I am a hardcore tournament player who has played in Rogue Trader Tournaments from Salem, Oregon, down to San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego, California. I have also played in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Right now I am playing and living in Phoenix AZ, but the tournament scene is rather dead for a city of this size, so I might need to join a league.
I try to attend as many large tournaments as I can. Although the GW Grand Tournaments get a bad rap, I enjoy them, and my goal is to win a GT one day. Also I attended Adepticon in Chicago every year and if you are a fan of 40k, this is a must because there is no other event quite like it.
I have had a lot of people ask me about my list that I won the Wild West Shootout with, and wondering why I did so well with it. So I will try to de-construct my list to try to shed some light on how it works, and why I did so well with it.
My design philosophy
When I build and army I ask myself if I can take on common builds, and if I am able to beat the "arch types" (Shooting, Assault, Combo) of the most popular armies? If not, then I tweak the army until I have an army that I think will win against a lot of them, and a chance against others.
With that design concept in mind, what units I gravitate to are units that can fill several roles. That is why one of my favorite heavy weapons is the missile launcher. Not only is it good against hordes with the frag. missile, but against MEQs with AP3, and against vehicles with Strength 8.
So here is a breakdown of my units and their roles:
• Fearless-The Avatar is the glue that keeps my army together. His fearless bubble is needed to keep LD 8 troops from running off the board each time they lose a few guys. He is important for just this role, and if he did just that, it might be worth his points.
• Assault- This guy is a killer in assault. Think of him as a flightless Bloodthirster. WS 10 (WS4 needs 5s to hit), Strength 6 and 4 attacks means that he is putting a hurting on whatever he is on b-t-b with.
• Anti-tank- He gets with other greater daemons don't…a melta gun. At BS5 his threat radius is greatly improved. He can also assault. Now that you get to ago against back armor, and gets 2d6 armor penetration dice for being a monstrous creature and he can tear vehicles apart.
• Hard to kill- The Avatar takes an incredible amount of damage before doing down. He is immune to Flamers and Melta which can't be overstated in this current anti-orks and anti-vehicle builds. Try going up against a Vulcan based army and see what they have that can hurt him. He has a toughness of 6 so he will shrug off most assault and small arms fire. But what makes him really durable is his 3+/4+ save. If you have a Farseer and can Fortune him, then he will easily save what few wounds get through. In fact, it takes almost a whole army shooting at him for a couple of turns to go down, and if they are shooting at him, they are not shooting at anything else.
• Redeploy- When you go first, your opponent gets to set up second and react to your deployment. This ability neutralizes a lot of that counter-deployment giving you a huge advantage when you go first.
• Psychic Powers- Since Eldrad is the only one who not only gets to use all of the Eldar psychic powers, but 3 a turn he is a gigantic force multiplier. I can't stress this enough. The ability to lay down Doom, Guide and Fortune where you need them as well as Mind War and even Eldritch Storm is huge.
• Defense- A 3+ inv save means that he is hard to kill and very survivable. You are not afraid to throw him into an assault or take the odd wound or 2 that his squad takes.
• Offence- Eldrad is a lot better in assault because not only does he wound on a 2+ but his attacks are power weapons.
• Anti-tank-They do one thing and they do it well, killing vehicles. Since 5 Fusion Guns should be enough to kill what they are shooting at
• Anti-infantry- The Exarch gets a Dragon's Breath Flamers so when you are fighting armies that do not have a lot of high AV vehicles, or monstrous creatures you can at least BBQ some Hordes.
• Anti-Tank-They have Fusion Pistols so that they can kill every vehicle, and rending in assault to take down everything but Land Raiders and Monoliths.
• Assault- This is where they shine. With their stats, they can kill almost every assault units out there including most armies' best assault units. Giving the troupe leader a power weapon means they can kill the tough armored units like terminators.
• Defense- They do have an Inv. save, but it is only 5+ so you do have to be careful assaulting large units that get to swing back. But they reason why they are the best counter assault unit is Veil of Tears. You do not have to worry about them being shot up, or taken out before you need them. The ability to roam freely around without worrying about getting killed before you need them is very important.
