Yesterday was a good day. It was a very long day - with universities in the area having commencement, I couldn't get a hotel room and we drove back afterwards. With timezones lost an hour coming home. Our 20 year old cat, aka "Mr. Alarm clock" doesn't understand this, so we still got pestered at 5am. I'd barely been asleep 3 hours at that point. I'm really dragging today.
TLDR: I got my butt kicked in the first 2 games, but had a friendly game with the event organizer for the 3rd round and won it.
The format yesterday was 3 games at a relatively new game store. All three scenarios were different and required different strategy (part of my pull to DFC vs. other games, actually).
I was paired in my first outing with someone I'd met at Adepticon in passing, so at least had some familiarity with him. He was a veteran player, and soundly trounced me on scenario points, but I killed a lot of tonnage of his ships and surprised him a few times. I felt like I held my own even though the score was VERY lopsided.
The event organizer then takes all the scores and pairs people by apparent rank. There's not a lot of science to this and there were only 8 players, but I was moved to the lowest table. No shame (although I knew what it meant); I was actually breathing some relief as I thought maybe I'd get another 1st timer and we'd have a good fight and a laugh or two.
Alas, no - I got another veteran player that had a really lousy game in the first round. We had a friendly game, but he was looking for redemption and I made a couple of small but critical errors in my initial deployment. By turn 2, I realized it cost me the game. Hard lesson, but that's why I was there. In the mean time, I worked on my own private goals and the bright red ships (above) rolled hot and totally made a mess of a couple of his groups. But, by round 4 he had nearly tabled me - i.e. almost killed all my stuff before time was called. Victory Points gap was better but still severe.
I was mentally done after this 2nd round. I was having a good time but the games were intense and my head was hurting from all the math. I realized I hadn't eaten, had 15 minutes to the next start, and scrambled to the Jimmy John's next door for sustenance and stunk up the place with Tuna Salad (#15 Club Tuna!) while they announced the 3rd scenario.
My third round, I didn't change tables (hah) and was paired with the event organizer. He wasn't there to compete, but we started with 7 and he filled in to make the tables even. He was distracted (was still running the other 3 tables) and we were goofing around; which I was fine with.
As we got started, I realized two things (1) His army list was built for a different scenario type, while the scenario favored me. (2) His list was one that my mine was intended to counter. Glass cannon vs. Meatshield.
I deployed correctly (learning from earlier mistakes), used my beefy ships to draw fire while my smaller ships positioned, gutted a couple of his specialized ships with my fast movers. As our main battle groups merged, his ships dished out absurd amounts of damage, but my armor heavy list shrugged it off, annihilated his ships, and moved on.
It. Was. Beautiful. There are moments in movies where two ww2 fleets merge, there's a lot of smoke and confusion, and only one fleet emerges from the cloud. That scene played out 3 times across 2 rounds last night, and reading his body language he was a little stunned that the exchange wasn't more even. "You lived through that?"
Now, I know this game was sort of a gimme. He wasn't playing his best, and I know the army list he brought was for fun, and he was also trying to help the other 3 tables. But I also know that he beat another player in the first round, and THAT gentleman went 0 for 3 while I ended the day with a 1-2 record. I'll take it.
Edit: Official results posted, I actually came in 5th out of 8.