Monday, 30 May 2016

Reports from the front: Dan/Tom's Wulfen cup game 1

With the blog in need of a bit of upsurge in content, I thought it was a perfect idea to link current gaming with blog content. It’s a shame Mordheim doesn’t fit tangential commentary or that Guild Ball players had the time to write up batreps about the system, but time is money (as I find myself, as a semi-professional freelancer; especially for Barry when he’s missing out on gaming!), and as the anointed administrator of the blog it’s kind of mandatory!

I won’t be doing more detailed reports  like Chad (or as well I expect; my excuse being I have my own writing and paid work on top of these duties and others to really!), but will try and give the reader the gist (mainly I put my miniatures down, then remove them!) and my thoughts on the game. Playing a formation of Wulfen wasn’t the wisest move for this format, so don’t expect any tactical genius!

The first game of the knockout round was decided by the order system and that meant I was drawn against Rich and what turned out to be a dreaded Imperial Knight list. I haven’t actually played Rich at 40k (having not joined the club when he was rocking his Emperor’s Children in the 1k league the Spartans had going at the new premises at the time) and I think our last games were during the Fantasy escalation league against his Sylvanian Empire army (I think!), with his love of the undead, featuring his wolf riding demigrpyph knight alternatives and other great conversion work as is expected from him. With 9th Age becoming popular, I’m sure he’ll be dusting them off soon!

My reason for entering the cup was to get to start a catalyst to enjoying 40k again (having fallen out of love of it for a little while, but I think gaming interest peaks and wanes in phases), or at least, a spark to the flame! And also mainly to get the opportunity to play people I hadn’t before (variety is life spice as Matt says), and for me gaming is a social activity and the chance to get to know people better than I wouldn’t otherwise, is worth propping up the table as the wooden spoon (something I seem to get a lot of)!

I won the roll off to start and rashly let Rich deploy first in the slimmest (im)possible hope of being able to deploy my units in a more tactical fashion. In retrospect, it would appear utterly pointless, but having not played in ever it seemed like tactical enough at the time. Oh well! Setting the terrain without any line of sight blocking scenery also didn’t go in my favour! The scenario hampers movement, and if the set-up was 24 inches on, rather than 12, the Wulfen could really give people headaches first turn.

 Deploying second was a bad, very bad idea - Wulfen awaiting impending death!

 The board setup did little to change Rich's deployment!!

It was nice to play against such well painted miniatures and I felt rather guilty about playing my unpainted grey horde of Darwinian-transitory-sapiens-style-inspired-wolf men whose hackneyed (sure there’s a pun there...) karate posing has turned a lot of people off an interesting close combat beast into the 40k meta. Rich’s freehand is outstanding and his knights, matching his 30k Word Bearers, have been daubed in appropriate symbols and liturgies to give an inclusive overall look when he plays his knights allied in with his traitor force for 30k.

I was hoping that grey plastic would mean that the army performed better (having seen tournaments won by – the idea being that gamers too busy to paint are better gamers because they’re too busy gaming; and like a recurring pattern I’m not as it turns out!), but misreading my rules (with my habit of “I dun goofed”), didn’t exactly help the result!

 In spite of the terrible photo, you can still see the detail at work in Rich's freehand.

As expected, I was shot off the board before I could even amount to doing anything, by turn 2 as I recall.  The fixed scenario of having to gain objectives meant I had to be less aggressive as I tried to hold onto objectives to generate cards and then try and complete them. Doing the exact opposite of what my army needs to do isn’t really what I want to be doing, even if they do have a 3+ invulnerable!

In short, I moved my Wulfen eagerly up the bed in my first turn, before receiving a load of firepower in return. My warlord was vapourised quickly to give Rich those bonus points and I then continued to move around to try and hold objectives/generate cards and was basically shot off the board  (again, down to my inane ability to shoot myself in the foot at all times, hey who said difficult wasn’t fun?!!) .

The highlight for me was the stubborn remaining Wulfen valiantly trying to hold on to the objective to the last man and still going to blown away anyway. Going into the competition, setting my targets as realistically low as possible means I can at least walk away less shamefully with more knowledge about my army works! The target is to increase the longevity of games each time I play to try and survive being shot off the board each time; I can but try!

As long as I make progress every time I compete I’m happy (akin to what my driving instructor said about me advancing along – I passed second time haha!).

 Valiant Wulfen trying to outlast the untired guns, soon to be dead, very dead!!
The Knights didn't stay in the same place all game, moving forward turn 2 to get nearer objectives, just in case!  

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