to to field my force, so toning down is not an option for me, I don't have replacement models to tone down and I'm not going to go out and buy models just so that I have a weaker list.

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If your list is consistently losing/getting slaughtered first idea should be to make sure you are playing good and not failing something like poor tactics or synergies within your army. If you or your opponent can’t find/suggest problems then perhaps look at finding a unit to up your list to be more competitive.

It should be more on you to make a good list than for your opponent to do something they may not have the models or money to do

If you can’t make your army better then it’s time to consider house rules and/or asking if your opponent is willing to play sub-optimal (playing fewer points or leaving a hard counter unit in reserve til turn 3 or start wounded. Maybe a campaign of last stand where your weaker army units keeps coming back as they get wiped out until he’s defeated) lists to make a better challenge for both.

Edited by King Taloren

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6 hours ago, XReN said:

And I think you should ask your friends to tone down their lists so they won't turn a game into a slaughter, asking that perfectly fine.

No, it's really not.

Not to get too far into real world stuff, but that's a big part of what's messing with several parts of the world today:

It's not up to me to look inward, grow, develop, and achieve. It's up to everyone else to deliberately underachieve so that I can feel better.

In a gaming sense, would you really feel ok with a win where afterward your opponent said "well, you know, I really could have won, but I played with one hand tied behind my back" or would that make you feel like you had not actually achieved anything after all?

Or, to put it more gently, how will you ever improve if you never have to try to?

Edited by Sleboda
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I know it's kinda hard to accept, but there's really no such thing as "balanced" in a casual setting. If you're talking about FLGS games with your bros, everyone is going to have different ideas of what "casual" means. To borrow some MTG terminology:

Timmy is going to buy the models he thinks are cool and try to make them work. He just bought three Treelords and a bunch of Tree Revenants and is ready to roll some dice. But Timmy's buddy Timmy2 also bought models he thought were cool and ended up buying Nagash, because who doesn't love a giant Lich God? And then of course a couple hundred Skeletons to go with him, because lore!

Johnny understands win conditions and picked an army he thinks looks great, but has tried to make it work competitively by writing clever lists and messing with different units. He grabbed Gloomspite Gitz because they're cool, but he's tweaked a solid list through a couple days worth of list building and some test dice rolls. Johnny's buddy Johnny2 has the same mindset, but he grabbed Dispossessed and is sure he can make it work with lots of list tweaking and Allies and what not.

Then there's Spike. He grabbed a Stormcast Netlist and showed up with 40 Sequitors, 10 Evos, and Gavriel. He doesn't particularly care about being clever, he knows that games are meant to be won, and getting good lists is the way to do that. He's not a bad guy, but his approach to winning is to take the conclusive lists from good players, no need to have his own ideas involved. When asked to tone down his list, he kept everything the same but traded 10 Sequitors for some Judicators, because they're less dice efficient and therefore the list is overall weaker.

 

None of these players is playing the game wrong. But they all think one of the others is doing it wrong. Johnny2 is going to complain about Timmy2 because Nagash is impossible to stop for Dispossessed. No one wants to play Spike's list, because it's really crazy and obviously isn't even "his" army. Meanwhile, Timmy is going to have a bad time playing against basically everyone else, even though he's approaching the game the way GW would have you believe is the "correct way".  Johnny is winning most of his games, and can stand up to Spike's list sometimes, but the others are complaining that his book is just too good, because he's actually using the rules in a clever way.

I would wager most people here are Johnnys or Spikes, but there's plenty of Timmys. There's also a lot of Johnny players who think Spikes come at the game wrong, and a lot of Spike players who think Johnny just needs to get good, despite them both coming at the game with the mindset of "I want to win the game, and this is how I'm going to do it".

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