Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oadius Astartes 203 - Prep for the Grand Tournament

War plans for the Bay Area Open GT Event July 30th/31st are shaping up nicely.  With the 2k Contest of Champions the week before at Great Escape Games, Sacramento and then Capitol Punishment GT on September 11th the Wolfbrothers 40kNation Chapter is in for a Warhammer 40k Action Packed summer!

Surely you know by now, General Oadius is in a constant state of war-readiness and preparation. Many of you green Wolfbrothers have made the necessary sacrifices and put in the hard work to move your generalship to the next level. The General is pleased with the rate of progress we have made lately, but WAR is a different story, and we are Not Ready Yet.

Next week marks our official 6 week countdown to the Bay Area Open GT. We have at least 4 of our best generals lined up to attend this event. I wouldn't be surprised to get down to the Bay with 6 or more Reno-dogs. We approach this tournament with the same gusto as all the others. We want to WIN.  Our preparation as a Warhammer 40k club for these events has paid off greatly in the past and General Oadius and I will have only More focus and More ruthlessness as the GT date approaches. 

Six weeks is not a long time really. Specially as we shift our focus as a club from the CoC missions back to the pure, raw book missions. No additional victory conditions, no bonus objectives, no composition scoring or rules,  no sportsmanship, no paint, no nonsense. Seven games in two days is a Big Deal. There will be no room for fooling around. TWO HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES per game. At 1850 with no comp limitations, this is the real deal in all ways - pure Grand Tournament with GT players, GT armies, and GT pace. Contest of Champions and Great Escape Games are amazing, but we really are talking about the Next Level here.

These articles are about preparing your brain - building your list, practicing correctly and economically to truly get ready for that Next level as FEW of us have actually performed or experienced before. Firstly, please take a few moments and at least browse these forums - the tactics, the rules, the tournament and battle report sections: Warseer, Heresy, BoLS, Librarium Online, 40kForums, and DakkaDakka. Become familiar and accustomed to reading these Forums, these are your enemies Wolfbrothers.  The players, the lists they post, the battle and tournament reports are the Armies and tactics and strategies you will encounter and be forced to overcome, or lose.

Hopefully our harsh words and disrespectful treatment on the battlefield has been enough to prepare your brain and attitude. Putting some time into those Forums and associated resources should inform you or scare you enough to have done the rest. We cant drink the water for you.

First Quiz - what do YOU think your list built around a Wolfpriest and Blood Claws, and two squads of long fangs are going to do to this list?

Well blah blah blah, Generalship and Gaming the mission right? Sure - but does your list even have the tools, the bodies, the necessary elements to really challenge MVB's Henchmen list? Well maybe, but if that list didn't get your brain to the right place, all I have left is pictures of STDs...

(Not STDs)

How To Win - the Bay Area Open is Book missions, standard deployments, and a super fast GT level pace. So back to the basics there: Capture & Control, Seize Ground, Annihilation. There are "bracket points" to be earned, but have no effect on winning that particular round. Pitched Battle, Spearhead, Dawn of War. The order of the missions/deployment is set for the first 6 battles. This is great info as the battlefield is shaped and informed greatly. Do you have a "List" yet? Do you have a basic strategy to win with that list in these circumstances? No table quarters or extra objectives for enemy HQs, no shenanigans.  You should be able to quickly and simply express your WIN Strategy for each of these missions.

Kill Stuff - Your army needs to have all the tools to kill everything. I don't plan to rely on the Archon, Incubi, or their Raider to contest the enemy objective on every C&C match up. In TWO HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES per game, you wont have anytime to conjure up solutions of any type. You will need to execute your strategy to win That mission against That match up immediately and with each tabletop move of any kind. Three full squads of Grey Hunters will not be enough, they aren't even capable of bringing the Amount of Guns necessary to kill all the stuff necessary to kill for a win. This requires deep thought and a great deal of play testing to learn and know. Did you even look at those Forums yet? If you did, have you noticed a single performing GT list that doesn't stack up against the linked GK build? You cant just ignore 12 chimeras and hope your Thunder Wolf Powerfist goes on a rampage. You need to be able to kill:

 - Armor: Lots and Lots of AV10, 11, and 12. Out of 7 lists, what is your guess as to how many will drop 9 or more of these boxes on the board? Not to mention Av13 and 14. Your plan of death starts now, long before deployment. Deployment is like step 5. Plan to stop or kill 2 land raiders, 6 predators, and 12 chimeras.

