Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WHFB: Dark Elves @ 2500: Thoughts and a List

Hola amigos.   Please excuse this brief interlude between my NOVA report, but this is what has been on my mind.  After the fun/exhaustion of NOVA, I’m taking a break from 40k for a bit to work on my Fantasy army, at least until I get the 40k bug.  My timing is fortuitous because Fantasy is experiencing a resurgence at my LGS due to a bunch of new players picking up Ogres and the gorgeous new models for the other ranges.

That got me to thinking about my Dark Elf lists.  I have very strong chariot spam lists for 2k and 3k games, but unfortunately, 2,500 seems to be the standard point level.  I actually like that point level for various reasons, the most important of which is that the game isn’t dominated by the Rare selections.  At 2k, certain Rares (Hell Pit Abominations, War Hydra) are insanely hard to kill, and you can pack two of them.  Many lists struggle to tackle those undercosted beasts at lower point levels.  Your opponent has 1,000 points of army for each of the uber-rares.

3k is very similar and even worse, because you can bring four of each Rare.  Your opponent has only 750 points of army to deal with your power units.   Scary stuff.

This makes 2k and 3k lists really easy to write for Dark Elves and other armies with powerful Rare choices.  But this same effect makes 2,500 lists hard to write.  As I’ve explained waaaaay back in the past* Hydras at 2,500 aren’t nearly as scary due to the 1,250 points of opponent per Hydra.  This means that at 2,500 points, Hydras can be part of your list, but they can’t be ALL of your list.

So at 2,500 points, you have a conundrum.  Since Hydras can’t be the core you build around (but can provide excellent support!), you need to find a new core.  For similar reasons, chariots are great at 2k (where you get three Special choices) and super strong in 3k (where you get six) but at 2,500 points, three of them aren’t a scary core of your army.

One solution is to run my Blackguard list with 3 max units of BG, which are insanely killy and a quite nasty core to build around.  But that list has match up issues.  It simply can’t beat High Elves and some Lizardmen builds.  Plus, beating artillery heavy lists is never a given when you’re running multiple big blocks of infantry.  So that list is out.

My plan, then, is to run a character heavy list at 2,500.

You only get 3 chariots, but you can cheat two more by putting the BSB on one, and a barebones Master on chariot.  Add two Hydras as support for the chariots, rather than using them as their own independent forces and you have a monster wing that’s seven models strong, which is a decent core.

Add the usual shooty core bits to fill out that requirement.  I don’t care what says, Dark Riders are good.  Their best use?  Providing a 4++ Look Out, Sir! save to you Sorceresses on Dark Steeds.  Not having to buy a ward save for your wizards is vastly underestimated.

Oh by the way, add a L4 Shadow sorceress, and a L2 Metal Sorceress.  On Dark Steeds, with no magic items beyond a Tome of Furion on the Level 2.

So our Core is done, as are the scary beater units, and the magic-wing is spoken finished. 

What is this list weak against?  Warmachines and deathstars.  Warmachines, because despite Dark Riders, the list is kinda slow and good players will always put things between my Hydras and their cannons.

It has trouble with deathstars because you can’t count on magic to solve your problems: sometimes it can, sometimes it can’t, so your gameplan should have ways outside of magic to solve deathstars, especially with the High Elf no-magic-banner being quite common.  Most big blocks are smashed by a Hydra and two chariots charging it.  But something like Chaos Chosen aren’t super scared by those prospects, as they will make the saves with 2+ armor followed by 3++ ward, and then hit back with Str 6 attacks.

So what solves both of these problems?  An “unkillable” Dreadlord.  He is a fighty character, which I normally abhor, but he some some excellent merits that the list needs:

1.  He flies, so he can get to warmachines in a hurry.
2.  He is damn near impossible to kill.
3.  He is stubborn so he can tie up any big block, deathstar or otherwise, indefinitely.
4.  He is reasonably killy with 5 Str 5 Armor piercing attacks, so it is conceivable he could actually beat some of those big units in combat and cause them to flee.

