How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

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materpillar
Shas'La
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How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#1 » Jun 30 2015 09:01

So I've been playing Warhammer 40k for a few years now and there are a several conflicting trends that keep becoming more and more clear to me. I was wondering if anyone else had any experience or advice for me in dealing with them.


The thing that really calls to me about the tau play style is their ability to surgically to remove specific models/squads from the table. I love the ability to cripple the vital parts of my opponents army in a way that allows me to dance around and out maneuver the remnants of that army, slowly dissembling it piece by piece. In less elegant terms, when I want something dead, I enjoy the ability to kill it with extreme prejudice and reliability. Just picked up and off the table.

I've come to realize that this desire to slowly bleed the opposing army to death while remaining tantalizingly just out of reach can be rather frustrating to play against. I've managed to somewhat reasonably balance this out by utterly flooding any table I play on with terrain. I'm talking about cities of death/infinity amounts of terrain with minimal firing lanes. This greatly reduces the likely hood that my game will turn into a turkey shoot, because tabling my opponent on turn 2/3 because of lacking terrain is no fun for anyone.

Also, I've noticed that because of my preferred play style I have a blast playing against horde armies. Simply put, when someone brings a horde army they're in the mindset that their army is going to get utterly shot to pieces. They're just banking on having more bodies than I have bullets. So my desire to shoot things off the table matches up extremely well to their expectancy to have large portions of their armies shot off the table. As a result of this the vast majority of the games I've had against tyranids, imperial guard or orks have been very enjoyable for both parties.


The problem is when I play against space marines, especially newer space marine players. A very common trend I've noticed is that space marine players are much more likely to lose heart in the game when one of their squads eats an AP2/AP3, ignores cover large blast. Commonly, they just don't seem mentally prepared for it. It isn't that they're upset their models are dying per say (although they're not thrilled about that), it is specifically that their models are dying without saves. If I had caused the exact same amount of space marine deaths through sheer weight of pulse rifle fire then my opponents are usually fine with it. It is the removing of all power from their hands and simply deleting a squad as opposed to letting them feel like they have some control via their armor saves. As a result many times I've won against space marines I have inadvertently crushed their enjoyment of the game by stripping this figment of control from them. There lack of enjoyment then also reduces my enjoyment.

This has made me slowly cut AP2/AP3 from my list to avoid this. The only decent replacement I've thought of is by trying to replace it with sheer weight of fire. Sheer weight of fire comes with the issue I have to rely on my opponent to fail armor saves. This doesn't sound bad but often results in a large amount of frustration on my end. I like to be around burst cannon range, ridding that fine line where you can start double tapping with firewarriors and just all around maximizing firepower at the expense of increased risk of counterattacks. When I pour all of my army's shooting into a squad of marines and they take negligible casualties I get very frustrated and very dead. This is partly because I enjoy shooting things off the table, and shooting 20 firewarriors and a HBC riptide into a squad of marines with zero result is demoralizing. It is also frustrating because don't feel like a grand tactical strategist that I otherwise would. I simply can't plan ahead on how to best move my army around over the coarse of the turn and the next and see my plans and positioning slowly come to fruition if I have don't know if my shooting will kill 2 of his terminators or all of them. This dulls down the game greatly for me.


TL;DR
- I like efficiently killing units
- I've realized killing to space marines too efficiently ruins games for both parties
- Tampering my list helps somewhat but reduces my enjoyment of the game
- Is there another option I'm missing?
----- Akul Contingent -----
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DominicJ
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#2 » Jul 01 2015 01:35

Markerlight remove cover saves is outrageously under costed now because cover saves are hugely more important than they were a couple of editions ago.

On top of that, few people play with even half as much terrain as they are supposed to.

Its incredibly frustrating because theres just not a lot that can be done against a riptide and pathfinder combo killing squads per turn.


At the end of the day, if you wouldnt want to face it, the other guy probably doesnt either.
I'll MSU everything!!!!

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Myrdin
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#3 » Jul 01 2015 03:57

Well, its not like if they pack grav cannons you´ll get your saves either.
If its new players, just help them build their lists to better accommodate what you are bringing - not like super counter, but to give them a proper dakka of their own.

