Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Tournament Tips

I've always been a big fan of tournaments and at the time of writing I've been to 14 events this year and have tickets for another 5 before the end of the year. Tournaments attract people for many different reasons, for some its the challenge of seeing how well they do against some of the top players in the country and for others its simply down to having a weekend of 40k fun and shenanigans. Regardless of the reasons behind wanting to attend tournaments here are a few things to keep in mind to make it a much more enjoyable event for all involved.

Pre-Tournament

The run up to an event can be just as important as the event itself and a lot of the time its something that gets overlooked. The majority of us don't throw together an army at the last minute and simply turn up to play and for the most part you will spend days / weeks agonising over which list to bring.

Rules Packs

Always, always, read the rules pack before attending an event. I've done it in the past where you skim through a 5 page document and simply pick up on the points total and start writing a list but many tournaments now are putting their own restrictions on how many detachments, allies, type of allies, forgeworld and a whole raft of other considerations. There is nothing worse than finding out the day before an event that you can't take the list you wanted because of some of the restrictions in place.

Along side the rules pack make sure you check which (if any) FAQ they are using as this can drastically change your army if something is played a different way to what you are used to. Missions can also play a big part in how you construct your army so make sure that you understand the missions in the rules pack and any twists that maybe event specific. I've been to a number of tournaments where a custom mission was created for the event and when I arrived at the table found that my list was in no way suited to those missions.

Painting and army list

For me personally I use this time as an excuse to get something painted specific for an event. It helps keep me motivated when I have a deadline to finish off that unit or to try out something new. Even if its just switching out 100 points from one unit to another it can help to get your army finished off.

Some events will allow you to use unpainted models or even to proxy a few models / units. Try to avoid this where possible! For a lot of people one of the main attractions of a tournament is to see all the armies on display and to find inspiration for their own stuff, whether that is from a painting, modelling or even just list ideas. Either way, no one wants to attend a tournament and place their lovingly painted miniatures on the table opposite a wall of grey plastic.

When using proxies I have seen this escalate into a verbal slanging match between players because despite how many times you tell your opponent that this guy with a las gun is actually carrying a melta gun we will all forget. We look across the table to asses threats and just see the las gun. Of course this isn't a exactly a hard rule and most of the time common sense can be used. If you want to use this special character as a captain instead of the named guy it usually isn't that bad but using a rhino as a land raider can cause issues.

Its dangerous to go alone....

I've driven all over the country to attend different events either by myself or with a group of us and its always been more fun when you go as a group. Going to an event by yourself can still be enjoyable and I've done this on more than one occasion. It's always good to get out of your comfort zone of the guys you usually play and go somewhere where the meta you're used to is completely different. I always manage to see a familiar face and find a few people to hang around with but its always been better to go with either a few friends or a group of you. Normally this starts off as "i'm going to grudge you first round and kick your ass" and spirals into tales of heroism from the games played so far. For me, the drive back home talking about the games you played is just as entertaining as the event itself.

Know your stuff

While most of us will know our armies inside out make sure you check your list prior to the event and double check all the special rules and abilities they may have. The number of times I've played a game and on turn 5 someone remembers this guy has feel no pain or can re-roll to hit have been beyond counting. Its always a good idea to try and remember certain things that you know will come up such as how many attacks my assault unit has. You know you will try to assault with them at some point so you may as well double check the stats before you arrive rather than at the table.

At The Table

So you have arrived at the tournament and are standing across the table from your first opponent...

Introduce yourself

This may seem like an obvious one but a lot of the time I've walked up to the table and the first thing my opponent has said is "oh necrons is it...what's that do?" and we end up diving straight into lists, missions and rolling for deployment. Its a shame but most of the people I play get designated as Eldar Guy or Blob Guard List rather than their actual names. It also makes it more awkward when you play them again at another tournament. There is one guy I see at every tournament, have played him half a dozen times and still have no clue what his actual name is. Asking at this point is clearly out of the question....

Going through lists

Take the time to walk your opponent through your list, what each unit does and any special rules they may have. While this doesn't mean you need to give them the full stat line for every single model you have brought to the table it helps to quickly run through what they can expect. This unit has 2 melta's, can deep strike and has furious charge is usually enough but expand on something's should you need to.

Also, don't be afraid to ask your opponent questions about their list if its something you have not seen before. There is nothing worse than lining up all of your ap2 shots to kill a unit only to find out that it has a 2+ re-rollable cover save.

Time Management

One of the things that catch a lot of people out at tournaments is the time limits placed on rounds. This is obviously a necessary evil as the results need to be calculated and the next round drawn. For those not used to tournaments playing a game with your mates over a 5 hour drinking session is fine but in tournaments you need to make sure its a fair game. No one likes having to call a game at the end of turn 3 because you ran out of time and this can leave people with negative thoughts about the whole thing. 

Some of the things you can do to help speed up your games are make the roles and then check the stats. What I mean by this is if you can't quite remember if the leadership for this squad is 7 or 8 roll the dice anyway and then check the codex if its relevant. If you roll 12 you have failed regardless, if you roll 3 you have passed and you can check afterwards rather than your opponent waiting for you to look through a book. If you can't remember if this weapon causes pinning or not take the test anyway and check after. Things like running in the movement phase can also help speed things up if you check with your opponent first. On turn 5 I've often said to my opponent "I'm going to run these guys for linebreaker, do you mind if I run them now?" and then carried on with my movement phase for the rest of the army.

We all have those funny stories about how your lowly infantry sergeant killed drago in overwatch with a grenade or how you failed that 3" charge that would have won you the game and most opponents like hearing these stories but if you're telling one of these stories make sure it doesn't hold up the game while doing so. Tell it during the movement phase while you're picking up models or doing something else rather than stopping play.

Pre-measure

Measuring things before you do something is a thing. It should be used as often as possible. Most of this can also be used in the time management section above to help speed up the game and stop any potential arguments before they arise. During your movement phase if you know you are going to assault something measure the full distance before you touch the model. Check with your opponent first how far away it is so that you both know what is required. If you measure 13" and know you can move 6" tell your opponent "So, I would need a 7 inch charge". This helps clarify it when you roll the dice later and can't quite see if its 7 or 8 needed. By agreeing with your opponent before hand you both know what to expect.

Forgetfulness

In a tournament setting this can be tricky when you or your opponent forget to do something. 90% of the time I will allow someone to go back and do something but you have to remember that you are in a tournament and sometimes the best way make sure its not forgotten the next time is to make them suffer for it. This may sound a little harsh and its often hard to say no at some point but I have played a game at a tournament where my opponent forgot he had some psychic powers until turn 4 and then asked if he could roll his powers now. Going back a couple of steps isn't big but going back 4 turns can be a bit much. If you forget to do something point it out to your opponent but don't expect them to allow you to do it anyway. A lot of the time I will point it out and then refuse to do it anyway until next turn (it will not die is one that immediately comes to mind...). 