• Anti-Tank- They are armed with Brightlances to take out the heaviest of armor at range. Alternatively they can be armed with Missile Launchers to give them added range.
• Anti-Infantry- What people underestimate is the destructive power of massed Guardians. Ten Guardians will do 10 wounds to T4 opponents with the correct use of Guide and Doom. When you have them grouped together, they can devastate your opponent. This short range killing is often overlooked.
• Speed- They can move and shoot a heavy weapon. This makes then able to move around for the best shot, and they are able to move to objectives and not loose any firepower, and come on from reserves and shoot at full effect. They also have fleet if you need to assault for some reason.
• Durability- They are durable do to their numbers. They are fearless so you have to kill them to a man to stop them shooting their heavy weapon. With proper positioning, they should be able to benefit from a 4+ cover save. Another thing is that most anti-infantry weapons are close range, and short of heavy bolters and the like, it is very hard to kill them outside of 12". Also they are so far down on the target priority that they are almost never shot.
• Troops-They are Troop units for holding objectives, and that is always a good thing.
• Speed- Jetbikes are fast. Not only do they move 12" in the movement phase, but they move 6" in the assault phase, and when they need to they can also turbo boost 24".
• Anti-Tank- They have a Shuriken Cannon for strength 6 side shots, and a singing spear for strength 9 shooting and assault.
• Anti-Horde- The Warlock has Destructor for anti-horde and the squad has Shuriken Cannons and TL Catapults to help out.
• Troops- They are a fast moving troop unit, needed to get to objectives in a hurry.
• Durability- They have a 3+ save and a 4 toughness which is good by Eldar standards. They ability to turbo boost for a 3+ cover save, and their 6" Eldar Jetbike move in the assault phase helps them to get out of rapid-fire and assault range, or to duck behind cover.
• Anti-Infantry- This is the role where they excel. They can blast away at anything and before long they will go away. They do not care about you standing in cover, because you get an armor save anyways, but through shear volume of fire, they can decimate your opponent.
• Anti-Tank- Although not their primary role, they can chew up enemy armor. Besides the high army value you find in some heavy support choices, most vehicles are armor 12 and less. War Walkers get so many shots, that even glancing hits on AV 12 will do damage.
• Durability-War Walkers are a squadron so you can normally allocate the hits to one chewed up walker. Also they can be obscured for a 4+ cover save and shear number of them makes them hard to silence.
• Speed-The ability to move 6" and shoot all of your weapons, 12'" and shoot one weapon, 12 and more to get an obscured save is nice. Also the total move of 24"+12" with Star Engines makes it get to where you need it to be.
• Transport-The ability to carry 6 models is great on such a fast moving tank. If a guardian squad gets chewed up you can embark it to not only save the guardian squad, but to make your Falcon scoring. Also you can get a 6 man Harlequin squad and transport them for assault and short ranged anti-tank, and then the Fire Dragons for vehicle removal, or to flame some infantry.
• Anti-Tank- I use my Falcons as a gunboat for the most part. They are a fire platform that can shoot 2 strength 9 shots and 1 strength 8 shot. They can move around for some strength 6 shots to.
• Anti-Infantry- Although not a specialty of the Falcon they can also do an ok job of shooting infantry. They can shoot the pulse lasers, and frag grenades and still move 12". 6" and under they can shoot the pulse lasers, the missile launchers, and the shuriken cannon to do some damage.
So as you can see everything has an anti-tank role, and an anti-infantry role. Depending on whatever army I am up against, everything can be used against it. Mech, Infantry, or a combination of both, I have the tools to deal with it.
Now there are some weaknesses in my list. I can't take out a chaos army that has a lot of oblits. To kill them you need a lot of strength 8 AP2, and my 4 shots at BS3 leave me at a huge disadvantage.
There are a few different strategies with building a good take-all-comers list, and I like this kind of reactive army.