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Sir13scott

How to keep morale up when on a loosing streak?

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So I'm sure I'm not alone, I used to win more games then I lost, but lately I've been on a major loosing streak. I don't know if it's because everyone is just flying super competitive lists lately or if I'm just loosing my skill :P just curious how everyone deals with those loosing streaks that just depress you about the game? 

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Run away to another faction, Play fun but janky lists, or do both at the same time.

Think of fun lists like comfort foods; you know it's unhealthy, but you need it to boost your morale under pressure.

You readily accept losing when playing such lists, so instead of blaming everything on your dice you will attempt to see how far you can go through maneuvering or just trying to make things work. And if you win, it's great! it could be the foundation for your next top table list building ideas. whether it's the maneuvering or the ship that you chose for the fun list, it helps you from getting burnt out of the competitive scene.

Edited by Grivoire

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Try playing some Epic, or better still, Team Epic.  While this won't address your issue of winning less often in standard play, it will remind you just how gosh darn fun X-Wing is at its core.

For me (and I probably could speak for some of the other local players), Epic does a much better job of capturing the spirit of X-Wing.  First of all, you have larger squadrons so the game looks and feels more like a real in-universe engagement (instead of almost every encounter being between a couple of freighters and maybe a lone fighter).  The map is larger, so it doesn't have that "circling a fishbowl" feel of Standard 3x3 X-Wing.  There are more ships on the board, so there's much less of a Joust-k-turn-repeat feel to the game, since after passing through some enemy fighters a group of ships may keep pressing on to keep strafing other targets in the enemy fleet (as opposed to needing to turn around or give chase to that one ship on the enemy fleet you're going to be chasing and trying to kill for 45 minutes like a standard game).  There is much more room for list diversity, and you often see a lot more ships and pilots and upgrades getting used in Epic than you'd see in Standard.  I, personally, love the U-Wing, and Heff Tobber with Jyn Erso is a super valuable asset to some of my favorite Rebel Epic Squads.  That being said, Tobber (or any U-Wing) is an awful addition to any standard X-Wing squad, where their utility is not nearly valuable enough.  This is true for so many ships, and Epic lets you get a lot more of your collection onto the table than the razor-thin opportunities in the Standard Meta Game.  Also, things that are degenerative and break standard X-Wing (think classic Whisper or Fat Han or Palp-Fel back in the day) have much less of an impact in Epic.  In a Standard game, you have to kill your opponent's whole fleet to reliably win, so lists with nigh-impossible-to-kill ships that can dodge two or three arcs and/or shrug off two or three attacks per round are devastatingly effective against 100 points of ships.  In Epic, on the other hand, if you were to pair against a Whisper, you have two options (1) Ignore her entirely, since you don't need to kill her to win a 400 vs 400 game, and she's only making one attack a round, trans: she's not going to table your squad like she might in standard, or (2) go ahead and try to kill her, you've got a lot more guns on the table so her ability to shrug off a couple attacks per turn won't save her if she's trying to engage 300 points of ships.

These all make Epic feel much more fresh and more thematic than standard X-Wing, in my opinion.  Most importantly, this makes it more fun, and the narrative element of an Epic game often makes it fun and cinematic to win or lose.  In Standard, it's not uncommon for a good squadron with a decent player to table a worse squadron being flown by another decent player, and these sorts of games are demoralizing.  In Epic, even the losing side usually gets to shoot down quite a few ships, which is fun.

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6 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

It's a game.  It's for fun.  If winning is the only thing that makes it fun, you're doing it wrong.

Well, not really, as winning is more fun than losing in  X-Wing (quite a bit more fun than getting 100-to-0 tabled by meta squads night after night).  No one should be expected to fully enjoy a game that they never win, as part of the objective of any game is to win (it may not be the point of playing games, which is your message here, but winning is still the objective).  If players are unable to win games of X-Wing, they will eventually drop it and try other games, and good for them.  This is true of any game, and it's an issue gaming communities always face.  Blood Bowl, for instance, had 20+ playable teams (factions).  The rules explicitly stated that several of the teams were "challenge" teams meant to be weaker than other options and a bit zanier, so that veteran players could try something entirely different and still play their hardest against newer players without a "free pass" to grind them into the turf. The Challenge Teams were great field-levelers.   It's also why the Chess community puts so much effort and emphasis into assessing people's general ranking and pairing like-ranked players together in tournaments: the game is only fun when both players are on even footing and have a reasonable chance to walk away from a game as a winner or a loser.  If a grandmaster and a noobie sit down at a chess board, neither will have fun.  The noobie might find value in it as a long-term investment learning opportunity, but there are so many great games out there that the X-Wing community can't simply expect players (new and old alike) to sit their and take their lumps if they find themselves in a long-term losing streak.  The "other stuff" about the game of X-Wing that make it fun in addition to the joys of winning can also be found in many other games, so why shouldn't such players move to another game where they have a better chance of competing?  Players need to be helped on their progress to becoming competitive, and to just tell them to "have fun being a loser" is unhelpful and unrealistic, as no one ought be expected to be a Hobby Martyr and sit there and smile as they invest their valuable time and money to lose, lose, lose.

