Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Your List Sucks or Casual versus Competitive

First...I mean my list sucks not yours.  Your list is just fine or, at least, better than mine.

I ran two lists over the weekend.  One list was a Kharn The Betrayer list and the other was an Abaddon The Despoiler.  I played Todd from SincaiN40K and his Duskwolves (SW/BA) army.  The Kharn list was crushed by Mephiston.  When I say by Mephiston, I mean just him.  It was a one man show of red hate and not the way I wanted it.

Todd suggested I make a list using Abaddon.  I did just that and played a friend and his GK army.  I made a Chosen spam list.  With the exception of Abaddon becoming a spawn, the list had a minor issue.  I fixed the minor issue and then went to start writing a post on the two lists.

I thought I would then post my Abaddon masterpiece on my gaming group's forum (Baltway Gamers).  Like tacticians from hell, they began to name the reasons why it was flawed.  It started with model count.  Went on to how would it handle hordes.  By the end of it their suggestions completely destroyed the list and brought it back to reality.

They didn't do this to be butt heads. They did this to help.  Being relatively new to competitive gaming, I haven't let go of the casual gaming tendencies.  They saw how bad it would do in a tournament and went to point out the issues and offer suggestions.  They gave me options to fix my Abaddon list and things to fix my Kharn list.

I think making the shift from casual to competitive is one of the hardest part of the hobby to me.  I see the cool minis and lust after them.  Then I wonder why the list failed and I look for the new shiny.  The reasons why I looked for a gaming club was to get more games in and get better by seeing armies.  The thing I didn't look at was list building.  There are all kinds of lists on the internet and I have stolen a few but the think I didn't realize was why they worked and why they didn't.

In a tournament, your probably not going to see Mephiston charging forward lobbing heads off every few feet.  Your also not going to see Abaddon doing it either.  They can work very well in the casual setting and will probably give people pause in a tournament but when those 20 Chosen are looking at a horde of Nids and Orks things will be a little different.

That Black Templar list I used worked great at Chuck's RTT but was basically useless at the Dream Wizards RTT (It went 1-1-1).  Ditto with the SM/IG list at NOVA (2-4).  I just didn't understand the subtle differences in why a list basically failed when it should have done great.

I have wasted enough space rambling.  What I hope to start doing is delving a little bit more in my list building learning process.  Maybe write an article a week on what I am think about in regards to each category.  I will use my new Chaos list I am building as the example.

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