Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Wrong McCabe

Game 3: Extraction

An important game this one seeing as it was both against a new opponent (albeit one I knew locally but had somehow never played) and a considerably more experienced McCabe player than I, so was a great opportunity to learn.  He'd probably refute that last part, but as above this was game 3 for me as McCabe so I'm sticking with "considerably more experienced". I declared Guild, my opponent Ten Thunders Tom, well no surprises really.

Now given the pre flipped scheme pool I developed a degree of a plan: take a more elite crew than usual, take the centre and achieve activation control in the time honoured fashion of killing folk. But what of schemes? It is fair to say at this stage I dithered massively, something that irritates me enormously! In hindsight a more obvious and satisfying plan emerges but in the moment...well you'll see.

  • Firstly I decided not to do Convict Labour, I wanted to try something else and with access to Tengu and Ten Thunders Brothers Tom would be able to deny that easily in my mind. 
  • Frame for Murder? No, not this time. I wanted an elite crew so figured the glowing saber would be doing the killing from a minion rather than Henchmen/Leader. Plus any henchmen was bound to be Yu surely?
  • Leave Your Mark? Possibly, as long as I could penetrate the backfield unmolested somehow.
  • Take Prisoner, not a fan usually. Only ever gotten it to work once.
  • Neutralise the leader: yes. Firstly to get rid of "that imposter McCabe" (got to love some fluff) and also because I figured I would be able to rain down bullets before TTMcCabe got into combat and got that df up to 7.
With the above in mind my crew selection was as to the right. Take the centre, armour aura from Peacekeeper, hit hard and often. Now hindsight is a wonderful thing but what I should've done was ball up, hold that Extraction marker and dare my opponent to come near the centre. Kill McCabe the Imposter and then do something else, let my opponent skirt the edges doing convict labour and leave your mark etc but the middle would be mine! Play for ten!
It is so obvious now. Take prisoner on Luna, keep her engaged and df 6 and defensive, only attack at the end of the turn when control hand is "sadly gone". Kill Imposter McCabe, rescue the dog! I mean come on! It writes itself.

What I instead tried was leave your mark with the Lone Marshal. Fair to say I won't be doing so again. My game largely fell apart turn 1, spreading my forces thinly by sending the Pale rider off to the left flank and the lone marshal to the right. The upshot of this was essentially leaving everything exposed and vulnerable allowing my opponent to out activate, gang up, isolate and remove models at will.  The Rider was charged by a Saber wielding Luna who red jokered damage reducing him to 2wds before the game had really started. Turn two, seeing the rider was dead this turn I activated McCabe early to get him back within 10" so I could at least retrieve the glowing saber when he was killed. I doubled down on the Lone Marshall leave your mark attempt when I should've cut my losses on that particular scheme. He would be eventually killed by Sensei Yu and not score a point for the doomed scheme.  By turn 3 with no Rider and the Marshall irrelevant my Austringers started peppering McCabe and over two turns scored me 3pts for Neatralise the Leader.  Amazing what happens when you stick to the plan! But consolation prizes aside it was over already, i'd scored extraction only once in turn 2, no longer having the models to do so turn 3 onwards.

Full credit to my opponent, his plan was well thought out and stuck to. Played for ten and got ten. Plus it was wonderful to see McCabe in action on the other side of the faction table. Oh that reactivating Dawn serpent! (Naturally I immediately poured over the list of Guild Minions for a similarly expensive/effective Guild Minion to do this trick with and found nothing, perhaps in wave 4!).

Lessons learned are simple ones. 

  • When you have a plan, use it.
  • Some plan is better than reactionary nonsense.

Now both of these lessons should've been learned long ago but apparently I needed reminding so thank you to my opponent for that lesson!

Lastly, what a pleasure it was to play against such a beautifully painted crew, fantastic work all round. Was ashamed to be dropping lumps of grey plastic vs such a delicately and well considered crew. Kudos Tom, very inspirational. Must get paint on models!

10-4 to McCabe! The wrong McCabe.

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