Monday, July 27, 2009

Playing Nice - The Way to Win (In Life)?

Above is a Tau Battlesuit that I put together for gits and shiggles. I'm probably going to end up giving it to my girlfriend, seeing as she likes the Tau, wants to learn 40k but has no income that can be used on the hobby.

Anyways, onto the topic - playing nice. I'm not talking about good sportsmanship (although that's another topic to talk about at some point), I'm instead bringing up the idea of 'casual' play, the kind of play where you just sit down, have a drink with your buddies and laugh as you decide to conga-line 20 some Ork Boyz across 3 objective markers.

I've felt recently that (with the exception of Chaos Dan), many of my friends just haven't been able to offer me an interesting game (in 1v1 situations) and it was only last night that I've realized why.

Anyone who has read my blog a bit knows that I don't get to play much at all. In order to make up for this, I like to read lots of battle-reports, tactical thoughts and theory. However, while I do this in my spare time out in the far off plains of Minnesota (I go to school out there), my friends are doing other things. So while I'm spending my time keeping up with the meta-game of 40k and the latest army builds/counters, they're off playing Halo or something. Compared to them (and in complete contrast to my own opinion), I'm a hardcore player and tend to bring some pretty tough lists to the table.

JWolf from BoLS had an editorial a little while back that brought up the question "What's the most important thing to you?" and my initial response was "To have fun with my friends" yet I've completely forgotten that. I had become one of thoes "Win at all costs" guys who spends way too much time maximizing his odds when his opponent's are playing an army made of 2 battleforces. Instead, I got caught up in the competitiveness of the game, crunching numbers, banging out lists to maximize effectiveness and it wasn't until yesterday that I realized that neither my friends nor I were having fun when I would repeatedly insert my foot into their posterior.

So effective immediately, I'm changing the way I play with my friends. Unless they ask me to go balls out or if it's a tournament, I'm gonna play around with weaker/stranger lists see if they work (or even better - if I can make them work).

Couple of Concepts that I have:
  • Space Marine 10th Company (Scouts and etc)
  • Craftworld Iyanden (Yriel, Wraithguard units, Wraithlords etc)
  • The Pinning Army (Rangers, Dark Reapers, lots of Eldar Missile Launchers)
  • Swooping Hawk Pogo (Autarch/Baharroth or Autarch/Autarch, Swooping Hawks x3)
  • Master of the Forge/6 Dreadnoughts
As always, C&C welcome!



  1. Nice little post! I have to say I laughed at "when I would repeatedly insert my foot into their posterior."

    I know what you mean about having an army thats appropriate to the type of gaming environment you are playing in. Many of my games of WFB at my local club are against guys who regularly play at tournaments and run a very competitive ladder league - I know that I need to make a competitive list, or I may as well not bother turning up. But, for most of the other games I play (40k, Bloodbowl and flames of war recently) there seems to be a much more relaxed attitude. I can play my goblin bloodbowl team without fear of them being reduced to 5 members after one match :)

  2. I'd caution you to be very watchful when doing this.

    I embarked on exactly this a few months ago, and built a Daemonhunters army, without using a single Grey Knight. all IST's. the one army most people will openly admit is totally out of date and useless.

    I loaded the list for bear and tabled a marine and tau army. I still optimised it, and still had the same result, even after using the random Daemonhosts.

    and looking at your suggestion list, each thing there has the potential to absoulutely dominate too :)

  3. There is indeed something to be said for coming loaded for the environment.

    If your buddies aren't doing the bloodthirsty stab-you-in-the-eye-with-a-rusty-blade type of thing (in their lists, not in their demeanor during games) then think of it as a chance to try out whacky stuff.

    The one caveat I'd offer is to make sure that you always keep in mind the difference. Play that way too much, and you might lose the so-called competitive edge/mindset you've got going.

    Also, on the alternate lists? I think some of those fall under 'actually nasty.' Well, mostly the scout-heavy SM list and the 6-dread list. I've done a stint of heavy Wraithguard/Wraithlording, and while they're touhg as nails they have CRAP for damage output. I think I'd suggest Enhance for the Guard, and sticking to cover. Fortune makes it fun, and there's nothing like watching the enemy realize they have to pile in around Yriel's single-shot pie plate of DEATH.