Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The State of My Game Address

I was going to write about the day of gaming that myself and the Master of Sanctity had at Warhammer World on Monday. But the battles were pretty one sided (he may argue that :P). I was going to moan about Space Marines. But they say whenever you point a finger, there are three pointing back at yourself. Then the backlash from LVO happened, and I want to talk about my Eldar.

This may end up being a long post, but it is something that I want to air, and likewise, I want feedback on because I can be very opinionated and wrong at times.

You may remember that after the Codex dropped, I looked at building an All Comers 1000 point list. This went well, and I went undefeated for a while, but it bored me. I like to have a more balanced gaming life, winning shows what I am doing well, losing lets me explore weaknesses. When that run came to an end though, I have found myself unable to recapture any form. In fact, since I was defeated back in September, I think I have won one game, and like the opposite, losing bores (and frustrates) me.

Maybe I have made some really bad army lists since then, maybe that one list was a fluke, but lets examine it. At 1k, the Wraithknight and Wraithguard are excellent choices because their toughness makes it difficult to remove, and with some good shooting the Wraithknight can remove the few threats to it on the table and then cause havoc. This falls down at higher points games, as more threats can be put on the table, and even though the Heavy Wraithcannon is still strong, it is still only two shots a turn (and with my luck, only a 50% chance of hitting) which leaves more threats on the table to the squishy sections of the army. There are things which compound the fact even more, but that is mainly Space Marine stuff (because it is 90% of the opposition I face) and I may have a moan about that on another post.

When I start playing at 1.5k and up I have to start making difficult choices, do I take tougher units, but sacrifice the fire power, or do I sacrifice the toughness to take more shots and therefore more dice to try and negate the bad rolls. Some armies seem to be able to marry toughness with shots, but I am an Eldar player and this is the hand I am dealt with. So what I am finding is, if I take the tough units, I can't reduce the incoming shots, so I lose them by weight of numbers, or if I take the guns, I still lose because they don't bring range or survivability to the table. I try an counteract range by running some Wave Serpents, but I only have 2 right now (which really need to be painted to completion before I start any more tanks), and honestly, I don't see what is so great about them, sure I get the shots I want, but I find that when the shield goes down, I am sacrificing that tank.

Which brings me to the elephant in the room. Which has pretty much come to a head with the result of the Las Vegas Open where an Eldar player took the plaudits with an 8-0 run. In fact, the top 8 were a majority of Eldar players, so the beardy butthurt starts with the cries of 'Eldar OP' and the pong of cheese. So I wonder, if the Eldar are so strong, why am I having such a hard time?

Lets jump slantways for a bit before I come back to that. I few weeks ago, I read a proposed tier list from the site 40k Global and posted it on a local discussion forum. One of the first responses was this:
Which I found kind of insulting. Yes, we are not hardcore tournament gamers, but because of that, we don't limit ourselves to the kind of builds that we see on the webs that have been given names. Because we use units that we like because of the rule of cool, or because of a particular theme does our view change on the perceived strength of a book? It was a question that never got answered because this comment pretty much killed the thread.

Back to the LVO. So, I take a quick look at the champions list to see if I could take a few pointers, and what do I see? A Deer Council and Wave Serpent maxing. To which I wonder, "Is this the strength of the Eldar?", by which I mean, is the Eldar one of the top armies (I still maintain the Tau sit alone on top) because of this single build? Well, the other top 8 Eldar armies may differ to this list, but there is a recurring theme. So I fall back to my lists and wonder "Am I not winning many games at this points level because I am not following this lead?" and also "Is the Eldar book strong in depth or just in a single build?".

Scatter 2D6" to this frame of thought. During my use of the 5th (4th?) Ed book, I was really keen on Rangers. I still am to a degree (ignores cover hurts so bad), but when I saw the new releases, Illic caught my eye, I get a Ranger Character? Awesome! Since then I have been trying to find a way to get him into my list, and almost every game have been left disappointed with his performance. Do I have to make the choice to take units I like or to have a chance of winning? It feels that way at times.

Remember I am a Space Marine and stop running away. Which brings me back to my predicament, because of the widespread reach of the internet, people will hear all the LVO news as Eldar = Strong, so if I open my mouth I'm probably going to get shot down because I play Eldar > Eldar win tournaments > I'm just a whiner. Either that or I am just terrible at the game. But that is not helpful, I need balance in my life, I need to get a few wins to balance the losses and vice versa and I need to air my concerns so that I may find some helpful advice somewhere.

So I have written a lot of words and I don't think I have really said much. I guess my point is, I play Eldar and I have lost pretty much every game I have had in the past four to five months, despite the fact that popular opinion puts Eldar at the top of the pile. So am I just a bad player and deal with it, or are Eldar only considered strong because of a single tournament combination?


  1. I don't know you so I can't comment on play quality. However I can comment on the overall codex. The codex is good. It is stupidly good with allies, however witht he exception of a couple builds it isn't that much above most other codexes and even those builds requires a lot of practice. Wraith armies are ok but without wave serpents suffer from being slow and short ranged. The codex is much better than it use to be but even the strongest builds in it aren't point and click. My advice is if you are worried about your record, try something new, either a unit here or there or a whole new list. This will give you a better sense of how the units work together.

  2. You ever want to play something none-marine then let me know, I've got guard and necrons. That would probably even the games up a bit.

  3. I love elder, and so I play elder (and Dark Eldar). I played at the LVO with my Eldar/Dark eldar and was on table 15 in the final round with a pretty good list. not spammy, only 2 serpents, no council.
    The game I lost was to Alex Fennel (the guy who won the LVO) and I made the bugger sweat. His list was very powerful, but that does not make Eldar OP at all. Alex is a very talented player and you can tell if you talk 40k to him. his army is totally beatable if you are a skilled player as well. but people just are not used to playing lists like his. I really hope to play him again some day. The thing I noticed about the top tables at the LVO is that everybody there had good lists. BUT everybody on those tables are also excellent generals. There were other seer councils/ovastarts/3tide/3hell turkey lists that were no wear near the top table because those other players are not yet as skilled.

    I have never played an army when it was a top tier army until now. So when I go to events (which is often) people think I play eldar only to win. When in fact I have always loved and played with Eldar/Dark eldar since 3rd ed. I take armies with a bit of everything. which to me is really fun. I have been running a DE beast pack since it was kind of poopy, but not the unit is considered OP. which it isn't at all. it is killable. it is just a newer death star that people have to learn to deal with.

    Just try out new things and see how it goes. or don't charge into peoples faces.
    I don't even know what I was going to write about now?.....

    sooooo ummmm I'll stop now.