I've hit a slump

How to beat those cowardly High Elves?

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Phierlihy
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I've hit a slump

Post by Phierlihy »

I could use some advice. I'm a decent player in that I consistently beat weaker players and can challenge some of the better players in my area. I know the rules and I know my army. But lately I cannot win a game to save my life. I'm losing to even weaker opponents and while I'd like to blame my dice, I know it's really just poor tactical decisions. I know how to play Warhammer but I'm doing really silly stuff and grasping defeat from the jaws of victory kinds of moves. When this happens to you, what do you guys do to reverse it?
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direweasel
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by direweasel »

Tough to say without more information. It could be that you've become predictable in some ways that your opponents can exploit. Do you always take the same list? Maybe change it up a lot for a few games. I will say that when I played a long time ago (4th or 5th ed), I ALWAYS took a big unit of Cold Ones. They usually got clobbered because my friends always built lists around beating them.

I haven't fielded them much at all since I've been back, partly because the rules don't favor them as much anymore. When elves didn't all have ASF, and when dead models didn't swing back, it was important that they charge or they would lose. Now charging isn't as important for us, so the faster, harder hitting Cold One Knights aren't as vital. So I've gone to more infantry-heavy armies and my results have improved. I'm not saying that's what you need to do, just trying to give an illustrative example.

It could be that you need to take a break from the game. Sometimes that helps. It could be that you need to dive in and watch tons of battle reports for other players for fresh ways of using your troops.

You've said sometimes it feels like dice rolls are screwing you. While as you say, dice even out over time, it could be that you're putting too much emphasis in your strategy where a few die rolls make a huge difference, and if those don't go your way, it screws up your whole plan. Back when I did a big block of Cold Ones, if they failed their stupidity on the turn they declared their charge, it meant I lost the game probably 95% of the time. Now, they didn't fail often, but they did fail. That's putting too much emphasis on a single roll.

Hope that helps.
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Red...
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by Red... »

Yeah, I agree with direweasel - the meta has changed a lot and I think some slumps occur because we struggle as players to always keep up with the meta. For example, when 8th edition first came out, dark elves had it pretty easy when it came to dealing with heavily armoured and high toughness foes. Now though, it can be a real headache: how do you bring down a T8 behemoth with umpteen wounds when our highest S available is 7 (via a dreadlord with a giant blade) and our highest r+f S is 6 (executioners and CoKs on the charge). I know that's not the specific problem that you are having, but my point is that things do change. No longer can I simply field a whopping big unit of execs and assume they will plough through everything they meet, which was pretty much my standard approach towards the middle of the table for a good few years.

Maybe take a look at what others are using and mix things up a bit to trend more in those directions.

Other than that, it can be down to the mind game. When you play fearing loss, you become paranoid, take too long to make basic decisions and then feel rushed when making pivotal ones. That leads to silly errors that do things like park your big unit of witches in a position where they can be charged in the flank by a unit of frenzied warriors of khorne. Even when I graduated from weak-average to pretty good at the game, I always found that I struggled against one particular player in my gaming group: I was so terrified of everything that he did, that I shuffled my models indecisively or threw them across the table in silly over-the-top moves. Against others, I played with a sense of power that I knew exactly what I was doing and was willing to exercise master plans that required complex moves with confidence. Best thing you can do is try to stay calm, look at the big picture, focus on what you are doing, and do not become over paranoid about your opponent's activities or how he might be able to respond if you move in a particular way (those things should be concerns, but not fixations). You must not fear, fear is the mind killer, fear is the little death that brings total oblivion.
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by Daeron »

Phierlihy wrote:I'm losing to even weaker opponents and while I'd like to blame my dice, I know it's really just poor tactical decisions. ... what do you guys do to reverse it?


I theorycraft until I understand what it is I'm doing wrong and then try to devise a new logic that should, in theory, do better,
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by T.D. »

Maybe you just need to take a break from the game? Perhaps spend some time on a completely different hobby.

When it comes to wargames, if you are not already a Total War player, I recommend Medieval I or II. Really gets the tactical juices flowing. Hopefully when you feel like playing Warhammer again you'll attack your opponent with fresh ideas.

