Thursday, December 02, 2010

Bringing Home the Bacon (aka How to win a 40K GT) by Freddie Yu

Written by Freddie Yu

2010 Warhammer 40K GT Overall Champion

(photos courtesy of Neutral Grounds)

Let’s face it, it is a fact that everyone who joins any GT has always the secret hope and ambition that he/she (we can always hope we get a SHE to compete in a GT don’t we?) can be lucky enough to win a prize after the event (However, bringing an unpainted army and aspiring to win Best Painted is of course overly ambitious). The Best Overall trophy is THE top prize in the tourney, and to get this involves elements of the other 3 major awards (Generalship, Painting, and Sportsmanship). This I believe is good since my opinion is that Games Workshop never intended its games to be exclusively tournament oriented, as I consider both 40K and WHFB more “Beer and Pretzel” games and a hobby more than anything, and as such the elements mentioned above are equal parts in what makes 40k a great hobby.

The Painting aspect is something I would like to start with. I have always advised new players to pick an army based on how much they like the models, rather than its rules. With the way GW changes editions and rulesets, there is a cyclic nature among the different codices and relative power levels. Painting and modeling your miniatures properly however is “forever”, and reflects a player’s dedication and love of his army. Besides, everyone knows competing with a well painted and modeled army is additional “pogi points”, and is as much a source of pride as is winning with them. .I am happy NG realizes this and rewards it accordingly.

The Sportsmanship element has been criticized sometimes as being too subjective and a way for losers to get back at winners (or at least some winners have claimed this before). However, as 40k IS a “Beer and Pretzels” type of game, one should not be too serious about this, and it is more important for both parties to have FUN in the games, losing or not. Nothing beats friendly competition, and having a good sportsmanship score despite beating other gamers reflects the respect one gives to his opponents.

On Generalship. There are many discussions online on what army build is the “best” for each codex, or what units are the most efficient, and you can see many “cut and paste” armies on the net which spam these so-called efficient elements. I, however, am a believer in fluffy yet balanced armies, and as much as possible I try to include different unit types from the codex. Whatever your build is, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, and frequent gameplay is a necessity in order to master what your list can do, and the synergies which may arise from them. In the end it is the player and how he uses his units that matter, as a good player can always make a supposedly weak list win. In 40K, there is no such thing as an “Autowin” button or list.

Finally, I did change 1 thing for this versus last year’s list. I deliberately reduced the unit and model count, in order to be able to play quicker and finish the games faster. Despite what others may say, model and unit count DOES matter in how fast you play, and I’m happy that I finished 4 out of the 5 games on time (hey I still had 90 models in my list…it’s an IG army after all!!!).

Thanks to all my opponents in this year’s GT (Lucas, Martie, Pat, Jonathan, and Sunny). It was great fun, and again the 7th Galen Rockhounds manage to bring home the bacon!!!

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