Guest author Justin Del Valle is back with a followup to his first Deffkopta list article. This time he talks about how to efficiently play a large model count army.
The Necrons had the first turn. They were being very aggressive and moved deep into no-man’s land, intent on securing the Relic. Three Ghost Arks skimmed towards the center of the board disgorging their warriors. The vast Ork Horde was waiting to charge in and wreak havoc on the robots. It was round two of a local ITC tournament, and I was keen to work on my Deffkopta list that I wrote about last time. I knew that I was on the verge of something great. I had narrowly lost the first round versus a Demon summoning list in the Kill Point mission, so I was feeling confident that I could steal a victory from the Necrons, since Kill Points was the worst scenario for my unit heavy list. The Great-Waaagh! Band let’s you Waaagh! every turn so when I saw the Necrons so close I knew that I could charge them my first turn and cause some serious damage.
Little did I know that the Necrons were not my true enemy that round.
The rounds were two and a half hours long, which is pretty standard for an 1850 point game. After we deployed, rolled Warlord traits, psychic powers, agreed on terrain, shot the breeze, and the Necrons took their first turn we had two hours left to finish the game. His Ghost Arks were in range of a far charge from most of my Trukk squads and like a starving mouse, I took the bait. I unloaded four of my seven Trukks, placing 48 Boyz on the table. I moved my other units to be able to assist where needed in the following turn. I shot my Kannons with minimal effect. I then ran my Boyz forward, getting decent rolls. I then began declaring charge moves: Charge here. Overwatch. Charge here. Overwatch. Charge here again. Charge here. Overwatch. Combat time. I rolled buckets of dice. Removed casualties. Finished combat. My turn is over. 1 HOUR LEFT.
My turn took just about an hour to complete. My first turn. Even with my Koptas and Warbuggies sitting in reserves, I took this long. I was not slow playing. I did not need to reference a rule book. I was shocked at how much time had passed. I felt bad for my opponent who was basically just sitting around and rolling a save here and there. I lost faith in my list and my ability to play it. I lost this one badly and we only made it to the bottom of turn two. My first game we ended on the bottom of turn 3, but he was using a ton of psychic powers and summoning a ton. I assumed that it was his fault, but now I see that it was probably mine. After I despaired and contemplated dropping the list, I realized that in order to truly do the list justice, I needed to up my play efficiency. I need to figure out how to speed up my play. Seeking advice from players much better than myself and blindly asking around on the Internet, I have found a few tricks to speed up my play. A lot of these seem like no-brainers, but these are things that can easily be overlooked during the course of a game. In no particular order:
Have what you need on hand. I have a bad habit of leaving my tape measure on the other side of the table. It doesn’t matter which side. I always have to go get it from where I last used it. The solution to this is to make it a habit that I put the tape measure in my pocket after use. The same thing happens with templates and blast markers. I need to always know where they are and have them on the correct part of the table.
Quit fiddling with blast markers. I see this from many other players as well. We place our blast over the unit, hold it there, roll dice and then try to maneuver the marker under the tape measure. Inefficient! Pick out the center, roll, measure from the center and then place the marker to see. Eliminate unnecessary dexterity checks! In the same vein, roll multiple blasts at once, use a different color for the first in a barrage, then measure from there.
Know your army. You need to know everything that your army can do. This will eliminate the need to reference the rules in the middle of the game. You may not know the enemy, but to speed yourself up you need to know your own army’s rules.
Plan ahead. Don’t wait for your turn to decide what to do. Have a plan in place and adjust according to what happens on the board. If you wait to plan your attack until your turn it will take you longer to finish.
Unpack for the game. I have a bad habit of packing away my models as they die to save time at the end of the game. If I play faster, then it won’t matter, the games will finish. With everything packed away, it takes me longer to get models onto the table (i.e. Trukk Boyz).
Have everything as organized as possible for easy access. Sometimes this is hard, especially at tournaments where space is limited. Organization of your models is key.
Reserve rolls at the same time. This is huge for the Deffkopta list. So many duplicate entries in the reserve spot means that instead of one unit at a time, you can roll them all together. You can do the same thing for outflanking rolls. Just roll all of the duplicate units together.
Roll saves together. Unless you are dealing with Look Out Sir, you can shave a lot of time by rolling saves all at once. The BRB has an entire fast dice entry on page 37 that correctly illustrates how this works.
Run during your movement phase. Ask your opponent if it is okay to run during your movement phase if you have models that you know won’t or can’t shoot. The same goes for moving flat out or turbo boosting.
Tournament play by necessity needs to be quick in order to grind out three or more games in a single day. These tips will allow us as players to speed up our games allowing for more interactivity and a greater game play experience. With what I have learned, I will continue to work on the Deffkopta list until I exhaust every avenue. Follow along on my blog. What tips and trick do you use to speed up play during a tournament?