Last post, I opened my modest foray into the world of competitive gaming. I started with a loss, but it was perhaps the most engaging, entertaining, and otherwise enjoyable loss one might imagine. I must admit to a small feeling of surprise at this… but I was having fun. Genuine fun. Tremendous fun.
Here’s how the rest of the morning played out.
Kevin W. Grey Knights. I really liked this list with x1 Interceptor squad, x2 regular GK squads. The models were beautiful.
Primary Objective: Control Objectives that arrive from deepstrike
Secondary Objective: Scoring units into enemy Deployment zones
This game was one of those “quirky” missions that ended up winning the game for me. The dynamic was rather cool, in my opinion (so much so that I’d like to try and work this into some other gaming interests –cough killzone cough- I’ll not mention in this post), but it allowed for a peculiar kind of realignment in the game. Each player got a single objective marker that dropped from reserves as any other normal unit would –scattering, mishaps, and all.
On turn two, my opponent’s objective scattered wildly 11 inches into the warp and was never to be seen again. On turn three, my objective arrived and actually scattered a couple inches closer to my last scoring unit than intended. This was decidedly unfair. Moreover, fate made this the shortest round of the event, so we only finished three full turns. That’s harsh.
As far as the gameplay went, Kevin’s Interceptors slid across the table and started to make serious problems for my Destroyers, then my Immortals. He was chewing through my army at a tremendous clip –nearly one unit per turn- which made that mission quirk feel a bit sleazy. I was losing on the merits of the game.
Kevin’s response? “Screw it. I came here to play games and have fun.” The internet never told me that people this cool would be at a competitive event.
Talk about a class act.
Final Tally: 14-2 Victory (of a sorts)
One note on that victory: much in the same way my initial loss felt ultimately irrelevant to the fun I was having, the victory washed away under similar sentiments. Though I had, by all measures, come here with declared hope of winning one game, now that I had the matter seemed decidedly inconsequential. What Kevin said: screw it. I came here to play games and have fun. Amen.
Eric J. Space Wolves homebrew: x2 squads in Razorbacks, x1 Devestator squad. I didn’t get any photos of this game despite the fact that his models were superbly colored in a grim gold and black combination. I have always wondered how players (and I see this all the time in tournament reports) could somehow “forget” to take photos of one match or another. Previously, I would read that kind of comment with some scratching of my chin. No longer. Now I know how utterly cumbersome and obtrusive the camera can be during the intensity of gameplay.
Primary Mission: Assassinate the opponent’s team leader.
Secondary: Control terrain pieces.
Funnily enough, I “knew” from the outset that I would face this opponent …and even from the outset it had me worried. Before pairings were announced, Eric was sitting across the table from where I had my stuff and he looked extraordinarily intense, focused as he was on the missions and the packet. And his Razorbacks looked mean, with Devestators in the margins. I was admittedly relieved when we were assigned different tables, only because I believed sincerely that I would be on the receiving end of an absolute shoeing from this man. He looked like a very serious individual.
(lo) I arrived at the table for round three to find Eric my opponent. I trembled a little inside. (and behold) Eric‘s first words after I had dumped my oddly large collection of gear on the corner, and after a very kindly, cordial introduction, were a smiling “I’ve never played against Necrons before. This should be interesting.” Turns out, he’s an extraordinarily pleasant chap. Funny that. I am so constantly reminded not to judge a book by its cover.
At the end of the day, I won this game for two simple reasons:
1) as mentioned, Eric had never faced Necrons before and I think we was both surprised and a bit vexed by the manner in which the whipcoil Wraiths ate up his commander, with the initiative-killing coils and Rending USR (with 4 attacks each on the charge and S6, they strangled smaller squads unceremoniously). To be fair, I thought this matchup would be suitable, as my team leader was one of the Wraiths. When I postured the Wraiths to intercept his advancing leader, I thought we understood that there would be a canis-a-necro reckoning of commanders. Apparently, he was surprised.
2) The missions themselves. Eric spent a significant amount of time trying to shoot my Immortals off their (secondary) objective. And indeed, this earned him an interesting moment in the final turn when those Immortals, after weathering truly shocking amounts of fire, finally broke and fled –which in turn swung the secondary mission points almost entirely in his direction. Alas. It was too little too late to compensate for what my Wraiths had already done.
I think a bit more experience versus Necrons and a measure more focus on the primary (rather than secondary) mission might have significantly changed the nature of this report.
Final Tally: 14-10 Victory
Shawn A. Grey Knights: x2 squads with variety of GK weaponry, x2 Razorbacks with Psybolt Gatlings of doom. Until this point, I was unaware that Grey Knights were something like ubiquitous on the weekend. All I could see were Shawn’s beautifully painted figures (and I will be stealing his idea for the power and force weaponry for my own Book Wardens). Wondrous.
Primary Objective: Control Objectives
Secondary Objective: Kill Points
I got hammered on this one. The Razorbacks did what they were meant to, certainly. Shawn himself suggested that there was no good reason to get out of those Razors unless absolutely necessary. Sounded pragmatic to me, but I asked him to politely do so anyway, if not then at least to fail an armor save here or there. The Razors shot me up pretty well as I approached the Objectives. Shawn made a lot of saves.
But… my Wraiths did pry open one of the Razors (which apparently was the first time this had happened on the day –moral victory?); however, the ensuing melees were grim. The Wraiths stuck it out a bit but got clobbered at the end of the day by all that power, force, hammer, psychic mayhem.
GKs are tough, but I would still like to believe (rather fancifully) that I almost pulled off a better showing than the scorecard suggests. Actually, Shawn even nearly let me sneak a few extra points by charging in his final turn rather than resting on the objective. It was a noble, gaming, but meaningless gesture really, he was always going to win on missions points and bonuses even with a draw on the primary objective. Still, I thought it tremendously sporting.
Anyway. No dice. His GK zealots were too tough for anything I had left on the table.
I would really like to play that game again. The army was beautiful, the strategy solid, the intrigue compelling, and the conclusion exciting. An ace individual and favorite opponent in a field of genuinely great folk. Alas. I see so much that I could have done better. Maybe next year.
Final Tally: 4-30 Crushing Defeat!
And there it is.
…I’m already thinking about next year.