Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Sunday Rant

Well another Sunday and today maybe a differnt type of discussion.

Theme over competitiveness. Are they mutually exclusive?

Today had two games with the new aforementioned 1500 point drop pod list with stormraven.

Interesting thing was that in both games I've never had more fun.  The 1st game was a tester against harley and he had some bad luck and poor deployment and i was able to capitalise on this to devestating effect.

The 2nd game was a team game with Harley and Myself Vs a Space wolf and Bloodangles list.

The opponents we faced had the standard formal lists, mechanised forces with optimised weapon loadouts that anyone with access to a computer and google could use.

Don't mistake this for sour grapes I'll get to the result later, and the guys we played where really nice and freely admitted they min-maxed on purpose.

What I found was that considering both Harley's and My lists where not of that formula infact I would call them designed to probably eschew any of the major min-max options in favor of a more fluff orientated army, based on a thematic concept.

Anyway as the game progressed, we started to take a beating, the well developed and synergised army really showed its power, the space wolf component with the long fangs ripped up our support assets and the BA element meneced our flank denying us allot of tactical options.  Suffice to say by the close of turn 2 it was very grim, and being an annihilation game we felt we where going lose this one convincingly.

It was part of the turn 3 discussions that I thought what would the commander of such an army do?  whats the theme here and whats the approach such a theme should take?

So we rather than re-acting to the armies we faced we got into theme and played the forces the way we both knew they would do it. 

What that resulted in was some very aggressive moves, using both our storm-ravens to lay down fire in a corridor for the assault troops to come in via and then once the beachhead was down break out and eliminate the enemy.

The change in the approach suddenly saw the other players struggle to respond, their armies where built to execute one specific plan, and they failed to deal with the change in our initial approach. 

So I could go on talk about how wonderful and insightful we where, but what I really wanted to get at is this, allot of people see fluff and competitiveness as two polar opposites where a combination in the middle detracts from your overall ability to win game.

I personally think that actually this is wrong.  I'm beginning to take a position that fluff can take you down a path that takes you away from the proposed best optimized unit.

Yes under the control of a good player these units make it easier to achieve games, but I think its allot more interesting to test yourself with a specific restriction.

What ive found thus far with the 10 games ive played with this list is that while i can take the optimised units im enjoying the challenge of playing with an army that presents from problems than solutions and that I have to fight to win.

There are some that state that fluff resides in the modeling choices you make but I think fluff can also be determined by the unit choices you take and not lead to a crappy lose all the time list as well.!

The team game was an uphill battle, we really didn't get to position of victory to about turn 4 and then it was still close.

It was one of the best games Ive had and harley mentioned it to.

So here is the question.

Do you prefer just to run with the optimised lists all the time?  at tournaments for each codex is there really only one list that is the best to take?  or does theme and fluff make a showing, can you really take a list that is built on theme and be effective? 

Im taking this list to MIF if i can get it ready in the 6 weeks I have left, and with every game I feel more confident I can be competitive but also be true to the theme and fluff.

Look forward to your thoughts !

PS, I head that a certain Micheal boles is ill and wish him well and hope he recovers in time for MIF!