A Seal Walks into a Club – Losing Beats Winners by David W

6 Nov

This week: harassing a bald actor, the first step is admitting you have a problem and losing beats winning.

So my last instalment ended with me tabling my opponent in my first game of 40k in 15 years. (To be honest-it was probably the first time I’d ever even won a game)

This was a lie.

It wasn’t my first game in 15 years; I had actually played one solitary game, back in my final year of uni (it was a slow week). There was a handsome fellow, with a shiny bald head, on my course, who instructed me through this game. Some of you may know him; some of you may not (the latter are probably the lucky ones) Yes, I was there when Rob “showbiz” Madeley was simply Rob “sleazy” Madeley.


We lost touch after uni, as many people do, and 40k failed to tempt me back to its sweaty, man-boobed embrace. But, 8 years later, in my first month of being back in the hobby, I am more than a little surprised to hear him being interviewed on an 11th company podcast!


It’s worth recapping at this point, that I was, and would be for some time, too chicken to approach anyone to play 40k. A side product of this was that I also had no one to talk to about it. I had tried posting on a few forums, but I found these to be even more intimidating than real people. My fiancé (bless her) couldn’t give a shit about what wargear to take on a strike squad, and my friends would rather talk about poker, alcohol and babies (not all at the same time). Having no one to bounce ideas off, critique army lists, or talk about rules questions can be very frustrating. I’d learnt loads from listening to podcasts and reading the rulebook/codices, but it was all just a swirling mass of disjointed information. With no focus, and no outlet, I had 40k-mind-constipation for weeks. So when I realised I knew someone else in the hobby, I brain-farted all over him.


I’m not sure if he was ok with the volume of questions I threw at him, he probably only got round to answering 50% of what I asked, but he was a massive help. He helped write my first list, gave me advice on any ideas I had and when I played a game he was cool about me talking about it. It might be obvious, but in the early days of the hobby you need a “buddy”. You will have so many rules & tactics questions floating around you won’t know where to start. It can be anyone, a hobby centre staff member, a helpful forum, or your very own “hairless-Hamlet”. The important thing is that without this, you’ll just be talking to yourself. About space-men and pirate-fairies. And that’s really worrying.


Seal of Approval


I’m addicted to tinkering with my army list. I can’t stop. I’m never happy with how it looks, and I’m pretty sure I never will be. The problem is that I care about what other people think about the list I’m running. I don’t want people laughing in my face for turning up with something rubbish, so I want a competitive army. But, on the other hand, I don’t want people to be screaming about processed meats when I pull out, god-forbid, more than 1 razorback.


So, with Showbiz’s help, I took a little bit of everything decent from the Grey Knight codex. But I avoided spamming anything. Coteaz, a libby, 10 purifiers with a razorback, 2 small Strike squads in razorbacks, 4DCAs in a landraider, 2 12 point acolyte squads and 2 dreads. The last 150 points I mess around with. (Currently trying out interceptors)


I know it’s got all the elements you’d expect from a Grey Knights list, but is that so bad? They’re good units! It might be pretty similar to a lot of other GK lists, but I didn’t have anything to do with those lists! The only thing I have more than 2 of is razorbacks-and there’s only 3 of them! Its not spam! Stop judging me!


Yes-I should stop caring what people think, and yes it’s all just banter. But a little part of my soul dies every time I hear that 4-letter word. And remember, it may look cut-and-paste and/or spammy on paper, but us new guys don’t have a clue what were doing with it. So the game itself definitely won’t be cut-and-paste…



Seal Training


You hear a lot of people say you learn more from a loss than a win. Never is this truer than in your early days. You will make some ridiculous mistakes, and you’ll forget pivotal things about your own army. You’ll panic at deployment, shoot at the wrong thing, misjudge distances and you’ll get trashed by nasty units you should have seen coming. Learn from everything you do wrong, ask questions, and get feedback after every game. When you get home you should read every rule you had to ask about during the game, so hopefully you’ll have to ask less next time.


So with my confidence sky high after one game, I run the gauntlet and get another 4-5 or so games over the next few weeks. I play Rob a few times, he sorts me out a game or two, (getting someone else to organise a few games can help you get over the inability to talk to new people!) and I play a few kids at my local GW. I lose all but one. (Technically I got a few draws, but that’s because the games ended on turn 4 due to lack of time. One more turn and I would have been massacred) But I learn from every mistake, and every loss teaches me so much more than that first tabling I gave. So with 6 or so games under my belt I sign up for some tournaments. That’s when the panic really kicks in…


Next Week: a build up to my first tournament: fun with clerical errors & a vicious assault on the senses.



3 Responses to “A Seal Walks into a Club – Losing Beats Winners by David W”

  1. Embolden November 7, 2011 at 07:54 #

    I cannot see anyone having a problem with your list, it looks pretty solid without being OTT on spamming the best units from the codex!

    Another great article! Keep up the good work!

  2. Dwalcot November 7, 2011 at 09:41 #

    You’d be suprised how many have people have had a whinge about it-So much so that I’ve started collecting tau and no-one can complain about that!

  3. Franco November 8, 2011 at 01:40 #

    Only the GKs…

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