Played a game on Wednesday against a Daemon player I routinely face. He’s been trying to deal with Marines using null zone to learn to overcome it and he did just that. He went into the game very aggressively. We had spearhead deployment and he had first turn. I set up my parking lot of vehicles and he dropped most everything in my face. The aggressive deployment is not typical of this player. Usually he goes more mid-field which gives me a few turns to soften things up before I send in my assault units. Putting it all in my face was a smart move on his part, especially with spearhead deployment as it left me little room to disengage.
Disengaging, my first and most compelling mistake in this game. I was faced with two options, fire everything and charge or evacuate the area and try to gain better positioning and buy time. I chose the former and it was just stupid. I won’t bother putting up my list but it does feature assault capabilities. I know damn well that my Vanilla Marine assault units are better served in the particular list I played as a counter-measure or a clean-up crew, not as a front-line charge leading element, at least against real assault armies. Despite knowing this I had succumb to tunnel vision and threw everything I could at the Daemons with shooting and assaulting but it came up short, very short. Had I been thinking clearly I would have backed off the compromised position and engaged his weaker units behind me, I was pretty well surrounded. In clearing those out I’d have gained more room to maneuver and evade.
By the top of turn #2 I had lost the game already. Neither of us had a good first turn but his second turn was amazing and most everything went his way. Trying to recover from a bad tactical choice on the first turn and heavy casualties from the second was just too much. By turn #3 we called the game. For the record normally I’m all for playing out a game in its entirety but it was really a fruitless effort and it was late already from us working on terrain earlier in the evening.
The lesson is simple, and like most lessons I learn it’s more reinforcement of what I already know but occasionally need to have crammed down my throat to remember. Know what your list is capable of and play it as it was intended to be played.