If that still doesnt help, I would go with full unit or two of sniper drones. You maintain high volume ratio, with some extra Rending, but honestly you will need it if you drop all the plasma and other AP2 weapons. Its not like you´ll be rolling 9 of 9 sixes for each voley simply rending all of his units. You should get about 2-3 marines drop dead, and the rest then saves with 3+.

Although I don't see a Marine lists - especially with the new book, where EVERYTHING can pack grav weapons... even the bikes lol.... struggling that much. Just sit down with the new players and help them understand how to play into the strengths of their codex, how to make army building more effective yet avoid total cheese, and how to bank on the proper use of formation (for example - free vehicles for everybody means extra turn of your AP 2 not melting the guys inside.)

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Macknight
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#4 » Jul 01 2015 04:06

Here is another angle of enjoyment for both parties: paint your models, terrain to the best of your ability, do not field any that are not finished, encourage your opponent to do the same if possible.
For the greater good!

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shasocastris
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#5 » Jul 01 2015 04:16

Honestly, Tau players have been able to remove cover for several years now. (Not just 6th ed, but since 4th.) If people aren't used to that by now... New players are excused and should be taught. I have little to say to veterans who don't like the fact that they have to adapt.

On the flip side, how many assault units have we faced that we can't kill without directing our entire army at it, leaving the rest of the opponent's army to retaliate? For example, a friend at my store runs an Iron Hands chapter master on a bike with the gorgon's chain and a librarian with biomancy. Generally I have to deal with either T 8 bikes or 2+ feel no pain. Neither of which is simple to deal with and both run roughshod over my army. So the fact that I can destroy the rest of his units with ease doesn't really faze him or me.

Cheers!

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Agent00abe
Shas'Ui
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#6 » Jul 01 2015 07:33

Sometimes just the mere perception of what is overpowered and unfair to run can ruin a game for anyone.
I say this because at my old club (I just moved) people were NOT fond of the riptide and I have never wanted to field more than one in any of my games solely because of the fact that everyone and their dog would whine without end if I did. So I've never even bought a second riptide model, I got my self a second sun/razor shark instead.
So yeah, I've been holding back so that others would have a more enjoyable game and so that I would be free of whining.

On a side note.
I played a friend once.
He was on the fence about selling his chaos army and we played a friendly 500pts game to ease him into it again (he hadn't played much, and not for a long time)
I made a list of Fire Warriors and a single Crisis Suit.
My suit danced circles around him and I obliterated him.
At the end of the match he was no longer on the fence about selling.
I guess my point is, even when you try to make a fair and beatable list you can end up giving a bad experience for your opponent.
It also matters what kind of person they are, I've been on the receiving end of obliteration many times when playing my Nids friend. I however see a challenge in beating him instead of losing heart like my other friend did.
So making sure both of you get an enjoyable game is actually quite difficult unless you know each other well and can tailor your lists to one another.
Playing a random kid at your FLGS is a completely different challenge.
Does this Railgun make me look fat?

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ShampocalypseWOW
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#7 » Jul 31 2015 10:37

My SM-playing opponents always accuse me of winning with "Tau cheese" because I often beat them handily (though a couple times it was pretty close). I really don't know what constitutes "cheese" for Tau anymore, especially when SM and their chapters have some seriously cheesy stuff these days.

I take 2 riptides (one is the Y'Vahra), one squad of deathrain suits with buffmander and marker drones, full sniper drone squad, ADL with quad gun, 1 railside, 1 or 2 fire warrior squads, 1 kroot squad, and 1 etheral. Sometimes I have more if I have the points, sometimes less. I used to use a hammerhead but now I don't bother. I don't bother with dfish or any vehicles, really. I just position my units really well and think about what I'm doing. How is any of this "Tau cheese"??

Because of this response, I just stopped caring whether or not my opponent has fun. I always make sure I'm a good sport and don't whine when I lose some models (because chances are I was planning on losing those models). I always commiserate with my opponent when they make bad rolls, because I know that feel. So I dunno, maybe it's just people being sore losers or something. I don't think anyone should change the way they play for them.
Sham'WO

DominicJ
Shas'Saal
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#8 » Jul 31 2015 11:12

" I really don't know what constitutes "cheese" for Tau anymore,"

I suppose, for me, "net listing" is a big part of it.

