Thursday, July 20, 2017
ATC Post Tournament Report - An Interview with Kelsey Haley and Ravenspam Analysis
Hi everyone Black Blow Fly here to stir the... errr bringing enlightenment to the filthy unwashed masses 24-7 ! Last weekend was the first major 8th edition tournament in the US - the American Team Championship (ATC) and wow what a doozy it was. Do you remember when you were just a kid and you found out the truth about ole Santa Claus... BAAAAAAWHAAAAA !!! Tears were flowing amirite ?! Well basically the same thing happened at the ATC. You see lots and lots of people were saying and even believing 8th edition is basically uncheesable (see foot note before you post). But then the unimaginable happened... like almost every team was spamming the Ravenspam !!
What is Ravenspam:
It is like five to six nearly unkillable Stormravens with some uber buffs (see Dante) and if it goes first well see ya wouldn't wanna be ya ! Yer cherry just got popped real hard... hurrrr !
So this week I have none other than the captain of the third place team Wobbly Modelers here as my guest - yeah you know none other than my man Kelsey Haley ! Kelsey - one heck of a dominant tournament players in the US... I equate him on the Chuck Lidel level of the competitive scene. Something very interesting to note is that his did not bring any Ravenspam and still took home their newly acquired skulls - that's a tall order too.
A lot of people are really up in arms about the Ravenspam and want something done about it because you know... the dream is gone. I'm gonna be completely honest and say I really don't want to see any house rules from sources external to GW. My philosophy is just let it play out to its natural course. Codices will soon be dropping left and right... things are gonna change just like they always do. GW love some change, it's more money in the bank. If and when GW nerfs it I'm totally okay with that - they are the SOLE entity that should change rules.
So let's dive into the interview with Kelsey now.
Q1) I was very impressed your team placed third overall this year ! I have played in ATC several times and consider it one of the most competitive tournaments in the country if not the most due to its unique format. Top players come from all over the country come to participate and the team format is very challenging. Could you provide a quick run down what army you and each of your team mates brought and what was your overall strategy for pairings each round ?
Sure. I ran 2 shadowswords and a stormlord with 5 commanders and 4 man plasma squads with Sergeant Harker.
Ernie ran 8 Nurgle Princes and Belakor with as many Brimstones as he could he fit into his list.
Max ran 32 missile launcher Devs with Guilliman.
Austin ran 98 purestrain genestealers, some characters and 9 armored lascannon sentinels.
Juice ran 7 Crimson Hunters and 4 Ravagers.
Our basic strategy was to figure out which lists on our opponents' teams everybody didn't want to play. If somebody only had one list they didn't want to play then they often became a defender. Past that... we were winging it.
Q2) I was really impressed your team did not bring the much dreaded Ravenspam army list. What was y'alls strategy to counter this list and how did that work out for you ? Did you know going into ATC last week that you needed a solid overall strategy to counter the Ravenspam ?
We knew it would be a thing but never cared too much about it. Going into it we accepted that it was something we'd each have to play at some point. Luckily we planned on playing stormravens with multi meltas... but we only played versus heavy bolters.
As good as they are Ravens are easier to counter than GSC.
Q3) There is a bit of an uproar on the internet about the Ravenspam now. What is your opinion - should TOs change rules to nerf it ?
I like the idea of 0-3 of the same unit, but this early in the game I'm generally opposed to changing the rules at all.
On a side note I think Guilliman and the Yncarne need to be nerfed more than anything else.
Q3) Which round was your toughest and how did it go overall ?
My toughest round came versus Dallas on Quality Control. He had a pretty solid GSC list. I really only played him because nobody else wanted to. I wound up being able to hold the genestealers off long enough to scrounge up 9 points.
Q4) What was your favorite game/opponent and why ?
My favorite opponent was probably Jason from Forgeworld Columbia 2. He played a similar list, though he had extra drops. That meant I went first and took advantage early. The game ended after about 10 minutes with me maxing.
The reason I say its my favorite because Jason exemplified class during brutal defeat. He laughed and we both knew that had he siezed I would've been the one picking up models.
It was also my favorite because we had plenty of time for "beverages". Haha
Q5) How do you like 8th edition so far compared to 7th edition ? Is it better designed for competitive play ?
I think its better designed in the sense that good lists are easier to make. Tactically it's become easier, but its nice that more people are better able to run competitive lists well.
Finally feel free to add anything you like. :D
I'd just like to throw shoutouts to Battlegrounds (our local store in Midlothian, VA that tolerates our drunk playtesting) and The Long War for their endless support.
So there you have it... the Ravenspam can be managed in a tournament environment. Of course the ATC format is unique from other large events but at the end of the day you still have top players versus other top players. I hope that 'The sky is falling' mantra will drop to wayside soon. Of course there is the NOVA Open coming soon which features a more traditional format... it'll be interesting to see what competitive players come up with to counter the Ravenspam and beat it plus there's plenty of time to properly prepare and endless play testing.
Is uncheesable an actual word ? Of course not but it's no big deal irregardless how much it might upset you. :P Get over it.