The 11th Company 40K Podcast

Welcome to the 11th Company BLOG. The 11th Company is a Warhammer 40K podcast dedicated to players, strategies, and tactics.

You can download our episodes at the website, from ITunes, several podcast sites, or connect directly to the RSS Feed. We try to release a new Episode every Monday Night. Check it out!




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Monday, August 30, 2010

Welcome to the Desert of 40K

Welcome to the east coast desert of 40k!

Want to know where that is? Find the little state on the east coast marked "SC". Then, find the eastern most pointed tip. That's us right there!

Now, check this out: GT Circuit

Here's the thing, the closest GT to us was the NOVA Open which was in Virginia. Next closest? Check out the tip of FL or all the way to PA or NY. Have any idea of how far that is away? I'll tell you. The NOVA Open (the closest) was about 8 hours! Tip of Florida or New York? 12+ depending on where you want to go!

What's that you say? What about this thing over in Tennessee? It's a 1000 points "team" tournament. Great for hobbyists I'm sure, but as I'm sure you can guess, doesn't exactly "jump out" at me.

So, what's it like in the desert of 40K? If you want to travel to an event of any size, it takes 4 days. One day to drive. Two days to be there. One day to come back. We did the NOVA in three, but in any case, you are still looking at having to take time off of work to go ANYWHERE!

This boggles my mind. It really does. So, there is this thing in the middle of GA on that map called Atlanta. It's the 33rd largest city in the nation, and it's barren. What gives! Indeed, three states, GA, NC, and SC are barren, but there are people here. Do we all drive 8 hours to get to a GT? I'm guessing so!

So, what does it take to get a GT around here? Geez!

So, we live in sunny Myrtle Beach.

We have hotels. We have convention centers. What we don't have is many people to play. Indeed, it's either us (The Myrtle Beach Wild Bunch) or this small store Corsair Comics. However, there are stores out there! Stores that are much closer than 6 hours away, and they sell 40K Products. Indeed, they hosted 'Ard Boyz tournaments in multiple spots across SC, NC, and GA.

So, how do we start a GT? I've got sunny beachside resorts. I've got an airport, transportation, and even places gamers could drop their wife and kids off at while they had a good time at the tournament. (Golfers do it all the time!) I'm interested! I really am.

You get really thirsty when you live in the desert! :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Interview related stuff post Nova open

Survived the Nova open and crazy traffic. I have some interviews to edit.
I Interviewed my Vanilla space marine opponent, Rick Bond, he runs a rifleman dread related list. I also got a hold of Cheatin' Steve's Tau opponent, Old Shatter hands, Author of Tau of War. I still have to edit my chat with Chris Jones, the Professor from The BattleZone. I interviewed a Previous captain of the french ETC team, Pierre. I interviewed Jeff Dunster with his interesting and unique IG list. I still have an interview to edit from Big Jim, which i had forgotten i still had till he reminded me during my last interview with him. I also still have material from Neil Kerr and Rob Harvatt to fix.

Little short on time lately, real job getting hectic at the start of the school year, own kids, etc....

If anyone has leads to interviews they would like to see done, hit me up, i am a glutton for punishment and slave labour.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Interview related Stuff

Finished interviewing Tasty Taste, interviewed Big Jim about his killzone work from his blog. Finished edits on both. Finished editing work for some interviews to be aired while we are away at tournament.

Interviewed Pierre aka Chtio fonce, he has been the french team captain in the past, was going, but his first borne interrupted his plans to attend. He talks about the french meta game, how his group beat out other 8-man french teams to win the right to represent, talked about the results and the desire to see a Canadian team compete, regardless if they are french or English speaking. Long distance telephone calls make for bad recordings, so this will require lots of editing.

Vacation is over, still have some painting to do for tournament, editing time will be hard to come by ;P

Monday, August 2, 2010

Exaggerated or Optimistic Thinking

On Episode 28, Pat and I talked about exaggerated and optimistic thinking as a potential peril to avoid while trying to improve your game. Here's how that works:

"I have 100 guardsmen who can just rapid fire their lasguns if the enemy gets to close. Think about it! That's 200 lasgun shots. Nothing is going to stand up to that!"

