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Astra Militarum: How to deal with top ITC lists


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#1
Aothaine

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Hello everyone!

 

So the LVO ended a few weeks ago. What I saw that was pretty scary were the Eldar Reapers, Cultist/Bloodletter bombs, and alpha strike lists. So I was curious. What are you all doing to prepare and counter these lists? Have any of you played against these hyper competitive lists? If so, how do you pull victories out?

 

Thanks in advance!


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#2
Arganias

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My experience with the ITC tournament rules is limited, but... based on what I have seen with the lists that were posted a few days ago I would say more bodies. LVO tends to focus on smaller armies with guard as a stop gap, secondary list. I would advise that since the tournament rounds are timed that you tighten up your own understanding of the Guard Codex to avoid being accused of wasting time, since there is always 'that guy'.

 

If I remember with the older ITC rules set kill points is usually a fairly secondary and tertiary objective most of the time, so it might not be a terrible idea to consider a more attritional army build considering that the meta tends to run on more elite armies.  


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#3
Halfpint100

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Fun fact about ITC squad killing secondary, they only counts for squads of 10 or more, hence most guard squads will include a mortar to reduce that squad size to 9. Therefore not granting points when killed (if that secondary is selected). 

 

Other then that, a marine detatchment with scouts pushes back that alpha and the most important part: redundancy, if you have a key unit, take 2! or even better, 4!


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#4
Aothaine

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Fun fact about ITC squad killing secondary, they only counts for squads of 10 or more, hence most guard squads will include a mortar to reduce that squad size to 9. Therefore not granting points when killed (if that secondary is selected). 

 

Other then that, a marine detatchment with scouts pushes back that alpha and the most important part: redundancy, if you have a key unit, take 2! or even better, 4!

 

 

 That is dirty! lol! Also, I could not agree more with redundancy.

 

I was hoping to field a massive infantry division with some tank support. Maybe like three basilisks and three leman russes. 

 

Are the scout walkers good at creating that anti-alpha strike bubble?


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#5
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Alpha deep strike assault is relatively easy to counter with Guard. Eldar, they are far superior in everything. I'd simply avoid facing them, it is really wasted time at top-lists level. Your best bet, if you must, requires heavy list-tailoring: avoid anything with a range over 24", focus on mobility, assault and close-range fire. In a word: Catachans, scions, close combat, Hellhounds and outflanking stuff.

Or, cross your fingers and wait for March. But don't expect much: the current (codex) rules have simply cut whole armies out from the competitive game, and Guard is chief among these. This situation is unfixable, even with points adjustments.

#6
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I'm not sure that we will have points change in the next faq (GW said it will happens only in C.A.), on the other hands this new system it's become a "who cry out louder wins", so if they decide for points change I'm pretty sure that it will be in our disfavour and not the contrary. Eldar player have special ability in crying louder than anything else and have a "strange" perception about the strenght and weakness of theor codex, compared to the others...

It's quite clear how much I hate Space Elves?

I fear a return to the 7th system for tourney, where the most improbable list wins. I think that crying out louder than Eldar player could help, and forbid allaied and mixed soup list could help too
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#7
Hatarus

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personally i think the best thing is to just not worry to hard on the whole issue, create a list you think will work for you and stick to it if you let yourself get bogged down worrying about ways to counter what some of the top lists might be you will find yourself burnt out before you even make it to the event and that can put you in a rather bad mood to play against. Personally my advice would be to just take it easy there are going to be lists better then yours but if you go to see how far you can get rather then to win at all costs those lists won't bug you as much, honestly if i could give any advice at all it's that if people are there to win and only to win (and aren't being a "that guy") play your best accept the loss and just have a fun day  


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#8
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It's sort of an aphorism among U.S. Civil War historians and history buffs that General Ulysses Grant performed better as the leader of the Union Army than McClellan or Halleck because he was far more concerned about what he was going to do do the enemy and less concerned about what the enemy was going to do to him. He also applied this philosophy to his Western campaigns before becoming military leader of the Union army in 1864.

 

It's something I like to consider when I play 40K.  :)


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#9
librisrouge

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It's sort of an aphorism among U.S. Civil War historians and history buffs that General Ulysses Grant performed better as the leader of the Union Army than McClellan or Halleck because he was far more concerned about what he was going to do do the enemy and less concerned about what the enemy was going to do to him. He also applied this philosophy to his Western campaigns before becoming military leader of the Union army in 1864.

It's something I like to consider when I play 40K. :)

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#10
Frater Cornelius

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personally i think the best thing is to just not worry to hard on the whole issue, create a list you think will work for you and stick to it if you let yourself get bogged down worrying about ways to counter what some of the top lists might be you will find yourself burnt out before you even make it to the event and that can put you in a rather bad mood to play against. Personally my advice would be to just take it easy there are going to be lists better then yours but if you go to see how far you can get rather then to win at all costs those lists won't bug you as much, honestly if i could give any advice at all it's that if people are there to win and only to win (and aren't being a "that guy") play your best accept the loss and just have a fun day


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#11
MrZakalwe

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To fight the Eldar spam forgeworld hellhounds.

