Monday, 18 March 2013

Tournaments: How does a Death or Glory gamer prepare?

Tournaments: How does a Death or Glory gamer prepare?

Tournaments for 40k have been going along for a long time. Brought to us initially by clubs such as Tolworth First founding. Tournament gaming has apparently survived Games Workshop’s attempt to kill competitive gaming and now name a month and two or three tournaments will be available for anyone willing to make the journey. If your new to tournaments or just thinking of going to them give it a go, there a great experience, you play generally 5/6 new opponents (who are normally very friendly!) and you see a large variety of new armies

One day/Two day tournaments are held everywhere. But how does a competitive gamer prepare? Now you may think that we at Death or Glory spend hours and hours and hundreds of test games to prepare ourselves for the games ahead. The truth however is completely different. I generally play 2-4 practice games before a tournament. 4 is a push as well!

The question is then how do I do well when I don’t play that much? Well I’d wang on about how I’m totally amazing but that would me talking total trash! I’ll tell you guys the sorta procedures I go through before tournaments and the steps I take to make sure I’ve given myself a chance at a good weekend.

The Army list

An obvious place to start! There are several ways to make your list choice easier and require less time consumption. Me and my friends have a facebook chat message were we put ideas for armies down and everyone else tell us how good the idea is. This is a great start. A convo may start like this

Mike: I wanna start a ork army with lotsa bikes do you think that would work?

Rich: Probably not! Whats your troops?

Luke: Nob Bikers? They good anymore? Not overly convinced.

Steve: How do they kill Wraith armies?

And the conversation will go on and on until you get an idea of what’s in your army or if you’re even going to attempt it! At this point write a list. Perhaps you can’t get what you want in it. That’s what the facebook chat is for! More chat about it. Finally you should be able to come up with a rough draft and you’re ready for game 1!

Please note: although you can just copy army lists other people use *cough northerners cough* I’ve always found building your own list is much funner way to go about a tournament. Developing your own brand of 40k is great. Sometimes you can’t help but use the same things. Let’s say hellions and venoms in a dark Eldar army in 5th. But taking that base and changing it to suit the way you play is also a good way to start off. When I started my Dark Eldar experience I took Stu Robertson’s successful Dark Eldar list from the Masters 2010 and tweaked it to something I liked. What came from it was a list based on Stu’s List but edited for a mike feel! I used this to devastating effect!

Practice games

Now for all my practice games I try and do the following I try to play at least 1 but hopefully two of the following…

1) Necron Meta List (3 an barges) (3 Scythes) (18 Wraiths) (2 Destroyer Lords)

2) A horde List (guard blob for example)

3) Marines. These are very popular so you need to be able to compete with them.

So in your 2-4 games try and play at least the Necron Meta list. If none of your friends have these guys get someone to proxy them (use their own models as Necrons instead!). They are the best list out there atm so you play em and do well, you’re going to do ok (hopefully). The other two I’d say are optional really. They’re popular but not the winners at present.

We have a couple of rules in our practice games…

1) No seizing the initiative – seizing the initiative is a massive part of the game… so why don’t we play it? Simply you want to see how your army plays in a normal situation. By seizing the initiative the whole complexion of the game changes. For example take A Dark Eldar list with the baron. By seizing the initiative how will you know if they are any good going second? The exception to the above rule is when playing with a character that changes these rules… aka Stormlord, Vect and Coteaz. This is due to them making the seize more likely and it may affect deployment.

2) All games should be played at the same rules set as the tournament you’re practicing for.

3) Fully ask your opponent what they would do when you’re playing. 2 Heads are better than 1 after all.

4) Have fun! End of the day it’s a game of toy soldiers don’t take it too seriously!!

List Evolution

After each game you play you may need to make large or small changes. If you lost take the positive on board. If you won, take the negatives on board. There are always marginal gains to be had everywhere!

A list is like a formula one car. Throughout its life parts get changed and the car steadily increases in performance. However with each new part may reduce the effectiveness in another area. This is what you have to take on board. By the 2/3rd game you should have a much more streamlined list and one that will allow you to compete to a good level.

If after the tournament you wanna carry on with the list then you can carry on the process above improving it further. By the end of your second tournament you’ll be pretty used to how it works!

I Hope you’ve enjoyed this read, I actually quite enjoyed writing it! Masterclass will be back next time (Perhaps midweek sometime) till then!



  1. YOU don't let anyone seize the initiative, the rest of us deal with it :P

  2. Do you guys have a set list of things that you must have rather than to play, i.e. must be able to deal with; flyers, jaws drop-pod etc? would be interested to find if that figures of if you tend to meta play, esp. since some/most tourneys inc. mayhem are forgeworld allowed now.

  3. I dont think we have a set list of things a list has to have in it, but it has got a list of things it must be able to deal with. So as Mike said it must be able to deal with the top list which is necron wraithwing. The reason it is good to test against the wraithwing is that it has a bit of everything. It has 3/4 flyers, av13 tanks, beast units, and is very resilient. If your list can beat this without being tailored to fight it u have got a good list in my eyes.

  4. Yep agreed. The "Meta" up north is definitely now a horde of beast units or the good ol guard blob.