I had two games against Stephan last night, and I lost them both. The first game (eDeneghra Vs. eCaine) was going well, with me having lost just one model while wiping out half his list (without using my feat). Then I said “I’ll have to move Deneghra back and inch to be safe“, but after doing a victory dance due to killing eEiryss with a boosted Venom and sealing the game, I forgot to actually move her. As a rule I don’t play with take-backs, even when my opponents do, so I resigned Deneghra to her fate.
There are several reasons I don’t do take-backs (even in friendly games), and I get asked about this quite often, so here they are. First of all it makes you lazy, because you can always just redo that move or target something else when the model turns out to be stealthy. This does not motivate you to learn the rules and remember every model, which will come back to haunt you when you’re playing high level tournament games. I do sometimes adjust facings on a unit I’m moving after I’ve let a specific model go, but I really need to stop doing that.
Secondly the act of losing a game because of one stupid inch will stick with me, in a way that the game never would if I had taken the move (or lack thereof) back. I would probably have won the game, and I could have patted myself on the shoulder and congratulated myself on another well deserved win, when it really wasn’t. I still remember the final game of my first tournament, where I died without ever rolling a die, because I left a tiny gap between the two heavies guarding Mortenebra, and the Coven spell assassinated me. These are valuable lessons, and you lose out on them when you do take-backs. It turned out, that I was exactly 21.5 inches away from eCaine in that game, and I died.
The night was young and we took another game with the same lists. This time I made sure to keep way back, and the game was one the most tragically hilarious games I’ve ever had. In the beginning he had me swamped, but slowly I fought, bit, and clawed my way back into the game. “Never give up, and never surrender” will always be my motto, and then my opponent made the mistake I was waiting for and Gatecrashed the wrong way.
A minute later Stephan made a take-back, and moved eCaine the other way instead. I don’t mind opponents doing take-backs in friendly games, but I feel he’s missing out on some valuable lessons. If he had not done the take-back he would forever have remembered that Nyss Hunters ignore forests for LoS purposes when charging, as well as shooting, and after rolling the dice that ‘should’ have been eCaine died to Nyss Hunters in melee.
From that point on the universe decided to punish me for my leniency with take-backs. We didn’t keep score at first, but as the game developed both Stephan and I were laughing hard at his dice. I simply could not kill his last remaining models, no matter what I did. Boomhowlers were Tough of course, but after Boomhowlers fifth consecutive successful check (many of them on 5+ since he needed to get most of the grunts up from KD the round before) it was getting ridiculous, and in general he was making about 80-90% of his checks. Slowly he killed of my dudes, while remaining impervious to harm in return.
At one point Stephan stated “why do you bother, I’ll just keep doing this” and then saved Boomhowler three more times (yes, that’s eight consecutive checks). I counted at least twelve Corrosions that failed after I began keeping score, and the final score was something like 17 out of 20 corroded models where it failed. The Kraken was in pretty bad shape after Boomhowlers took about 30 boxes with shooting (Indeed, at dice -5 due to Harm, seven Boomhowlers did 30 damage), and he had three Forge Guard I could not stop. The first one rolled 5-6-6-6 on damage, the second one missed, and the third one rolled 4-5-6-6 for damage… no more Kraken.
The game finally came to a close, when I ran out of models to contest the zone and he didn’t. This is what we had left on the table, except for the Journeyman Warcaster and a Squire hanging out in his deployment zone. I actually enjoyed the game, even though I had a couple of minutes of seething rage, but the sheer unlikely stupidity of the situation was just to amusing in the end. The list was lousy but I knew that going in, and it actually did pretty well all things considered.
The Bloat Thralls killed a disgusting number of models, and only blew up one of my own (so long Warwitch Siren). The Nyss Hunters were gods with her, and that’s worth considering for another list. The Kraken was underwhelming, as the lack of speed, MAT, and protection made it to easy to deal with. I’ll have to test it against a few other casters of course, but so far I’m not as impressed as I thought I would be.