With me so far? This is WarGames Con 2010 - just one short week ago - and here's the report for my game against the Order of Etoiles Mortelles, a Witch Hunters army.
CliffNotes: Brent's Daemons against an unknown player with a misunderstanding you may want to comment on.
So I'd just suffered my only loss of the weekend in Game 2 - does that ruin it for you? It's an idle thought, but obviously you're going to have a general idea of how the rest of the games I report on roll out. I'll let you know in advance I went 4-1-2 on the weekend; 4 wins, 1 loss, and 2 draws. I hope that doesn't ruin the suspense or anything. Moving on, I was on the wrong side of the room and in the uncomfortable position of knowing I had to do well or remain there.
So this game, like many on the weekend, was an objective grab. I did note Kill Points weren't really a major issue in any of the 7 games, with only one mission using Kill Points to decide either secondary or tertiary points. That was a bit of a knock for me, since my army invariably kicked the crap out of people but wasn't rewarded for it. In a sense, I felt I had to work harder for my points than others.
I'm not complaining, simply making an observation.
Anyway, I wasn't worried about the army beating me, but I was nervous about a tie. Here's what he had:
Sisters in a Rhino x4
Celestians in an Imolator
Naturally The Book of St. Lucius was mass-printed for the occasion. All in all, a fairly standard Sisters army, effective but hardly dynamic. Still, my opponent played it well and it frankly worried me. I still had to kill all those power-armored chicks and bust up their rides. With all the Faith Points he had available, it was simply a matter of how long it would take. Too long, I lose, and I'm stuck on the wrong half of the room.
Certainly there's no shame in that but it wasn't what I was trying to accomplish at the event. I wanted to make a mark as a competitive player... not because I give a SELF-EDIT about it per se, but it would add legitimacy to Strictly Average and that I wanted! He admits it after all, I see. The narcissist... and no, I'm not going to get into the 'I know I am but what am I' kinda talk.
I'm out of pictures - I'm pretty sure I have more but I can't find them now. No matter: the game was pretty standard but some interesting things happened that bear discussion.
Let's count to 3!
1) He played a troop-hunt strategy, which made me nervous. My 4 smallish units were by far my biggest weakness. I had a tense moment when his Canoness chased my last few Pink Horrors toward an objective. I couldn't lose those paltry few models or I'd tie, rather than win, and I'd underestimated the effectiveness of the old-style 4E Hero. She had a 2+ save she could turn Invulnerable and a Strength 6 Power Weapon... all in all, quite the SELF-EDIT. Luckily, my last Herald finally decided to show up and he blasted her out of the water with Bolt and Gaze. As far as I'm concerned, that makes up for the lack of luck I'd had all day with making 4-up invulnerable saves with my Tzeentch units!
I hate it that I'd overlooked something so important in a game, but that happens sometimes.
2) We started getting pressed for time. I finished all 7 of my games with time to spare, but this one was certainly cutting it close! We started having to hurry through the last two turns, and frankly that makes me a bit terse. I'd like to think I'm a good opponent, laid back and chill, but I can't stand to feel rushed and I hate losing games because of time. He said I was fine and in fairness to myself I probably was, but I certainly wasn't playing to my standards of sportsmanship. That bothered me no end.
3) Here's the big one. The mission basically said that you had to control one objective and contest another to gain the Primary Objective, but the wording confused me. I'd asked for clarification at some point in Turn 5, but time wasn't on our side so we just moved on. I kept looking at my sheet to make sure I knew what I was doing. The game literally came down to the last assault, when a unit of Fiends swarmed and killed a tank and a lone Sister who were trying to sneak on an objective to tie up the game. I rolled a 5 but wasn't sure where to go. I examined the board and noted that I controlled two objectives... or was it one? I really can't remember, but the point is I had to move my Fiends to 'control' the objective I'd just cleared in order to 'contest' it and claim full points.
I know it's confusing - it confused the crap out of me at the time - but I asked my opponent about it, seeking clarification, but all he said was I'd need to make a dangerous terrain test if I wanted to move onto the objective. I shrugged, said I didn't really need to, and didn't move the models at all. We started counting up points and almost immediately disagreed on the wording of the primary. Basically, he was telling me that because I didn't contest the objective that I'd failed to achieve it. I read it completely differently - as in, a 180 difference! We had to call a judge over.
I've looked for the mission in my stack of stuff and can't find it, which is frustrating since I wanted to write it verbatim. Suffice it to say, I was wrong. I had in fact needed to sweep the Fiends onto the cleared objective to claim full points and hadn't done so. We chatted and I was allowed to complete my move, gaining the objective.
So, what does everyone think about it? I'd like to point out my opponent was a perfect sportsman; this wasn't an argument or a scene. There wasn't a hint of negatively. The judge felt I should be allowed to make the move, given the obvious misunderstanding over the meaning and the discussion my opponent and I had as the move was being contemplated. I wasn't trying to backtrack for points or anything silly like that. Despite what the judge said, I simply put the issue in my opponent's hands. I told him it was his decision and he would be well within his rights to say he wasn't comfortable with it, since it was a tournament setting. I wasn't going to guilt anyone over a game.
My opponent shrugged and said he was fine with it, given it was the obvious move to make and I'd clearly misunderstood the parameters.
This was the only incident I had over three days of gaming, and let's face it: it was a minor one. Still, it was important to me and I appreciate my opponent being a man enough to give me something he didn't have to. While it didn't effect the points he earned in Game 3, it was the difference between a win and a loss for him.
I talked to JWolf and Darkwynn - Jon and Nick - after the game, explaining what happened. I wanted them to know I thought my opponent went above and beyond. Why? Because I don't think most people would have been that gracious. Jon actually said he thought I was wrong, that most of the gamers in the room were guys like that and would have done the same thing.
I don't know. I do know that after I advocated for my mystery opponent they gifted him with a brand new Fantasy Hardback 8th Edition Rulebook, one of a handful of sportsmanship prizes they'd kept back to give out at the judge's discretion.
I've had some bad experiences with dudes in tournaments before, a few of which I've talked about here on Strictly Average (check out Game 3 of the Hard Boyz 2009 Semi-Finals - I'm still irritated about it). It was great to have something with which to offset that.
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