And we reached the final match. Greece against Belgium. For uknown reasons I was nominated again by my captain and – what a surprise!- I was picked again by the Imperial Guard player. I chose a table with heavy terrain. My opponent was Maarten Vanderkrieken. My first impression for Maarten was that he was extremelly tired, even more than I was. He confessed that six matches in 2 days were too many. This did not affect his performance though, unfortunatelly for me.
|Maarten Vanderkrieken. He seems glad with the pairing...|
Deployment: Spearhead. Primary objective: Seize Ground (3 fixed counters). Positioning the objectives: one objective is in the center of the table. The other 2 objectives are in the center of both unoccupied table quarters.
Secondary objective: Capture & control.
He had 2 company command squads in chimeras with 4 plasmas, 5 veteran squads with meltas or plasmas in chimeras, 2 vendettas, a medusa and 4 hydras. The ultimate anti-list for any DE army. And on the worst deployment for a fast assaulting force like mine. Straight from the beginning we both knew the outcome.
He won the rol (what a surprise!) and chose his quarter. Mine had some LoS blocking near the middle and a rock hill on the centre of the quarter. Not a bad one. He placed all the 7 chimeras around the centre at 12’’. 5 in front and 2 on a second row. One vendetta on each side, flanking his force. Medusa right after the chimeras, hydras on the corner, at the rear of the formation. A tight formation with chimeras used for screening. I placed the beasts near the centre, hide most of the raiders as best as I could. The two ravagers were behind the large ruin near the centre and the third closer to his long table edge, screening a raider. I managed to seize the initiative. For some reason I was certain I would and told him so. I have forgotten the 1st game where I did it again and concidering my statistics before the ETC I felt certain that I would steal it. I moved three raiders towards the upper side, his lon-table edge flat out and get close to the screening vendetta. The beasts moved into the central piece of terrain and run , getting near the centre of the table. The 4th raider stayed in cover behind that rock. Shooting. Weapon destroyed on one vendetta, stun a chimera and immobilise another. Not bad. His turn, he gets the vendetta closer to my table edge to have a clear view on the lone ravager. Two raiders down by the hydras. Medusa did nothing, one ravagers stunned. No wounds on the beasts.
Turn 2. The girls from the fallen raiders and those from the third go for the vendetta and the closest chimera. One fails to reach and stays in the open. Shooting. Another immobilised chimera and some damage to the Vendetta near my force. I had forgotten the immobile ravager, and Maarten reminded it to me, showing real sportcmanship. Some damage on a central chimera. The two assaulting wych units stun the vendetta and wreck a chimera. His turn. Onbe ravager down two wounds on the beasts, one unit of wyches eradicated by the medusa and flamers.
Turn 3. I reach the front line of his formation near the centre with the beasts. The lone vendetta explodes, the Medusa is shaken. On the assault phase I fail to do more damage on the stunned vendetta. Crusial failure. The other unit engage the troopers from the chimera. The beats immobilise 2 more chimeras and destroy one flamer and shake a third. Maarten has now only one intact chimera and one that can move out of 7. I had managed to cause a blocade on his force. Maarten called it traffic jam. He brings the remaind chimera with the company commander and the plasmas at range and shoots my beasts. The same with the flamer and multilaser of the two chimeras and the hydras. I take morale and hold! 13 beasts are still alive. On the northern front he wipes out a second unit of wyches. The loss are so heavy that I cannot hold.
Turn 3. My raiders and the apparent ravager are down. The superior fire power of the Emperor’s lackeys did its job.
Turn 4. Only one ravager can shoot. The vendetta is shaken. The beasts assault the command squad and kill them. The wyches are on the open and cannot do much. Maarten’s turn. In his attempt to turn the last functioning chimera to face my beasts he failed the dangerous terrain test, all chimeras are now wrecked or immobilised! He move some vets from a wrecked chimera to the shaken vendetta. He shoots the beast with everything. They all die, along with my last hope of holdning the centre.
Turn 5. All I had on the table was a single heamy, hiding in terrain, an immobilised ravager on my right, a raider without lance near the centre of my quarter and a unit of wyches + heamy hiding behind a rock. Knowing that I cannot run to the base I stay hiding and waiting the only mobile carrier in his army, the vendetta with the vets. My shooting from the ravager destroyed a weapon somewhere. His turn. He destroys the ravager with the hydras, the raider with a multilaser shoot and moves the vendetta next to my last wych unitthe vets disembark and shoot but they do not cause serious damage to the girls due to cover. He rolls a 2 and the game stops here. He got his base, I do not. He got one objective, I have none. All I was left with was a wych squad and 2 heamies. He got 1482, I got 466. +1016 for him. 19-1. Initially, I have forgotten the second heamy and the final result was given as 20-0. But then I asked the Belgium captain and Maarten and it was corrected to 19-1. The final results sheet that were published are incorect, having the VPs wrong (who wrote that one? These are not the points I gave. It makes you wonder). The final battle points are correct thought.
Thoughts. Maarten has done his homework. He knew my codex by heart. He even knew my drug table! A much more experienced player than I was. He was extremely honest and very good general. Not that he need it with his list. As for my performance, even thought 19-1 is a crushing defeat I dare to say that my game was flawless. Huge contrast with the tactical mistakes I did on previous games. I had a goal to block him and I did it. Should I was a bit luckier and he was unlucky and got the first assault on all 3 wyches and the beasts he would have no moving vehicle and we would fight on foot. His immence fire power would have crushed me anyway but a stallmate near the centre would have allowed me to catch the objective of my base and get 2 more points. I asked him what else should I have done and he said that he could not think of any other way. My list could not win his in this scenario. It was as simple as that. So I am pleased with my performance.
Maarten's game style reminded me the Antipop. And their lists are similar, with some notable differencies ofcaurse. I appreciated his sportsmanship when he reminded me to shoot with the ravager. The only objervation I made to him is that he had to speak when rolling so that the opponent knows what he is rolling for, because most of the times he was silent or he was talking really low, as talking to himself, and then was giving me the dice for that saves.
That was the 2011 ETC. Hellas ranked last on the 24th position. We had a great time. My personal harvest was only 27 points. I am quite disappointed by my performance. With minor changes on the tactics, I could have at least 10 more points. With some luck, more than 20+. Games 2,3 and 4 could have gone my waywith
alterations. The fontamental weakness though, was the general strategy and the list. ETC is dominated by powerfull spam and shooting and for a good reason. minot
I learned a lot. I am certain that I became a better player from that experience. And I am sure all my co-players of the National team feel the same.
Finally, I want to thank al my opponents for their feedback and I hope that we’ll keep in touch.