Ladies and Gentlemen, the sledgehammer of straight talking sense is back!
This is, in many ways, a Panzer Public Service Announcement. Take heed.
Having spent the weekend at Reading Warfare, a tournament that used to be known for softer armies and having a laugh, I felt inspired enough to put pen to paper again.
No comp tournaments are on the rise in the UK. This basically means that you can literally bring what you want. It’s OK for Warriors of Chaos players to load up on the most uber Daemon Prince they can dream up. Nobody is going to give a Daemons of Chaos player grief for taking Epidemius and two Skullcannons, or moan if High Elves players turn the noble Prince into an ignoble bus driver with 15 passengers alongside his magically enhanced friends.
|What could you possibly have against this guy?|
[well, the round base for a start.-Raf]
Or are they?
I have a reputation for being something of a piss-taker on Twitter. And you know what, I completely resemble that remark. And ‘netlisting’ is a pet hate of mine. Just ask Tom Mawdsley – I’ve devoted many sets of 140 characters to deriding his latest downloaded effort. (see Panzer Aside 1)
For the uninitiated, netlisting is the process of searching online for an army list that contains the most optimal combination of units and magic items. This will result in a list that the player themselves will not have written or tested, but that they’re relying on someone else to have honed.
|Epidemius, 6 of these, ctrl+c, ctrl+v...|
I hate and despise netlisting. I don’t know if it’s the lack of imagination, or the player denying themselves the fun and games of honing their own list in the crucible of battle, but I just don’t see the attraction of taking somebody else’s army list to an event.
I will always attempt to put my own ‘spin’ on a list, and as a consequence what takes to the table is not what would be called optimal. I don’t take 4 or 5 Mournfang and multiple cannons in my Ogre lists. My Lizardmen lists aren’t all rubbish protecting an overpowered Slann and some heroes riding little dinosaurs. I refuse point-blank to take Death magic (see Panzer Aside 2) because it’s such an ‘auto take’ for the entire tournament community at the moment.
This means looking at alternative options, or even something as fundamental as thinking what would suit your army better rather than just taking the latest filth. I personally believe Beasts magic is a better fit for Ogres, as it’s capable of making an already tough unit absolutely unbeatable. Likewise my Lizardmen are fans of Shadow magic for what it can do for them over Death.
Cannons are another case in point. When they work they can be utterly devastating. How many people have had to take their favourite units off first turn because some skill deprived monkey has looked up the phrase ’10 from the back’? But at the same time, they’re not actually that reliable. In the current tournament metagame you need a plan B for when that big monster starts closing on your lines because cannons will blow themselves up at crucial moments.
[Ummm... if you say so...-Raf]
The point of the article is this – a no-comp environment does not mean the players have to resort to the default choices. The optimal choices are strong but they may not work for you or for the army you want to play.
Some players can make a netlist work. Those players are at the top of the Warhammer tournament scene and they’re there for a reason.
For the rest of us, our own work will always perform better in our hands. If you have devised your own way of taking out Daemons Princes don’t suddenly resort to war machines just because the event is uncomped or because it’s possible to squeeze them in.
No comp does not have to equal no originality.
Panzer Aside 1 – It turns out that Tom has had original ideas, he’s just so ponderously slow with the hobby side of things (or his painting bitch Jak ‘my tache is rubbish’ Spedding is) that other people take the credit for them. See the Swedish ETC list, and the RatStar that #fatcraig has been claiming as his for months.
Panzer Aside 2 – I did take Death magic once as part of an experimental double L4 Ogre list. Purple Sun did indeed destroy armies. Unfortunately it was my army many times over – across 6 games I killed 3 Slaughtermasters, 2 Battle Standard Bearers, 29 Ironguts, 13 Maneaters and 4 Ironblasters. The more superstitious players out there will not roll an artillery dice with me present just in case my luck with misfires manifests itself.
Until next time