This Week in the ITC: Interview with Colin McDade!

Warhammer 40k followers, lovers, lurkers, and fiends! SaltyJohn from TFG Radio is here to talk about this week in the ITC.

From time to time I like to interview players from the top of the ITC during a season. Recently I talked to Sean Nayden and this time around I thought it might be time to finally give Colin McDade a shot at answering some questions. Colin routinely performs well at 40k in the ITC and this season is no exception. In fact, I was surprised to realize I hadn’t actually interviewed him for this article series in the 4 years I have been writing it! Before we jump into the article here is a look at the current top 10.

Not too much has changed, it’s becoming a familiar bunch up there in the top 10. We might have reached calcification finally! It will be interesting to see if any of the remaining Super Majors from FLG, GW, and others can shake some of these boys loose and supplant them with someone new. Now, onto the interview with Colin!

  • Are there any social media sites, or other sites you’re associated with, that you would like me to link in the article?
    • Yes, my current sponsors who are fantastic and help me with my 40k addiction: https://nightsatthegametable.com/; https://www.facebook.com/MerlinsGrimDarkPainting/; https://www.atomichobbyshop.com/; https://www.facebook.com/Hostile-Galaxy-448081389286186/. I also run the Clutch City GT, https://clutch-city-gt.webnode.com/. There will be an upcoming announcement for the 2022 event!
  • What got you into the hobby originally?
    • My friend, Henry, took me to a Games Workshop when I was a freshman in High School. After walking in and seeing the old Metal Thousand Sons models, I knew it was game over for my wallet. I mostly just played for fun and to hang out with my friends while I was still in school. It took me several years before I even attended a tournament.
  • What is your favorite part about playing 40k competitively? example: do you enjoy list theory, math hammer, the competition, the camaraderie, your team, etc
    • I really enjoy getting to travel and meet new people. You never know who you will meet and how much of a profound impact it can potentially have in your life. I’ve ended up building a huge network of 40k friends that I enjoy getting to see and hang out with at future events. I actually have my current job through someone I met playing 40k!
  • How did the pandemic affect your career playing Competitive 40k? Did you do anything during the various periods of closure that you found particularly helpful in preparing to play 40k competitively this season?
    • It definitely got curb-stomped into the ground like for most people. I was all geared up to go to Adepticon and Nova for the first time and a bunch of other new events (to me anyway). I wanted to still make the most of my time last year since I was out of state for about 6 months of the pandemic last year. I still was able to get to a couple of events and watching Batreps and theory hammering in my head helped a good bit.
  • What do you attribute your success so far this season to the most?
    • Having a LOT of practice from last year (like 70ish games) with my Harlequins definitely helped me early this year. Once Drukhari came out, I knew I had to switch it up if I wanted to stay competitive with how good they were (and still are). With Harlequins, I could tactically outplay my opponents but it didn’t matter when my opponent had double the number of units that my army had, and it’s an objective-based game.( I’ll probably revisit them once they get a 9th Edition codex and they get to be on the same playing field again.) So after that point (May 2021), It was going through different iterations of allies with my Quinns, then a very brief stint with Sisters, and then Admech. I told myself I wouldn’t miss the boat with Admech as I did with Drukhari haha.
  • How do you prepare for events, big and small? Do you have a routine or regimen?
    • These are the two main things that I do. One is to converse with my friends and discuss what all is currently relevant/viable and make sure I am prepared for those matchups. The second is the practice in RTTs. I really don’t consider an RTT a tournament for me at this point. I use them for the opportunity to test my list and get in three good, full games. It’s more efficient for me than to spend a whole evening after work to meet up to play one game in the evening when I could be scoring brownie points with the wife instead to then use to go to big tournaments. Another is I like the old sayings, “How you practice is how you play” and “Practice makes better” (note I didn’t say perfect, If you could get perfect at this game you could roll all the 6s you needed to haha). I am not a big fan of the whole “You do first turn and I do first turn reracks. To me, you miss out on a lot of important things like late-game decision-making and how to recover from a bad deployment.
  • What are your impressions, and opinion, so far of the new Frontline Gaming events and the Games Workshop events that debuted this year?
    • I think it’s good that Games Workshop is getting back into the community, they need to in order for this game to continue and grow at a healthy pace. I think the GW formats are great, but I am hesitant about it as I do not want their terrain set up to become the dominant setup. I know a lot of TO’s are scrambling to mimic their setup but variety is the spice of life in my opinion. I’ve enjoyed the FLG events I’ve been to so far. You know what you’re getting with an FLG event and I like that there are no last-minute surprises like some events have. Though if I had one criticism to make, it’s that there are TOO many 3 day events. It’s really hard to keep up with them all when all the big events require 3 days and a day off work for most people. I was pretty bummed when SoCal randomly became a three-day event since I had already booked my flight, oh well.
  • What events are you still planning to attend this season?
    • *DEEP BREATH* Iron Halo GT Warzone Houston GW Open New Orleans The Michigan GT SoCal Open GW Open Austin Possibly Warzone Atlanta and finally, LVO 2022
  • You’ve played an array of armies this season. Mechanicus, Harlequins, Sororitas, Aeldari, which is your favorite? Why?
    • Definitely my Harlequins, they are such a cool faction, and their rules are amazing. The models are also gorgeous and really got me to start challenging myself as a painter. I love how tactically I get to play with them and that I can’t make any mistakes or I’ll lose by my own hand instead of my opponents. They have so many tricks for a lot of situations that most players aren’t aware of so it has surprised people by what all they can do, just like Cegorach intended.
  • You’ve played an array of armies this season. Mechanicus, Harlequins, Sororitas, Aeldari, which do you think is the best? Why?
    • Of these factions that I’ve played, I think the Mechanicus are the best. They’re really point efficient, have great rules (with 3 different sources to boot), and a plethora of viable units that also look cool. We’ve already seen three different dominant styles of lists with admech which really goes to show how versatile and powerful the codex is. They’ve gotten better and can now beat one of their counters that is listed here. (Aeldari)
  • Which event so far this season are you most proud of your record at? Why?
    • Just based on the record, it would have to be my Lone Star Open 2nd place as it has been the biggest score for my ITC ranking this year so far. Though Motor City Mayhem where I got third is a close second for me as that event was just purely amazing. I’m also extremely proud of running my first major this year, The Clutch City GT in Houston, Texas!

