Meta, a word that can produce sighs, sneers, or a quiet acceptance from players. Some people balk at it, but call it what you will, you know what I'm talking about. Perhaps if your play group is very small and isolated you may be insulated from it, but if you're playing in community events like small tournaments or even bigger regional ones, you've seen the meta and probably been on the receiving end of it.
Basically, my point is that its tough out there right now. There are a lot of powerhouse builds being wielded with varying degrees of skill and it is hard to make lists to deal with all the likely threats that one would be expected to face.
I'm debating in my head different approaches to succeed nowadays on the game table. Better to do your best, make a balanced "all-comers" list as its called, or specialize in one or two aspects in the game and hope to make the best of those advantages? I don't know.
I have been noticing a slight shift recently from absolute number of shots for the shooting aspect of the game to slightly better quality of shots. Grav-guns have certainly made this shift a little easier as they have quality and rate of fire. Also, an increase in general mobility has been gathering steam in people's lists. Gun line style armies are getting rarer and rarer because they struggle in the objective based environment that most missions create. Interesting shifts.
And looking to the future, the hordes are coming. Hordes that don't care what AP your weapons are, and may have enough bodies on the table that many lists might not have the sheer volume of fire to stop them. Tyranids, Orks, and to a lesser extent Imperial Guard are coming and the body count is going to rise. Essentially, throwing another curve ball into the mix for players to have to plan for when building their army.
To reiterate, it's tough out there, and it doesn't look to be letting up anytime soon. So my question to you is, what is your philosophy for surviving on the table these days and going forward into the future?