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.
|He moves his army up...|
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.
|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.|
|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.|
|This was random game length, but it didn't go past Turn 5. It didn't matter - I'd won on both.|
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. :)