Also consider how import it actually is in the grand scheme of things. I've had an opponent forget his psychic phase completely and go back to it only to cast guide on something that ended up moving flat out and not making use of it....

Don't Give Up

You're at a tournament and could be vastly outmatched in terms of mission, army composition or indeed by the player themselves but remember you are at a tournament. Giving up at turn 3 may seem like its the only option left to you but you maybe able to squeeze out a couple of tournament points by the end of the game which will effect everyone else's results. I've seen tournaments be decided by VP difference at the end of 5 games and even then there is only 1-2 points between first and second place. If you allow your opponent to take a full 20-0 victory it can have a huge impact in the final standing than if you played it out and simply lost 18-2. 

It also becomes visible to your opponent if you are not enjoying the game and can suck the enjoyment out of it for them as well. I think we have all played that one game where our opponent looked downright miserable and both of you are simply wishing for the game to end. Even if it looks like you have no way of winning the game set yourself a goal to try and achieve. It may just be to get linebreaker or to make sure this one scout survives but it helps to keep it interesting.

The most important rule

Whether you go to a tournament to try and make a podium finish or just to have a weekend of playing 40k always remember to shake hands with your opponents before and after a game and make sure that both of you are having an enjoyable game. 







Wednesday, 29 July 2015

When is your army actually finished?

Gamers are hoarders, plain and simple. We all have those things that we bought and have no clue what to do with but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Or that pot of paint of nauseating blue, sickening pink or something similar that we never use but it would be absolutely perfect for some project you thought of doing 12 years ago and still haven't got around to yet. Not to mention bits boxes which could probably be used to build 3 entire armies and simply keeps growing no matter how often you organise and sort it out.

This became more apparent to me when I was going through my paint desk and deciding on what actually needed doing next. Rather than actually painting anything I decided to make a list of what needed doing. This turned into making a list of what I have and then into what I needed to purchase next. We all know making any sort of list of this type should never ever be done by a gamer. Adding prices onto how you have spent on the hobby over the years is a deep dark path that gamers should never set foot on. Ever.

Anyway, the reason I started compiling this list was because I can see the end of what I actually need to paint and I'm close to the mythical beast we gamers call a "completed army". It dawned on me that an actual fully completed army doesn't even exist but I've been telling myself that I'm getting very close. Panic set in and the inevitable question of "what's next?"

The list I came up with, in various stages of assembly, painting, basing and conversions looks something like the following:

50+ Warriors - 30 fully painted and re-based the rest in different states.
4 Ghost arks - 1 still to finish off the detail
2 doomsday cannons
9 annihilation / command barges - 1 still to assemble, the rest can be switched between the two
5 Night Scythes
1 Night Shroud Bomber
1 Tomb Citadel
3 C'tans - one as Nagash, Trancendent to be assembled and Nightbringer to repaint.
1 Obelisk - half painted
20 Praetorians - 10 to finish painting details, 15 to rebase, 5 to assemble.
5  Lychguard with shields all finished
15 Lychguard to be still assembled.
3 Monoliths
NecoKnight - Imperial Knight conversion
24 Wraiths
18 Scarab bases
3 Tomb Spyders
3 Triarch Stalkers - none painted
9 Arcanthrites
45 flayed ones
12 Tomb blades - 5 completely painted, rest to build / finish
2 of the new overlord models - 1 fully painted, 1 still in box
9 Crypteks to repaint
Zhandrek, Obeyron, Orikhan, Trazyn, Imotekh, 2 old metal lords to repaint
3 Destroyer lords to repaint
15 Destroyers in various states
30 Immortals - 10 fully done, rest need repainting
20 Deathmarks - all done.
1 Tesseract Ark
2 Sentry Pylons
1 Gauss Pylon

You look at this list and it seems like a lot. I look at it and think I don't have a Szeraz, I could do with some heavy destroyers, i need more Lychguard etc etc etc. This is only one the Necron side and doesn't include the various allies or the Dark Eldar painting project I have scattered around the house or the deathstorm, stormclaw, spacehulk, assassins game or my sons Tau army that still need painting and assembling.

But clearly, I'm nearly done right?

One of the phrases I hear thrown around quite a lot at our local gaming venues is "I almost have a fully painted army". They keyword there being almost. Are we every really finished with an army and when do you define it as being complete? With the ever shifting meta there are some things that you need to keep up to date with and a new codex release might mean you have to purchase more stuff to compete with it but once you have everything where do you go from there? A new army? A new game system? More of the same stuff? I joked with someone last week that I probably have enough stuff to paint two different schemes and still have a viable force for both of them and looking at the list, its probably true.


I think to fully realize my dream of having a complete army its gotten to the point where I would need to have available and fully painted every conceivable list idea that I have ever come up with. That includes the 3 squads of 10 tomb blades, 5 canopteks harvests, 120 warrior spam list and everything in between.

It still seems like I have a long way to go before I'm done.




Thursday, 16 July 2015

Put the wraiths back in 5th edition where they belong.

As a Necron player obviously I have wraiths, probably more than I should have to be perfectly honest but I rarely use them on the field. Clearly wraiths are good and a formidable force on the table top but I still can't wrap my head around why so many other Necron players use these as a go to, and in some cases almost mandatory, choice when selecting an army. This has never been more apparent than earlier this week when the highly anticipated tournament Caledonian Revolution published their list submissions and I was shocked to find that out of the 11 Necron players attending 9 of them have wraiths in their list, typically as part of the canoptek harvest formation. So, why do people use them and are they any good?

To do any sort of meaningful comparison I took a look into all of the assault based units within the codex and mathammered the whole thing out as equally as possible and even though what I suspected turned out to be true I surprised myself with some of the numbers coming out.

Disclaimer: In order to keep this as fair a comparison as possible I took a full unit of 6 Wraiths with whip coils (why wouldn't you take them?) and then spent an equal amount of points on all of the other units in the book that had any sort of business actually assaulting. All of the figures represented are based on the Necron unit charging and (where possible) are part of the Decurion detachment since this is what seems to be the more prevalent flavour of Necrons appearing on the tournament scene at the moment. I was going to compare the whole of the formations for both the Canoptek Harvest and the Judicator Battalion but quickly realised that both are highly dependant on a single model (either the Tomb Spyder or the Stalker) but since one buffs survivability and the other buffs killing power this didn't seem like a fair comparison. All of these can be buffed in some way by adding a royal court for all manner of re-rolls but since a royal court can be equally added to anything the benefits would be universal across all of the units. Since the points costs we are comparing comes out at 250-260 some liberties have been taken in the case of scarabs as it would be a single unit of 13 which is normally only allowed up to 9. Since this would typically be taken as part of a harvest I have assumed that various spyders were squirting out the little buggers into the scarab unit so it now adds up to the same amount of points. It also makes things simpler.

