Monday, April 18, 2011

The FIrst Foundation of Vengeance: Spite

The first reaction of most people when they have been wronged is to wrong the person who did the deed. The simple act of vengeance or returning a wrong is not enough in some cases. You continue to hurt the person simply because you can. You show no restraint in your vengeance and this my friends is spite. It is malicious intent past the initial infraction.
Restraint is literally what holds players back. Either because of sportsmanship, which is important, or because they don't want to make their opponent mad, players will show restraint when playing. You don't assault a particular squad or you don't fire the big guns on a unit because your opponent is getting creamed.

I was contemplating this as I was playing CVinton of Dark future Games this past week. I had an initial prototype list of Dark Eldar going against a no tank, all foot, Guard army. Blob squads and Heavy weapon teams was all that I saw across the table from me. My force stood no chance. As wyches and warriors died and Raiders exploded all around my Archon and his Trueborns I thought about how I could salvage the game. CVinton kept apologizing and I think showed some restraint when he was holding some of his troops back. Granted for those of you who have not played CVinton he usually does not show a lot or restraint and mercilessly destroys his opponents. Which brings me to my next point.
You cannot restrain yourself. This is especially true if you want to win a tournament. You must not hold back. In fact overkill and being slightly malicious should be encouraged. So This is the First Foundation of Vengeance. Spite.

Dark Eldar, as I have said many many times, is a momentum army. Holding back breaks momentum. You must be without mercy. This may seem like common sense, but if you sat and thought back to the games you have had in the past month, were there instances when you should have done on thing, but did another because you did not want to seem like a jerk. I recently saw at the Test of Khaine tournament a Dark Eldar player stop his raiders mid field. He was advancing and then stopped short. He second guessed his move and hesitated. This cost him the game. CVinton capitalized on this and slew most of his army without mercy. This is how you win. You exploit weakness. Most opponents cannot recover once you break the back of there army. This is not because its not possible to recover, you can really pull a victory out of very little, but you have gotten into their head. 40K is as much about psychology as it is your list or how good of a general you are.

You see it every game. I recently played a Tyranid swarm army with the Lelith fair. I had Lelith in the thick of it cutting her way across the board. Even though my opponent knew it would be bad to send his gaunts into her he kept doing it. He was determined to kill her and saw her as a huge threat, especially after she got a couple lucky hits and killed one of the Tyrant Guard with the Hive Tyrant. She even wounded the Hive Tyrant. He was making bad decisions because Lelith in his mind was an nigh unto unstoppable killing machine. This allowed the rest of my army to advance and pick apart his force. The swarm that had outnumbered me almost 3 to 1 was being laid to waste because I pressed the attack and continued. Even when he had basically given up I had my surviving Incubi continue to an objective not only to contest it, but I actually charged the Gaunts holding it and slaughtered them.
No mercy. No restraint. Destroy everything with malice and a smile on your face.

SO there you go The First Foundation of Vengeance. I plan on keeping this in mind while I prototype up my list and play it. I am not saying to be a huge jerk mind you. Sportsmanship is important, but you want to win to. So be fair and a good sport, but don't hold back when it comes to destroying an opponents army.

Until next time

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


  1. I like where you're going with with this.

    Restraint really only comes from wanting a better soft score(in a tournament at least). Many tournaments have been making soft scores so crazily important that getting full points in a game means less than letting your opponent not feel like you just did something vile in their orifices.

  2. Yeah part of this is because of my soft score experiences. I am trying to get myself in the right mindset. Also trying to get in the painting mood.

    Lelith is not turning out well.

  3. Hi,

    It's been an interesting mental shift for me, moving from Tau to Dark Eldar. Because everything in the dark Eldar army is fragile (particularly the transports which give us our speed and mobility) everything in the enemy army is a threat (even a small squad far away with one heavy weapon).

    I've slowly been playing more and more aggressive, because to eradicate threats I must break the enemy army as soon as possible.

    Another nice article, I'm looking forward to the rest.


  4. Orks seem like a momentum army as well. Gotta get in melee as soon as possible.

    It took me awhile to feel comfortable with the fact that boyz are cheap, and your going to lose some on the way there.

  5. Yeah I have been on the receiving end of orks many times. They have to be played very aggressively as well. You just have to time the WAAAAAAAAGH!!!!! correctly.

    To Rathstar, I have to really switch mindset when I go back to playing my craftworlders. They cannot be played as aggressively as the dark kin. Its almost a radical change for me. Kinda like an Aspect warrior donning his War Mask to go t battle. Gentle before and a cold hearted killer after he suits up.