Thursday, 19 September 2013

Is Competitive Play Dead in 6th Ed.? Part 1

NO. That's right, competitive play is not a thing of the past. Period.
Every army has its competitive builds, and its units that aren't so good. But some people can't get that through their thick skulls. 
Click the title for more.

I've lost track of the number of times I've seen people posting on forums, or in the comments section of blogs, about how 6th ed. has killed off the competitive side of the game. Posts like "6th ed is great, but it's still just a game of Rock Paper Scissors in the end" or "d_monik said - "why can't they go back to posting competitive list articles like in the good old days?" Simple - this is 6th edition. The rules are now awful, there are no competitive lists but Tau, and basically everyone is no longer playing." are really getting on my nerves, and it was the second one there that pushed me to write this.

I'll answer the quotes above first, before going on to explain myself. The first one is obvious enough: if you believe that, then you should just play that rather than paying as much as we do to be in this hobby. The second one is more difficult. I do believe however that it is totally wrong. I can't speak for every local meta, but here in Dublin, I have seen EVERY army played competitively. From Tau, to Sisters, each army is played here, and they are played competitively. I believe the reason that Tau are considered by some to be overly powerful or the only competitive army, is because they are relatively easy to play. The only thing you need to know is what to shoot with which guns, and target prioritisation. Even a relatively new player can play Tau well with a little practice. Other armies simply take more getting to know.

I'll give a little anecdotal evidence and end part one. One of the armies most complained about is Dark Angels. One of the best players in my FLGS plays Dark Angels and I have yet to see him lose. He plays ravenwing heavy, with some tactical squads, and a handful of vehicles. And he kicks ass with it. He's played since the new codex dropped, and though I didn't see him at the start (I had exams), I heard he lost a few times. He got to know his list, and his codex, though and now he wins regularly. 

Another army that supposedly sucks is the chaos marine dex. Unless you use heldrake or cultist spam.  I had a brief spell with the chaos marines before the summer. I built (not painted!) a 1500 points list based around Khorne. I've read numerous articles saying that berserkers suck. I won with them, because of how I used them. I presented my opponent with 5-6 close combat orientated units charging on turn 3. That's a scary prospect for any player. And it worked. Despite people imparting their "expert" advice on why not to use these units, they are usable, good even if in the right hands. 

This is already getting too long, so part two will be up soon. This will give more detail, on why I think competitive play is still very real, despite having changed greatly.


  1. and your solution spells out what the whining is about. when someone says a army isn't "compeitive" that means it lacks an easy win no brainer death star build they can win with, without thinking

  2. Yup it irritates me about people net listing and panning stuff out of hand. If you think that only a couple of thousand people may post on line but sure there are tens of thousands of player irl. The negative few are always the most vocal. I play sisters and when the grey knight codex dropped everyone was saying they were OP but with my sisters I beat every GK army I played against. looking on the net sisters are apparently fail but it depends who plays with them. I think too many people look on the net and disregard units simply on what some internet person says who may never have played with that unit or army. It generally boils down to those who know their army inside and out will be better than someone who has cut and pasted an army list from the net. Just my 2 cents :D nice article though and will follow your site :)

  3. Phew!! I wasn't sure how this would go down. Thank you for the feedback, it truly is appreciated!
    @Brian, the next post is very much about that, but also comparing competitive list building to competitive playing. Big difference IMO
    @lokken, one of my mates plays sisters, brought them to a tourney a while back, and kicked ass. They need a rehaul though, from a models point of view. Not sure about the rules (as in I don't really know them) but I know they're not bad, just hard to get. Thank you, I will return the favour. Your two cents is appreciated here: everyone can have they're say (unless they spout heretical ideas disagreeing with me)!!

    1. Never mind, I realise that was a stupid thing to say now, having looked on your profile!!

  4. Well, the real problem is competitive list building WITH competitive playing.
    If you look at all the US major tournaments top 10, you will, for sure see the same list, but also the same players...
    And, in Europe, check the ETC lists, there are all the same, but Poland guys and Germans always win.
    If you take 2 casual players one with the last Tau/Tau shiny from Internet and the other with whatever Dark Angels. You can be sure the first one will win.
    Now, take 2 very competitive players, same armies, you'll get the same results.
    Dark Angels can beat the Tau/Tau only if one player has really more experience, have a good game plan, and is prepared to play against Tau.

    1. I recognise that point, and part two will deal with it. Competitive list building is a major problem in most GTs, which is why I actually like GWs tourneys: they incorporate having fun and painting into the scores, meaning the best list, can be beaten by the best Army or the best Player.

  5. Gotta agree with you, there is competitive potential in every army - it just takes effort and understanding in order to make it work! Nice article, intrigued for the second half! ^^

    1. There is. Simple fact that some refuse to accept! It's coming later today, when I find pics to accompany it!