Da Boyz GT, Game IV (And a Bit of Controversy)

"What?" I hear you say.  "Where is Game III?  Did I miss something?"

Nope.  It's just Game III was my devastating loss to the ultimate event winner, Greg Sparks.  That game is so loaded with lessons it's worth giving it its proper due.

Anyway, my game was against a Space Wolves player, a fine fellow whose name I can't remember.  I thought it was printed on his army list, but no dice.  I just checked.  A few things happened in this game which soured an otherwise hard-fought affair... we'll get to them in due course.  I didn't say this at the time, but I actually greatly admired his bearing and continued cheerfulness, even though I know he wasn't happy after the game.

I didn't say anything at the time; I don't know - maybe I should have - but it's my experience that talking about something doesn't always make it better.  Let's move on.  You'll see what I'm talking about soon enough.

This was an important game, and the one I tagged before the tournament as being the most important to win big on.  Basically, there were two primary objectives, both worth 20 points: one was VP and the other KP.  See what I mean?

Rune Priest: Chooser, Living Lighting, Murderous Hurricane
Rune Priest: Jump Pack, Jaws, Living Lighting
Wolf Lord: Thunderwolf, Storm Shield, Wolf Claw, Bearslayer
Thunderwolves: 3-strong, Storm Shields, 1 w Melta, and 1 w Thunderhammer
Wolf Guard: 5, split among the packs
Lone Wolf: Terminator, Chain Fist, Storm Shield
Long Fangs: 5 Missile Launchers
2 Units of Grey Hunters: 5-strong, Rhino
Blood Claws: 5-strong, Razorback
Blood Claws: 5-strong, Jump Packs

As you can see, there is the core of a beat-stick army with some changes to improve the composition score.  In that respect, it's much like mine.

Why do I stack my drops?  I swear, every time I do I suffer.  In this case, I wanted my Fiends in the first wave and my fire support in the follow up, once some of the elements of my opponent's army were either engaged or removed.  I'm not really happy at this point, but I'll make do.  This setup of mine is fairly standard with this type of wave - a unit of Plaguebearers screening, Daemon Princes up front, and Heralds bringing up the rear, ready to swoop in with Breath.  On the drop I managed to wound two of the Thunderwolves.  The only major issue I have is both of my Daemon Princes are lined up for a Jaws strike.  I'd need to roll 6 to lose a model, but that's still bad odds when he can target 2 of them.

He moves his army up...

...and I suffer a pretty brutal attack, losing all my 'Bearers and one of my Daemon Princes.  It wasn't like I didn't expect it, but I had hoped to weather is a bit better.  My opponent played it perfectly though, so it wasn't to be.  This is where one of those things I mentioned happened...

So at the top of 2 my opponent launches his assault on my army.  I took losses, but then I always do on the drop.  Daemons are weakest after the first wave hits the board but before they can start launching assaults.  I know from experience that it can seem awful but the army is designed with this in mind... I felt I was okay as long as I kept the Icon and both Heralds - it's why they were in the back.  So here (the picture above) I was feeling pretty good.  My opponent had launched his assault with his Blood Claws and Grey Hunters, killing the last Plaguebearer and one of the Daemon Princes...

...but he didn't assault with the Thunderwolves.  Look at the picture, and you'll see the Daemon Prince... but I thought then and I think now the unit was out of reach, give my opponent's low fleet roll.  I figured he realized the same thing, so didn't bother to declare the assault and measure.  We rolled out the assaults he did initiate and I was beginning to think about about my turn when my opponent started measuring to move his Thunderwolves.

It wasn't that he thought he was out of reach, like I did: he simply forgot that unit.

So now I ask you: what would you do?

This is something you have to think about from both sides, because if you play in tournaments long enough it will come up.  This isn't the first time it's happened in games I've played - not by a long sight!  In fact, I think this is the most common type of pure error people make.  The thing is though, it is a tournament and the games do matter...

I realize I'm being coy.  Point is, I won't allow my opponent these type of out-of-phase moves, nor will I accept them when, in the past, I've been the one to do it... and yes, people have offered and yes, I turned it down.  Believe me, I get the spirit of sportsmanship, but I believe that kind of consistency is the only fair thing to do.  That said, I will remind people to make a move before beginning another phase; in this case, it didn't occur to me because I was convinced he was short.

There is also a practical reason.  Once the combats are rolled out, there are no mysteries, so it would give an unfair advantage to later assaults.  In this example, what if he planned to split the Lord off to join the other fight?  Now he knows he doesn't have to do it.

(No, I don't think he would have done that - I was just giving an example.)

