Keeping My Tournament Season Fresh

The Great Path

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis past year was a great tournament season for me. I, like many others, dabbled mostly in my local scene playing one day 3 round events and only traveled to other events rarely. Along the way I got the bug to travel more and began making friends with players on the tournament scene and on the internets so there was a lot of interest for me to travel, play, and hang out with other 40k geeks like me.

Travelling can be very expensive so I pooled resources with gamers around me and carpooled, shared hotel rooms, and hunted for the best deals to keep costs as low as I could and was able to hit the BAO, TSHFT, Ordo Open, and the LVO. I would have played in the Guardian Cup at Portland’s Grandest Gamestore – Guardian Games – but was a bit busy running the thing. (Shameless plug – we are shooting for 50 players and should have a great crew with spots already filling up. Portland, OR is a great town with tons to do. The food is fantastic and relatively inexpensive and the people are pretty nice too. We hope to see you there.)

So all in all I did better than I hoped at the LVO, securing best Grey Knights and came in second for ITC Grey Knights player. It was a wild ride and I want to do better!

Hobby ADD

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo with my first major tournament season over and the next one ramping up, I am pondering how to keep things fresh and enjoyable for myself. I want to do well, who doesn’t, but also don’t want to get stuck playing the same thing over and over again. I, like many others I’m sure, have a bit of hobby ADD when it comes to 40k. I love the game and seeing an army come together, but my interest can wane a lot if I play it too much, like I have with my Centurionstar list. I constantly get itches to start new armies or add on to existing ones. I have a Skaven themed Dark Eldar army I want to do ala Ten Inch Template, add on to my Necrons, or even change up the support units for my Centurionstar.

Sage Advice

sageadviceAt the LVO, Dr. Insanatron gave me some great advice. He told me to keep playing my hard list at tournaments, but all the other times play other armies to keep things fresh. This was a great idea and invigorated me to keep going. I’ve been playing a lot of Necrons in our weekly league and have been loving the Decurion Detachment and really want to expand that army. Necrons were one of my first more competitive armies so I’m curious what I can do with these guys. So far it has been a lot of fun and kept me from burning out my opponents and myself on the Centurionstar.

Set Personal Goals

The other thing that I’m trying is to set personal goals for myself. Each event I set a win loss record and will continue to do so. This year though, my big goals is best Grey Knights for the ITC! I’m coming for you Gordy! Since I can only play a few major events in the year, I know I need to maximize the events I play in with one army. Last year I played Space Marines and then Grey Knights and that could have cost me the ITC gold. I hope to give Gordy a run for his money this year so watch out.

For those that cry Warlord shenanigans, my final list has my Grey Knight librarian as the warlord with a total of 1280 points devoted to Grey Knights. I don’t feel bad running Grey Knights Primary at all.

To Tweak or not to Tweak

20140921_181900One desire I need to be careful about is list tweaking. I did a lot of this last year and came to what I feel is a very strong list. The desire though is to add something else or swap out other support units beside the Dreadknights. Should I add a Storm Raven instead of a Dreadknight? What about some other unknown FW goodness. My list is light on anti-flyer so should I try to get some more things in there? I may try some things out but don’t want to fix something that isn’t broke.

Moving Forward

40k is both a personal hobby and social experience. A lot of the hobby is spent modeling, painting, list building, and thinking about the game – all time spent alone. Then you get to go out and test it against other players in a crazy social experiment. I really like this about tabletop wargames as it forces me out of my shell and into creating relationships with other people instead of living in a virtual world all the time. The internet is a wonderful place and has really impacted 40k and the tabletop gaming world as a whole, but it is important to get out, play games, and meet other people. I have really enjoyed the social aspect of 40k and look forward to pushing myself and hanging out with new friends.

How do you keep your hobby fresh? Post your thoughts below.

About CaptainA

Aaron is a longtime gamer of many systems. He is an avid community builder of 40k and after running many 40k events in Portland, Oregon, has recently moved to Boise, Idaho and continues to host and run leagues and events. He has also recently expanded his repertoire and entered the second hand Warhammer business. Check out his website at to see how he can help you get rid off your old and unused models.

