Kirb your enthusiasm!


"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

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Master-Class on Winning Tournaments


My name is Matt-Shadowlord, and I am joining the happy crew at 3++ as an author. I met Kirby at last year’s Australian Team Championships, where after seeing the way I approached planning for tournament games, mapping out deployments and was successfully predicting the moves of opponents, he asked if I’d like to write for 3++.

I will mainly be writing about my speciality areas which are The Imperial Guard and, I might as well just come out and say it; Winning Tournaments. I started playing 40K tournaments in 2009 and have been extremely consistent in winning tournaments since then. Admittedly Australia is a smaller pond to be a big fish in, but as credentials since I started playing 40k about 4 years ago I have won the State Masters 3 years in a row, won this year’s Australian National Masters, captained the State 40K team at the ATC and come between 1st and 3rd at every single tournament I have been to across four GW games systems* since 2009.  I am not a natural braggart (I hope!) but the CV is necessary because of the nature of the articles I will be writing.

What I am going to write about in my first few articles on this site is Tournament Planning and Preparation. As I do so I expect some people will notice that a lot of this is not specific to 40K, and that would be absolutely correct. I am going to try go right back to basics and talk about how to be ready for the games, how to prepare for a tournament, how scenario selection should impact on your list design, how to ensure you focus on the objectives above all else and how to go get that win. These are not specific to 40K, and a lot of it applies to Warmahordes, Fantasy, Lord of the Rings, Epic Armageddon and a wide range of other tabletop strategy games.

There’s no secret sauce that guarantees a win in 40K, so don’t get your hopes up too high, but there are definitely principles that anyone can apply to help improve their performance at tournaments.

The other main goals of my articles will be to try help improve the standard of play of Imperial Guard players, perhaps helping bridge the gap between how strong they are on paper and how dismally many Guard armies actually perform at tournaments. Ever notice how many of this great Codex’s armies end up propping up the bottom of the rankings? Ursarkar E. Creed demands this embarrassment stops! I could probably do a whole article about nothing but moving chimeras.

As I go I’ll try labelling each article according to what type of player it might be suited for, and also if I write a tactic say whether it is crazy mathhammer interweb theory or actually tournament-tested.

As a final note while I now live in Australia, the part of the country I live in is Western Australia, the state that Texas wants to be when it grows up**. This area of the country is Comp free, with perhaps 1 comped event per year, so my background, play-style and experience is firmly rooted in the wild west approach to taking whatever you want and doing your best to win with it. That should ensure it is more useful to an international audience as I won’t have to explain why I use whirlwinds and deathcompany.

Here is a preview of the sort of articles I plan to post.
  1. The Simplest Pro-tip: Re-write the Tournament Scenarios
  2. Writing a Simple Battle Plan
  3. Know the Table
  4. The Impact of Custom Scoring at Tournaments
  5. Winning the ‘Draw Mission’
  6. Deployment
  7. Planning and Preparation
I hope the 3++ crowd will enjoy them, and not judge them too harshly while I get into the swing of things on this site. I'll see what sort of feedback they get, and add more to the list as we go.

I’ve been a big fan of 3++ for a while, so thanks for the chance to contribute to it!

* Yes, GW has other games systems. No, of course they’re not as good, don’t worry, nothing comes close to 40K. 40K is a very special snowflake, just like you and me.
** Over 1 million square miles! That is your useless fact for the day. We ship about a square mile of it to China per month. Don't worry, plenty left where that came from.

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