Friday, June 3, 2011

'Ard Boyz 2011 --> Time to start preparing

It's that time again, although, it feels odd accounting for the 4? month setback that we're having from the previous year. 'Ard boyz is two months and 9 days off leaving us with quite a few things to do in preparation for the event. If I have the time, I might highlight a few of the more threatening armies and their most prevalent builds.

This should act as a reminder for some of the things to consider when preparing for 'Ard boyz.

1. Understanding the competition: There are currently quite a few "competitive" army codices available to play. When preparing for your local competition, your first step should be understanding which of these armies pose the greatest threats and what builds you're most likely to expect at your local event and potentially further down the road.

2. Scenarios: Since these will not be released until a week or two before the competition, we should examine last year's scenarios (at all events) and the 40k rule books generic scenarios to get an idea of what we should expect. Because without understanding your objectives and your opponents, you can't effectively build or play an army to win games.

3. Terrain: If you are looking for that extra edge, knowing what to expect in terms of terrain can help you understand deployment, objectives placement etc etc. Some very important tactics and aspects of your list design may evolve due to the appeal of certain types and quantities of terrain.

4. Play Style: Without going in depth into this aspect of list design, before selecting an army or designing a is important to first understand how you best command an army. A person who is most inclined to assault is usually not going to play an effective ranged army (eldar, IG etc) and someone who enjoys speed may be more apt to make tactical mistakes with a slower mech or even foot army etc...

Once you have all of the base ingredients properly laid out..

5. Selecting your army: Often a decision already made due to financial reasons (completely and utterly understandable read:"I'm also included in this lot"), when selected after a thorough foundation of the above 4 principal factors and coupled with a competitive mindset, it will help you to win games. There are quite a few viable armies atm and we will hopefull touch base with some of them in a later article.

6. List Design: Once you have your army, it is time to start narrowing down what options you feel are viable for that army...and which of them best addresses the top 4 principals and what you expect to encounter at 'Ard Boyz round 1. Keep in mind, there are certain things that almost any army should be designed to efficiently handle if they want to be consistently competitive (I'll highlight some of these at another time)

7. Tactics: Design and implement strategies to handle various threats and objectives based on different situations and your army composition.

8. Rinse Repeat: Continue going back and forth from 6 to 7 tweaking list and tactics until you find a nice balance in your list. So that your list can effectively handle components 1-4.

9. Rules: Read and reread the rulebook, FAQs and your codex. Understanding the rules is a CORE component to understanding means to achieving game objectives and preventing your opponent from wrongly taking advantage of ignorance. This actually should be in the top 1-5, because it will help you to design your list. If you aren't sleeping with your rulebook, you may not want to win badly enough ;).

10. PRACTICE: This involves many different things...practice vs multiple armies...mutliple builds of each army...different opponents etc. And be sure to build your way up to tournament speed. Clocking yourself and restricting your time frame is a great way to train your mind to make effective game decisions in a short span of time. There are other tricks we'll goo over to help you best prepare yourself and your army for 'Ard Boyz.

Look for more articles in the coming weeks...but start working on your armies now. Even though it may seem like such a long time away takes months to properly design, develop, tweak and learn an army. Good luck and let me know your thoughts/if you have any questions!


Information pertaining to the tournament schedule and rules can be found:

Also, be sure to find a gaming shop near you who hosts the event and sign up as soon as possible! Often times signups will fill up on short notice. Lastly, save the date on your calendar August 13th!

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