So on, with the figures.




So what is all this crap?
Essentially the above shows the unit, how many models are in it and how stuff they kill after assaulting a unit of marines. Looking at the first coloured column we can see that, on average 6 Wraiths charging marines will kill 4.5 ish marines which is slightly better than Void Blade wielding Praetorians, scarabs and the good old basic warriors. It also shows however that Lychguard, flayed ones and Praetorians with a Rod of Covenant kill more than double that. In particular because they all have ap2 or ap3 weapons as opposed to relying on rends which seems pretty straight forward with the clear winners being both Lychguard with warscythes or (surprisingly for some) mass flayed ones which will pretty much wipe out a 10 man squad.

Next in line would be to assume that the Necrons shot the target before charging. Since most of these units don't actually have any guns this doesn't change much but a slight jump goes to the Rod of Covenant Praetorians since they have Strength 5, ap2 in both shooting and assault. The biggest shock here comes from the warriors since they gain Relentless from the Decurion detachment it does mean they double their damage output.

The 3rd coloured column is against the good old fashioned Terminators with storm shields. This does show a vast difference simply by the fact that they have a 3+ invulnerable save against all the ap2 and rends but again, we see Warscythes, flayed ones and rod of covenant taking the top spots and wraiths are left bringing up the back end. It actually works out that mass flayed ones do some serious damage simply by virtue of making them take a ton of saves.

Finally, we have the Wraithknight. In most cases this can be exchanged for any type of monstrous creature but since they are by far one of the toughest things to shift with their toughness 8, 3+ save and feel no pain I figured it would be interesting either way. Obviously the flayed ones and warriors struggle since they can't hurt it at all but the warriors firing at it first can take a wound off. Not much difference with any of the others except again, warscythes and rod of covenant putting more of the hurt and the wraiths sliding the scale.

So, why ARE wraiths so popular? Looking at simple damage output they offer they simply don't cut it so something else must be behind it.

Manoeuvrability?

So with the wraith flight and the fact that they are beast they can move 12" and pretty much ignore terrain, don't take the -2 charge range etc. Of course, the same could be said for Praetorians with them being jump infantry and if taken as part of the Judicator formation they will gain move through cover as part of the decurion. The lychguard and flayed ones can struggle to get into charge range of something since they only move 6" but with the ability to either take a nightscythe or infiltrate a lot of this can be mitigated.

Fearless?

Praetorians are also fearless

Cost Effective?

While I'm not denying that the Canoptek harvest is a formidable force on the table and giving the wraiths and scarabs reanimation is great in adding to their survivability all of the others come with reanimation by default and so don't have to pay a "Tax" on being able to get it. Speaking of the tax, adding a spyder and some scarabs comes in at about the same cost as the Stalker tax for the Judicators and the praetorians get to re-roll to hit, wound and armour penetration rolls against a single target instead increasing their damage output significantly. The only real difference would be that you would need to add a couple more praetorians to make 2 squads of 5 instead but that is using the minimal 3 scarab unit which would probably be bolstered anyway. When comparing these 2 formations even adding up the damage from the scarabs and the wraiths it still doesn't come close to the praetorians ability to kill shit.

Board Control?

This one is hard to quantify as the biggest benefit you get to board control is when running the harvest formation with additional spyders, usually from a CAD, spawning scarabs all over the place. 

Strike First In Combat?

With the whip coils making the wraiths initiative 5 they will, generally speaking get to strike first. With the praetorians and lychguard you may lose some before they get to strike and therefore reduce your damage output. I also ran the numbers for these against a few examples such as a 10 man assault squad and realistically with a 3+ armour save and 4+ reanimation you reduce the incoming attacks by 2-3 but this still does a lot more damage than the wraiths.

Survivability?

This seems to be where the numbers get skewed slightly. Just how survivable are they?



For the top part this is simply how many bolter shots (or any other Strength 4 shooting for that matter) it will take to wipe out the unit. This is assuming everything shooting at them has BS4 and the crons having a 4+ reanimation due to the decurion detachment. The scarabs end up worse off against bolters as they don't get any saves. and Wraiths do pretty well simply because of their wound pool and better saves than the warriors and flayed ones. To be fair though, if you are trying to compare if your opponent has 250 bolter shots or 300 its probably not relevant....

The interesting one is based on anything that is ap 2-3 and typically strength 7, 8 or 9. This obviously covers the plasma, melta, las cannons, thunder hammers, power fists and other stuffs. Clearly the wraiths are a lot more durable here since everything else, with the exception of shields on the lychguard, are rolling straight up reanimation on a 4 or 5+. That being said, what type of meta do you play in that your opponent can afford to fire 33 tank buster rounds into a 260 point unit and while they are doing this what is the rest of your decurion doing? I found the flayed ones and warriors more interesting in that they simply refuse to die. Of course, this is assuming that everything runs straight up the table and doesn't take any sort of cover save which will pretty much double the shots needed against everything except the wraiths and shield lychguard since their invulnerable save is better.

So!
While the wraiths are clearly more survivable, realistically how survivable do you need them to be and is the reduction in damage output worth it? One thing that is undeniable is their ability to tie up units and slowly grind them down but all of the other units can do this just as well and have the added bonus of killing it off quicker as well.

Overall I'm struggling to find the benefits of Wraiths but if you have some other points I'm open to debate on the subject.



Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Guide to Codex Creep

Welcome to Scoffers guide to Warhammer 40k Codex Creep. Within this guide you will find several ways that will help you deal with Games Workshops rapid release schedule that we have been bombarded with over the past year or so. There will be tips on how to deal with knee jerk reactions, impulse buying and how to handle "that there internet" and some advice on how to stay ahead with the latest 5 minute wonders as well as how you should properly display your outrage at the latest release. So sit back, take a bunch of Prozac, boot up your favourite ranting forum and prepare to annihilate another keyboard with your views on the matter.
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Contents:
1. What is codex creep?
2. What options do I have for new releases?
3. Should I play with this new formation?
4. How should I properly present my outrage of something I don't like?
5. Disclaimer
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1. What is codex creep?