- Monstrous Creatures and Walkers (and Mephiston): Maybe different tools, tactics, or strategy are necessary for your list. My Dark Eldar kill all of these things the same way, generally. How does your list do it. Three or Six Psyflemen dreads, Twelve Monstrous creatures bearing down on your objectives. Who goes in front of who and what jumps out where. Your preparation here will win or lose games.

- Awesome HQs and Deathstar units: They will be there. Remember the General doesn't buy into pure spam and many players don't. Deathstars murder entire planets. There are common Deathstar archetypes out there, some score objectives, some give up very little in Kill points. Your solution to these problems has to be ready in advance. Response is faster and better then reaction.

- Terminators, Space Marines, Guard, and the equivalent: These are generally the guys with legs or something similar that you will have to murder in great number. Yes terminators too. Dark Eldar HATE terminators - my basic plan is to out maneuver them, run from them, tarpit them, but eventually I end up needing some (or a lot) of them dead. Ten terminators with stormshields and two wounds is a hard equation to solve. Don't be surprised when your opponent brings a blade to a boxing match. Prepare now, practice lots, and deploy for murder.

- Long Range standoff units: Like everything else, workout your answers now. Your list MUST be able to threaten each part of the opponents force at all times, through mobility or direct action - threaten, pressure, attack. Is your plan really to allow two or three long fang units to fire on your army for 3, 4, 5 turns while you try and win the middle? That's your opponents plan, and it just worked.

Now lets reflect back on your list or lists and what they put on the table. Can you kill anything and everything your opponents can put on the board? Practice helps your brain here, not your lists. Adjustments or entirely different decisions may be Necessary. Is two units of Long Fangs going to be enough? Can you answer my questions with certitude or are you shrugging your shoulders? We can tell when you deploy, can you?

Mobility - Your army needs to be Mobile! This is not some kind of soapbox rant about mechanized forces. Your ARMY, not every unit, REQUIRES MOBILITY to win the tournament. There is no getting around this maxim. You didn't find many lists in those forums or blogs that really plan to line up and sit and shoot each of its opponents off the board. 6ft x 4ft is not a small area, even with 250 orks or nids.  Mobility in some lists comes directly from practice. Your Guard mob or Long Fangs or Lootas might need to move, and in many games in order to get the win they will be required to move. Five turns is only a snapshot later when you realize what you should have done. Deploying Correctly, managing reserves, going for or countering the Alpha Strike, holding-taking-pushing past the middle of the board. Your Army has to move to win, and we all know that the Wrong move equals loss.

Time Management - the more I apprentice with General Oadius the more the Golden Rule of Weight of Games smashes my face. You cannot play enough games to be ready enough. TWO HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES is NO time for fooling around, weighing solutions, or multiple layers of gamble. Many games against many opponents and many lists cannot be overlooked at any level. There is some value to the weight of games - revealing - tools and tactics and strategies to defeat the problems, obstacles, and opponents as laid out in this article. With good list decisions, tons of experience, and pre-planned solutions/tactics/strategy. TWO HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES becomes more than enough time, and we can move on to Deployment and Range.

Army Archetypes and Match ups - the final layer before the battle. Leafblower IG, Razorspam, DE Venom/Darklight spam, Mech Eldar, GK Henchmen, Ork or Nid Hoarde, etc. You must now take the time to research those lists and how they win, and have won. How does your list and experience stack up against these archetypes. What are your general solutions to win Multiple Objectives, C&C, or Killpoints versus these types of lists. On your kitchen table or ANYWHERE, you should be working out the 1st turn and 2nd turn deployment options and audibles.  On the timeline for War we are starting to get past the proxy stage. USE PROXIES if you must. These are the battles that must be won, and the General gets very unhappy when disciples stick their head in the sand.

This is why we run hardcore PRIMER tournaments, to smash your face in as a preparation step. Stay tuned, we are going to work our way through some of these archetypes next.


  1. Very good points here.

    Im not sure what the message was about using proxy models. Were you saying not to use them unless you have to? Or, use them to get better?

  2. Use proxys as much as possible and necessary! Some of our Wolfbrothers are on a timeline for certain tournaments and the time for proxies is long over