That rounds off the list nicely.  Let’s see how it looks…

-Dark Pegasus
-Heavy Armor
-Sea Dragon Cloak
-Pendant of Kahleth
-Crown of Command
-Whip of Agony

Supreme Sorceress
-Lore of Shadow
-Level 4
-Dark Steed
-Focus Familiar
-Lore of Metal
-Level 2
-Dark Steed
-Tome of Furion

-Cold One Chariot
-Battle Standard Bearer
-Armor of Eternal Servitude
-Dragonbane Gem
-Sea Dragon Cloak

-Cold One Chariot
-Heavy Armor
-Sea Dragon Cloak
-Relic Sword

12 Repeater Crossbowmen

12 Repeater Crossbowmen

5 Dark Riders
-Repeater Crossbows

5 Dark Riders
-Repeater Crossbows

5 Dark Riders
-Repeater Crossbows

Cold One Chariot

Cold One Chariot

Cold One Chariot

War Hydra

War Hydra

Total: 2,497

A balanced list, I think.  Good magic, good shooting, good combat ability.  Thoughts?

Monday, August 29, 2011

NOVA Open Report - Thursday through Saturday

I flew in Thursday pretty early and made my way to the hotel.  I checked in and got my swag bag and what nots.  Overall, the swag bag was good, the highlight of which for me is the bag itself.  As a brief aside, I am a huge advocate of using canvas bags for grocery shopping in order to not use up precious petroleum for plastic bags and creating more litter.  So getting the swag in a canvas bag is clutch.

I happened to be staying with a buddy who lived literally a mile away from the Hyatt on the same street, but he was at work still, so I just idled like a modern day vagabond around the hotel.  I found a Chipotle up the street and grabbed lunch and made my way back to the hotel.  At about 6pm they started letting us into the gaming area, which was enormous.  I was insanely impressed with not only the scale of the venue but the quality and symmetry of the terrain.  A lot of people (IG players) complained about the terrain, but my opinion was it was very balanced and fair.  With one exception, which I'll go into in depth in my Day 2 report.

At about 7:30 we began the Whiskey Challenge.  I was matched up against Hulksmash who was playing his well tested Loganwing list.  I would have preferred his Tyranids, haha.  Hulk is not only a great player but a good opponent and a fun dude.  We had a pretty close and bloody game.  Pitched Battle with Objectives as the primary win condition.  At the end of turn 5, the game ended with him controlling 3 objectives to my 1.  The game was much closer than that would indicate.  He had 3 objectives, which were held by a total of at most 8 Wolf Guard.  I had 2 Purifiers holding an objective, but safely out of line of sight.  I also had 3 fully functional Pysflemen Dreads kicking.  I'm fairly confidant that I could have cleared one of the objectives Turn 6, and another Turn 7, had the game continued.   All in all, we had fun and it was a good test for my list against one of the better players in the country.

I suppose I should have mentioned by now that I played this list.  My Crowe/Purifier Grey Knights list.  As I have repeatedly stressed, I am fully away it isn't a "competitive" list.  My goal for the weekend was to have fun, meet as many of you as possible, and if possible finish with a 4-4 record.


Friday was a rest day for me as I wasn't in the Invitational, and didn't have any events planned.  I slept past 6am for the first time in over a year, including weekends, thanks to my obsessive cycling training getting me up pre-dawn on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  It was very nice to wake up naturally with an alarm blaring.

I went to the gym in my buddy's building and worked out for about an hour, hit the showers and grabbed breakfast.  After that, I explored the neighborhood, Crystal City, a bit.  It was a really nice area with most amenities you could want, with an upscale, young professional population.  It was pretty nice.  I made my way to the hotel to watch some of the Invitational games, the highlight of which was watching Bringer of Victory contributor Timmah beating Stelek.  Though I think Stelek is an overall nice guy personally, I don't really like the fact the had to blame his (few) losses over the weekend on luck.  Timmah and Xaereth both beat him, and both times he refused to compliment them on their play quality in his report.  Like it is so inconceivable that they are good players who are capable of winning games.  I know I'm exaggerating his attitude a little bit, but I felt like he shouldn't say that his opponents got lucky as an explanation for his losses.  Give people some credit where it is due.

After watching a few matches, and meeting a bunch of folks, I went and grabbed lunch.  Then I went back to homebase, and relaxed.  I knew that the next two days would be a grind and I wanted to be as rested as possible.  In the evening, I met up with a few other friends I have in the area and we went to dinner at a pretty cool Mexican place.  The tortilla soup was amazing.  Pro Tip: you can judge a Mexican restaurant by their tortilla soup; if it's good the place has it figured out, if it sucked you can bet the whole menu is a mess.  After that, we watched some football and I passed out.

