…another loss for the Arrugginiti. I am aware that, much like the dreaded Dark Angels, Codex: CSM does not receive a generous measure of virtual love on the blogosphere. Never mind. They are Chaos Space Marines. By my way of thinking, they’d exist even without a codex –just try and stop them. The simple truth is, I love this army. I’ve not yet learned how to control it with good taste and breeding, certainly, but I also believe that “yet” is the most relevant word in the previous clause in this sentence.
Going in to this game, I had three distinct ideas (which is, at the very least, two more than usual):
First, I have learned that I must be proactive rather than responsive in my play-style. At a glance, this seems like a pretty pedestrian observation, but its something that I’ve struggled with all the same.
To that end, I had this second notion in mind; I wanted to pick the particular matchups as they appeared in this game. In this sense, I wanted to control the ebb and flow of the turns by either squeezing or delaying Roberto’s individual elements. I held my Daemon Prince in reserve alongside a merry band of Terminators, and also knew there would be two squads of Summoned Lesser Daemons appearing to make up numbers when necessary. All in all, I felt this gave me enough flexibility to find the pairings that I wanted.
Finally, I wanted to hold the right flank in a quagmire of Possessed power weapons, while I aggressively swept the left flank with my Troops and my reserves in an attempt to overwhelm it. Once that space was tidy, I hoped to work back toward the middle in the late stages of the game for the win.
Instead, I got stuffed on the left flank and scrambled desperately in the late turns to contest (and to almost contest) the left and middle objectives. So it goes.
The problem here isn’t entirely with the plan (although I certainly made several inadvisable decisions), but rather that Roberto Vo5 also had a plan. Funny how that happens. He’s a shrewd tactician and tremendously capable general. For all my talk about “proactivity,” Roberto read me like a book, which made all my assertiveness feel more like transparent foolishness. That’s one way to suck the bluster out of an enemy’s blust. He seemed to have anticipated and prepared for every thought in my head and, by comparison, he didn’t waste a decision –pure and simple. His units moved with clear purpose and shining resolve. That and Belial. He's a brute, made all the more ugly with his Apothecary and Banner carrier in tow.
In a game where I sincerely believed that I was in a good position to pick the matchups, I found myself getting peanuts for pounds of effort. For example, both the Daemon Prince and Typhus claimed a Scout squad, which is hardly where I would have liked to see them expend their energy. When called on to do so, Typhus managed some quite heroic bits of mayhem against Belial and his boys, but it was too little too late –same for the winged DP. In the end, he stole an objective, but was only left in a position to contest it, rather than clearing the path for scoring units that no longer existed.
In the end, I will say this. I need to paint more models. The Arrugginiti need another less Summoned Lesser Daemons, who are useless in my reckoning, and more basic scoring marines. In an ideal world (an ideal hobby world, that is) I would have swapped the Vindicator for a Defiler, and all the SLDs for another squad or two of standard traitors. Rob will be back in town in just a month or two… I better get to work.