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Ardaedhel

Why Do You Choose Not To Run The Flavor of the Month? (READ THE RULES)

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Okay, this is a lightning rod topic, but I want to have an abstract, academic discussion on this. So, in the interest of averting a flame war, I'm going to lay some ground rules for this thread before anything else.

1. For the purposes of discussion, in this thread, we will treat all claims of OPness as thoroughly substantiated.

2. You may make any claim you want to that anything is OP for the purposes of facilitating discussion. Do not abuse this rule to try to circumvent the others.

3. You may not comment on another person's claim that something is broken or OP, either supporting or opposing.

4. If you want to comment on another person's post, you must comment under an assumption of accuracy of any claims of brokenness.

5. If your username starts with"Gink" or ends with "apo," you may not comment on why YV-666s or Sensor Teams are clearly overpowered. This is the exception to Rules 1-4.

6. If you want to make a post that does not adhere to these rules, please start a new thread and quote the post you want to respond to there so that we can keep this thread on topic.

 

Now that all that's out of the way, the question:

Why do you choose not to play the archetype or specific list (or exploit the mechanic) that is currently overpowered? Bearing in mind that the specifics of that list vary by time and meta, and thus are going to be a moving target from person to person.

 

Edited by Ardaedhel

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To kick it off, my opinion: the last time I saw one list that was clearly dominating was @Brikhause's Rieekan Ace Holes in San Antonio, in mid-2016. Nobody had an answer for it. I had a couple of reasons not to just switch over and run that:

1) I'm a contrarian, deep down. I like challenging assumptions, and try to do so even internally. So just picking up and playing the dominating list isn't something I want to do.

2) I assume that the guy who found the list first will usually be at the cutting edge of using it well. I wanted to win in local tournaments, which meant beating Justin specifically. Under this assumption, it follows that I will not be able to just pick up an iteration of his own list and win. It also follows that if I can pioneer such a thing myself, I can be that guy on the cutting edge of it, getting a leg up on the competition.

3) I assume that this game is well-designed enough that for every list there is a counter, whether it be strategic (in the list design phase) or tactical (on the tabletop). So even if I can come up with something that counters the flavor of the month while not being overly vulnerable to other counter strategies, I can stand a chance of forcing the dominant list out of the meta.

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I fly lists that I like flying, irrespective of their competitive quality. Therefore, if I do not like the feel of an OP list, or any list for that matter, I do not fly it. I see no reason to go out of my way to fly a list I do not like, purely to potentially outperform other players, even if it was a tournament of high ranking (though having never participated in any tournament whatsoever, this bit doesn't really matter.).

Additionally, I am such a terrible flier that doubtless I would lose even with the most OP of the OP fleets, against almost literally anything else. Therefore, this further dissuades me from flying OP lists I do not like the feel of.

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1.) I don’t like using other people’s ideas. If I snag a list online, I’ll usually talk another player in my local group to trying it first. I spend much of my free time inventing janky fleets, and nothing is more satisfying than having one work.

2.) Locally, in our weekly group, I’m considered the best player. From back when I was running pulsetaps to now where I just build something and test it, I seem to have a better grasp of either the mechanics or maybe just an easier time seeing the field than all the others, so my fleets tend to set the “it’s OP” trend. For example, my fleet “Tortuga” which is just a simple 4 activation VSD/Quasar fleet dominated the local meta for months. Because it functions so well as 2nd player it became a powerful counter to 1st player fleets. 3 of our local members adopted the fleet and made minor changes. After that, I designed a BTA fleet that could counter the Tortuga fleet, it rapidly had copies made. I just this weekend developed a Arquitens based fleet to counter the waves of BTA, that shredded its opponent. TLDR I make the local OP lists, and once the meta floods I have to change it up, or it gets too redundant.

 

3.) This game is more fun when it’s difficult to win. Playing a fleet I know I can table most players with is really only good if I’m pitting it against the best a tournament can throw at it, otherwise it’s just not as exciting. 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Darth Sanguis said:

This game is more fun when it’s difficult to win.

