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.
He finally gave a breakdown of why he does not like my list, which is a lot better than saying that it was a 4th edition list.
#1. You can only beat the armies that they put in front of you. Everyone says that the armies that I faced were not the best armies that people can build. They are right, but I have no control over the armies I faced. There were not the hardest lists that I have ever seen, but they were played by good players who had respectable win-loss records up to that point. At the Wild West Shootout they had Vulcan lists, dual lash lists; other mech guard, etc. and the type of list that people think of when they think of the top tier armies, but somewhere along the line they lost, and it just happened that I didn't play them. Take for example Shep's first game. He played a Nob Biker army and took it out.
#2. To do well at any tournament you need to get lucky. There are so many factors in 40k like the rock-paper-scissors aspect of 40K, that you need to need a little luck with the match-ups, the scenarios, and the right dice rolls at the right time. If you get unlucky with any of them, you might stumble.
#3. I know my lists might not be as powerful as I could make it. Heck, I have even dropped Eldrad most of the time because I think he is too powerful. Why do I not take the most powerful list I can? I like to challenge myself. I feel that using the most powerful units in the codex are a crutch that a lot of players lean on, and I like to see if I can win without them. I made my Eldar army the way it is on purpose, and I felt like I was cheating bringing a Falcon because I wanted to win without any skimmers, but I crumbled under the pressure of a large 5 game tournament. If I wanted to I could do what everyone is telling me to do and bring a bad-ass Mech Eldar or Seer Council and kick some butt, but if I did win with one of those armies, then everyone would just say oh, Seer Council won and dismiss my victory thinking that my list won by using the most overpowered units, and not do to any skill. As a side note, I own 4 Wave Serpents for over 3 years and all they are all partially assembled and primed, and never used.
My next army will be pre-heresy chaos and I will limit myself because of that. I will not use Lash, Demon Princes, Plague Marines or any of the good stuff (I might sneak in oblits though.)
When Stelek did get around to breaking down my list he explained that Thunderhammer-Storm Shield Terminators would kill my Avatar and my Harlequins. First off, those Terminators give everyone trouble. They are one of the most powerful assault units in the game and responsible for hunting Nob bikers into extinction.
Now it is easy to say that they Terminators will kill my assault units, but it is very hard to do. How are you getting them even into assault? Land Raider? Generally what I do is I screen my Avatar and my Harlequins with Guardians, the cannon fodder of the Craftworld so they can't even get to them. So they end up charging my Guardians, and when they assault they end up doing so many wounds, that the ones that are still alive die because of the "no retreat" rule and then that leaves them open to fire from my army so I can just kill enough of them to soften them up to be finished off by my counter assault. And here Stelek was saying that fearlessness was bad in assault, but it helps to clear out any brave Guardians that might want to keep on fighting. I don't want my Guardians to be heroes.
In reply to this:
Stelek-"I'd like to note how bad both my DH list and your DH (I think? Please correct me if I'm wrong, coulda also been WH?) with it's horrible mish-mash of units, which you documented on Dakka and thought it too was competitive. I did better than you, in a larger more national 'pool' of players yes? I'm not tooting the Stelek horn, just saying I had a crap list but you at least had some vehicles (I had none) and I broadcast as loud as I could what I was bringing long before I showed up."
It was a Witch Hunters army with a lot of Demonhunter units allied to it. And you just said that I documented it on Dakka, so I would say that I broadcasted my army list as well.
Remember what I was saying about needing to get lucky to do well at tournaments? To give an example of this I give you Stelek's batreps from the 2008 Las Vegas GT:
All I will say is take a look at those batreps and see if fortune did not smile on him.
Then he goes on to say how bad my Witchhunters army was, and that he did better than me in Vegas. The problem is that two peoples GT experiences can be totally different. Because of Stelek's slow start (he tied his first 2 rounds) he was in the shallow end and down with the bottom feeders, and I ended up massacring my opponents, and I was playing at tables much higher than him, and I ended up playing the heavy hitters like Shep who I tied while he steamrolled all his other opponents on his way to getting 81 battle points: Game #2 of the Las Vegas GT, Blackmoor vs. Shep
…and I lost to Scott Simpson who won Best General at with a perfect battle point score of 100 at the Baltimore GT a few months before the Vegas GT.
So yes, I scored 68 battle points to Stelek's 73. Of course the Vegas GT was the first time I played that army and the first time I played 5th edition, so overall I thought I did very well. I then made improvements to my list and then a couple of months later at the Baltimore GT I scored 78 battle points which had me at the 8th highest score out of 148 players. Not bad for a list Stelek calls a "horrible mish-mash of units".