Well, all is said and done, and I've had time to think and reflect on the weekend that was Kings of the North 2015. So, what have I learned from the weekend? A lot as it happens, something's I thought that I knew turned out not to be as accurate as I thought.
So what was the most important lesson? Play the mission. That's the most important lesson. it cost me at least one game, or at least cost me a few points towards the tournament total. So how to play the mission? With there being 3 missions, primary, secondary and tertiary, its important to identify what's achievable and what's not. If you can't complete the primary, don't. Same for secondary or even tertiary. Alternatively, if you think you can get one but not the others, then go all out for that, at least it will get you some points. It's a lesson I learned early and put to good use on the second day, and it worked a treat. Continuing on from this point is another one, don't give up. Just because things are going badly after turn 2, don't just quit, keep going and focus on one aspect or another as I mention above. If the Maelstrom cards don't come out right, concentrate on the primary or the tertiary missions, but don't just quit, that's giving away all the points for nothing and every point can cunt in the end.
Another point is to play with your army before the tournament. I didn't and it was a steep learning curve at the beginning. This was compounded by the fact that I was using units I have never played with, only read about, played against or just theoryhammered. In the end it worked out alright and I got use to the units quickly or my theory proved to be pretty accurate, mostly because I based it on known sound theory in the first place. It did however cost me a little in the first place, as not knowing where the best place to deep strike units, etc cost me a few units before they managed to do anything.
And this leads me on to my next point, know the rules. This can be taken three ways. Know the Main rules, your codex rules and the tournament rules. I know most of the relevant main rules, and I checked out some of the ones I didn't know before the tournament, so I was as good as could be there. As for codex rules, I was a little rusty. My guard codex I know back to front, even if I kept forgetting my orders in one game, and the Scions codex I'm pretty good on, mostly cos lots of it comes from the Guard one, but the BA one I'm not so good on. I kept forgetting that sanguinary priests come with FNP, which could have saved me a couple of guys over the tournament, and I kept forgetting how many attacks units had. Something I will need to work on if I'm going to start using BA regularly. The third part is probably he most important part, know the tournament rules. One that passed me by until it was too late was that only two Maelstrom cards could be claimed a turn, at least three times my opponent claimed all three cards, twice in one game, and this may have made a bit of a difference. Maybe, maybe not, but it highlights why knowing the rules is important. This tournament had very few additional rules or alterations to rules, so it should have been easy, but I still missed some of them.
Going back to the previous point, knowing your army, knowing your game plan is also important. Knowing what your going to do and how you are planning on achieving your objectives. This doesn't mean you keep to your plan whatever happens, you have to be flexible, but you still need an overall game plan. I had one and in most cases it worked, but I was a little too inflexible with it, and it showed in one of my games. In my game against the Tau I still kept a lot of my army in reserve despite all the interceptor, I should have put much more of it on the table at the beginning of the turn and I could have tried for some turn 1 assaults. This may have made a difference, as I may have managed to destroy some units rather than being decimated on my reserve roll. So have a plan, but be prepared to change it. This leads me to my next point, which is probably quite personal, don't get down about playing Tau. I think I need to rethink my attack plans when facing Tau, try and break my loosing streak.
The next question is, is Forge World necessary? Most people were running at least one FW unit and at the top, there were multiply FW units. So is FW necessary to win? Personally, I'll be staying away from FW units for the while, although I have got my eye on a Vulture.
The most important thing about tournaments is to have fun, if your getting stressed or uptight, its time to take a break and relax.
On a final note, there was some discrepancy between the scores. In the final results I came 16th, but going back through the scores, I noticed that there were some errors, which would place me 20th out of 22, not so good. Why the discrepancy? Well, its all down to painting scores. In the final results I was give the full 20pts for a fully painted and based army, which I didn't have, as all my BA models were unpainted and the rest of my army was unbased. This made quite a difference to the overall results, however, if you go on just the game scores for everyone, I would still place 16th. So I'm happy to leave things as they are, or is that very unsporting of me? This does bring up the point that I've often thought, painting scores are cheap points. At most tournaments, everyone brings fully painted armies, so its not much of a problem, but for the few of us who are unable to, for what ever reason, are unfairly penalised. I have always thought that painting scores should be counted separately and separate prizes given out. Would change my mind if it meant that I would place higher in a tournament one day? No, as tournaments are about the games and who's the best player, not who's the best painter, that's what Golden Daemons are for.