For most of us this is something that is fairly self explanatory but for those of you who have never heard the term or are mentally challenged let me explain. Codex creep is hard to explain for the uninitiated but essentially its where the codex (or army) that you use gets gradually worse as a newer codex is released. An example of this would be if Steve purchased his shiny new Space Marine codex in January, its the best codex ever released and deliberately sets out to show all the other armies why they are inferior. Steve proceeds to butcher everyone in his local gaming club, his models are unkillable and he has lost several of his friends due to his army being overpowered. Life is good for Steve, he doesn't need to learn anything of tactics because his army simply rolls over his opponents and he wins simply by turning up. Uh oh, what's this? Its now February and Paul has turned up with his newly released Eldar list and is challenging Steve to a game. Steve saunters up to the table and casually throws his list in his opponents face with a smug grin, there is no way he can loose, he is playing marines. 2 hours later Steve is sat in the car park, head in hands crying to himself and wondering why Games Workshop hates him. His army has become unplayable despite nothing changing in his codex but he has lost his Crown of Dominance in his local gaming circle and there is nothing for him to do except declare the new Eldar codex to be overpowered, broken and morally questionable while he considers which faction of War Machine he will be getting instead.

That right there, is codex creep. In the example above Steve could of course try changing his list, finding ways to beat the newly released codex or learning some actual tactics but I think we all know the only real option open to Steve at this point is to rage quit.



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2. What options do I have for new releases?

When Games workshop does release something new the clear first reaction is to panic. Obviously you should immediately jump on the internet and see what everyone is saying about it, preferably within the first 4 hours after release because this is the sweet spot where everyone has had ample time to test these changes and work out why your life has been ruined. So your favourite army now has a shiny new book sitting in your local store, what should you do?

Option 1: Immediately you should purchase everything the internet said was broken and over powered. Don't go off all half cocked and simply buy a squad, get 3 of them. 6 if you can convince your mortgage lender to give you more cash or if you have a small child to sell. It doesn't matter that by the time you actually get it painted that its no longer any good, just get lots of them. How often can the internet be wrong? 

Option 2: Don't buy anything! You are happy with the codex you currently own and its only been 2 years since the last one. Games Workshops expectations that you should spend £30 on a new book every 2 years for a game that you love is just going too far. Besides, you can't afford the rules for your own army because you need to buy another 205 scouts with terminator armour just because 40KRULEZLOLER over on warseer says they are awesome. Besides, your opponent will know the rules when you step up to the table and they can tell you how they work anyway. You are using the newest codex, you will win by default.

Option 3: Buy the codex only. Read it and determine what you think would be fun to play. Convert your old models to fit or buy some to try it out. Yea, I'm not even convincing myself with this argument
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3. Should I try this new formation?

If you have been following this guide closely you should by now understand that the people on the internet know what they are talking about. If a new codex comes out with 6 new formations you should only look at the one that is bathed in the most tears while ignoring the rest. You will occasionally skim over something that you have never tried before but don't be fooled. This is a trap set out by Games Workshop which will lead you down the rabbit hole they like to call "Forging the narrative". This is an evil place designed by Beelzebub himself that will lead you into far deeper places of depravity and survivors of this place (if survive they actually did) have been known to use phrases like "I just play for fun" and "This could be interesting to try out". These people are clearly a pox on our community and should be shunned at every opportunity.


You should also be warned about questioning these decisions the internet has made for you as this can also lead you to finding yourself with more friends and better games. When someone says "look, I can assault turn 1 from a drop pod!" you should never question the fact that it will cost you almost 3,000 points to field it or that 90% of those points are wasted on crap units. All that matters is getting those 5 assault marines into assault turn 1. We should all know by now that there is nothing more fun in a game than deep striking a gargantuan creature turn 1 who happens to be armed with 6 apocalyptic size large blast D weapons that ignore cover, has a 2+ feel no pain (re-roll able of course) Toughness 9 and 17 wounds. Your opponent will congratulate you on your list building acumen and people will be lining up wanting to play against it. Your social status will rise, people will write books about your gaming success and with your new found fame and fortune you can marry a super model and drive a submarine to work.



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4. How should I properly present my outrage of something I don't like?

Despite the previous warning you have decided to flick through your new codex and read some of the other entries that are in there. You know how all the good stuff works but what are the remaining 100 pages or so in the book and what do they offer? Curiosity can be a dangerous and exciting thing but maybe, just maybe the internet missed something and you will find it. Like Indiana Jones you will have stumbled into the long forgotten temple of hidden treasures and using this treasure you will be crowned king of the internet by your adoring fans. Fingers trembling you gingerly turn the pages and there it is. Staring you in face. The one thing that will forever haunt your dreams, the thing that once seen can never be unseen. Those bastards. Those complete utter shit eating, plebeian degenerates down at GW headquarters made your favourite model WS6. 6 FOR FUCK SAKE! Clearly this should be at least a 7. How could they! Clearly this is a mistake that must be immediately remedied. Donning your super hero cloak and dimming the lights in your mothers basement you prepare your keyboard for the onslaught of your red-bull fuelled righteous fury you intend to subject the internet community to. But how should you start?

This has always been a tricky one to get right and most people still manage to get it wrong and not following correct protocols. Fear not readers, we shall try to offer you tips on how to express yourselves so that people will fully appreciate why you are right and the rest of the world are idiotic, dribbling morons. This works especially well with rules queries but some of these tips can be used when shouting your overall opinions as well.

1) Make your case by quoting rules. During your rant you will need to back up your statement by strategic position of actual rules within the Codex. Obviously this will not be the full rules, just a finely selected sub set of those rules to make your point more compelling. If you can, try to leave out the important bits and just focus on the one that makes your argument stronger. It also helps to leave out punctuation and misspell some of the words so that people will easily recognise your rage.

2) If you feel strongly about something type in all caps. It will emphasise the whole point you are trying to make and its easier for the casual reader to pick out the important bits. This also adds the impression that you know what you are talking about and will make people drop whatever they are doing at the time and read your post.

3) If someone does offer up a counter argument they must be stopped immediately. Nothing can distract the readers from your point and your point alone. It helps by calling into question their mental state and throwing around insults at every opportunity.

4) When replying to comments that people make questioning your reasoning try to say exactly the same thing in a slightly different way. If you do this often enough it will bring them round to your way of thinking. For example: Saves don't work like that, that's not how saves work, it's a save which this is not, saves work in a different way, if it was a save I would agree but this isn't, NOT SAVE! etc etc

5) If it looks like you are losing control of the argument try to derail it completely. Find something vaguely familiar in another book (doesn't matter if its a completely different game) and quote that as much as possible. Point out that if one army has it working this way yours should too, even though its a completely different option.

6) Practice as much as possible. The only way to get good at something is to keep doing it and this is true with rules arguments on the internet. Real pros can convince tau players that marker lights work the same way as the search light on their imperial guard chimera and this is something you should strive for.

