Friday, September 16, 2011

NOVA open Game 4:

Now standing at 1-2 I was really feeling the pressure to finish out day 1 as 2-2 (as my goal going in was to try to finish with more wins than losses).  I lined up across the table from a Codex Space Marine Player, and looking at his list I felt pretty good about my chances.  His list consisted of Vulkan, 3 Tactical squads, a Thunderfire Cannon, A typhoon speeder, a Land Raider, A Libby with Null Zone and Gate, 2 MM attack bikes, and some TH/SS termies.

Mission was Objectives, Quarters, and KPs, my opponent won the roll off and gave me first turn.  I deployed in one quarter and he deployed opposite me.  He reserved 2 of his tactical squads.

At this point I honestly don’t remember much of what happened turn by turn.  This game was my one contentious game of the tourney, and unfortunately I think both me and my opponent handled it badly.  He was very concerned that I was moving things too far early on so I took it back and moved them again.  Then it seemed to me that he did not know many of the rules for his particular army (or base rules as well.) So the game took a while as I let him take back a few moves because he did not realize that they would cause things like dangerous terrain.  The game came down to turn 5 being the last turn due to time, and my opponent was able to control 2 objectives and contest 2 of mine.  One with his terminators killing a purifier squad, and the other with a librarian Gating himself to the objective from inside the land raider.  This was a contentious point which ate up some time, as I was not sure that gate would work from inside of a vehicle, but the judges ruling said it could so he was allowed to do so.  Honestly though I had forgotten that he had the power, so that was my fault as I could have deployed to block him out of 3” from the objective, and cast warp quake to attempt to prevent the move had I thought about it.  We rolled to see if the game would go on and it did.  However, since we were up against time the judges had ruled that the game would only continue if both players wanted to go on (which is not a very good ruling, either allow it, or call a hard cap, leaving it to the players can lead to bad blood as in a close game the winning player will never want to go on), my opponent said since he was winning he did not wish to continue.  This attitude upset me (not because he was in the wrong simply because I am just not that competitive as to want to win by a time out), and the game ended on somewhat bad terms.  Reflecting on it later I realized that what I should have offered was to give him the tournament win, score the points as they stood, and finish out the game just to see what would have happened (as that is what I wanted to see).  I think this was made worse because we were both tired.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I’m better when I am losing??!!!

So after then NOVA open (when I had time to reflect on my games) I noticed a trend in all but one of my losses.  The trend I noticed was that I felt that I was winning the game.  Now you may ask why that is a trend that matters but the more I thought about it the more it kind of bothered me.  How had I lost 3 games that I felt confident that I had the upper hand?  Why did I not notice the plays that gave the wins to my opponents?  Why did I make silly, unnecessary mistakes?  Think about this I came up with 3 things.

1.)    I play too fast.  This is not really a problem when I am losing or when I am crushing my opponent (tabling them effectively). I had 2 games in during the NOVA which required no thought at all on my point after about turn 2 as I was so thoroughly beating my opponent anything shy of a miracle would have been needed for my opponents to pull out a win.(One I seized and crippled my opponent turn 1, the second my opponents dice were the worst dice I had ever seen, for the entire game, and he could not offset his poor dice).  Also when I am losing I tend to take more care as any bad play can cost me.   I feel that I really need to slow down and take a breath at the beginning of the latter turns (4+) and try to work out why my opponent is making the moves that he is, and is there any thing that I am missing.

2.)    I make mistakes.  Following up my fast play, when I am confident I have the advantage I make more mistakes.  I aim to press my advantage, and I carry out “my plan” with little regard to what moves my opponent is making.  After all, “my plan” is working, I’m winning and I don’t see anyway for my opponent to comeback from this.  This has often been a bad habit of mine, even from back in my Chess playing days, when I am dominating my opponent I seem far more likely to let them make checkmate moves, simply because I fail to see them as I press my advantage. When I am losing I tend to be fine playing fast as I often have only one choice, and it is to be aggressive to try to get back to even.  I also know that I absolutely cannot make mistakes so I do a better job with my moves and my target priority.  Not that I am bad at these things in games I am winning, but when I am losing I don’t fail to notice slight changes in my opponents plans.  Maybe this is because I need everything to go right for me to even have a chance.

3.)    I get greedy.  My last bad habit when I am winning a game is that I get greedy.  I have a solid win locked up on the tertiary objective, but that is not good enough I push for the win on Primary and it costs me.  Or I am winning on Kill points so I press to get more instead of protecting my lead.  I multi-assault to kill 2 units when 1 would be just fine.  This results in me being out of position to achieve objectives, leaves me vulnerable to counter attacks, and generally does me in.  When I’m losing I’m more likely to be stingy and do just what I need to in order to win, no more no less.

