Alright, here it is: my game in the semi-finals. It was crazy to have my 5th game in my first tournament be a semifinal match. My opponent Greg has some amazingly painted Phobos painted like the Warhammer short story angels of death. He did an awesome job capturing that feel and was really lovely to play against.
I had gotten the chance to play Phobos 2 other times in my KT history. One was my fourth game ever and it did not go well for novitiates. The second was a practice game on this map, at this event just 2 days before. That game was amazingly insightful, but I was dubious of my ability to go against this team especially vs such a great player like Greg.
Also, Greg did a great job of explaining his operatives. Phobos is pretty complex and I’ve never seen the same 6 operatives twice. Greg continues that trend by naming a half dozen operatives and leaving me scratching my head. Greg does me a service by explaining his team and rules. This takes about 15-20 minutes and puts us both on time pressure. I super appreciate this time before the match, and it’s one thing I hope to not have to steal time away from when I go to events in the future. Thanks for the help here Greg.
Also before we get into the match write-up, I want to be clear as I’m going to make a few points about what some might consider meta-game interactions. It’s around real-world map terrain setup and one of the hidden skills of high-level tournament play that I get a chance to practice in this game. I’m super pleased with how this game was played, the result of the match, and the way Greg and I were able to play by intention. That said, some map set up will influence a lot of my decisions in the game and how I play the match. Please don’t take these areas in the write-up as me complaining. These factors were taking the majority of my thought space during the game, as it shifted a ton of my plans from turn one. So while map setup is heavy on my mind during this write-up, it’s not meant as an excuse for any mistakes made during the game
Junction, AGAIN

Secure… man oh man I gota write some stuff here. Before the match, for a glorious 3-5 mins I thought I was going into intersession for my semi-final. And I was HAPPY about that, I’ve had practice into the team and I think loot and secure can be good missions for novitiates… Then I see I’m going into a great Phobos player on secure… when there is 3 pieces of heavy terrain in the middle of the map. This intersection of elements has me thinking it will be an uphill battle. That said I’m also excited to get to play a game on this map with a highly skilled player. I think the experience I get from any game result is going to give me some great insight into how Phobos can be run (I'm also planning to maybe build them as my next team, so this is awesome)​​​​​​​
Tactical Operations
Reconsecrate ground
Secure vantage
Recover item

Faction tac op

Barricades go in the same spot as last game for me.
my opponent does their best to stop me from moving over to their side of the board with placement. 

Map Thoughts: Alright take a look at this pic and you might miss it:

one thing that’s pointed out and agreed to by both me and my opponent during my fist drop of my first deployment is the fact that this gate has moved position on the board and my model can no longer pass to the left of the board:

here is this game:

and here is last game:
this is how the boards were set up day one (and i think i most of the tables day 2) lots and lots of room over to the left. but these small nudges happen.
Why is this important: well in every other game I’ve been able to dash out, get within one inch of the scrape pile, then scramble onto the objective point while remaining in cover turn one. That’s not possible with his new placement of the set up. This will cost me 3 Victory Points turning point one due to the fact there is no way I can get to my reconsecrate ground + recover item. 
I was on the same table for both of these games (table 1) so I must have shifted the position of this piece of terrain during play last round. it's not the start of the round when we see this, we are already about 30+ mins into the round, I got the choice of attacker and defender and choose this side of the board… we are past map setup and into deployment. we elect to keep the terrain as is.

Another small aside, the scramble piece of terrain on the other side of the board has also shifted to the right. meaning I can no longer dash, then scramble over… this doesn’t matter as much. But serves as another example to me to always check terrain before starting a game, even in between rounds. Something I just… have not gotten the chance to practice.

I choose infiltrate as again, I'm unsure if my opponent will give me a flamer shot turning point 1 and I want to project threat across as much of the board as I can, because if I don’t I know Phobos will start charging onto myside of the table and keep me in my deployment zone, I've seen it happen before.
My opponent chooses recon I think…?

Turning Point One
Oof, alright I've gotten very used to the same set of turns to start out the game on this map, but I have to throw that script away. I need to figure out with this changed set up where I should be playing to with my tac ops. After a lot of thought…. A LOT taking up even more clock I decide that even with these changes and my inability to get onto my recover item and reconsecrate target turn one, the left side of the board is still the better choice. It means my opponent will have to place a marine in a precarious position to try to get to the point. And we will both have to commit some resources, , i assess that me forcing a marine over to this pretty unsafe spot is still favoring me.
Well Greg, is an amazingly skilled player and sees how this is effecting the game and decides to shoot my militant thru one of the small crane holes providing visibility, his team ability negating obscuring.
The Phobos is able to do enough damage to bring my militant on the far left of the board to 0 wounds, but the medic is there to keep her alive with -1 apl at 1 health.
Through some great placement and careful threat range management my opponent is able to go the whole turn not taking a shot from my team. … also the mine placement that haunts my nightmares, my opponent places the mine here:
this does a lot, it prevents my flamer from making a shot turn one, its stops my ability to get onto that objective without losing an operative, and prevents me from going thru the door without triggering the mine. 
Its great placement as ive put my penitent on the other side of the door to block my opponent, making them have to climb up and down the terrain to get to the other side.
Also darn, vanguard is great with all the free mission actions Phobos is able to go all over the board and cap points. Scoring I think 2 for novitiates to 3 to Phobos I think. Secure is just so great for this team.

