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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gaming Attitude

This seems a bit of an unusual post for 3++ - we all know how much I hate it when people apply folk psychology bull into wargaming (and if you didn't, now you do) but it's something I've been discussing with a few people lately. However, there's an attitude towards gaming, and life in general, that will see you do better over the long run. This goes hand in hand with what we've said often over the years - treat losing games as learning experiences. Even if the opponent rolled 6's for everything (and snake eyes on any leadership tests they somehow had to make), there will always be something to learn from a game.

How does this relate to attitude? Take the blame on yourself. It doesn't matter how you lost - whether it was a single die roll at the very end of the game, if you played terribly or made just a single mistake your opponent took advantage of - there are always things you could try and do better. The simple attitude of accepting the loss as your fault is going to make you look for ways you could have done better and ultimately improve. Don't go too far and beat yourself up over it obviously but be critically realistic of yourself - did you really play to the best of your ability? Playing with the assumptiong you're going to win (been there, done that. Hi Footdar!) or just playing poorly is going to impact upon how you play. However, if you did play to what you believe is the best of your ability and you still lost, what did your opponent do to force this loss upon you?

It's really simple. Learn from losing.

Compare the above to someone who makes excuses for their losses. Whether it's blaming dice, the match-ups terrain, whatever. It may be true and it may not be true but one is never going to grow as an individual or player if they don't take accoutability of what's going on on the table-top. So your dice sucked or your opponent's army had a slight edge over yours. Deal with it. If you can look back at yourself and the game critically, you'll come across the same (or similar) situation sometime in the future and be more capable of handling such situation whilst the player who looked to place their blame externally isn't going to make any steps forward.

For example, a common complaint I hear is how a player would have won if the game had go on to Turn 6 or 7 but the game ended Turn 5. This should happen a couple of times before individuals who critically analyse themselves are able to identify they need to be in a position to win from Turn 5 onwards. If the game goes on, continue playing and striving for that win and if your opponent is able to take it from you, good for them but if you're not in position to win when the game might end want to know who to blame? Yourself (though yes your opponent may have a tiny say in the matter :P).

There are going to be occasions when shit happens and despite your very best efforts, everything goes to hell but things are going to go badly at some point. Your dice aren't always going to be average and neither are your opponent's. There are hundreds of little factors which can influence the depature of the game but being one of the controlling players, most of the blame (or praise) is going to fall on your shoulders. Carry this burden and you'll find yourself expanding your skills as a gamer and enjoying the game more.

Remember, there's nothing wrong with having a laugh or bemoaning what happens in a game, as long as you don't blame those actions on the outcome of the game. There's a subtle yet distinct difference in how this reflects upon you and how you can take it to improve at the game you are playing.

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