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!

The conundrum?

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  In 5th its codex was outdated almost as soon as it dropped because of the new system and some of its idiosyncrasies.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.

Which force of these two would you like me to field… and why?

12 comments:

  1. (Please excuse my English; I hope it's clear enough).
    It depends on what you think is going to happen this year with the Sororitas. Are they going to finally have their own new codex and those plastic minis we've been waiting for for so so long? If you think so, then I recommend you to use them now as much as you can before the change. Your accumulated experience with the current codex iteration will be lost and you'll even have to start to build a new army incorporating the new units (and figures that are sure to change from what we have now).
    There's also something strangely sexy about a bunch of armored babes burning heretics all over the place (unless we're talking scantilly clothed babes with giant swords of course...)

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    1. Well I certainly would take Sisters Repentia if I brought Sisters!

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  2. Because ITC objectives don't score until the start of your next turn, I think the lack of staying power will make Sisters a tough choice unless you get some great match ups. I'd recommend Tau with some different options than people are expecting. I mean everyone is taking riptide wing and stormsurges.

    I really appreciate your take on underused units and how to play them well in the game. I recently read your Milatarum Temptestus posts and was inspired to take mine off the shelves. I allied in with Inquisition and so far have really well. No one expect near-guard armies to bring the fight to them and hit like a brick. So thanks for that, I'll be watching with interest either way you go.

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    1. Thanks for that input. I will certainly do my best. At the last Bay Area Open, the Sisters of Battle took 22nd place I think and won four games in a row as well as I've said. Pretty good showing. Not at all an indictmnt o their chances. Sheer volume buoys certain armies up.

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    2. I have no doubt you could do well with sisters. My main army is 'nids and the new ITC format has definately changed the way I played them. The scoring on your next turn has really turned things on their head for me, but YMMV. You need to be able to have something that can stick objectives and hold or shoot your opponents off theirs, preferably both. Tau certainly does that pretty well. I haven't faced sisters in this format yet so I can't really say.

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    3. Yes that scoring is a problem. A real problem. In fact what's funny about that is that it makes my Night Lords better but some of my other more "powerful" armies worse. As for the Adepta Sororitas staying power, I am aware of that issue. If you folow my various posts on them, you will notice that I have always tended to add a little beef to my units where I can because of attrition. Right now after much experimenting, I have determined that for my playstyle and list, 8 is kind of a magic number. It is enough ablative wounds to keep ENOUGH impotant weapons alive for a second go round. So as long as i take 8, plus tactically don't set up badly, i have been able to get REALLY GOOD mileage from those units. So many Adepta Sororitas players min/max their units and make it easy for an enemy to simply exchange units with them. Kill for a kill. Now on a points basis that might make sense but not if you are trying to hit hard TWICE with a unit. And I am. My list can and does kill a Wraith knight in one go, for example. But i don't just want to blow my wad doing it and then have nothing but pain waiting for me afterwards. I want those units to perform and force priority choices for THREE turns. Just by having additional ablative wounds, i have been able to do that. That and the tactical use of Rhinos which i am really a big fan of for the way the army is. A Formation for them akin to a battle Company would just make my day. And I mean how hard is it to insert a couple pages into one of these supplements?

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    4. Yeah, sisters could certainly use some love, what with Special Marines getting 2 codexes and several supplements in less than the last year alone. The new psychic powers of being able to move an enemy unit or terrain/unit seems quite hilarious for us factions that are scrapping to get points as it is. I'd love to see how you can make sisters work. Had a player at the last big event I went to and he wound up middle of the pack somewhere but earned tons of respect.

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  3. Don't forget to post your army list and do battle reports whichever you choose. I vote tau!

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    1. Duely noted! I'll put you down for Tau-Tastic. As for an army list, i am currently experimenting. Did well in a couple events. I was ranked 28th there for a bit in the ITC standings, but then i took some Militarum Tempestus and Necrons for a spin and so i am sure it is lower now. The Militarum Tempestus i used did as well as expected, but the Wilfen are a thing and they definitely challenged me. The Necrons got victimized by a TO's decision to use 4x4 boards. i was like "whuuuuuuuut?" I knew right away that the Wolfstars and jetbike armies would be unstoppable on boards with nowhere to hide. so yeah. took a little hit there. But the Tau Empire list I have been dinking with is doing well. so is the Sisters of Battle army. Tooooooough decision. Thanks for voting! I'm on several forums gathering peoples opinions on this as well.

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    2. Is it possible to follow this process on one of those forums or will you post everything here?

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    3. Is it possible to follow this process on one of those forums or will you post everything here?

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    4. I am sure I will be posting here.

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