Dadhammering is back! It’s been a while – a little over a month – since the last update, in which I tackled my prep for the Southern Fried GT. In case you missed that instalment (where I cover my hobby progress and list-building) you can find it here.
Most of my hobby has been directed by my kids. I’ve spent the past 18 months in therapy to be able to say “I don’t want to paint plastic spiders” instead of “I should paint these plastic spiders”. Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve paid an adult person to validate that if I don’t want to paint little plastic spiders I shouldn’t paint little plastic spiders.
I still have over 150 unpainted Age of Sigmar models and I still think it’s possible I can get them all painted by the end of the year. The most important thing in reducing a backlog is to STOP BUYING MODELS. We’ve all seen the Tiktoks about grey plastic, the facebook marketplace posts where entire armies are being sold still in shrinkwrap. Are there more painted or unpainted models in the world? Is the ratio of of unpainted models increasing or decreasing?
For whatever reason I was struck by the desire to put together the Indominus box that has been sitting untouched since it was gifted to me in 2020. So far I’ve resisted buying into 10th edition since I had an entire launch box of space marines sitting around for my son to paint. I know that my son theoretically wants to paint space marines and I’ve tricked myself into thinking that if I paint up the Necron half I’ll finally have the start of a 2000 point 40K army.
On the hobby front he’s has been a little more aggressive about wanting to paint and has taken to going into the basement, opening up a pot of paint, and letting it rip. If we could all have that sort of discipline we could get through our backlog pretty quickly. Unfortunately, as a parent attempting to cook food while this happened I’m left cleaning up orange paint that is on the couch, steps, clothing, and son. While the couch, steps, and clothing did not complain about rigorous scrubbing and chemicals the son had traces of paint remaining into the next week.
I’ve been getting in some games with fewer dankholds and more spiders. However, there hasn’t been anything of note since Southern Fried. I’m generally enjoying the GHB but I haven’t connected with a build that feels comfortable.
Much of my list building thoughts have turned to playing in the upcoming Georgia Masters – a team event put on by the Georgia Warband where teams play four rounds of games over two days. This event was created in part because Team America, an organization that I am not part of in any capacity, wanted to have more local U.S. clubs have team events. While I’ve played in a few team events it hasn’t ever been my focus. Goonhammer has some guides on playing in team events from a competitive perspective. Current AOS worlds and 40K team events generate a lot of podcast discussions where people humbly talk about doing their best. I’ll likely be taking a modification of my Gal Pals list but don’t have a final list to share since we all anticipate a balance update this week or next.
In experimenting for the team event I’ve been running more big spiders in my Dankhold centric lists but haven’t put the effort into finishing them yet. The last pass of the balance patch really did a number to support pieces and I just don’t have the painted models to go full spider yet. I also ran a list with 36 squig herd but found that the amount of dice I would be rolling just wasn’t worth it because I value my time and the time of my opponents. Give me a Dankhold with 4 or 5 attacks, a steady hit and wound profile, and I’ll finish my games within time.
I always go back to the 2022 reader survey to remind myself how few of the people interest in the hobby actually play the game. Gallant choices below are for those that get in more than two games a month and are pushing the Team America agenda to create an entire country of mini-playing super soldiers. Goofus choices are for people like me, who seem to only get in one or two games per month and still clog up events. As always, you should play in events more often.
Gallant and Goofus for Team Events
As we focus on Age of Sigmar as a competitive activity Gallant represents good and proper behavior while Goofus represents the wrong choice.
Choice of Captain
Gallant Chooses –
Gallant is going to choose a captain that has studied the matching process and understands the table play of her teammates. While every member of the Gallant team is going to know matchups she is going to have taken the time to practice the pairing process multiple times and how the scoring system impacts those matchups. A Gallant captain might choose a “Invictus” or “The Last Dance” as a theme to inspire the team.
A Gallant captain isn’t going to be flummoxed by the mission selection or tables and will more often than not get a better set of matchups during the event. A Gallant captain understands the pairing process for the event. For the Georgia Masters the pairing process is pretty simple:
- Captains will roll off and the winner will choose Attacker or Defender
- Each round will have a Mission A and Mission B
- The first two pairings play Mission A and the second two pairings play Mission B
- Both teams choose an opening list secretly. They are revealed at the same time.
