SportsmanshipOut of all of my opponents I have played, only about 20% of them didn’t turn into a hot, murky bowl of turd stew when they started to lose. It takes a certain type of person to take it on the chin and keep rolling dice without an attitude. The funny part about that 80% poor-loser rate I just mentioned, is that I’m sure all of them would deny it. But I’ve seen people grab miniatures and throw them into their case, take the whole unit off the board when they only took a couple wounds, or just concede when the game was far from over. Now, I don’t know how to tell you to get better at this; that’s probably a job for a psychologist. But it needs to improve across the board. Losing honorably sometimes means knowing that the cause is lost, but that quitting would be cheating your opponent. You are playing a game and supposedly having fun, your life isn't on the line and losing doesn't take a piece of your soul. So lighten up and try to keep things in perspective.
Now sometimes of course, it isn't your opponent that pissed you off. Sometimes your dice have become treacherous little cubes of hate instead of a means to randomly determine things. When this happens, I have found that getting upset only makes it worse. There have been games that i really wanted to win and my dice decided that they liked the other guy better, so they turned on me like we were in Cloud City. But the games that I got upset, the dice just rolled worse and worse. At some point I said that i would just laugh about it instead of being blinded by rage. And now I find that about 40% of the time I can turn my dice around if I stay positive. Try it sometime and you'll probably find the same outcome.
TacticsThere are tactica articles all over the internet written by very talented people (but I’m better) covering every single unit seven times over. Not to mention battle reports which provide good examples of what to do and not to do on the battlefield. It seems that a lot of people seem to treat their wargaming like they do their personal life: “It sucks right now but if I don’t think about it and do nothing to change it, it will eventually get much better on its own.” Well I’m sorry to tell you Princess, but things only get better when you pay attention to them and work on them. That means figuring out where you went wrong, whether that was assaulting an Imperial Knight with Grots, or pooping yourself at the Prom (you know you did). And after reading the tacticas, watching the battle reports, and playing games, you can start to make yourself better. But another really good idea to do is . . .
Reviewing Your GamesHow do you know what you did wrong if you never asked yourself, “Hey, Me. What did I do wrong tonight?” I carpool with a couple friends to our Warhammer club each week and a while ago we started asking that question on the ride back home. We ended up improving our game by imagining what would likely happen if we had assaulted a different unit, deployed differently, or not marryied a woman that hits me. Not only is it a good chance to tell other people about your game, but you get their input as well and make mental notes to yourself on what you’d do better next time. Now I know what you’re saying, “But all-powerful and all-knowing Pimpcron, I don’t use a carpool. How I can review my tactics if I don’t carpool like you do.” And my answer is: you can’t. Sorry. This whole strategy review thing really hinges on carpooling to work. Oh well, sounds to me like somebody needs to start carpooling.
HobbyingThere has been much debate over which Chapter actually has the largest number of soldiers, but I’m willing to put money on the Gray Plastic Chapter. An ancient Chinese proverb states “For every Golden Daemon-winning painted model, there is one metric butt-load of unpainted or partially assembled ones”. Once again, you can find a multitude of articles online to help improve your hobby game regardless of your level.
Too many unpainted models? Start by just priming a bunch and dry brushing a base color on them. It hardly takes any time at all to do this. When you find the time, you’ll come back and add more details; but at least they aren’t just gray plastic. And as any skydiving instructor will tell you, sometimes you just need that little push to get you going places. If you take it one step at a time the task won’t seem so daunting and in the end, you’ll feel better for getting something done too.
Want to step up your painting game? The internet is chock full of people making videos and articles on wet pallets, washes, directional lighting, lettering, weathering, and smegmellowing. (I may have made one of those up). So grab a spare model that you don’t care you’ll mess up, load a video to watch and do what your pastor always warned you about: experiment a little. Believe it or not, I was afraid to try washes for the first time and now I preach their benefits to all that will hear. Yes, even I experienced trepidation one time when it comes to trying new things. But just that once. Ever.
If you think about it, we spend a ton of time and money to physically represent a tiny battlefield with scenery and everything. Your opponent takes the time to paint his models and has to play opposite of you with a bare metal or plastic army. You are effectively telling your opponent that you just don't care about his immersion. Now maybe this statement is a little harsh because it is just a game and not everybody has the ability or time to paint models well. But I think it's the proper thing to do to at least have your stuff primed. Preferably painted table top standard or the "3 Foot Rule". The 3 Foot Rule is, your model is good enough if it looks decent at arms length. Not everything has to be award winning. Just put a little effort into it and everybody wins.
What to witness my slow descent into madness first hand? Check out my wild ramblings on my blog www.diceforthedicegod.com