Arrogance and Laziness…

I’m pretty damn good at 40K,

I normally win something like 95% of my games, my list building skills are sound and I understand the rules of the game and how to use them to my benefit in ways that may occasionally border on (but not cross into, I hasten to add) the realms of WAAC.

However recently a change has occurred…

I’ve found myself having uphill struggles against armies that me and/or my lists should be stomping into the ground and even losing a few that even the worst dice rolls in history shouldn’t have bought about.

We all have runs of bad luck, but complaints about bad dice or rock, paper, scissors style match-ups don’t adequately explain what’s been occurring to me at all. I sat down and thought carefully about those recent games and had what I believe alcoholics call a ‘moment of clarity’.

The problem was me.

No, I haven’t suddenly got worse as a player, started using stupidly fluffy lists, been the victim of an unforeseen increase in my opponents skill levels or inadvertently caught some debilitating mental disease as all of these problems would be less embarrassing than what had actually happened.

I’ve just been presuming that I’ll win because that’s what normally happens…

Some of the following may make you think less of me as a person (if that’s possible, lol) but I long ago swore that my blogging would bring my audience the bad as well as the good so here it is…

Laziness…
A friend of mine who’s preferences are more towards the painting side of the hobby than the gaming side has been messing around with a Grey Knights list. It’s basically a Grandmaster, a Librarian, 20 Terminators and a couple of Dreadknights. He’s probably played more times with this list than he has with every other army he’s ever had combined but that still probably only amounted to less than a dozen games. I’d piled my army on one side of the board as I’d been removing it from the case and when I deployed I chose the side that I was standing by because I couldn’t be bothered to walk around the table….

Yes, I know…

To reduce the tale of sloth to its pertinent points the game went thus,

I was too close to him so I couldn’t kill enough before his army reached me and punched, sliced and nemesised* my stuff  to death. Admittedly he made quite a lot of saves, some of which maths said he should have failed but even so my laziness cost me a turn (or maybe two) of shooting that could probably have made a difference.

* probably not an actual word.

Anyway, I lost…

…you think that’s bad…

…this ones worse…

Laziness and Arrogance…
I had a game against a friend of mine who uses Tyranids. He doesn’t take uber optimised lists but he’s very good with the ones he uses. However I had more than enough shooting with my 17 Missile Launchers, 5 Lascannons and/or twin-linked Plasma guns and 2 lots of Living Lightning to win with very little difficulty. I was going first and as in my head I’d already won the game I chucked my Long Fangs and Rune Priests all in the same bit of cover somewhere roughly in the middle of my board edge with my Razorbacks on either side and went to make myself a cup of tea while my opponent deployed. I noticed when I strolled back in that I probably could have deployed a few things further back and the Long Fangs a bit further apart but it didn’t matter as I was going to kill everything long before that became an issue.

My opponent then seized the initiative…

Which would cost me a round of shooting but I still had enough time to kill it all.

And then everything ran and/or fleeted at least 5 inches…

Which was a bit of an annoyance but only a minor one as I’d already won hadn’t I?

To cut a long story short, two turns later I was minus all my long Fangs, both my Rune Priests and several vehicles and suddenly had to pull out all the tricks in the book in order to scrape a victory. But I’d gotten out of worse scrapes. I just needed my opponent to make a couple of mistakes and I’d be fine…

Instead he just moved everything of his out of my (now much reduced) shooting range so I had to come to him and as I was behind on kill points I had no choice but to oblige…which to be fair was exactly what I would have done had the situation been reversed.

I didn’t make it by the way, lol.

I take nothing away from my opponent by the way. He played well, took advantage of my errors and got the maximum mileage from the few minor bits of good luck that he had.

Like I said earlier, the problem was all down to me.

Hindsight is always 20/20.
If I’d have bothered to look at his army properly** I’d have realised that his longest ranged shooting attack was 18″ and I’d have got my armour save against all his shooting anyway making the cover a bit irrelevant except when he got close enough to charge me (which wouldn’t have happened if I’d deployed at the back like I should have done).

** As a Tyranid player myself I couldn’t even use the ‘I didn’t know how his army worked’ excuse 🙁

If I’d have done everything right my opponent probably wouldn’t have had much fun. He’d have had to weather 3 or even 4 turns of my shooting and would have been lucky to have anything left alive by turn 3. His outflanking units would have had nothing to assault till the turn after they arrived and even then there should have been a vehicle hull blocking the way that had hopefully moved far enough so It was unlikely to get hurt much anyway. Though to be honest, any number of things could have been done better by me and I’m not going to bore you by listing them all.

Some of you may make the observation that the game was actually more fun because of my errors as I would have had an easy victory otherwise. However, I don’t think I’m doing any of my opponents any favours by giving them illusions about the quality of their army lists by letting both my arrogance and laziness give them wins that they shouldn’t really have had. I’m also unsure about whether my opponents enjoyment of their victory was enhanced or reduced by their knowledge (if they noticed) of the nature of my attitude. After all I’m not good looking, famous or rich enough to get away with being an arrogant son of a bitch for very long…

So I suppose I should be thankful for these (and others I haven’t shared) lessons in humility and I assure you I shall use them to turn myself into that game winning bastard that all my friends have had to put up with for the last five years.

Whether that’s a good thing or not we’ll have to wait and see…

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

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