40K Tournaments: Bottom Tables And Top Tables

It’s easy to lose focus in a tournament and get caught up in the moments, both good and bad. Let me be honest and let’s look at two things that I try my best to be mindful of during an event…

For the most part I am really either hot or cold when it comes to playing in a tournament. I’m sure lots of it has to do with the style of lists that I run, and my own approach to the game, but at the end of the first day I’m either winning really big running at the top of the pack, or I’m sitting at the bottom of the stack from getting crushed in all my games. I also tend to take big risks for spectacular effects. I’ve tried not to do this ,but I just can’t help myself, even if that means kicking myself later on…

So here we are at the end of the day and I’ve lost the past four games and am now moving into the fifth- what is it with events having five games a day?

This is a very hard place to be, as every opponent on the way down has kicked your balls in- either though failure of skill or just bad matchup’s everything has gone wrong. The only thing that can save the day is winning this last game- at LEAST I didn’t lose all my games on the first day.

Walking up to the table, you can feel the desperation on your opponent and they can feel it on you- like two hungry dogs circling each other for scrap of meat. Your opponent, again either thought bad skill decisions or matchups has also lost the past four games, they want to win also.

In cases like this, right away I try to control the tempo of the game in terms of personality and aggressiveness. The bottom tables are just like the top tables- every little move is going to be scrutinized. Move a guy 6.1 inches and it is going to be viewed the same as moving them 8 inches. Get a rule wrong and it will have the feeling of cheating. Bad dice rolls will also sting more, since there is the feeling of nothing going right for the day.

Being in this situation many times I like to start off by telling myself to be extra sensitive to my opponent. Give them more then the benefit of the doubt, and be even more sensitive to how my actions might be perceived.

I need to be a GOOD player in terms of sportsmanship now more than ever.

At least I try…

Then there is the opposite side of winning all your games on day one and going into that final game. I’m an unstoppable beast, a god of war, a titan on the tables…

The guys I’m facing are just as good as I am, or perhaps just ask lucky?

This is when I tend to freak out a bit, and it is the source of much amusement for Jawaballs and Brother Captain James during a lunch break as I “crack” under the pressure.

I need that kick in the ass to remind me to stay focused and continue using what GOT me to the top tables in the first place. Walking up to that able and seeing those six rifleman dreads, and razor/paladin spam tends to cause me to blink for a moment and that is a bad thing in 40K- whoever tends to blink first often loses.

My mind starts racing, how can I deal with that list, what needs to a happen?


I know what needs to happen, stick to the plan that caused me to bring the army in the first place, be it scarab farming or harlequin tricks.


I, and perhaps with some friendly advice if you tend to find yourself in the same situations need to let go for a moment, and get back into the game.

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