Control: The Starter Box…
I, Dalton Lewis, lost two games at a disastrous strategy gaming tournament about a week and a half ago. We played my favorite game, Warhammer 40k, a game with toy soldiers. I played Death Guard, the plague marines. They are top-tier, according to the experts, but I didn’t see it…I didn’t see why they won so many games. I couldn’t take the middle of the board effectively. I couldn’t get shots off because of the terrain game one and because of my opponent’s melee units game two. I grew disgusted with the whole thing.
Philip walked up to me.
“I’m leaving now,” he said. There was still one more game to play in the tournament, but I didn’t want to lose a third game, and this army I played sucked.
“Can you give me a ride?” I asked.
“If we go now,” he said.
“Let’s,” I said.
I worked like crazy to paint and build a Death Guard army and sucked with them. They lost me two games! I decided that I had it with that weak, mid-tier army. I was going to switch. I stopped playing the angry, plague-ridden bad guys and decided to play the honorable and good Ultramarines, led by Roubute Guilliman, aka Bobby G, aka the leader of the Imperium in the lore.
This felt exciting. Bobby G was a real hero and a primarch, a good one. I had a dominant faction, one that had all the best rules and all the best units. He gave a reroll bubble to all the units around him, and a reroll 1’s to wound bubble too. He had blade guard veterans, a star unit from the starter box. They were studs, able to fight in melee really, really well. The ancient buffed them, giving them hit on 2’s. The captain gave them reroll 1’s to hit. The apothecary brought one back and healed another one every turn. They could truck around in an impulsor, a troop transport with an invul save. This was a mini death star that could wreck any opposing unit and take the center of the board. How could this possibly not be effective?
Then I could have eradicators. Eradicators! They were awesome. They were multi-melta-ish wielding primaris marines who did ridiculous amounts of damage to the enemy. I could dominate the game by shooting enemies with these guys. Who cares if they have a low shot output and opponents have invul saves? That shouldn’t be an issue, right? They’re a great unit. And the bikes!
4 wound bikes are a thing. 4 wounds! They should be difficult to kill. They are faster than fast, great for getting those middle objectives with their 14 inch movement and 6 inch advance. That should be a difference maker, being able to attack the middle objectives with tough to kill bikes. I bought lots of bikes.
I put together my new army and proudly took it to the gaming store, ready to win every game and awe everyone with my skill and prowess. Two turns in to the first game I realized something was wrong. My outriders were all dead. I had tossed them onto a growing dead pile next to the board. My bladeguard became embroiled in a battle in the middle which would last deep into the game without them winning or holding any objectives. Each turn I thought that maybe I could turn it around this turn — that, maybe, things would go better this turn. I was an idiot. I had a bad first game. Loss.
I had a rematch. I did even worse. I lost badly. I played a third game, this time against necrons. That game lasted two turns. I didn’t win. I couldn’t believe it — I had a terrible time playing with Ultramarines. I sucked with them. They weren’t great for me. I didn’t know how to win with them.
There are a number of possible reactions to this. I could do the rational, mature thing and continue to play marines only try to improve the quality of my play with them. I just find myself doing the same thing every game and losing every time. I could also throw a fit and play a third army. I decided to play chaos knights for one game and then to switch back to Death Guard to give them another chance.
I don’t know if it’s the mature choice, but I went with Death Guard. I would calm down and give them another chance. I had lost a tournament because my big things were killed by my opponent’s big shooting and because I couldn’t take the middle of the board. I would adjust to add people who could take the middle of the board and take fewer units that would get wrecked by big shooting. It also didn’t hurt that I loved the lore for the Death Guard: I affiliated myself with the fat, smelly, outsiders instead of the cool space marines. I decided: Death Guard for me.
Thanks, and take care, friends.