True that! I find it's a bit of a balancing act trying to scale the fleet I'm bringing to the player I'm facing. I don't want to disrespect my opponent by bringing some trash fleet that says "I think I can beat you with one hand tied behind my back!", but on the other hand it's no fun as a new player to get whooped by something that you know you never had a chance against in the first place.

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I hate Demo. Always have and always will.   So I can actually say I've never flown Demo and barring an unlucky draw with a fleet assigned in a vassal tournie I never will. 

New releases and the nerf have toned it down... don't care... still hate it.  

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I prefer to play ships and squadrons that I like the look of, less what is powerful, so lots of Interdictors, Raiders and Arquittens for me.  On the rebels side I really like CR90s, Neb Bs, Hammerheads aesthetically so my lists differ due to those factors.

 

Also, I inspire to be a special snowflake, and like to exercise creativity and originality in my list design (though not enough to ignore obviously powerful upgrade combos).

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53 minutes ago, Ardaedhel said:

True that! I find it's a bit of a balancing act trying to scale the fleet I'm bringing to the player I'm facing. I don't want to disrespect my opponent by bringing some trash fleet that says "I think I can beat you with one hand tied behind my back!", but on the other hand it's no fun as a new player to get whooped by something that you know you never had a chance against in the first place.

I wish other gaming systems  player base had that mentality, When I first got into warmachine/Hordes the only locals were all tournament players and they just wrecked me every week I went.

 

I dont relay Bother with OP fleets that are the Flavor of the month, I tend to just run what im comfortable with and slowly make changes till I feel its at the right power from what I want. I may take some ideas from OP lists but I would never out right copy them as it to me it would feel like iv done non of the work while under list construction. Then their is the playing part as If I dont feel comfortable with the list or it just dosnt work to my playstyle then I kinda just drop it or tweek it. then again I see OP lists and even when I have tried to play them in the past I kinda sucked with them like I get the concept of some of them but dont get the Practice of them.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Ardaedhel said:

1) I'm a contrarian, deep down. I like challenging assumptions, and try to do so even internally. So just picking up and playing the dominating list isn't something I want to do.

2) I assume that the guy who found the list first will usually be at the cutting edge of using it well. I wanted to win in local tournaments, which meant beating Justin specifically. Under this assumption, it follows that I will not be able to just pick up an iteration of his own list and win. It also follows that if I can pioneer such a thing myself, I can be that guy on the cutting edge of it, getting a leg up on the competition.

3) I assume that this game is well-designed enough that for every list there is a counter, whether it be strategic (in the list design phase) or tactical (on the tabletop). So even if I can come up with something that counters the flavor of the month while not being overly vulnerable to other counter strategies, I can stand a chance of forcing the dominant list out of the meta.

I also identify with #1 and #3, but particularly #1.  It's why I've been playing Sato (with very good results) for the better part of a year now.  But in addition to that, I like doing something *different*.  Miniatures games like this appeal to me largely because of the creativity involved; I like mixing, matching, and coming up with something new.  A very large part of my list-building process is asking "ok, what have I never seen done before?" 

I think there's actually a lot of tactical value to pursuing an unorthodox approach.  I attribute at least part of my success with Sato to his rareness; my opponents simply don't know what to expect, and don't have a "tool kit" of responses that they can employ.  It's sort of like being a left-handed swordsman; every other swordsman in the world is used to fighting righties, so they're unprepared for a lefty.  But a lefty spends all his time fighting righties, so he's always very comfortable. 

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I guess I'm a special snowflake or something, idk.  I hate doing the "norm" in games.

If that means my favorite League champions are meta right now, I main something stupid.  I pick the weak faction in tabletop games.  I love strange and unusual strategies in whatever game I'm playing at the moment.  

Idk, I like to do things differently.  I used to love going bio or wraiths vs Protoss or mech openings vs Zerg.  It's just more fun to do wacky strategies no one is ready for.