23 Responses to “Keeping My Tournament Season Fresh”

  1. Hotsauceman1 March 14, 2015 9:26 am #

    I can’t wait until I can get the money to go to tournaments a bit regular like you guys at frontline.
    mostly it’s rtt right now and bao. I’m wondering about nova.

    • CaptainA March 14, 2015 9:56 am #

      I’ve been finding other ways to make extra money to help support traveling.

      • Hotsauceman1 March 14, 2015 10:25 am #

        Any suggestions?

        • CaptainA March 14, 2015 10:30 am #

          For me, I’ve been doing storage lockers ala Storage Wars. But I bet you have stuff you can sell on eBay or craigslist. Even buying lots of stuff to resell. You can even check out thrift stores to find things to resell.

          • Hotsauceman1 March 14, 2015 11:41 am

            Good idea

    • Leth March 15, 2015 6:00 pm #

      One thing that has really helped me is finding out about all these little cons and tournaments that are within driving distance that I didn’t know about. Usually they are not in the middle of big cities and so hotel fair is cheap. I can go to a GT for under 150 bucks if I room with a friend.

  2. Noah March 14, 2015 9:40 am #

    I’m glad your list comprises mostly of Greg Knights. I was one of the voters in the polls requiring points costs to be able to claim a certain faction. I understand the impossibility of capturing all of the logistics so it was just a pipe dream. I wish you good luck in your future endeavors.

    • CaptainA March 14, 2015 9:55 am #


  3. Hotsauceman1 March 14, 2015 4:19 pm #

    One thing I was thinking….
    me it is also Taking breaks.
    But now when I do get back from college. I can’t get games.

  4. Ciaran March 15, 2015 8:36 am #

    The idea of switching between armies is whats working for me. When one gets stale, just dust off the other one, and so forth.

    Having one army that you only use for tournaments is a great idea, as long as you can still practice with it.

    • CaptainA March 15, 2015 1:02 pm #

      Fortunately I have some tough competitors in my area so I can get some practice when I need it.

  5. DarkLink March 15, 2015 12:19 pm #

    If Pajamapants hadn’t knocked me out with a hard counter to my list (6 FMCs)… but I’ve got a Fire Raptor on the way, just got to figure out a way to ally it in that I like. But I’m not gonna let my Best GK title go easily 😉

    I think between the two of us, we were the reason GKs had such a crazy high win rate.


    • CaptainA March 15, 2015 1:01 pm #

      Lol yeah! Lets get it on!

      With 40k.

  6. Wintertalon March 15, 2015 9:10 pm #

    Looking forward to coming down and playing at Portland in May. I paid for my ticket today. I been having a hard time with picking play styles with my Tyranids right now. Their is so many options that it I find it hard to get tiered of my army.

    So what is the Meta like in the Portland area?

    • CaptainA March 16, 2015 9:40 am #

      Pretty varied. Lots of Tyranids, some Ad Lance, Eldar, Orks. Pretty big mix of casual and more competitive players. GC should have a good share of out of town visitors though.

  7. fluger March 16, 2015 9:22 am #

    One of my goals for 2015 is to play a game with you. Maybe at OFCC?

    • CaptainA March 16, 2015 9:38 am #

      Gots to make it happen!

      • fluger March 17, 2015 11:18 am #

        Are you doing team event or solo?

        • CaptainA March 17, 2015 5:34 pm #

          Team event. Do I smell a round one challenge!?!

  8. Kartr March 16, 2015 12:03 pm #

    I can’t wait for August, visiting my family in Oregon and I’m bringing my army so I can play a game or two at Guardian Games while on vacation!

    • CaptainA March 17, 2015 5:34 pm #

      Its a great store!

  9. Darkwynn March 16, 2015 5:21 pm #

    Keep it up bud. Look forward to seeing you at more events. Though try don’t stay at the lower tables. I don’t need the heart burn 😀

    • CaptainA March 16, 2015 5:28 pm #

      I’m coming for you Nick!

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