Saturday – NOVA Open Day One

Let the games begin!  I made my way to the tournament center and awaited my first round pairings. 

Round One – Pitched Battle with Objectives as primary

Opponent: Craig Barnes – Space Wolves

Craig Barnes' Loganwing

MM Dread
MM Dread
10 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor with a variety of equipment
5 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor with a variety of equipment
5 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor with a variety of equipment
Long Fangs with 5x Missiles
Long Fangs with 5x Missiles

Two games this weekend, two Loganwing lists.  Gotta love variety!  Craig admitted he was a bit rusty, having been playing Warmahordes for the past six months with little or no 40k practice.  Despite that warning, he was clearly a good technical player.  His list was definitely not a bleeding edge optimized Loganwing like Hulk's, but all those terminators is pretty scary for me with no AP2 weapons. 

I made a huge mistake that probably cost me the game.  He had Logan and Njal with a 10 man WG terminator squad sitting on the midfield, about 8" away from two fully loaded Rhinos.  I figured that 20 Purifiers worth of shooting and  charging into CC would be enough to wipe them, and eliminate a big portion of his army.  That was the plan.  And I stuck to it, even when that plan became bad.  I opened fire, and killed 4 or 5 of the terminators, which was roughly what I expected.  What I didn't expect, was the unit to break and run.  Usually, re-rollable Leadership 10 is reliable.  But they broke and fled.  I was within 6" so they would keep fleeing next turn, and I could safely see them off the board.  Yep, a roughly 1,000 point unit removed with no casualties and zero effort on turn 2.  I can safely say that had I followed that plan, I would have won the game with relative ease.

Only I didn't do it.  Despite the new information (unit breaking) my brain was still locked in on the shoot->charge plan.  I stupidly failed to change plans when I should have and I charged in.  They rallied and Njal prevented both Hammerhands from being cast.  Combine that with some insanely bad rolls on my part and my 20 Purifiers killed only 2 or 3 terminators.  His attacks back killed many more of mine, due to him rolling simply average.  I would like been happy with average, but what can you do. 

In the end, he ended up wiping both those Purifiers and still having Njal and a terminator or two left holding the center and my main two beater units were gone.  I eventually killed Njal and his buds in the center with some serious dakka.  When the game ended on Turn 5 he won 2 – 1 on Objectives.  It was fairly demoralizing to lose to bad play.  Believe me, I'm not taking anything away from Craig, he is a good player and his subsequent results bore that out, but I lost because I charged that squad.  Had I walked them off the board as planned it would have been my full army, with no real casualties, and all he would have had left was two 5-man WG squads, with four turns to play.  Again, taking nothing away from Craig, I hope I'm not going too far in saying I should have won.  As it was, even with the play mistake I outscored him on victory points 1300 to 992.

But I didn't win, and that is that.

Record: 0-1

Round Two: Spearhead with Table Quarters as primary

Opponent: Chris Wright – Tyranids

Chris Wright's Tyranids

Winged Tyrant
Tyranid Prime
3x Zoanthropes
3x Hive Guard
7x Warriors
9x Genestealers
9x Genestealers
14x Termagants
18x Hormagants

Chris was relatively new to the game and you can see his Nids list is far from what you'd consider to be a tournament optimized competitive list.  I felt like my sheet amount of high strength shots would give me a huge list advantage.

In brief, he deployed his Zoanthropes, Hive Guard, Hormagaunts and Termigants in the center with his Warriors and Tyrant farther back, presumably to grab other table quarters.  His Stealers were set to outflank.

The key play of the match was me killing his Zoans on Turn 2, which meant his Gaunts and Hive Guard were out of synapse range.  This was good, since his HG were completely out of line of sight behind the center piece terrain and once of of range they Lurked to where I could see them.  I shot away the Gaunts before they could get to me, and I blew away the Hive Guard. 

Another cute play was when his Stealers came on, they didn't have a charge opportunity, and on my turn Crowe came in and charged behind a unit of Stealers and when his Cleansing Flame was combined with getting an attack on the 5 or so guys in base to base, he wiped a whole squad of Stealers before he got dropped.  It's always nice when you get something from Crowe, as most games he is fairly useless.

