Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Keeping the pressure on

Hi all, only 3 days now until 7th hits the shelves, I'll be there at Warhammer world on Saturday when the doors open to pick up my copy - where will you be?

I've noticed a bit of a trend in my games of late, and it's been a really enjoyable one whilst they're going on, which is that the result has been up for grabs till very late on, two of them going right down to the last roll of the dice, which could quite possibly have changed things if the games had gone on longer.

This all started with the mega match against Tyranids I had, where I was behind all the way until the dying turns, when I finally managed to rid myself of the pesky venomthropes and my heavy weapons finally started to take their toll on the nine carnifexes headed my way. The last roll saw a unit of termagants break and run from the objective they were holding, and the game ended a draw.

The next week I played against guard, and smashed their fortress of redemption, along with their game plan, in the early turns. An inability to remember to take my jink saves though saw my bike units gradually whittled down, and in the last turn I lost linebreaker and an opposing objective, allowing my opponent in for the draw.

The third game saw me facing the black legion, both sides trading hammer blows throughout the game, but the two key combats both went my way around turn 4/5 and in the end the Chaos force was shattered and broken.

I finally broke this run last week, when another chaos force was annihilated by my firebase, the thunderfire cannon and vindicator combination proving too much to handle.

My point though is that those first three games were far more enjoyable to me than the last, and that's not to say my opponent in the last game want fun, he's a great guy and good fun to play against, but I just felt sorry for him the way his army dissolved under fire.

So on to the real thrust of today's post. What do you do when you've got your foot on your opponent's neck?

Speaking as a ‘friendly’ player, having never been to a tournament, I’d say that my aim for a game is for both players to have fun and enjoy themselves, and as such, I don’t go in for the dirtiest combinations I can find, and I’ve never taken allies to cover up my army’s weaknesses. That being said however, I still aim to win my games and I do get annoyed with myself (my dice) when I lose. I think therefore that the first three games I mentioned earlier illustrate my approach. In the first game I was behind, and I really began to focus on where my firepower would be most effective in terms of getting me back into things, I played hard and it got me a draw. The second game, I felt I was so far ahead early on (my opponent even said he was happy to concede at the end of turn 2) that I took my foot off the gas, and in doing so, got distracted, forgot about jink saves and let him back in. The third game the balance was about right, with both of us playing hard and going for the win, and the relative strengths of the armies, the general’s decisions and the dice deciding the result (as it should be). The last game, I felt extremely guilty every time my opponent took a group of models from the table (especially his warp talons as that squad cost him a lot of points), and looking back I could probably have relaxed a little before the end. The Guard game was still fresh in my mind though, and I was painfully aware that with a small unit of warp talons, a full chaos marine squad, defiler, terminators and a heldrake, he had all the tools necessary to make my life difficult.


So in ‘answer’ to the question, if I’m playing a game against someone ‘competitively’ (I have played club campaigns where this was the case) there’s no let up, keep the foot on the neck and if at all possible, find something else to hurt with your other foot. In friendly games, I’m far more likely to let up and do less efficient things, like accept a challenge from a daemon prince with my captain. It makes for a more fun game for both players, more ‘cinematic’ moments to relay later and who knows, you’ll never find out if your captain really could kill that daemon if you say ‘no’!


Of course the exception to this is those guys you know so well that you could annihilate their entire army by turn two and they’d still enjoy the game simply because of how well you’d played (though let’s be fair, dice would have to play a part in that kind of result).


Till next time, keep fighting, and keep winning!