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First, do a post mortem on your recent losses. Did you use a different faction or ships you don't fly? Did the dice conspire against you? Did you change your play style? Have you developed a "tell"? Were you out played or out matched? Big difference between the two. If you can analyze your losses it may help to feel better.

Secondly, change up from the 100/6 standard format. Try a one on one mirror match. Double the number of obstacles. Shorten the board to 18" x 36". Changing the parameters of the game forces you to think differently.

Thirdly, play a really different game! I ran about four weeks with zip wins. This was about 12 to 15 games. Not close ones either but real one sided disasters! I needed a break and played Betrayal at the House on the Hill. Nothing to do with Star Wars, X-wing or space ships. A couple of nights with that and I was ready for more X-Wing.

Lastly, remember "It's only a game".

 

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Quote

 

I don't know if it's because everyone is just flying super competitive lists lately

 

I'll bet that this is where the main problem is, because if you're not flying a top-tier list, against top-tier; then expect to get trounced.

The powercreep is real and 80% of my matches are decided by matchup alone.

 

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.

 

And if that isn't your issue then identify the issue and take it from there.

i.e. if it is your flying, get better by practicing.

If it is the dice, get better at flying to minimize dice reliance, or use passive upgrades like K4, Predator, Lone Wolf, etc.

 

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Keep enjoying the process of playing and theory crafting on list building and keep the focus away from winning. Play for fun and try casual lists.

If you're not enjoying that level of the game step away for a while and try something else.

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I can attest, through reasonably extensive practical experience, that swearing profusely does not help. 

- - - 

Are you playing the same list throughout the slump? 

I personally find that I like so many different ships, and the variety of interesting-looking lists mean I keep wanting to try different things - this means, of course, I don't give myself enough time to develop the experience to optimise my flying. 

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Grivoire, Darth Meanie and AllWings make good points (even if they disagree with one another!).

I fly 5 Kihraxz when I'm looking to both have fun and improve my flying (which is a bit rubbish). I've only ever won one game with them, but I've got better and since everyone expects me to lose with them, any ship I take down feels like a full victory. Plus it encourages the other players to put fun lists on the table too. This results in a happier atmosphere all round, since they get to win using ships they want  to try out and I feel like I've won if I just score some points.

 

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Vary your lists.

Play some amusing casual lists rather than competitive lists and ask your opponents to do the same.  My anodyne of choice is Oicunn/Daredevil/Dauntless/BoShek/Inspiring Recruit/Engine Upgrade and Deathrain with Baffles, EI and a bunch of bombs.  It's super fun.

If you're at a tournament, find a goal that isn't winning to aim for, and pursue that.  For me examples have been ionising a ship off the board, doing more damage to myself with Vader crew than my opponents did over the course of the day, and in Euros if I run the same list I'm expecting to, it'll either be 'finish a match within 30 minutes' or 'wipe a Jumpmaster in the first engagement' or something like that.

Edited by thespaceinvader

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4 hours ago, Sir13scott said:

So I'm sure I'm not alone, I used to win more games then I lost, but lately I've been on a major loosing streak. I don't know if it's because everyone is just flying super competitive lists lately or if I'm just loosing my skill :P just curious how everyone deals with those loosing streaks that just depress you about the game? 

Easy. 
Analyse my lost game, find my mistakes, make mental notes about them, try a new game, analyse my game and see if I repeat mistakes or if new issues arise. If mistakes are in the list building, I adjust that, else I usually stick to my guns in that regard.
Though admitted my list building seems to be rather ok, a lot of my lists made this year the cut at worlds, helps to keep up confidence and makes focusing on improvements in my flying the obvious choice and thus easier to focus on. 

But hey, I am enjoying losing streaks in general more than winning streaks, so I might be an oddball anyway. ;-)

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4 hours ago, Darth Meanie said:

It's a game.  It's for fun.  If winning is the only thing that makes it fun, you're doing it wrong.

Yup, who DOESN'T enjoy being on a losing streak, per the OP?

to the OP - when I am on a losing role, I start flying the lists I lose to, so I can understand them better. I lost 5-1 to a pal's defender list, lost twice more to him and then "got good" with that list and was able to whip him consistently enough that it gave me enough insight so that switching to other lists still gave me an advantage.

as others have said, I have also run some really janky lists that I expected to lose with and even when I do lose, it makes me better.

last thing I have found is that when I start to lose I tend to focus on my own play (sort of "shrink" in my own mind), forcing myself to think as much about the specifics of my opponents list as my own and even if I still lose, I feel stronger flying against the combo next time.

good luck!

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Fly a netlist and give it a try.

4 hours ago, Grivoire said:

Run away to another faction, Play fun but janky lists, or do both at the same time.

Think of fun lists like comfort foods; you know it's unhealthy, but you need it to boost your morale under pressure.

...

Comfort foods are not really unhealthy, that would be junk food or even fast food.

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5 minutes ago, Marinealver said:

Fly a netlist and give it a try.

