That's the thing about cheese...

For the record, I don't blame Marty.

I am participating in two online Warhammer 40k thingies which are both based on Deep Space (my favorite 40k web forum). One is an online campaign called Forgeworld Primus (it's a lot like Medusa V, but it's mostly made up of Ottawa-area players). The other is a challenge ladder that I'm scrambling to get to the top of. Both of these endeavors include my friend Marty (against whom I have fought before, and whose army you might recognize from pictures in earlier posts of this blog). Though he's not particularly active in Forgeworld Primus, he *is* at the top of the challenge ladder, and I have to knock him off. Those of you who follow my blog will also know that succeeding in the Forge Primus campaign and getting to the top of the challenge ladder are goals for me.

1250 points. Alpha-level Secure and Control is what it ended up being. I made my list about a week ago and did something I never thought I'd do: Take three Wraithlords. That's right: The world's favorite example of how to build a cheesy army had finally, for the first time, made it into one of my lists. I felt dirty doing it, that's for sure, and spent the week asking friends if I was going to go to hell for this. Oddly enough, a lot of people seemed to think it was fine, but that's probably beside the point. The important thing, however, is this: You can't decide what is and what isn't cheese from what other people say. This is a hard lesson for me, as I am adept at conforming to the status quo and then using those constraints to excel within a framework. In this case I was doing the thing you don't do. The list was basically like this:
- Two squads of Dark Reapers with Exarchs, each Fortuned by a Farseer
- Striking Scorpions and Exarch in a Wave Serpent
- Three Wrathlords

The thing is, the challenge board is meant for the hardest of hardcore armies. This is understood by all participants. No-one in our little online community is allowed to bitch about cheesy lists in the challenge board. Other places, sure... but not there. It's the safe haven for people who want to play the really hardcore, no holds-barred games. Secondly, Marty and I talk from time to time and he has been very clear that he sees nothing wrong with three Wraithlords. He isn't scared of them and doesn't see them as a bad thing. The combination of these two facts emboldened me to take the three Wraithlords this one time.

More to the point, however, I don't find them particularly hard to kill... and they don't dish out so much firepower that you have to constantly run for your life. They're pretty good in hand-to-hand, but they move so slowly that you'd be an idiot to let yourself get charged.

The day came and we hit the table. It was a very, very small table... not even 4X4. Maybe more like 3X3. I took Marty aside and told him that three WL's were coming his way, and he seemed a little anxious, but non-judgmental about it. The game started and we were off.

Marty got first turn and started killing things right away. Eldar players will tell you how it sucks not to get first turn (because you can't get your psychic powers off in time to help yourself), and this was certainly a good example. Then, the Librarian and his stupid psychic hood (a piece of wargear which I consider to be flat-out, no excuses about it broken). Fortuned continued to fail and Reapers just fell left right and center.

Then out came the four Assault Cannons. Let me just tell you: Never again will I feel guilty about fielding three Wraithlords... ever. Two of them went down so fast it almost gave me a nosebleed. The third tottered around trying to get a bead on something to kill, but it never happened.

When the Wave Serpent got killed and the Scorpions were entangled for one turn and then pinned the next (thanks to Fury of the Ancients), it was all over. I conceded in turn 5.

Lessons learned? 1250 points on a 3X3 table is just as cramped and claustrophobic as 2000 points on a 6X4... put more stuff in a good hiding place in first turn, even if it means you have to move your Reapers to get a good line of sight later... and just accept that the psychic hood is never, ever going away. Oh, and grab some cover when the Assault Cannons come out.

Anyhow, here are five neat pictures of Marty's army and one picture of my Wraithlord, hiding.

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