April 01, 2011

Would you quit the Hobby if you never won a game?

It’s a simple enough question.  The answer is a most difficult one for it requires brutal self-honesty and evaluation.  I do not ask this question lightly for it’s one I’ve been struggling with for some time now.  I came to the stark realization yesterday, that I’ve not won a single game since July.  No matter the game system, the result is always the same. 

Built my Hrud and they never won a game. 
I painted up a bunch of Tau models to never win a game.
I built the entire city of Mordheim over last summer and won just a single game.
I only won one game in that Fantasy league over in the fall. I had to “cheat” to get that win.
My brand new Dark Eldar are a devastating 0 -5.

It’s not the games, it’s me. I just plain suck Donkey Balls. 

So what would you do? Why waste all my time, money, effort, and my life?  It seems kind of pointless to pour all this energy into the hobby when I’m getting so little in return. It’s all most to the point that’s it not fun anymore. After writing up this long list above, I should just quit now and waste my money on lottery tickets.  I’d probably be better off…


RealGenius said...

I almost never win and I've been playing since the 1990's. At the last tournament I entered I went 0-3 with my Space Wolves army, but I won Best Sportsman.

I enjoy painting and creating lists and even playing the game when I lose.

Winning isn't all there is, but if that's what you want out of the Hobby, then maybe it is time to change how you go about the Hobby.

Helpless William said...

That's a question only you can answer, but I'll throw my perspective at you anyhow.

I'm coming off a day of much disappointment. I have, over the last couple of years, been adjusting my goals. I've given up on some life long desires as simply unrealistic, particularly as pursuing them has been, at least marginally, detrimental to other areas of my life.

As I've given up on some things, I've worked much harder at others, and in doing so have learned a valuable lesson or two. They devolve down to this, all goals, no matter how hard you work at them, suffer setbacks. I am currently saving as much money as I can to make a down payment on a house I'd very much like to have. The car, which is still relatively new, and recently payed for, has just broken in a significant enough way that my goal of a down payment will be deferred by several months. The house I want will be someone else's by then.

In and of itself, well, worse things have happened. Because I've been saving the way I have been, hey, at least I can afford to repair the car. Combined with the other things I've given up, in part in order to save this money, it is... extremely disappointing.

Does it mean I'll stop saving cash? No, though it is really tempting to blow the rest of my savings on a week or two of complete debauchery somewhere tropical, I won't. The goal is worth being patient for.

In regard to 40k, I've recently started playing a new army, an all biker marine list. I have been having trouble making the adjustment to it. When I am getting things right with it, my dice have been hating me. I have yet to obtain even a draw with it.

I still enjoy the games though. I like playing the game. I like painting the figs and building the army. I enjoy my time playing with friends at the flgs. When I do pull out a win, it will be satisfying in the extreme.

When I get a house of my own, and my mutt is running around inspecting his new yard, that too will be worth it.

Patience is difficult. I too hate the need for it, especially when I've been patient, I have sacrificed, I have done everything exactly as I ought, and nothing more than pure dumb luck has worked against me, when I am having days just like today. It's then that patience, endurance, sucks the most.

So really, don't know what to tell you beyond, it sucks, but the only way I've found to get anywhere is to just push on. There's not really much of an alternative, or not one that I've found.

However is anyone knows of one that perhaps involves an automotive sacrifice, I've got this car I'd probably be willing to donate...

Hang in there.

Mike Howell said...

I am 0/10 right now in Warmachine/Warhammer games. My gaming history has been an ocean of losses punctuated with islands of victory. Very small, isolated islands, bereft of life.

I think my new plan is to be a retroactive jerk. Every time I lose I'm going to say, "Good game! Except for that little thing in turn 3. Seriously?"
"What thing?!" my opponent will protest.
"Oh, never mind. Maybe I was the only one who saw it. I didn't know if I should say anything. Well, it's all in the past now. Good game!"

Okay, maybe not.

eldaraddict said...

Are you enjoying the hobby? It sounds like you feel it is a waste to assemble, paint, learn rules, spend time playing games, only to lose.
I know I enjoy games, even when I lose, as long as I am playing with people I enjoy. Other games I don't enjoy, even if I win, because I am playing someone who stretches rules, and I have to call on when they get stretched too far.

