How to Learn from a Loss 1

This past week I had a game that was rather frustrating. It’s, perhaps, the first time I got “mad” at the game of Legion. Not my opponent, but the game itself. The dice gods were out to get me that day, and I think this is a fine time to address losing and how to deal with it. We’re human after all, which means we are flawed. We all want to win when playing a game, it’s natural and it’s a fact. But when you lose there are a few things you can do. You can either take the loss and learn from it or you can make excuses/blame the variance. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes it truly will be variance. My loss this past week, was variance for the most part and we’ll get into it deeper later on, but after reflecting on it there are still things I could have done differently and still won.

Game Overview
To give some context of where we’re headed with the post, let’s go over my game very briefly. I was Red Player with a Luke/Leia/Landspeeder against a Krennic/Boba/Deathtroopers variant. It was Clear Conditions, I vetoed condition cards twice because the middle card was Hostile Environment and I don’t want that against a list that can toss out suppression, Battle Lines and Moisture Evaporators.

I, of course, started with Leia’s Coordinated Bombardment and wiped a sniper team but that was all it did, and this started the cavalcade of dice rolls we will get into. With Rebels, I tend to play a “let my opponent come to me” type of game, and this is what I did. Allowing him to move forward allowed me to move and shoot or aim in shoot in a lot of instances, especially the first round. Including the Bombardment saves, which after the sniper squad, my opponent rolled three for three saves on those. Followed that with five for five saves with Boba, which is common because he does surge. Two for two with a Stormtrooper squad in heavy cover. He had a set of bikes roll three for three, with white dice! And the Royal Guard rounds it out with a combined eight for eight on saves. If we add all of this up, my opponent rolled twenty one for twenty three in just the first round of the game on defense. I was, simply put, aggravated. Again, not at my opponent, but at the dice. After that, things just simply didn’t go my way. I had a gameplan in motion, it needed some of those shots to land and they didn’t and it set me back a bit. Not a lot, but enough. As mentioned last week, Moisture Vaporators is such an action economy game. None of those shots going through meant I needed to put more actions into more shots than I needed. So, in retrospect, instead of double moving into an objective, I needed to shoot at these threatening targets again. Especially the IRG, who were threatening a Vaporator that I needed access to. I didn’t want to plunge into their charge range. I ended up losing 3 to 2 on Vaps, which is a weird score for Vaps, but it has a lot to do with some intricacies in the game such as the moments laid out for you above.

Rather than write a full battle report, I want to just use the example placed here to go forward with what the post is about: Subsiding the anger towards the dice and realizing and accepting that that’s part of the game.

Dice Gods Giveth and Taketh Away

Any game that involves dice, there’s going to be variance and we as players need to be accepting of it. I got angry at the dice in this game, but I knew that one of my games it will be the other way around. Ironically, I fired up a game with a local guy the night after and the dice were the exact opposite of the game that I lost. The morale of the story here is: Don’t let a game that you lost because of dice, primarily, get to you. The game should, and will, balance out. It just simply has to.

Mental Game Recap

The best thing you can do after ANY game, is to go over some things that you did that perhaps could have been better. This is even more important and glaring in a loss. Think about as much of the game as you remember, and figure out ways you can make yourself a better player. While the dice in that game most likely cost me that game, it wasn’t the only factor!

I spread my army out a little too much, and I knew that when deploying, but I had a plan or two to somewhat justify it. In the end, I should have kept them more close than I left them. I played some command cards in the wrong time, after reflecting on it. Not having enough inspire in my list, certainly hurt. I’ve been talking about Rebel Officers being a staple in Rebel lists because of the amount of suppression the Empire has been conjuring up as of late. Did I listen to my own advice? Certainly not. Did it result in a loss? It actually did. My opponent panicked two of my units because of failed rallies and no inspire around to help them. This was a direct effect to being spread out too thin from my commander/rest of my army, my list building and poor action economy from earlier in the game. What do I mean by that? Well, rather than double moving and hitting the Vaporator right away, I decided to aim and shoot or move and shoot with units out of fear. Maybe that’s because of Rebel white saves, and maybe I worried too much about the Royal Guard, but in my mind it was open shots against a one in three save. Take a model or two out, then move up. Instead, they stood their ground and my plan started to backfire somewhat. I think next time, in a Vaporator game, I need to worry less about an area threat and just get the wounds off the Vaporators. Worry about handling that threat after I’ve hit the objective. My decision making, on top of the hot dice, ultimately cost me the game and I need to account for that. I need to take the game in and learn from my own mistakes. Does the game change if some of those shots go through? Sure. But these are the results, and I have a choice: make the excuse or learn from the game.

Final Thoughts

The post is somewhat all over the place, perhaps, but there’s a few underlying things that it’s meant to touch base upon: keep a clear head, even when the variance goes against you. Never get mad at your opponent for those rolls, either! Not that I did! But just a clarification. Always reminisce on the games you play, win or loss, and find things you could have done better. Every game is something to build upon and learn from. The last order of business is a bit more difficult but: always have multiple plans or at least multiple ideas of plans. You can’t enter a game with a Plan A and only a Plan A. You need a Plan B, a Plan C, maybe even a Plan D. The game of Legion is so unpredictable, thanks Dice Gods, you need to be able to change gears on the fly. But there’s only one way to do that: hit the tables and learn from your mistakes. Always have fun, even if the dice make you want to believe otherwise, because after all: it’s only just a game!

May the Force be with You