Self-Analysis: Becoming a Better Gamer

Better GamerOne of the things I do a lot of with my games is analyze them to find ways to improve as a player and become a better gamer. Most everyone does this be it the after game chat with your opponent, reviewing it turn by turn in your mind, writing up battle reports, all those things or something else entirely. Something I also do is I track my gaming record. I’ve mentioned this before but I have a page on the blog where I database every single 40K game I play and have done so since 2006 when I began playing 40K.

Tracking all my games began as a way for me to see how I’ve fared over time. The simple things like am I getting better or doing worse. Over time it evolved and I began breaking down my matches by the army I played against, the opponent, the type of game, etc. I always had this data so it was a matter of breaking it out into a sub-set and showing it. Despite having this data I never really did anything with it beyond showing it. Now, however, it’s time to take that next step in becoming a better gamer.

With this data I’ve collected over years I can quickly spot my weaknesses as a player, at least regarding the armies I’ve faced and/or the opponents. The data set doesn’t account for the list I was playing or the list my opponent played. That’s just beyond even what I care to track and I’m a data geek, though the value in that data is certainly valuable. Despite that I can still get a general sense of where I’m not doing so well. To get better as a player it’s time to take the bull by the horns and make a point to face my weaknesses.

Let’s start with my opponents. I’m only using data from this year as going back further doesn’t seem necessary. My number one nemesis is Amberclad/Walls. We’ve played 6 games this year and he’s won 5 of the 6. There’s also Amish where I’ve won 1, lost 2 and drew 2. Next up would be Steve S. We’ve played 8 games and I’ve won 4, lost 3 and drew on 1.  From there it gets a bit harder as my sampling of games versus particular opponents gets smaller. Those people are the people I’ve played the most where I could stand to do better.

Next up we’ll cover the particular armies I do poorly against:

Grey Knights – 2 losses
Dark Eldar – 2 losses
Black Templar – 2 losses
Imperial Guard – 3 wins, 5 losses
Tyranids – 1 wins, 4 losses, 3 draws
Eldar – 2 wins, 3 losses, 1 draw

I didn’t realize until writing this article that there’s three armies I’ve not won against at all. These don’t bother me as much though. In the case of all of them they are armies that I’ve only played those two times. I don’t expect to play against a new army, new to me that is, and come out on top as I’m learning what I’m up against. In the case of Tyranids and Imperial Guard I can tell you that facing a horde is a big weakness of mine. Orks would likely also be in this list if I had played them more. In the case of Eldar, well Mechdar has always been my bane.

Now, most of that data is with my Marine army but not entirely. Those records are my records against those opponents and those particular armies with all of my armies, which includes Necrons, Orks, Marines and Chaos. It just happens I play Marines far more than the other armies. The values change a bit when I filter it to just my Marines but the gist is the same and I’m looking at this as the big picture at the moment. These records are also 1v1 games, not team games or anything, and they also include tournament matches.

Conclusions? I need to face Amberclad more. He’s one of the top three players at the shop, as is Amish also mentioned above, who I also need to play more. We all know if you want to be a better player you need to face players better than yourself. On the plus side I know two of the three players I do the worst against are top players at my FLGS. Steve S. is also a good player and continually getting better. He’s been getting a lot of help from Amish. Then there’s facing those horde armies and getting a better grip on dealing with them and I know I’m certainly not alone in that one. There’s two routine players at the shop I’ll have to get in matches with to work on that aspect, Benito and Turner, Tyranids and Imperial Guard respectively.

Now I have my game plan it’s time to become a better player.


  • Anonymous

    I have always thought it is cool that you track all of your games. I wish I was that disciplined. I always look for the story behind the numbers. Here is what I found. We have been playing 40k together for 2 years now. Alot has happened in those 2 years. We are tied for most wins. I see a grudge match coming up! I wont be playing Tau :P

    • I can’t believe we’ve only played 9 times in 2 years! You need to get your ass to XRG more often :P One of those 3 losses to Grey Knights was against you. Be the perfect army to face off against with my Chaos for that grudge match :)

  • ming from b&c

    So, I have never beat you when you played orks….LOL….I think I lose every game to orks….

    • Well, they weren’t all losses. There’s a draw in there ;)

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