40K: Learning From Your Mistakes

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Fritz here…

You bet we all want to win games, but even when you are losing there is merit to sticking it out and taking your licks. The first reason is the 40K social contract of course.

In playing a game, both you and your opponent have agreed to spend those few hours rolling dice and pushing around little soldier toys rather than doing real life stuff – perhaps even at the expense of work or family. If you are taking a beating and quit the game, how is that “fun” for your opponent? If you were crushing them wouldn’t you be upset if they rage-quit, and just gave up, ruining your fun? Play out the game and be a good sport about it!

If you are losing then that is the chance to let go of the winning ego. Try to learn from each move you make, and each action you take. Here is a very good real life example of learning from your mistakes, and how mistakes don’t have to be gigantic squad killing blunders to still be a big screw up…
So I was playing my Tyranids in an annihilation/kill point mission vs. Tau. The plan was to rush forward with Swarmlord and my genestealers – pushing forward with a wall of bugs while the carnifexes and other pod bugs crash the ranks from behind.
Against Tau, with their anti-nightfight, there wasn’t much I could do regarding the ‘stealers. They had the range and firepower with three hammer heads to blast my stealers regardless of where they hid.
So my stealers advanced and took some losses; one group down near my side of the table made it into terrain and was about 7 or so inches away from a big kroot squad and I had maybe four stealers left – I can’t really remember the exact number, but it was small. Now normally in a kill point mission when a unit of bugs gets that low they run and hide, but vs. Tau again there was nowhere to hide…
So I had a choice on my turn… what would you do?
Would going for the assault be the correct action to take?
If my stealers made it in, then I could at least get a kill point before I lost them next turn… right?
Well assaulting was the wrong thing to do even at the close range, and here is why…
I did assault, and the kroot rapid fired and killed the stealers with overwatch. A lucky overwatch, but even if they killed one or two I would have lost the assault on my turn. What that meant was that the kroot overwatched, and killed my stealers. They were now free to act on my opponent’s turn – turning their attention, and adding the weight of firepower to the rest of the Tau to go to work on my ‘fexes.
The right move was to stand still in terrain and not assault. Here is why: on my opponent’s turn the kroot have to make a choice -shoot the stealers and remove a threat – and gain a kill point, or go to work on a carnifex. The mission was a kill point mission, so the stealers were the easier point for them to take and I would have lost them even going to ground… BUT that would have taken pressure off my ‘fexes. This could potentially last longer through the turns, and earn more kill points than losses. Parking the stealers would have given the kroot something else to shoot at on their turn, and not a free shoot action on my turn…

So remember, even when the chips are down – tough it out and do your best to learn from the defeat – even while it’s happening.

~What’s your most useful defeat – that most improved you as a player?  What happened and what did you gain from the experience?

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