I am part of a small gaming group, 6 of us. I tend to be rather relaxed, have a fun knock about, 2 others are highly competitive, the other 3 some where inbetween.
Anyway, for the last many many weeks, perhaps months it feels like I have lost the game by turn 1. The opponents have all the answers to what I play, they out manoeuvr me, claim objectives faster, etc. Admittedly my list building is sub par, I play cool figures that I think are fun rather look for OP combinations.
Anyway, I am just not enjoying the game, but feel like I can't just quit as it then makes it harder for my friends at the games club to play their games, with the shrinking meta and all that. It would also feel like I had wasted many hundreds of pounds and hours collecting, converting and painting miniatures.
Any advice out there?
My current thoughts are to take a few weeks break, paint done models and come back with a fresh perspective.
Are you playing using theme forces? You don't necessarily need to go out and use the most powerful lists in each theme, but playing out of theme is a huge disadvantage unless you have a very specific combination you want to take (and even then it's still a big disadvantage).
Second, this isn't really a game where you can just slap anything down and call it good. You really do need some sort of synergies with your list. If you really want to play with something specific, I think that there is a way to make everything in the faction at least passable.
Third, if you don't go in with a "how do I win" mindset, you are going to lose to someone who does have that mindset. While winning isn't really important, trying to win is. Trying to win is a mindset both in list building and playing. It's not a bad thing to pursue victory hard, as long as you are a good sport about it.
Fourth, learning how to not get assassinated is an important skill. If you can make it past the fourth turn consistently without dying, then the game is a lot more fun. Getting prematurely killed is a huge bummer.
Also, if you are able to give us an idea of what your opponents play / what you are struggling against then we can get a better idea of how to potentially help you out. The casters / factions you generally see is usually enough to get started. Are you finding most of your negative experiences are at the hands of the "highly competitive" individuals, or is it everyone?
I would guess that you can find something to play which is both fun and competitive. I hope we can help you out!
I am a similar niche of player, from the sounds of it - so I'm probably exactly the wrong person to give you any useful tactical advice. But I will say this, that has helped for me; instead of making a list _entirely_ out of models you chose because you like the looks of them, pick one or two models that you really love, and then ask your more competitive friends - and/or the folks on these forums - how to make _and_ play a competitive list that incorporates them. And then, if you don't like what that requires you to play, pick different starting models and start again. I still play weird lists and lose more games than I win, but I rarely end up with that terrible feeling of having lost before the game even begins anymore.
Another point which I've had to re-learn again recently; don't give up on a game too easily. I've had a series of games where an opponent got an alpha on me and really devastated my forces. It always feels like I should concede and not waste everyone's time. But when I don't, several times I've managed to come back and counter-punch really hard to even things up. My new rule is to fight for every turn no matter how hopeless it looks, and never concede a game until it's the end of my turn. If things still look that bleak by then, then I'm allowed to give up.
Good casters to try out as they can try and dictate the pace of the game or come back from initial loses are:
- Baldur1 (Some issues with current meta but has a control feat and wild growth to block LOS plus a STR/ARM buff). Devourer's Host and Bones of Orboros. - Morvahnna2 (Against anything that doesn't mass remove models from play) she usully has a game to play, especially other infantry based lists. Devourer's Host and perhaps Wild Hunt. - Krueger2 as he has a lot of tricks and can try and make almost any list work. - Bradigus plays Bones of Orboros to make a brute force list that can alpha very hard. It's a detail oriented list because of his feat and trully hates clockatrices. - Iona with Devourer's Host is very good. She has a dmg multiplier feat that offers an increase in survivability and accuracy.
Why do you feel only you have to accomodate them? Ask them to bring a less competitive list to play against. Or to switch armies.
If you join the arms race, it will probably keep escalating until there are only players willing to buy most broken things every time they surface and/or those who happen to be playing the faction currently on top and games will be more about what models you buy and less about how you play.
Talk to your opponents about this. It has s in thier interest that you play. There will Always be different levels of competitiveness in a meta and many players risk losing interest like you if you want different things from a game. Communication is key here and can really help.
I think I prefer playing khromac2 with a bunch of beasts and a few Tharn. I also have fun with kreugar2.
I've been playing a lot of Kromac2 with Ghettorix, one of each warpwolf, and two Shadowhorns. Current version with Oblivion themes is in Wild Hunt (for the animus discount, which is awesome) with a unit of Stones, a Spirit Cauldron, LotF, a Wayfarer, a Feralgeist, and a Wilder. I generally push the Shadowhorns out front to draw a charge; if you don't do something about them they can cause way too much trouble in your backfield next turn, and if you charge them and miss even once they can sneak away with Elusive (which is always up, because it's free with the theme.) And if you kill them, at least they were cheap, and I should be able to get a counter-charge with all the wolves. It's a terrible list for trying to _win_ on scenario - only 1 unit! - but it's not too bad for trying to contest and play for attrition or assassination. This is the exact list I was talking about not giving up too early with. It's fairly common for me to lose both Shadowhorns and maybe the Pureblood without inflicting any more damage than spraying down a few infantry with the Pureblood. Half my beasts are gone! I should just concede! But then Kromac feats, and the wolves eat a bunch of stuff and are armour-buffed to ride out the retaliation, and suddenly things don't look so bad. Ghettorix with Spiny Growth and Kromac's feat up is ludicrously hard to remove, and now the model count is getting down to the point where I might get some work out of Kromac without him getting killed. Like I say; I still probably lose more than I win, and I'm sure someone on here can suggest something better, but I rarely have that feeling like I was never in the game with this list.
If you wanted to keep those Tharn - and to play something not quite so ludicrously beast-heavy - you'd have to play it in Dev Host, which is also solid, even playing it beast-heavy. You'd miss the Wayfarer for range extension, but the Cauldron can cover for that a bit. I would very much miss the free animuses, but you'd have a lot more (i.e., some) game for scenario.