It was a pretty one sided game after that, especially since my Psyflemen were inflicting instant death on his Warriors with ease.  When the game ended, all he had left was a wounded Hive Tyrant, and I had everything still alive except Crowe.  I controlled 3 table quarters to 1.  It was nice to rebound from a largely self-inflicted defeat with a nice victory.

Record: 1-1

Round Three: Dawn of War with Kill Points as primary

Opponent: Sam Penson – Space Wolves

Sam Penson's Space Wolves
5 Wolf Guard with 2x Combi-Flamers
5x Wolf Scouts with meltagun
5x Wolf Scouts with meltagun
7x Grey Hunters in Rhino with Flamer
5x Grey Hunters in Razorback with Flamer
5x Grey Hunters in Razorback with Flamer
5x Thunder Wolf Cavalry with Thunderhammer
5x Thunder Wolf Cavalry with Thunderhammer
3x Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer Land Speeders
2x TL Lascannon Predator with Heavy Bolter Sponsons

Sam was a really good player, and I could tell from his list I was in for a fight.  I didn't keep a ton of notes from this battle but some high lights:  His speeders unloaded all their melta at a Psyfleman, and managed to... blow an arm off one of them.  Then they were subsequently dropped.  The game really came down to his Thunderwolves.  Luckily, any match up where the opponent has to come to me (aka when I am the gunline and he is the beatdown*) is usually a positive.  This was the one issue with his list, lack of long range firepower.  If he had brought some Long Fangs he may have been able to force me to play more aggressively and would have been able to pop my transports more easily, which is the easiest way to get vital kill points.

Once his TWC were close enough, I unloaded all my firepower into them and I believe one unit was wiped, and the other was reduced to one left, who fled off the board.  Once I had them gone, I was free to be more aggressive and I pushed up and started collecting kill points.  Eventually Njal's squad was killed, and he went down the next turn.  I then positioned myself to minimize his ability to get any kill points on turn 5, and the game ended.

When the dust cleared and we tallied up, I won 10 kill points to 5.  The game wasn't as one sided as the score or my report might make it sound.  It was very tactical, and very cat and mouse as we each tried to get kill points without giving them up in return.  It really felt a lot like a chess match.  I was happy to come away with a hard fought victory in this one.

Record: 2–1

Round Four:  Spearhead with Objectives as primary

Oppponent: Jared Maggard – Space Marines

Jared Maggard's Crimson Fists

Captain with Artificer Armor and Relic Blade
Librarian with Nullzone and Avenger
Tactical Squad with Lascannon and melta gun, combat squaded into Razorback
Tactical Squad with Plasma Cannon and Plasmagun in Rhino
10x Scouts with Heavy Bolter and Sniper Rifles
Ironclad Dreadnaught in drop pod
10x Sternguard in Drop Pod with 3x Combi-melta, 5x Combi-plasma
Land Speeder Typhoon
Autolas Predator

Saved the best game for the last game.  This one was truly epic, and by far the most fun and exciting game of the tournament for me.  I think Jared would probably agree with that as well.  His list was a Swiss Army knife.  It looks like a hodge-podge of units, but it's basically a tool box with tons of tricks.  In the hands of a good player, it is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

The turn by turn happenings weren’t particular dramatic; I killed some of his stuff, he killed some of mine. 

On particularly strong incident was when he destroyed all three of my Psyflemen on the first turn.  On the other side of the balance, my Psycannon shooting was spot on, and when I really needed to kill something bad, it generally died.  At a key juncture, his Sternguard and Libby podded, combat squaded, with the intention of the melta’s popping a Rhino and then the plasmas double-tapping the insides.  Unfortunately, he failed to pop the Rhino and I ate his Sternguard and Librarian the next turn.  So there were some definite high spots.

At the end of Turn 5, I was ahead on objectives 2-1 and would have won had the game ended then.  Unfortunately we continued.  We had an objective in his deployment corner that was contested with one of my Purifiers vs two Tactical marines.  On turn 6, his dudes managed kill the Purifier and he took the objective.  That would have tied the game at two, and he would have taken the game on table quarters as in one of the quarters he slightly outweighed what I had.  But luckily for me, the game continued.

