Hello all, Medicore Gamer here enjoying that weird week between Christmas and New Year’s day. I don’t know about you, but that’s always a down week in my house, filled with lots of quiet time great for hobbying, and lots of contemplation about the year to come. This is a post about New Year's resolutions for gamers. What are yours?
For 2016, my gaming New Year's resolution is three fold: First, I want to play more games. CaptainA runs an ITC practice league here in Portland and this year I’m committed to playing in more of those games. There just is no substitute for practice. It gets one completely familiar with your army, and more importantly, it build familiarity with the armies you see across the table. Knowing what an army does well, and does poorly, is essential. Practice also protects against stupid rule errors, something I’m very guilty of. You can’t make a battleplan when you don’t know the rules backwards and forwards. And that comes only one way, playing the game.
Second, and in conjunction with my first resolution, I am resolved to playing in more tournaments in 2016. It’s hard to find the time, what with career, family, and the day-to-day grind. But tournaments are just fun. Tournament players get a bad rep, but in my experience it’s undeserved. Oh sure, there are some salty folks out there, but they are far outnumbered by the good ones. I’ve met amazing people at tournaments, and shared a drink with many people I’d gladly have to my home any day. To call one tournament out in particular, the Las Vegas Open is by far the best 40k experience I've ever had. Last year I attended, and I vowed I would never miss another. If you've never attended, do yourself a favor and make the trip. This year I'll try to make it to a few others, like BAO, Guardian Cup, etc. I have a conference in San Diego this year too, so maybe I can drop by the Frontline HQ and witness a Tuesday night fight in person. In the end, this is a community, and connecting with that community is good for the hobby soul.
My last resolution will be the hardest, because I have severe hobby ADD. But I resolve to play one army in the 2016 tournaments. This will be so hard. Who knows what 2016 will bring in way of codexes, power creep, and meta shifting? A year in 40k can be a lot of change. New shiny models will be released. New codexes will be bought and read, and obsessed over. But I would like the experience of trying one army consistently over a season, and maybe trying to actually accumulate points. I’ll never be top table, but perhaps I could crack the top three in a faction. That seems like a realistic goal, but it’s only attainable with focus and practice, which is going to mean sticking to one army. Maybe, just maybe, if I eat all my veggies and study hard next year I could be the Slightly Better Than Medicore Gamer.
The 2016 New Year's Resolution Army I’m putting this in writing because it will force me to commit. My 2016 tournament army will be Dark Angels. I haven’t played a marine force in many editions, so it will be a nice change of pace. I chose Dark Angels for a few reasons. First, and most important to me even above competitive performance, I like the models. Dark Angels double down on the gothic element of 40k, an aesthetic that appeals to that part of me that spent far too much time in Medieval history courses in college.
Second, despite Dark Angels being vastly improved from their previous incarnation, they are still are underplayed. The generic marine ITC category has far too many players in it for me to realistically compete. Dark Angels are a bit more of a low hanging fruit. Finally, Dark Anges provide me a lot of options. I can go Greenwing, Ravenwing, Deathwing, or some mix of the above. In all the years I’ve played 40k I have never, ever, not once, ever fielded a space marine bike. It’s time to check that off the bucket list.
So my first iteration of the Dark Angels will be pure Ravenwing. It may change to include some boys in green or bone as I learn the army, but for the time being, I’m going bikes. Fast. In your face. Aggressive. It’s an army that forces me out of my comfort zone and will make me learn new ways to think of the game, and that's ideal. Forcing yourself to play styles of armies unfamiliar to you can really help conceptualize tactics in the game to a new degree, and give you a fresh perspective on how to play.
Now yes, I already know this army has severe limitations. It seems that every day the amount of ignores cover in 40k grows. Tau, Hunter’s Eye, Orders, Lumigen, etc. I suspect it will be a bit rock/paper/scissors, with some matchups going fine, and some having me tabled on turn two. But honestly, I look forward to learning how to play through those matchups. Whatever doesn’t make you nerd rage makes you stronger.
So without further adieu, here is the list I’m building. The models are bought and the painting has begun:
Ravenwing Strike Force
How could I not take this guy? He’s a beautiful model and a great piece of 40k fluff. He’s also darn good in my opinion.
Librarian, Lv 2, Bike, Auspex, Conversion field, Eye of the Unseen
I really like the Interomancy discipline. Should I be fishing for invisibility? Probably. But I think Interomancy powers like Mind Worm and Aversion have the potential to help out with certain unpleasant units like the Wraithknight, the Stormsurge, etc.
Ravenwing Command Squad, 3 plasma bikers, 1 grenade launcher, 1 apothecary, 1 champion, Ravenwing banner. Ravenwing Black Knights, 4 plasma knghts, 1 grenade launcher, 1 huntmaster with melta bomb
I love the Black Knights so much I had to have another unit besides the command squad, despite the huge point costs.
Ravenwing Bike Squad, 1 bolter, 2 grav, 1 sgt with combi-grav & melta bomb Ravenwing Bike Squad, 1 bolter, 2 grav, 1 sgt with combi-grav & melta bomb
It wouldn't be current 40k without a little grav in the list, right?
3 x 1 Ravenwing attack bike, multi-melta
These guys will help me deal with massed Rhino spam, as well as darting around contesting objectives.
Ravenwing Dark Talon
I know Reece doesn’t care for the flying space church, but he’s wrong. Wrong I say! I’m actually shocked all Imperium aircraft don’t look like the Dark Talon. The entire Imperium is run on incense, prayers, and the finger bones of dead saints. Have you seen Battlefleet Gothic? The flying church looks exactly like what an aircraft from a gothic obsessed techno-religious freak society should look like. And its vortex slinging main gun is too cool for school.
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Ravenwing Dark Shroud, assault cannon
Again, it’s a speeder carrying part of a ruined church between two gilded seraphim. How could I resist? Plus, its ability is pretty much required for this army.
3x Ravenwing Typhoon Speeders
Interceptor typhoon missiles? That can overwatch? Yes please.
So there you have it - my 2016 army. Is it top tier? Nope, not even close. But can it go better than 50-50? I think it can, with practice. And as I sit here contemplating another year gone by, all I know is that time passes, and time will tell.
So what are everyone’s hobbying New Years resolutions?