• Why I Lost 6 Straight Games At GenCon

    On the surface, this might look like me making up excuses. But itís not. Itís one half story, one half warning. Thereís a number of things that lead to my 0-6 record at GenCon. One of the things was luck. I had a few unlucky games. One player specifically, Paul, would tell you how unlucky I was. I made all the right purchases to counteract his strategy. No matter how hard I tried though, Iíd get energy faces when I critically needed actions and characters. Another contributing factor was that the things I planned for, I didnít see one time. I was ready with my Human Paladin global; not one Gobby. I was ready to field my Human Paladin; no one was playing Kobolds. I had The Amazing Spider-Man to take away life, without dealing damage; no one was playing Hulk. Crap. The GenCon constructed meta was a far cry from my local scene. But the biggest reason why I went 0-6 was thisÖ

    Iím burnt out.

    Iíve been going pretty strong with Dice Masters for a while now. And while I usually only write 1-2 articles per week, Iím constantly on top of what articles are being written. If we have a gap, I need to decide whatís going in its place. If a blog needs to be promoted to a front page article, thatís me. Not to mention trying to be active on the forums. Did I mention that we just had our fourth baby?

    Then thereís the local scene. We meet weekly, but itís not just ďshow up and playĒ. It has become a place to test out new and exciting team builds. Itís gotten to the point where Iím not trying to win myself. Itís turned in to analyzing how a specific team does. I will rack my brain over this team and that combo and this option for rampÖ and to come up with a brand new team every week to test out is exhausting, to be honest.

    Even when we donít do constructed, we do rainbow drafts or sealed events instead. Even that has really turned in to ďanalyze how this team doesĒ instead of ďwinĒ. And with changing teams so often, changing game plans, it becomes hard to intimately know a team. I knew my team for U.S. Nationals. I knew that thing inside and out. Thatís why I ran 4-1 through the qualifier. I started off strong with a streamed win at the Nationals event itself (then hit a bit of bad luck, but I never doubted my abilities or my team, because I knew how to pilot it well). But now, I donít have a sense of ďthis is my teamĒ. Iíve bounced around with gimmicks and ideas and concepts for a while now. Iím tired of trying new and different. Iím burnt out. So thereís only one thing left to doÖ

    Win.

    Winning isnít everything, obviously. Iíve had a blast playing games I lost. But I really need to get back to a point where I know my team in every situation. Far too often this past weekend at GenCon, Iíd roll the dice, look at my result, and not have a clue at what I wanted to do. It was my second turn, and I had no clue what to do. JT even mentioned in his article. I had him just about dead-to-rights, but I blew it because I just wasnít familiar with what my team was capable of. That needs to change.

    So, no, I donít need to win to have a good time. But Iíve been playing so casually, so loose, and just piloting teams to see what they can do for a while now. So when it came time to compete in an event I wanted to win, I didnít have my bearings. I couldnít just ďbuckle downĒ because Iíve been playing with such a different mindset.

    So be careful not to fall in to this mindset. Itís awfully hard to jump back and forth between casual ďI donít really care if I win, I just want to try out this comboĒ and competitive ďIím going to win, advance, and claim some prizes.Ē

    Iím not going to try to come up with the newest groundbreaking team. I need to dial in on my play type. Find out what tempo resonates with me, now that we are getting a grasp on AoU. Embrace it, and come out swinging.

    Roll on.
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Bestia's Avatar
      Bestia -
      As someone who has played many (MANY) other games, both casual and competitive, When I approach something that I need the "Win, Advance, Claim my loot" attitude, I make a conscious effort to go into that mode, at the least 4 weeks out.

      I do let the other players know I`m in this mode, and I want their best teams - and if they dont want to play that way, I understand and ask someone else to play
    1. VastSpartan's Avatar
      VastSpartan -
      Everytime I go to my local I go with the intent in winning. Sure, Ill have fun but I want to go there and stomp through my opponents. It's the same with draft. I build something I know will work (currently the heavy hitters are my drone decks) and forget about cards I dont have. But when its just games in the casual sense Ill test out my teams for fun. Ill have the idea to win but I will play serious not only to benefit me but also my opponent. I help out my team mates in anyway but I wont.......'backdown' when it comes to a game. Its better to play serious instead of fooling around and taking it easy. Doesn't improve your skill and thinking prowess. I rarely ever make a misplay now.

      Stick to a team to not only what you find fun with but that is effective. Learn to pilot it and play serious. Nothing wrong with taking a small break. Consistency is the key.
    1. Ressless's Avatar
      Ressless -
      Then there’s the local scene. We meet weekly, but it’s not just “show up and play”. It has become a place to test out new and exciting team builds. It’s gotten to the point where I’m not trying to win myself. It’s turned in to analyzing how a specific team does. I will rack my brain over this team and that combo and this option for ramp… and to come up with a brand new team every week to test out is exhausting, to be honest.
      This is like i play the last weeks. I am way more in contructing and philosophy and theory of teams, that i loose the focus.
      And every new team i try is the question, what to buy first and how let it work for you to win, but i never solved this problem because i spent less time for such teams.

      My Main Team is used 2 months ago the last time effective and it was a blast to see my enemys crumble and crack their heads. Man yes we should "FOCUS"!
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      I always try and win, but I always try to be nice about it and offer advice if I can. Once we start preparing for the big tournaments, that's when I'll go into "crazy-mode".
    1. Bobcat110's Avatar
      Bobcat110 -
      Every game I have ever played I play to win. I try my hardest to win and I expect my opponents to as well. I will do anything to win except to cheat. However, there is a fine line between trying and wanting to win and being a "sore-winner" I will try my best, but it is still a "gentleman's game" I will help my opponents when I can. But still, I am playing to win and try and convey that right off the bat. Testing new teams is done before I face anyone with it, so that I have a good chance to win.
    1. GRider10's Avatar
      GRider10 -
      It's been hard trying to stick to a certain team with all the sets coming out. I just learn all the new cards and another is coming out. With only 2 more the rest of the year maybe we call all get caught up.
    1. Isawa_mo's Avatar
      Isawa_mo -
      Sorry to hear your other games went as rough as our matches did (this is Paul). Your build looked like it could function adequately if not for the luck you had in our games. It was still great meeting you. All of the people I played were really great! This game really does have a quality community. Keep your head up, the game will turn for you. I went through a similar spell about two months ago.
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      Great article. We all can fall into these traps I think. Thanks for the reminder of play mentality. Roll on!