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Kirosendo

Being a loser is actually the best

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Hey guys,

My name is Chai Tzola, and I have been playing Warhammer competitively for a while. I usually go to events in the U.S and try my hardest to finish in the top 10.

Now that I have introduced myself, I would like to talk to you guys about losing, and becoming a better player.

We all have this moment in our games when you see the victory slip through your fingers. It can be a deployment error, realizing that taking the double turn was a mistake. whiffing a big dice roll, or even not putting enough models near an objective. You see your mistake during your opponent's turn, you hope the opponent doesn't notice, but you're at a tournament so he or she does and you're toast.
Well, you're toast now, your army is crumbling, your general was out of position, you miss that charge and you start holding your head thinking where did it all fall apart? You're losing and there's no chance for you to come back into the rankings of the tournament.


Tough cookie...


The first time I got whacked like that was at Nova, I was playing a very good list and lost the game in the first five minutes. I won't bore you with the details, but trust me, there was no way for me to make it happen. That frustrated me, I stopped caring and didn't score my secondary objectives and took the L and that was it. Had I scored any of my secondaries I would have ended 3rd.


To be fair at that point I wasn't a fun opponent, being a little mopey which isn't cool.
Warhammer is a hobby and its mostly all just for fun. I know that for me it's a little more, I spend hours and hours of building and painting and then attempt to play the same army again and again to get a feel for it. Which leads you to be a bit sore when losing a game, that's something I changed after Nova for a few reasons. You don't learn anything from a win, and you don't make changes to your gameplay. When you lose however, you can question where it went wrong, and maybe even see how your army list isn't adequate. That will make you a better player and also a pleasant player to play with. 

I know this is pretty obvious to most of you, but it's a good reminder

So to get the topic started, what's your favorite loss and what did you learn from it?

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Posted (edited)

Had a loss that was ultimately insignificant, but taught me to trust no one but myself when it came to strategic decisions and threat evaluation.

Nighthaunt had just dropped, and we had organized a casual tournament. I got matched against the only nighthaunt army there, and was using a destruction allegiance grot-based army. I wasn't sure what to expect beyond some spell and regen shenanigans, since it was brand new, but was told (by others who had played against it at the event) that the main punch of his particular army was the spirit hosts. 

So I angled my grot netters towards the flank facing them, and was caught completely off-guard when the chainrasp horde, which I had been told was near useless, tore my poor grots apart when they hit the other flank, straight up mulching through 25-30 grots, and a whole bunch more to battleshock, leaving me unable to maintain pressure in the center, pushing me off the objective, and ultimately costing me the match ;)

Lesson learned: people will give you advice when they're just as clueless as you. Trust your own evaluation instead. A strategy formed from lack of information is better than one formed from misinformation. 

Edited by Mayple
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This is a small one, but I played some games were dual warp lightning cannons were pretty much crucial to me winning. Turns out putting my faith in only two WLC didn't work out. He outranged the WLC with abilities and artillery, and that was that. Those games I also played without a hammer unit. Clanrats can only get you so far. So basically now I'm looking to include some kind of hammer in my army 🙂

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Posted (edited)

Yep, just like @EccentricCircle said, don’t think about losing, see it as a victory for yourself.

after all that army you send against your foe was just a mire distraction giving your true scale Force a change of take-stealing that city burrow or just killing of another army in the process.

and if that doesn’t help, remember that those fool-things that lost against your foe-thing were all traitors, waiting for the right moment to strike you with a hidden blade.

You of course who is more cunning then them knew their scheming plan and just send them to their deaths.

 

Edited by Skreech Verminking
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Winning teaches you little - it is the end of the journey. Losing is a key learning experience and a vital step on the road to victory. But only if you learn from it

Losing helped me learn my Khorne army,  Khorne is/was an army full of rules and synergies, a lot to keep track of and easy to forget. Each time I lost I realised I had missed rules or misplayed something. These were lightbulb moments and I tried to make sure to play the rule next time or to put in place process so I would not forget e.g. I now lay out warscroll cards in the order actions happen in the hero phase and work through them step by step. I still don’t always win, but it’s always a close and fun game.

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Posted (edited)

Back to the 1st edition, i was fighting a horrible list of fyreslayers. 90 vulkites berserker, kharadrons allies to snipe everything behind. All this frontline with a 4+ reroll save and a 4++. I was playing khorne, and i had absolutely NO HOPE to win against that. I was playing a gore pilgrim khorne list, a strong list but not at all on this level of pure stomp.

So i did everything to make the game as hard as possible for him. I avoided combat, use every pile-in and retreat move nd absolutely every trick i knew to be more numerous on the objectives,  sacrificed my characters to have BT points to summon units to contest objectives. Absolutely EVERYTHING.

