Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The ignorance of Stelek

When YTTH resident blowhard Stelek does not like an army, or understand how it works, he calls it a 4th edition army. This is a way that he can quickly categorize and demean an army that that does not meet with the Stelek's seal of approval, and then he and all of his sheep can dismiss it.
So now I see him and his clones calling the army I won the Wild West Shootout a 4th edition army. I find that funny since you never found an army like mine in 4th edition. Now if I had 3 falcons and 18 harlequins I can see his point, but my army is built for 5th edition butt-kicking.

Here are some examples of why my army is built with 5th in mind:

  1. With 5th edition's prevalence of 4+ cover saves, the high strength, high AP weapons have gone out of favor. My army has a massive amount of firepower so it pretty much ignores cover saves with shear volume.
  2. With people's love affair with Mech armies, every unit I field can take out a tank.
  3. On the other side of the coin, armies built to counter builds with a lot of vehicles have a lot of anti-tank and melta and those have little effect on my army.
  4. In 4th edition you had no use for troops, and you can just take 2 squads of 5 Dire Avengers and call it a day. I have 30 Guardians that are hard to kill in 5th edition in their fearless bubble and cover saves, and Jetbikes that can turbo boost and fill all kinds of roles.
  5. The funny thing is that I tried the War Walker army in 4th Edition and it did not work. There were things running around like 6 man Las-Plas squads, Tank-Hunting Auto-Canons and a vehicle damage chart that smoked my War Walkers like a fine Cuban cigar. Only now in 5th edition is the War Walker build viable.


  1. Here are a few reasons why I like your list.

    First it is obvious that the Mech box has been completely thrown out the window.

    Second having access to lots of firepower works well in 5th.

    Thirdly it's got plenty of multi-purpose troops.

    Finally it's obviously a good list in your hands and won you the event, which is all that really matters when all is said and done.


  2. As I have previously stated, I really like this list.
    First off, it has a torrent of firepower most of it having a 36 inch range.
    Secondly, your list is built as a perfect counter to what you will usually see in a tournament, i.e. Mechanized Lists with Melta Weapons. As your list has no vehicles with AC 14, and few vehicles to begin with, this makes this sort of army play you at a handy cap.

    Third, the list works for you, the fact that you won two large independent tournaments with this list -- shows that it is effective and deadly in your might not be for everyone, but for you it works...probably because of your understanding of your army.

    Keep up the posts and Batreps

  3. Allan you are never going to win an argument versus Stelek. It is a waste of time first. Second for an elite gamer such as yourself it is like sending in a small team of commandos versus a city overrun by zombies... you will run out of ammo before you can even put a small dent in their vast undying numbers.

    You won and no one can argue with that try as much as they like. I know you well... You are an extremely good sport first and foremost. Second like I said you are an elite gamer. Third and most important to me you can think outside the box. Let it go and enjoy the big win.


  4. Well, arguing on Stelek's side (because, despite being kind of a jerk- okay, more than kind of- he is a more than reasonable tactician and I think there are some honest critiques of the list:

    -Guardians with Bright Lances are basically trying to be the Guard, which Eldar are kinda bad at. Flamers and all manner of other anti-GEQ weapons are going to tear them to shreds and you don't have any neat orders or mass of bodies to compensate the way IG does.

    -I... don't really understand what the Jetbikes are for? Yeah, okay, objective grabs and all that, but they're really quite fragile. Anyone who decides "screw this, I'm gonna wipe his troops out" should easily be able to do so.

    -I don't have any personal experience with double-Laser Walkers, but they seem okay on paper for massacring light vehicles and infantry. Some people think they're trash, though.

    So basically what I see is some good stuff (Eldrad, Avatar, WWs, Harlies, Dragons) carrying the weight of some other units. Why wouldn't a well-build shooting army just vaporize your mans? S6 isn't going to stop any tanks from shooting, and Eldrad can't Fortune _everything_. You only have three real AT shots (the Lances) that are active early, when you need to deal with dangerous shooting.

    "I won a tournament" is not any kind of definitive proof of a good list any more than "I beat my brother at baseball" is a reason to try for the major leagues. Even if the list is subpar, an experienced general (especially one with extensive familiarity with his list) can pilot it to victory.

    If you're happy with your list- great; I'm not here to tell you how to play the game. But, by the same token, placing your list above reproach because you won a tournament is just as silly. If I come back tomorrow with my Tau list having won our local tournament, that doesn't mean I'm going to sit on my ass and say "Welp, looks like I've got a winning thing going here. That should be good enough." I'm going to comb back over it and try and find holes- do I have too much AT, or too little? Can I afford to drop some troops for more firepower, or am I finding myself unable to claim objectives? Would another setup entirely work better? If you're intending to go for "competitive" play, this is a more-or-less endless process, and dismissing someone's opinion out of hand is only going to hurt you.

