Sunday, March 27, 2011

Knowing is Half the Battle, Part 2 of 4: Know Thyself!

Hello again. Today we are conutinuing our series on knowing what you need to know to be competitive in 40k. Last time we focused knowing the rules, a basic but important step. Today we will focus on knowing everything there is to know about your army.

Read your codex: Many of todays armies are built on synergy. You have to know what your army can do. If your army is losing a lot, it is probably missing something. Your codex should have something to fill that gap. This is also relevant when a new army is released. A good list is built to fight all comers so a new army release will usually cause you to shift your list. Example: Say you field two or three units of nobs in an ork list, which is currently pretty powerful. With grey knights coming out however, most units in the dex can kill a unit of nobs in one assault, no problem, and in many cases for cheaper points. Thats a very bad thing. The ork player has to change his list if he wants to remain a contender.

Know your army's rules: once your army is set, know how it works. All of it. Special rules, stats, weapons... everything.  You cannot play tactically if your too busy trying to remember how your army works. I've been struggling with this with my Dark Eldar. I keep forgeting to focus on getting pain tokens. So study your army. Know your special rules, verbatim.

Don't assume things. Question wheter a rule works the way you say it should work. I'm always surprised at how biased most people are during rules disputes. Example: many people tryed to say pain token USR's applied to beasts in beastmasters squads. Reading the codex it is obviously not true. Another Example: Deffrollas. Before they where FAQed, most people, as well as tournament organizers decided they didn't work against vehicles. Their only justification?: it would be too powerful. Funny how no one is saying that about the 30" scouting jumppack dread knight.Hmmm...?

I digress. The point is, know your rule, don't think you know it. Know your rules well enough to where you can argue and support why it works the way it does. If it is a grey area, search internet forums to see what others have said. If it is still a grey area, call event orginizers and get a rules call BEFORE the tournement. As a rules judge myself, I can assure I would rather have a few days to research a question as opposed to making it on the fly.

Read the FAQ: in tournaments the FAQ is just as valid as the codex, read it and know it as such. If the INAT FAQ is used, the same goes for it( stupid INAT). Also, print off a copy and keep it with your stuff( in fact, I recommend having every FAQ with you) Example: I went to a tourney a couple of weeks after the old marines got their big update. A friend was on the table beside me playing Black templar. The BT player had no idea about the FAQ. This guy was fuming by the time the game was over. Imagine playing a game where your codex is wrong and your opponent is the only one who knows what your rules are. Akwaaard!

Know your strengths and weekness: Every army has its strengths and weaknesses. Know what yours are. Dark Eldar are great against are great against nids, but can struggle against IG. Nids are great against non-mechanized assault armies like DOA blood angels, but struggle against shooty mechanizes lists. Your strengths and weakness will be specific to your army accordind to how you built it. Try to think about what your army will struggle against. Use this knowledge during games to identify threats and take them out accordingly as well as building stronger, more balanced lists.

That's it for today. Next time, will leave the basics behind as we get more indepth tatica in Part 3: Know Thy Foe!
What are some things you do to identify weaknesses in your lists? What do you do to prevent yourself from misinterpreting your codex? Have you ever misinterpreted a rule, only to have it corrected during gameplay by your opponent?

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