That’s What A Loser Does, Roast Beef! He LOSES Things!

That one’s for you, Lexington.

I keep thinking about something from an Extra Punctuation, a few weeks back.

I’m fine until I’m expected to pit my skills against those of another and then I just get edgy. And I think I have a good grasp on why. It’s because I have half of a competitive streak. When I say “half” I mean that a full competitive streak means that you love winning and hate losing, whereas I just hate losing and aren’t particularly fussed about winning.


In yet another demonstration that the Sassy Brit factory does exist, and ships its produce out complete with waistcoat, beard, receding hairline and fancy hat, this is a statement substantially applicable to me.  I am prone to edginess at the gaming table – while it’s been some time since my last figure-hurling tantrum, I did recently destroy a set of square-edged dice because they’d offended my delicate sensibilities (through poor rolls, yes, but also through being almost impossible to read in less than optimal lighting conditions, so I think I’m better off without them) – and, while I do indulge in a spot of PvP on the WoW thing, I chiefly do so because instance DPS is dull and most other endgame activities require adherence to a schedule.

It’s telling that I derive the most fun from roleplaying games, which are (or should be) a co-operative experience, and that my ideal wargaming event does give out some sort of participation reward, but it’s not necessarily one for the single undefeated player who has accumulated the most decisive victories.  When I’m winning, I’m often less concerned with securing the win than I am with the good cheer of my opponent, particularly if the game has advanced to a sort of accidental Zugwang where I’ve won simply by including two Incorporeal models in a game where two flags must be captured at once.

It’s a curious and awkward state to exist in as a wargamer – I think I derive my greatest satisfaction from playing for the draw, an exercise commonly derided by players active on the tournament circuit, who tend to opine that if you’re not trying to win a game with competitive victory conditions, you have no place playing it at all.

I have to wonder, sometimes, if I wouldn’t be better off playing Inquisitor, a game which seems more favourable to a capture-or-neutralise-rather-than-kill approach to the enemy’s d00dz, since all participants are in theory on the same side, despite being engaged in armed and dangerous theological disputes.

Your thoughts on this matter, dear Internets?

Author: Jon

Sententious, mercurial, and British as a bilious lord. Recovering Goth, lifelong spod. Former teacher and amateur machine politician, now freelance writer and early-career researcher.

5 thoughts on “That’s What A Loser Does, Roast Beef! He LOSES Things!”

  1. >My mindset depends on who I'm playing and generally I try to plan with them the sort of game we want.I think your ability to honestly analyse yourself and your motivations is a great asset and will lead to getting more enjoyment from games, simply because you know what you want out them up front.My other thought is that I can still enjoy games where I lose, again it depends who beat me up, but sometimes you just have to smile and enjoy your opponents awesome combo of ultimate destruction.Now I'm off to write up that Inquisitor campaign………

  2. >@ Robbie – the trouble with analysis is that it can frequently lead to paralysis, as Russ and Chris discovered yesterday when I got myself into a bit of a bind trying to disentangle my Skorne army from his Trolls. After long, aching minutes of planning, rejecting, wishing I had this ability or that, and finally coming up with a plan, I managed to gimp the plan with my activation order… so there is a point at which being analytical just frustrates, rather than enervates, your gameplay.During the conversation afterwards, I had an earlier revelation repeated, namely "the thing with you is that you need an army to be good in order to enjoy it. It doesn't have to win, but it has to be able to win…"To give some context, it was all about Skorne, and how I'm beginning to find them a little bit demotivating, what with them all looking the same and what with my collection requiring a lot of things added in order to develop truly viable lists. Lots of things need to look different in order for me to sustain any sort of interest in them…

  3. >I meant the analysis of what kind of games you wanna play rather than in game. Simply post on the forum something like "I'd like to play x points of this system, I've seen this scenario I'd like to try, any takers?"I'm wondering if now is the time to let you know I've tried the awesomeness of Captain Haley, Temporal Barrier says no to Menoth! She's good but I see why you told me I'd lose friends if I played her.What do you think your Skorne are missing to make viable lists?

  4. >Light infantry that can shoot, defensive buffs, and something that can make enemy buffs go away.It's all doable, but I'm having aesthetic issues with them as well – they're all the bloody same.

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