A Scrub’s Journey to Greatness: How to Approach a Tournament Game

Hypothetically speaking, you walk up to the table, you have never played against the faction you are looking at across the table, in fact you have no idea what any of the list does, do you panic? Nope, got this, let’s break down how to look at a tournament game and assess the threats to you.

Hey guys and girls, BigVik here again, this week we’ll be glancing at some methodologies to approach a tournament game. We’ll be looking at the game once you approach the table, so no list construction today, that’s another article.

What the Theme of the list is

First thing to look at is the Theme of the list. Is it a a monster mash, is it a leaf blower, is it an objective grabber, is it a threat overload, etc. Does it try to out threat you, or is it an attrition list that’s trying to kill all of your scoring pieces and eek you out of scenario barring an arbitrary late round tabling?

Every list has a ‘plan.’ Your job is to get enough knowledge of the game that you can look at your opponent’s list and ‘know’ what their plan is. This will take lots of conversations with local players, and talking about what their lists do, what the list is afraid of, etc.

Risultati immagini per 40k art

Largest threats

Now you look at their pieces and see what their linchpins and scary pieces are for you, do they have a few dead units? Then ignore them, do they have a Shadow Sword? KILL IT! What’s the most threatening model in the opponent’s list?

1) What’s the most threatening model in the opponent’s list?

Cheat, if they have a knight, super heavy, or Primarch? Then the answer is always them, better hope you have mortal wounds in your list…

2) Is there a credible threat to your support models?

Sniper rifles, mortars, artillery, psychic powers that have “choose a target unit.” They all scare support characters…

3) Is there a really scary threat on the table?

30 boys with a wierd boy to give them ‘Da Jump’, 30 deep striking death company coming in turn 2, the model formerly known as the fire raptor (RIP, and good riddence)

Immagine correlata

Greatest assets

This is where you look at your list from your opponent’s perspective and say, “What screws with their plans the most?” It could be a Culexus Assassin, because who doesn’t hate those? This will be the Greatest Theats list in reverse

1) What’s the most threatening piece for your opponent?

I just gotta say, Shadow Swords are scary, got a superheavy? Lol, got this!

2) Can you kill their support models trivially?

Rinse and repeat from last time, you got lots of snipers, mortars, artillery, or psychics? Your opponent has to think about that.

3) Do you have a crazy threat on the table they have to respect all game?

You know what dark reapers kill? Everything, they’ve been nerfed, but the still kill EVERYTHING, they’re scary once they’re on the table.

Risultati immagini per 40k art guardsmen tyranid

Dead units

Do you have a few models that do nothing in the matchup? Congrats, you have Chaff! Use them to block assault lanes, contest objectives, and just generally be a nuisance, now your opponent still has to put shots into killing them in spite of the fact that they otherwise do nothing for the match up.

Primary path to victory

Is their Primarch really scary but prone to over extension? Cool you’ve got a plan.

It might even be: Put your big scary… JUST outside threat of their good guns with as much survival tech as possible and dare them to try, when they fail, you win the exchange, and get to beta strike them next turn.

Secondary path to victory

As the game goes on, you need to have a Plan B. Are you losing scenario? Are you losing model attrition? Have an escape plan, probably a massive play for scenario, but it can be good to force a counter play on scenario.

Risultati immagini per play diagram

Your ideal deployment

Are you going second? Awesome, counter their deployment by putting your assets against their liabilities, refuse a flank by making a bunch of your army deploy on one side, with a couple hard to remove units on the other side.

Are you going first? Threat that table as hard as you can!

Play the game

If you’ve looked at all of these steps, you know what you need, what you can throw away, and have a plan walking into the game. You know what your opponent wants to do, and you should know how to try to prevent them from doing it. Sounds like you’ve got this, now go play the game!

This is how I try to do it, of course when playing in a tournament you’ll be tired and not quite with it by round 5 or 6, but having this in mind and practicing it can help with improving your ability to identify what you need, what you don’t, and the best paths to victory.

That’s it for this week, tell me what kind of things you guys do to get the best success from your games, is there a methodology you try to implement?

Quote of the week– “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming”- John Wooden

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells gaming goodies at a discount, every day!

Frontline Gaming will buy your used models for cash or store credit!



About BigVik

A gaming magpie, BigVik currently maintains perpetual noob status, playing Menoth and Khador in Warmachine, and Imperial Guard in 40k. He works as a professional coach and process consultant in his professional life, and loves bringing this into his gaming and writing.
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4 years ago

Hey BigVik

Dont have a specific comment, just wanted to mention that I have enjoyed reading this series and look forward to more

4 years ago
Reply to  GhostValley

Yeah, quite a few people have written in saying they have really enjoyed this series. Keep it up, BigVik!

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