On turn 7, I tank shocked those two tactical marines off an objective with a Rhino when they failed the leadership and broke.  In the table quarter that he had a slight points advantage in, I managed to shoot away his tactical squad, which gave me the quarter back.  When the game ended we were tied 2-2 on objectives, but I had a 2-1 table quarter advantage by the absolute slimmest of margins to take the second tie breaker. It was truly an amazing game.  I can count in my head at least 10 dice rolls that had they went differently, could have changed the outcome, not the least of which were the rolls to see if the game ended.  My hat’s off to him as an opponent, I don’t think either of us would have changed any of the decisions we made tactically, the game really just came down to the dice.

Such an epic way to end Day One.

Record: 3-1

Very happy with how my record looked after Day One, since I didn't expect to be better than .500, and 3-1 looks a ton better in print than 2-2.  After the game wrapped up, I went back to base camp and chowed down on a Chipotle burrito and went to bed.

To be continued…

Thursday, August 25, 2011

NOVA Update: Whiskey Challenge

Hey all, just popping in after a long day.  I played Hulksmash in the Whiskey Challenge it was a close game and he won on objectives 3-1.  I felt like had the game gone another turn I could have forced a draw since he held two of the objectives with only one or two Wolfguard.  All in all an enjoyable game. 

Sleep Time!

Monday, August 22, 2011

NOVA Open: Let's Do This

Hey all.  This will be my last update before I leave for the NOVA Thursday morning. 

As I've said before, I'm playing my Purifier list, found here.  I know it's not bleeding edge competitive, but it's fun to play and hopefully my games will be really fun. 

Hopefully he and his two buddies drop heavy ammo on fools!
My itinerary looks something like this...


Wake up super early
Fly from Orlando to D.C.
Head to the hotel
Whiskey Challenge vs Hulksmash.  Last I heard Hulksmash was also bringing Grey Knights, so it should be a pretty cute game.


Sleep in.
Go to the national mall, since I've never been there
Head to the convention center to see how the Invitational is going
Grab dinner with my friends who live in the area
Get to sleep early because Saturday is going to be a long day


Play 4 games of 40k against stiff competition


Play 4 more games against similarly stuff competition


Fly home and recuperate.

For all those who will be there, definitely say hi to me.  After Hulksmash finishes trouncing me, I'll be up for a game or two.  For those who won't be there, you'll be able to watch Hulksmash trounce me on the live coverage.


WHFB Hobby: 920 Points!

I won my local 'Ard Boyz Preliminary and since most of my armies are finished I figured I could use my prize support to buy fun stuff I wouldn't ordinarily buy because it isn't competitive, but would be fun to model, paint.  

That said, I picked up Dark Elf Dreadlord on Black Dragon.  Despite the fact that at 320 points Black Dragons are nearly unplayable (and Dreadlords aren't exactly very competitive either) I really felt the model was cool as hell.  So it's going to be a non-playable centerpiece unit.

If I don't plan on ever playing it, I might as well go big and model/paint the Dreadlord as Malekith, The Witch-King.  If you're going to be a bear, be a Grizzly.  Malekith on his dragon clocks in at a cool 920 points, which makes him the most expensive model in the game as far as I know.  So the model isn't even playable in games of less than 3,680 points (which is to say, every game of Fantasy I'd ever consider playing) so he definitely fits the definition of an unplayable centerpiece unit.

But damn, he is a bad ass.  In addition to better combat ability than a stock Dreadlord, he is also a L4 caster who generates extra power/dispel dice.  And he is riding a dragon.  Don't get me wrong, he isn't playable at 920 points even in a huge game.  Heck, I don't think he would be playable if he cost 750 points, mostly because in a 3k+ game you really want two level four casters in most armies and he would be cost prohibitive.

So he isn't going to sniff the field of battle, but he will look good on my shelf at least.  I kept it rather simple, lot's of dry brushing Sepia washes.  The built in scenic base didn't turn out as bad as I figure it would.  Please be aware I don't consider myself a good painter, and start to finish this whole job took me about 4 hours.

The Witch King

Close up of the Witch King

From the other side

Right profile
Left profile

Friday, August 19, 2011

From 40k to Fantasy Part Four: For The Love Of The Game

Over the past few articles, I laid out how a veteran 40k player should go about taking up Fantasy.  I explained it from a nuts and bolts perspective on strategy and list building, as well as a more philosophical standpoint about how to play the game in a way that will lead to maximum enjoyment by minimizing the potentially frustrating aspects people always cite as reasons for not enjoying Fantasy Battles.

