Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Eve of Battle

Well, Genghis Con is about to begin. I'll be leaving tomorrow with my wifey to see what the con brings me this year.
 My friends in Laramie and I have been known to call it 'ass-con' because we very rarely get to play a game against an enjoyable opponent. I can think of only a couple games that I could even consider decent, and only one of those that I'd term as 'fun'. For whatever reason, Tacticon and Genghis don't really bring out the best in a lot of people. We'll see how it goes this year.

I'm going to talk now about my guard, and what armies worry me the most to play against, and ways I might be able to counter them. I'll be bringing the exact same list of Generic Tzeench Imp Guard to this tournament that I won practicon with.

I have 11 'threats' lined out for my army:

Threat #1: Seer Council Eldar

I'm honestly not sure what I would do if I had to play against a dual seer-council jetbike army. Their 3+ rerollable coversaves and my inability to make them run away with my psyker battle squad would really go poorly for me. It's like an 18-wound fateweaver, with each 'wound' able to charge and (easily) destroy one of my tanks. The list doesn't fare amazingly well against other lists, but it's gonna be rough. In this tournament I also in general dread playing vs. Eldar, since their tanks are so tough to kill, allowing them to contest objectives everywhere. Terrible matchup for me. I'd just have to shoot everything into one squad, and pray that it's enough to kill the squad.

Threat #2: Another Imperial Guard army

Guard have always given this list trouble, though admittedly I've started winning against most Guard lists lately. This could just be that they've had poor phases, or made quite a few mistakes, but I'm convinced I've gotten lucky quite a few times lately. Outflanking Vendettas hurt me a lot, it turns out. My general gameplan vs. Imp Guard is to keep them bunkered up in one corner as my more mobile force tries to outrange (hydras) and outmanouver them (Vendettas). If they stay in their little quarter of the table, I can eventually control the table, and hopefully win the game.

Threat #3: Tau

Perhaps this seems too strong, since Tau are generally looked down on by most other players. I've played a few competant Tau players in my day though, and I know the ridiculous amount of Jank they can hand out. High volume of fire combined with every vehicle in their list getting a coversave vs. my weapons, it's gonna be a tough fight. Railguns ruin my list pretty darn quick... My gameplan would be to high-volume fire overload their railguns, and then slowly make my way towards them so my short-range fire can finish them.

Threat #4: Terminator-heavy Space Marines

Space marines in general aren't TOO easy for my list to wipe out, but especially terminator-heavy lists. 10-16 terminators will die only if I can shoot 60-96 shots (and wound every single one) in a round. Land Raiders are difficult to shoot down before they get to me (if the general is smart and pops smoke 1st turn). It's an overall difficult matchup, but we'll see how it goes.

Threat #5: Fiend-heavy Slannesh Demons

This is scary for the same reason Eldar jetbikes are scary- 12-18 fiends deepstriking into cover in one turn, forces me to cause 72 wounds to them before they multi-charge the shit out of my tanks. My tanks are what keeps me alive, most of the time, and a good multi-charge would mess me up something fierce. Still, not as scary since fiends are easily killed and slightly less mobile than Eldar Jetbikes. If I have to play them, I'll either bunker down in a corner somewhere and have my vendettas spread out with flamer squads inside, or spread out my entire force, and hope for the best. I like the 1st option better :P

Threat #6: "Competitive" Necrons

Now, this might seem like another silly statement, but I keep wondering what I'll do if I have to play against a necron list with 3 Monoliths. the deciever, and a ton of jetbikes. The ability to disrupt my tanks makes them virtually useless to me, and Monoliths are REALLY hard to kill. The tried and true way to beat necrons is in HtH, but I don't have ANYthing that will win in H2H vs. Necrons. My main trick is going to have to be to wipe entire unit types off the board at a time i.e. kill every destroyer on the board in one turn. Another idea is to shoot a warrior squad close to the board edge down 3 guys, and then shoot their leadership with my Psyker squad. Making their guys run off the board denies WBB. My plasma gun squad will also be vital, since it has the potential to down entire squads of their jetbikes. Not as scary as other lists, for sure, but also not as cake-walkish as many people think Necrons tend to be.

Threat #7: Dark Eldar

I recently trounced a Dark Eldar player pretty well, but I really don't think it was an indication of what would always happen if we played 20 games. Dark lances amazing armor-negating ability is largely wasted vs. my army, but if he had gotten first turn, he would have been AT LEAST able to shut down a lot of my shooting, if not destroy multiple tanks. It would have made the game quite a bit tougher for me to win, and though I think I'd still have had a chance, the game would have been much harder to win. I can't count on EVER destroying 7 vehicles turn one, open-topped vehicles everywhere or not.

Threat #8: A Green Tide

Orks pose an interesting dilemna for me- I haven't ever played against ANY type of ork list with my Guard so far, but I also tend to do very well with my other armies vs. orks. It makes me think I'll still be able to win, despite this list being VERY different than all other lists. I have a TON of high-volume fire that should hurt orks, and lots of Flamers as well. I just don't know if it's enough to kill a 160+ boyz army with 2 KFFs. 30-boy mobs are cheap and VERY hard to remove from play. VERY hard.

Threat #9: Sisters of Battle

I've never played a game against sisters that the sisters didn't give me a hell of a time. They're just so... tricksy! They have so many good rules that make them versatile, they have BS4, and very easy access to the things my army hates most: melta and flamers. Exorcists can mess my vehicles up easily too. Against a skilled opponent, playing vs. sisters is gonna be a rough, rough game. They could potentially be moved up to #2, even, depending on the list or general.

Threat #10: The unknown

This is obviously a very broad category, but here's an example of what I mean: I don't know how many times after a game vs. my Blood Angels that someone has said 'wow, I really underestimated your list and ability to play it. Your army looks so crappy on paper, but you played it really well and I wasn't expecting anything of the sort'. I've won a lot of games against people who underestimated my army and it's effectiveness. I've come to realize that with really crappy-looking lists, it's one of two things: 1) they're new, and you're about to get an easy win or 2) they're a veteran who understands their army in and out, and it turns out this is the list that best suits their playstyle. I need to keep a wary eye on a list that looks like it's going to lose every game. Never underestimate ANYone.

Threat #11: Everything else

I don't want to sound flippant and say that every other list I play against will be an easy win for me. I'm not saying that at all. There are plenty of very competitive builds AND players out there, who can and will give this army hell. Chaos Marines, Tyranids, other versions of the armies I've already mentioned, all have their definitate strengths. I'm not saying I'll always win against them- I'm mostly just saying that I know what I can expect from those armies, and understand good counters to them. Those armies aren't what I think about when I think of 'an impossible matchup'.

Genghis is gonna be a tough tournament, and the best I've ever gotten there is 5th (actually I think that was Tacticon... same difference). I would dearly love to win this Saturday, but if I don't, hopefully I won't be one of those people who give people like me an excuse to call the tournament 'ass-con'.

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