Sunday, 20 November 2016

Invitationals: Enthusiasm, Disappointment & Goats

Home is an amazing place to come back to after a great weekend. Except when its half packed with boxes, and instead of packing the rest of the boxes, you decide to blog. Procrastination is the key to life....

Anyways, what a weekend. After the long drive home from Invitationals 2016, the tournament that has ended the T9A competitive year, I have already written my new Beast Herds list. I find this rather funny, as I have every intention of shelving this army for a while after playing it competitively all year. But who knows.

So, here is a brief breakdown of the games:

Game One (Dread Elves - Failed from the Get Go):
Game One saw me face off against a local guy and his Dread Elves. This gent was actually the person I had faced just days before in my final practice game, and I didn't have high hopes of a victory. My expectations were met.
I misdeployed my army, and opted to keep my Wildhorns on the table instead of ambushing them. As you know, major deployment failures are often a game breaking mistake. Although I didn't expect to win the game, I had planned to try and keep the loss as minimal. However, as I watched MSU witch elves tear my army apart, my hopes were dashed.
It was a 14/6 loss before objectives, a loss I could have been happy with, but with some lucky last turn shooting from him killing my only scoring unit left, and some unlucky failed charges from me, leaving his 2 man scoring unit left on the board, objectives went in his favour, ending the game on a 17/3 victory to my opponent.

Game Two (Saurian Ancients - Hunger has its Price):
Game Two saw me face off against one of the Umpires, a guy who I had played just two months ago at GuardCon. In that match I took a major victory against him, and he was out for revenge.
Due to the terrain, I was able to force my opponent to split his army, making his infantry go to one side and his monsters to the other. I countered with most of my power stacking the flank of his infantry, and leaving a few units to hold up his monsters.
It didn't take long for me to clear the infantry flank, and by turn 4, I was sitting in a prime position.
This is where I made my biggest mistake of the tournament. This mistake cost me a 17/3 or better victory.
I got hungry, and over stretched. Had I planted my still at full force Minotaurs onto the objective, and moved everything else of mine away from his last three units (being 2 monsters, and a unit of 4 remaining warriors), I would have been fine. But I over extended. I didn't get my minotaurs where I needed them. I threw my BSB at his general with high expectations of killing it, and flubbed my rolls, and then watched his general destroy a unit of wildhorns that were contesting the Saurus warriors on the objective (2 rounds of throwing weapons and a round of close combat attacks from the Wildhorns failed to even bring the general down the single wound I needed to get half points for him).
With the additional points he gained, plus claiming the objective, my opponent took a 13/7 win over me. At this point, I was pretty down, and really f&%ked off with myself to say the least.

Game Three (Highborn Elves - The Beasts Favourite)
After a very very short break between to sort myself out, I was matched up against Highborn Elves. This match up with prime for me, because I build lists always thinking of how to kill elves, as majority of competitive players bring elves (50% at Invitationals). And I especially, have a knack for killing Highborn Elves.
My opponent bunkered down in a corner, with the intention to maximise his very shooty army. This was in my favour, as with so much hard and fast hitting units, I was able to get many multi-charges off into the right places, which meant his units were unsupported. The momentum was in my favour come the beginning of turn 2, and by the start of turn 4, it was all over for the Highborn, with only one unit left on the board. I spent the next two turns running all of my very chicken-filled beasts away from that unit, as I knew I already had max points, and wasn't in a position to ensure I could knock the whole unit out in a Round 6 combat.

Game Four (Highborn Elves - More Chicken)
Gleefully, my Beasts were matched up against another HE player at the start of day two. This list was a much more combat focused list, with a very killy lord in a unit of Ryma knights, anda brick of White Lions. But I was confident.
And I was sloppy.
I made one mistake which cost me my minotaurs early on, where I believed I had chaffed my opponent's White Lions in a way they couldnt get the charge against them at the same time as the knights (I had set up an easy charge for the knights purposefully, as I wanted them to charge and I knew my minotaurs could weather it). But, even though I had the movement spare, I put my chaff just milimetres in out from ensuring my opponent couldn't make that charge. Bye bye minos.
However, my sloppyness didn't carry out on the rest of my plan, as I had encircled the combat area with 3 monsters and 4 chariots, and after my opponent made a poor overrun, everything went in. One round of combat saw both of his killing units destroyed, and his characters dead.
At this point it was just clean up, and ensuring that I held the objective. I walked a way with an 18/2 Victory, which was fantastic. Had I not been sloppy, I feel it could have been a 20/0 easily, however, it is hard to say and I am very happy with the result.

Game Five (Dread Elves - Shattered Dreams)
Game Five was the most devastating game in a long time. As the points stood, I was lined up to face yet another Highborn Elves list, a list that although the player is one of the best HE players in NZ, I knew I could take out. Winning that game well, could have landed me in 3rd place. I was hopeful.
However, by this stage, all of the top table players had faced each other, so a rejig had to occur, which saw me instead face off against one of the most brutal lists I have seen on the table in a long time.
There isn't much to say about this game, it was a complete and utter whitewash, with me conceding to the 20/0 loss by top of turn 3. My opponent, the guy who out of all my great opponents, I gave my sports vote to, was extremely humble in his victory. He is a great guy and a fantastic player, and his placing second only went to prove how solid his list was.
It is hard to say that I was the most gracious in this defeat, as it took away any chances of seeing a podium, or even top 5. In saying that, I don't think I have ever had more fun while watching my army melt away to the quick slashes of corsair blades......

Over all, I took 7th place. A mid-pack standing at my first masters level tournament isn't something to be unhappy with. But me being me, and seeing the costly mistakes I made, I know it could have been better, and that I didn't deserve to place as I did after all was said and done. Although most of the time there was little moves I could fault, the mistakes I made cost me too much, and were stupid mistakes.

The guys who ran the event did a fantastic job, and although it was the highest level tournament in the year, in my opinion it was also the most relaxed one I have attended.

I am going to leave it there. I planned on writing about the changes to my list, and what army I plan to bring to the table for my first tournament next year, but its midnight, and I have bee up since 6, played two games, then endured the drive home. And I move tomorrow. So maybe it is time for some shuteye.
I will try and get another post up in a few days, and talk about the things above, along with the year as a whole and some hobby things.

To all the guys at Invitationals, you guys are all amazing and all did a great job. It was a fun weekend, and what made it fun was the awesome calibre of players, both on the gaming table and around the table of beers. Thanks for a blast!

With that,

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