Well, to be honest I've been home for hours and hours by this point. But I just wasn't in the mood to throw up a blogpost just yet.
I've got a whole bunch of photos from the event, though I didn't get anything like as many today as yesterday. I think, having lost the final game of Saturday's three, I felt more pressured today, and that:
a) contributed to mistakes on my part, and,
b) caused me to overlook taking photos as a visual aid.
Obviously, I mean in no way to detract from Ryan or Rowan (bizarre, I just realised that the names of both opponents today began with 'R'...) - both deserved their wins, they played well. Both DID have lists that I was always likely to struggle against, but that's part and parcel of being in a Tournament.
Ryan fielded Loganwing and sadly the board's only LOS block capable of screening my Rhino chassis would have made for a very dull game indeed. Perhaps it would have been the smarter move, but I went to play 40k, not hide-and-seek. He still had to work for it, but in the end his 26 Missiles was always going to be too many to deploy against, and when I didn't fluke an incredible Reserves roll-in on T2, he was more than accomplished enough to grind out the requisite KPs for victory, and also made an excellent last-turn move to seize quarters that required quite the gamble on my part to counter.
The final game against Rowan, saw me make a mistake at deployment that I can only ascribe to my inability to remember, despite having just read his list, that he had 15 Wraiths. Yes, FIFTEEN. Wraiths aren't the most formidable CC unit in the game buy any means, but when they're advancing at you in a line like that, and your army is designed to close in...He played very well to preserve his Troops, and in the end only failed to hold any Objectives by the slimmest of margins, turning around the advantage of them I had going into his final turn. I'm still gutted that he triple-Rended my Librarian at I2 though... ;-)
Overall, it was an entertaining event, and I had fun. Finishing 11th out of 26th is certainly not terrible, and the highest I've been for a while - though slipping from 1st after 2 games to 11th after 5 makes it incredibly disappointing for me as I'm sure you can understand. Particularly ironic, since my normal tournament experience is terrible first day, win both on day 2, so to have that completely inverted, and end up "Doing a Spurs" and contriving to throw away a commanding position...ugh. I don't remember the exact finishing margins, but if I had tabled Rowan I'd still have clawed back up to 3rd, with 4 points to spare (I looked up the margins while typing, so sue me...) Had Rowan and I simply swapped final points from that game, he wouldn't have leapfrogged me, and I'd have been 7th...but these ifs and buts could go on forever. If I'd had all the luck in game three against Jonny, instead of neither of us having it (as it felt at the time) then I'd have gone on to play Rowan in game 4, and it'd have been completely different!!
Overall, my losses came to the people who finished 2nd, 5th and 8th, so that's not terrible. Eight points from tying third, 10 points above 16th - a very tight field, as I said.
Changes to the list? Well, I'll be considering some over the next few days, but I think it was more human error on my part than anything else. Having played Xenos at every other event (barring a Doubles, which doesn't count) maybe I had a little rush of blood to the head so high up and it threw me for the rest of the weekend. Maybe recovering from my hangover screwed me up, in a strange reversal of expectations. Maybe it was indeed the pressure of playing the 'big boys' instead of reaching the middle at best when I lose my first game. Who can say?
Certainly, if I remember one thing from my practise games for next time, it'll be to use less terrain. It runs against my instincts to trim it down so much, but the unfortunate fact is that, at present, our tournament scene does not have the resources to have 13 equal tables with 25% cover and a good mix of LOS block and other types. There's no shame in that, it takes time to build it up, and as I've said in previous posts, finding good, inexpensive scenery pre-built online is like buying Revels when you only like one flavour - inevitably a lot more disappointment than...er...appointment? Practising on too high a terrain density compared to what I'll deal with at the event just messes with my expectation levels.
Oh, and I won't forget to spend all my points correctly next time either...those Hunter Killers did fuck all, and I kept forgetting the Preds had Dozers until the last game. In fact, I think I only used Dozers twice in the whole weekend. Hrmm.
Anyway, it's over, I'm off to have a think about Baal Predators *shudder* and thanks again for all the well-wishes etc. Oh, and no, I didn't finish the Sergeant for the last Assault Squad, ran out of funky helmets and gave up to focus on the game. Yeah, that helped...
Till next time, fellow Salvation competitors!
PS - next time, I totally have to play either Ryan or Neil to avenge my defeats at the hands of their Wolves in the last two events...
PPS - Those photos, I'll sort something out for those soon.