If you have been following my blog and 40K exploits you might remember there was a time that I posted under “Way of Saim-Hann” as I experimented with my jetbike and vyper heavy Eldar army at the time. Sharing my results and observations on the blog where a huge part of my development in 40K in terms of analysis and thinking- hold one objective, contest all others, turn five I win, mass reserves, etc. Ironically, such posts almost didn’t happen due to a crushing loss for my first time out with the army…
Before playing my Eldar my previous 40K experience was with Space Wolves, and I was used to playing power armor, so naturally playing my Eldar like they were space marines had predictable results. That first game was against my good gaming friend Brother Captain James and his 4th edition Tyranids for a timeframe reference. This is when the Tyranid codex was god-like and genestealers were to be feared.
He tabled me in not time, and I was ready to drop kick the army right there- it was later a number of hard fought games, and lots of experimentation with learning how to use my vypers to get to a point where I felt comfortable with the army.
So what is the take-away from this memory lane post?
If you are a new 40K player- either first time, or “new” in the sense of starting a completely different army then winning is very important as a way to validate your choices and success in list building and the hobby.
You must be doing something right if you are winning right?
But winning when you first start out can be hard.
What I try to keep in mind when I start a new army or list, and the advice that I would pass on is to approach it like this.
Consider your first ten or so games with your army as a learning experience and how they don’t count towards “winning”.
Don’t even think about winning or losing a game- just play them to learn how your army operates, and what adjustments you might have to make. (I later repeated this process with my Khorne themed Chaos Space Marine Army, which you can read about over on my sister blog HERE.)
At the end of the game, spend a few moments asking your opponent what they thought of your army, what they took notice of, or which units scared them, and why they think you won or loss- use those first ten games as not only a learning experience but a chance to do some army market research for lack of a better description.
If you can let go of your ego for those first games, and detach from winning or losing, your path to winning will be much faster and easier.
Just tell yourself the first ten games don't count...