- Both teams choose two more lists as counter list –
- The Attacker pairs a counter list with the opening list. The Defender does the same. These pairings will play using Mission A
- The process repeats itself with the remaining counter lists becoming opening lists for the Mission B.
- The Defender chooses from the two remaining lists to play the defenders opening list.
- Finally, the two remaining lists are paired against each other.
A big part of this is prior to the event helping tune the team lists for specific the specific local meta. A team with a Gallant captain will have expectations set for how many practice games are being played and hold the rest of the team accountable for making sure practice, painting, and all other preparation is being handled.
Goofus Chooses –
Goofus might not even choose a captain, or if they do, switch up the captain a couple of times. A Goofus captain will most often ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ when asked about potential matchups or what to prepare for. Beyond this, Goofus captains will spam Speed Racer (2008), Sopranos, or Breaking Bad quotes instead of engaging in real human conversation with the teammates. If you asked a Goofus captain how the scoring worked right now, in the middle of reading this article, he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Here are some key Goofus questions during the pairing process:
- Wait, I thought you were good into <army that was already paired into>
- How does the pairing process work?
- Why are we playing two missions in this round?
- Are we attacker or defender?
Another key is that the Goofus captain should make sure to grudge match the best and most competitive team round one. Instead of weeks leading up to the event wondering what the matchup is Goofus should direct his team to look at the bottom tables ASAP. A Goofus captain might say something inspiring like “We should engage in aggression without regard to survival.” Thanks, Cap’n.
Gallant Chooses –
Gallant chooses teammates that regularly play the game and who have flexibility in the armies they select. These are players who are more likely to play lists as opposed to armies and know the difference between a green and red matchup. Often times they engage in online acts so deprave that it deserves its own category. Gallant looks to find players that have covered themselves in honors and awards in individual competitive play.
“But Coach Gallant, wouldn’t all those alpha-players have bad chemistry?” Unfortunately for the rest of the field no, since they’ve already won individually they understand the importance of the team and likely have a more focused view of the competitive landscape.
The ideal teammate for an event is a childless person with steady employment and the ability to muster an entirely new army on short notice. Some may even have a hobbyist on standby to help them crank out multiple battleline units on short notice.
One of the nicest things Gallant can do to improve her odds in the team event is bring in a ringer. Team events provide the perfect opportunity to invite people from outside the local community who bring a fresh perspective and much higher ELO compared to the local metachasing trash. It’s an opportunity to see a new city and really crush some yokels.
Goofus Chooses –
Goofus chooses teammates that want to play the game but can only negotiate time between work, family, and other commitments for a “big event”. A goofus teammate will say things like “I haven’t been able to play Age of Sigmar since second edition.” or “This team event will be my first event”.
Forget playing multiple games per week, they might only get a single game or two in per month. A real challenge in the goofus selection process is making sure that each teammate has different stressors. One can have a newborn, another can have started a new job, a third can have older children that need constant attention. Perhaps caring for older family members can be worked in. A Goofus team will have that perfect combination of four people that are able to commit to a specific weekend months in advance but are unable to do the day to day work in preparing for that event. Imagine showing up to a bodybuilding competition but not having time to be at the gym in the months leading up to the event.
Gallant Chooses –
Gallant is going to choose an armies that are designed to maximize the VP differential in different matchups. Since the Georgia Masters event is using VP differential armies should be able to deny battle tactics and score the primary and secondary. Lists that win a lot of close games are dropped in favor of lists that can maximize scoring.
In addition, since the lists can’t have the same warscrolls and enhancements there is going to be strong communications during the list construction process. Unlike other team events this event isn’t restricting lists based on grand alliance so all of those elf factions can be selected together.
Since many of the players in Gallent’s team are going to have several armies that they regularly play and win they can also afford to have a specialist who only plays one army. Due to the pairing format an army that is weak against a certain archtype can completely avoid those matchups during the week.
