Tournament Play

I’ve always enjoyed the tournament scene for 40k as I see this as a way to play a bunch of different people and to try and improve myself in a competitive environment. […]

I’ve always enjoyed the tournament scene for 40k as I see this as a way to play a bunch of different people and to try and improve myself in a competitive environment. As some of you will already know I’m a Necron player but before all the boos and hissing starts I would like to mention I’ve been playing them almost exclusively for almost 2 years now and with the massive shift that is evident in the new codex it was no longer just me turning up and trying to survive through a game. I could actually hurt stuff and win games!  I like to think of myself (others may disagree!) as a fairly decent player when it comes to 40k and I love the tactical side of the game which, for me, starts with the list building, synergy throughout the army and the overall theme of the army before it even gets to the battlefield. I think I’ve used pretty much every single unit within the Necron codex at one time or another to find which better suits my play style and gives me what I want out of my army while still making it an enjoyable game. That being said, there is a fundamental difference between creating a list for a tournament game and something you take to a friendly club night of gaming…..

So there I was, 50+ games of varying success under my belt with the new codex, a smattering of tournaments thrown in and the prospect of turning up to the Caledonian Uprising.  I dutifully go over to the warhammer forum to check the first round draw and found 4 pages of Necron hate mongering. The reason for this is fairly obvious as the submitted lists have all been published and 17 out of the 90+ lists are Necron which is further compounded by 16 of these containing wraiths.  Someone went through and outlined the total usage of these and came up with a total of 52 Scythese, 45 barges and 217 wraiths. The outcry is quite staggering but is anyone really surprised? The Caledonian Uprising is one of the most competitive UK tournaments outside of the ETC as well as being a recruitment ground for some of the ETC teams. With that in mind, shouldn’t people be bringing the “best” their codex has to offer in an attempt to do well? Isn’t that the point of a tournament?

With 6th edition still being in its infancy and the meta still being defined I must admit, I’m a little surprised by some of the lists. It wasn’t too long ago people were crying out that vehicles and assaults are both dead and mass dakka is king.  For me this still seems apparent and emphasizes one of the things I love about 40k. The meta is very much a fluid entity that is constantly changing and those that can adapt will do well while those who remain static will eventually stagnate and fall by the way side.  In simple terms we as players must adapt and change with the game. Consider the following, you bring an army to a game and find out your opponent has brought a highly mechanized list. The next time you play you will consider this and bring more anti-tank weaponry. Suppose the next time you play the same opponent they have changed their list and brought all infantry meaning that your anti-tank is wasted. Eventually people will start to realize that the extreme builds don’t really stand up to 6th edition scrutiny and will fall back on the good, old fashioned all comers lists that we all enjoy.

Back to the tournament……Is it fair to expect other people to bring varied lists when some things are obviously better than others within that codex? Should people also be expected to change their own play style because it is seen as a competitive list? While its true that some people who attend tournaments will simply bring a so called “net list” you can’t band everyone together and tar them all with the same brush. The games that I have played have all been about finding what works in which situation and then applying those findings to a tournament setting to see how I fare against others who have done the same. Tournaments are by default very competitive with each player trying to get the best ranking they can with their chosen army and to moan about people bringing a list that is designed to do just that….

Certainly for me, I will be turning up to the tournament with an open mind and willing to take on any and all opponents with the same attitude I always bring to a game. I will not be criticizing other peoples list if theirs is simply more competitive than mine, nor will I be moaning about the list I have to face.  In a competitive environment I will be expecting to play against competitive armies used by competitive people.

I may not do well but I will enjoy myself.

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