What’s up fellow nerds? Mr.MoreTanks back, sorry I’ve been MIA, life has been crazy between graduating college, moving, and a brief but brutal stay in the hospital that I’ve only recently gotten back onto the 40k horse. Here’s n accounting of my BAO experience! Be sure to check out the Tactics Corner for more great tournament reports.
So with BAO 2015 a wrap, I ended with the same record as I did last year; 3 – 1 – 1. This time though, I ended up around 20th as opposed to 10th place. Now I wasn’t bitter, I did snag best Imperial Guard player, along with a bitchin’ Sentinel. My list was fun but lacked the excitement that I had about my army last year. I felt like I had a lot of useful tools for the meta out there, but knew that I was at a significant disadvantage compared to a lot of 7th ed books. Here’s my list;
IG – CAD
Yarrick – Warlord
2 x Psykers
PCS w/ 4 flamers
40 man lascannon blob
40 man lascannon blob
Vets w/ 3 meltaguns
Cult Mech – Allies
2x Destroyers w/ grav cannons and blasters
BA – Flesh Tearers Strike Force
Tact Marines in a pod w/ melta-combi and meltaguns
4x Drop Pods
Nothing crazy, but with 5 drop pods that have meltaguns and gravcannons spilling out and gunning stuff apart, and 2 lascannon blobs that more often than not have ignore cover, I felt like I could finish in the top 10% at BAO. Even though I didn’t finish as high as I wanted, I had a blast playing against all of my opponents.
As I looked over the top lists as the rounds progressed further, I saw that the top codexes had by and large very similar aspects. They had formations. For those of us who lack books with formations and dataslates, yet still are committed to our codexes, how do can we players lacking the magical support of these mysterious formations and dataslates keep up on the competitive scene? Short answer, I don’t think too many codexes can, it’s more a few players that can pull it off, but I still can think of a couple tricks up my sleeve to keep me competitive with the other mediocre players with delusions of grandeur.
- CADs – Formations and dataslates add huge killing power to already some of the best codexes out there. With the importance of securing objectives in the ITC format and games in general, you need to have whatever few models you have left holding those objectives. Though the Battle Company has made the CAD’s specialty a lot less significant, the CAD still has some good stuff going for it compared to many formations and dataslates.
- Allies – Virtually no army can handle everything that the game can throw at it at this point. You can build all comer lists to a degree, but it’s getting harder and harder. Allies really help to mitigate this issue. If your army lacks bodies, use your allies to add some numbers to your deployment zone. Or adding some fast mobile units really help stagnant armies, etc, etc.
- Play to your strengths – The ITC gives you two missions to play that thankfully are equally valued. They are drastically different, Eternal War missions and Malestorm missions call upon different strengths for armies. While it is possible to win both, many armies really struggle to do so. As a Guard player, I know that the Malestorms for me are all but unwinnable, especially if I don’t bring something like SM bikes as allies. So then I simply play to my strengths, attrition, and Eternal War missions are great for attrition. Giant blocks of Ob Sec troops can grind out dozens of enemies. I grab those objectives at the end of the game and refuse to let them go.
- Forgeworld – Man, I love Forgeworld. It’s gotten so much better and balanced over the years. It really helps to strengthen the weaknesses in my army. Now, Imperial and Chaos players definitely reap the benefits of FW, though a few units creep into a lot of the other races as well. Malenthropes, IA13, and more. If I’m not careful with this part, it could quickly turn into a list of how awesome FW makes it to be a Guard player, so I’ll end the rambling here. FW often can be the tools to shore up the weaknesses in your army to help you keep up with the insanity of 7th ed.
- Use the board – Controlling the board and using the terrain to your advantage can be the difference between winning and losing a game for many armies. Though tournaments work hard, usually, to create balanced symmetrical tables, often there are some deployment zones that are far more appealing than others. I promise if you watch the top players on the top tables of the big events across the country, 90% of the time, the player who wins will be the player who has controlled the middle of the table throughout the game. Choosing where the battle takes place and who gets to use the big blocky piece of terrain can be invaluable. Great chess champions know that the center of the board is a crucial part of victory.
- Place your objectives with a plan – The ITC sets guidelines for where you need to place your objectives, but for the smart player, this can quickly become a useful tool, as opposed to a burden. Know the limits of your movement, especially late game. Know the range of your opponent’s guns, and which units are a threat to what you will be using to go get your strategically places special circles at the end of the game.
- Knowledge is power – With countless new formations coming out, dataslates as far as the eye can see, and new codexes with weapons unlike anything else out there, not only do you need to know your codexes so you can always know which tools you have at your disposal to crush your enemies; but you need to know what all of other units in the game do so you can smash them to bits. If you can never be surprised, it can give you a huge leg up against opponents hoping to “gotcha!” Don’t be dumb, know your enemy so you can pick the battles that you will win.
Not a fool proof list by any means, but if you don’t want to give up what you love, hopefully there are a couple of ideas or points here that may be able to help you out. I think that the Imperial Guard, Dark Eldar, and Orks (Pajama Pants is an anomaly), are by and large spoiler codexes, resigned to messing up stronger lists and codexes on the way up. I’m not saying that great players can’t win these codexes, or other books, but these and other 6th ed books, or books lacking formations and dataslates, aren’t out of the game yet. At the end of the day, more than anything else, the general is the one who makes an army succeed. Even if you’re using all of the nasty and awesome new toys, codexes, and more, these tips are worth keeping in mind to. May the dice be ever in your favor fellow gamers.