Joe Cherry! It's funny how things stick with you... I don't think I'll ever forget this dude's name. Joe Cherry! Heh. I dig saying it. I digress.
This was by far my most competitive game at BOLSON. It was my last chance to get to the top tables... come to think of it, it was his too. He had a tight list and knew how to use it. He also had Abbadon, who I have a ton of respect for. Given that we were fighting over objectives, we both had a solid firebase that our opponent was going to have to jump on. All that's fine, but what really made this a tough game was the fighting spirit we both displayed.
That's a nice way of saying we went after each other pretty hard.
I've said before that I tend to reflect the attitude of the person I'm playing. If my opponent is chill, I'll be laid back, whereas if my opponent is aggressive, I'll also be crawling across the table to throttle him back. That's really what happened here. From what I was told later, Joe Cherry is a successful business man, of the type you see in movies. Hard, tough - always going after the deal.
So we started slow, pushing a bit here, a bit there... then we started shoving, and soon we were rolling on the floor, biting and scratching. Not really, of course - that's sort of a metaphor for the game. It's probably not far off... by the time the game was over, we'd drawn quite a crowd of judges. I was later told they were staying close since they expected problems, given how aggressive both of us were, playing hard for the win. It just didn't happen that way. Once the game was over, Joe and I shook hands and talked about the game. We were totally cool; we understood where the game began and ended - for this reason, it was one of the more enjoyable games of the weekend.
It was a close game, and actually a draw, given that neither of us achieved the primary objective. But Joe achieved the second, Kill Points, by one point, so he earned a significant number of Battle Points more than I.
The set up. He parked his Defilers on his objective, screening them with the Land Raiders. I split my forces, with my static unit holding the objective and my fast vehicles on the left, ready to swing in for the fight. He won the first turn and immobilized both my Falcons. This was a blow, given they both had cover, but obviously it was easier to do before I was able to get to speed, or play Fortune on one or both.
This was around Turn 4. We spend the first 3rd of the game taking shots at each others vehicles. He finally sent his winged Daemon Prince forward and I jumped on him with Fire Dragons, shooting him down. I was aware he'd push forward with his Land Raider and send his Beserkers after a squad of Dragons, but I also knew he'd be able to only tie up one unit; I was counting on the other to blast them to atoms with fusion guns after. Note his terminators off in the corner. The reason my Wave Serpents are set up like this is I was covering my rear armor from the Deepstriking Terminators with melta guns, but he got too close and had to take a roll on the chart - thus I deployed them far enough away that they'd never get in the game. In hindsight, this was a mistake. I should have deployed them next to my Harlequins. He'd have killed maybe two in the shooting phase before I ate them for the Kill Points. That may have made a difference in the Secondary Objective.
Here's another view. He did destroy the yellow squad of Fire Dragons, then swept into as much cover as he could claim. I had a bit of bad luck in that I didn't destroy the Beserkers completely, as two remained; I tried to turn that to my advantage, charging them and gaining space and cover.
Here you see the Fire Dragons are taking cover behind the wall; the Land Raider on the left there is disabled somehow - I can't remember, I think the weapons are destroyed or something - while the one to the right has more Beserkers and Abaddon himself. I moved up the Avatar and the Harlequins to bait that unit out, counting on Fortune and my Invulnerable saves to see me through.
Here the Defiler is holding my Dragons in close combat. You can't see it, but the Avatar is behind the trees, having failed to move far enough to charge into that combat. On the right flank, Joe wisely ignored the Avatar and charged the Harlequins: Abaddon tossed little pieces of Eldar all over the battlefield. Thus when my turn came I sent Avatar left; there was no point trying to kill Abaddon when he was so well supported, especially as the game was coming to a close. The game ended here. There should have been another turn, but time was ticking away. I think another turn would have benefited me more than him, but that's not a sure thing at all.
I learned quite a bit from this game, not least of which is that there are others out there who enjoy a tough throw-down as much as I. Even though I fought hard for the win I was gracious in defeat. This earned me the judges' respect, though I didn't know it at the time, and later a Judges' Choice prize for sportsmanship (if you're curious, it was the Forge World Khorne Daemon Engine painted by Blue Table Painting that was pictured in the last post).
Take care - Brent