Thursday, July 20, 2017
Post ATC Report Part 2 - Interview with Aaron Aleong - Team Happy
Hi everyone !!! Black Blow Fly here again with the second part of my report covering the recent American Team Championship (ATC). I don't want to beat a dead horse but then again this horse ain't dead just yet. Today I bring you an interview with the mighty Aaron Aleong who is the coach and player on Team Happy - they came in first place this past weekend and this is the third time they have won this arduous event. Three times is very dominating to say the least and Aaron has won many of the major events at events across the country. To me Aaron is a lot like the Randy Couture of Warhammer 40k in the US... he even kind of looks like him too.
So let's introduce the other members of Team Happy and what roles they all play for three years running:
Tony Grippando - Captain
Aaron Aleong - Coach
Justin Curtis - Rules Master
Aaron Towler - Lore Master
Tim - Finances (aka Chief Bean Counter)
To quote Aaron...
"As a team we all give input on lists and test each other to include playing our lists against each other. Our team mixes well and therefore I believe performs well together. Also in our team no one had an issue with biting the bullet and taking a bad matchup for the team. I have seen many teams that aren't willing to sacrifice in this fashion."
Those word of wisdom are solid gold ! So now onto the interview:
Q1) Why did you decide to run Ravenspam and how'd you learn about it ?
Looking at the matchup opportunities of isolating a small drop list againt a large army guaranteeing first turn (except on a seize), and the damage output of A Stormraven (40-44 shots with up to 6 different targets) it was a no brainer to take two Raven lists. I saw numerous Raven lists that were not optimized to do well.
We heard about the list a few months back from an event out west, tested it, and built two seperate lists that were able to perform well. Though I will say in an event where deploy first go first isn't automatic this list won't do as well and I fully support changing this mechanic.
Q2) What are the best natural counters to Ravenspam and what are its worst matchups ?
Natural counters are the bird list, high rate-of-firepower lists with lots of models (i.e., some guard lists), and of course mirror matches. However I f there is deploy first-go first with no rerollable seize.. ravens are too powerful. I am working on a counter at the moment.
Q3) Did you have to play any mirror matches and if so what were your tactics to ensure the win ?
I did not, but my teammate Tim played a Grey Knight raven list and played three other raven lists which he all beat soundly taking home the award for best GK player. Tim had a definite advantage by having less drops and therefore went first most games. He got seized on one of his game but deployed defensively and was still able to crush his opponent.
Q4) How important is it to go first with Ravenspam and are you willing to burn a command point to reroll Seize the Initiative to still have a chance to go first ?
At ATC you couldn't reroll seize. The go first is too powerful in a list like this. See above. :-)
Q5) What are the best buffs for Ravenspam ?
A Chapter Master equivalent is vital... Dante, Draigo, etc. Being able to keep up with the ravens is the tricky part. Some people took Robby G, but I feel that is a waste since Rowboat can't keep up with the ravens. Any type of probability alteration is extremely valuable with GW limiting the number of re-rolls.
Q6) If you would have had to have fielded a different army what would you have taken instead to ATC this year ?
I would have taken my top secret Nova Open list. Which wont be shown here. My list is imperial and doesnt have flyers... hurrr hurrr !!!
Q7) How do you foresee Ravenspam playing out over the next 6 months with soon to release codices ?
I really hope they are adjusted. It's too powerful the way it is now and I don't really see the new codices fixing them. My hope is GW will step up and alter them... maybe removing POTMS, or increasing costs, etc.
Q8) Will Ravenspam still be competitive at NOVA this August ? If not so much then why ?
I think it will be less successful because of the +1 change. If this list doesn't go first then it's in trouble. Also I feel the missions are better with progressive objectives but then again 5 or 6 ravens cab table most armies quite easily. :-(
So there you have it from the proverbial horse's mouth ! Team Happy had not one but two Ravenspam armies and that's definitely a big deal... so far spam is king.