In fairness, I'm dwelling on this example far more than my opponent did.  He accepted all this with good grace and class and we moved on.  I know he was bummed out later, but this little interlude may have nothing to do with it.  As far as the game goes, I don't think it was that serious a mistake - I had a good answer for him assaulting the Daemon Prince, since I fully expected he'd do it.

Moving on, two units of Fiends and a unit of Horrors show up on the bottom of 2.  I move my Heralds up and, along with the Prince, toast the Blood Claws and Grey Hunters.  The Razorback is immobilized and can't shoot, and I'll destroy it fairly soon after.

So now it's his turn.  He plays wisely and starts moving a unit of Grey Hunters away on the left.  His Thunderwolves eyeball the Daemon Prince...

...then promptly run right past it!  This was a good move.  The Lord will take on the wounded Prince and the unit will take out a Herald.  His Lone Wolf will assault the other.  You can see the Hunters I mentioned in this picture.

The Lone Wolf failed to kill the Herald... because a 4-up Invulnerable is awesome-sauce, but I counterattack with Fiends.  The other unit of Fiends takes on a combined assault with the Thunderwolves and the Lord.  Plaguebearers show up, along with the last unit of Fiends and Horrors.  I keep them close because my opponent still controls the right side of the board with a Rune Priest in a mobile Rhino, a Terminator with a Cyclone attached to a mini-squad, and the Long Fangs.  

As I was saying.

From another perspective.  I won control of the left flank and I'm chasing Kill Points and Victory Points now.  I'll target everything but the Rhino with the Rune Priest... you know, since he can drive off... 

I bounce a unit of Fiends out of combat using Hit and Run and springboard them across the board at the Terminator's unit.  I get lucky and he sticks, so that unit of Fiends will be strong enough to assault the Long Fangs out of cover.

Like so.

This was random game length, but it didn't go past Turn 5.  It didn't matter - I'd won on both.
My opponent was very obviously disappointed after the game.  I wanted to say something, but really, what?  From his perspective, it wasn't a good game.  His army hadn't performed the way he wanted and he hadn't realized the Fiends were so capable given free assaults.  I felt anything I had to say would just come across sour, so I let it go and gave him space.

Goatboy talked to him during lunch and told me the reason he was disappointed was composition.  At the end of the day, he wasn't playing the army he wanted to play so felt like he was at a disadvantage against stronger builds.  He also said if anyone wants to gripe about Thunderwolves he'll point out how rocking Fiends are!

Considering I agree with him - on Comp, anyway - there's not much more to add.  He's right, of course, and he wasn't alone.  Go check out Black Matt's video for a good idea how some folks were feeling after the event.  Good thing Comp is on the way out.

This has turned into a huge post, but I have to end it with this: my opponent was an obviously great player, both on the board and in person.  I hated that he had a sour game against me, but I realize that was more about circumstance than me personally.  Despite this, I admired how he conducted himself.

There are people out there - myself included, at times - that should do so well. :)


Kris said...

I'd say you're right to not let him move the unit. Once dice start rolling, that's that. It does suck, but that's mental focus for you.

The_King_Elessar said...

Agreed. In a Tournament, he should expect no different. :)

Flekkzo said...

You did the right thing and so did he. I never saw the connection between bending the rules and being a good sportsman.

Killswitch said...

I disagree, as a tournament player who plays to win and has a guard & wolf list and who wins touarnaments, I would never do something like that. So what if he forgot, I wouldn't try such a thing just to claim victory. Whats the point in saying "yeh I smashed that player because I didnt let him do something wahoo!"
Nah, not right man, and very unsporty tbh =/

I don't like comp and I have dirty lists, but if my opponent forgets soemthing, its coo. I do the same, we are only humans! If its the same round, no problem. I would of however, said no if for example, its now assault and my opponent forgot fortune, or hell, at least say "lets 4+ it"

Ah wells, good rep anyways!

Valhallan42nd said...

Part of being a good player is remembering things. If he forgot, he forgot. I apply the same reasoning that you do.

Black Blow Fly said...

I would have let him charge the DP with his TWC. They have a 12" charge arc. I don't think he was trying to get over on you. Just seems really picky.


Brent said...

Killswitch: Thanks for taking the time to comment, my man. I expect many folks feel the same way you do, and it's certainly a valid way of looking at it.

That said, keep in mind that I didn't 'try such a thing to claim victory' - it wasn't a tactic I used, nor was my decision based on winning or losing. The assault was a non-issue for me, though I recognize my opponent probably didn't realize that.

Before moving on, I think it's important to realize that both views have some merit: this isn't a 'right or wrong' answer.

