Monday, 3 October 2011

Maelstrom Team Tournament Musing

Well, well, well.

I’m back again, this time from a tournament in Maelstrom Games up in Mansfield.  Fun weekend, if a bit stressful, but that’s tournaments for you.  This one was different from any of the other ones that I’ve been to so far, in that it was my first bona fide Team Tournament.

It naturally took a while to get my head round the selection system (never having done one of these before), but it added an interesting element to what were otherwise (hypothetically) fairly regular games.  Of course, what with me having nearly zero forward planning or strategic wherewithal, I hadn’t actually done anything as salient as read any of the mission setups or how the players were going to be teamed up.  Heaven forfend!  I had to have all that shit explained to me by the rest of the team whilst chatting over dinner. 

Basically, the selection procedure was thus: You put one member of your team forward and so do your opponents.  Then each team selects two of their three remaining lists as counters and the chosen player can then pick which of the two he wants to take on.  The remaining two matchups are then assigned randomly.  That may sound confusing in text form, but it works relatively smoothly in practice.  It may not sound tempting to put yourself forward and have your list scrutinised by your opponents before they deploy their two best counters, but I found myself relishing that role and half the time, I was the nominated player.

This was because most of the time, I was only really worried about one of the lists in any one team.  Not to say the other lists were bad in any way, but with an army like mine, you know precisely what lists can take you down without breaking a sweat.  You can probably work out which lists they could be, although I’m sure as hell not going to tell you. If they had more than one of those lists in a team, then I would take my chances with the random draw.  If they had only one of those lists, then putting myself forward is actually the safest thing I can do, because it’s the only way to absolutely guarantee that I’ll not be taking on a glass-chewingly frustrating bastard list.   To be honest, that’s why I did it most of the time.

I would get a pang of guilt occasionally though, because those horrible lists I sidestepped just ended up colliding with other members of my team and hitting them instead. I have no excuses for doing this.

What I do have though, is a bucketload of half-arsed rationalisations!

1)  My list (Dark Eldar with a tonne of Hellions, by the way) is decent against a lot of lists, but there are two variations where it nigh on has zero chance whatsoever.  Fling me up against either of those lists styles and I may as well jack the game it before deployment and buy my opponent a pint.  Of gin.  Most other lists stand a bit more a chance than mine in circumstances.  Not much, but a bit.

2)  If you’re not sure you can win at these team tournaments, the best thing you can do is play for the draw.  My army is not good at playing for a draw.  Few DE lists are (that I’ve seen anyway).  A lot of them tend to run out of steam in the late game.  Too much expensive AV10 and T3 to survive a war of attrition.  Most of the time, I have to play for the win.  Games I can’t win, I massively tend to lose.  Lists I really don’t think I can beat are far more likely to be ground to a draw against my team’s Kan wall or Daemon lists rather than mine.

3) If there are terrible lists for my team-mates, most of the time I can take them out of the equation with mine, allowing easier matchups for them by removing tougher opponents from the picture.

4) Wins are good for the team.  I’m not being selfish.  Honest!

5) I’m a Dark Eldar player.  If anyone’s meant to specialise in capricious, self-centred treachery, then it’s going to be me!  The fact that I acquired the title of Grand Vizier should have in no way given then a clue as to my evil intent.

6) My team went along with my plans without any complaints.  Of course that may be because I drugged their tea.  No-one will know now.

7) My ego needed boosting.

8) I’m a heartless bastard.

9) Information redacted.

10) If you’ve got any other ideas, I’d like to hear them!  Feel free to add some in the comments section!  Could be good for a laugh.

I’ll probably write more about the tournament later in the week.  There’s a lot of pointless information and conjecture to be mined from this rich seam of self-interested drivel!

No comments: