Monday, 3 September 2012
Remembering The Mission
I managed to get a couple of games in today after a far too long interlude from gaming (and blogging... and socialising... and sleeping) due to work commitments. I pulled off a win in both cases despite a bad start, and in both my opponent made the same basic mistake - they forgot about the mission. They got focused on killing a target or rampaging through my army and missed the fact that I was in a position to win the game when turn 5 rolled around.
Game 1 - Orks vs Orks
The first game was orks vs orks. Now the bad start in this was when my opponents lootas (10) opened up on wazzdakka and his biker boyz. Now he got 3 shots each, fair enough, lucky him. 30 shots should be 10 hits, about 8 wounds and 4 dead bikers. He got 20 hits. 17 wounds. I passed two 4+ cover saves. Squad and character dead, or a quarter of my army (and first blood) before I'd even had a turn!
At this point I decided to focus on killing his scoring units. Now this was Big Guns Never Tire so he had 3 looted wagons, a unit of grots, two 30 strong unit of boyz and a 10 strong unit of meganobz. I figured it'd be best to try to avoid the mega nobz and take out the rest, and I managed quite well. Picked off two of the wagons, my burnas took out one of the squads and the grots, one of my ork mobs (20 strong from a battlewagon) took out his other squad. At one point though it got to the stage that I could no longer ignore the meganobz. Now his warboss had broken away to deal with one of my grot squads, so I took the opportunity to charge. I'd picked off a couple during the game to this point. Now the attacks put out by 19 boyz on the charge should put 3 wounds on nobs. I was lucky, I put on 5. My nob fluffed his attacks though only adding an extra 1. In return though the nobz only killed 3 of mine, giving me the win, and leaving them on an Ld 4 test which they failed, and were run down. Hence why I struck when the warboss was away. This swung it in my favour as by this point I still had three scoring units (plus 2 remnants if some fleeing units rolled snakes for me) to my opponents one. I kept trying to pick off his last one while hunkering down on two objectives. In the end I had a unit gone to ground on an objective (so not claimed this turn) and a scoring unit in a scoring battlewagon on another, with a unit contesting the solitary hull point looted wagon on his. With both warlords slain, and my linebreaker making up for his first blood, victory was mine. I think further turns he could have perhaps clawed me off his objective and off the central one, but he was very unlikely to get better than a draw.
Where did my opponent go wrong? He didn't seem to notice that I was systematically targetting his scoring units. He left the grot squad to get slaughtered by the burnas and laughed that his tankbustas were safe. Sure... except you can't win with the tankbustas buddy. If you'd kept those grots back behind your other units to move up for objective grabbing late on, I'd never have got to them. Was I lucky in beating his meganobz? A little. By the odds I did about one wound more than I should, though the fact that the wounds came earlier in the initiative steps than averages say they should probably saved a few more boyz. But I gambled at that time because I could afford to get locked in that combat and finish both our scoring units on the next turn - I still had a scoring unit safe on my right flank.
Ironically I may have made similar mistakes if I hadn't received such a drubbing on turn one. Losing such a large part of my army in spectacular fashion made me focus my attention swiftly, and become lean and aggressive. Without that I may well have gone for the ultimate showdown in the middle of the field and potentially lost badly while doing so. I'd like to think I'd have still kept my eye on the mission, but perhaps overconfidence from such early success weakened my opponent in that game.
Game 2 - Necrons vs Space Marines
The overconfidence is not a cause in this second game. My opponent feared my necrons before a die was rolled. Now he got a bit of a lucky break in that a solitary lascannon shot managed to kill my Doomsday Barge before it had even got warmed up, but that didn't fill him with confidence. Neither did my utterly unsuccessful attempt to get a first blood point by teleporting next to a couple of "easy" transports inspire my opponent either (a single hull point from 20 Gauss shots, on each. Even if I'd combined fire I'd have failed! This was the start of a bad game for Gauss, as I managed to do only 8 hull points from Gauss shots throughout an entire 5 turn game!) No with this opponent it was a lucky streak from some lychguard that was his undoing - it became a personal mission to kill them, to the exclusion of most other things. He didn't seem to notice the unit that had so spectacularly failed to kill a razorback then had a lucky escape from a vindicator as they retreated into cover... then slowly scaled a building towards an objective. The immortals that took up a good firing position that just happened to be near a second. In this mission the objectives were worth different values and my opponent had the 4 pointer right in his deployment zone... but I'd started on a 3 and crept into position on a 2 and a 3 giving me a solid lead despite his first blood point. He realised his mistake late on and made a rush for some extra points, and in the end I had an 8-7 advantage - his first blood point being countered by my linebreaker point. However if his squad that sat camped in a rhino waiting for turn 5 to claim a 1 point objective had advanced the 12" to my position, they could have booted me off my 3 point objective quite easily. However most of his attention was focused on my lychguard, and that proved to be his undoing.
Admittedly, they were remarkably tenacious. He should have had them early on. They killed a few assault terminators (thunder hammers and storm shields) but then braced themselves for the reprisal - he fluffed all 6 attacks. His men then fled and while I couldn't catch them, the immortals did sterling work in finishing the termies off and wounding his captain. The lychguard meanwhile chewed up his tactical squad, and then while there were only 3 of them and a lord left, they proved to be incredibly annoying. The highlight for me was bouncing the landspeeders missiles into the dread, killing it. Then bouncing the hits from the vindicator into the wounded captain, killing him. And to finish off splitting up with the lychguard finishing off the squad and the overlord killing the vindicator. Those guys carved a hole through the centre of the enemy lines and more than made up for the rest of the army doing sweet fa apart from sitting on objectives and yelling "hey we count!"
If my opponent had concentrated less on the lychguard, and perhaps moved the tactical squad in to claim the objective I sneaked on to. If he'd made more use of his scoring landspeeders, beyond providing fire support to the "kill the lychguard mission" If the land raider had been used more aggressively to purge me off objectives. He could have got the win. But he bent all his will to killing that unit, and not only did he fail, he lost the game.
So remember, it's good to have a fun game, and both my opponents enjoyed these games, as did I. But keep the mission in sight. My second opponent realised in turn 5 he was heading for a loss and reacted late but couldn't stop me getting the win, though he did bring it close. My opponent from game 1 had been barrelling along killing stuff so much that when I pointed out I'd won he just looked shocked and baffled. If you don't have any idea if you are winning or not, then you're probably not.