I finished my 7 games on the open ladder to get ready for my new Blood Bowl league. I previously wrote about my first 3 games in which I was conceded to twice and then tied with an unpleasant jackass who spent the last three turns of the game whining at and insulting me. The open ladder seemed pretty bleak.
I logged 4 more games since then and things picked up considerably. I got another 1-1 draw against a Chaos team and was pretty happy with that result. Then I played a game against a Human team that I beat 2-0, and won a super tight game against a Chaos Dwarf team 1-0. All three of those teams were 200-300 Team Value ahead of me, which made me feel really good about my skill. Being able to collect a number of wins and a couple of draws against teams consistently much more powerful than myself says I know what I am doing.
Just as importantly all of these opponents were pleasant. At worst they said hi at the beginning and gg at the end, and nobody fussed about anything with more than a /sigh. A great change from my earlier rounds, for sure. I don't mind being sociable or being silent, either is fine, but it is irritating to put up with abuse and complaining.
My last game was in the middle between my toxic first 3 games and my happy next 3 games. I was playing my Dwarves vs. Undead and got lucky off the bat by injuring my opponent's Mummy, their best unit. I quickly took control of the game, injuring another one of their players and setting up my touchdown. My opponent grumbled about the unfairness of the dice and I can't argue that; I got luckier. However, my opponent definitely tilted some after losing their Mummy and made some poor plays that set me up to continue my dominance. I injured another player of theirs, got a TD, and they conceded. It was a perfectly reasonable concession - they were only fielding 8 players to my 10, and I was up 1-0. Their chances were not good.
Part of Blood Bowl, like many dice games, is keeping yourself regulated when things go badly. My opponent in the last game basically gave up after having their best player taken out and while they were certainly not favoured to win it doesn't make sense to pack it in that early. In my game prior to that I led off by rolling 1,1,1,1 and my attacker fell down. Then my opponent immediately injured my best player. It was a disastrous start but I held it together, got lucky on two specific attempts by my opponent to knock over my ball carrier, and won 1-0.
The lesson is that you lose all the games you give up on, and only most of the games where you are at a disadvantage.
Much like the rest of humanity the open ladder has some people who are impulsive and rude as well as some people that are perfectly pleasant. It also is largely comprised of people that aren't that great at board games.
I am ready to fight some people who are really good at board games though, and also people who hopefully won't pack it in when they seem at a disadvantage. Dwarf smash!