18 September 2012

List Creation Process and Tournament Performance - The Basics


  I have been really busy with current painting projects, that I haven't had a chance to actually write something for the Scrum; Even though my page is part of the Scrum. I just want to take a small break from writing painting articles, and try a different variety.

  I also saw that Removed From Play did a podcast with a section on this similar topic. I haven't had a chance to listen to it, but I don't want to intentionally steal their thunder. This is something that I feel inspired to write.

  Recently, I played in the largest tournament that Utah has to offer, the Intermountain Cup. I prepared a few lists, but had little time to play them all thoroughly, due to a busy work schedule. It was a full house! I believe there were 35 people at this tournament, and all the factions were represented except for minions and mercs (oh and please correct me if I am wrong). My only complaint that I had at the tournament was, that there were no chairs for the main tables. For those who don't know, I totally destroyed my knee when I lived in Switzerland, and it has never been the same. Anyway, I didn't do very well in the tourney, as I went 2-3 for the day. There were times of frustration, and also down right anger. I made a lot of mistakes, and thinking on it now my behavior was not at my best. My learning experience was not deterred, and I still had a lot of fun playing one of my favorite games.

Yeah....this was my inner dialog after game 2

  Sometime after the tournament, I had some spare time to just relax, and my thoughts drifted into my experience at the IMC. I began to think of what I could improve on in my list building, and also my player behavior. I then wrote down some ideas. During this process, I realized that my performance at the tourney was a result of my preparation before hand; I didn't properly prepare my lists, or myself for that matter. If I had made some sort of structure or plan, then I think I would have done a little better.

  That was the spark for my inspiration for these articles, structure! A pattern or set process that tailors to my play-style and overall experience with the game. If I could find a way to refine the list building process, my tournament performance might improve. So here's an outline of what is to come for this batch of articles:

List Creation Process and Tournament Performance:
 * The Basics
 * Advanced: Tweaking List part 1
 * Advanced: Tweaking List part 2
 * Building Scenario-centric Lists
 * Building Assassination-centric Lists
 * Building Hybrid Lists
 * Accounting for the Unaccountable
 * The Tournament Environment

  This first post will focus on the first part of the series: the Basics!

  In this and every section that I do, I will post an example list I am preparing for the next tournament I am going to. It may be for a tourney at duelcon, but I haven't decided yet. Anyway, let's finally move on to the topic of the day.

  For newer players, especially when I first started, they don't know how to go about making a list in Warmachine and Hordes competitive. They want to win, and yet they don't know much about the nuances of the game yet. Which leads me to my first point...

  Make A List Based On What You Think Is Cool!
Yeah, I think he's cool! And Yes, I would play him.

  That is really the first thing that should be on their minds, and really should be taught to do. It is more more important for them to have fun while playing the game, than trying to win competitively on the first go. If you are bringing someone new to the game, and they want to play with let's say, Thunderhead, with their Cygnar battlebox, WHY NOT?!? Let them borrow the model and play a small points game with them, and just have fun.

  New players should also be introduced to competitive play based on how comfortable they are with the tournament environment, of which I will talk about in a later article. Whether they have played some other game on a consistent basis on a tournament level, or this maybe their first time, help them at a pace that is preferable to them.

  For veteran players, I am going to suggest a little different path. I may not have played this game as long as some other players have, and they will have different views on how to build their lists. Which is totally fine, and they should do whatever is comfortable for them, but I want to throw in my two cents to maybe add to their skill set.

  I personally have tried different units from within faction and mercs/minions, just so that I can have a change up from the same old tactics I played in the past. Trying new things, even though it may not seem intuitive, with your list will give great insight on how to improve your play and list making experience. Let me give an example of what I am going to be practicing for the next few weeks:

Jarl Skuld +6 WB                                                
Slag Troll   6
Impaler   5
Mauler   9
Runebearer   2

Nyss Hunters   10
Boomhowler and Co.   9
Champions w/ Skaldi   13
Alten Ashley 2

I just threw this list together on a whim, and wanted to have fun with this list.I want to see if I can get some mileage out of Boomhowler with Quicken, and then Tactical Supremacy on the nyss at some point during the game. Then use my champions and the mauler to take out the heavy stuff.

This is just an idea that I am toying with, and in later articles I will give an update on how list testing is going. To sum up today's article, newer players focus on having fun until they get a feel for the game. Veteran players try new things with their list, and find things that they might not have tried before. Next article I will be going into how I build a tournament list, and the "tweaking" process. Thanks for reading!


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