Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On Terrain -

With the tournament over and my war wounds on the mend, I thought this is a good opportunity to chat a bit about terrain and its overall affect on a game of Warhammer 40k.

The official tournament results have not yet been posted. When they are, I will link to them and discuss the tournament itself, but let it be known for now that I went 1-3 in the four rounds. My only win was of course, against Chaos. For the Emperor!

Ahem, back to terrain. Let me explain the terrain at the tournament first, as it is what primarily gave rise to this discussion. The tables were all set up with a river running through the middle, length-wise, which was "Stones River." It was judged that the river gave a 5+ cover save to any unit inside it, but could be seen through for shooting just like any other river. The rest of the boards were given four (perhaps a few had a very small fifth piece) terrain pieces of about 10-12 inches in length (buildings, rocks, trees). Most of these pieces were in deployment zones, leaving the battlefield largely open between the two deployment zones.

Now, anyone with at least a little experience in 40k will see here the problem. Shooty armies had a wonderful go at this style of board, for they could see the enemy coming and prioritize targets, shooting up what they wanted at their leisure. That's all fine if there are two shooting armies on the table across from one another, but what if one of the armies was an army that likes to get close, assault even?

Mine is one such army. Now I know that many other experienced Grey Knights players will tell me that I shouldn't have tried to get into assault with the enemy, control fire lanes, deny victory points. But that was exactly the problem! There were no "fire lanes" or VP denial opportunities (unless I parked my army at the back of my deployment zone, didn't move turn after turn, and was content to let my opponent get mad at me and give me a low sportsmanship score!). The tables at this tournament were built to favor the extremely shooty armies at the event. As a result, assault-themed armies did not perform well at all, and my own army (a hybrid that favors the above mentioned tactics) found itself more in the boat of the assault armies than of the shooty armies.

I think that this tournament needs to be used as an example that "killing field" tables should not be the norm at tournments, as it is my fear that they are.

More on the tournament itself as the results are posted on the official website.

For the Emperor,


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