Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The State of the Waaaghh!!



Well the big news in the Warhammer world over the past week without a doubt has to be the results from SCGT 2013.There were a whopping 196 competitors, 38 WoC armies and the top 3 were:

Andi Avery - OnG
Guido Gerboth - WoC
Sharul Azmi - Skaven

The big surprise here was to see Orcs and Goblins win their first major event in the UK since their 8th edition book came out. As an Orc and Goblin player this excited me greatly and has inspired me to write down some of my thoughts on how I currently see OnG in the competitive side of the game.

The Big Boss

Andrew Avery appears to be one of the top 10 players in the UK according to Rankings HQ (once his SCGT result is entered) and for the most part has used OnG pretty consistently in 8th edition. He has had a great deal of success so in terms of skill it doesn't appear he "got lucky" by any means. The list he won SCGT with was:

Black Orc Warboss - Talisman of Preservation, Crown of Command, Dragonhelm
Night Goblin Great Shaman - L4, Ironcurse Icon, Shrieking Blade

Goblin Big Boss - BSB, Spider Banner, Light Armour, Shield
Night Goblin Big Boss - GW
Night Goblin Big Boss - GW
Night Goblin Big Boss - GW
Orc Shaman - L2, Dispel Scroll
Orc Shaman - L2
5 Wolf Riders - Shields, Spears, Muso
5 Wolf Riders - Shields, Spears, Muso
20 Night Goblins - Bows, Muso
99 Night Goblins - Bows, FCG, Nets, 3 Fanatics

8 Trolls 

Mangler Squig
Mangler Squig
Doom Diver
Doom Diver
Rock Lobba
Rock Lobba
Pump Wagon
Pump Wagon

As you can see the list is based on the efficiency of Night Goblins with nets, classic Goblin firepower and access to both lores. The Spider Banner creates a unit that can reliably dish out 15-20 wounds a turn in the NG archer unit. The big thing that is missing from this list that we normally see in competition lists is the Savage Orc Big'unz. It's a strong list with over 90 shots, especially in a field with 38 WoC armies and it has to be noted that Andy did play 5 WoC and 1 Brettonian army in his run to victory. From my point of view he had a bit of luck here in that his army is a hard counter to every army he played. That said it takes a bit of luck to win any tournament so we can hardly begrudge him that. For more analysis from the man himself you can listen to an interview at:


It also has to be mentioned that in SCGT 2013 comp, Orcs were completely uncomped whilst two of the classic power armies, Lizards and Skaven, were very heavily comped. Could OnG have found their way into the gold position if the comp had been lighter? Hard to say....

Greenskins in the NZ Scene

Orcs and Goblins have performed pretty poorly so far this year in the NZ tournament scene where comp is relatively minimal. The best performance has been myself just managing 3rd place at a small tournament at the beginning of the year and then Henry Poor coming 11th at Equinox. I took OnG to OTT and bombed out to 11th while Sam Whitt (#5 in NZ and top OnG player) only managed 21st at Equinox and has since sold his greenskins. Others have been taking OnG to tournaments but have been stuck firmly in the bottom third when the points are tallied up.

So the question is, why is this happening? My thoughts are:

1. The current comp that is used in NZ is unfavourable to the greenskins compared to the comp used at SCGT 13. I was very interested to see that the current ETC draft allows OnG an extra 200 points. I feel that OnG are a great all-comers army and tend not to have many bad match-ups, but in a meta-game where all but the most abusive lists are allowed, they just don't quite cut the mustard.

2. The top players are moving away from OnG. Sam Whitt is a top player and qualified for the NZ Masters last year with his OnG, but has since sold his army. This leaves only two others in the top 25 (myself and Hamish Forbes) who have used OnG recently and to my knowledge both of us have moved on to more reliable armies.

3. In the current NZ scene, OnG are not good for 6 consistent games. The sheer level of randomness in the army means you're going to get screwed in at least two games in a way that you may not be able to recover from no matter your skill level or planning. This is in a game that already depends on the dice. 

Predictions

I think we'll see a resurgence of interest in OnG at some point (I'm considering it myself) in order to counter a perceived increase in the number of WoC armies which OnG are seen as a hard counter to. I think that OnG will have some success but due to the lack of bandwagoning and smaller player pool in NZ I don't think the phenomenon will be great enough to launch OnG onto podiums at more competitive tournaments no matter who is playing them. As long as the comp systems used is relatively unrestricted (which I am in favour of), I think we will continue to see OnG populating the bottom tables as more regular players shy away from them in competitive play. I for one hope to dust off the OnG once I've got a few more tournaments under my belt and try to steal the OnG icon off of Sam Whitt.

Thanks for reading and I'm keen to hear anyone's thoughts.


6 comments:

  1. The less OnG the better in the tournament scene IMHO...because I use elite armies!

    OnG are fantastic at pulling apart elite armies. Current meta Empire, WoC, Brets, the 3 elves, Ogres, (new DoC???) all dont want to see the "double trouble" rare choice + foot of gork + hand of gork across the table from them.

    Maybe the move away from them is due to the fact that the "list" hasnt been forced to undergo much revision with the Meta changes = army starts to feel stale despite having all the tools needed to deal with 99% of the lists out there.

    Re: local comp-I think OnG have it good with the comp. Nothing is restricted that you would want to take...and no armies get "buffs" in the ETC sense (as much as I would love to take 2600pts of Woodies and give up 10% less VPs...)

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  2. Nice analysis Jeff - re: lack of OnG in events I think Joel is right players have just moved onto other armies as OnG has gotten stale.

    Personally I disagree with the whole meta thing - nothing worse than seeing 5 people bring the same army list from the same book because they all followed the same online template.

    When starting my 3rd army I seriously considered OnG rather than Ogres as they are such a diverse army and give you so many options for being creative with your models and lists e.g. your Night Goblin horde approach vs. Brendans Orc list.

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  3. It simply isn't a warhammer tournament without OnG.

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  4. OnG have more random elements than most, the SCGT guy had things work out, but.. anyone who wins a major tournament has things 'work out'. Not many of us would say we've faced opponents that were outright better, they either had the rock to our scissor, were luckier, or they took a harder army than you did for what the comp allowed. I've never met the gamer that thought other people were better than they were. The excuse bag runs very deep.

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  5. Oh I don't know Mr. Wolf, I've often faced people who are better players than me.

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  6. Me too, it's usually people with such a crisp grasp of the capabilities of their army that nothing they do isn't planned. And the really good ones have the same understanding of any army they face.

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