And there we have it readers. This will win you every rules argument on the internet with no exceptions. You can now voice your opinion on those pages that you skimmed over while you were sat on the toilet and Games Workshop themselves (who have a dedicated team reading all of these comments) will already be in the process of drafting up your contract for the position of rules and codex writer.

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5. Disclaimer

For those new to the site this is meant to be satire, if you didn't pick this up yet you haven't been paying attention.

Following any of the rules set out by section 4 above makes you look like a dick. You all know who you are.

Seriously guys, buy the codex and try it before rage quitting and spouting random crap on forums about how broken the game is. Just try it, you might actually enjoy yourself.






Tuesday, 9 June 2015

WPS Club Challenge Tournament

Last weekend I attended a very different type of event that took the form of the WPS Club Challenge. This event has been running every year since 1997 so has a long history with much rivalry between the clubs and promotes a fun weekend across 5 different systems which encourages friendly and sportsmanlike games. This was certainly not a win-at-all-costs type of event but obviously everyone likes a shiny trophy so....

The event was running 5 different systems which were 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Blood Bowl, Warmachine and (for the first time this year) X-wing. To be eligible  to win one of the system shields you needed to enter at least 2 club players for that system and for the overall club challenge shield you needed a minimum of 6 players entered over 3 different systems. Each system also had trophies for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, most sporting and best painted. Because it was also a club challenge you would never play one of your own team and if it could be avoided you wouldn't play the same person twice. I'm not going to go much into the scoring system as its slightly complicated but generally speaking you are looking at the average points across all players for that system for the actual system shields and across all systems for the club challenge. There are also a lot of incidental points going towards soft scores for such as most sporting and painting scores which don't effect the final standings of the system shields but DO effect the final overall placing of the club for the whole event. Confused yet? If you are interested a full break down of the maths involved can be found here. There was also a joker to be nominated every round and if the joker won his game the team scored some additional team points but this had to be done before the next round draw was announced so you had no clue who you would be playing.

Sanctuary gaming centre was hosting the event and it was also the first year they were submitting a team for a chance to come away with the challenge cup. In total we would be entering 10 players across 3 of the systems with the following people:

Blood Bowl
Theo Bank, Terry Carr, Mark Funiss, Steven Cross

X-Wing
Emma banks, Richard Tansey, Tim King, Chris Taylor

40k
Nathan Roberts and myself

For the 40K event it would be 5 games of 1750 with the only limitations being a maximum of 2 sources, no supplement allies can be allied with their parent faction (Tau + Farsight are not allowed but space marines + Farsight would be), No Adamantium lance or firebase cadre. Other than that you could bring unbound, forgeworld, horus heresy armies and everything else in between.

Tournament points were essentially calculated so that you got 20 points for a win, 5 points for a loss. There was also a margin of destruction thrown into the mix which was basically the difference between the old style blood points
There was also 5 additional points for a secret objective which you randomly drew for each round. These being to kill an enemy character in a challenge, kill something during night fight, kill something in assault and get one of your own nominated troops units killed by the end of the game. Both players could achieve this regardless of the results of the overall game. So essentially if I was to win the game against player B I would get 20 points. If I also killed 1600 points worth of his units and he killed 200 points worth of mine the destroyed modifier would be (1600 - 200 = 1400) +4 / -4 so final standings would be 24 - 1

Rather a long introduction but as I said this was a different type of event than the usual. So! as it wasn't one of the win at all costs types of tournaments I decided to go with a fairly balanced Necron list. No fancy tricks, no re-roll saves on wraiths with reanimation or anything of that sort. The list I decided on was going to be:

Reclamation Legion:
5 Immortals, Night Scythe
5 Immortals, Night Scythe
Overlord, Phase Shifter, Voidreaper
5 Tomb Blades with nebuloscope, particle beamer and shield vanes
10 Warriors, Ghost ark
10 Warriors, Ghost ark
10 Warriors, Ghost ark
10 Deathmarks
10 Deathmarks.
Total 1750.

Turning up the event I was looking around at the other 15 players for 40k and trying to decide which lists I really didn't want to play against. One club had turned up with 4 players who all had identical lists in the form of 4 imperial knights, 1 standard, 3 of the horus heresy Forgeworld variety of which I had no clue what they did or how they worked. There were a couple of Nid players with flying hive tyrant spam (Nathan included), 1 Tau, 1 Necron (me!) 1 Eldar, 1 deamon, and a few marines kicking around the place so a fairly good mix overall, knights excluded.

My first game was against Sam Watson with his Tau list. He had a slightly different list in that it was 4 riptides, one of which was the forgeworld variant, a couple of tetras, a small unit of crisis suits with missiles, A large squad of sniper drones with the ethereal attached, 1 unit of fire warriors and 2 units of kroot and an aegis defence line. The mission we were playing was where we would draw 3 of the maelstrom cards a turn and my secret objective was to pick one of his units at the start of the game and destroy it in an assault. Realistically I didn't hold up much chance of being able to do that at all with the only one capable of any kind of assault in my list being the overlord but I picked his 3 man crisis suits anyway and pretty much forgot about it. I deployed my 3 ghost arks and tomb blades, put the overlord with one of the immortal squads in reserve as well as the deep striking deathmarks and he pretty much spread out his riptides across his board edge. The rest of this game pretty much came right down to dice rolls being terrible on both our parts. My tomb blades started dropping strength 6 small blasts with ignore cover onto his sniper drones, fire warriors and ethereal before jumping back out of line of sight simply to move them off objectives while the ghost arks went after the riptides. I managed to fail all 4 of my reserve rolls on turn 2 AND turn 3 meaning that I had to fight most of the game with just the ghost arks. Over the next 3 turns with excessive use of jinking ghost arks and the riptides having a 2+ save all that was actually dead was a single ghost ark, 3 of the tomb blades and half a warrior squad while his dead pile was the fire warriors, ethereal, one of the tetras and the gun drones. A couple of wounds on 3 of his riptides but not much else. Point wise was actually very close with it being 6-5 in my favour on the maelstrom objectives and neither of us gaining any significant advantage.  After a disheartening 3 turns of nothing dying on either side my reserves turn up automatically and the game dramatically shifts. One deathmark unit scatters 11", mishaps and gets put in the corner out of the way while the rest come down and remove a riptide, the immortals get out of the flyer and decimate his entire left flank leaving on his crisis suits on that side and a possible charge with my overlord next turn for the secret objective. His return fire on turn 4 does little, removing some of the immortals and most of the deathmarks but they had already done their job at this point. Turn 5 my overlord and immortals charge the crisis suits and wipes them all out. The 3 immortals left in the other squad rapid fire and then assault a squad of kroot (decurion relentless is awesome) wiping those out, the deathmarks take out the forgeworld riptide and the game ends due to time. Overall I had managed to sneak ahead on the maelstrom objectives by a couple of points and gained another 2 from the margin of destruction as well as the secret objective giving me a healthy 27 tournament points out of a possible 30 for my first game. It was a really close fought game which the final points don't reflect however.

