Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Evolve or Die?

Looking at the lists* that came along to HomeCon on the weekend, I couldn’t help reflecting on how far list construction and consideration has progressed on the local scene in the past couple of years.
A couple of years ago people just brought along what they wanted and there was very little tailoring of lists to what you might face. Now there is far more evidence of this and I’d like to think that at the top end it has been driven by events like the Masters and the NZTC. Certainly two years ago I think it would have been unlikely for Neil Williamson (as an example of regular tourney goer) to specifically include things that were targeted at combatting a particular army or build.
What this has done has increased the depth and competitiveness of what is a relatively small tournament scene. HomeCon, for instance, was won with a score of 67/100 while I finished second despite losing three out of five games.
The other contributing factor has been the move away from Peer Comp to Hard Caps. This has led to a strengthening of lists strong combos are not closed down (or compensated for) so people have to come up with solutions to beat them on the table.
I would say that the New Zealand scene has never been as competitive as it is now with 10-15 peopleout of the playing pool being capable of taking out a light comp event. That’s got to be a good thing.
* The obvious exception to this was Joe’s list. His list building confirmed that he has been hermetically sealed in a bubble for the past 36 months and evolution has passed him by. I imagine it’s not too dissimilar to watching a slowly freezing stegadon at the onset of the last Ice Age (Reminder: Must ask Neil Williamson). It wasn’t helped by him asking “What’s a Skullcannon” in the same voice I imagine Barney the Dinosaur asked “What’s a meteorite”.
Our defence of the NZTC crown may be problematic……

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