A huge thanks to Colin for agreeing to answer these questions and really giving us some great responses. There’s a lot to unpack in there and it’s great to hear someone at the top of their game really give us some insightful thoughts to mull over. I am excited to say I will get to see Colin playing at the GW New Orleans and Austin events while I judge, and perhaps I will get the chance to face off against him a the So Cal Open. Hopefully, he leaves the AdMech at home for that one!

If you’re looking for another Grand Tournament to help round out your season and you live in the Southern California area come on out November 13-14th to the Old Town Showdown! Fellow LVO Judges, TFG Radio staff, and FLG writers Adam Solis, Daniel Ruiz, and myself help organize and put these on. The Old Town Showdown follows hot on the heels of the most successful GTs in Los Angeles: the Battle for LA GT and the Hammer of Wrath GT. Both of which are also put on by us and Gameology Pasadena. Check out the short promo video below.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About SaltyJohn

John has been playing Warhammer 40k since the 3rd edition box set with Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and weird green palm trees were in the set. He is currently a 40k Head Judge for the Las Vegas Open, the largest 40k tournament in the world. An avid board gamer, a huge fan of video games, and a guest spot on Geek and Sundry as a "Historian" during an episode of "Game the Game" round out his geek credentials. You can catch "Salty" John on TFG Radio's Twitch Show, and Podcast, as well as find him streaming video games on Twitch on the TFG Radio Twitch page from time to time.

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