Seriously that's how IG has a shot at beating the top elder soup lists and even then you're facing an uphill battle

Generally speaking though you beat it by not agreeing to play it.

Edited by MrZakalwe, 15 February 2018 - 09:01 AM.


#12
Otto von Bludd

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What do we do commander?

 

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#13
Frater Cornelius

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Did those Basilisk/Artillery Carriage lists fall out of favour? I’d imagine they would put quite a dent into a unit of Reapers. Also, how ‘bout a Baneblade variant? Though the days of pie plate one shot army kills are over, a good few BB shots will take ‘em apart. Take the Stormlord, for example. That thing gives you an open topped gun carriage with a decent weapon on top.

Also, what ‘bout Tallarn? Can Eldar intercept outflanking reserves or just deep strike? If it is the latter, get in their face with the Dagger of Tu’something and/or the Tallarn Stratagem. At the end of the day, Reapers are just T3 Marines. They will fold really quickly if pressured at close range.

Celestine has an increadible threat range (if you are good at rolling a 2+) and she synergizes well with Slabshield Bullgryns, the +1 save psychic power and the Take Cover Stratagem (because of her 6++ bubble). She could take care of a whole Reaper unit herself. T1 if you are lucky.

Finally, and you may think I am crazy, Sly Marbo. Deploy 9” from a big Reaper Squad, but out of LoS, use the movement ability and them charge ‘em. No overwatch if you remained outside of LoS. Marbo should be able to hold them down for a turn. Eldar usually do not have a whole lot of CP, so using 2 to retreat and fire on a potentially damaged squad may not be in their best interest. He’s only 65pts anyway, I think, so well worth it.

Well, that’s all I got for now. I do not know how well those elements will stack up against other meta-lists like BA, but it should be solid against Reaper spam.

Be excellent to one another, and lean on your brothers and sisters when your patience grows slim

 


#14
Feral_80

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Theoryhammer. I'll try to sum up:

 

  • FW Carriages: a thing of the past. Before they were slightly too cheap, now they are tremendously overpriced. Doesn't matter anyway, with -1/-2/-3 hit all around the Eldar army they will never hit anything really. The things are completely useless at the moment.
  • Baneblade: huge pts investment and hugely risky. You go first, you *might* kill something (but not much: see above for the -1 hit stuff). Eldar turn, it will be badly degraded/destroyed already. Not worth it.
  • Tallarn: almost viable. Outflanking Tallarn plasma squad and Hellhounds are one of our best hopes. But you must hope that the Eldar player is stupid enough to kindly deploy a 48" unit in a position vulnerable to your short-range outflanking units. They will achieve something, however.
  • Celestine: this might also achieve something, but certainly not if she attends M 6" Bullgryns. She should be able to charge within turn 2, and might kill something, then just die. Complication: Alaitoc fields enough virtually immortal (at range) Rangers to pose a real threat to her.
  • Sly Marbo: again very theoryhammer: a decent Eldar player will not leave an open deepstrike zone 9" from his precious Reapers. They will be in the protected by other units, like e.g. the cheap rangers above. Marbo will never get a clear charge at them. Plus, well, Marbo sucks badly anyway, but that's another thing.

 

Unfortunately there are no real solutions here, only potentially useful assets (Tallarn stuff) and a lot of ways to waste points.



#15
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Something I didn’t know but learned from MWG’s post event video is that a tabling isn’t an auto win. So essentially, you could just outscore the Eldar and then force them to try and table you late in the game for you to win. It’s a weird way to think, but Quirk said it wasn’t uncommon.

I’d love to roll up to an event with my krieg and see what happens because they are such an outlier, people might not know what to do!
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#16
Feral_80

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This makes no sense at all, not just because it assumes to be able to significantly outscore - in a couple of turns - an army that is much better than yours at mobility and board control.

I do not look at MWG since I find them terrible. So when exactly did GW change the basic rule (p. 215) that 'if at the end of any turn after the first battle round, one player has no models on the battlefield, the game ends immediately and their opponent automatically wins a crushing victory'?



#17
Tirak

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This makes no sense at all, not just because it assumes to be able to significantly outscore - in a couple of turns - an army that is much better than yours at mobility and board control.

I do not look at MWG since I find them terrible. So when exactly did GW change the basic rule (p. 215) that 'if at the end of any turn after the first battle round, one player has no models on the battlefield, the game ends immediately and their opponent automatically wins a crushing victory'?

 

Most tournaments have rules specifically for Tabling. For Adepticon this year tabling your opponent will award you 5 victory points.


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#18
Feral_80

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Aah, now that explains it. I still believe it makes no sense, but I can vaguely understand the rationale behind it. A rather weird way to try to fix certain imbalances in the game.

 

And, it is not going to be used consistently in what represents the largest part of the game (and yet the one that GW seems less aware of), i.e. non-tournament play.



#19
Tirak

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Aah, now that explains it. I still believe it makes no sense, but I can vaguely understand the rationale behind it. A rather weird way to try to fix certain imbalances in the game.

 

And, it is not going to be used consistently in what represents the largest part of the game (and yet the one that GW seems less aware of), i.e. non-tournament play.