My second game was against Chris Steele who had one of the 4 imperial knights lists and I was slightly worried about this game. 4 Knights are hard to shift and 3 of them I had no clue what they actually did so my plan was to play it defensively, play the mission and rack up as many early points as I could knowing that with only 4 models on the table he wouldn't be able to get many maelstrom objectives. The mission was the one where turn 1 you draw 6 cards, 5 on turn 2 etc and since I was going first I set up pretty spread out thinking that I could try and limit the knights destruction by drip feeding him units while keeping the rest a safe distance away while taking pot shots at him. Turn 1 I manage to draw a few cards that were D3 VPs and didn't involve actually killing anything. From what I remember I don't think I actually fired a shot the first turn just jumped onto objectives and took a 8-0 lead on vps with everything moving flat out. His first turn he pretty much fired his bigger guns at my ghost ark which jinked everything due to night fight being in effect and killed 4 out of 5 of my tomb blades with shooting. He then failed a charge on the tomb blades and it was on to my turn 2. My reserves come piling on and the deathmarks being useless in this game deepstrike away from everything and go stand on the linebreaker edge as well as near 2 objectives they could move to claim as needed. Both flyers come on and due to positioning I realize I can get 3 ghost arks all in rapid fire and into different armour facings on his lead knight and for good measure I drop off the immortal squad in the rear ark along with the warlord to make sure he really does die. Figuring I would need all 85 shots to get it done I also position the last remaining tomb blade to take a crack at some side armour which he could glance with his ignore cover. 2 of the warrior squads take it out, the third warrior squad, 3 ghost arks and the immortals take 5 hull points of a second knight and the flyers take a combined 4 hull points of a third knight. After seeing this I realized I probably didn't need to be that defensive.... His turn he takes a few shots at things, one of his knights with Skyfire opens up on one of my nightscythes who passes 5 jink saves. 1 knight charges a ghost ark and wrecks it, another charges the immortals with my overlord and his undamaged knight fails his charge against a second ghost ark but loses 2 hull points to overwatch. In the combat with my overlord he rolls his attacks and take out 4 immortals, on Initiative 2 my overlord gets 3 penetrating hits, 2 explodes results and a total of 7 hull points damage. Luckily it scatters away from them slightly but the remaining immortal dies in the explosion leaving the lord by himself who consolidates onto an objective which is inside some ruins. My turn 3 I take out the two damaged knights and leave only his warlord on 3 hull points which charges and wipes out a warrior squad. Turn 4 I kill off his remaining knight and win the game 25-0. Neither of us get our secret objective and I believe mine was to kill something during night fight which there was very little chance of me gaining.

The third and final game was against Adam Sinclair using his Eldar aspect warrior host. I know Adam from some of the Outpost tournaments but have never actually played him.
His list was essentially the same as the picture to the right but without the avatar. A warlock in the bike unit and his warlord was a farseer by himself. Not a single wraith unit to which he should be applauded for. I'm not actually sure what happened during the start of this game as he admitted himself he made a number of huge mistakes which may have cost him the game before it even started. He knows my reputation from the Outpost tournaments so wasn't feeling very confident going into it which may have been a contributing factor. We were playing hammer and anvil and we set up the objectives which ended up being 2 in each of the deployment zones around 10" from the short board edge and then 2 of them at the edge of the deployment zone on the left hand side of the table. He then won the roll to decide on his table edge and choose the one with only 2 objectives due to it having a ruin in it meaning I got to deploy on the other 4 objectives. He was also worried about the deathmarks taking out his swooping hawks when they deepstrike in so he deployed them in the center behind some LOS blocking terrain. On his first turn he jumped his warlord into the empty wave serpent and the jetbikes moved down the left side to the middle of the board (he later admitted this was a mistake). He took a few pot shots at the tomb blades but didn't do any damage. His lances from the war walkers and his dark reaper Exarch fired at a ghost ark which due to night fight and a mysterious objective gave me a 2+ jink save. He did manage a penetrating hit on one of the ghost arks dropping it to AV11.  His wave serpent with the fire dragons advanced hoping to get into melta range. My turn the tomb blades along with one of the ghost arks wipe out the jet bikes and the other ghost arks move 12" and snap shot at the war walkers killing one of them while the other takes out 5 of the swooping hawks. His flyer fails its reserves rolls, his fire dragons move up into a large ruin and stay in the wave serpent due to not being in melta range. A couple of glancing hits on my ghost arks but not much else. My turn the deathmarks drop in and decimate his entire dark reapers squad, one of the ghost arks moves up, the warriors disembark to within 2" of the fire dragons transport and rapid fire destroying the wave serpent but failing the charge on the fire dragons. My night scythe took his flyer down to 1 hull point which was then finished off by a ghost ark that was parked on a sky fire nexus. The only other notable thing in the is game is the slow advance of the necrons with everything pushing up every turn, the deathmarks fired at and then charged the war walkers which they remained locked with all game with neither of us actually doing any damage. The immortals with my lord wiped out the last of the fire dragons. The lord then joined a warrior squad who shot 7-8 of the guardians before charging and wiping out the rest. Deathmarks with no other real target charged a wave serpent and wrecked it with 3 glancing hits. By the end of the game there was only a war walker in combat with my deathmarks and for return damage I had lost a couple of hull points on 2 of the ghost arks, and had lost a warrior squad. My secret objective was to wipe out a unit while night fight was in effect which I got on the jet bikes. My own tomb blades despite only firing once on the turn 1 spent 4 turns jumping between 3 different objectives gaining me points every turn and giving me a complete 30-0 victory. For this game our team captain had also nominated me as the joker so I picked up a few extra team points for winning this game.

So at the end of day 1 I was on 3 wins and a total of 82 out of a possible 90.