I've played some VICIOUS armies, but they were my armies.
Long Long ago, I did a destroyer lord / wraith wing necron army, in the original Necron Codex.
Back when Guard had "Doctrines", I did a drop troop army
In the last Deldar dex, I ran a Wych Venom list

I had a great deal of success with them all.

The internet roundly considered them unworkable / unplayable / weak, and yet people rarely complained when they were ground to powder by them.
I'm working on a Tau list that doesnt use markerlights, riptides, railheads or defence lines, I fully intend it to be victorious and in a very violent manner, I don't expect people to complain about it, because it is list they havent seen before.
I'll MSU everything!!!!

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ArttesThePerishable
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#9 » Jul 31 2015 01:35

I'm going to agree fully with Myrdin. Typically if you can help advise your opponent it makes it more fun for them.

Also in line with DominicJ's philosophy you may find interest in looking up "Tau Commando" lists on this site. I have found that style of Tau to be both challenging, and effective, plus fun for both players if done well. It also seems to suit your preference of close up fighting. (so it's possible you've already heard of those tactics, but I thought it was worth a mention in case you haven't)
Blood for the Blood God? No! Fire for my FireBlade!

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Nohea
Shas'Saal
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#10 » Jul 31 2015 05:40

I'd also speak in favor of more terrain. Buildings can offer a layer of protection that can't be stripped away with a markerlight, but are still vulnerable enough that new players can't spend the whole game huddled in them.

One other angle I'd suggest approaching it from is mixing up the types of missions you play - my friends and I have always enjoyed situations where our plans are almost immediately ruined, lol. Streams of lava or bodies of water to interfere with our movement, automatic turrets firing indiscriminately, meteor showers, objectives beyond just 'kill each other' or 'go to this point' (either through Maelstrom of War, or something like spawning the objective markers at a random location mid-game). Adding an element of chaos to the battle gives more experienced players something to react and plan around, and gives a newer player a good laugh if something goes terribly wrong for the other guy. Granted, this is a more lighthearted approach to the game, and adding tons of junk is just going to confuse someone who's still learning the basics, but I think it's worth considering.
'All the little angels rise up, rise up.'

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Calmsword
Shas'Ui
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#11 » Jul 31 2015 05:59

I love playing games with tonnes of terrain- it makes for a better turn out and no one ever walks away thinking that they wasted their time and makes better players who have to make their own opportunities.

I will say I'd like to have more complex cover rules in the future and I think that making the cover save in addition to the armor save is a great way to do that.

Shoot=Cover Save=Save=Wound
~Good Hunting

DominicJ
Shas'Saal
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#12 » Aug 01 2015 12:30

ArttesThePerishable wrote:I'm going to agree fully with Myrdin. Typically if you can help advise your opponent it makes it more fun for them.

Also in line with DominicJ's philosophy you may find interest in looking up "Tau Commando" lists on this site. I have found that style of Tau to be both challenging, and effective, plus fun for both players if done well. It also seems to suit your preference of close up fighting. (so it's possible you've already heard of those tactics, but I thought it was worth a mention in case you haven't)


My Guard didnt do a great deal of "close up fighting", it was nasty.
Tended to deploy a platoon on the board and three demolishers.
Marine type dudes would charge across the board and butcher my deployment zone guys.

I would then deepstrike a platoon of guard in his DZ, another platoon in places to seize objectives (or get in the way, or kill stuff) and a few Sentinals.

People could cross the board and kill me, they just could recross the board and do it again.
There was also a psychological issue, not many people could get their heads around needing to kill 165 men, plus heavy tanks and light walkers.

Or I could drop 110 men right in the face of "gun lines" and run up 3 tanks
I'll MSU everything!!!!

DominicJ
Shas'Saal
Posts: 24

Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#13 » Aug 05 2015 08:07

My Tau got their first blooding last night, just an 800pt game, I had three people (guy on the other side and the pair next to us) comment on how good my list was.
4 squads of fire warriors, three battle suits, two piranas and a Commander.
I moved every unit every turn pretty much, seized the centre line, CHARGED in to close combat (my commander was fighting a termie, figured I could hit first and kill him)
I'll MSU everything!!!!

