Thursday, May 16, 2013

Road to NOVA: The Network

Last time, I discussed the basics of what a list should have.  Today, I am going to discuss another important thing about list building.  It's all in who you know.  If you are going solo in your list building, your doing it wrong.  I am going to touch on a few things and how they can help you.  All you need is a little help from your friends (sorry for the use of a Beetles song).

Net Lists: Net lists will never win you a battle nor will they lose you one (usually but you can pick a bad net list).  They are a tool you should look at.  Most have at least seen some table time and can help you but a word of caution.  The meta where this list found success may be a million times different from yours.  There is also a big part of understanding how a list behaves.  What are it's synergies?  Some net lists explain them.  Others just show you what units were used. 

Gaming Group: When I started out playing 40k, I played a few games a year with one guy (Todd from SincaiN40k).  He beat the snot out of me each game.  Near the end of 5th, I added 3 new people.  I had more success but not much.  I decided I needed to play against more armies and to meet new people.  I hooked up with the Beltway Gamers.  Things changed.

The Bell of Lost Souls podcast, Forge The Narrative, covered this in a few of their episodes.  They mention that when they bring a list to a tournament it wasn't the work of one person but the work of 15.The benefit of being part of a gaming group goes beyond the ability to almost always find an opponent or some one to talk about the latest news.  It provides a group of people to bounce ideas off of.

When I submitted my first list, it was already tested and was successful at the first test mission.  While the group said they liked the idea, they quickly started pointing out the flaws in it's design and the areas of weakness.  Then the suggestions came rolling in.  All very constructive and all very insightful.

The bigger reason why a gaming group is so critical to making a list is the dialog that accompanies these discussions.  You can learn a lot about different combos and strategies just by reading the boards.

Podcasts: I already mentioned the BoLS, Forge the Narrative, podcast but there are a host of other decent ones.  I typically listen to 11th Company, Screaming Heretic, Preferred Enemies and Forget the Narrative.  The nice thing about these podcasts (and many others) is these guys (and gals) generally play competitively.  They discuss the ins and outs of the lists they play and have seen.  It's really beneficial to give them a listen.

Forums/Blogs: We discussed this a little bit with gaming groups.  Forums, such as Dakka Dakka, Warseer, Bolter & Chain Sword, 11th Company, offer a way to learn about lists and what other people.  Blogs, like this one, also offer insight on gaming and list building but are less interactive.

The main difference between  between larger internet forums and those of your area groups is the quality of people. You don't know these people and while the majority are human and really, really want to help.  There are trolls.  Not saying it's a horrible experience and don't post questions just understand that not everyone online remembers that it's a person on the other side of the keyboard.

That's all I have for today.  Next time, we will cover list building and some of the other things to consider when you are building your lists.

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