Day 2 with only 2 games left I find that I'm playing John Johamsson who was one of the other players who was using 4 knights. This was also straight up kill points and I know that since he only had 4 models on the table I would pretty much have to kill everything to be in with a chance of winning the game. I was pretty confident going into this match due to my performance against the other knight player the previous day and decided to go on the offensive as soon as possible. I get the first turn and put all 3 ghost arks in 23" range of his lead knight while the tomb blades go flat out into his deployment zone across the other side of the table out of the way. My first turn of shooting against his knight with a 4+ ion shield and a 3+ cover save due to night fight from those not covered by the shield still manage to take off 4 hull points. His first turn he moves up as far as possible and puts as many into cover as he can to help with the ion shields limited ark. He puts a melta gun shot into a ghost ark which explodes and kills 6 warriors after they failed their 4+ armor and 4+ reanimation roll. My turn I spawn more warriors back into the squad and get it back to 8 models. My flyers both come on and drop off the warlord with an immortal squad right in the middle of his 4 knights. My secret objective for this game was to get that troops squad killed and I figured placing it in the middle of his army was a good way to achieve this. After deciding which facing his shields were going I then bypass the majority of them by targeting different ones instead. The one closest to me put his shield at the front because a ghost ark was 6" away got shot in the side by a different one. The combined fire of both night scythes took 5 hull points off one which was finished off by the immortals, the tomb blades managed to get side armour on one of them and took 2 hull points off it thanks to glancing on 6's and having ignore cover etc etc. By the end of this turn he had 2 knight left one of which was untouched and the other had only 1 hull point left. His turn he shoots up all the immortals charges Overlord who is now by himself but only manages to put 2 wounds on him. As it was the lancer (I think?) it didn't have the D weapon close combat attack so a combination of 4+ invulnerable and 5+ reanimation keeps him alive and he them slices it up with the warscythe. Turn 3 I finish off the last knight and win the game 29-1 due to the list only being actually worth 1680 points.

The final game was against Adam Calver who was using a guard army that was actually modelled using Grots. His list had 5 rough riders (still have no clue what these do...), 3 reaper battery platforms, Yarik, a librarian of some description, 3 squads of troops with auto cannons heavy weapon platforms, a chimeras a hell hound, a vendetta, plasma armed Leman Russ, a Manticore and an aegis defence line with quad gun and finally a Vindicare assassin. This was also hammer and anvil deployment and I was going first but my secret objective was to kill his warlord in a challenge. My first turn I destroyed the leman russ completely and one of the chimeras gaining me first blood while the tomb blades also took out one of the reaper batteries thanks to ignore cover on them behind the aegis. His librarian cast prescience on the reaper batter, perils and is immediately executed by Yarik for his trouble.  His return fire managed to get a couple of glances on my ghost arks but with a 3+ jink save due to night fight very little damage was done. My second turn the deathmarks drop behind the reaper battery and kill off Yarik and most of the crew, the tomb blades then charge them killing off the remaining crew while my overlord disembarks from his nightscythe onto the quad gun. The second deathmarks scatter a massive 10" and land in some ruins which the vindicate is using. They rapid fire him into the dirt out of sheer spite. The night scythes and ghost arks pretty much mop up every gun that is more than strength 5 and trundle forward on a killing spree. His second turn the rough riders which I had forgotten about charge into the deathmarks who kill 2 in overwatch. The rough riders then put 3 wounds on the deathmarks who all pass their reanimation rolls then kill them off. The only thing that can actually do any damage at this point is the manticore which is hidden out of line of sight which opens up on a  ghost ark and makes it explode. Yarik gets back up and charges the tomb blades but strikes at initiative 1 so is killed before he can strike. His vendetta comes on and gets shot down by my overlord using the quad gun. My turn 3 the lord goes on a killing spree and charges the hell hound which explodes and kills 3 nearby guys. One of the deathmarks squads charge and take out his manticore and the rest of the army cleans up. His turn 3 Yarik gets back up but fails a charge. My turn 4 I kills the handful of remaining guardsmen and Yarik for the 3rd time with his own quad gun.  I win this game 25-0 as I failed to get my secret objective of killing Yarik in a challenge despite actually killing him 3 times over the course of 4 turns. My losses included a ghost ark, 3 deathmarks and 5 immortals.

Overall there were me and Nathan who were both on 5 wins but he managed to pip me to first place by 4 VPs but since he was also sanctuary our average score meant that we also picked up the shield for 40k between us. I think the final score for 40k overall was Nathan on 140 VPs, me on 136 and 3rd place went to Adam Sinclair who finished on 93 points with only 1 loss against my Necrons.  Tim and Chris picked up first and second in the X-win also gaining Sanctuary the shield and Steve took first place in the blood bowl. As for the whole thing we lost out due to 0.8 points difference with the overall victory going to the dragon slayers.






Thursday, 14 May 2015

Why you should beat your kids

Obviously I'm talking about beating your kids at 40k, not just actually beating them with a stick. Of course, some kids actually deserve being beaten with a stick but that is a whole different topic. I'm talking about teaching your children how to play 40k how it was intended to be played. Utterly crushing an opponent and achieving the maximum amount of victory points you are able to gain during the game.

Firstly I'd like to cover why you should teach your kids to play 40k in the first place, or indeed any
time of competitive game. I remember a few years ago being accosted by one of "those" types of parents while picking my sons up from school who accused me of bad parenting because I allow my children to play violent games at home and she would never allow her son (probably called Sebastian or Tarquin) to behave in such uncivilised activities. Instead of punching her in the face like I wanted to do I went on to explain, at length, why I allow my kids to play these types of games. While I agree these games are based in a setting where war, violence, burning of heretics and the occasional attempted genocide are common place its also a learning tool for children that can give them lessons they will need in later life. It teaches them maths when working out a list. Planning out actions and having to think 2-3 turns ahead for where they need to be turn 5 to grab objectives. It teaches them how to analyse a situation and how to figure out a way to use it to your advantage and above all it also teaches you that if you have to take risks you should minimize the impact of that risk. I've never been one of these "we are all winners" believers and if anything I think its complete crap that its acceptable to teach these things to kids at such a young age. My son once brought home a medal for sports day and when I asked him what it was for he simply said "it was sports day, we all got one" he then threw it in a corner and forgot about it completely. If everyone gets one it loses its value so is a pointless reward. Recognition should be earned and when it is they have something to feel proud about.