Syndathim
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#14 » Aug 06 2015 08:38

Going back to the Opening Post and the key issue of making the game fun for both of you; if you're playing friendly games, point out counters to your opponent afterwards. I find that after each battle my friends and I will sit down and chat about what the other person did wrong and provide constructive criticism. For instance someone took a whole load of Lascannons on devastators so I pointed out that Missile Launchers would be more effective (or possibly Heavy Bolters to chew through exposed firewarriors). I would also point out that deep striking Terminators into a key area is suicide thanks to EWO. Same for flyers that were getting annihilated by entrenched broadsides.

Since the earlier days where my opponent would get a hammering I now face very competitive Marine Armies. We have good games where things are tense and if I start to lose then I field an experimental list to throw my friends off guard (Mech Tau). This means they have interesting tactical choices to consider and makes list building fun.

So my TL/DR:
1) If your opponent is struggling to beat you, provided constructive criticism. Look through their army book with them and point out troop choices that may work effectively against you.
2) Field different armies to keep things fresh.
3) Lots of terrain is always a win for everyone involved.
Never Surrender Dreams.

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shasocastris
Shas'Vre
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#15 » Aug 07 2015 10:04

Syndathim wrote:So my TL/DR:
1) If your opponent is struggling to beat you, provided constructive criticism. Look through their army book with them and point out troop choices that may work effectively against you.
2) Field different armies to keep things fresh.
3) Lots of terrain is always a win for everyone involved.

This I can get behind. For me, an enjoyable game is one that was challenging, and I'm all for constructive criticism both after and during a game (both given and received). It makes for an even better game the next time. I've even done this during tournaments, when my opponent was about to do something not as smart.

Cheers!

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Gamgee
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#16 » Aug 07 2015 05:59

I once thought as you did. I had a decent list. Then people complained and complained. So I took out more and more things. Now I'm beating them with Firewarrior and Kroot Sniper spam. At some point it doesn't matter how much you try and help the little guys out there just not cut out for this. They will either get better and have fun or will accept they will likely never win or win once once in awhile due to sheer luck than any sort of skill. Nerfing yourself will only go so far. Making them better players will make them happy their whole lives. I don't show mercy, but I do try and improve their game. If they don't want to take advise from me then their fate is their own.

I've had to deal with a few people and even a friend like this once.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7hBZNsPnyg

The reason I don't use my best lists is for if they manage to get better and think they're actually better I haven't showed my full hand. I'm fun like that.

Edit
In the 40k RPG the GM ran (Rogue Trader) no one liked me since I was the new guy. They just didn't like me, but I proved myself quite quickly by showering great rewards and boons on all of them. Even managed to derail the GM's campaign by usurping control of the planet I was protecting and being hailed as a hero for doing it. Well I protect it now and forever. Sometimes a person like me can seem really mean and you have to wonder why you keep us around. Then I start chucking turbo mansions at all of my loyal followers. :) I was the Rogue Trader if that wasn't clear. You don't know what your missing out on in life until you start upping your game. Is my point. They all quite like me now.
Great Strength, Great Strike ~ Shas'o Or'es'ka

DominicJ
Shas'Saal
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#17 » Aug 08 2015 03:36

1) If your opponent is struggling to beat you, provided constructive criticism. Look through their army book with them and point out troop choices that may work effectively against you.
2) Field different armies to keep things fresh.
3) Lots of terrain is always a win for everyone involved.


Two and Three, yes.
I'd be careful with One though.

Even well meant, it can really come off badly, and theres nothing worse than being pounded by a netlister on a terrainless table, and then have said netlister give you a lecture on why you switch to grey knights and run a draigo wing, and a helldrake spam, or a ......
I'll MSU everything!!!!

Syndathim
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Re: How to maximize my and my opponents enjoyment in each game

Post#18 » Aug 10 2015 08:44

Thanks for the comment DominicJ - I should have added that I play primarily with three friends. As such any constructive criticism is given a hefty dash of banter but I can totally understand that a total stranger might take offence if you criticise them.
Never Surrender Dreams.

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