Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Conventional Wisdom?

Not sure if I can effectively say that "conventional wisdom" is silly or not WRT 40K...  I've spent the better part of the last few years trying to play and win with a lot of the "sub-optimal" units/armies in 40K.  Some have been a success, in fact I have actually won a lot more often than I have lost.  Now, a fair amount of that is playing in a "small pond" with a fairly limited pool of opponents, but I do think a lot of it was really a combination of surprise and unfamiliarity with so many things that no one in their right mind would choose.  Saying that, there are still a lot of things that "conventional wisdom" is completely correct about in most situations...  :-)  My opinion only per usual...  My Swooping Hawks and Banshees in the Eldar army are still by and large "highly situational" in the case of the Banshees and  "Let's Wait For Next Edition" on the Hawks...  Thinking a lot more about my Eldar force as you'd guess, playing them in the current Gopher league...  Pathfinders are a solid choice, but fragile.  Guardians are not very good and fragile...  Dire Avengers or Guardians in Serpents seem to be the only one worth taking in a modern play environment.  The Wraith Guard are too expensive in general... Effective, yes...  But a "bit" expensive...

For the bulk of the folks there I'll be playing more "fun" lists and seeing how I can make them work....  My Scorpions with the Chain Saber Exarch flanking works out to be a really good flanking unit...  If they actually show up on a side with the enemy close that is....  Otherwise it's a LONG walk for the 150+ point unit...  The Biting blade seems the "let's get Mech armies" to me, and if it were rending or better Power, I'd say it was really good...  I seem to get a bunch of S7 hits that Marines laugh off with him.  But since I converted one of the lads to the Saber variant I've been running that to decent effect...  Tears through IG and even gets a fair number of wounds against T4 things with the re-rolls to mitigate my poor dice :-)  I don't HAVE enough Falcon type hulls to effectively run the standard "Mechdar" force, but I can do a close enough one I guess...  Just don't think it will be too effective against a well built IG or GK/Wolf "we shoot things" force.  Against that, I'll be relying on flankers and reserves to try to bring me closer to even...  Every advantage I can eke out of the force to try to come close to even odds. Pretty sad commentary that I have to rely completely on luck, "focused list building" and good generalship to even feel like I'm in an even fight with a well built "top tier" list.  To be expected I guess, and one aspect where the conventional wisdom is pretty well right on.  To fight the expected "focused build" IG in the league I'll be having to play the reserve game, hope my lads can roll in, shoot something down/up and maybe even survive the counter fire...  Not a game I'm likely to win or even have fun playing I think.  But sadly, I do think I have at least a shot of making it a hard game iff I build specifically for the expected opposition and they oblige by showing up pretty much as expected :-)...  So, to  restate this: To win, I'd need to min-max a custom force against his, he must field exactly what I'm expecting and I'll need to get lucky on the reserve rolls and with my shooting :-)  Yeah, he's a good player and so I'll likely lose or at best make it a bloody draw as my lads get destroyed...  Same thing happens against Mike, but at least we're both usually quite bloody at the end and it is an enjoyable game

Made the most obnoxious "Rock" or "Anvil" unit I could in the army for last night's game.

Eldrad (210)
Wraithguard (Full unit, w/ Spirit Seer/conceal/Spear) (399)
Wraith Seer (Scatter Laser) (205)

So, LOTS of points, but it gives me a T6, Fearless, Re-rollable save, FNP scoring unit I can march across the field and/or camp objectives with.  Yes, better than half of my army at 1500 points and against some forces it may never do anything but die slowly (I'd hope)...  OTOH, if the game revolves around the other side having to come dig me out...  Well, good luck.  Wraith Guns being in the "I Don't Care" class of weapon I really like to field should make even tooled out Paladins think twice about coming over to assault me.  Mind, I ended up playing to a draw against a good Necron force mostly due to several silly mistakes on my part to compound some bad dice for reserves/flankers...  Should have put the damn Pathfinders up on the second level of the building to make them immune to the Scarabs.  Should have been a bit more cautious with the Spiders and War Walkers, but at that point I really needed to blunt the Scarab's fast moving offensive to keep them away from my "home base" objective being held by a few Pathfinders or encircling my Anvil unit.  On the other hand, I should have realized once I killed one of his 3 Heavy Destroyers I could and SHOULD have moved my Wraith Seer out aggressively to dare his Scarabs to engage...  At that point his Spiders were really the only thing that could effectively hurt him, and he easily over-matched them unless all 6 hit him at once...  If I had moved him even one turn earlier he would have tied up the Scarabs and likely destroyed them in a turn or two, but in any case I would not have been drawn off of the 2 (!!!) objectives they were holding in the center of the field :-)  Still, it was a really fun game getting me more used to playing against the new Necrons...  Guessing it will be Tyranids next week...