After (what I realise now) was a lot of frustration in Ranked when it felt like I could only seem to get a match when the other player was looking for somebody without any tackle (or without much strength, or possibly a combination of the two) I went off to the Box, thinking it couldn't get any worse, and besides, the Black Box Trophy was beckoning and I like numbers.
First match, I think, was in the executive lounge of Taipei airport, a strange place made of chrome and black leather, redolent of a strip club from a 1980s film. But with more hot dogs. Executive travellers like hot dogs, apparently. I played Eldritchfox's goblins, my ogre got a smashed hip, it was a draw. That was on the 19th of October. I didn't win a match until the 9th of December, and I remember some of that match
through a cloud of elation, because it was Dark Elf bullshittery at its best - a continued ignorance of good positioning, where I was protected by good luck and a bit of blodge. And that was before Jahan Lenn'nn'on II
decided to turn into an AG5 trinket to dazzle my opponents.
It only took 8 more matches (and somebody playing a conceptually interesting but really quite fragile all-skeleton Undead team) for me to get another win
. It's nice to see that Old Schoole
are looking more threatening (I imagine if I'd come up against them now, I'd probably have come a cropper). Thirteen more games after that before I was blessed with another win - that time
with the Nice Chaps vs a team of Underworld Denizens.
I must have learned something from all of this:
- I don't sprint as fast as I can when I get the ball, and then realise my ballcarrier is alone, 3 squares from the end zone, and about to be reduced to paste, any more. Much.
- Apart from with my beloved goblins I have tried to rid myself of my addiction to fouling except when absolutely necessary.
On the other hand, although it feels like I'm starting to grasp the basics of defence, when I do get the ball I tend to get in a mad panic and if I do score against you, it was probably luck rather than judgement.
- I have played too much in the departure areas of different airports. I hope that teaches me something about decision making under pressure.
- My poor battered Chaps, who don't seem to have had a complete roster since their first match, have now finished 16 games, as I rush and rush and rush to catch up, coming late to the Box Trophy, many games behind where I want to be.
- If I play two teams of the same race, I get really confused. My main league team in the SWL are goblins, so I've had to avoid playing Only In It For The Glory in the box very much (and they got maimed so badly in their first match that they couldn't even get a game again until a helpful admin unreadied them so I could spend them up to a reasonable TV). Likewise, if I try to play my human team in Ranked I can't figure out where my fast blitzers are, and I dread to think what will happen the first time I roll a fresh Dark Elf team that I haven't filled with blodgers and guard.
What I don't know, and I wonder how to figure this out, is whether I am improving or not. Right now I've played such a variety of different teams, with a succession of different teams of my own (and the fairly-developed Chaps I have now are hardly the team they started as) so I don't know whether to excuse my horrendous loss ratio as being due to constant surprises at new players and tactics, or if that excuse doesn't wash any more and I should really have the basics down by now.