Do you have a dream? Yes I do, Mr. king, yes I do.
While his dream was at least a little grander in scale, and certainly more eloquently put, mine is no less meaningful!! Well, no, that’s total crap, mine is infinitely less meaningful, lol, But a dream it is, none the less.
The idea: to build the true TAC (Take All Comers) list in competitive 40k. What that means varies from individual to individual, but for me it means a list that is balanced and has the tool to take on any other list with at least a 50/50 chance of victory. To me, it is the opposite of taking a list that wins or loses based on the list itself, it is a tool-set that allows a player to win based on their skill and luck. It allows creative tactics, layered combos and flexibility. The ultimate TAC list is my White Whale. I may never achieve it, but I will always seek it!
So what do you need to take all comers in this crazy landscape that is 40K at present? A lot! That is the major hurdle facing a TAC list in this edition: you run out of points before you’ve built your Swiss army knife of a TAC list. now please bear in mind, this list below is written assuming you use a combination of progressive and static win conditions (Maelstrom and Dawn of War style) and that you are not playing Unbound.
- You need mobility: This is huge, you really need to be able to reach out and grab objectives to increase your odds of earning those points as they arise. MSU helps a ton here, but it is a double edged sword as MSU armies give up Kill Points easier which are often also win conditions.
- You need a plan to deal with AA: Flyers and FMCs were always rock solid but are making a comeback in the meta. Be prepared to either combat them, avoid them, or in some way deal with them or be prepared to have a very bad day.
- You must be able to deal with armor: Armor is back in a big way in 7th ed, and you must have a plan for dealing with it. Knights especially, and Wave Serpents top this list but are not the only offenders. You must have a way to take these heavy hitting units out or suffer.
- You need to be able to bypass extreme defense: A lot of powerful lists in the game revolve around ultra-durability, whether it be very high cover saves, high toughness, 2+ saves, psychic buffs, or similar style game mechanics, you have to have a plan to deal with armies that utilize these types of defenses or find yourself unable to hurt your opponent.
- Assault is not dead! This is a perpetuated myth on the interwebs and a part of me can only question what type of terrain folks that make this claim are playing with. However, even with light terrain, there are a plethora of assault units in the game that can get across the table reliably and then smash your face. Assault still has the highest potential for damage output in the game as you get two assault phases for each shooting phase, and, typically more attacks when there. If you are unable to deal with a fast, heavy hitting assault unit you may find your best units simply getting gobbled up by them.
- The D Slap! There are a handful of ranged D units in common play now, the Lynx primary among them, and of course, the D Slappers we see in combat and the Stomp which functions in the same way: removes from play attacks. Love ’em or hate ’em, they are a part of the game at present and you must be prepared for them. A means to either mitigate these attacks if possible, or to quickly destroy the offensive D Slanger in question is critical to success in 7th ed.
Those are the basic dilemmas you should seek to solve with your list. There are a lot of ways to do this, almost limitless ways, actually, but think about them when writing your list. Look at what you have critically and ask yourself how you plan to deal with the above issues. Can you handle multiple Knights? Can you tackle Multiple Wave Serpents or Flyers? Do you have any way of stopping an assault Deathstar or Shootinstar? If your opponent rolls up a killer combo of psychic powers, can you deal with it? Can your list withstand a D blast from a super heavy? Can you grab objectives reliably and win a game by playing to the mission even if you find yourself outgunned?
If you can say, yes, my list can deal with these things or I at least have a plan for how to deal with them should I see them across the table from me, then you are well on your way to achieving the TAC dream!
What are all of you doing to solve these quandaries with your lists?