This year's North American Ard Boyz tournament concluded last weekend with a member of the Bell of Lost Souls community winning first place overall. It has therefore been a nice treat to be able to look over the player's champion army list which he graciously posted online. He is also in the process of writing battle reports for his games from the final round. I appreciate getting this insight into an area of 40k of which I am unaccustomed but still curious, espeically coming from the perspective of someone who is obviously very successful in competitive gaming.
Reviewing the army used by Darkwynn made it much more clear to me how far removed I am from the no-holds-barred atmosphere of tournament competition. Maybe it's just that I am not nearly as familiar with the new edition of Imperial Guard but I doubt I would have ever come up with a similar list. I would like to study it a bit more because I still don't have a firm image in my mind of what his army would look like both on the table and even just on display. The idea of keeping so much in reserve is a new concept for me although it does seem to be a lot more common in the latest version of 40k. I also don't understand some of the tactics described by Darkwynn, such as his usage of empty transports, but I've got enough to go on to test them out myself in hopes of figuring out how they work.
What really blows my mind though is the fact that none of the eventual Ard Boyz champion's final six games lasted more than an hour. What?!? Considering that each player was using 2500 point armies, this is to me a truly amazing feat of wargaming might. My hat's off to the man but I don't even know how much fun that could be for the victor were it not for the competitive context. Outside of my attendance at one Grand Tournament, virtually all of my games are played in a very friendly atmosphere and it has been common in the past for even small battles to take up the better part of an afternoon. One of my goals however is to get some more experience outside of my comfort zone. To this end I am grateful for places like BoLS where I can get some exposure to the more ruthless side of 40k and hopefully get a sense of what I could be in for should I happen to walk into a gaming store for some pick-up games. Right now though the thought of that strikes fear into me... ugh, game store kids! NOOOOOOO!!!!