Here's a quick post today, which I'll probably post over later.
CliffNotes: the ETC CSM armies all look alike. I ask the question why? then don't bother to answer it fully.
I've been doing for-fun research on the European Team Championships (there are lots of internet resources if you're at all interested... HERE is a fun one to search through) and I've had a few thoughts on the way they build their lists. Before we do that, let's do this...
On the eve of the 2010 40k ETC, the mighty Team America will gorge heavily on a War-meal of USDA approved Mad-Cow-free Beef, Freedom Fries, and Kentucky Bourbon. We will snuggle up underneath Ol' Glory bedsheets and go to sleep, content in the knowledge that like our forefathers before us we are in the business of winning war(hammer) and business is good.
We will wake in the morning, briefly admire our physiques chiseled by decades of transfats, and don our Winning Stars and Bars body suits. We will eat lumberjack breakfasts which, despite the contents, will still be more balanced than any of the army lists we bring. We will mutter a prayer to our mighty gods, Gork Bush and Mork Obama, asking for the guidance to defeat our opponents in the spirit of fair play and the hubris to forget about the fair play part.
Our list of things we have destroyed is great, and will grow just like the shadows as the fateful days of august 7th and 8th come to a close. Recently we have bombed the moon, proving that no people, not even moon people, are safe from mighty America. We will ruin your armies of spacemanz just like we ruined the world economy. We will topple your win records, and you will need to change the name of the tournament from ETC to EGOBUS, or Europeans Getting Owned By United States.
Official Smack Talker of Team America
That is funny! It hints at the spirit the teams are bringing to the event. Let's look at the first reply...
Those who scream a lot about their glory mostly have little to offer on the battlefield. I, The One Vladdi, Butcher Lord of Poland will put your taunts to a test, my friend PainTraina. Start asking your gods for mercy as I will show none.
Moving on, I've noticed the striking similarity many of the lists have to each other. Some of that can be explained by the utilitarian builds everyone knows... except many of the themes drift away from what works. I'm confused, but I'm not willing to say that these people don't know what they're doing, because I think they do. I have a feeling the answer lies somewhere between individual preference and what's been seen to work in the ETC format in the past.
Time will tell. I find it interesting. Plus: Go Americans!
For example, almost every team has a Lash List. Some are better than others, but they all have the requisite two DP's and 9 Obliterators. I guess the problem I have with it is it's not scary.
I'm sorry - it isn't. I found far more to be concerned about when JWolf was briefly discussing his new CSM strategies in a forum somewhere - can't remember where, so don't ask. Basically, he was shifting his strategies toward a newer, more aggressive but tactical attack. That, people haven't seen.
The Lash, everybody has seen! We all know it doesn't work against Mech... but considering the format, where the team captains can to a certain extent dictate who plays who, that can be alleviated somewhat. Still and all, a Lash list is a one-trick pony. If you can deal with the DP's - and who can't, past a certain level - the CSM's don't have the numbers to grind an attrition game.
Okay, this is me kibitzing. From what I've seen, most of these teams are made up of veteran players, so you have to assume they know all of this already. You don't have to assume that, but I think it's wiser than assuming they're all idiots. So why?
I guess we'll find out before long. Until then, I thought it would be fun to build a different CSM list, one that shifts the paradigm only slightly... can it work?
So I started with two Daemon Princes, but instead of Slaneesh I chose Tzeentch... so obviously it isn't a Lash List.
Give the Daemon Prince Wings, Bolt, and Warptime, and for 200 points you have something that can get stuck in combat but good. Personally, I think it is a better choice in the era of Mech.
Moving on, I was trying to think of something to use other than Obliterators. They're obviously great, but the knock - and you can't get around this - is their huge price tag. So what can provide cheap firesupport?
I was looking at Havocs with Autocannons and I thought, great - let's get two and stick them in a Rhino. I was looking through my 'dex and I realized what I'm sure countless numbers of gamers recognized before me...
There is only 1 fire-point. How on earth have I missed that all these years?
There's a FAQ; how could I have missed that prior to the post? Thanks to Big Jim for pointing out that two models can fire from the Rhino! Life is much, much better...