Brent Vs Evil Homer, Game II

If I have a nemesis, it's Evil Homer.  Regardless of the armies used - in this case, it was my Daemons Vs his Imperial Guard - it always seems like it's Brent Vs Evil Homer.  That's not a bad thing, it's just the way it is.

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 deploys...

...and takes his first turn.  He's leaving me a spot in his backfield, but it's a trap.  If I drop there's the chance of serious mishaps.  Also, he'll simply turn his army and pound the snot out of me.

So I take the bait and drop in his backfield.  Why?  It was still by far the best place to drop.  The above pictures don't show my Flamers and Herald, but they're to the left, lining up on the rear armor of the vehicles.  Two of my DP's scattered to the terrain piece (you can see them if you look - they're hiding), but I did delay a third through a roll on the mishap table.  Still, it was worth it.  I had a round of shooting at Homer's army.  And this is where he realized he made his one mistake.

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.

On my left flank, on Homer's side of the board, the Herald and Flamers dropped in the open while the Fiends diverted to one side.  My opening fire, on this flank, immobilized and shook the command tank (in gray, above) and shook the other Chimera.  (On the other side, the DP's destroyed a Manticore, among other things.)  Evil Homer turned his guns on me, including his Vendettas and remaining Manticore.  Worried, I think, about missing out on the firepower of the Chimeras and embarked squads, he decided to unload his command squad with Plasma Guns to help out against the Fiends. 

Ultimately, he didn't have enough.  My flamers and Fiends survived the top of Turn Two's firepower, and on my turn, the bottom of Two, the Fiends charged the closer Vendetta and pulled it down.  The command squad was shredded by concentrated fire from the Flamers.  At the top of Turn Three, Homer used the last weapon on his immobilized, turretless command Chimera - the Heavy Flamer - on the Fiends, reducing that squad to one, wounded beastie.  Good thing I had another unit dropping!

On the right flank, one Daemon Prince was brought down in Turn Two by Homer's concentrated fire, but the other managed to limp through the ruins and open up a Chimera.  The troops piled out of the wreckage and started firing.  Also on that flank, my Plaguebearers started appearing from the Warp, shambling toward the objectives.

Here's a middlegame shot.  My last unit of Fiends and my delayed Prince join the fight.  With Fiends, it's important to use their movement wisely.  There is little reason to drop close - they have plenty of speed to close the distances quickly.  The last DP would have perhaps appreciated a closer drop, but I aimed for a large, open area, reasoning I had enough initiative going to avoid a chancy deep strike.  On the right flank, in the upper corner, my Daemon Prince, with one remaining wound, circles the Veterans rather than charging them: the Manticore is the important target.  The Bolt misses.  The Manticore had moved forward, unloading a Heavy Flamer on the 'bearers in the ruins but primarily putting room between it and the Prince chasing it.

Homer turns his remaining Vendetta on the full-strength Daemon Prince.  The Vets in the center pour out of the Chimera, which had broke and axle trying to drive into the ruins; the vets aim at the Flamers, but the shifting stuff of the Warp must have made the nauseous since they failed to bring the unit down.

Here it is a few turns later.  The tanks in red are destroyed.  The Plaguebearers have solid control of the objectives in green.  The Fiends have charged the middle, destroying first the Chimera hunkering on the center, then the juicy troops inside.  Ultimately, the Vendetta and remaining squad is destroyed, ending all chances for the Imperium.

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?



Jwolf said...

I would say his first mistake was deploying at all. He's got plenty of speed to get to any objective, and denying you any ability to strike first is nearly priceless.

Deploying against all-drop armies is not a good thing for Guard to do.

Evil Homer said...

I'm not sure I agree. Not deploying is an option to be sure but against pure CC demons I'm not sure its the way to go.

Against Brent's particular build I would be hard pressed to disagree though. He packs enough bolt to make a difference.

The problem I see with not deploying is you run the chance of fighting half of his army with a 1/4 or half of your own. Not sure that is a winning formula, especially because I did not pack an astropath to push things into my favor, or the Officer to push his drops back.

I think popping smoke would have made a difference. And there are 1-2 other things I would do different if I had the chance. There usually are when you lose.

Jwolf said...

Sure, you always run the chance of rolling poorly for Reserves. That chance beats the crap out of failing a couple of smoke saves before you get to act. And, being able to choose your battles more than outweighs the risk.

If his army was pure CC, I would not advise you to Reserve at all. In an equally applicable observation, if a were a tremendously better basketball player, I would have played in the NBA.

So you can disagree, but you'll do better Reserving vs. a list like this with Imperial Guard. Just play turn 1-2 100 times, and I bet you'll see it my way.

