Thursday, November 1, 2012


I'm sorry for the long interlude there. Real life and all.

Football season is over (but wrestling is just starting...), so hopefully the schedule is a bit less crammed. More game and blog time for me!

On the other hand, the wife is starting a real job, and I'm sure that means that what little housework she had been doing will fall on me, I'm hiring a housekeeper. Anyone remember Alice from the Brady Bunch? I need someone just like that! She must have a sarcastic quip for any situation!

So, game four!

It's been over 3 weeks now, so my memory of details will be even fuzzier than it was. I know I had a hard time getting to sleep after that first day. I was really pumped and excited to be in the "Gold Bracket", and I thought I had a decent chance against the "power builds" I saw in the bracket. I thought I had answers for the dual-flying Hive Tyrant nids...the Space Wolves with IG Blob...the GK with IG Blob...the Necron Fliers. Those I was mentally prepared for, and thought if I could get the wave I want and a decent first turn drop, I'd be ok.

So after a short night's sleep I draw Eldar with Jetbike Seer Council and Dark Eldar allies!

The list was something like this:

Two Farseers on Jetbikes
A giant herd of Warlocks on Jetbikes (lots of Destructors in there!)
2 min Guardian Jetbikes
2 largish units of Pathfinders (10 in each?)
The Duke
20 Warriors (2 Cannons and Blaster)
and an Aegis Line with Quadgun

It was clear that he'd try to Psy-power up the Warlocks and use their speed and fortitude to press me in to engagements that I didn't want. Those witchblades scared me a bit, I didn't want to get stuck in melee with them, nor could I sit back and shoot them. He had the means to take down the FMC if I let him, the ability to win any melee he wanted to, and enough poisoned shooting that he'd kill off anything he pointed that Warrior unit at.

The mission was Objectives...and spoiler alert wasn't "normal" Nova objectives. I'd left my army and rules packet in the tournament room, and the rules packet was gone that next big deal, I'm sure someone just picked it up to read it. But I was too lazy to go get another from the TO, so I just asked my opponent..."It's Objectives, Qtrs, KP, right?"..."Yeah"..."Are there any special rules for Fast or Heavy or anything?"... and I heard "No, nothing like that"...he later claimed he said "No, just Emperor's Will." I wasn't even half way thru my coffee yet. I did not ask to see his mission packet.

Can you see where this is going?

The deployment type was Hammer and Anvil. I won the roll and chose to have him go first. He put the Pathfinders and Warriors in a castle made from the AGL along a short table-edge, which was itself enclosed by a ring of Jetbikes.

The first few turns were pretty uneventful...with Invisibility I was very concerned about the Seer Council, wanting to avoiding melee with them. In retrospect I think this may have been a mistake...I probably should have brought in the FMC and Screamers and had them all dogpile on them...I think with average dice both ways I take about 6 wounds and he does the same...but since all of mine are multi-wound meanies, this works in my favor. Still, I went another way...I brought in the FMC to hold the middle and the flamers to assault his castle. I tried to drop in very close, right next to the table edge...I had two mishaps back to reserve, and one landed dead on, barbequing almost a full pathfinder squad and a big chunk of the warriors. I dropped my FMC behind a large building to prevent him from shooting at them until I was ready.

Those Flamers were shot down by the Warriors, and he moved without moving, claiming a turbo-boost enhanced jink save on his jetbikes.

My second turn and I dropped in a few screamers and horrors far away from his mess, and another unit of Flamers landed in, leaving 1 pathfinder from one unit and toasting a few more warriors...lackluster dice for me there, but what can you do.

My Turn 2 Drop before toasting the pointy-ears.
 His turn 2 he of course blasted away those flamers and sat tight in his castle. I'd had some very sloppy movement with some screamers, leaving them just outside 6" of Fateweaver (I changed my mind where I wanted them to go a half dozen times, and I ended up not "fixing" my final position after turbo-boosting. I suck.)...he took advantage of this, wanting to use them as a springboard to get his Council in to my business...but their shooting was extremely effective, with no rerolling cover saves an entire unit of Screamers blew up. Meh.

My turn 3, and the game actually began. All of my things came on, and I ended up with Horrors on all objectives except the one in his deployment zone, one unit on each. Remember the part earlier where I said that he'd claimed to have told me that Emperor's Will was in effect? Yeah...that matters.

