This weekend RankingsHQ and The Bad Dice Podcast presents the first 40k Masters event where the top 16 players determined by RankingsHQ  fool-proof ranking system duke it out. It is an invite only event where if you played in enough tournaments you probably got in. Not only does this event give the illusion that the best of the best are playing against each other it also endeavors to suckle at the third nipple of elitism at least only mildly. The best thing though is the event is free to the players attending!

Here are some links and files to help you better understand if you already wondering what this ramble is all about. The link is all you need to see missions and army lists for this major event going on this weekend.

RankingsHQ UK Masters Tournament

So what exactly is their to talk about?

Could talk about the FAQ which makes the INAT look like the Repetición de Amores y Arte de Ajedrez, because either the British are too dim or so beardy that these clarifications have to be spelled out. Neither answer should make anyone happy.

What about the lists? Well you could go into the lists and bad mouth them. I mean there are some “interesting” choices. Really what is the point? American and many other foreign players just seem to never get the British game. The same questions are repeated over and over. Where is the melta? Why don’t they spam more troops? How can they win with so few tanks? Which in turn the inevitable follow-up answer which boils down to this underlining sentiment…

“If I could bring my flying monkey circus of MSU Mech sent from the Golden Throne on Sanguinius wings I would table all these players simultaneously in about two hours”.

Oddly the same sort of smack talking could be heard from the ETC American team that got beaten down by the same types of lists. The Rankings mission and scoring format is better than the ETC which was a hodgepodge of Fantasy reject rules applied to 40k (the far more balanced game of the bunch).

So what can anyone get out of the following 40k escapade of pointless bragging rights again?

These sorts of events do give a glimmer of light into the British list meta. Here in the States many bemoan the lack of variety when it comes to army builds, in Britain it looks even more severe. Especially when you consider that these lists were made independent of each other.

Just look. Two out the three IG lists are almost identical. Both Daemon lists have the same Elite and Troop selections. Both CSM lists are identical. Both Nid players rely on Tervigons and Hive Guard. Both Space Wolf players rely on a Thunder Cav as Hammer units. Most armies have only three troop units.

So why is their so little variety in army building? To answer this sort of question it would take more than just a single 16 man event. Here though are some theories from an outside observer.

  • Since most major tournaments played in Britain are either 1500 or 1750 that leads to faster standardization because there is no wide play point ranges.
  • British players being more homogeneous and playing in a relatively small country create an established meta that changes at a “differently” than other larger countries.
  • Terrain (especially LOS blocking) plays a greater role in events making heavy mech (none skimmer) based armies harder to use.
  • The recent FAQ change concerning units giving cover to other units changed the meta for horde armies.
  • RankingsHQ  system for determining the best players is flawed and these lists don’t really represent the current meta in Britain.
  • Knowing missions before hand creates list tailoring that leads to similar builds.
  • Overall British are accustomed to few soft score events and thus create lists tailored to that environment.

Americans looking into the minds of other countries is often a futile test of mental acumen at least everyone should get points for trying. I know it is easy take apart these lists, but ask yourself the question how could they work? As well what reasons could make them work?