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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

Monday, July 11, 2011

ETC and Team Format Review

I've been asked to review the lists of all the ETC teams by several people... there are too many lists to count and although I said I'd review a couple or the 'major' teams I think I'll just look at the format itself and if anyone wants a specific list examined, post it in the comments and I'll reply (or someone else can!). As a general rule the lists are pretty eh as we've seen in the past. The issue for me is that the eh lists aren't taking advantage of the teamplay concept. Here's what I mean about this.

The ETC (and Australian Team Championship which is coming up) is all about match-ups and this means balanced lists may not play as significant a role. They should still be the common army as a balanced list should be able to take on any list thrown its way and have a fair chance of winning - assuming good generalship of course. However, because the teams play on a match-up basis, armies which are still quite good but have some serious match-up issues (i.e. Tyranids, Jumper based armies, etc.) can play a bigger role. Jumper armies in particularly are still a highly effective force but if they need to deal with a lot of infantry at range...well they are going to come undone. In a team match-up scenario this should never be the case and thus you can use these lists which are quite good but are limited in tournament play by poor match-ups. You can also take advantage of poor list building on the opposing team's side but that's assuming they do so (and in the ETC so far they have...). This then allows such lists as Lash Chaos or Horde Orks/Tyranids to operate more effectively even though they are not so flash in real game terms.

Making all of your lists like this in a team match-up tournament though is just...well dumb. What happens when you get down to the last pairings and don't have favorable match-ups? You're screwed and you've lost any advantage you may have gained by using those type of lists. This is where balanced armies come back into play. If your team of eight has say two to three lists which are good but with some poor match-ups, you can match those lists pretty easily to an opponent in which they can deal with appropriately and then you have five to six lists which you are happy to match-up against anyone. The question becomes is this any better than simply running eight balanced lists?

The issue with the ETC in the past is most teams don't seem to do this and rather just take lists which beat armies A, B and C and lose to armies D and E and average this across the whole team. If they come up against a team which can effectively put other armies out there which that team will have trouble with across all of their armies or can at least deal with them appropriately (hello balanced lists), you're going to lose. And this is one of the major reasons why the ETC isn't really regarded well beyond other things such as special rules, team match-ups not being actual 40k but rather an interesting facet of 40k, 'top' players of the world malarkey, etc.

Anywho, just some musings on team match-ups and the ETC in general. Again, if you want specific lists or teams reviewed post the lists in the comments and we can all break it down.

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