Still... now far are you willing to go? That's my larger point. For example, is turn was effectively over once the assaults were rolled, and I was literally about to roll a dice for reserves when he pulled out his measuring tape.

What if I'd rolled the dice? Should we have still gone back?

What if I'd rolled and everything came in? Should we still go back? Should I reroll the dice for reserves if we do? Then I do, and nothing comes in... what's the right answer?

These are the type of things I've learned to avoid by having a policy of not playing out of phase in an event, by not going backwards if someone forgot something.

It's not to say I don't appreciate how someone might feel when they forget something important, but in my opinion that's part of playing competitively.

Believe me, I've kicked myself for just the same mistake in the past.

Bah! I've gone on long enough. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Killswitch!

Brent said...

BBF: I know he had a 12-inch charge but I still think he was out.

That's not really the point, though. We'd already rolled the assault phase so for me assault moves were done.

If I was watching the game and the two players agreed to allow the move, I wouldn't have thought anything of it. Other players can and should play with standards they are comfortable with.

Killswitch said...

Yeah i see your point. If your turn stated, and you started moving units and started to roll dice, I personally would totally agree with you. I think with this kind of situation, he was probably feeling a bit bummed out because he felt it was still his "turn" as nothing else had happened. I guess I personally, as stated above (which was a rushed reponse btw) would of just 4+'d it. This usualy resolves any tension and complaints.

If as you say, it was lets say his movement phase, and now its his assault phase, yeh well sorry mate, too late. For all we know he could of had a secret plan, and due to him getting crap fleet rolls for example, now wants to move the unit that he "forgot".

At the end of the day, its just a comp event, nothing hardcore, so I would of just been like yeh whateva, but then again if it was a GT final game top table, hell i wouldn't of thought twice about saying know, cause im that WaaC LOL jk ;)!

Black Blow Fly said...

I love ya Brent but it sounds like a dick move. I would have measured and charged if the DP was in range. Maybe time to re evaluate ?



Brent said...


No worries, Steve, but why do you feel the way you do about it?

I won't repeat my argument, but I'd love to hear your point of view.

Jawaballs said...

True, he should have moved all of his models into assault. We have all forgotten to do so in our eagerness to get to grips. I've had situations where I very obviously arranged a dreadnought 1" away from a vehicle and stated he was going to whack that on the assault, or positioned a squad during the movement phase to get the best assault possible, even said that they were going to assault so I was not going to shoot to make sure I would remain in range, but forgot to actually put them in base to base in the "move assaulting models" phase, only to have my opponent say in short "Tough Luck" after we started rolling on assaults that were already in action. That sucks.

I see the point that guys can abuse nice guys trying to get good sportsman scores by intentionally not putting a squad into assault based on other assaults, then moving them in at the end. But I for one will almost always let him assault those models. (unless I started moving my own models on my turn that is.)

I did so at Mechanicon, and almost paid the ultimate price. But the guy was cool so why not? Other than the fact that the rules say why not. (Maybe that is why I always do very well with sportsman scores.)

I see your point though. The guy made a mistake and you chose to not let him off the hook. It is a tournament and mistakes are part of why we win or lose. I suppose if it came down to it, and I was playing for all the marbles, and this occurred giving me a crushing advantage, I would be torn between letting him have it or not. In fact, one could argue that the opponent is displaying poor sportsmanship by even asking you for the "giveback" and putting you in the position to have to make the call and be a "poor sport" or not.

Any who...


Big Whit said...

Well, I've played Brent countless times and I can tell you that he does let things go, but at the same time if I forgot to do something I will announce it and then say, "oh well, I'll use this as a learning experience and move on." I have gotten to the point to ask my opponent in his assault phase is this the only unit who is assaulting? Right away you will find out if they would have forgotten to assault with another unit and 9 times out of 10 they have forgotten. You could probably ask the same thing in their shooting phase, but that seems a little over kill in the good sport department.

Just for the record Brent is a dick, so every move he makes would be considered a dick move. :)

Can't get mad because there is a smiley face at the end of the sentence. It's like a comment hail mary. Give me three smiley faces Black Blow Fly and all of your comments will be forgiven.

Brent said...

I'm not a dick... this is how internet rumors start, Whit!

The_King_Elessar said...

I won't pretend I wouldn't be irritated if it had been me - but I'd be annoyed at MYSELF, for failing to do it.

Also, Jawaballs - it's a slightly different situation if you declare you intend to do it earlier in the turn. If so, I would remind you before dice were rolled, unless it were a proper knife-edge game, ie, to determine an event winner etc.

