Moan moan moan, luck. Yak yak yak, dice. Complain, complain, complain, goat sacrifice. Last night, following a defeat, I was happy enough to stand outside Warhammer World and agree with Andy's initial review that I had been very unlucky with my dice rolls. However, looking at it in the clear light of day, I can see that dice rolls had nothing to do with it. I lost because Andy played a good game and because I let him do so. Without further ado, here's my (almost) weekly round-up of where I went wrong this time.
It seems that nearly all the time I make mistakes with deployment and last night was no exception. To make matters worse, I got my deployment spot on two weeks ago and won the game comfortably but I've clearly learned nothing from that. Deployment should enable you to complete the mission objectives while making it hard for your opponent to achieve them. This mission was all about troops in table quarters. If I managed to kill all of Andy's troops then the worst I could have gotten was a draw. How should I have deployed? More or less the same as two weeks ago - hole up in one corner. Turning that strategy into tactics - I should have put everything in the opposite corner to Andy's Land Raider. Then I could have focused my fire on the table quarter opposite while Andy's Raider would have taken another couple of turns to get into the action. I would probably have kept my shorter range units in reserve in order to give good lines of fire for my Razorbacks and Long Fangs.
Ahab and his whale
I became far too obsessed with Andy's Land Raider and the Assault Terminators inside. After they'd killed my Long Fangs I should have moved away from them and focused on the mission objectives. I could have shot down the Typhoon on my left flank and then advanced my Vindicator unmolested on the Tactical Squad in the far corner. Instead, I fired pretty much everything I could at the Terminators, and continued to throw units at them. I was convinced that at some point Andy had to fail a 2+ save and lost sight of what I was actually trying to achieve. This is a problem with such a deathstar unit, yes it's very killy but it can't actually win the game. If I'd ignored it completely I would have had 1750 points against 1275 - advantage Wolves.
To be fair the mistakes I made with my reserves stemmed from the mistakes I made in deployment. Using the Scouts to tie up the Sternguard would have been a sensible option if I'd have been focusing fire on the rest of the forces on that side of the board. As it was I should probably have brought them on the attack the Combat Squad with the Missile Launcher in the other quarter. Having only one base attack they would have been easier to kill and it would have denied Andy a point for the victory conditions. The first Land Speeder I brought on to shoot the Terminators and then because I messed my order of fire up I tried to shoot it at the Land Raider. Obviously, as I mentioned above I should have ignored both and used Deep Strike to attack some of Andy's Troops. The worst thing is that I actually had my scatter dice in my hand and bottled out of it at the last minute.
To be fair though, this defeat was actually just what I needed. Two weeks ago I thought I was a tactical genius and I thought that spending a couple of minutes checking out lines of fire made me a master of deployment. Turns out I'm only good at this game if I actually spend some time thinking about what I'm trying to do. With that in mind, I'm going to be talking about some initial strategies for all three of the Open War missions in the coming week.