Wednesday, April 6, 2016
My Bay Area Open conundrum
The Bay Area Open approaches July 16th and 17th. I and three friends have made the courageous decision to sail into those dark and turgid waters in the hopes of finding our fortunes. With round trip airfare, hotel and car rental, we got a package that was a mere $320 a person!
I have been a Tau Empire general since the beginning and have won more tournaments with them than I can remember, long before it was cool to even own Tau. The reality was, the Tau Empire were born with no melee ability in a time when melee was supreme in 3rd and 4th Edition. In 5th its codex was outdated almost as soon as it dropped because of the new system and some of its idiosyncrasies. Tau Empire did not truly see a competitive codex until 6th Edition. Despite all those tribulations, I exceeded the competition with my downtrodden Tau forces.
The same thing can be said for the Witch Hunters. They, like the Tau Empire, have been an enormous source of success for me. It is strange to think but I have actually won more tournaments using this "low tier codex" than any other and if the Tau Empire were sad cousins to the Eldar, these were in most peoples (incorrect) estimation the downright red headed step children of 40K. The Internet is filled with aspersions for them and only those who play them VERY regularly ever learn their potential. Even when fielded, it is often as Allies these days, coming in with Drop Pods. Yet in my hands I have lit heretic after sizzling heretic with burning absolution using an entirely pure Adepta Sororitas force. In my wake these daughters of the Emperor have cleansed a thousand planets of the impure and those who would harbor them.
Now let's be clear. The Bay Area Open isn't "friendly" competition. While I am sure some locals will be there regardless of skill, people who think they are good travel to these events to do no less than defend that reputation. Many online personalities take themselves very seriously at this event and it has been my (relative) lack of need to prove a damn thing that has caused me to essentially travel to none of them. What can I say. I get the invites every year but I have always resisted the temptation.
This year is different. I have been at the head of a resurgence of our local community and others like me have led the charge also, revivifying the 40K community up and down the I-5 corridor, and collectively creating tournament attendance that is most definitely above the old numbers. We average 20-30 people at every event I attend just about. I have finally sort of gotten free of my self imposed responsibility to be THE GUY who runs a ton of events and I am focused on having more fun this year and actually PLAYING.
My conundrum is this: with a great deal of success using both forces, I am truly torn. On one hand if I go as an ambassador of the Adepta Sororitas I will have an easier path to Best Adepta Sororitas General comparative to Tau Empire by dent of sheer probability and as there can be only one Bay Area Open champion, I concede that this may not be me. However there are other goals exist to shoot for. One of them is "Best General" of your faction. In addition, the Adepta Sororitas are an unexpected force and many opponents will not be entirely certain how to fight them which gives one an edge any time one uses a less often seen codex or combination from a codex. Some people refer to it as breaking the meta, such as what we saw with the Lictor shame list that was so famous (and a big kudos on having the balls to do it too!)
As an ambassador of the Tau Empire I would be representing my favorite faction, and clearly I would feel very confident in both the codex I am using and my ability to wield it. As the current "meta" stands, the Tau Empire are no longer weak cousins. They are (quite arguably) in the top three or so codex's. As such, there is something to be said for being feared, even if it be only a psychological advantage albeit one that is often overblown.
I am sure many people reading this have more than one army and constantly struggle as to which force they wish to commit to painting for a given tournament. Perhaps you can help me decide.