Being True to Yourself as a Player

Being TrueWhen I got into 40K four years ago my only exposure to it was from my friends who got me into it. I did some research and found some sites and forums about 40K and Orks, my first army, and absorbed whatever useful information I could find. I was playing very casually at that point and disregarded anything labeled as competitive. In short, I wasn’t allowing myself to be influenced regarding my army and how I played. I guess you could say I was blissfully ignorant.

Today there’s no shortage of places to find tips, strategies, tactics, army lists and whatever else you want to find about 40K. There’s a ton of great info out there but the trick is to read this stuff objectively and not allow yourself to be sucked into the microcosm of information and opinions. It’s one thing to take someone’s advice because it makes sense to you, it’s another to take it because that person said it’s the be-all end-all.

See, I got sucked in recently. With my Orks I had already established my style with them and was doing well but my Marines were a whole other matter. They were still pretty new to me and I was losing more than I was winning. Being that Marines are uber-popular (much of an understatement?), the shear amount of advice for them is overwhelming. I evaluated the advice being given but I took a lot on faith too. The sources were reliable so I knew I wasn’t getting lousy advice. With that advice I set about improving my Marines, adjusting my lists, adapting my play style. There were improvements to be sure but most of those came at the basic level, things like knowing when to stay in and when to get out of a Rhino. I really wasn’t winning any more than before and the feel of the army for me was just wrong.

I had gone from evaluating the advice being given to just accepting it. I was thoroughly discouraged with my Marines and had tried a lot and was getting nowhere. So, why not just take the advice and run with it? I mean, these people know more about 40K than me and a lot more about Marines. Well, the thing all these resources can’t give you is that perfect fit for your style of play. Sure, you can find advice on Mech, MSU, etc, and you can find lists for them but those lists, that advice, isn’t given specifically for you. It will get you in the door, guide you, but it’s you playing the army in the end. It’s like a great chef. Most start out by learning basic recipes but eventually they go on to invent their own version of their favorite recipes, making it their own.

In the end you have to do whatever you get enjoyment from. You simply have to be true to yourself. It doesn’t matter how effective someone says something is if you don’t find yourself enjoying it. For some winning is their enjoyment and any list that achieves that is their happiness. Others are happy just putting down a fully painted army and getting the chance to play with friends. Whatever it is that keeps you coming back and playing games, stick with it and you can’t go wrong.

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  • True enough my friend. I have a bad tendency to listen to people who *sound* like they know a lot about something, when I don’t know much at all. It kind of underlines why I stay away from forums in general- when I’m knowledgeable about something, people in forums sound like morons. When I don’t know much about something, those same people sound like geniuses.

    A good reminder for people to use critical thinking instead of just accepting what they’re told :)

    • Good call on forums and what you hear based on what you know. That’s true of any resource, forums, blogs, whatever. It’s just forums seem to spew more of it than a blog does.

      Yeah, even if you’re knowledge is minimal, you still have to evaluate what you’re hearing. I try and stay away from the, “It’s awesome because I say it is,” shit that some people do. If someone can’t back up their argument or rationale then they’re blowing smoke up your ass or they’re a dickhead, either way I ignore them. I far prefer places that will explain why they do what they do, how things tie together and not the schmucks who expect you stand in awe of their ePeen.

  • I have to say this is pretty important- knowing what you can improve on and what you should really just put in the “yeah, whatever” box.

    It’s tough when you’re new because everyone knows so much more than you- but you have to be able to identify whether the advice is good, or just loud.

    • Agreed. It’s so easy to get sucked into bad advice when you’re new. That’s why this is all the more important to newer players to learn to examine the information being presented to them. It may not all make sense and may be a bit beyond you at the time but an attempt to understand it has to be made.

  • ming from b&C

    I was wondering when I saw the tag line as to where you were going with this. As for not being yourself, in the last tournament I played a list with borrowed stuff because somebody else said I should do it. Unpainted, cobbled together. Made me pretty uncomfortable to be out of my element, but I felt I needed to up-arm my forces in order to do better. Overall, did it help?…no….maybe….but it was fun to do something different even though it was not me….

    • I hear ya. I spent a fair amount of time toying with mech lists and I felt dirty and ashamed. I just couldn’t have fun playing it and I did try. I didn’t suck with it but it wasn’t my bag. Hell, I’ve toyed around with a lot and I always have the most fun when I play what I want to play. I’ll gladly solicit advice on tuning my lists but not for making them.

  • I’d second this. Critical skills are key when it comes to reading anything online.

    • Critical thinking is essential at any time – anyone that tells you differently itrying to convince you of something.

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