    Again: I'm not fanboy of Stelek. I think he's abrasive and self-righteous most of the time. But he does have some good ideas, and he does have a very original take on 40K strategy, one that I think is often borne out by results.

  5. Some comments:

    1. Congrats on winning the Wild West Shootout with Eldar! That's fanastic!

    2. It's easy (and lazy) to lable a list a POS and move on to criticizing other things.

    3. Sean's baseball analogy is terrible. Winning tournaments is the best way of distinguishing good players from average players in 40K. While Wild West Shootout isn't as large an event as Adepticon, there are still quality players trying their hardest to beat each other there.

    Winning a single small or medium sized tournament isn't the equivalent of "trying out for the major leagues" but winning lots of them (or a major tournament) is a great way of figuring out who is good and who isn't.

    Note: The worst kind of "definitive proof" is sitting at home and saying that a list that you've never played or played against is a POS -- just like saying that you are the world's best player has no value unless you play (and win) tournaments.

    So what Blackmoor has shown us is that he's a good player and he's officially made my list of "people I want to play".

    4. Don't lose any sleep over being targeted by a crazy blogger -- any idiot with a semi-rigid finger and an internet connection can spew hate.

    Congrats again!

  6. I find that funny since you never found an army like mine in 4th edition.
    Hrm... This is the only part I really disagree with. The Avatar led Guardian horde was a tried and true tactic even in 4th edition.
    But then again, you're a Dakkaite... so you're forgiven for being a bit behind the curve. :-p

    Honestly, I don't like your army. Call me a Stelek sheeple if you must, but I had that opinion of Guardian Horde from well before I saw your list or Stelek's opinion on it. Am I just another internet jackhole? Probably. But I also won the Phoenix Indy GT held by Warboss in '05. I don't play up in Phoenix too often these days, but maybe we'll get a chance to match forces some time.

    I think this list works well for you because:
    a. It's an oddball choice. There's no comfort of familiarity like there would be if you played a more common style of list. People won't always understand it or know how to play against it.
    b. It's adapted for the melta-spam metagame. People often bring unbalanced lists... and deserve to lose when you don't play their game.
    c. The missions weren't the greatest. You got good draws, played smart and got lucky (mostly) when you needed it. You even admit as much in some of your batreps.
    d. You play to objective rather than just a standard "stand there and fight". You're willing to drop everything into Reserves, for one. Many gamers don't know what to do against things like this. Thus you end up with opponent mistakes like your Round 1 SW game: dropping scattered and too close to your board edge.
    e. You're a good player. You know the strengths and weaknesses of your list. You understand how the lists of others work and how to beat them. You know how to cause opponent to make mistakes and then know how to exploit them. You understand the ideas of concentrated fire, calculated risks, and beneficial sacrifice.

    Why I think the army is craptacular:
    a. "My army has a massive amount of firepower so it pretty much ignores cover saves with shear volume." This is a double edged sword... there's other armies that do the same. Guardians don't last long against concentrated small arms fire. Several of your opponents had decent opportunities to wreck your lines, but never capitalized.
    b. Not everybody plays the melta-spam metagame.
    c. "I have 30 Guardians that are hard to kill in 5th edition in their fearless bubble and cover saves" ...and are easy to kill in CC for these exact same reasons. Players and armies that can get there should do quite nicely. Not everyone's going to nicely line up to get shot like that Chaos Daemon player.
    d. It requires being run by a skilled player. There's little to no room for mistakes, you have to apply everything correctly, and you have to use every advantage you can get.

    If anything, that last one is why I'm laughing that this has been getting so much publicity... I'm looking forward to seeing the copycat lists popping up just because you won a decent sized GTT with it. Too many people think that list building is the end-all-be-all of 40k. I'd contest that skill and luck are equal parts too, especially at a good sized GTT.

    Overall, well played and congrats on winning.

  7. Dverning, all of those posts are from 2008 and are talking about Eldar in 5th edition, not 4th.

    I have no illusions of my army being unbeatable, no army is. Everyone is looking for the perfect list; well there are no perfect lists!

    Yes, there are tough match ups for my army.

    I talked about how I would beat my army on Dakka, and if I had the right build killing my troops in an objective mission would be one of them.

    Saying that does not mean that my army is a bad army. I looked at an army that Stelek loves (I think it was Edwin’s army) that was a marine army with a ton of multi-melta and melta. My Eldar would crush that list.

    I think you are down in Tucson? If Hat’s Games ever has an RTT, you would get some firsthand experience with my army.