Does anyone else have bad habits like this?  Acknowledging this going forward I am going to attempt to work on it as I don’t feel like I was outplayed in any game at the NOVA, and yet in most of my close games (all save 1) I lost, and in 3 of those 4 games I felt that I had the advantage.   

NOVA game 3:

Game 3 I draw another IG player Mech this time.  Standard fare pretty much Vets in Chimeras, 3 Vendettas, 3 Hydras, a mantacore, and a Leman Russ executioner( plasma tank). And  Alraheem.

Mission is Kill points (win by 3), Quarters, Objectives.  Deployment is Dawn of war.

My opponent wins the roll to go first, and deploys a command squad in a chimera.  I deploy 2 empty razors (with Search Lights).

Turn 1: My opponent moves everything on (except the Alrahim platoon), he boosts his vendettas, 1 on the left, one in the center, 1 on the right.  He moves his Mantacore, Hydras, and Leman Russ on my left, then brings his Chimeras in on the right.  On my turn I roll everything on to my right to deny him shooting with this Leman Russ, and Hydras.  I light up 1 Vendetta shoot it, he fails cover, and I wreck it. I fail to light the other one up, but my purifiers roll to see it (moved 12” on, and disembarked) see it, and blow it up.   So things are going pretty well.

Turn 2:  My opponent kills one Dread with his Mantacore, moves his Hydras up the left side of the table.  Kills one of my Razorbacks with his vendetta, and really not much else.  I move up the right side killing another chimera and the squad inside.

Turn 3: Alraheem comes in kills a razorback, a Dread and tries to kill my paladins, he ends up getting stomped, and losing my opponent 3 KPs.  I continue to move up and pop a few more another Chimeras, Crowe assaults a vet squad, and wipes them out.

Turn 4: My opponent has killed a few marines, and immobilized a Rhino and takes out another dread with his, I kill another Chimera and Crowe assaults another vet squad, and wipes them out.

Turn 5: Looking at the table  I am leading in KPS but just by 4, I think I am tying table quarters, and figure I will win 2 – 0 on objectives, if KPs get tied.  My opponent kills Crowe and a purifier squad, to bring us to me leading by2  .  I figure, ok I can probably get 2 Kps, but if not I’m winning on objectives and I figure quarters were tied.  SO I shoot My 2 Psycannons, and 2 storm bolters at a vet squad, but they pass LD.  I shoot his vendetta with 12 Psycannon Shots and gain nothing.  I end up killing one Chimera to get up by 3 Kps.  So we tie KPs. The game ends, he actually ends up holding 3 quarters for the win as he had just snuck his Leman Russ into a table quarter to out point me by 60 VPs (Crowe and the purifiers dying ended up being key). On my turn 5 I should have just accepted tying Kps, and made sure that I was tying quarters, but I was confident that I had enough points and got greedy for KPs.

NOVA Game 2:

So after dropping my first game (in part due to my own stupidity), I went into the second round feeling like I needed to get a win.  Upon arriving at the table I saw that my next opponent was a player I have played before (a great guy) and he was playing a nicely painted Blob (skaven) IG.  The mission was Table Quarters, Kill points, Objectives.  Seeing my list my opponent had the same idea that I did, if my Purifiers hit this IG blob this game was over.  Unfortunately for my opponent…the game was effectively over even before that.   The issue for my opponent was that deployment was table quarters and there was a large LOS blocking piece of terrain in the center of the table.

He won the roll to go first, and set up in the quarter to my right.  He deployed his blob in front, with his Heavy weapons and Vets behind it to get cover.  I was able to hide my entire army from half of his shooting (most of his Heavy weapons) and get cover from the units that could see.  On his turn he shot a bit but mostly moved to try to get LOS.  On my turn 1 I shot and killed 3 out of 4 of his heavy weapons squads as he failed to make just about every cover save he was called to make.

Turn 2 My AlRahim outflanked on my right and moved onto an objective. My opponent shot a bit more but still failed to do much damage.  My Paladins Deepstruck in near my opponent and shot and killed one of his vet squads.  The rest of my army moved up, shot and killed his remaining heavy weapons. 

Turn 3 He killed maybe 1 paladin, then my paladins assaulted his blob to pull them closer to my advancing purifiers.  He killed 2 more paladins, but I won combat and we got stuck in.

Turn 4 one of my Purifier squads and Crowe assaulted his Blob, and killed the whole blob except the Commissar.

Turn 5 The game ended with my holding 4 table quarters for the win.