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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

So you are playing in a comp'd event...

So you are looking at your local tournament, and you are going to rock up and then you read the paperwork:
Battle: 50%
Painting 20%
Comp 20%
Sports 10%

Oh god, a comp score. What do I do? leave, freak out, kill someone, burn something, paint everything pink, stick it to the man, complain, crush everyone and point out comp sucks, argue reasonably, argue irrationally, talk about the weather or basically do anything but agree with it :P.

Soft scores will ruin this event, and I will have no chance of winning the tournament because its worth like 2 full games points and *BANG* your head explodes.

First of all, stop, breathe, and I will explain to you how you turn this terrible event into an enjoyable weekend of throwing dice at baby seals*. You could of told me this before....

*fester does not suggest that dice are a good substitute for clubs, when dealing with baby seals.

Before I start, 2 things I need to point out for the assembled minions.
First, I am the TO for a non-comp NOVA style event called Centurion that you may have heard about here..
Second, I am pro comp. That's right, after much soul searching and arguing against comp, turns out I actually like it. Don't ask me to explain, as I can't get right it in my head just yet.
Okay, so there are a few ways to look at this event and how to deal with it.

1. Whiny Bitch
You know the guy. The one who complains all the time about comp scoring, how it isn't 40k, how it ruined his weekend, and how you should all slit your wrists for playing in such a stupid event.
If he happens to win the event anyway, you never hear the end of it, and you probably slit his wrists for him.
This is option 1.

2. Just play your normal list and see what happens
This is the normal reaction to a comp'd event. You take your normal list and you just see what happens.
This is a good option to be fair. You play what you know, you play what you are comfortable with, and you go with your gut on your choices.

3. Change your list to make it comp-friendly
Now we move into the realm of scary, scary stuff.
To the Dark Side you have gone.
Yup, you are now one of them! So how do you sort this one out.
You need to look at your list and work out what looks tough to you. This is what needs to be changed.
For instance:
Do you have 2x Land Raiders with TH/SS, Vulkan, and 128 Meltaguns? Well, I suggest that you probably won't get a good comp score.
37 Razorbacks at 1500 points? Yeah, no comp for you.
2 Nob Biker Units, 2 Warbosses and 10 Grots? Good luck with winning, but its a solid known net list of doom, so will get SFA comp.

The thing with comp in 5th edition (from what I have seen in the Aussie arena), is that it brings the codices back to a 4th ed slant. This is fine, as it is the intention when you look at it hard enough.
What comp is trying to do is to enable all players to enjoy a game that goes beyond T2. Whether it is successful or not is not for me to decide.

To put it simply: if the list at first glance looks nasty, looks trimmed down and optimized, and makes you start worrying before deployment, then it's not comp friendly.

1750 Pts - Space Marines: Codex Army
Kor'Sarro Khan
Terminator Squad
Land Raider
Dreadnought, Twin Linked AutoCannon, DCCW

Tactical Squad 1
Power Fist, Missile Launcher, Flamer

Tactical Squad 2
Power Fist, MultiMelta, Meltagun

Tactical Squad 3
Power Fist, Missile Launcher, Meltagun

Dakka Predator
Vindicator, Dozer Blades
Vindicator, Dozer Blades

This list, was rated 14/40 for Comp. Nasty looking on paper, fairly "Rock"y for a comp environment.
Suffice to say knowing what I know now, I am ashamed I wrote that.
It was terrible on-table.

4. Take that wacky list you always wanted to try but were too scared to
This is my preferred option. You know how there was that list niggling in the back of your mind that said "play me, I will be fun" but the front of your mind went "CHAOS SPAWN ARE YOU CRAAAAAZZZZZYYYY!" ? Yeah trundle that baby out.

Dual Weirdboys, Marneus Foot-marines, Close Combat Tau with sacrificial ethereal?
Deathwing? Ravenwing? You betcha, roll it out and don't play serious for once! You won't be the only person who does this, and you will get comp points for being different and being "fluffy".

5. Don't go
Vote with your feet.

Let me waffle a little bit on comp and how you manage it as a player at a codex-choice level.
Comp, I find, doesn't like armies that break the mould when they turned up on the scene.

For instance, BA and Wolves are ironically comp friendly, as they are just another Space Marine army with bonuses. Everyone knows how to deal with them, yay.
However, If you are using these codices to max out a particularly powerful or effective model, I.E. PlasmaBacks and Long Fangs, or TWC, or FNP Terminators, then expect people not to like what you are doing.
Eldar are often not comp friendly, which is a holdover from the unkillable-falcon days.
Orks are not comp friendly, as the game-shift with the Green Tide and Nob Bikers and Wagon Spam made Marines cry (and we all know Marines make up 92% of the player base).
Chaos Daemons are in the same boat. Simply put, Bloodletters > 4th Ed foot lists.

Now this is the conundrum with comp. For it to be usable, it needs to keep up with the times. It needs to look at codices and be able to re-rate them on the fly as the builds change. As often the comp is peer-judged, and your peers are going to ream you for clubbing them like the seal they are.

So quickly, before I go, this is something you need to write on your forehead for every comp event you attend. It is almost as important as remembering your tape measure and dice. This is, for all intents and purposes, the Golden Rule Of Comp

Every time I hear of whinging about "being gimped because I tabled my opponent" I wonder... did you not know the golden rule, or just not follow it?
How can they gimp you for tabling them if you haven't started yet?
If your army is built to auto-table people and people can see that in your army list, then you aren't really going to a comp-event. You brought a Howitzer to a knife fight.

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