Playing for the draw

I joke with my wife, who does not play with plastic army men, that I always play for the draw with my Daemons.  The reality is that my goal playing 40K, even when I play in competitions, is to have fun and enjoy the game and my opponent first with the added bonus of a potential win.  In a previous post I mentioned that I chose to play Daemons due in part to their randomness and chaotic (pun intended) play style.  This play style can lead to either a major victory or a resounding defeat.  When things go just my way, it is possible to do some serious damage, but let’s face it, 40K is a game of dice and when a single die roll can effect the outcome of a game, things don’t tend to go my way all that often.

Case in point, my game last night against a local gamer and all around good competitor, let’s call him Joel.  Joel normally plays vanilla marines and is very adept at using them to defeat his opponents.  When he asked for a game yesterday, I assumed I’d be facing his marines (not that it mattered, because I don’t tailor my list).  To my surprise, he brought a (new to him) Tau army to the table.  He used the double force organization at 2000 points:


Force 1-

HQ-
Commander – (Cyclonic Blaster, Misslepod, Targeting Array, HW-MultiTracker, HWDrone Contorller) – Warlord
2x Gun Drones

Elite-
4x Stealth Team

Troops-
6 Firewarriors
DevilFish – (Flechette launcher, Target Array, Multitracker, SMS)
12 Fire Warriors – (Shas’la, Drone Contoller, Markerlight drone, HW-Blacksunfilter)

Heavy-
HammerHead (Railgun, SMS, Multitracker, Target Lock)
3xBroadsides – (3x multitracker)

Fast-
5 Pathfinders
DevilFish – (2 Seeker Missiles, Flechette launcher)
Force 2-

HQ-
Commander – (Misslepod, Plasma, Targeting Array, HW-MultiTracker, HWDrone Controller)
2x Gun Drones

Elite-
4x Stealth Team

Troops-
6 Firewarriors
DevilFish (Flechette launcher)
12 Fire Warrior (Shas’la, HWDrone Controller, Marker Drone, HW-Blacksunfilter)

Heavy-
HammerHead – (Railgun, Burst Cannons, Multitracker, Target Lock

Fast-
5 Pathfinders
DevilFish (2 Seeker Missiles, Flechette launcher)

I essentially brought my bog standard Tzeentch list, but I threw in a Seeker Cavalcade to try out the new rules since I have some older Chariots of Slaanesh.  My list at 2000 points:
HQ-
Fateweaver
2x Tzeentch Herald (Master of Sorc., Legion, Bolt) – Warlord

Elite-
3x 4 Flamers (Pyrocaster)

Troops-
20 Pink Horrors (Changeling, Bolt)
8 Pink Horrors (Icon, Bolt)
7 Pink Horrors (Bolt)

Fast-
4 Screamers

Heavy-
Tzeentch Daemon Prince (Wings, Master of Sorc., Bolt, Breath, Gaze)
Seeker Cavalcade – 2 Exalted Chariots

We played The Scouring (Fast scores) on the long table.  Sparse terrain, mysterious objectives, mysterious forest, objectives were generally centrally located.  I won the toss and took second turn.  “Joel” deployed about half his force and moved and then I got my preferred wave (Fateweaver, Herald, 20 Horrors, 2 Flamer squads, Screamers).  Then is all went wrong…

My first unit to deepstrike is generally the PH blob squad + Herald.  However it scattered 11 inches, I couldn’t get the 3rd ring of models to stay over an inch away and rolled a 1 on the mishap table.  There went 450 points.  My opponent was a gentleman and let me try to deploy my blob squad for about 5 minutes to see if I could make it work, but to no avail.

He scores 2 VP (warlord and first blood). I have 3 (2 + fast) scoring units left to his 8 (6 + 2 fast).  Winning likely went off the table with the 450 points so now I’m playing for the tie!  I’ll skip the gorey details of the six turns of the game.  When the game is over I have 3 PH on an objective, but he’s contesting and I have Fateweaver locked in close combat with his other Commander too far away from his remaining scoring unit (a single firewarrior), and a lone spawn on the other side of the table.  I made some stupid mistakes at the end…

I forgot that Fateweaver had changed to gliding and didn’t assualt his last firewarrior.  This might have had an impact (or so I thought).  I forgot to shoot at his contesting tank (I later rolled to see what would have happened – no change).  So “Joel” won the game!

Or so I thought.  We had been keeping track of VP on dice, and just out of habit I re-tallied the results (running totals).

“Joel”
1 Warlord
2 First Blood
3 Screamers (fast unit)
4 Controlling 1VP objective

Pete
1 Fast Attack
2 Fast Attack
3 Fast Attack
4 Warlord

So, a tie after all.  The game ended on Turn 6.  Had it gone to turn 7 I would have tried to Boon the remaining Firewarrior and shoot his denial unit with a Bolt.  The mysterious forest would have killed another PH.  His suits would have killed the rest of my PH.  So, I would have had about a 20% chance of winning as killing his Firewarrior would have netted my another KP and reduced him by one.  Most likely it would have been a quick last round with no change to the outcome.

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