(Not that I don't love the recent round of comments, 'cause I do and we'll see more of it soon.)
Birdsong ran a smallish tournament in Lawton, mostly to get his very green player base used to that style of play. It was set up so a veteran player would play a newbie in Round 1, but the two groups would split for the subsequent rounds and fight it out for two different prizes. Overall, I think it was a success... but maybe I'm biased because I won. Seriously, I knew going in I was the one to beat: I was by far the most seasoned of the veterans group. Usually when you've got a situation like that something comes along to screw it up, so I figured I'd lose every game or something. With that in mind, I just relaxed and decided not to stress. Consequently, I had a blast.
We're skipping game one; nothing to see here, move along, move along. The outcome was never in doubt, and the Eldar wiped the Guard off the board without losing a unit. That's more a testament to my opponent's inexperience that some brilliance on my part, though to be fair I was nigh on unstoppable that day.
Game 2 against Dale... what to say? Dale's a good player but my Eldar frustrate him no end. By the end of this game he was griping and stomping, saying 'he'd outlaw 'em (Eldar) if he ever ran an event!' Which of course is just silly, but that gives you an idea. Like many players, he has a problem judging what the Eldar are capable of when the units work together with Farseer support. Folks are used to the Guide/Doom combo, but there are tactics beyond that.
I should also say I'm fairly lucky. I played Gauthic last week, a player who knows the ins and outs of the game at least as well as I do, but he was rolled by my dice. It's true: when my dice turn bad, it means I'll have a run of average rolls. *shrugs* It needs to be said, I suppose. As always, I digress.
The set up. Spearhead, Objectives. This was a fluffy-bunny 1500pts on a 4x4 board... and boy am I glad I play-tested that the week before, since that changes the game. A fairly standard setup. My Harlequins are eyeing the scouts in the building on my left flank while the Avatar is going to lead up the right. Eldrad has joined the Storm Guardians and is following the Avatar to support him. Dale's setup is fairly standard mech, though he has a stout Honor Guard in a Rhino, held behind his line to plug any gaps I create. My Pathfinders - who look an awful lot like Tau (I forgot my models *sad face*) - and Dark Reapers hold my objective and offer ranged support.
The Harlequins skip over and beat up the Scout Squad... that couldn't have been the named character, could it? Naw - he died real easy... must be a clone. One Wave Serpent went down to enemy fire, so the Dragons started hoofing it; the other Serpent sped up to offer cover to the advancing Avatar and Guardians. Fortune/Fortune and they're sitting pretty.
The Fire Dragons in the advancing Serpent jump out to knock off a Rhino, giving the Harlequins something juicy to charge. It's inevitable that the Honor Guard are going to counterattack with devastating effect, but I hope to keep them busy until the Avatar and Co. can finish up their initial task. Since we're fighting it out on the Marine's side of the board, my Reapers and Pathfinder are free to plink away with impunity. The Dark Reapers absolutely crushed the Marines on the left flank, giving the Harlequins an easy time of things. For the record, it's why I take them. The Tempest Launcher is one of the nastiest weapons in the game and even one shot can change the outcome of an entire turn - or even an entire game. It is rare they don't earn their points and then some - the last time that happened was Round II Game II Hare Boys vs Adam's Eldar... and yea, that sucked. Anyway, the Avatar is set to destroy the Vindicator but the Fire Dragons do it before him, so he contents himself with charging the Land Speeder, and while he doesn't bring it down it's a free 6-inches of movement. Strictly Average!
I'll end it here. The Honor Guard got in the fight and took out the Harlequins and the yellow squad of Fire Dragons, but they'd done their job, not least of which was to bait the Honor Guard into the open. I ended them with Reaper fire then a combined charge with the Avatar and Eldrad-lead Storm Guardians. Notice the Viper? It's why I take it if I have a spare 50 points, to block tank shock. Dale had one vehicle left to try and contest the top objective and the Land Speeder the same for the bottom, but I blocked the one and shot the other. To add insult to injury, we rolled another round and I wiped him out.
So is there some grand lesson to learn here? Not really - that's not my bag; it leads to too much he said/she said back and forth if but for that then this kinda thing... but I'll say it's better to have the initiative in 40K than to offer it to your opponent for free. The main problem with gunlines is they are reactionary. I'd always rather my opponent is reacting to something I do than implementing his own plan; even if it doesn't go exactly my way it's usually not as bad as the alternative.
Makes sense? No? Er... see why I don't try this stuff? Game 3 soon, and I'll try to illustrate the lather/rinse/repeat for you.