Okay, so I didn’t really know I’d be playing Salamanders when I went to lunch… I put that in my last post as dramatic license. I was feeling good about my previous two games, and looking around at all the set up armies I didn’t see anything I thought would prove a huge mismatch if I played them. I felt good about my army.
Boy, though, there were some armies that can give you army-envy! Beautiful conversions, cool models, unique lists – that kind of thing and more was all present. I was happy that my army was painted to a decent standard, but certainly I’m far from done with the paintbrushes. I’m planning lots of freehand details on the tanks and better detail work on the individual models. That said, I paint armies – that’s my focus. It’s more important to me to finish stuff and move on than it is to spend tons of time on one awe-inspiring creation. Not to say I don’t appreciate it, but it’s not for me.
So perhaps you can see from the pictures the basic idea for my paint scheme. I’m running an Altansar army, characterized by the Crimson red color. I then decided to avoid painting the Aspects in their standard schemes, instead choosing a black armor with Aspect-colored helmets to pick them out.
I was happy with this at first, but after looking over the pictures I decided the Aspect helmets weren’t working. The Fire Dragons have an orange squad and a yellow squad – add that to the Harlequins and the army is starting to bleed colors. I decided to simplify. I’m currently repainting my Fire Dragons with red helmets to match the Guardian-red army color. Black and red will be the primary army colors, so hopefully as I start the details it will unify the force more. The Harlequins I’m happy with, in their color-spray paint-scheme. I’m probably capable of painting all the diamonds and checks and stuff, but I don’t have the interest in doing it.
Man, I’m easily distracted… I haven’t even started on Game 3 yet. Maybe I’m avoiding it… God, I sucked it off bad…
(Yea, I went there…)
Game 3, Hybrid Eldar Vs Salamanders
Okay, Nick Villacci brought his beautifully painted Salamanders, complete with custom bits from his own start-up company, and won the coveted ‘Best Painted’ award for the event. (Somebody may have to correct me – was it ‘Best Army’ or ‘Best Painted’?) He also had a nice little list and a unit whose potential I’d never seen…
Terminator Librarian w Null Zone and Vortex
10 Sniper Scouts
3 10 Man Tac, 1 w Drop Pod
2 Ironclads w Drop Pods
Terminator Assault Squad
Land Raider Redeemer
I liked this list quite well. It’s potent but fluffy enough. I do think it could be maximized better, but that’s opinion more than huge holes in the list. My own list wasn’t my best, but rather a last-hurrah for my Avatar, so I’m not poking here, just observing.
That said, and with all due respect to Nick who knew what he was doing and was great fun to play, my army smacks this one around 9 times out of 10 – it’s what I created it to do! I play against Salamanders all the time and MEQ the rest, so what happened?
Well, I did! I didn’t give this army its due and deployed and played with total disregard for what it was capable of. This was the 1st of two major mistakes I made during this event, but the difference between this one and the other, which just so happens to be in the next game, is that I knew better on this one!
Let’s look at the game. It’s Dawn of War setup, so I place the Avatar and the Guardians on the midline, forcing the Salamanders back. This is my standard deployment in DOW, but normally I back off and play the edges, softening up the opposition some before committing to the fight. This time, with good beer in my belly and a Round 2 win against Salamanders (with Lysander no less!) in my favor, I push my entire army straight down his throat, playing uber-aggressively.
Well, on comes the Land Raider… I’d got too close. The LRR deposits its payload right in my face; meanwhile, Drop pods rain out of the sky, including a nicely placed Tac Squad in the center of the board, and I’m fighting for my life against the best elements of the list on his side of the table! Even then, I think I would have been okay… but Eldrad lost the psychic duel with the Librarian.
Two things happened. The Librarian was able to cast Null Zone despite the Runes of Warding and I was unable to cast Fortune, twice, because of his Psychic hood! It was the most complete failure Eldrad ever handed me. Null Zone… oh how bitter it is! I have to reroll successful Invulnerable Saves? I much prefer it my way with Fortune…
What more needs be said? I recouped where I could and starting picking away at the edges. I was losing on VP but doing okay on Kill Points, but at this point I needed the game to end early and it didn’t. Nick played his game and fully deserved the win.
Don’t get me wrong, even though I’m concentrating on my inferior play, I don’t want this to seem a slight to my opponent - like I said in the previous post, it's these details I feel best serve as instructional, thus the time. Nick was great fun to play, really courteous, and his army was so well-painted it was great just to sit across from it. I was really happy for him when he got called up for the prize on Sunday.
Who doesn’t like saying that?
Game 4, Hybrid Eldar Vs The Shit
Chris Dubuque is better known by his net-handle Jawaballs, and I met his Blood Angels in Game 4, the last of the day on Saturday. This was my favorite game of the event by far, and that’s saying a lot considering some of the gents I met.
This game was the most fun and, equally important, it’s the game that will forever improve my play. As an aside, the pictures online don’t do justice to this army – it’s incredible. It was actually my choice for ‘Best Painted,’ and that’s saying something, since I really like Mike’s Tyranids (the army you’ve read so much about) and Nick’s Salamanders.
But as far as the actual game, I learned a ton in this one. It’s literally changed the way I play.
To Be Continued
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