And yes, I do that kind of thing.

Brent said...

"...if a were a tremendously better basketball player, I would have played in the NBA..."

Gotta be the line of the year!


Tyler said...

jwolf- thats an idea that I might steal. The whole 'lets just play turns 1 and 2 and see how it goes' thing. Iduno about a hundred times... but quite a few with different types of opponents I think will greatly help with figuring out how to set up.

have you really done that though..? a hundred times? lol

Jwolf said...

Before the Gladiator last year, Darkwynn and I played turn 1-2 maybe 400 times. But they were really fast; we did maybe 200 in a 4 hours on night.

Brent said...

Actually JWolf, I'd like to see an article on your results. I'm sure your critics would say something like, "They didn't play it out correctly..," but frankly that's as close to scientific as 40K gets.

Anything else you guys learned about turns 1and2?

Jwolf said...

My critics don't play the game. I read what my critics say, and, if you're just doing math, they are correct. But the game isn't just math.

As far as deployment goes, here is the basic truth - if your opponent can destroy 1/3 or more of your force or 4+ vehicles on their turn 1 (and you go second), just Reserve it. You always are AT BEST going second against drop/outflank/deamons; sometimes you are going first, losing both a turn of shooting and a turn of initiative.
I could write an article on this, but there isn't a lot of point. You have to play the games to be able to evaluate the risk and determine the correct behavior. I could; certainly tactical articles are better than writing army lists (because army lists don't play the game, and list buiding in 40K is about as arcane a science as pouring water out of a boot), but overall neither will do much for people's ability to play the game well against real competitors.

There is really only the one way to Carnegie Hall...

Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

Ok this thread has just given me an idea the monthly players may hate...


Brent said...

Oh great.

Just what we need, a Master Manipulator with more ideas. You have the One Ring, what more do you want?

Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

I want all rings...now hand them over!!!

Herr Fernseher said...

An inexperienced player would like to know from an experienced player,

1) An experienced player makes no mistakes in a game (experieced vs. experienced)


2) 400 games are played

then how is 40k not just math? What else wins the game? Superior, more rapidly adapted strategy? Also, in the above scenario, are tactics constant or adaptive?

(I would expect chance to be normalized over 400 games and therefore not a deciding factor in player's W/L record.)


(A new favorite!) Anon: I haven’t even bothered playing a game of 6th yet, cause I have read the rules, and actually understand how they interact with units. I know my armies no longer function how they should, and so I need to change them.

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Brent, preferred 2-to-1 over Not Brent in a recent, scientific poll.

Brent: emptied the Kool Aid and DRINKING YOUR MILKSHAKE with an extra-long straw.

Unicorns don't exist.

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Dethtron: "Again I feel obliged to remind you that trying to sound smart only works if you are."

MVB: "I am not one to join the unwashed masses of self-titled 40k experts out there distributing advice from their blogs about exactly how your list should be built..."

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Dethtron: "...you could use that extra time to figure out a way to get your panties unbunched and perform a sandectomy on your vagina."

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Warboss Stalin: "You know, if it actually WAS funny, maybe I wouldn't mind."

Mike Brandt: "It's not a successful bachelor party if you don't misplace someone".

"The Master Manipulator (every store needs one): "...now, enough stroking."

Kirby: "I don't know about gropings. Seriously, Brent, keep it in the pants, please."

Loquacious: "No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Hugs & Gropings or Stalks Jawaballs into Brent's little tribute."

Captain Kellen: "I rate this article a Brent on the Faith Hill to Nancy Pelosi scale!"

Drathmere: "Come for the balls, stay for the Brent? Kind of disturbing, man."

Go no further, lest thee see something thine eyes would fain look past!

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There is nothing more interesting than We The People... in all our beautiful, ugly glory!

On Internet Advice: You see, I have an almost religious belief that's it's a huge, colossal waste of time.

...I think I'll call it the Gun Shy Pattern Stormbuster, because after the Internet destroyed my first humble effort, I find I'm a bit worried about the reaction to this one.

Lauby: "Is it left over from that time you thought that you could just complete step one 12 times to meet the mandates of that court order?"

Not Brent: "I guess we'll have to read on and find out. Signed, Not Brent. Especially today."

Cynthia Davis: "I think the scrolling text is from Glen Beck's new book."

Grimaldi: "Spamming certain units creates interesting possibilities but also fatal weaknesses."

Purgatus: "Math can inform decisions. It cannot make decisions."

Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

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I prefer the term Internet Personality (or IP) myself, seeing as how I coined it.

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