My last unit of flamers dropped in behind his Warriors, killing almost all of them. The FMC flew over the seer council towards the 'bottom left' objective. Vector Strikes were complete ineffective versus the 2+ rerolling cover saves, as expected. They did kill off a Jetbike squad that had come on his turn 2, and the last of one pathfinder unit.

Screamers multi-assaulted Warriors and Pathfinders, killing off the last of them in his part of Turn 3. This left him with only the Seer Council and Farseers, and one unit of Guardian Jetbikes not yet on.

End of Turn 3, as I wittle down his troops!
 Now my memory gets a bit more fuzzy, please forgive me. The gist of it was, something (I can't remember, though it's important!) manned his AGL and shot up Fateweaver, 4 hits, 4 wounds, 4 failed saves, 2 failed rerolls, one failed Ldr, Poof! I really wasn't too worried at that point, as without troops he'd struggle to win, I thought.

He then methodically plowed his Fortuned Invisible Seer Council in to each of my units as I whittled them down with whatever I could throw at them, which ended up coming in piecemeal for little effect.

The Changeling and friends hold the middle objective...temporarily.

Warlocks send the Screamers back to the Warp, while Farseers fail a charge versus the Horrors...but are somehow fleet so get a reroll.
 As turns were running out, he split up the Farseers from the Council. The Council munched up the Screamers I was chasing them with, while the Farseers beat up Horrors.

I tried to shoot down the last of his Jetbikes, but one super-annoying bike kept alive.

My picture doesn't do these guys justice...his army was GORGEOUS. The intricate runes were mind-boggling!
 As things wound down to a close in turn 6, I was sitting tight to the objective in my "bottom right"...not the one in my deployment zone. I had 3 FMC alive at center table. He had about 5 Warlocks left, and both Farseers. I'd just lost the last of the horrors on the objective in my deployment zone, and he was camping on it with a Farseer...forcing me to put something in that quarter in case it went to a tie. His lone Guardian was on the objective in his deployment zone, semi-bubble wrapped by the surviving Council. His last Farseer had turbo-boosted to contest the one objective I was holding...the 'bottom-right', not the one in my deployment zone.

Remember that Emperor's Will thing?

I didn't.

And here's where things take a slightly ugly turn. I'm looking over the table. I see that he has 1 objective, and I have none. It's the bottom of the very last turn. I come up with a brilliant plan.

I say to him, "So, if I kill the Farseer contesting my objective, we tie on objectives. I put an FMC in the quarter where your last Farseer is, and I take that Quarter. I put the other two in the quarter where your Council and Guardian are, and I take that quarter. We'd tie on Objectives and I'd win 3-0 on quarters...right?"

And he says, "Yeah, I guess so" with a resigned shrug.

So I do exactly that. I kill the Farseer, giving me one objective. I fly some big meanies to get me 3 quarters. I sigh, and we shake hands and say good game. I fill out the form, circling that I'd won, 1 objective to 1, and 3 quarter to 0. I ask him to confirm that, after I'd filled it out, and he says, "Actually, my objective is worth 2 points."

I was stunned for a moment.


"Yeah, Emperor's Will. I told you at the beginning."

"Shit, are you fucking kidding me? I had no idea!"

Only then did I look over his mission packet, and my heart sank.

I'd beaten myself.

The Princes say "Wait...what just happened?!?!"
 In the end, I think I could have skipped trying to kill the Farseer, and just moved to contest his objective. Easy. We tie 0-0, and I still win on quarters.

How stupid is that?

I was pretty down on the guy letting me speak out my plan, knowingly letting me do that. I absolutely do NOT blame him for the loss, but I still think that was a low thing to do.

My hopes for a high finish were shattered before I'd even finished my coffee.

Still, it was a fun game. As I said, I think I tippie-toed around the Council way too much. I should have just smashed in to them and ground them down over a few turns. Flamers had the rest of his troops well in hand. Still, if one can assume that I understand the importance of the two deployment zones, and instead of spreading out all over objectives focus on just taking one that matters, I had this in the bag. My plan was sound, and it worked easily, and he couldn't stop me. I simply picked the wrong objectives to drop on.

A very bitter loss despite a very engaging game. My opponent did everything right, had the dice he needed when he needed them. He brought what I think of as a "meta-breaking" list...something folks don't really plan for. He ended up doing well, earning the "Second to None" prize. He's a solid respectable player...but I think letting me voice out my plan and agreeing to it was a bit low. No big deal, my own stupid fault!

Down to 3-1!

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