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Good try Ard, but I don’t think this thread can save he *********** of broken nonsense that is the meta atm. If I’m not getting the accuracied into oblivion from Sensor team mc30’s I’m getting the rasberry from YV-666’s! No one gives me the rasberry! Those ******* dump trucks of doom are on my list!

It just feels like everyone has one or both of those things on the table at all times. Thats why I only run Sloane 7 activation BTvenger lists with Jendon/Steele and max squadrons, because someone should.

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My reasoning is usually those lists require more play time to master because it’s outside my play style and I don’t have the situation awareness they have in regards to the nuances of the fleet. Plus I like big ships....they make big pewpew sounds

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I took 6th at Michigan regionals with this list. If Biggs hadn’t won Ohio with Garm, I’d say Garm, TWO Peltas, THREE FCTs, and four flavors of B-Wings puts it into contrarian space. 

Points: 400/400  

Assault Objective: Precision Strike
Defense Objective: Contested Outpost
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions

 

Modified Pelta-class Command Ship (60 points)
-  Phoenix Home  ( 3  points) 
-  Flight Commander  ( 3  points) 
-  Adar Tallon  ( 10  points) 
-  Fighter Coordination Team  ( 3  points) 
-  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points) 
83 total ship cost

 

[ flagship ] Modified Pelta-class Command Ship (60 points)
-  Garm Bel Iblis  ( 25  points) 
-  Toryn Farr  ( 7  points) 
-  Fighter Coordination Team  ( 3  points) 
-  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points) 
99 total ship cost

 

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Ahsoka Tano  ( 2  points) 
-  Bomber Command Center  ( 8  points) 
28 total ship cost

 

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57 points)
-  Yavaris  ( 5  points) 
-  Flight Commander  ( 3  points) 
-  Fighter Coordination Team  ( 3  points) 
68 total ship cost

 

1 Ten Numb ( 19 points) 
1 B-Wing Squadron ( 14 points) 
2 HWK-290s ( 24 points) 
1 Keyan Farlander ( 20 points) 
1 Norra Wexley ( 17 points) 
1 YT-1300 ( 13 points) 
1 Dagger Squadron ( 15 points)

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1 hour ago, Drasnighta said:

I’ve never been able to afford to try.

Meta defining lists have always seemed to stretch outside my budget (s third flotilla, repeats of R&V, ImpII...)

Its easier to find an Interdictor not being used by someone else than any of that.

You mean you're not going to be running a 10 Z-95 list or use 6 Firesprays?

That's how I build my lists. I only ever have one ship with XI-7's. Why? Because I own only one. Someday...

Edited by Astrodar
Accidentally hit enter.

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1. I'm pretty sure most would qualify this as a contrarian PoV, but I don't like flying anything I would expect to face, so I'll go grab other things. I have my own theories and ideas, and I'll just build out of those. A large part of that is I have been playing long enough now I would like to think I have a good idea what works and doesn't work for a lot of ships, so I reach into that toolbox to grab what I need.

2. The look of terror when two ISDs or two Liberties blitz my enemies is priceless, even when it backfires.

3.

2 hours ago, MasterShake2 said:

There's a meta!?!?  When the **** did this happen and why does noone tell me these things?

Yeah this. I often don't understand the meta, and I rarely actually have my finger on its pulse, so I just use what's in front of me.

4. This is going to sound weird, but I don't like abusing game mechanics for wins, and I don't want it to be easy. Every time I used Rhymer, it was some weird off the wall thing like Rhymer Decimators. Same for Demolisher, the only tournament list I've ever had it in was an Interdictor and another Gladiator (my first Regionals last year, I did poorly). It's one of the many reasons why I take double Larges, it's hilariously against whatever expects, it's extremely challenging to fly, and it fits what I want. What I want is a well-built (note I did not say optimized) list that gives its opponent a chance to fight, and then wins anyway.

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So there's a longer bit in here that I'm going to write up as my post Regionals article, but: I hate 2 and 3. It's not why I got into this game. I understand every single person's complaint about having to crack a bunch of scatter tokens that may or may not be needed, etc. I love squadrons (I've written 8? 9? Posts about the damned things....) but I don't want to play a game where it's all squadrons vs squadrons without the ships doing diddly.

