These are the steps I came up with for identifying problems with your game.
1. Luck: The first thing you need to do is identify if you are on a bad luck streak. Nothing can be done about bad luck so if this is the case then you may not need to change your game at all. If you can eliminate luck as a factor then you know our trouble lies elsewhere.
3. Psychological: Are you burned out? Maybe it is time for a break from the game! Shocking I know, but we can't always be playing, building, painting, blogging, thinking, eating, and breathing this hobby. Sometimes we need a break to improve our game.
4. List selection: If you are a competitive player, odds are since you are reading this, then you need to analyze your lists. Over time, especially as you wrack up wins, players can begin to feel invulnerable. This can lead to sub-optimal list building. Because you feel so confident in your game/army you may begin to experiment with new units that are less than the best. This isn't a bad thing but it may cause list erosion over time.
5. New Fish: Some of us operate in small ponds, medium ponds, or large ponds. But no matter the size of your community a new fish can throw your game into a spiral, and the new fish doesn't necessarily need to be "bigger" than you. The new fish or fishes can shake up the rest of the group enough to put you off your game.
Once you have identified which factor or factors that are affecting your game you can start to plug the wholes in your game. For me I realized that I needed to reign in my list selection and psychological factors; the new GK codex has caused me less stress game wise than I thought it would. I have discussed beating GK already so no need to go into why they don't worry me. First I realized I could use a bit of a break. Having played 8 of the last 10 tournaments locally, participated in and finished near the top of the last 4 leagues at our FLGS. I needed a break. I didn't play in the April tournament, and I have taken the current league much less seriously. This has given me the time I needed to step back, relax, assess my game, and ultimately just not think about gaming for a while.
|mmmm.... Long Fangs.|
The next part of my list assessment began with looking at what type of 1850 list I wanted to take since the BAO is an 1850 tournament. I have three potential lists to test, one with Ragnar, one with Njal, and the other with generic HQ choices. The rest of the list is the same core. I realized I needed to get back to the core of the SW and take a lot of the crazy stuff out, so I looked through my previous lists and decided to take what I knew front and back. Long Fangs, Grey Hunters with Wolf Guard in Rhinos, and Rune Priests. This was the "core" I came up with:
Rune Priest: Living Lightning/JotWW
2x 7 GH with MG, MotW, PW, Standard, Rhino, attached WG with PF/Combi-melta
2x 7 GH with PG, MotW, PW, Standard, Rhino, attached WG with PW/Combi-plasma
1x 7 GH with Flamer, MotW, PW, Standard, Rhino, attached WG with PF/Combi-melta
6 LF with 5 ML
5 LF with 4 ML
8 LF with 3ML/2HB
This core leaves me with between 240-250 points depending on wargear selections. This core is extraordinarily versatile. Grey Hunters are the best troops choice in the game hands down, I built mine to be able to shoot well and assault well. Lots of PW and PF attacks with MotW and Standards in each squad means my opponent will think twice before charging. Long Fangs are stupidly OP. Rune Priests belong in every SW list. Enough said. I then came up with different options to "plug into" the list to reach 1850. The options I came up with for HQ plug ins were:
Ragnar: He provides an excellent buff to the unit he joins and with his Warmachine style feat he can create a GH infused killing frenzy that can decimate armies when you pull it off correctly. For a GH Rhino rush list Ragnar is a good choice.
Njal: Njal is near broken, much like Long Fangs and regular Rune Priests. If Rune Priests are OP and borderline broken then Njal is exponentially so.
Rune Priest and WGBL: This combo gives me another Rune Priest, never a bad thing, and a Close Combat character who will buff a unit he joins. The WGBL was taken over a WL simply for points reasons, if you read my article The Sons of Russ: Generic HQ Choices then you know I don't think much of WGBLs but I had no other choice here. He is armed with a SS/FB/Wolf Tail Talisman/Wolf Tooth Necklace. Ultimately this is the combo I decided on for the tournament today because these two units are familiar to me, unlike Njal and Ragnar who I have used maybe once each.
Ultimately everyone needs to assess their game from time to time. My number one recommendation is to take a break. Breaks are good and necessary, plus you can look at your game in a new light and with clearer lenses once you've had chance to relax and get your mind off your game. Now, we will see how well this has all worked out for me!