So in this final installment, I thought I should list the many reasons why I enjoy the game, and why a 40k player should even both with it.  These will be what I consider the aspects that make the game great, and hopefully will get you interested in picking it up too.

Just a bit more character than your 40k army
1.  General aesthetics.   Simply put, the armies in the game are beautiful across the board.  Two fully painted armies, lined up across from each other ready for battle look simply stunning in a way that two 40k armies do not.  The mix of ranked infantry, knights, warmachines, and big monsters look fantastic.  Even if you prefer the sci-fi genre to the high fantasy genre, you have to admit the Fantasy Battles armies set up on the battlefield look amazing.  Two huge Fantasy armies are simply cooler looking to see on the battlefield than 11 Rhino hulls lined up across from 13 Chimera hulls.

2.  Army specific aesthetics.  While the game itself has a great aesthetic, the individual armies have aesthetics that are quit strong.  Compared to 40k where something like half the armies are one flavor of Space Marines or another, the variety in Fantasy Battles is simply stunning.  A huge zombie army of Vampire Counts is about as different looking as can be from an Ork chariot based army or a Dwarven gunline.  If you cannot find an army that doesn’t make you excited to assemble, paint, and play based on looks alone, you might not be cut out for wargaming.

3.  The armies have character.  40k does a pretty good job of making red space marines ‘feel’ different when playing on the table top than grey marines.  An admirable job really.  It’s like taking a paint-by-numbers and making a halfway decent piece of art out of it.  Fantasy is far superior in this regard.  A Tomb Kings army plays and feels completely different than does a Daemons of Chaos force.  Simply put, the armies all have incredibly varied play-styles and thus very different feels.  This level of variety is especially good for an opponent, because instead of playing 3 games against marine armies that feel more or less the same to play against, you get to play 3 very different opponents with totally different aesthetics and feels.

4.  Multiple paths to victory.  I touched on this before, but unlike 40k, there is more than one way to win.  You can play shooty, fighty, magicky, a combination of two of the three, or all three in balance.  And within those categories it breaks down further.  You can have a shooty force with lots of warmachines.  You can have a shooty force with lots of small arms fire.  You can have a fighty army based on MSU elites.  You can have a fighty army with chariots.  With hordes.  With big monsters.  The options are there to fit whatever play-style you enjoy.  And the best part, most army books support more than one playstyle, so even if you commit to an army, there is enough variety within the book to buy a few new units and play the force in a totally different way.

5.  Heroic heroes.  One of the hardest things to learn when you first take up 40k is to not spend tons of points on characters and wargear for characters.   New players ALWAYS make this mistake.  Why?  Because we WANT badass characters leading our armies and cutting down swathes of enemies.  It’s just cool.  GW has listened and in recent codices, characters have, in general, become more dangerous and cost effective to use.  But in Fantasy, characters are literally the lords of the battlefield.  Every character is an eternal warrior, as there is no such thing as Instant Death.  A tooled up fighty Lord on a monstrous  mount is a one man wrecking machine who can go toe to toe with entire units on his own.  A properly equipped wizard lord is capable of unleashing spells that can decimate armies.  In older editions, it was completely out of control, hence the old nickname, Hero-hammer.  Thankfully, after some much needed balance, the game is not Hero-Hammer any longer, but characters are still incredibly powerful compared to 40k characters.  The inner newbie in you who thought Marneus Calgar was the bee’s knees will be very happy indeed with Fantasy.  But as I said before, you don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) go crazy with characters  if you don’t want to, because of the many paths to victory.  But the option to bring bad ass characters is there, and that should be very pleasing to a lot of players.  Especially if you do as I say, and play the game semi-competitively, rather than fully competitive.

In conclusion, there are a ton of reasons to give Fantasy a shot, these are just a few of them.  And in my opinion, some of the best reasons.  Give the system a chance.  Pick an army whose visual aesthetic appeals to you.  Find a play style within that army book you like.  Throw some dice!  Don't get caught up with who wins or loses, good luck or bad luck.  Enjoy the so-called "randomness" for what it is when you don't play the game to ultra-competitively: the material for epic stories with your buddies when recounting the great games later on.

I hope I've convinced  at least one of you to head to your LGS and browse the Fantasy section.  Maybe you'll go home with a shiny new battalion box set and some hobby inspiration.

Have a good weekend folks.