I am so tired of losing

So, another weekly club report, another loss.  I read somewhere that most players lose most of the first games in the first year of playing 40K, but I wonder if that is really true.  I also think I'm not an idiot, I've got a fairly good grasp of the rules.  I think my continual losses are a result of two things: first, my limited army selection, and two, the army itself (vanilla space marines).

In the club, there are two Black Templars players, one tyranid player, one Grey Knight and one space marine player who regularly show up.  All four play in the tournament leagues (Hard Boyz, etc.)  All have larger armies than my own.  All have played longer than me.  Out in the fringe there are an Imperial Guard player, a Chaos Space Marine player, and two Ork players but I haven't seen too much of them in the past several months.  Mostly I've been losing to BT players.  And can I just say how much that sucks?  The BT codex is old.  It has marines that run towards you when you shoot them and then get to re-roll when they get into assault.  Oh, and when I do shoot them, they get taken off of neophytes.  Damn it I hate those guys.  But it's okay, if I get tired of them, there's always the uber-cheesy Grey Knights.

So here's how I figure it.  There are four factors to doing better in 40k: skill, luck, army choice (as in what army you field, e.g. Space Marines or Eldar), and army composition.  I don't think all factors are weighed equally.  I can't affect my luck.  I can improve my skill, although I wonder how much farther I can go with that.

That leaves the other two options.  I can pump up my Space Marines, buy a Land Raider or another Land Speeder or a bunch of terminators with thunder hammers and storm shields.  I could overcome my aversion to Special Characters.  Or I could build a second army, maybe an anti-MEQ army since that seems to be the flavor de jour in the group.  But that means investing another $500 in this stupid game.

Oh well, enough griping.  Feedback welcome.


  1. I am not a master list builder but I will see what I can do to help:

    Your army list:

    Captain with RB/SS

    What unit does this guy go with. SM Captains add nothing to the army but killing (and are honestly not that great at that). This guy is pure cc but that does not match any off your units.

    Dread with multi-melta
    Dread with assault cannon

    How are your dreads dying? Are they earning their points back? Maybe a missile set for more stand off shooting on one.

    5 Termies

    Where is the heavy weapon?

    Tac Squad (10) with flamer, missile launcher, rhino

    Probably different assault weapon for these battles: Plasma for the range.

    Tac Squad (5, should have been bigger but forgot minis) with power fist, razorback

    7 Scouts with sniper rifles, missile launcher

    Sniper Scouts seems like the would be good but against MEQ they average 1 wound (.33) rend per 4 a turn. Drop it down to 5 and get cloaks. Mainly just the extra missile launcher.

    3 Bike Marines with power weapon, meltagun, plasmagun

    I know this is how the unit comes in the box but can this unit really do much in assault and last with only 3 models. Probably in this size either 2 meltaguns and powerfist as anti vehicle or 2 plasma as stand off anti marine (moving and shooting outside charge range)

    Landspeeder with multi-melta and typhoon missile launchers

    Predator with autocannon and lascannon sponsons

  2. It really sucks being on a losing streak, I've been there many times, it will turn about, but if they've got bigger and better troops than you its gonna be hard. I don't know anything about 40k at all, but what is the point putting out an army when you know there's a massive chance of getting your butt kicked. I've played loads of historical games when you look at the set-up and your troops and you know you don't stand a chance in hell of winning, its all about balanced armies. But I think you've gone about it the right way. Why pick the best army? Ok everybody likes to win, but if you've got the best army that totally dominates your opponents all the time, then its a hollow victory, and you've wasted all your time and money on it. Wargaming is supposed to be a challenge, pitting your wits against another. Some people will like this, but more won't. Again I'm no expert, but It sounds as though you've gone for a lesser army, change a few things in the army as eroichrome has said, and each game bring something new, that may not lead to a win, but you'll have fun watching your opponent try and figure out what to do.
    Just my opinion, ignore my ramblings if you want!!

  3. @Eriochrome
    I tend to put the Captain with one half of a combat-squadded tactical squad, the one with the rhino, along with a powerfist-wield sergeant and the assault weapon, while the other half hangs out with the heavy weapon elsewhere.

    My dreads tend to be the target of priority for my opponents and usually end up eating a lascannon hit while they slowly slog across the field. I either need to switch to a pred with some range or get a drop-pod.

    The termies are just useless, and I didn't even bother fielding them last time. When they deep strike, they get hosed by my opponent, and as you say they lack a heavy weapon mount. I'm thinking of either adding the missile launcher or assault cannon, or swapping them out for TH/SS assault termies, or just removing them altogether.

    The bikes are another unit that just doesn't work. Like you said, it is how they are out of the box (just like the termies are), but it isn't an effective configuration. I need to figure out their role in the army if they have one.

  4. Edit: I meant "razorback," not rhino.

  5. While Black Templars are old they were also pre marine nerf that was Dark Angels. Most of the stuff you are using out of the Marine Codex did not get better in the 5th ed one so once BT got the FAQ they are probably a better codex for a general infantry based force.

  6. Your list of ways to do better in 40K is good, but you left out some options. One is play with different people. If the guys you are playing with are really competitive tournament gamers and you are not, you probably won't win much. And even if you do, you may not have much fun always playing to win. If you're more of a scenario or story driven gamer, you should find like-minded people to play with. If you are more about converting and painting and the look of the game, then you'll want to play with other people with nice looking armies. Playing with a group of people that play in a similar way is probably going to make the game more fun for you. Of course, if it is the competitive aspect of the game you like this won't help.

    Another one is to shake up what missions you play. An army that is really good in one scenario might not be good in others. Get the Battle Missions book and play random missions out of there. Those can really change the odds and make things unpredictable, which makes it harder to create an unstoppable army list. Or try playing a Planetstrike or Cities of Death game once in a while. Those are fun and very different types of games that will create different challenges for both armies. Especially if you don't know what mission you are playing before you and your opponent make your army lists.

    I think the biggest thing is to find people to play with that play the way you do. If you want to play competitively and win tournaments, then you'll probably have to do the things you suggest to come up with a better army list, and learn from those other guys how to play to win better.

    If you want to play less competitive and more story driven games where the goal is to have fun, then it sounds like your opponents aren't very good at that. And if they aren't interested in playing that way, they probably won't get any better at it, so you might need to find people who are better at playing that way.

  7. Try not to lose faith, I'm in the same boat as you(just started playing seriously with a set group of other games). That learning curve is tremendous, just because you read and understand the rules dosent mean you really get how they all play out on the table. Practice, practice, practice. I managed to recruit a friend of mine to play so there's at least one other person at my skill level so that helps a LOT.

    Dont give up! :)


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