Well, time flies. There
I was, approaching 500 matches, with a lamentable record, and all of a sudden without even thinking about it, two days ago I played my 600th match, a third consecutive win (in order, got away with murder with my elf team despite playing dreadfully
, surprised myself in not collapsing against a monster Ogre team
, and exploiting a big TV gap
to beat up some rookie Nurgle).
match was bizarre. A bad workman blames his tools, and I've always tried not to put it too much on the dice, but in this game, I had such good dice that it felt like I didn't need to do anything. We gangfouled his threatening werewolf off the pitch and it didn't regenerate, the ref didn't notice. Pretty much every time I hit a player the armour broke, whereas in return my elves were untouchable, and when they did have the ball, a GFI into the end zone to equalise turned into a trip and a KO'd ghoul.
Since then, I've been almost always monoactivating my Chaos team in the box, and it's been a lot of fun. There's things I really hadn't learned properly before (let's be diplomatic and blame it on playing so much with goblins) like running a cage, or blocking diagonally on the line of scrimmage to maximise blocks, that have been lights suddenly coming on in my head. I've still had some bad habits, like rerolling block dice when they're not double skulls, but I can see that now and at least I'm starting
to do it a lot less.
The other lesson that's been hard to grasp is to take your time scoring. Often I've had a team with only a few players left when I'm anywhere near the end zone, and the temptation has been to rush in. Occasionally I've lost games by being a bit too cautious, so there's still some more correction to do, but in general I'm much happier with how I'm pacing games than I was before. (Although it seems like a lesson to relearn with every race, because with Skaven and Elves I'm still running far too fast towards the end zone.)
It's a struggle sometimes though; I've tried playing conservatively with orcs, and it just bored me to tears. It's no good winning if you're having no fun. But then my Vegans, who I think generally play a very conservative style (few flashy skills, no fun double skills or +ST on anyone, when the Box seems rife with that at high TV) I do enjoy. Maybe I should have just played Chaos all along. Strangely, despite them being designed to be a big, scary mass of Claw and Mighty Blow, they've been fun to play at slightly lower TVs too. At least that's a break from all the other scary teams.
Am I winning more? Maybe too early to say. In the last 100 games, I've won 21, drawn 20 and lost 59. That's not glorious success but 21%/20%/59% is a hell of a lot better than the 12%/17%/71% from before. If I look at my Box record, 9/8/32 is still not great, but looking at my record from all my previous Box matches (20/31/173) I've more than doubled my win rate.
I find myself complaining more about the dice now than I used to. I don't think that's a good thing, and I'm not sure why I do it more often. The crushing weight of expectations now I'm not always on the Stunty track? Who knows? Let's try another 100 matches and see if I've got better habits.
Particular thanks for MenonaLoco (even if I do spell his name wrong from time to time) for all his advice getting the Vegans into shape; it's been an arduous road building them back up from 2 Blockers and some dodgy beastmen into their current form; to all the coaches I've played (wintergreen13, Limbowski and jdmickleburgh may feel haunted by the number of times the Vegans keep showing up) and to everyone who's given me advice either in replies here or in game.
Now I'm off to try to read the 1000 Losses Playbook and see if it finally feels like something I'm smart enough to apply...