Edit:

Copyright Direweasel :P

direweasel wrote:It could be that you need to take a break from the game. Sometimes that helps. It could be that you need to dive in and watch tons of battle reports for other players for fresh ways of using your troops.
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by Carsenik »

I am still relatively new but I am contently reading Battle Reports or going onto youtube to watch battle reports. I use this to not only learn current rules but also to see different armies and learn new tactics and see how people are using them. In this way I am learning and can think about what I would do. Also, as you watch games you see mistakes people do.

Miniwargaming has a great series atm called Old World Wars (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLliZQodsai-gNRN57pAMMketcL9e2mL30&spfreload=10) and they have full length games on youtube. You can see different players and they way they play. I would suggest checking it out. If your not learning your not progressing. Don't give up and keep learning. There are many good threads on D.Net also that talk about battle reports and tactics.
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by marcopollo »

Play for fun. You will hit rough patches every now and then. The timing of conservative and aggressive decisions is what makes the difference between winning an losing. Sometimes you zig when you should have zagged. When you play for fun, with good rule fundamentals, winning and losing becomes less important and then you experience the creativity necessary to win.

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Red...
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by Red... »

marcopollo wrote:In order to grasp the Buddha, you must let it go.
Unfortunately, this is also the instructions given for dropping the Buddha... ;)
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by marcopollo »

Red... wrote:
marcopollo wrote:In order to grasp the Buddha, you must let it go.
Unfortunately, this is also the instructions given for dropping the Buddha... ;)

Well the gist of the saying is about not to try too hard. You wind up getting out of sync with the flow of life and make mental and emotional errors. And, well, sometimes dropping the Buddha is necessary too.
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by Killerk »

try writing up battlereports. You will have additional insight what you are doing wrong or how to do better.
When your playing some things might elude you, but as soon as some one suggests something it will automaticly be included in to your play book. And you could be made aware of mistakes that you dont realise as mistakes.

I know I have gone from local champion levle to a semirespected player just by writing and analising battle repports.
So eqch game I loose I convert in to a battle report too see where I made mistakes.
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by flatworldsedge »

+1 to Killerk's point. My last three games all felt good, and I wouldn't have really reflected, until I started writing the battle report and exposed all sorts of mistakes and misplays that crueler dice or better opponents would have punished.
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Phierlihy
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by Phierlihy »

Actually writing bat reps was how I originally moved from being a mediocre player to a better player for exactly the reasons you listed - that's a really good idea! Thanks!!
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by Killerk »

links welcome
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by Swordmaster of Hoeth »

Hi Phierlihy,

It is natural to experience some kind of plateau in many different activities. Unfortunately, it seems things don't want to progress in a steady and always increasing way. There are ups and downs. So my main advice (as I must admit I am experiencing somewhat similar thing at the moment) is keep playing.

It is not a permanent sate and while very frustrating (especially when you make some silly mistake that a player with your experience should not make) it is going to pass.

I do agree, however, that writing reports is a good idea. It may be time consuming but I believe it is worthy every second spent on it. In addition to that or while writing, keep asking yourself as many questions as possible. From the very beginning through each turn of the game. You don't have to write about it (although I learned that that also helps) but use the opportunity that you have time and you are not under the pressure to consider various possibilities. It can be really great fun and there is no harm in stretching your mind.

I have also found out it pays off to ask yourself why did you make particular mistake. Sometimes it is just simple miscalculation, being too optimistic or simply reckless. That's ok, it is part of the game! But sometimes there are additional factors. Maybe you played on the tournament and the clock was ticking so you sped up too much? or maybe you suffered from occasional tunnel vision and didn't see the opportunity? The more you know about "why" the better you can address it in the future.

Last but no least - don't panic! And as I said, keep playing! :)
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Phierlihy
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by Phierlihy »

Thanks for the advice everybody! Sometimes you just have to go back to the beginning so I started reading some of my old 6th edition DE battle reports (you know...from back in the day when we had the WORST army book out there!). And I realized it was my movement phase that I was making mistakes in. I've been laying traps lately and then been frustrated when my opponent's don't fall into them. And that's been causing me to lose. Not dice. Not wow-my-opponent-is-awesome. Just me =) Then I stumbled across Furion's battle reports which reinforced my thinking. And then of course I re-read a sizeable chunk of Seredain's army blog. I felt better. A lot better.

My last two games were both 20-0 wins so I think I'm back in the saddle. Bring on the End Times!
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Re: I've hit a slump

Post by T.D. »

:twisted:
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