Transitioning from UB to the tabletop

Well I attended Shirecon on the weekend, it was a one day Kings of War event of 3 games at 2300 pts held in Southerland Sydney and I had a blast.

I thought it would be of interest to write up my experience at the event considering my attempts to improve at the game have been almost exclusively on universal battle 2.

So firstly, I went 2-1 which I’m very happy with, finishing 6th over all from a field of 21. The event used blackjack scoring and my games were 18-3 (win), 16-5 (loss) and 16-5 (win). I had three amazing games against three amazing looking armies and my opponents were fantastic (even Matt Croger). The hobby level was fantastic, clearly we all at a lot of free time over our few covid lockdowns

The list I took was the Mighty Croger Crushers.

I don’t want to walk through my games, but more talk about my big take aways.

What went well

Scenario play – one of the benefits from my games on UB is I finally have a lot of reps with the various scenarios which really helped. My 2nd game was raze, and I managed to deploy smart get the objectives early and in the end claim all three, even though I didn’t have a unit left on the table if the game ended at 6 it would have been a draw, unfortunately the roll went against me but hey… it’s a dice game.

Experience with various lists – in my last game I was up against an order of the green lady list, I’ve never played OOTGL however, reviewing my opponents list I focused on his speed, def and if he had any fly. Straight away I knew he had the speed and manoeuvrability to run circles around me, but he didn’t have the grinding power I did. I placed all my objectives on the side he first placed a token and stacked one half of the board, only giving a few units away on the opposition flank to force a contest. Now it might not seem like much, but my one previous tournament (clash of kings Australia 2022) I experienced my opponents lists as the games progressed. I’m pretty sure all my opponents heard me say “they do what?” or “oh I missed that” that event. This time however, I managed to formulate a plan relatively quickly based on newly gained experience against various list types. This differed from going for a generic game plan, generic deployment and hoping that melee 4+ and def 5 would hold up.

Terrain- one of my more recent light bulb moments in our games on UB was how to use terrain and units to block and hindered charges. In two of my games I felt I did this really well, but it was something I was a little nervous of going in as there was always some subjectivity and ambiguity as to if a unit was blocked, in cover or not. In UB2 its pretty easy to see if its in or out down to even the smallest of margins but on the tabletop not so much. Talking through the intent of my actions or movements where possible, definitely helped. This process was aided by the use of blank bases which allowed my opponent to easily visualise and understand my actions.

Check out my one big brain move as I block Matt’s Elohi between the building and his cav horde.

Time – So the big thing I was worried about going into the event was time and how would my brain hold up on the clock. I’m happy to say, I finished all 3 games with time up my sleeve (15,12,5 minutes respectively) and all 3 games went to turn 7. Ok full disclosure, my loss in game 2 did see me tabled, but hey… I had 12 minutes to look at my army in the dead pile.

I know I spend a lot of time on UB looking through all the options, but during the event I limited myself to a few rabbit holes and also committed with moves, which moving onto my next point… means no undoing.

Where I can improve

Where is my undo button! – Quite a few times I found myself tempting fate going through with moves I would probably have not made if this was UB. I did my best to check angles, look a turn ahead, but unfortunately I gave a few big flanks away early and I didn’t notice until I had moved my line. I need to get better at marking my units starting position and also playing with my bases (I did this well in my first game but muddled my spare bases between games and decided poorly, to push on without it). I see this as a very real option to get my game to the next level, as two poor charges probably cost me my 2nd game and one bad charge nearly lost me my last game.

Risk vs reward – it pains me to say this good advice came from Croger, but he was on the money. I double charged a unit of his OPG with Hrimm and a troll horde and contemplated flanking with my ice naiads. Yes, this would most likely put the unit on snakes twice to break but, if I roll snake eyes; its goodnight to me as my army would be horribly exposed. Worst case with the double charge to the front, is I don’t break them and Matt gets a punch back. Maybe it’s a spike and I lose my trolls, but they were going to die the next turn and my line stays in tact and my flanks protected. In the end, both Hrimm and the trolls rolled miserably and I missed the nerve by a lot. Risk mitigation isn’t foreign to me so i’m not sure why I took so long for me to apply it to kings of war. This is definitely a key take away for me and one I’ll look to apply in the future as a cheeky snake eyes can really derail your game our tournament if you don’t.

Wrapping up, I was super happy to get in-person gaming in. The armies all looked amazing and the tables of themed terrain were fantastic to play on. I cant wait for the next tournament, where I can put into practice a few more of my learnings.

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