Let’s face it, Goofus is going to let players run amok and choose whatever models they have lying around. Skaven army with a lot of cannons? Go for it. Big Waagh that needs to be completely redone with the release of new Ard boyz? Not a problem. Khorne? Sure thing.
A list that went 1-3-1 at a major? Sign Goofus up. As a committed Goofus I will admit there is a certain freedom in knowing the answer to a matchup is “I guess I’ll pick up my models and leave”. One area that made things more difficult is not allowing allegiances from the same book. My teammate recently started playing Big Waagh! and has enjoyed the experience in the new Generals Handbook. While I likely would have picked the Gal Pals anyway a team event would have been a great place make use of the Kruleboyz anti-shooting abilities.
Another way to approach selecting an army for Goofus is “This is what I have painted”. This is a popular method since it removes the requirement to paint and build models and frees you up to not practice for the event. Already painted models also avoid having the stress of building and painting a new release in a short amount of time. Nevermind that we’ve entered the silly season for rules that is the last year of an edition.
Depending on the final dataslate we’re likely going to field a collection of top meta armies like Khorne (51% winrate), Big Waagh! (50% winrate), Gloomspite Gitz (47% winrate) and Skaven (41% winrate). No reason for us to take any death army that is at the top of the meta.
Gallant Chooses –
Gallant is going to take advantage many different methods of practice and training. Gallant is going to have her team run A/B tests against various strong lists and make sure that the theory and practice match up. Once lists are released you can be sure that Gallant is going to run them by her network to really understand what matchups opponents are looking for.
Gallants team is going to know what eight missions are being run and practice them over and over again. If there was a way to quickly run test games using a computer Gallant would surely take advantage of such a system. As it stands, the only way to play Age of Sigmar is to, well, play Age of Sigmar in person.
Gallant is also going to scout the pilots of a particular army to make sure that matchups aren’t just decided by the car but also the driver. Gallant is going to do the extra work to remember when they’ve played against certain players and make sure that they maximize points.
Goofus Chooses –
Goofus meets up once a week (at best) and rolls a dice to see what mission he’s playing that week. Instead of finding opponents who know how to run lists he’s gonna stick to the rivers and paths that he’s use to and play against the same two or three people.
Goofus isn’t going to take the time to look at the latest stats and understand why the lists that are doing so well are winning. In a way, any adjustments could only cause a negative impact since you have so few games to prepare and practice for the event.
Abilities Some Would Consider To Be Unnatural
So we’ve had our little morality play about preparing for a team event. It’s obvious that if you want to win you’re gonna have to put in the work like Gallant. In the real world there is a little bit of Goofus and Gallant in all of us and we know that things are little bit better when we choose to be like Gallant. For the integrity of the game and the respect that we should all have for each other I’m not even going to joke about things like slow playing, lying about rules, or using loaded dice. Despite Goofus not putting in the extra effort he knows his rules well enough to finish a game and isn’t going to measure each little millimeter during a game.
There is a really dark way to approach a team event if you’re the type of person who really really really wants that internet clout and the ability to goose your ITC score. The kind of person who casually wants to drop that “Yeah, I went undefeated at a two-day event.” Be a team captain, tell your team that you’re going to have fun, drink some drinks, and roll some dice. Encourage people to that what they want in a list.
However, you’re going to take the Gallant path and just use your teammates to get you the best matchups over those two days. Instead of being a one-for-all type of team you’re going to throw them into the worse matchups and best players so you can keep that pristine perfect score.
One of my first introductions to Age of Sigmar was being invited to a team event by three strangers and then having my gitz run into 3 consecutive Flesh-Eater Courts armies. Gitz are an army with extremely low bravery. Flesh-Eater Courts are an army that does mortal wounds based on the opponents bravery. By the third round I knew what was up. I was fortunate enough to get five games in and met some great members of the community.
In most local communities there aren’t enough people to support full-time competitive only events. There needs to be a mixture of people to support a growing and thriving community and a big part of that is setting the expectations going into an event. I’m sure that my team, who I’ve already had a great time “preparing” with is going to have a great time at the event because we’ve all chosen to “have fun” and “enjoy ourselves”. Lists are due at the end of the week and I’ll write up a battle report on the events.
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