Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flow Like Water: List Development

List development for Adepticon continues. I have version three of my list and I have gotten three good games in with it. The guys at Evolution games are a good bunch to play with. Austin and his Chaos Marines have played the list twice. He has played version two and version three. Papa Nurgle played me with his loathsome plague infested horde last night against version 3. 2 victories and 2 ties. So far in the lists development. Papa Nurgle and Old school Terminators nids have tied me and I have defeated the forces of the traitor legions twice. I think I need to see if the local Warboss's want to throw down this coming week. One advantage to playing at Evolution Games is we have a pretty esoteric mix of armies and players. We actually don't have the horde of space marines you would expect to find. I have determined I need to face off against some orks and Blood Angels as well as some Space wolves.
Playing a lot of games versus all the different armies is key in developing a tournament style list. You have certain perceptions about how a list is going to do before you use it. These perceptions mean nothing until you play the list. The more opponents you play the more you learn about its strengths and weaknesses. You must expose the weaknesses so they are not a surprise in the middle of a game.
You can deal with a deficiency in a couple different ways.

  • You adjust your list to fully of partially compensate for the weakness. For example, you have trouble dealing with lots of tanks. You can swap weapons on your Wave serpents to bright lances. You can add a unit of fire dragons. Basically a minor tweak. You drop a unit or some options to add a unit. I like to do this with my lists as long as they have a solid foundation.
  • You totally rebuild the list from the ground up making sure you cover all your bases. This means you start with a solid core and a specific goal. This means you make the list to take objectives and or kill units. The units you use must work as one towards this goal and provide mutual overlapping support. I know its like beating a dead horse but you cannot play an Eldar army like a space marine army. Your units are specialized and must work in conjunction with the others. For objectives I look at it as all the other units are there to protect the troops units and engage the enemy forces as to support the taking and holding of objectives even at the cost of the unit. Granted you don't want to needlessly sacrifice units, but you have to play aggressively and throw caution to the wind. Make your opponent completely forget about the objectives.

If a list performed poorly you must determine why it performed poorly. This is the part most players fail at. They cannot identify why a list failed. People will play a list they believe to be infallible and invincible only to see it utterly destroyed. I see people online posting lists and saying how invincible they are. One man's gold is another man’s garbage. Just because it works well for one person does not mean it will fit the playing style you use. Farseer Re-roll’s over at Dark Future Games and I both play Eldar. We have very different playing styles though. He uses lots of Pathfinders and Warp Spiders. He also uses 2 regular Farseers that are rather minimalistic. I use Eldrad Ulthran quite a bit and one huge seer council. I also like to use Swooping hawks and hordes of Guardians. I also use the Avatar quite a bit. So our approach to the same situations is different.
Basically what I am trying to say is play what feels right and realize when something is not working. Even if you think its an awesome unit, if it does not work with the rest of the list drop it, or build a list that works with it. The later can be very risky though as you generally end up with a very specialized list. A great man was quoted as saying
“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
Bruce Lee was referring to Martial Arts training during his time. There is truth in the statement though. You must be adaptable. Eldar armies must flow. Then they can Crash into the enemy like a great wave.

Next time we begin the Seven Deadly Venom’s series. The Avatar of Khaine and the Phoenix Lords.

Until then..........

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!


  1. Great article! I want to show you a different side of Nids when you get the chance to throw down next with me and if you want to try Pups, I have been looking for a reason to throw down my counts as Wolves.

    Aside from that, I think your list could use a little more cowbell!

  2. Sounds good to me man I need practice. I have to get the craftworlders set before I go all DE crazy in November.

    I will let ya know since I have no clue what my work schedule is for next week yet. Gimme a ring i have a new phone and your number was not on my sim card apprently.

  3. Saturday night might be an imperial guard vs eldar night... just sayin

  4. All i'm saying is that I have a fever ... and the only cure is more cowbell!

  5. hmmm I might be able to do saturday afternoon the job has me working 5 to 10:30 saturday night.

  6. I think your job needs a little more cowbell.