I really just want to know why? In all of God’s green earth why did GW America create such a poor excuse for a 40k competitive tourney in Ard’ Boyz. GW America seemed to decide that 40k Xtreme would have been too obvious a name, so instead we are left drinking at the trough of this sad exercise. A rant about the event itself would be too easy, however Ard’ Boyz has created two very powerful unforeseen consequences.

  1. Tournaments are moving closer and closer and 2500 Army List model.
  2. The dumbing down of list building.

Think back three years ago, you had GW GT circuit running at 1750. Exactly how many 2000 point tourneys could you find at the time? Then bam! Ard’ Boyz comes along and competitive players are suddenly faced with building 2500 lists, a mostly unheard point cost at the time. Double that with the release of Apocalypse and you have the makings of giant point increase in army lists building. Competitive players end up buying the models necessary to building lists at this new level and slowly many American players gravitate to these higher point games.

Today we see 2000 point tourneys pushing out the other lower events. How long will it take before 2500 is the new standard? Sure many of you love the 2000+ point game. At Blood of Kittens we think you should understand just how dangerous your love is. 2000-2500 point games are becoming the standard point level for 40k in America. When most of the world still plays in the 1500-1750 range for most tournaments and average play, it is us Americans that are the anomaly. The 2000+ game shouldn’t be the standard. Blood of Kittens will have a detailed article very soon demonstrating all the reasons 2000-2500 is the ass backwards way to play 40k. For now I am going to leave that kettle percolating.

The second consequence of Ard’ Boyz is list building. If you head over to Yes the Truth Hurts you will notice Stelek and friends vomiting Ard’ Boyz lists at an epic rate. These represent typical Ard’ Boyz lists you can find on any number of forums around the Net. For the most part they are a clear representation of what has become the gross trend in army building. Their concept is implicit and simple. Create lists that use weight of dice plus cost effectiveness to determine victory. This is only amplified if you have enough points to build such an army. Suddenly math does matter as you start to reach the averages necessary for your little mathhammer brain to salivate. No longer are you sweating over your one Hydra surviving, at Ard’ Boyz you now have nine.

These lists are boring and lack any nuance. Originality loses meaning and it becomes only about the list. It would almost be better for Stelek and others to just list the units for each codex that have the “best” dice/cost ratio and let the players just pick and choose from a menu. This is not to say that player ability cannot still determine victory, it just means when you see one of these lists you have seen them all. Every unit is independent from the rest and have no real synergy. You might think you are cool for “discovering” just how cheap and shooty a unit is, but in all honesty you just helped dumb down 40k. It also gives comfort to the chorus of haters when they drown out anyone else for posting lists that don’t fit this new orthodoxy. The bar has so shifted that even Goatboy’s army lists look somewhat fluffy.

What about the poor sod that trots out his Ard’ Boyz list at lower points and wonders why he got face stomped? Quickly he will return to the safety of higher point games hoping for better results, not realizing point and click is much harder to pull off at 1500. So we end up creating a group of players that only see 40k through Ard’ Boyz covered eyes. The list and not skill as a player becomes the new paradigm. To the point where Internet flame wars start when words like Eldar and foot slogging are mentioned in the same sentence. The American 40k player is slowly losing the ability to see what one unit can do for another. Instead players go through the unit check list and make sure they have checked off the right boxes.

So on July 17th do yourself a favor and don’t contribute to the dumbing down of 40k America.