Monday, September 26, 2011

Lip Beating - Severius hammers Thagrosh

Where I live the loser of a fight is often described as having "the lips beat off of them". This happened on Saturday night when Kenoth of Menoth brought a dead hard 50 point nSeverius list to the throwdown in St. John's.

His list had 5 jacks (Reckoner, Crusader, 2 x Revengers, and a Repenter) along with full units of Choir, Cleansers and Knights Exemplar, and the usual Menothian suspects.

I had 2 Carniveans, a Seraph, a Nephilim Protector, a Harrier and a Shredder, along with full Legionaires, 3 Warmongers and the War Chief, and 2 Shepherds.

We played ten minute turns. I won the roll off, and it had been so long since that had happened that I had forgotten how to play first, so I passed the first turn to Ken.

What I Did Wrong

Poorly Deployment

My deployment, the supposed reason I went second, was not good. I placed the Legionaires opposite the Knights (and a Paladin of the Wall). This was not the right thing to do. What I should have done was either deploy the Warmongers opposite these laddies of Menoth, or else I should have led everything with the Legionaires with the Warmongers behind them and opposite the Knights as a counter-charge unit. The Knights were a big problem for me and I had to deal with them properly ab initio.

Tactica Idiotas

My tactics were poor. This was displayed in my poor deployment, of course, but also in my decision-making during the game. On my second turn I slammed one Carnivean into a Revenger and Reckoner, knocking both down, and then charged the second Carnivean into the Reckoner after Slipstreaming it. Notionally, there is nothing too, too wrong with this, and neither was vulnerable to charging Knights on Ken's next turn (though there was a Crusader to think about), but throwing both of my heavy hitters into the maws of the enemy was perhaps not so wise. There is no magic to knocking things down any more unless there is a game-changing shooting attack to follow and, as it turned out, I nerfed the Carni's charge damage roll on the Reckoner anyways (I rolled a 1 and a 2 and didn't even bother with the third dice). By the end of Ken's following turn both Carniveans were dead. I got one back on the feat, but it was still very poorly done on my part. Interestingly, I had to actually back both Carniveans into the melees, arse first, which unerringly displayed in a figurative sense the position that I had put both of them, and myself, in with this grand, suicidal gesture.

Emotional Barbeque

I played this game standing up. I need to sit down when I play. I have way more fun and success that way. My dice rolling was absymal. The truth is I have to boost - not to make a 7, but to make a 5. My dice rolling is so crappy that for it to even out I would need to roll 5's and 6's for about the next 107 years, and that's just not going to happen. But I know all this, and my style has evolved over time, subconsciously I think, to take this into account. Here, I got into a fey mood during the game, after rolling shite dice for three rounds straight, so that in the end I just got a little moody, and when I missed my attack roll when charging the Repenter with my Seraph I started to lose interest in the contest. My final play of the game involved rolling a 3 on a Mutagenesis onto a Choirboy (I needed a 5) and I conceded. There is no need of this. I painted 4 Legionaires and a Protector for this game. I have always known that 1) you have to be good to be lucky, and 2) you have to laugh in the face of bad dice. I wasn't good, and so I wasn't lucky. And when I got unlucky, I forgot to laugh and to just have fun and think on how lucky I am to be able to have a game of Hordes every couple of weeks. I'll have to think on this.

Time Mismanagement

I knew I was going to have problems with time when I used all but 1:45 on the first round. I mean, this is not a hugely complex list. Every turn that followed saw me missing the play of a number of models. I missed a Vengeance attack with my Legionaires, and I missed their regular move altogether in the same, or another, turn. I think I played 1 Shepherd once in the last three turns of the game, and I think I played each of the Harrier and the Protector once only as well. Now this is something that I can fix with practice and, probably, with some list management. But it has to be said that I used to be better able to play Hardcore at 750 points with 7 minute turns than I was on Saturday night past at 50 points using 10 minute turns. I think I am getting old. Maybe I need to start at 12 minute turns and then work down from there.

What Ken Did Right

Ken was a fell opponent playing a dead hard list. So, an experienced foe using, with craft, a combination of Eye of Menoth + Choir + Jacks + Ashes to Ashes + dice rolling which invariably succeeded and, more often than not, succeeded with a plentitude of dice in the 4-6 range = a hammering to remember.

El Conclusion

I want a rematch! And, I need to play an army that requires me to roll 4's, not 5's.
I don't care what the faction is. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gaming Progress

Von Moltke the Elder said that no plan will survive first contact with the enemy. And so it was. After initially playing 2 or 3 games with Menoth lists (nSeverius and Vindictus), and making the usual renewbie mistakes that have to be expected with a return after long absence to Warmahordes, I decided to play on the more familiar ground of my nThagrosh Legion list.

Successes, albeit successes still riddled with inexcusable errors, have followed with victories in my last three games, one against a 35 point Rhyas list, and two others against the High Reclaimer at 35 and 50 points.

My 35 point list is essentially as follows:

Warmonger War Chief

My 50 point list grows from that. I added a Carnivean and a Shepherd for the game and thought I had 50 points. Actually it turned out I had 43 points, as I had dropped one Shredder (which brings up the topic, for another time, about playing with point differentials). Let's just say that I get mathematically challenged when tired and rushing through the set up phase.

Anyways, to bring it up to 50 points I will either add a Nephilim Protector or 4 more Legionaires and 2 more Warmongers. All of these miniatures are on the painting table and only the 2 extra Warmongers are in any danger of not being completed this week. I will post pictures in the next few days.

Other thoughts occur to me. The Forsaken remains a profoundly psychological wargaming piece. It attracts significant enemy attention - i.e. focus and fury - and, because of that, it does not often get an effective Blight Shroud attack. Against the High Reclaimer Ashes to Ashes is the death of it. I did keep it back a bit in the Rhyas game and it removed a Raptor with boosted attack and damage rolls, so that is a consideration. But I could have done so much more if I had played it closer to the warbeast/lock scrum in that contest. Otherwise, while 2 Shredders are often said to be better than one, with nThaggie I wonder.

The other gaming I have been doing involves introducing a friendissima to Hordes. This has involved 4 battlebox games, with her playing Lylyth (which I have now painted for her) and associates, and my playing the Morghoul box. A rewarding experience it has been. It is amazing how much one can learn, or confirm, teaching the game to another, and I have grown very keen to play Morghoul again after, maybe, 4-5 years on my various shelves. Of course, I have lost every game, and that is as it should be.

In the last game I wanted to Trample into the Carnivean with my Gladiator as a Shredder was in the way, but my friend entreated me to advise her what to do, having picked up a gleam of wickedness in my eyes I suppose. I had to tell her to move one of her other Shredders into a position in front of the Carnivean that resulted in ending my proposed Trample short of the Carni. We did go through the whys and wherefores of it all, so the next time I shall show no mercy, though no doubt I'll still lose.

I highly recommend teaching the game. People often say that those that can not do, teach, but I think teaching helps with doing. Or something like that.