Our league is doing escalation play starting at 750 and I got my first game in. Our TO was relentless in making sure I had an opponent as I arrived later than most of the usual crowd (but not too late for league start).
I lost, but I had a blast.
I faced a "Zoom-Dar" player with a list roughly like so:
Seer Council x4
2 x Guardian Jetbikes (6)
He had a couple psychic powers- Fortune among them. That became important later.
My list was roughly like so:
Emperor's Champion, AAC (finally found something to proxy)
3 Terminators Storm Bolters, Power Fist
2 Terminators Assault Cannon, Power Fist (all with Tank Hunter)
1 Initiate Plasmacannon, I Initiate Flamer, 5 Initiates Bolt Pistol, CCW, 2 Neophytes Bolt Pistol, CCW
Dedicated Rhino w/smoke
4 Initiates Bolter, 1 Flamer
LandSpeeder, Heavy Bolter
We used funky rules (Rules of Engagement) I've never seen before for deployment, with equally weird objective determination rules. We wound up with table quarters as deployment and my objective was to reduce his army to below 25%. His was to control 2 objectives.
I threw out my Landspeeder as a distraction, held the Termies in reserve to Deep Strike, and moved both Cru Squads (one to protect my objective -dime-, and one bunkered up in the Rhino). -- I forgot that the Landspeeder can deepstrike, or I probably should have done that.
(Pardon my ugly army. I am slowly removing the hideous paint from it.)
Before the carnage really gets started...
I left a Cru squad to guard one objective, and sent Termies over to block the other. It didn't hurt that there were Guardians to shoot at that way, either.
You can see the top of my Terminator at the very bottom of the picture. His Guardians are in range.
After the shooting phase was over. Oh yeah, Assault Cannons all the way!
Here's where something I planned to do (and did) worked: I made him come to me in assault.
I used the Rhino and the guys in it to bottle up the pass between the two terrain pieces, and my opponent sent 10 or so jetbikes into that area for close combat. After three full rounds of assaulting, only his Farseer and my EC were left.
I must say, the EC is a frickin BEAST in CC. He simply WOULD NOT DIE and kept dealing damage like no tomorrow. EC took several jetbikes by himself. I had the Farseer dead to rights 4 or 5 times over, but his ability to infinitely reroll failed saves kept him alive. This squad eventually died of attrition to the dang near invulnerable Farseer. I could (and probably should) have moved this squad further onto the field and into his deployment zone to attain my objective. However, having done what I did, I kept his very mobile force bogged down for 3 turns. Not bad overall.
Over on the other side of the board, the Termies were doing their job- scaring the crap out of my opponent. He eventually moved jetbikes towards my objective, which was under the overhang of the building seen in picture 2. Rather than stay put like I planned, I moved forward towards his squad. This is probably where I lost the game. By moving, I opened an avenue for a separate group of jetbikes to zip in and sit on the objective. He used the "bait squad" to keep the Termies busy and hoped simply to survive long enough for the game to end.
The game ended with his Guardian squad blowed up real good, but my Termies more too far away to be contesting the objective marker, so he got a win.
What I learned:
1- Stick with your plans. I originally planned to have Termies baby sit the objective marker, and moved them for some dumb reason I don't even remember.
2- Remember your options. I forgot my Landspeeder could deepstrike. I forgot my Rhino had smoke. I forgot how lascannons work. All of these could have made a big impact on the game if I had used my available options more wisely.
3-Ask questions if you don't know. Between his armaments and his abilities, there was a ton about his Eldar that was more than a little confusing. I asked him to explain it several times for reasons I'll go into below.
What I need to work on:
1- Assault. Despite doing a LOT of it, I am still confused about a couple aspects. I am sure some of it will come with time, but reading the rules again (and maybe again after that) will help as well.
2-Wound Wrapping- I don't understand it, and my opponent did NOT help at all. I'll discuss that later, too.
3-Understanding Deployment - because we are using an alternate rulesset, this will be even HARDER for me. However, if I had understood the PREMISE more clearly, I might have had a much different approach.
On my opponent: He's a very friendly, fun guy. He's easy to talk to and was exceptionally patient as I looked up practically every single rule throughout the game. [I told him it was not because I didn't believe him, it was because I was trying to learn the rules- seeing the rules in connection to what was happening made a HUGE impact and I "get it" a lot better now.] However, there were a couple things that were tough for me to deal with.
He was seriously disorganized. He didn't have any idea that it was League, or that we were using Escalation, and didn't have a list. He started putting models on the table before having anything remotely like a final FOC'd list. He forgot to put 2 models on the board and then "remembered them" on turn 3. (No I didn't let him put them on.) He couldn't explain his model's abilities well. If he had his Codex or rules, I never saw them. He explained wound wrapping in different ways in several instances that lead me to think he either didn't understand it or there was something funny going on.
I'm sure I had things that were tough to deal with, too. I honestly looked up EVERYTHING because I simply didn't know even the base stat lines on my stuff. (I do now!) I asked the same question about 20 times (probably because his answer stunk, but I know it must have been annoying). I rolled like crazy- I think I failed 1 save outright all night.
No matter what, I had a blast. I really enjoyed getting from theory to action. It felt good to DO it, rather than talk about it.
Next week is 750 again, and I'm going to have to work on the list. That Landspeeder either has to go or be rethought...