Turning Point Two
I win initiative.
And my opponent scrambles my flamer on the right side of the board for 2 activations. This means two operatives must go before them.  
After some measuring, we decide that my penitent can't move up and down the terrain in the middle and find a place to land without triggering the mine.
Well... thats plan a removed as an option... I go into the tank and find a play that I think can work, I have my exactor whip the penitent, giving her +2 move and +1 apl enough to be able to charge 1-2 Phobos. If she is allowed to activate I think my opponent probably loses the game/ I get in the lead as im currently sitting on 7-9 faith points, the penitent has an even chance or better of killing a Phobos, then shooting the krak at another.
So even though my opponent's next activation is to charge and kill the penitent, I think this activation maintains momentum in my favor, as that's what sets up my next play.  I do something I feel is pretty cool, maybe the coolest thing in the course of this tournament .  I go with the leader and charge the Phobos who has just jumped over the piece of heavy in the middle of the board, confirming a kill, at the end of the activation, I use the superior's abilty lead by example to GA 2 my flamer who JUST lost the scramble delay turned off by my superior activating.

The flamer is able to charge up and get a shot into a phobos Leader bring him to 3 wounds...   Then my leader gets removed along with my exactor from a charge and shoot, my other flamer shoots an un-boosted flamer into the enemy under the center piece of terrain. The Phobos medic heals the leader up to 6 wounds. The phobos leader then shoots the flamer, charges thru the door and fights the condemner but does down to 3 wounds.

I charge 2 operatives onto the left side of the point to grain control from the operative there. I shoot 3 auto pistols into the operative that has come through the door and deal… 4 game. Auto pistols vs phobos armor can be rough.  
I also move my medic to the top of the far-left oil rig vantage to score secure vantage. ​​​​​​​
At the end of the round a lot has happened, we have 6 novities to 5 Phobos, but Phobos have two injured models. 

this TP ends with me scoring 5 and my opponent scoring 4 I think. Going into TP 3 even on points

Turning Point Thee
we have to play at speed now as my taking time to go over operatives has  pushed us into the later stage of the round. We have about 15 mins to play about 2 full turns on a close board.
Defenders of the faith goes off, we start with my flamer onto the marine that charged through the door. I confirm a kill with the improved weapon profile.
Next it’s the dialogus into the leader with 3 wounds remaining. Using my faith points im able to remove them from play. ​​​​​​​
im able to remove 2 Phobos before the first activation of the firefight phase. We are now 6 novitiates to 3 Phobos. But the remaining enemy models are at full health and I’ve lost most all of my combat pieces…
with initiative my opponent removes one of my pieces from the left side of the board and captures the far left point also controlling the item.

I sacrifice my medic to remove the mine in the center of the map so my flamer can capture my opponents objective.

The marine back in my opponets side of the board adcances, shoots and kills the flamer, and is able to capture that point with a free mission action showcasing just how awesome vanguard can be.
Im able to move a cap an objective with the daligous and feed more boddies onto the left side of the map.

Turning Point Four
I think at this point my opponent is up by 4 points, but something crazy happens they decide to try and fight and remove my militant from the left side of the board. Then only score one two hits in combat. I retain hits, meaning im able to deal 8 damage to the marine leaving it on 4 wounds for my swing back. Im able to remove the marine and score 3 vps on the point, one for primary, recover item, and reconsecrate ground.
We are able to make some quick mover after this but I can find a way to close the score by another point.

Final Score
The game ends the score 18 to 19, both players scoring 5 on secondaries, with Phobos scoring 1 more on primaries.  

After Action Thoughts
What a game, its was awesome to play with such a great player on table 1 of a Killteam GT. I really felt like I got the experience of a top level competitive game. I also felt own lack of experience at such situations impacting my play, the speed of play, the lack of information about my opponents team, the terrain setup phase and me going on auto pilot without considering how things may have moved between rounds. Also I had to call the wonderful judge for the even over twice, cuz I was confused about some intricate interactions with obscuring, climbing distances and how a model moves through a door on an open board.
It was an amazing game with an amazing player. I cannot wait to have another round vs Greg in the future… hopefully not on secure though hahaha.

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