Going into our first tournament, I had a few big thoughts running through my head. First, this was going to be my first opportunity to play opponents other than Alan, but by no means my first Faux-deo. After upwards of 30 games in the 7 months we’ve been playing, I am moderately confident in my understanding of the basic rules of the game. My second thought, and one shared by Alan on our carpool to the event, was using this experience to gauge our general skills in the game in relation to the competitive community. It was this thought in particular I took the most away from, because this event was going to determine if the skills and personal strategies I have picked up while playing Alan have sharpened my skill as a player, or brought me to a plateau.
Turns out, Alan is a great crucible of an opponent. During those 30+ games prior to the tournament, 4 of which I scraped a win or a tie from, I have had the opportunity to see six factions of models walk, push, and fly across the board to achieve almost every scheme from GG16-17. In spite of heavy losses, I have learned how to respond competitively to almost every situation thrown at me on the table, giving me opportunities out of game to rethink what models I take and how to best utilize them. Through this, I have come up with a personalized philosophy for going into each game: I enter the game assuming I am going to lose handily while my opponent denies my points and slaughters my models. While this might come across as self depreciating to a fault, I’ll also add that I don’t go into the game thinking I am a bad player – just that I’m not the best in the game. From this stance I play from turn 1 with the intention of fighting for every point I can, leaving room to take advantage of any holes in my opponents play style.
So, what’s the big take away if you ARE going to lose?
The first and biggest take away I have for all games, competitive or casual, is Have Fun! If you’re staring a loss in the face, you should still be having a good time. You might have been denied your only viable strategy of “Eliminate the Leadership” because your opponent’s Nekima killed their own Lilith, or Ironsides might have just negated that RJ flip that ignored damage prevention, but there’s still the entirely of the game to enjoy.
Second, if you know you can’t win do two things: score what you can, gunk up your opponent as much as you can. A futile game is a perfect opportunity to use your models in new and foolish ways that give you insight into things you never thought of using them for, and things you should never do again. The next game you play with those models, or lack of, will cary new wisdom on how to best achieve your goals. Throwing things at your opponent is also a great way to see as much of their crew in action as you can. This is especially helpful if you only play a few local players who run more-or-less the same crew each time.
Until next time, enjoy your learning experiences!