Hmmm..... let's do a little mathhammer:

(Guardsmen roll to hit = 50% chance) * (Lasgun Roll to Wound a Marine = 33% chance) * (Marine Fails a Save = 33% chance) = 5.5% chance to kill a Marine with a single Lasgun. Just using dirty statistics, what does this tell me?

200 dice are rolled. 1/2 of those dice will MISS... leaving only 100 dice. Of those 100, only 1/3 of those will WOUND... leaving only 33 dice. Of those, only 1/3 of those will FAIL AN ARMOR SAVE... leaving only 11ish dice. There you have it. 200 Lasgun shots appromixates to 11 dead marines.

So, nothing will stand up to it? What about 2, 10 man squads of marines? What happens if a 10 man squad of Blood Angels with a Sanguinary priest deep strikes right in front of you (FnP negates half the failed saves, killing only 5-6 of the assault marines)?

It's easy to see where hyperbole, exaggeration, or just plain old optimistic thinking can get you into a lot of trouble! Do just a "little" research on some popular BLOGs, forums, or web sites and you will quickly find statements like:

- This army does well against all armies.
- If I face ______, all I have to do is ______, and then, ______ occurs in my favor.
- This army is packing _____ Strength _____ shots. I can definitely kill ______ by Turn ____.
- Everything in 5th edition gets a cover save.
- Melta guns are required.
- Only mechanized forces work in 5th ed.

The list goes on and on.

Statements like these are what I call "blind assertions" or just "assertions". The statement being made assumes facts not in evidence. Using the example above, "nothing can stand up to 200 lasgun shots" is just false, period. It might seem like it's not. After all, that is a bucket load of dice to toss at something. However, the statistics show us another story entirely.

The mark of a veteran player is to be able to incorporate probability into their game play without necessarily doing the calculations. A veteran player know what actually works and what actually doesn't because of game player experience. A veteran player has experienced the game, in detail, and knows when something "actually" works, doesn't, and so on. A veteran player doesn't exist at the level of "theoryhammer", because theoryhammer relies on assertions to prove points. A veteran player substitutes experience for assertions.

In any case, it's not true if you can't prove it. You can easily theoryhammer your way into a hole that you can't escape from if you aren't careful. Theoryhammering creates sandboxes. Sandboxes are basically "meta games" where assertions have created an entire "universe" where some things hold true which don't necessarily reflect reality. Here are some examples you will find commonly across the web:

- Your list isn't good unless it has mech elements in it.
- Your list isn't good if it is assaulty.
- Mobility is required to win games.
- ______ army sucks and can't compete.

Even I will tell you that in my sandbox, Necrons can't compete. However, in other sandboxes, they do just fine. So what gives? Sandboxes are dangerous to growing as a player! Anytime you step into a sandbox, either your own or one that someone else created (on a BLOG, a website, a forum, your local gaming club, etc), you are applying blind assertions to create a false universe. Granted, some sandboxes are better than others, but that's usually because there are less assertions or some assertions in the sandbox are actually shown to be true. Some sandboxes are so bad; nothing useful can be found in them.

They are dangerous because they trap you within a realm in which you can no longer expand your thinking "outside of the box". In irony, many statements are geared towards "thinking outside of the box" simply by offering a new way to think; the irony being that now you are just "thinking inside that box" instead of "outside of a box" at all.

The best way to correct your assertions? Attend some big tournament. You'll see how much of what you hold to be true actually is true... or not as the case may be.

In any case. I wish I could change the world. Since I can't, all I can offer are some ways to protect yourself against making assertions as well as believing the assertions of others. Ask yourself the following:

1) Was a "statement of fact" made that was not proven?
2) Do plain old statistics actually back up what is being said?
3) Is hyperbole being used?
4) Are assumptions being obviously made which aren't stated? (Assuming your 200 lasguns can even rapid fire because they are in range, has line of sight, troops aren't inside rhinos,... etc.)
5) Are assumptions being made about the list the opponent is running or the way the opponent is playing that list and not being stated? (All Tau players run Crisis suits....)

Essentially, watch out for saying or reading statements which you can't prove to be true and using those as a basis for decision making.

It's not that you shouldn't make or accept some assertions. It's that you should be careful about doing so. Some assertions are useful. Some are not.