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Saturday, April 14, 2012

The virtues of taking one to the face

"Learning opportunity" 
There has been a troubling trend around here lately: I've been winning too much.  Sounds like a good problem to have, no?  The downside of this trend is overconfidence.  I've been settling in, getting comfortable in my game, feeling a little invulnerable at times.  This is obviously a Bad Thing, and it's been even worse because I've been aware of it but powerless to do anything about it.  Fortunately for me I got the worst beating I've had in a long time on Thursday. How can this possibly be a good thing?  No one likes losing, much less being tabled, but I'm a firm advocate of learning by taking shots to the face.  No lesson is remembered as well as the one that stings for days afterwards, and despite what I've been thinking lately I still have plenty to learn about Warmahordes. 



I'm leaving for a tournament when I'm done posting, and on Thursday I wanted to get in some Steam Roller games (with a clock) to sharpen up.  After getting in a handful of games I had a bit more than an hour left to play and was waiting on another game to finish so I could retrieve the "terrain" (read: felt) they had borrowed.  There was a new face in the FLGS that night (who has a name I've since forgotten because I'm horrible like that) who was milling around, so I offered him a match and he accepted.  I assumed he was a newish player, since I'd never seen him before (turns out he's from down near Game Vault), but he assured me he knew what he was doing and that I didn't need to dig out a friendly list.  He played Menoth and in a different way than I've seen.  No Errants, a unit of Zealots, and the High Reclaimer.  Flush with overconfidence I told myself I knew what Zealots did (throw bombs) and what the Reclaimer did (drop clouds), so I went about my usual business.  Before I really knew what had happened I'd lost my unit of Kayazy, had one flank tied up by Daughters, and had no avenue to retaliate thanks to all the clouds.  From there on it was a slow-motion game of frustration where I never saw any good options (they were there in retrospect, I just didn't see them at the time), had no chances to land a solid blow against the Menites (see previous parenthetical note), and the few casualties I managed to inflict turned out to be on my opponent's terms and to his benefit.  I have never been so thoroughly outplayed in any game, but I learned more in that game than I have since first learning how to allocate Focus.  On Wednesday I thought I could see the peak of the mountain, that while I wasn't there yet the goal was within reach after some hard climbing.  Over the course of that one game Thursday night, I found that what I'd been seeing was the top of a foothill and what I'd mistaken for the sky was really the mountain rising in the distance.  A humbling experience, and right when I needed it.  As I prepare to embark on my first tournament outside my local meta, and comfort zone, I'll be arriving in the appropriate size britches and in the correct mind-set.

Allies arrive on the eve of battle.
In news that can be filed under "happy" without also being filed under "getting your comeuppance," reinforcements arrived while I was gaming on Thursday.  I spent most of Friday assembling, and now I have some new pieces to try out at the tournament (which is the best time to try new things out).  I'm still having problems settling on a pair of lists, though now that I definitely have a Drakhun sitting in my bag it has made things a little easier.  Or more complicated since I've been rearranging both lists as a result.  Either way I hope to have at least one instance of an eVlad feat-fueled charge of glory with the Drakhun.  Harlan Versh looks good on paper and will provide an answer to buffed infantry.  Now I've rambled on enough, it's time to pack the car and head out to the dark lands known only as Maryland.

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