Friday, January 22, 2010

Big Tournaments Coming Up

The Agenda for this post:

--> I'll talk about my upcoming tournaments
--> Longish 'what you need' to win a tournament list

Upcoming Tournaments

Well, it's official: I WILL be going to Adepticon with a few friends from Laramie, and play my Imperial Guard in all three events I'm registered for: Combat Patrol on Friday, Team Tournament on Saturday, and the (somewhat pointless) 40k Championships on Sunday. The Championships will be cool, I'm sure, but with 150+ people playing in it, you have to max every single game AND have great painting, to even place at all. My painting isn't bad, but it isn't going to beat a TON of armies at Adepticon. I figure I may as well play as long as I'm there, though.

Before Adepticon is Ghengis Con, which is in Denver. The turnout should be somewhere around 60 people, and I'll be bringing my guard to this tournament as well. The Wrecking Crew are running it, and though my relationship with a few of them has improved in the past months, it makes me nervous to play in a tournament run by people who up until recently didn't like me. (If Steve shows up to officiate, I don't really see the point of me playing, to be honest. He says he's cool now to my face, then bashes me 'behind my back'. lol, what a douche. After that Saturday, I'll play in the Warhammer Fantasy Tournament, where I will likely lose badly, but it should be fun nonetheless.

And before that, if I can get work off (which I probably can't), the local game shop is playing a 'Practicon' tournament, to get ready for Ghengis. It'll be good to get some 'competitive' games in with my guard, since I'm vastly inexperienced with this sort of army. I build these finesse lists, and then don't give myself the time to play them until tournaments... seems foolhardy but it's worked out so far. We'll see what happens.

What You Need:

Okay, with the topic today on big 40k tournaments, I want to talk a little bit about what sorts of lists you need to bring to a big tournament to have a chance at success. There are two schools of thought:

1) Take a 'win big, lose big' army, that concentrates on doing one thing REALLY REALLY well, and hope that you play against 3 armies that you usually 'win big' against.

2) Take a balanced army, not GREAT at any one thing, but gives you a chance to beat any list out there.

I personally ONLY perscribe to option 2. If I can't at least have a shot against EVERYONE I play against, then why should I go to a tournament? I want to win every game if I can, since thats the point of a tournament (for me at least, heh) but if I took an army that depended on favorable matchups, I'd be nervous before every round's pairings, and if I drew someone I couldn't win against in round 3, what was the point of showing up and dominating those other two players before me?

So, what does a successful tournament player need to take to be successful? Here's a list:

1) Something to deal with Land Raiders. If someone takes marines, many times a Land Raider (or 2) is an auto-include. Melta is the only thing that dependably takes out Land Raiders, unless you're Tau or 'Nids. Then just take your annoying S10AP1 weaponry and be done with it. They're the reason people are saying Orks aren't competitive (lack of ability to deal with AV14 as rear armor)

2) Something to kill MEQ. MEQ is 'Marine Equivalent' if you didn't know. That means a model with T4, and a 3+ save. It's tough to deal with, but it's also the most common troop that you'll run across in a tournament. Marines, Chaos Marines, Necrons, Grey Knights, Sisters of Battle, and even Tyranid Genestealers and Warriors CAN go in that group (since you can give them Feel No Pain now). You need something with either REALLY high volume of shots to deal with them, or AP 2 or 3. Plasma spam is what comes to my mind, though big templates often do the trick. In my opinion though, the best way: Close combat. Marines suck at combat vs. dedicated combat units with power weapons, and if you have one, I recommend you take one.

3) Something to kill lots of transports. Mech (not to be confused with MEQ) is extremely prevalent these days, and everyone everywhere are taking transports where and when they can. If you can pop transports before they deliver the guys that bring the pain, you've probably won the game. Melta works, and Las Cannons rock as well. Auto Cannons are decent, though they need a 5+ to pen a Rhino, and a 5+ to destroy it. That's like a 1 in 12 shot of killing the Rhino, not counting the roll to hit. Auto-cannon SPAM works well though. Just look at Lootas.

4) Something to take out swarms. Flamers work well for this, though as always a good close combat unit will rock a swarm of just about anything. High-volume fire works as well.

5) Something that can insta-death 'standard' characters. This means S8 or better. Fists in marine units generally work well. Remember, characters are GAME CHANGERS. If you kill one quickly, you've done way more damage than just their point value.

6) Something to kill Monsterous Creatures. You need something that reliably wounds T6 or better, with a 3+ save. Las Cannons, Melta Guns, Plasma Guns, Power Fists... The list of things that hurts MC's is huge, but what do you do when the nid play in front of you has 8+ MC's? You need a LOT of firepower to deal with them. If you can't, you're boned.

7) Something that deals with Nob Biker-esq armies. This is the type of army that has a FEW guys that are REALLY hard to kill, except by insta-deathing them. Melta spam works, as well as Pie Plates and Jaws of the World Wolf. It's one of those 'win big, lose big' armies.

8) Something that can hold objectives well. Not only do you need to kill lots of things, you also need to be able to hold objectives. I recommend no less than 4 scoring units, since many times that's the MINIMUM needed to max out a mission. For marine players, that means you can combat squad two tactical squads and call it good. Every other army has actual 'good' troops, but marines do tend to struggle in having a good scoring unit.

9) Everything needs to be reactive. You need your forces to go where they're needed, and that generally means lots of transports, or fast-moving creatures. If you have a static line that has no mobility, if someone decides to go heavy on one side, you might just be boned. Also, how are you going to take objectives if you're stuck in your deployment zone?

10) Something 'fun'. I always take a unit that I really like playing with, regardless of how competitive it is or isn't. If it's competitive, all the better, but really, you need at least one unit to keep yourself from getting bored, sometimes. Kharn is a perfect example for me. He isn't the BEST HQ choice in the codex (by far) but he's so FUN, I find myself loving every game I use him in. Everything else in the army is fairly standard, and can be boring to play at times, but Kharn is almost ALWAYS a fun time, to me AND opponents. Who DOESN'T like a guy who chops through enemy squads with abandon, but every once in a while kills his own guys? It's fun. And why play a game if you aren't having fun?

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