When time was off, I ended up entirely tabled, killing maybe 25% of his army. It was a complete whooping, but he won only 9-8. The guy praised me so much that i felt embarassed. Especially since he is a way better player than me.

But it felt good to loose like that.

Edited by ledha
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I don't know which is my favorite, but I recently lost a game with my DoK against a Gristlegore army. I had all the tools necessary to take them on, and thought my Sisters of Slaughter would be safe when I deployed them 5" behind my screen.

Sisters of Slaughter are a crucial unit in the matchup with their 6" pile-in. Since the Gristlegore general attacks at the start of the combat phase, they can position themselves 5-6" away, let him waste his opportunity to attack, and then pile in and kill him. However, for that to be possible I need them to survive.

What happened was that my opponent took the first turn and charged my screen with two big guys. The first guy piled in and did lots of damage to my screen, and then the second guy killed it off with its first activation, moved 3" forward with its second activation and killed something like 15 Sisters with its maw attacks. Then a bunch more fled to to battleshock, leaving me with 11 or so out of the original 30.

I still had a chance to claw my way back into the game, but was unable to due to losing every priority roll. It'd be easy to blame that, but if I had just deployed my Sisters better I wouldn't have needed to depend on winning priority.

Since then, I have been thinking of how to counter Gristlegore. I have made some improvements to my list, making sure I start with a command point to reduce battleshock susceptibility turn 1. I have also figured out a way to deploy so that my setup becomes a death trap for the FEC-player, where he dies if he charges me and my Sisters are completely safe.

Great loss, and I'm so happy it happened in a practice game!

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Solaris said:

Sisters of Slaughter are a crucial unit in the matchup with their 6" pile-in. Since the Gristlegore general attacks at the start of the combat phase, they can position themselves 5-6" away, let him waste his opportunity to attack, and then pile in and kill him. However, for that to be possible I need them to survive.

Need to point out that you are playing this wrong. They have a 6” pile in but they still have to be within 3” or make a successful charge ending within 1/2” of an enemy model to be able to fight in the combat phase. The 6” pile in is for swarming and breaking through the vanguard into the juicy squishy heroes on the back line for happy murder times. Now you can charge a different unit and then 6” pile into your intended target afterward but you can’t start the fight phase 5-6” from all enemy units.

Edited by King Taloren

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25 minutes ago, King Taloren said:

Need to point out that you are playing this wrong. They have a 6” pile in but they still have to be within 3” or make a successful charge ending within 1/2” of an enemy model to be able to fight in the combat phase. The 6” pile in is for swarming and breaking through the vanguard into the juicy squishy heroes on the back line for happy murder times. Now you can charge a different unit and then 6” pile into your intended target afterward but you can’t start the fight phase 5-6” from all enemy units.

Not correct, the rule states that they can be selected to pile in and attack when they are within 6" of an enemy in the combat phase.

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Ahh my mistake. I thought they just had a 6” pile in. Though this doesn’t waste the Gristlegore General’s attacks because he doesn’t have a valid target to activate and fight because he has to follow the normal activation rules of 3” or a charge. If he has no valid targets he won’t waste his attacks. He doesn't attack first but he can still attack later if you put something in his threat range.

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The way I read it is that he attacks at the start of the phase, no matter what. If there is no valid target at that point, he doesn't get to attack at all.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Solaris said:

The way I read it is that he attacks at the start of the phase, no matter what. If there is no valid target at that point, he doesn't get to attack at all.

I would read it that he attacks first as long as he has a valid target. If such a case presents itself that he can attack then he is able to at that point. Idoneth fight first but if I have a unit that didn’t have a valid target that suddenly gets a enemy unit to pile in range it doesn’t say I cannot attack with them afterwards. They just miss out on the strike first ability it doesn’t say that they can only fight first or not at all.

It works the same way as a unit getting charged by a solo Doppelgänger cloak unit. They have no valid target to pile in and attack so they cannot do so until the unit with the doppelgänger attacks them first. Then they have a valid target after.

Edited by King Taloren
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I'm a recent convert from Warmachine which I played semi-competitively (as in i did well in the local meta, decently in regional and ****** poor in the national). One of the things that got me hooked on the game was the thrill of learning and persevering through my first 20 games--all of which I lost horribly to one thing or another.

Coming back to Warhammer, I'm hoping to experience this in a different way. I left Warmachine because the game and product line has so over-positioned itself as *the* competitive tabletop game that it's hard to find any games that aren't 75 point steamroller. I wrote up a resource gathering FFA module no one wanted to try. I wrote up a MOBA module as well and no one wanted to waste time not prepping for the next tournament.

