Well, it’s that time of the year. Tournament prep time! Nothing too serious. I left all pretentions to ‘serious’ competitive stuff behind me a while ago. It was just stressing me out and making me too much of a downer. Nevertheless, I still love the odd tourney. The ones coming up are of the ‘not-entirely-competitive’ stock, or at least I’m not entering them with that mindset. Coming up, I have a Throne of Skulls event in March, the Warzone-apolooza in Adepticon and the Team Tournamentathon the day after. To make matters worse, I’m probably taking significantly different lists to all three! And none of them are painted yet! Yay!
The Throne of Skulls is a tournament I haven’t been to for a while. I can’t remember if I went to it at all last year, which is unusual. I normally have a great time there and I try to go at least once a year. This year has me a little trepidatious though, as Forge World and Superheavy, etc. stuff is now allowed. I’ve tried my best to stay positive about this and ultimately, the proof is always going to be in the pudding. I just personally feel that too much of the Forge World stuff and too many of the Superheavies are too unbalancing at this low a points value. Most of the superheavies I don’t have a great deal of problem with though. It’s mainly the presence of D weapons that irks me. D, in this case, stands for ‘Delete’. The complete lack of anything you as a player can do to mitigate or ride through the damage really doesn’t sit well. In big games, that’s fine. You have a bucketload of troops, vehicles, buildings, targets of all varieties. Small games, much less so. In small games you also have far less opportunity to deal with the superheavies in the return punch. In a way, this makes sense and when written into a specific scenario can be cool and thematic. But that requires preparation. From a ‘fun game’ perspective, if someone puts a Transcendent Ctan with the Hellstorm D-weapon and plonks it behind a Bastion, I’m going to find it hard not to concede Turn 1 and have a good time elsewhere. Much of the arguments in favour of these units is that ‘You don’t have enough points to have much in the rest of the army’ and that’s true, but you don’t need it. Necrons and Eldar (the two main offenders in this little rant) both have ways of buying fairly cheap troop units and keeping them safe for the entire game (wave Serpents for the Eldar and Night Scythes for the Necrons), that the lack of backup is not that big of a problem.
I realise these games are far from unwinnable, provided you have the right set up. If you’re playing marines you can drop pod sternguard and tactical squads with meltas for a heavy turn 1 or 2 meltafest that will end the overwhelming majority of tanks and titans and deal significant damage to a lot of the Gargantuans. Tau have a lot of high strength long range stuff to deal the punch. Dark Eldar have a lot of options with lances, poison and haywire. Monstrous Creatures have a far better chance of survival versus D-weapons, so lists with a lot of them would have a good shot at surviving enough to deal their damage. However, most of these shift very much into a ‘who goes first wins’ format. If the D-weapon goes first, they will eliminate the significant threats to limit the received damage. If the takedown units go first (particularly in the case of the drop-podding melta marines), then the Superheavy goes down Turn 1. Either way, that game either goes to a straight rolloff or a scissor/paper/stone style of play that goes counter to what I enjoy about the game.
Also, while I’m in a whingeing mood, another thing that really annoys me about D-Weapons is the auto-‘splode for vehicles. A shot that automatically destroys a Land Raider if it so much as gets clipped, may well only deal two hull points of damage to a superheavy given the majority result of D3+1 Hull points removed. This wind me up, as on a raw damage perspective, the Land Raider (or Defiler, or Monolith, etc) could shrug off two out of the three results. I would be far more optimistic about all this if it just dealt a number of auto-penetrating hits instead of “Nope, Dead”. Oh, and the Revenant can suck my balls. 4 D-weapon blasts a turn is bullshit, whichever way you slice it. Ugh.
Anyway, my sincere apologies for the negativity of this post. I will be happier in the next one now that I’ve got this out of my system! Like I said earlier, I have had a great time far, far, more often than not at Throne of Skulls and I’m fairly optimistic that my opponents will be decent guys or girls who will be playing for fun rather than an uninteresting victory and, without the D-weapons, most of the Superheavies and Gargantuan Creatures strike me as a different and interesting challenges to come up against. Just ditch the D-weapons okay?
End of line.