Learning from your mistakes.

I'm pretty good at 40K, If I play anybody other than probably 3 or 4 particular guys at my FLGS then I'll win. Against those guys it comes down to list optimisation (occasionally) or luck (mostly).

Fortunately I'm a nice guy so I still get games...

Which I usually win...

And usually learn Fuck all.

Once upon a time.

I was initially taught the basics of 40K by the Manager of a Games Workshop shop. Unfortunately It wasn't particularly big so getting games on the nights I wanted became next to impossible. However there was another shop (which ironically turned out to be closer to my home) that had a much larger gaming room and fairly flexible finishing times.

It was in this shop that I was introduced to a gentlemen named Dave who was a Space Wolves player and happened to be without an opponent that night. So I unpacked my Chaos army and off we went...3 turns later I packed my defeated army back in my case, said thanks and went home and to be honest sulked a bit, lol.
So next games night I had another go against Dave...this time I made it to turn 4...However this time Dave explained to me exactly what I did wrong and why the army I was using sucked. Well, not sucked exactly but needed certain things adding and could do without others.

This went on for a while and resulted in several embarrassing or hilarious (depending on what side of the table you were standing on) incidents, several of which have become local legends (The near legendary Vindicator incident being one of them). But I get better and better, till eventually I won.

The yell of triumph could be heard several miles away*

* This is somewhat unsporting and should not be done during casual play by the way ;-)

Feeling fairly confident that I could now hold my own I started to play against different people. And won, a lot actually...It turns out that the desire to avoid making the same mistake twice had made me into quite a good player.

The present day.

As anybody who has been paying attention knows I've recently started a Tyranid army which has nothing In common with the Marine variants I'm used to whatsoever.

So I'm back to square one, I'm going to fuck up, I'm going to lose some (probably lots) of games and I'm going to have to re-include the phrase 'so what did I learn from that game' into my vocabulary.

Not a problem, right?

Well I'd like to think so, but I have unfortunately got used to winning so the alternative may take some getting used to.

So I have 2 questions...

1) Is losing a better teaching aid than winning?

I personally think it is, I'd just rather win.

2) Is throwing your new army against the most optimised list used by the best player you can find the best way of testing it out?

That one I'm not so sure about....

Thoughts anyone?
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