I'm not going to derail this thread by explaining why I think Warmachine is more conducive to competitive play than AoS because that's not what I think AoS is about. Things like double turns are essentially left up to chance at the end of every battle round, and losing to one is an opportunity to lean about how I could have prepared for that contingency better. Better yet,  having lost despite having benefitted from consecutive double turns is a real learning opportunity as well.

Basically I agree with the OP: take your lumps and learn and you'll be a better gamer and person for it.

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I think one of my lost games i learned the most was against one of my friends. I often play very aggresive and most of the time i forget to check if my units are wholly within x" for my buffs. I outposition my own units because i am so greedy and want to feed my FEC. Sometimes when i got high charge rolls and try to be tricky or sneaky by engaging enemy heroes, my units are to far away from the objectives. 

Once i lost a game even though i tabled my opponent. He won the game becaus he scored more points. From this day i try to check if a charge is necessary, i masure the distance to my heroes. Points gained by objectives  win the game, unless there are killpoints.

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Posted (edited)

I have started to take non optimised SC lists to most games for this reason. Loads of First edition units, just rolling for artefacts, Stormhost etc.  

I have a 90% win rate with majority  Sequitor lists and I don’t teqlly need to think about what I’m doing anymore, I can play massively suboptimaly and get away with it all the same. Just not satisfying winning for its own sake. 

When I win withrqndom set ups I know I’ve properly marshalled my resources and won through at least some skill.

Edited by Nos
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Taking the path condemned and cordoned off with Seraphon according to everyone else (saurus no slann) I've come up with a list that has given me the closest games I've had, I've either won by a comfortable amount, or lost by such a small margin that it was really just a charge/teleport or priority that decided it. And I have been so much happier with even my losses since then. Including going from 5-1 outnumbered against GHON with Arkhan to turning it to them being outnumbered 2-1 or more before units were brought back, and that's only cause the general survived on 3 wounds.

So losing has certainly felt better because It really could've gone either way.  

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17 hours ago, King Taloren said:

It works the same way as a unit getting charged by a solo Doppelgänger cloak unit. They have no valid target to pile in and attack so they cannot do so until the unit with the doppelgänger attacks them first. Then they have a valid target after.

That is an awkward explanation of I don't know what

But, Doppelganganger Cloak can make a unit waste it's activation if an army with cloaked hero can bleed opponent's activations by having more units in combat.

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My favorite losses are when it seems close against a top player. Some experienced tournament players are really good at this. While they have the game secured, they make you think you can win it, they give you things to kill that don t matter or let you score objective points while they can be ahead in points by the end of the game time. In the end I enjoyed my time spent in a game I had no chance to win yet never realized it and they ll likely get a best sport vote so it s a win win feels like but I was played from the beginning

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1 hour ago, 123lac said:

What if you never win?

Like, not ever.

Is it still the best?

 

Well you chose to play Squats and refused to leave when the Tyranids said lunchtime....

too soon?

 

The man who learns nothing from his victories or his defeats never truly wins in the first place. He is merely delaying his inevitable permanent defeat from his own hubris.

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55 minutes ago, King Taloren said:

Well you chose to play Squats and refused to leave when the Tyranids said lunchtime....

too soon?

 

The man who learns nothing from his victories or his defeats never truly wins in the first place. He is merely delaying his inevitable permanent defeat from his own hubris.

But if you are winning by losing, then are you actually losing or are you winning 24/7?

In which case, are you missing out on being a true loser?

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Well if you just out and lose 24/7 either the Chaos gods have made you a specific point to feast on your suffering, or you might not be winning for other reasons. (I.e. you are Bean from Enders Game during the sidequel series. Orson Scott Card is awesome!) There is learning  but hopefully somewhere you can scrape a win after enough time. 

Though for losing until you win..,.Honestly I think I can just say look up Texas History. Particularly when Texas fought Mexico for Independence. 

Sam Houston spent the last fourth of the war just retreating across most of the land taking defeat after defeat as Santa Anna’s Mexican Army chases his crew, until at San Jacintos when Houston turned around and let his army of angry disgruntled and seriously pissed off Texans loose for the shortest fight of the entire war against Mexico. 18 minutes later and Texas won the war.

Two lessons learned by Santa Anna. 1 Don’t take a siesta when the enemy is close by by even if they were retreating. 2 Don’t mess with pissed off Texans.

America itself has similar problems in their war for Independence as well, and the sequel War of 1812, which Washington DC was burned to the ground. 

So yea you can win by losing, until you win. 

Napoleon was winning up until Waterloo. And then he couldn’t get hold of any military victory afterward. I was winning until my dice flipped me the bird...😂

Edited by King Taloren
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