Losing can be the best thing to happen.
For today’s article I’ll be going through the thought processes about losing, identifying what went wrong and why. It comes at the request of a reader and close Shadespire gaming friend of mine. I’ll be going through how I go about such a process and hopefully you can adopt/adapt my methods for your own use.
I’ll be touching on a few aspects I brought up back in March during my Competitive Etiquette article but going more in-depth than just copying points.
Firstly, you’ve always got to be honest and positive (if possible) about a loss. I’ve had some bad losses where I had to tell my opponent I just needed a few seconds to compose myself post-game because of how salty I was at that moment. Stuff like that’s fine as long as you can get it out of your system quickly and not let it linger, then you can go into the post-game chat.
I find it works for me just to get all the negative emotions out-of-the-way quickly (if there are any). I tell my opponent this just so that they don’t think I’m annoyed at them as something things get easily taken out of context. The same applies to when you win and you can tell you need to give your opponent just a little bit of space to collect their thoughts.
After a game, I always discuss the game with my opponent. When you lose, this becomes even more beneficial as you get to understand your opponent’s thought processes, aka what they did and why. You also get to hear how they thought you played and what they thought were the biggest flaws in your game. Stuff like this is great because you get to see your gameplay from another point of view that may help you identify what errors were made.
I find it also helps de-stress a bit after a loss. You can have a quick banter and just joke about a few things.
The Dice Are Fickle
A pet peeve of mine is when people blame their dice for a loss. While sometimes this can be applicable when you setup a game to be all about the first dice roll (such as aggro vs aggro). Generally it’s not and can be seen as an insult to your opponent because they didn’t beat you, the dice did. We do play a dice game so not everything is going to go your way or as statistics dictates it should. Of course, a game of shocking dice rolls for yourself is never great but neither is your opponent hearing they only won because your dice didn’t work.
Try to look beyond the easy scapegoat responses, there’s nothing wrong admitting you were outplayed or made mistakes.
The Thought Process
Now this is where it can get a bit complicated. While the previous steps are all immediately post-game, this can take a far greater period of time. For me, this usually comes in stages. I have the immediate post-game thoughts, then reflection during the journey home and then even again during the days after that at times.
It’s great because I get to realise more of my errors as time goes on. This was biggest for me after my loss at the London GT finals. I had bet it all and lost hard. The games were setup by me to be all about dice rolls and mine had broken first in the set. However as time went on I realised the my positioning and decision-making was quite poor during the final and actually at the whole event. I realised that I used Quick Thinker in terrible ways as such that, while I saved myself from charges, I had placed my fighters in very bad positions. I had also been to risky at times with my moves too.
In the grand final I was totally outplayed but my poor positioning wasn’t helpful to the situation which was something I totally didn’t realise at the time as it’s usually my strong suit. Yet it was something I didn’t realise until days after, something that was highlighted to me in the next step.
The Importance of Friends
A helpful thing I usually do is chat to a few of my Shadespire mates or sometimes my friends who don’t even play the game. Once again they’re another good source of outside eyes and can help identify things you may have missed. I chat to them whether I win or lose and either time the chats are very helpful. For example, they helped point out the bad usage of Quick Thinker at the London GT as they had all done the same.
I also, finally, look back at my deck and how I played the warband. I take all the previous information, make the needed changes then start playing games. Sometimes I don’t change any cards at all and just change-up how I use the warband, it really depends on the losses as well as what went wrong.
Hopefully this will be of use to a lot of people out their to help improve your own gaming experience. You don’t have to be as in-depth like me, take what suits you and go from there or copy it all if that works too. The main thing to remember is always have fun and try to make the games enjoyable for yourself and also your opponent too. Losses are great, they help you learn so much more than a win ever can. It all depends on your point of view. And your ability to roll crits.