  8. Dverning, all of those posts are from 2008 and are talking about Eldar in 5th edition, not 4th.
    I realize this. I referenced those in particular because they mention adapting Guardian/Avatar Horde from 4th to 5th. I could probably hunt down the 4th edition tactica and show you examples of Avatar/Guardian tactics there if you really want. Meh. My point was that it's not a strategy idea unique to 5th. I saw people running this in 2nd edition, much less 4th.

    I have no illusions of my army being unbeatable, no army is.
    Hrm. I still feel like there's a bit of disconnect. First, I don't agree with everything Stelek says. Second, I don't think you ever said your list was unbeatable.
    I wasn't trying to point out how it was beatable. I was trying to point out why I didn't like it. I usually analyze lists irregardless of skill level. Being played by some anonymous person of general skill, I think this list would get their head handed to them. I also think a good general can take an even mediocre list and make it shine.
    There's several little things that I think could make this list less reliant on skill and luck. I'd also agree that there's some nasty matchups out there. I think you could tweak the list to make that less so. Is it worth it? Probably not. You're not some rank newb asking for advice on a list you found on a forum. You seem happy with the list as-is and obviously are able to make it work.

    Yeah, I'm down in Tucson. I've been trying to convince Hat to run an RTT for years. I'll let you know if it ever happens. Usually when I'm up your way, I play at IO. However, after browsing EG's pics, I may have to swing by just to make Hines cry again. :-p

  9. I don't necessarily agree with your army selection but you did make it work and win in this tournament and congratulations are due to you.

    Congrats on your win.


  10. First off, good to see this blog. I've followed some of your postings on dakka over the past few years. There have been some good reads from your battle reports from various tourneys. Winning the Wild West Shootout was another good read. You are one of the few who manage to take photos each round in nearly every battle report which really adds a lot.

    It's been my observation that over the last year or so, there has been an increased hostility in regards to what makes for winning tourney armies. There have been some interesting debates with a lot of merit, but overshadowed by a lot of 'epic fail' type comments which really don't add much to a discussion. At times, I miss some of the debates that involved Mauleed, JTS or Plastictrees. For the record: Blackmoor's army was not a 4th edition winning Eldar army--no triple Falcons for the win.

    Additionally, there appears to be a lot of dismissive attitudes when folks actually take the time to post about their tourney experiences. A common theme I've read so many times is that the person only won a tourney b/c everyone else either (a) sucked or (b) their army sucked or (c) people cheated or (d) the tourney sucked.

    An area of topic that seems to be ignored is when folks bring up the less obvious: luck, matchups, being able to adapt to whatever is laid in front of you etc... Blackmoor has never claimed having an infallable list. Typcially, his lists have a 'WTF' look to them. They don't appear capable, but then he wins with said list. There are several issues at hand that must go one's way in order to win a tourney. An armylist alone does not win tourneys. This type of insight has been put forth, but only really challenged by my listings in the previous paragraph.

    Another issue that gets glossed over is that Blackmoor has indicated he only, for the most part, plays in tourneys. I've read a few folks that posted lists and claim to be able to beat Blackmoor's list; great. Show up to a tourney with the list and be able to adapt to any and every situation and win with it. One of the biggest challenges (especially in 5th edition)is building an army that can handle the unknowns of matchup, terrain and soft scores (if utilized); in short- flexibility.

    For that matter, GW even supported a tourney which encouraged folks to bring beatstick armies (no soft scores to penalize folks). After the smoke cleared, some folks howled at how piss poor the winning army was. Not sure what to say to these folks except to play better next time. If one did not compete, why not? If one lives outside the US, start bugging GW about sponsoring this type of event. Personally, I don't like this event, but it's only one tourney a year, so no big loss on my part.

    Blackmoor gave a breakdown of his army as many folks questioned it. It's not perceived as a great internet list, but he still went on to win a tourney with 60 players. Blackmoor played on the same terrain and played the same missions as the other 59 players. He won, simple as that.

    But, I pose this question: If Blackmoor won with such a crap list, how do you think he'd fare with a 'real' tourney list?

    Oh, IIRC, Hat runs monthly RTTs, but switches between Fantasy and 40K. There's a pretty good group of guys to play there. I had to spend nearly 6 months out at Ft Huachuca and the crew at Hat's made me and my Greenskins feel right at home.

    Keep up the interesting debates and conversations on the hobby many of us enjoy.


  11. Charlie- "Additionally, there appears to be a lot of dismissive attitudes when folks actually take the time to post about their tourney experiences."

    You make a great point, and I will use that to write an article in the near future.

    Thanks for posting Charlie and if you are down in Tucson, I hope to make it for an RTT (If I can ever find out when they are).