Comfort foods are not really unhealthy, that would be junk food or even fast food.

Fair enough. but Junk & fast food comforts me the most so...

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I enjoy losing games because you learn a lot more from games where things went wrong. So try to focus your enjoyment on getting better at the game. Probably easier said than done, as this is a mindset deeply interalized by me, but it is worth a shot and ultimately the path to being a better player. Which in turn can make you win again.

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I lost All The Games after not having played for a year or so, and then coming back and having no clue about anything. I realized that I didn't know how half the ships handled, and it was my downfall whenever I met a ship or combo where I had no clue how it works.

So what I did: I made a spreadsheet with all the ships in the game, and set out to make sure that I've played all the ships at least once. Playing the ship myself, winning and losing with it, makes sure that I know its strengths and weaknesses better than just having read about it:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ReS3IUlic6F6fPnx_lSBxcep2QU2Mk06yuTFnazqdnY/edit?usp=sharing

That spreadsheet/workbook is publicly available, you can copy it and fill your copy with your data instead of mine, if you feel like it

In there, you'll see that I still have no real clue how the Ghost handles, even though I flew it once or twice and utterly failed with it :P After starting that spreadsheet, I actually lost more than before, because I consciously tried to fly stuff I suck with. But it felt good because I knew I'd probably lose beforehand, and I learned a lot from it.

I also joined an X-Wing team here in Switzerland, and exchanging ideas and lists and having feedback for stuff really helps with the motivation, too. And there's also a Swiss WhatsApp group for X-Wing, which is awesome. And the community, to me, is absolutely more important than winning.

Coming back to performance though: Then I realized that even when knowing how ships work, there's a lot more to the meta than that. I tried to extract data meaningful to me from Lists Juggler, and while all the data is there and awesome, I just couldn't group it in ways that made sense to me. So I built http://meta-wing.com/ because I had a week off work and didn't know what to do with my time. Since then, I had no week off work, thus the things I'd like to do with it keep piling up :D

Because of meta-wing, I also got to know some people that also build and code stuff around X-Wing, which is awesome because those guys are super cool. We're so lucky to have such a good community.

And because I realized that even after winning some games again, my win/loss ratio was still below 0.5, and that depressed me a very slight bit, I kept adding graphs and analyses and play logs to aforementioned spreadsheet until I also had graphs that make me feel good about my performance. Hint: They're not my Vassal league win/loss ratio, that one is abysmal :D

TL;DR: What helped me was, to analyze why I lost so much, and to do what I can about it. And, what I realized, the X-Wing community is awesome whether you win or lose games.

Edited by haslo
Emphasis on copy-ability of spreadsheet

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First, I think of all of my moves and decisions during the game that cost me ships or the game. Perhaps I turned in too early? Did I make unnecessary risks or rely on naked dice too often? Or did my opponent knew the whole time where i was going and what I was trying to do? Then, most of the time, I just use revised approach to the game. Or adopting wholly different strategy. Blaming dice comes into play only when I'm sure (or too arrogant to admit it :D) that I have made some mistake.   

Second, I look at my ships and try to find some ways to compensate their flaws, if necessary. Mostly it is about switching upgrades to ones that suit me better. Or, if I'm sure that some of the ships just do not work well with others, others will take their place. 

And last, what helped me personally was watching through some logs from Vassal play. Learned few tricks from there, as well as saw some fun and original builds.

Oh, and when I really think morale of my ships need a boost...I paint them and give them some sort of personalized nose art or write some text on them. Painting is good for relaxing after defeat as well :) 

Edited by Pumpkyre
Forgot something

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9 hours ago, Sir13scott said:

So I'm sure I'm not alone, I used to win more games then I lost, but lately I've been on a major loosing streak. I don't know if it's because everyone is just flying super competitive lists lately or if I'm just loosing my skill :P just curious how everyone deals with those loosing streaks that just depress you about the game? 

There are quite a few things you can do that would be still playing X-wing, but just differently.

  • Heroes of the Aturi Cluster is awesome, but it's also CO-OP, so you are all on the same side.   It's a way to play without anyone "losing", unless you all fail the mission!
  • Epic is great (as AWSB stated) and really feels more like Star Wars.  Go with as many generics as possible. 
  • Put down 20 obstacles!  It's a lot of fun when you are half trying to not hit something and half trying to shoot each other down.  This one is more fun than I thought it would be.
  • Play something like 200 pts with All Generics.  Make it a big game about blowing stuff up.  Should be fun, even if you lose.   
  • There are A LOT of missions to fly out there.  There are official ones and all of Mission Control.   Look at the top rated ones.
  • Play the campaigns in the Epic ships.   They are pretty fun and get you used to the epic ships.   
  • Mario Kart X-wing!   Mario Kart, Wee!
  • Have you done Dagobah Dave's Trench Run?  He even redid it and it's even better than before.  Who wouldn't want to play this?  You can't get more Star Wars than this.

In short, try playing the game a different way.   It's still the same game, but feels pretty different.  Sometimes you figure out something unique that actually helps you in regular 100/6 play, as well.  

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