Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Loosing the Game, how to make friends (or not..) and influence people.

Loosing gracefully, Harder than you think..

A great game with allot of excellent back and forth high paced action is always a pleasure, and few will begrudge a loss when faced with excellent opponent who truly challenges them, but the one sided blowout is a bitter pill to swallow.

This has come up personally a couple times, and to be honest is something allot of us struggle with, especially when competing on the tournament circuit.

Now I am not suggesting you concede a game, especially if it’s game 5 on table 1, but there is a difference between finishing with grace and turning it into a grudge match!

A personal example comes to mind recently, practicing for a 1500 point tournament I was facing off Vs a good friend of mine, Dave "B". Starting the match with a flawless record against him I approached the game with a fair amount of confidence I would win, but three turns in, 7 out of 9 failed dangerous terrain tests and having failed to kill a single oncoming transport I was getting salty. I know I had lost the game, and before I lost my cool (I think) I called it then and there. Now in practice this for casual play or competitive, it lets you keep friends, get an extra game in, and sometimes learn something.

When faced with an inevitable loss there are several ways to approach it, but it’s important to keep a clear head. If you need to take a 5 minutes break (as long as it’s not the last 5) do it. If you need a coke get it. Don’t let your opponent rush you, push you, or brow beat you. Once you’re seen to be off balance many “hard” core players will try force either a concession or to play on and hope you start to make mistakes.. Stay strong.

The Good:
-Play it out, Dead pan: Finish the game doing exactly what you would normally do to try and win. Sometimes the Dicegods favor the vigilant. Turn a loss into a draw, and even rarely a win.
-Play it out, Laughing man: Laughter is the best medicine. Especially when your loosing due to RNG and not tactical mistakes. As long as it’s not the bitter laughter of the dyeing your opponent will join in. You might end up with a couple free beers post match.
-Play it out, Suicide rush/Laughing Man: Sometimes reckless abandon pays off. Channel the inner Ork and do it with a smile and a laugh and the guy across from you will join in.
-Concede, Turn 6: You’re not contesting any objectives and 8 KP behind, accept the loss. Playing out when it makes no difference often earns no friends.
-Concede, Turn 1: You’ve lost 3 pods off the board with 1’s rolled on the mishap, you’re on the table assets are routed, and your foe is unscathed consider it. Almost every major tourney I hear about a table where the record is recorded, they reset and play a second game for *gasp* fun. It’s an option.

The Bad:
-Play it out, Slow Hammer: Really?
-Play it out, Bitter man: I have faced winners and losers doing both. SVDM I had an opponent win and still be one of the bitters players I have seen. It’s not worth it. Walk away, take a breath.
-Play it out, Suicide rush/Bitter Man: Is there a chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat? Maybe, but unless you’re doing it with a smile on your face you’re wasting your time and his.
-Concede Tantrum: Throwing the dice down and walking away leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
-Concede Denial: Ending the game and refusing to admit the fact your opponent played a quality game is always a bad idea. Shake hands and admit the loss. Refusing the shake the hand offered is beyond poor sportsmanship.
-Concede Dice: I bitch about my infamously streaky WAY to much, I admit it. Don't make my mistake. If you roll 10 back to back 1's joke about it, don't get pissy.

In tournament play I have both succeeded and failed at this, so Pot/Kettle aside I am trying to be a better opponent. You will earn respect when you pull it off, and burn bridges you didn’t know existed when you fail, trust me.

Comments please, any good or bad finishes are welcome and will be added!


  1. Yeah, agreed. I'm a bad loser, and admittedly so. It's frustrating losing a blowout, but it happens more times to me than I like to admit and think about. You wrote a good post. Good luck at the next tournament; I probably won't be there. I'm looking more at WHFB for my gaming fix for the moment anyway. Empire is looking and feeling pretty strong right now. I hope to see you on the other side of the table sometime soon!

  2. I owe you a couple rematches, especially because each time I am adapting to the newest "rule" adjustment.

    BTW I found proof we are both right about blast templates, hole has to be over, but not completely a model, remind me to show it to you in the core rulebook

  3. Thank you for posting such a great read, I think some things could be said on the opposite side as well; maybe a "How to win gracefully" post could be next? Do not shout F-Yea on the top of your lungs when you get a lucky dice roll such as steal the initiative for example. Maybe trying to destroy drop pods when they are your opponents last models on the table anyway is not that important?

    I try to switch to "play the mission" mode after a few heavy loses but when across the table from someone who's dice are on fire with saves or vehicle chart rolls it is hard to smile and simply take it.

    I agree with you completely with your "Play it out: Laughing Man" response. I think in the grand scheme of things having fun, making some new friends, buying some beers, and being a good sport/laughing about bad luck is far more important in the end anyway.

  4. Dzer0,
    Great idea!!!

    I think I have been guilty of the drop pod sin..

  5. Sometimes spelling is harder than losing though...LOL