Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Hjaltland LI vs Orks tactical thoughts

I don't usually do follow-up posts for my batreps, as normally I don't think themes much to talk about that I haven't mentioned but this time I have to admit, I did make a few mistakes, so quite big. I'll try tonwork through from the beginning to the end, but I'll probably end up jumping around somewhat.

Going second
This was the first and probably biggest mistake of the whole game. I chose to go second so that I coyod counter his deployment, which was just silly, as I don't really do counter deployments in that fashion. I should have gone first and hit as hard as I could  turn 1, tovtry and knock out some trukks or even just slow them down and stop the orks gaining an overwhelming charge. Again, by going first it would have meant I got two turns of shooting in, rather than just one and even though I knocked out only 1 trukk that turn, two rounds of shooting wood have almost halved the number of orks at my door. Part of my error was because I didn't know my opponents list, it was my fault as I didn't ask the right question, namely, what's your list. The squads had been explained, but I want really prepared for the trukks. Next time ill remember to double check the list.

Outflanking units
There is really two parts to this point, the fact I choose to outflank units and where I brought them on.

My choice to outflank some units as a result of my warlord traits, was a simple one, I wanted to give myself more options and also keep them alive long enough for a counter strike. I think that this was basically a sound idea but poorly executed, as I had no reserve modifiers and so the unit didn't turn up until turn 3, by which time the action was pretty much over. I think having them on the board could have been the better option, keeping them out to a flank and forcing my opponent to spread his forces out more. This would have meant he wood not have been able to gang up on the centre units as much and maybe they could have held a little longer.

The second issue here though is where I decided to bring the squad on. I chose to bring them on at my board edge, to try and counter the orks. As it happened, they ended up at the furthest edge and had to fit slog across most of the board to really make a difference. I should really have pushed them up in to the enemy deployment zone or mid table to try and give me options for objectives, away from the few remaining orks. This may have gotten me a couple more points, as two of the cards required objective up that end of the field and a 21 man squad can be strung out across the table to cover a fair bit of ground. This wouldn't have won the game for me, but it could have made a difference as to how close the game was.

Now I really love my priests, not just because of the looks on peoples faces when they ask you to take morale tests on that 30 man squad and you point to your man and utter the word 'fearless'. The zealot rule and war hymns are also a great reason for taking the priest over the commissar, when you remember. In the orks turn 2 assault I forgot both of these things, and that was a big mistake, probably the second biggest behind the deployment. I think that if I had remembered then the orks would have suffered quite a bit more then they did. With rerolls to hit, plus possibly rerolls to wound, I could have been killing 10 orks instead of 4 (according to mathshammer), which could have made a huge difference as that equates to 24 extra attacks that I wouldn't have had to face. This could have resulted in quite a few guardsmen surviving until the next turn. I doubt that it would have changed the games result, but it would have meant that it would have taken at least 2 more assault phases to destroy the guardsmen then it actually did.

Also, its a bad idea to risk your priest trying to tank an instant death attack on the 4++. Especially when it means that your squad will collapse and be killed off when you do.

Plasma command squad
I threw these guys in to try and take down the mega nobz and the warlord and while they did damage,  they really didn't do that much before being wiped out in combat. I think that I was far to aggressive with them, as I decided to get up close and personal and in rapid fire range with the plasma guns. I should have stayed back and taken more time, keeping them out of charge range and either kept chipping away at the nobz or drawn them away from my lines. The other option would have been to just ignore the nobz and dropped them over the far side of the board, to take the objectives there. This could have worked out better, especially combined with the outflanking squad.

Card errors
I made a few errors with the cards as well. One error is quite a fundamental error and that is with when to discard cards. I have always played it, and have never been told/shown otherwise, that you discard a card as the first thing you do in your turn, before dealing replacements or additional cards. My opponent commented otherwise, saying you discarded at the end of your turn, however in the game I pretty much overruled him. I have since had another look through the book and it appears that I have been playing it wrong all this time and next time I see my opponent I shall have to apologize to him. This may have made a small difference in game, as I had a few objectives stolen off me, however I stole some too. I will have to remember the correct order for next time.

I also did not discard some cards as quickly as I should have. I think that really I should have been discarding a card every turn, to keep the cards moving and keep my options open as much as I could. Thesis one of those things that I don't believe would have altered the game on its own, but combined with the other factors might have brought the game closer, even if it would still have resulted in my defeat.

The final this g to say about the cards is that I don't think I gave enough priority to the cards this time around. In past games I have always been willing to sacrifice units to gain points or at least risk them. In this game I think I held back to long and too much, in terms of outflanking units, and should have gone more aggressive on the objectives.

Ultimately though, it was a combination of numerous failings that led to my first defeat in quite a while, since Northern Invasion, and I think only the second in the last 6 months. I think it was probably a good thing, as I was probably getting a little cocky and its made me reevaluate things again. Hopefully when I get another game in, it'll go a little better than this time around.

The next few posts will be back to 8th edition and a catchup on my thoughts about what's been happening. I've a number of posts in the works at the moment and with all the 8th stuff going on its hard trying to fit everything in but we'll try.