Monday, 7 November 2011

I'm just not that good

It's a strange thing, I've been playing Warhammer pretty solidly for the last couple of years, played a bunch of tournaments and face a fair number of decent players.  Locally I play against a lot of pretty decent players who've won tournaments and regularly place well, my record versus them is pretty mixed but generally sub 50%.  At some point presumably I've got to accept that I'm just not that good?

The thing is every time I play someone with a good record their comment is that I've given them a really hard game and they struggled to beat me, though usually they do in the end!  So I'm not sure where this leaves me, is it that I'm not that good a player, or I don't design good army lists or some other intangible factor.

One thing I'm famous for is my dice rolling, as a general rule I buck the averages, unfortunately this tends to be rolling low, apart from those occassional games where my dice will catch fire and I'll burn someone up badly.  But I had a game recently where my dice were running pretty hot, pretty much everything I put into combat was hitting above averages, and wounding about normal, so overal I was up on the average, but I still lost the game badly.  Partly due to not hitting the averages when I needed it.  In one turn there were 2 ogre characters standing in the open <15" from 50 Wood Elves, 3's to hit, 5's to wound and armour and wards to negotiate. One character was 5+ armour, 4+ Look out sir, 4+ ward.  Other was 3+ Armour, 5+ ward.  Avg is 33 hits, 11 wounds before saves.  After armour & wards I did nothing, thinking about it I was dreaming that I would drop a character, even with a 3+,5++ that should negate most of the wounds.

I hear tales from other people of regularly gunning things down in that same state, I can only assume they approach things differently to swing the odds, but I can't see how!  More than anything else I struggle with armies which run at you and try to smash you off the table.  I think I play it right, I generally avoid setting up directly opposite them, I spread my units, concentrate my fire, put out diverters, blockers and yet somehow it always seems to cave in on me and I'm left dodging characters around the gaps between their units in a desperate effort to survive whist everyone else dies a horrible death.

Another game recently I lost due to a tactical blunder, plus my opponent having missed something that was critical to my decision making process which left a slightly bitter taste but for a fun practice game of no significance.

The tactical blunder was my being too cautious with my super slann who should have been thrown into combat with a big unit of knights to pin them in place, they had magical attacks so I ran away instead, but I forgot they had a character in them who didn't and with WoC having to challenge I'd have been taking ld 9 tests on 3 dice for the rest of the game with a reroll to pin 8 chaos knights and a hero in place so my army could have shot off his other blocks.  His error was not testing to restrain a frenzy charge from a nurgle block with the banner of rage, as a result I stuck 24 saurus into them after thinning them down thinking I could whittle them before they did me.  The extra attacks meant I poped in quick order and I'd have just backed off and shot him with skinks and salamanders if I'd known (which because of the test I should have been aware of the frenzy).

As a result he got my breakpoint, the unit, their banner and his unit survived. with the BP being worth 500vps at the tournment this was practice for that equates to 800 additional vps from me and him not giving up 300vps.

Again I felt my luck screwed with me on this one.  T1 I go to launch a bit of death magic at my opponent and double 1 my first spell needing a 3+ to cast it.  I then shoot 10 skinks at a guy on a disc, 2 poison hits, 2+ AS and he double 1's the armour and fails his 6+ ward losing his only mage in the process.  From then on I've a death slann with utter magical dominance and he achieved a grand total of 2 wounds from his 3 snipe spells virtually every turn.  My opponent just let me cast them then out diced me in the LD test, I rolled low on the S & T test and then he warded eveything on his 3+/4+ wards on his characters.  Seriously nothing close to averages.  I did get to beat up his general 3+ ward, stubborn general in combat with a skrox unit and I'd doom and darnessed to drop his LD to 6 and he broke.  Next turn he remembered that his disc had an attack rolled the dice, hit wound, would have been enough for him to win the combat, ah well hindsight.

I just wish death magic would do what I expect, banehead combined with death should equal dead characters early in the game.  My slann has killed next to none.  The most useful thing he ever does is D&D and soulblight units so the salamanders can flame them and make them flee, only reason it seems to work is that is an uncontested dice roll.

Anyway, I'm going to take him to the tournament this weekend and see how it goes, but it might be the death knell for death magic if he still refuses to perform. 

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