Saturday, May 28, 2011

A lot of excuses...

Well it wasn't that bad. I was having a lot of issues assembling the Leviathans, so it was around two in the morning before I finally fell asleep. About fifteen minutes later a drunken idiot on scooter just managed to avoid killing himself, when he played chicken with a parked car and lost... badly. After the whole mess with the emergency service, the guy seemed to be doing alright, but I was to wound up to sleep. In the end, I think I managed about four hours, and I arrived in Silkeborg with a minor headache. As it turns out, the shop has no coffee machine, and no painkillers, so I prepare for a long day (next time I'll bring my pharmacy and some instant coffee).

Round 1: Terminus Vs. pSkarre; Overrun.
Silkeborg seems to mean Cryx mirror matches, and of course the two Cryx players got to face each other in the first round. To my surprise he was fielding a very nice army of Satyxis (almost exactly like one I'd contemplated running myself, so I had done the math on this build), backed up by two Reapers and two units of Black Ogrun. I had to play very carefully with my Leviathans, to avoid having them pulled in and charged by hordes of Raiders (which would mean a dead Terminus). I was outgunned, outmaneuvered, and in pretty bad shape until he missed the Bile Thrall hiding behind Terminus (teeheee, wings are awesome for more than one reason) and lost half his squad of Raiders on that flank without pulling Terminus away as I think was his plan.

In the end, he had no way of getting to Terminus, no Arc Nodes (he had one, I had one Bane Thrall in range), and no real chance of winning, so he gave me a charge on Skarre. He could probably have played me to a tiebreaker, but he had so many models within range of my purge capability, that it would have been a waste of time. He did exactly what I would have done, and gave me a shot at Skarre, which was very likely to work, but might fail. I've won several games on "sure things" failing, but this one didn't.

Round 2: Terminus Vs. Vindictus; Outflank, Outfight, Outlast.
My headache was getting worse, and since I had to pee three or four times within ten minutes, I began thinking that maybe I should have stayed at home. I was getting a bit feverish as well, and the shop still had no painkillers, but that being said; I just wasn't thinking. I messed up an activation sequence badly, forgot to move a unit to contest a zone, cast the wrong spell with Darragh, and then I forgot about Madelyn Corbeau in the maintenance phase so Terminus was out of range for a gamble (which I do think he could have managed, as I got him to armor 30-something in a last ditch attempt to recover the game).

I was manhandled a bit by the dice as well, but mainly I just played a bad game and lost. I always tell people that blaming the dice is a poor excuse, and I'll stick to that and claim, that had I thought this game through and played my best, I could have won the game with the rolls I received. My opponent was really pleasant though, so I had no issues at all with congratulating her on being the first ever to best my Terminus list (never send a man to do a womans job and all that...).

Edit: I finally found a way I "could" have won this game. I had a Leviathan with a Focus in his back arc, that could have thrown Terminus in the Zone (only used them a couple of times, and never noticed the open fist on the claw today). It was by no means guaranteed to work, but at least I would have had a chance, and nothing could have killed Terminus that round, even prone.

Round 3: Mortenebra Vs. Grim Angus; Overrun.
I'd decided to bring Mortenebra as my secondary list, and as I was out of the race for medals (the good ones anyway) I decided to at least try to learn something, and salvage a bit of the day. I was still feeling poorly, but I just had lunch and a break, so it wasn't to bad. I was feeling pretty cheerful about the game though, because it was the same list I faced last time Mortenebra was up against Grim Angus, and it was the same player, so I knew what I had to look out for this time around.

Exactly as the last time we fought, he mashed most of my army to a pulp, and then took Helldivers & Scavengers to the face. I lost my Stalker to another lapse in concentration, as I forgot to slam Mulg with my Reaper before activating the Stalker, and Stalkers don't survive free strikes from Mulg. In the end a Terminal Velocity Scavenger made four hits of 8-11 damage, and Grim ran out of transfers. I must admit that I'm taking a liking to Mortenebra with the Errata to the Stalkers (though that made no difference here), but now I'm a sad puppy whenever I think about the four Stalkers I've given or traded away. Mortenebra is still to frail for my taste, but I kind of like having her as a secondary list, when Terminus fails me (well... I fail him actually... you know what I mean).

Round 4: Mortenebra Vs. Gorton; Revelation.
My headache was returning with interest, and I was sweating like racehorse. I was matched up against a guy with three losses, while I had a 2-1 score, which made no sense at all, but hey... GRUDGE MATCH! This was my friend I hadn't seen in years, so I decided to let weird matchups slide, and go kick Gorton in the face. In retrospect I should have drawn the game out a bit and given him a chance, because the poor guy just returned from a year long break from Warmachine. He sort of deserved a game where he could relearn some things, but my head was killing me and promptly vetoed that idea.

I'd never faced Gorton before, but heard all kinds of nasty things about him. I won the roll to go first, and crammed my army as far up the field as possible, while castling up to protect Mortenebra from shooting. I'd found in the game before, that having the Scavengers block LoS to Mortenebra worked well, when they were protected by four stealth heavies to stop any rushers, but the shooting here was out of range or failed to hit the high Def. He had to do something, because I would own the flags in round two if he didn't, but Gorton was still way behind, and he moved a couple of jacks just an inch to close. The Reaper pulled in his Wroughthammer Rockram, and dis-armed it. The Slayer was just in range of a Gun bunny, so after he had Spectral Steel applied by Deryliss, he rumbled up there and wrecked it, while getting in line for the punishment to come.

I'll admit that my friend could have used a new set of dice, or maybe a hammer, but due to deployment issues and failing a few critical rolls, he just never stood a chance. I had two Helldivers and a Scavenger ready to finish the job when the Slayer was destroyed, but when the smoke clears from my opponents turn, it's still fully functional. Overrun (Deryliss) on a Scavenger moves the Slayer forward, and Terminal Velocity, Feat, and three Focus on the Slayer means Gorton receives a steel enema.

Final score: 3-1; and I took 6th place (16 players) due to my really poor strength of schedule, but I got to play my friend so it's all good. I think I might have appreciated it more if I had been able to lay my hands on some painkillers to knock the fever down (I'm typing this a couple of hours after returning home, the fever is gone, and I'm feeling fine), but I'm happy I went anyway. I'll try for some analysis tomorrow if I can find the time, but in any case it was great to roll some dice again.

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