Broken, Beaten, Scared
It has been a long, long time since I’ve had my ass beat as badly as it has been beat while trying to worry through Deneghra 3. Taking my deserved beatings, though, doesn’t feel good, and It’s illuminating two aspects that I don’t find that I am very experienced with: List Pairing and List innovation. I don’t think that either of these are skills I cannot try and bring to wield as a deadly weapon, but it may yet take a number of years.
The Road More Traveled
There is, and probably will continue to be, a very strong subcurrent of the Warmachine culture that abhors the practice of Net Listing; the practice of finding other players lists, likely online, and using them. Often this is used to demean a list or player, insinuating that they lack the originality of playstyle and the ability to play the game well.
It’s not the player that wins, in these discussions, it’s the list. These traditional hard liners would prefer if every player constructs their own lists according to their own desires, and would learn what does and does not work through trial, error, and preference.
I hate this thought process.
Among the more flagrant elitist displays, this argument makes a fair bit of suppositions about the person using these internet lists that are likely not to be true, beyond even the originality argument. Warmachine covers a vast swath of the personality spectrum, and there are many valid reasons to go to the internet first, before trying to figure out a ‘Caster or model on your own.
I don’t want to make this too long, I aught to take some time, someday, to write it all up, but the main argument that I have against the hatred of net listing is that of time investment. There are many players who get to play Warmachine 3-5 times a week or more and who are able to iterate their lists in a day, or even a span of days. These people dedicate days and days to the tweaking of lists and seeing how to best spend those last two points in a list or which beast load out is their favorite for a ‘Lock. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to play more than a single game a week, and when I do, I want it to be a pretty good game that I stand a chance of winning. Often, this means that I don’t want to construct my list based on my whims and fancies as whenever I do that I end up making miserable lists that drive me nuts. Having enough time for only a single game a week means that I will often work backwards from a list I found on the internet to a list I enjoy and feel comfortable with. I’m also bold enough, most times, to contact the person where I found the list and ask them a number of questions about the list and how it works for them, why the chose the models they did, and why they didn’t choose a certain model or two. It’s never any fun to be in the middle of a game and realize that the rule states living enemy models destroyed, not simply models destroyed. Many times I end up with some great insight on how to use the list, where to apply it, and how it works in specific match ups.
I talk about this because this is where I am with Denny 3, and it’s making me extremely frustrated. against my better judgement, I am trying to build a list with her, and it has been difficult. What I have noticed, as I remember the games that I play with her, and even back through the past, is that I don’t particularly have an eye for synergistic abilities and compounding traits.
What I reach for are those models and units that I am familiar with and that I know what job they perform. It’s a simple and fairly basic trait that I’ve developed after formative years with the game, before the world of the internet brought me the fantastic, stress-relieving ability to look at someones list and build upon it in your own way. Upon the shoulders of Giants, as they say.
As a final note to the Net List, I do want to acknowledge that their needs to be acknowledgement that the list isn’t yours. It is disingenuous to try and pass off a list that you tore from the internet as one that you came up with. It might be easier on the ego to tell people that you came up with the exact same list as some Internet Famous Warmachine player, but it’s not doing anyone any favors. We know where your list came from, and that is just fine. Instead of telling us how your thought process is the same as some well known player, tell us what inspired you to play the list, and why you think its fits in your playstyle.
Wine and Cheese
While I can’t say that I’ve been happy with the results, I have been trying to build the Deneghra 3 list on my own for a reason. I want to pair the list with Goreshade 3 and get them to a point that I am very confident with them. I really want them to cover both the common list pairings and generic conceptual lists. This has lead me to try and build lists that do not really compliment her suite of abilities, but lists that accomplish a certain task, but with her at the helm, and that may simply not be a very good way of trying to grind the most out of her abilities. This is, as you may have read earlier, one of the problems I have recently focused on. Last year I was focusing on trying to make the best decisions for the list pair that I was playing, and I think I’ve honed that enough to be confident. Just because you know what both of your lists do, and what their targets are, does not mean that the lists truly compliment each other.
That is going to be something I work on this year – Making sure that the lists I take are ones that make sense when paired together.