The year of 2012 was not good to me in terms of win/loss ratio in 40K. I’m not even going to bother posting what it was because it just saddens me. I am glad to see the year vanish and hopefully along with it my lousy gaming. Of course a new year doesn’t mean all that bad crap is going to disappear on its own. It’s not some magic switch and suddenly everything is cool. If I don’t change and learn then this year will be just as bad as the last.
Learning, that’s the bitch. I sit here and churn out articles all introspective and full of self-enlightenment and I don’t even listen to my own advice. Every game I walk away from I will go over in my mind to evaluate it. It’s during that evaluation that I tend to come here and toss-up something I learned (good or bad). In that moment my mind is utterly focused and the parts of the game fall into place. The problem is when the next game comes around. It’s almost like I forgot everything experience has taught me and I fall into a routine. It might be alright if that routine was doing well for me but it’s not. I know it’s not and yet I seem to approach every single game exactly the same. Why am I doing this?
In considering my own question, I know one reason I fall to routines is time. I don’t want to be that guy who takes too long to consider everything. I would hate to be the reason a tournament game never got beyond turn #3 and subsequently hosed my opponent whose game plan revolved around 5 turns. The fact is my fear of being ‘that guy’ is far stronger than the reality. I’m sure if I took the time I needed to play the game at a level I know I’m capable of that I would not drag the game down in time. I’m not doing myself any favors with this mentality, that’s for sure.
I began writing this article last week and since then I played a game. One of the things I wanted to do was force myself to think through my moves more, to avoid the routines I just mentioned. I did lose the game but it was a very close and hard-fought game. It’s, to my recollection, the best I’ve done against this opponent when he’s run Fateweaver.
As for time, the game did run longer than it normally would have with my typical approach but that’s alright. I need to learn to take the time like that in non-tournament games to get better and not fall into all my usual pitfalls. If I can do that then when it comes time for tournament games I’ll do better, one would hope, and also be able to speed up the process some with more practice.
Another reason for the routines I imagine is just human nature. I’m a person, like most, whose life revolves around routines and I find comfort in them. Deviations from routines often annoy me, it’s just how I function. Ironically, as you would think failed routines would prompt change, I follow through the routines in 40K despite their failure. This is without a doubt the most fundamental problem I’m facing and the one that, when addressed, will likely resolve much.
I won’t bore you all with non-stop self-psycho evaluation. Needless to say that I have some things to work on. I truly enjoy 40K and playing every week is something I look forward to. Lately it’s been less enjoyable as my routines have led to constant failure. It’s not that I feel the need to win but the game should be dynamic and approaching it the same way each time is anything but dynamic. If a game isn’t dynamic and new each time then it’s less of a hobby and something enjoyable and instead just another routine of life.