My free advice (worth about what it costs) is to 1. look at your gaming group and play only those people that are enjoyable to play against, 2. ask those who continually beating you what you should have done better. I know I learn a lot when my favorite unit gets demolished because I put them in the wrong spot, or used them incorrectly. 3. Ask your friends to spot you a couple hundred points or something for a challenge for them, and some confidence building for you. Whenever has war been fair?
Don't lose the faith.

Anonymous said...

I know the feeling. I once came back from Little Wars, where I played in every time slot, and won no games. I swore I was never going to game again. Fortunately, I calmed down after the five hour drive.

Try playing in a RPG for a while. Since in games it's considered bad taste for the Gamemaster to constantly kill off all the players, you might stay alive and advance. Stay away from Paranoia though.

LuckyNo.5 said...

I think I have won possibly 1 maybe 2 games in my entire gaming career. I'm certainly not a tournament player...but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the hobby.

To me it's not about winning or loosing games, it's about the models, learning new skills, learning to paint / build / convert better and if I happen to win a game in there somewhere..icing on the cake.

Anonymous said...

I can see what you mean and understand how you feel about leaving the hobby. I seem to win more often than I lose, but the key is wether it was a close game or not. No body likes to table or be tabled by turn three and when we first started off playing this time around after a long break my friends hoard orks were absolutely CRUSHING me at the lower points levels. I actually thought about packing it in at that stage but kept playing and it seemed to get a bit better.

Maybe switch it up a bit, sell off what you have now and try something new or even a proven winners army/list just to get your confidence back, then you can branch out and start trying some new stuff.

Dave G _ Nplusplus said...

I've got to agree with eldaraddict. He's got some great advice.

Do you enjoy playing the game? If yes, that's what's important.

Are you playing with randoms or friends? A strong gaming group is important. Get together with friends and just enjoy the day.

Maybe there's other aspects of the game you enjoy, like painting.

Larry said...

Thanks to everyone who left a reply. Each one contained a bit of good advice that added up to a much greater wisdom. Thanks again to everybody to took the time to reply about their own life/game experiences. The feedback is very much appreciated.

Outdoor Toys said...

Quite an interesting post. I feel that one should never give up, it's not winning that is important in life but the dedication of a person for something that counts. If you are sincere than surely your efforts will pay off some day.
Remember "Never Say Never".

zealot said...

" It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."


Stephen said...

40k/Gamesworkshop games in general are 360 degree hobbies; it's not just a miniatures game, it's many hobbies in one. It's model building, painting, terrain making; brainstorming, list writing; reading epic, over-the-top war porn novels; it's a social circle; it's shouting WAAAAAAAGH as you charge in or Dakka Dakka Dakka as you roll a heaping pile of dice. It's so many fun things, honestly I've always felt the game was the worst part of it ;-].

The hobby has given many of us joys for the better part of a decade. What's a 10 month losing streak when you've played the game well over 10 years? Editions and rule sets come and go, but the hobby as a whole stays constant. Focus on other elements of the hobby you enjoy, and eventually, just like a headache, the losing streak and bad luck will go away.

Heiki said...

What most comments say is all good, however note that winning rates can be improved. Part of that is learning technical rules, however part is learning strategy. Read some stuff like http://www.sirlin.net/ptw/, Robert Greene's books, play games where strategy is not hidden under chrome (maybe chess and poker). That's how I've improved.

Elbrun said...

Oddly enough I've felt the same a number of times in the 20ish years I've been playing various games. Losses far far far outweigh wins for me. But in the end it's not really about winning for me, it's about having something to blow off steam with.

I love the painting, modeling, converting, the play is just icing on the cake. Though I admit at times it is a bitter nasty icing.

I play in local tournaments now and then, and almost always get 3 losses, 1 win or tie. And usually at least once in every tournament I'm tabled. My strategy is sound overall, but sometimes my dice absolutely hate me (threats of big hammers don't seem to work on them anymore). I'm even a really good sport about it, and try to keep the games fun not just for me but also my opponent.

Now if only I'd get a sportsmanship award... lol.

In the end it comes down to a couple of things. Is the winning important, or is the hobby side what keeps you going. Some people thrive from one side or the other, some find a happy medium. I see wargaming as a mix of both, I want to win, but it's not the driving force of my gaming. I love the hobby side much more.