Played at the FLGS last night and ran into a situation which I fell victim to and no doubt others out there do to. I do this more often than I should so this is just as much making you all aware as reprimanding myself for it (bad Thor!).
The problem is commitment and we’re not talking about putting a ring on a finger. There’s countless times when you’re forced to make choices in the duration of a game and the thing is you have to be able to commit to it or else it’s just going to fall flat. There are times when you can choose to not commit, put yourself in a position where you can react to different potential situations, but the thing is you need to have a type of unit which is capable of that, a solid all around unit. However, most units out there tend to fall into a specialist category, or if not a specialist then a unit that is better at one thing over another. In my case last night we’re talking about the humble Ork Boy. A Boy is better at assaulting than shooting and sitting in Trukks doesn’t offer much in the way of protection. With the cheap Ork Boyz troops you need to be swinging da choppas in order to be effective, you have to commit to it. Instead last night I held back two Trukks of Boyz and a Battlewagon with Nobz. I just didn’t commit them.
To explain a little bit, we had five objectives on the board and I was holding three of them at the time and Brian, my opponent, was holding one. I had one Trukk of Shoota Boyz holding a central objective and two Trukks of Boyz and the Battlewagon with Nobz right next to the in the center of the board. Brian landed a drop pod on turn #1 with about six Sternguard, Kantor and a Librarian on to an objective to the east of the center. I had no concern for whatever shooting he had since I had a kustom force field and was sitting a bunch of Orks between two objectives. My thought was I’d let him come to me, hold the objective as long as I could and then send out some Boyz to smash him. This is where I failed to commit and took what should have been a win and got a draw.
Orks just aren’t built to defend things, from the paper thin vehicles to the 6+ armor save. Orks are made to krump and if you aren’t trying to bury a choppa into something’s head then you’re in trouble. Well, unless you have a shooty Ork list. The way this played out was he in the next few turns landed five Assault Termies, five Tactical Termies and then 10 Assault Marines all next to that Drop Pod with a locator beacon. He then proceeded to advance on my vehicle “defense”, take out my transports and force me into charging him. In the end I lost one of the three objectives I held, he took it, giving him a tie.
My first mistake was hanging back from the pod to begin with and the second mistake was hanging back more once things starting showing up next to it. Had I committed my units to charging into the Sternguard once they showed up then I could have removed them and tried to remove the pod and beacon after. Even if I failed at removing the pod and units showed up next to it then I’d at least have had his attention there, away from my other three objectives. I’d have gotten off charges against those deep striking units and could have dealt with them as they arrived. I may have ended up losing in that drop pod LZ but I’d have bought enough time to prevent him from moving on to other objectives.
I failed to commit to a plan of action and it cost me. It wasn’t so much that I held back, it was that I was uncertain. Had I committed to playing it defensively then I could have done more than I did. More often than not uncertainty is your greatest foe. The thing is that you can’t let uncertainty prevent you from commitment. Without committing to something you’re not only showing your opponent your uncertainty and allowing him to exploit it, you’re just hurting yourself. Even if you make a choice that’s questionable, commit to it, especially if it’s questionable. Put everything you have into pursuing that move and deal with the consequences. I say especially the questionable moves you make because anything less than 100% commitment to something you’re unsure of will mean utter failure of that move.