Okay, so here's Game III, Daemons Vs. Daemons... what can I say? There are games and there are games. I can't easily explain how great this win was, and it was a testament to the character of my opponent that he didn't sour my high in the least - he was really cool about the whole thing. I run the real risk of embarrassment by adding the video Intro and Closing, but what the hell. The Master Manipulator (every store needs one) occasionally needs new fodder.
Jon gets the choice and gives me the first turn. Daemons 101, right? Well, that standard move isn't as strong when you're playing another Daemons player. He basically gave me a drop into an open field and the ability to choose my assaults at the top of Two. The picture shows the first model of Jon's army being placed for Deepstrike, and the four units of my preferred drop. I could have stacked 5, but in this case if I didn't get what I wanted - the two units of Fiends - I wanted to have 5 units on the backend to hopefully make up for it. I knew proper use of my Fiends and Flamers was going to be critical this game.
Jon's army is designed to maximize the pain on the first drop. He uses a couple of single Screamers to add to his numbers - 13 in all, if I'm not mistaken - so he dropped seven units on me. Luckily for me, unluckily for him, one of the three two-man units of Crushers suffered a mishap and was destroyed. As I've learned the hard way, that's going to happen with Daemons on occasion; Jon let that setback go pretty quickly. A word here about the Crushers... so, two-man units? I wasn't sure why, given how often we see the big units in Daemons lists, designed to soak up a ton of firepower, but the answer here is elegant. The footprint is the problem; 5 or more models of that size take up a ton of room and a canny opponent can use that size against you. Also, it's an expensive unit - you practically have to run Fateweaver and build the list around Juggers. Jon was running 6 at 1250, quite a number, and none of them were tripping over their feet.
And this is how it looks after the top of Turn Two. My Flamers came in and hit their drop, then toasted most of the Daemonettes in the central building; the one or two left I assaulted... with the Flamers! This move surprised him, I think, but that unit was safer in combat than out. He went first - but he was going to anyway with Initiative 6. The Flamers had 3 attacks at Strength 4 on the charge, and the Herald had a few Strength 3 to add; they soaked the hits and killed off the few remaining models, then swept a bit farther up the board, away from the Daemonettes on my lower left flank (placed there by me due to a mishap). The unit of Plaguebearers I brought in at the beginning of Two I placed as a further buffer. The Fiends both jumped the other big Daemonettes squad, killing it off completely, then spreading out to block assaults. If it looks like I was protecting my Flamers... I was. They were too important. The two units of 'bearers on the right flank I used to assault the Bloodcrushers. This was a sac move, but with poison weapons and an Invulnerable Save, I just needed to hold the unit in place for as long as possible. The Princes that dropped I used to take pot shots at the Slanneshi Herald, doing a wound.
Sorry for the wall of text, but Turn Two was the most important of the game, far as I was concerned. I got and held the initiative, picking the assaults in a manner most advantageous to my units.
My opponents other units make their way on. He uses his DP to assist his Crusher with the kill. By this point, Jon had adapted his strategy and started concentrating on killing my Troops choices off. I saw it coming, but like all good moves there wasn't much I could do about it. I would have to sweep the board for a major win. You can't see it well in the picture, but he has two of the six Daemonettes still on the board, and both are sitting on objectives. My Fiends and Flamers were too far north, having finished off the units on that side. I had to waste a turn getting into position for the last 3rd of the game.
I don't have the pictures of the last two turns. Basically, Jon blocked with the Screamers, trying to protect the central unit of Daemonettes, but I was able to finish off the Khorne Prince and last Crusher, help my Prince finish off the closest unit of Daemonettes, then get in position for the final assault. The Flamers opened a path for a multi-unit charge and I swept the board.... I'll let my last video speak for itself, as it were - and the finger at the end was meant in jest! - but I have one observation to make. Jon will continue to be a dangerous opponent to play - I am under no illusions that somehow this one win makes me 'better' or something... but my last one-and-a-half years of constant practice and traveling out of town for tournaments has paid big dividends. I think the key to playing well is playing consistently - playing mistake-free as much as possible, and I recognize this is difficult for players to do without constantly striving for improvement.