40K Getting Tabled: Learning from Defeat

Something has gone terribly wrong…

Hey folks! NoName1 from Warhammering here to talk about losing, with grace and style!

So I played a game last night (sorry folks, still 6th, my circle is taking our time switching over to 7th) against a friend’s Ravenwing Dark Angels. He heavily favors Black Knights (with their twin-linked mini-plasma guns) and Land Speeders covered in guns (mostly Heavy Bolters and Flamers with a Typhoon on top).

And, in this game, I was tabled on turn 5. Now, I played a strange list, and this is a friend who isn’t 100% comfortable with the rules yet, so I was confident going in that I would win. So confident, that you might call it cocky.

I’ll spare you the details of the full report, but suffice it to say, I got my butt royally kicked.

So! Where to go from there? I could flip the table

But that, while fun and often satisfying, isn’t productive. And, it makes it harder to get another game in, not to mention the damage to my precious models who have already suffered enough. Rather, let’s go the more helpful route:

Step 1:
What went wrong?
In this case, an Alpha Strike whacked my precious Avatar, and I deployed my Scorpions right in front of an Anti-Infantry deathball. I didn’t hide my Jetbike units (usually used for scoring), and since this was a Kill Points mission, essentially gave away all those points. Also, I was relying on Eldrad to get Fortune to make my Wraithblades durable enough to get to combat, which he did not get.

We also rolled long table (Hammer & Anvil) and Purge the Alien (kill points), both of which heavily favored my opponent’s list in this fight.

When it comes down to it though, I seriously underestimated those Plasma Talons, and how long it would take me to cross the table, and got rightly slammed for it.

Step 2:
What went right?

My Wraithknight and Wave Serpents were able to even the scales over several turns (wait, those units are good?!) and I wound up with *some* victory points, making it at least not a shutout.

There’s also some pride to be had here, as my opponent is a friend who I have been coaching for some time now, and he played beautifully – even if it was brutally taking apart my army.

Step 3:
What can we do better?

It should have been clear from my deployment what was going to happen, and what ended up happening was no surprise. I should have kept units in Reserve and Outflanked with the units that could, gone flat-out in transports with the ones that couldn’t. I let my opponent dictate the movement in-game, which was a big mistake.

I was right to be aggressive, but should have been a little more cautious, and actually *used* the tools that were available to me.

But! Lesson learned. And next time, I will do better!

I hope this has been an inspiring preaching moment about how to get your butt whupped with grace! Tell us all about your most shameful defeats and how you came back from them a much stronger player.

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