Black Blow Fly said...

Hi Brent !

One time I was playing in the Ard Boyz. It was the last turn, I was going second. At the end of the game my last move was to roll for consolidation after winning an assault and sweeping the enemy unit. I needed to move my unit back to within 3" to claim an objective and win the game. The consolidation move would be my last action and end the game. My opponent claimed the game had come to an end, that I had not rolled for my consolidation move soon enough. We had to get the TO to settle the dispute and he ruled in my favor. Unfortunately this kind of thing seems to happen a lot in events like Ard Boyz. I am very competitive by nature so while I can see it from both sides I would like to think I am fair. If you had started your turn and moving your units then sure it's too late. In this case it sounds like a grey area. I just bring this up because your blog is very popular and I see you as a go to guy on the interwebs. People put stock in what you say. Basically you are somewhat of a role model. I say that with a lot of respect for you. : )


Anonymous said...

Great game, expected nothing less than this, bravo


Xaereth said...

Heh... I let people do it all the time. Even in tournaments. Even in big tournaments. If it's obvious that he was going to assault me, then it's whatever- I figure it's in the spirit of the game to let him.

Now, if he had forgotten to move the unit entirely, and wanted to move, fleet, then charge... I don't think I'd let him. It wouldn't have been obvious to me that he was going to do that.

Your case is a little tougher, since it wasn't obvious what he was going to do in either case. I think I'd have let him though. I'd rather have a pleasant game than turn it into a 'rules-fest'.

Lol, not that the stuff I say is of more import than anyone else's here. Just two of my cents, probably wasted :P

DarkTemplar said...

I have to say that, in my opinion, you were spot on Brent. Keeping your concentration in the thick of the action is what separates good players from average players.

If the game was a friendly matchup with a mate or at the club then fair enough, point out his mistake and let him move the models. In a competitive environment, if you're opponent loses concentration and forgets stuff why should you play for him. I can't think of any other competitive environment where your opponent would give you a break if you were playing poorly – can you?

I'm all for letting little stuff go and making the game enjoyable, but if he forgets the big stuff at a crucial moment then sorry, you don't deserve to be let off. That's how players learn to play better – you only have to make such a mistake once and you learn ways to ensure you don't do it again.

Anonymous said...

Splitting the Lord of is an awful example of something he could have done to gain an unfair advantage given he cannot even do that in the assault phase.

Brent said...

Anonymous: Ya it is a pretty awful example. I wish I'd have taken a few minutes to write up a better one.

Still, there are ways that kind of thing can be abused. I'll describe that in my followup article on Bell.

(Again, I don't believe for a moment my opponent was trying for any sort of advantage; we're speaking hypothetically.)

Brent said...

Steve: Thanks man! You're touching on something I thought about last night, as I wrote the Bell of Lost Souls version of this article...

...I'll save it for Part II! :)

Kris said...

As an example - this happened to me during the last game of BoLScon (*ahem*, WargamesCon). I had moved two razorbacks full of marines 12" onto an objective controlled by my opponent. Right next to where I moved them were three Chimeras of melta vets. Obviously, I intended to launch smoke rather than just sit there like a sitting duck to get my vehicles blown up.

However, I forgot to do that, and we moved on to the shooting phase. At which point I realized that I should have launched smoke, and even said something like, "crap, I totally meant to launch smoke. oh well." I didn't ask for a takeback and my opponent didn't mention it. It was my own damn fault for losing concentration, and I had to bear the responsibilities. Might the game have turned out different? Maybe, but either way it was a lesson learned.

Big Whit said...

See Kris remembered the lesson learned in that game. He did not get butt hurt at his opponent, he got mad at himself. Had his opponent let him go ahead and pop smoke, then that game would have not been memorable or helped him become a better player.
Brent there where smiley faces so it can't be a rumor remember. That's just proper shenanigans. Crazy shenanigans. :)

Black Blow Fly said...

I remember just reading another batrep from Da Boyz where a player let his opponent reroll the scatter so his greater daemon wouldnt mishap and be lost to the warp. Now that is just too plain cool.


s said...

I am a relatively new player, but to be honest, I've had a tough time understanding what exactly you are trying to show in this example.

I thought this was very clear cut. if someone says they are done with that phase and you roll for the next phase/turn/etc.. then you cant go back and change or complete an action you missed.

It is ok to ask the other player for an exception, but as per the game rules, the phase is over and you missed the opportunity.

In this case, if the player didn't actually roll for reserves, then the assault phase isn't over.

I don't see where the controversy is at all.... so it seems like I am missing something.


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