Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dundracon Post Mortem: and I do mean Post Mortem!

Well guys, I said it going in. And I quote: "I could be sabotaging myself. I could misjudge the metagame, and there's always room for statistical anomalies, but overall I'm looking for a good 3rd game at Dundracon this time."

I did everything right, leading up to the con. I packed early, double-checked that I had everything I needed, finished magnetizing my night spinners and got plenty of rest. Everything was smooth sailing...

Until the first game!

Long story short, I got trashed. Smashed. Obliterated. Gunned down and run down. Bit the big one. I lost all three games in a big way; no bonus battle points, no draws, no love whatsoever. What went wrong?

Well, that's what this blog is for! Let's see, shall we?

First I'll start with the big stuff; list-building and the local metagame. In the next article I'll get into the individual games and what I might have done differently to stave off utter, ignominious defeat.

The List. 
My list was soft, and I was looking for soft targets. What I got instead was a lot of Sv 3+ armies and land raiders. If' I'd been paying attention to the current metagame, particularly after the FAQ updates released on the GW website, I would have expected more armor. I mean, 50% of the Warhammer world is playing Space Marines, and they just got an update! My bad.

When I threw together this list I really wanted to have the night spinners be the core of the army, creating pockets of slowness and auto-wounding damage to slow down portions of the army while allowing the rest of my guys to pick off whatever stuck out. Boy did I call that one wrong!

Things I'd failed to take into account when building this list? Thunderhammer/Storm Shield terminators, Drop Pods, Drop Pod Dreadnoughts and TAU.

Yes, that's right TAU! Remember them? More on that later...

In the end my list was capable of putting out a lot of shots, but the shots I was putting out weren't getting past all the heavy armor I was up against.

I have no excuse. Another Eldar player at that tournament fared much better with a mech list that, if anything, looked lighter on models than mine, but with his points more concentrated in tough units like a jetbike seer council and 3 fire prisms.

The Metagame. 
It's raining Dark Angels, folks. I don't know where they are all coming from, but I saw no less than 5 Dark Angels armies at Dundracon this year; almost all of them "counts-as Vanilla". Must be something in the water...

The recent  Space Marines FAQ must have kicked something loose in the collective subconscious of those closet Dark Angels fans out there. What's really strange to me is that now that my beloved Dark Angels are allowed to use all the new toys, they are still being run as generic marines.

This could have something to do with the fact that you can have units of up to ten termies per squad, while Codex:DA still limits you to five. Or it could still be stuck in players' heads that "Vanilla is the best" or "Dark Angels are a bunch of douchebags", y'know, the same old story. But if the above are true, why paint them up as Dark Angels at all? Better selection of bits for customization? Who knows.

Anyway, the Green Marines are back, if only because of their fancy duds. Did this have an effect on the prevalence of marine armies, pushing my tourney experience back into the mainstream? Hard to say. I suspect that the FAQ sparked some more interest in MEQ armies which had lagged behind like Black Templars and Dark Angels, and even though many players opted to stay with the cheaper C:SM standards, there was enough of a stir to generate more interest in these lists. PURE hearsay on my part...

Next, the gruesome details of my wrecked army!


  1. Bummer, dude. Will we hear any thoughts on how you'll adjust your list for the armor-heavy metagame?

  2. OH yes! I've already been working on some ideas for Kublacon in May... I need to go over my notes from the tourney and fish through some (few) pictures first, but I expect to publish the first round battle report in the next 2 days.