And yet. I tried making a 4 activation work (flot, yav, AF, CR90). And then I fought 3 swarm lists over the last 2 weeks (thanks @Snipafist). And I got stuffed, BADLY. I couldn't go to Michigan with something unoptimized. I threw in a 2nd flotilla this past Thursday, and it helped. But my CR90 hadn't been doing s*** for a month.

So I went 2 and 3, hating myself for having to do it. And I got 4th. I had fun and did super well and played a bunch of fun lists (thanks and a shout out to @GiledPallaeon for suggesting Corran; I wouldn't have placed as highly without half his BS). 

But do I like 2 and 3? No. It's good, but I don't want to keep playing it right now. Squadrons ARE strong, much as I wish to pretend they aren't as good as they are. Luke and Adar is a f***in nightmare, especially when Yav follows it up. Sure, bring an ISD. Watch Luke eat half the dang thing. It's not a game for the opponent, as it just turns into "how much squadron damage can I throw at you before the ISD explodes? What do you mean Luke did half by himself?"

I don't have a response to NOT playing 2 and 3. I wish I could go 3 combat ships and 2 flotillas, and I wish 4 ships squadron heavy was viable FOR me (I never tried Independence, but this experiment started at proving AFs are good ships Bront). But why do I not play 2 and 3? Because it's not challenging ME, which is how I get good with a list or want to play it. Something that I constantly have to think about and TRY with it instead of just slow rolling forward with everything. That's not fun for ME which is what the OP stuff really breaks down too.

Combine all this with my general contrary nature (No, YOU move) and I don't like running the "usual wisdom" and I end up liking trying to create my own meta and list that works. Some times it's ok, sometimes it's not.

And full on what Giled said: I want a list that gives my opponent a chance then wins anyway.

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I'm going to tournaments for fun. As I don't have too much chance to play outside of said tournaments, I always bring fleets that I want to try out but may still be competitive. For example I took a Sloane fleet specifically I'm horrible with fighters and I wanted to force myself to play with them more. Then I took a Liberty list. I knew my buttocks will be kicked but I wanted to tr out how much agility Madine + ET gives.

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16 hours ago, Ardaedhel said:

To kick it off, my opinion: the last time I saw one list that was clearly dominating was @Brikhause's Rieekan Ace Holes in San Antonio, in mid-2016. Nobody had an answer for it. I had a couple of reasons not to just switch over and run that:

1) I'm a contrarian, deep down. I like challenging assumptions, and try to do so even internally. So just picking up and playing the dominating list isn't something I want to do.

2) I assume that the guy who found the list first will usually be at the cutting edge of using it well. I wanted to win in local tournaments, which meant beating Justin specifically. Under this assumption, it follows that I will not be able to just pick up an iteration of his own list and win. It also follows that if I can pioneer such a thing myself, I can be that guy on the cutting edge of it, getting a leg up on the competition.

3) I assume that this game is well-designed enough that for every list there is a counter, whether it be strategic (in the list design phase) or tactical (on the tabletop). So even if I can come up with something that counters the flavor of the month while not being overly vulnerable to other counter strategies, I can stand a chance of forcing the dominant list out of the meta.

I'm much of the same mind.

I like to experiment and explore.  I crave variety.  I also wanted to carve a spot in the build landscape, and so I can presently claim to be the person who almost singlehandedly put Madine on the landscape as a serious commander in his own right, and the Liberty on the landscape as a ship that deserves to be taken seriously.  I can show up to a tournament and sometimes be the only one flying Madine and the only one flying a Liberty.

I also have a similar history to Ard's, which is that I met the San Antonio guys at the Dallas Regional in June of 2016, which I won with a Rieekan MC80 build.  I was already experimenting with MC30s in June/July 2016 and played Dodonna B-wings in Sept.  At that point, I was a little burnt-out and wanted to try something new with the game.

So it has never really been about avoiding the flavor of the week so much as self-definition and refining my own style.

Edited by Vergilius
Classic Ben Typo

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