 

Well winning doesn't matter in non tournament, so whether you win by an inch or a mile, who cares? In tournament however there are stakes to winning and losing, and encouraging objective style play which creates a more dynamic battle is viewed by many tourney goers to be a positive thing.


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#20
Feral_80

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I think a dynamic battle is a good thing regardless, and for that part I appreciate the effort of the 8th ed.

 

Winning is not so important in casual games, but if given the choice, it's still somewhat better than losing rolleyesclean.gif but above all, for a game to be fun you need both players to have more or less equal chances to win/lose, otherwise neither the winner nor the loser will enjoy it. This is very far from the current situation, unfortunately, and that's also why playing against Eldar seems (once more) hardly funny at all.


Edited by Feral_80, 19 February 2018 - 08:46 AM.


#21
Frater Cornelius

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Well, you have to consider that when people play for fun, they usually do not field high end lists and also may also discuss what they field, making the topic of balance secondary.


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#22
Feral_80

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Do they? That is interesting. I wonder how often that actually happens.

 

In my experience, there are three ways to play: tournament, casual, and easy. 'Competitive' is *not* limited to a tournament environment, despite being often improperly associated with it.

 

The first and the third ways to play are very rare, compared to the middle one, the casual. Which is inbetween, but probably much closer to the top than to the lower-end of the scale: you certainly aim to put up up a good fight, without the tournament-like obsessions for ultra-optimization and idiotic mathammering. Yet, you certainly do not field intentionally 'weak' stuff, either. What I see as casual gaming is: I design a list that I like and which I believe will be funny to play, AND challenging for the opponent. He'll do the same. We play, laugh, and ideally the game is hard to win, although not mentally stressing/disabling as in a tournament. 

 

If I had to rate them in cheese (or, if you prefer, competitive) factor, tournament would be 100%, casual 70%, and easy 10%. And most people definitely play around 70% C-factor.

 

'Easy' game, I only experience it once per year when we organize the seasonal, silly Apocalypse. There you see units that you never see again for the rest of the year.

 

That is the way the average game club runs, as far as I know - and I am certainly not /tg in my approach. I live between two different countries, one a big city in and the other is a small town (but in a densely urbanized region), and there are no noticeable differences in terms of approach to the game. Overall, I am familiar with 4 clubs in my areas, for roughly 50-60 players, and I can state that by far the vast majority play like that (and yet, most of them are nice guys). I do not think I live in two particularly fanatic/depressed (in nerdly terms) areas. If you arrange a game with a random guy, there are much higher chances that he will bring a 70%-C list or, sometimes, if you find the occasional censored.gif, a tournament-like list that he has usually replicated from some online forum. It is extremely rare to find a guy who intentionally proposes an 'easy', 10%-C game, and if he does you know it well in advance. But the standard way to play is not particularly easy in terms of competitiveness.

 

I think there is a lot of mythology in seeing casual gaming as something that implies easy lists and discards competitiveness. I'd like to hear from others and see if I live in a bubble.


Edited by Feral_80, 19 February 2018 - 10:54 AM.

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#23
WarriorFish

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I'd agree with that assessment Feral, in all I've seen almost all games are competitive in nature by the definition of the word i.e. both sides are attempting to win. It's more a case of the common terminology used in the hobby I reckon, as when we hear "competitive" we automatically think of flowing Gandalf beard army lists. I think of it as the same approach to sports:

  • League/cup game = competitive
    Play the rules, bring your ex-International and hear the lamentation of their women
  • Friendlies = casual
    Go for the win, but play a gentleman's game (let them make lots of subs or give them players etc)
  • Tour/charity = fun/fluff bunny
    Have fun and make stories anything goes so long as it's cool/fun etc and people are up for it

I feel it covers it quite neatly, certainly helped me with games. For the record, the vast majority of games are "friendlies" in my experience so that's what I judge to be normal games, very few are the third category.

 


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#24
Feral_80

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Eh, that's pretty much the same of my experience.

It follows that balance is a primary issue at all levels beyond that of tour/chairty/easy games, which seem to be by far the minority.



#25
Mileposter

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I've played in four distinctly different areas of the US, in seven 'meta's spread across those spaces. While still anecdotal, I feel it gives me enough to at least consider it more than singular meta bias. There are some glaring similarities, and garish differences, among them.
 
But in all seven 'groups' I played around, near, or in - there was definitely the regular narrative game. The point was the story. Now, true, both sides still brought an even amount of power level or points (or had a balancing mission advantage), and people still went at it with the intent to win... But the story was more important than the win, and the fun was derived from the participation in that story rather than the success of the list. Most of those cases were before 8th Ed, so it wasn't because GW tried to introduce Narrative play, and in the cases seen post 8th Ed the expression has been "Finally GW supported my desired way to play".
 
Can't say my sampling is evidence enough to claim there's a hugely significant portion of the population, but it occurred far too often for me to believe it's a fluke. Often enough for me to personally believe that the inclusion of Narrative Play is more than placation or simple appeasement. It is likely dismissed as being part of 'Friendly Games', but it's... Different. I feel it deserves consideration.

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