The Path to Victory is Paved With Hobo Corpses

The best laid schemes of mice and men, go often awry
-Robert Burns

Lil’ story…
At the final Version 2 FoW Tournament I attended, I missed placing in the top three because of a failed bog test.

As the two hour mark approached, and the TO announced ’15 minutes remaining,’ I left one of my Tiger tanks guarding the approach to my objectives, along with a somewhat battered Engineer platoon. The Tiger platoon leader and a teammate made a mad dash for an unguarded enemy objective.
The enemy was a Russian Mech list, which spent the majority of our game pushing the west flank. The eastern side of the board was empty, with the exception of the single Grenadier platoon I had protecting my own objective on that side of the table.
They were chillin,’ drinking coffee and Schnapps, observing the fireworks from the comfort of a wooded grove.
The enemy east objective looked awful tempting, since the mission was Free-For-All. I suspected my opponent would play for the draw when he realized he wasn’t going to take the west flank, so I went for it.
All I had to do was cut through a lil’ patch o’ woods.


*Friggin’ potholes*

Naturally, the teammate passed his bog check, and the platoon leader failed.
Wide tracks? Fail.

The game ended in a draw, and I went outside to bang my head against a wall.
Thank goodness one of the things included in the lil’ tournament ‘goodie bag’ was a cube of dice, because the dice I  had been using that day didn’t survive long following the game. There was a drainage grate in the parking lot.
Don’t you judge me…I didn’t have a torch handy.

Wide Tracks free a bogged tank immediately on a 4up. All I had to do was roll a 4 up.
Oh, how the Dice Gods must have had a merry chuckle…

*My scream was heard in space*

I know the Dice Gods smile upon the Ultimate Rival, and this fact vexes me to no end. It’s hard not to hate on someone when they routinely make 5up saves.
I don’t mean ‘makes them sometimes,’ or ‘gee, that’s unusual.’
No, I mean like, ‘just go ahead and roll it, you son of a…’
…and he does. Every time. We both stand there aghast when he doesn’t make them.
Meantime, I can’t buy a roll of four or better.

Ultimately, I think the Dice Gods have done me a favor. As a result of their continuous derision, a while back I just decided to say ‘screw it,’ and started attending tournaments strictly for the lolz. I gave up any pretense of winning.
I think maybe some kind of ego thing was occurring. I had thoughts like, ‘hey, I’m good at this game! I’ve got a good list that I’ve tested. I should do well.’
Maybe I was a lil’ cocky, I dunno. Maybe I should’ve remembered I was there for the lolz in the first place.

Regardless, ever since I’ve thrown up my hands in frustration and submitted to the whims of the Dice Gods, I’ve actually played better, and won more games than I used to.
I’m at a loss when it comes to understanding why this is.

*This sign had better explain itself*

Has taking a more cavalier approach towards victory somehow helped me to…actually win?
Certainly I’ve taken a second to re-consider some decisions with the understanding that the Dice Gods wait to mock me, and chosen another course.
I’ve also learned to do quick ‘game-maths’ in my head, always a very helpful skill, and one that gets honed over time. The more familiar one becomes with the core calculations of a system, the easier it is to avoid bad moves, and make good ones.
Tempering the wrath of the Dice Gods with cold, hard numbers,if you will.

I understand the statistics, but I still trust my instincts. 
Sometimes, though, you gotta to run the numbers.
It’s an odd dichotomy, but there ya go. That’s my insane theory, and I’m sticking to it.

What is encouraging, however, is that I suppose I’m getting better at playing something I’ve spent time trying to get better at. I’ve put in the time , and now that effort is producing results.

I know there’s lot of gamers out there who, like myself, know that the Dice Gods are out to get them.

I know it’s easy to get discouraged, and start looking for hobos to sacrifice. The truth is, you’ll probably only need to sacrifice one or two.

(you see that smiley? that means I was making a joke. i’m not actually suggesting you sacrifice hobos to win miniature wargames. also, i have no idea of the whereabouts of any hobos that may or may not be missing from my neighborhood, or neighboring neighborhoods. thank you)

*You can explain those sixes to the judge, pal*

In all seriousness (i have alibis), I just wanna give a shout-out to all the unlucky fools out there. 
I want you all to persevere, to grind through the incessant stream of snake eyes knowing that it all serves a purpose. Every bad die you roll acts as a lil’ jolt of electroshock aversion therapy in your subconscious, and eventually this has effects beyond making the inevitable ones and twos physically painful to see.

It’ll get better, just stick to it. Have Hollywood underdog tales taught us nothing? Just think of your losing streak as the longest montage sequence ever, and it won’t be so bad in retrospect.
You may wanna keep an eye out for unwary hobos, though, in case you’ve got a frenemy like the Ultimate Rival.

 Until next time, folks, exit with catchphrase!


You may also like...