Back to 40k....my son and I had a 1500 point game about a month ago. He picked out his own force from his available Tau and I picked a sensible Necron army to play against him. We set up the terrain evenly, picked a mission and he deployed first. His fire warriors he deployed nice and neat in a perfect line between two buildings, his broadsides were at the front in the open where they could see and target any unit in my deployment zone and his kroot were on his back board edge vigorously defending an objective. 20 minutes later I had completely decimated his lines, smashed my way to victory and crushed any hopes he had of winning the game. I could have told him how vulnerable his fire warriors were out in the open. I could have also told him that the broadsides had longer range than I did so they would be safer at the back of field. I could have told him lots of things but I didn't. I showed him during that game what would happen if he decided to go with option A instead of option B. I showed him the decisions he has on the battlefield have consequences and by making a mistake during deployment someone who has played a lot of the game will take advantage of his mistakes and it will cost him models, objectives and even the game. This is why 40k can be used to further educate children in life lessons. By decimating his broadsides I showed him that putting them at the front where I could reach them with my guns I would kill them all and the consequence of losing that unit was that he no longer had any good fire support. By killing his fire warriors out in the open I showed him how to use contingency plans for his own stuff should the first plan fail and that by putting them in cover they are more likely to survive. By building his own list and using it he found out himself what are good choices and which are not. I could have told him all of these things before he started but he wouldn't have learned as much or forced himself to draw his own conclusions on how the game should be played. I could have also gone easy on him and given him a chance but then would he have really learned anything? He would have either a) left the table thinking he is a great player b) knew that I gave him a chance and feel cheated out of his victory or c) he would think his actions during the game and the list he had come up with were great. Neither of these are a good option so I chose instead to turn it into a teaching game where I would show him what to expect should he ever want to play with his friends. We could have "all been winners" but as I said earlier that gives them false expectations. Does this make me a bad father? To be fair, I did once tell my children that Santa wasn't coming this year because he had been arrested for benefit fraud (another life lesson learned!) but no it doesn't make me a bad parent.

Did he enjoy the game? Of course he did, there were the tense moments when he would make his saving throws and I would taunt him before he rolled the dice. There was the usual dismay when shooting at something and rolling 7 1's to hit etc. The first thing he did after the game was ask me what he did wrong and what should he do next time. We then went back over some of the pivotal points and asked him himself what he should have done differently. He probably enjoyed the breakdown of play afterwards and talking tactics than he did actually rolling dice during the game. A couple of weeks after that we had another game and you know what happened? Well I still smashed him, he is 12 after all. But the point is he made fewer mistakes, he changed his list and dropped some of the units that didn't do so well in the first game and tried some other things. He thought about his turns more and muttered to himself things like "If I move there and don't kill that unit they will charge me". He enjoyed the game much more because he was teaching himself the tactics rather than doing what I told him to do. This time around I gave him a few warnings that may not be the best idea but didn't tell him way. He then had to decide to either do it anyway and find out the hard way or think his way through what would be the consequences of that particular decision. As a result of these types of games he will be thinking of the next game and what he should try differently in order to win. When he does finally win the game he will have achieved victory by himself through his own actions and tactics. His hard work will have paid off and it will be well deserved rather than a hollow victory that was handed to him.


By teaching our children to play the game like this we are bringing in the next generation of players to the hobby. What kind of players will they be? Will they be the type that looks at a newly released codex and comes up with their own way of defeating it through their own logic and reasoning? Or will they be the ones jumping on the new release bitching about over powered units, codex imbalances and generally complaining about how D weapons have ruined the game and they should be banned? Will we teach our children that they only way to success is to create a an equally balanced playing field where everyone wins and its ok to lose as long as you enjoyed yourself or will we tell them to suck it up, stop crying like a bitch and deal with it?

Friday, 17 April 2015

Appropriate List Building?

I always find it hard to come up with an appropriate list for certain events and pick up games and as a result I tend to fall into the trap of just taking either one extreme or another. In particular I've found myself turning up to a tournament with a woefully inadequate build when I'm looking across the tables or I find myself in the opposite situation where I'm apologising to my opponent before the game even begins.

This became evident most recently when I went to a venue to participate in their escalation league match. Over the past few weeks we all started off with a 500 point game, went up to 1,000 points and then onto the 1,500 point limit. All of these are scripted scenarios with special missions and for my 1500 point game I was playing someone I have never met before so had no idea what I would be going up against. From asking around I found out two things about my opponent before our match, firstly they played Eldar and the second thing was that they had tabled both of their previous opponents and were in second or third place in the league. Armed with this information I went off to build my list mainly centred around what I knew of Eldar players. Figuring there would be multiple wraith knights and wave serpents I filled my Necron force with things I knew worked well against this type of thing and arranged my game with this mysterious player.

After meeting up with him and going through our lists I came to realise I had made quite a big
mistake going into this game. During the set up he rolled on something called "Eldar Psychic Powers" which I didn't know existed and though it was something from legends of old before summoning demons became the go-to Eldar tactics. I asked him what was in the wave serpent and then sat there while he explained it wasn't a wave serpent it was something called a fire prism. He also then went on to explain how the wraith knight actually has a number of weapon options and he had chosen something that was only a strength 6 gun. I watched as he set up all his guardians which were on foot and elected to deep strike some swooping hawks and outflank some striking scorpions. Since I was going first I realized the only thing that could do any sort of ranged damage to my armour 13 wall of death was the Fire Prism which I quickly dispatched turn 1. What followed were 6 turns of him removing models and me trying to keep it a "fun" game as much as possible for something that was very obviously one sided. He even had his kids rolling saving throws for him....

Suffice to say it was a terrible game for my opponent and although we laughed and joked all the way through the final score of 34-5 didn't surprise either of us. Talking to some of my regular gaming people (this would usually be replaced by the word friend but not sure if that is accurate) about the game in general it was mentioned just how nasty some of our lists had become in our local meta and mostly without us realising it. It just sort of happens and creeps up on you unexpectedly and you only really notice it when you play someone outside of that scene. In tournaments its not quite as bad as you tend to expect a few hardcore lists but this was set up more as a narrative campaign and probably wasn't the right arena for this type of game.

Our local meta has turned into something which breeds better players and over the last 12 months you can certainly see the effect it has had on certain players within our local gaming community. One person comes up with a list and trashes every opponent for a couple of weeks until someone comes up with a list to beat it, rinse and repeat. For me this does keep things interesting as you never know what type of things some of the devious bastards will come up with next, myself included as it promotes a healthy competitive environment even during friendly games. While we may not necessarily be using the most hotly debated net list out there we do come up with some pretty horrific combinations between us. Since most of us are aware of this we tend to expect hard games even for the regular mess around matches but taking this outside of our little gaming group I wonder what effect it has on people who don't really play on that type of level.

Tomorrow I'm off to a single day tournament in Doncaster and its somewhere I've never gamed before. From what I understand they have a small community of 40K players which is growing and this will be the venues first real 40k tournament using 7th edition rules. So far I've managed to come up with 6 different lists and have no idea which one I will be using. The first two I've dismissed as being completely broken and should be banned for any reasonable game. Two more had been discarded due to them simply being boring, the type of list you would use for an introduction game to show how the army works in general. I'm still undecided on how far I want to go with my list for this event as I have no clue at all what the local scene will be like. I'm torn between the fact that its a tournament and I want to try and win stuff and being labelled as "that guy" or just turning up with a friendly type of list and getting my ass handed to me by every opponent.

Either way it should turn out to be fun and interesting....