I think we are the two who want to win the most. That's what it comes down to: in a store full of past big-event winners, we're the two who currently are pushing hard to win. Personally, I know it's made me a much better player.
This was the army I was least looking forward to playing - not the GAME, mind you, 'cause that was Game III. I didn't fancy my chances of ripping apart vehicles in close combat, so I had to hope my shooting was up to snuff.
He'd forgot to drop smoke. It was his one mistake - you can ask yourself whether some of his moves were correct, but that's not the same as an out-and-out mistake - but boy, it was a big one. Then we took 30 seconds to bitch each other out over dice rolling. (Feel free to skip the next three paragraphs.)
Yup, we did. He got pissy, I got pissy, so we scratched and pulled hair, verbally speaking. Here's what happened. Everyone has different ways of rolling dice. Evil Homer, The Master Manipulator (every store needs one), and Little Barrera all roll on the table then pick up and reroll ANY dice that lands in ANY terrain piece - doesn't matter what it is. I keep a dice that lands anywhere, as long as it's flat; if it's even a bit cocked, I reroll it. Most of the time, terrain is lightly flocked and the dice is flat flat flat, so I see little point in taking the time to pick up and reroll a dice, but I've learned that's a habit that annoys Homer. Why? Because my opinion about what's flat and his may be different. I don't think this has ever come up before, simply 'cause we are both consistent in our methods - nobody is doing it to gain an advantage, they're doing it because it's what they believe is the right way - and both of us are so above-board-not-cheaters it's just not been an issue.
But it was that day. You see, the tables were really springy, so dice were rolling all over the place. Then I dropped a dice - literally, was rolling three but dropped one - and snatched it up with a "Whoops, that's not my roll!" It hadn't stopped moving, but Homer thought it had. It pissed him off and he called me on it. I was pissed at the insinuation and told him not to take his anger at forgetting the smoke launchers out on me and my dice rolling. Blah blah blah, I know, but these things happen sometimes at events. 30 seconds later Evil Homer extends the olive branch and I take it, agreeing to keep my rolls in the dice box only.
I've given it some thought since then and don't think I'll change my rolling habits, in general. There's nothing wrong with my way, since I do the important stuff religiously, like picking up misses instead of hits and giving my opponent time to review the dice - that kind of thing. In Tournaments though, you have to be willing to give in some, and Homer had a legit issue. Regarding our tone, hell, we're guys. Sometimes you need to clear the air. When it's done, it's done.
So the Daemons were 2 of 2, defeating the army I was most worried about. Homer was gracious in defeat, though it's not like we aren't used to it. It seems inevitable that we end up playing each other in every tournament, and the last time was last year, where he knocked me out of the running.
Unfortunately, the ultimate spoiler won his game on Table 1, and it was announced we'd have to fight. It would be Daemons Vs Daemons, Brent Vs Jon... and I'd never actually managed to beat this guy.
He's that good. I've always joked he's like my Kryptonite, showing up at our major events and almost always winning. I can think of at least 4 times over the past few years where we fought in Game 4 for the top spot - and he won every time. Believe me when I tell you I'm considered a crafty veteran, so how does this shit keep happening?
(TO BE CONTINUED)