Who the heck is this dude?
Well, if you look back a year ago, I was a contributor this blog, and after several articles, I disappeared. So where have I been? Working on my army, participating in tournaments, and basically gaining more experience. After refining and testing my theories, I've decided to make a return and bring what I've learned, agreeable or not, to the table :)
So, to kick things off, I want to talk about my recent, a relative term here, experience at the Conflict GT. I know it's a couple months late, but, better late than never they say.
The Conflict was honestly my first GT and it was a great experience. The organizer, Aaron Fishkow, did a great job.
Being my first GT, I decided to roll in with a balanced all-comers type list and decided to forgo the standard grav-tank spam that so many espouse. As I stated in my previous articles, I really think that this is normally just a gimmicky way to try and win, and it will fall flat against anyone who knows how to really play the game or brings in a better cheese list. To sum things up, I did ok. I finished pretty much middle of the pack, and walked away with all the better for it.
What's important though is what I saw, and to sum that up: marines, marines, marines. I doubt I'm making any revelations here, as we all know what armies tend to be the most popular, but I have to admit, I was a little surprised at just the shear number of marines there, including chaos space marines. After the tournament, I stepped back and approached army building with a slight change: understand the common opponent. This still doesn't change my mind about spam lists, and no, I'm not going to start equipping starcannons, but I will swap out a unit here or there, or change a build slightly to give me a better edge against the common opponent. For example, I love my Striking Scorpions. They're a good assault unit that can hold their own across the board. Effective against other Xenos, your common Space Marine, and even against some other specialists like Khorne Berzerkers, especially with farseer support. Howling Banshees on the other hand make marines shake their knees. Even against terminators, these buxom beauties can tear them apart with average results (TH/SS termies are a different story though). Suffice it to say, I now have a box of Banshees and will begin painting them soon. I won't say banshees are better than scorpions, mostly because I don't want this to turn into a discourse, but based on what I'm seeing, it's practical to take them over scorpions. I'll talk more about my thoughts on Banshees vs Scorpions in a future post.
All in all though, I was happy to see that in the tournament, a lot of players were bringing in good, balanced lists, as opposed to internet lists that just spam the overpowered unit(s) in the codex. Being cost efficient was a big deal too. With the exception of some armies that build themselves around having a "god squad," most units were bare minimum, or just enough upgrades to let them deal with threats with some effect. I don't see myself making any broad, sweeping changes to make tactics as well. In closing, balanced lists that demonstrate good synergy and the ability to deal effectively with your common enemy as well as other threats will do just fine.
Experience is the great equalizer, so get out there and play as many games as possible.