Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Best Army In 40K...and a word from my heart.

On Facebook I recently asked my friends to supply questions for a Q and A post on my other blog. While most of the questions were close to the topic of that blog, there was one question asked by friend and regular GT winner Matt Root which stuck out from the bunch.

He asked…What is the best Warhammer 40K army? I respond with the following 1850 list.


Inquisitor (Psy lvl 1)
4 x 3 Acolyte
2 x 12 Acolyte
2 x Storm Raven (Melta/Lascannon)

3 x Imperial Knight (Paladin or Errant depending on the meta)

I think that the Imperial Knights are really good, especially when you have multiple divination sources also on the table. I think this list overcomes a lot of the issues had by other Imperial Knight lists; lack of scoring units and vulnerability to flyers.

Coteaz and the other Inquisitor deploy in the 12 man units of Acolytes, in order to give them plenty of ‘Look Out Sir’ opportunities, and try and stay out of LOS from enemy units while each spotting a Knight to give it benefits from their psychic storehouse. You can allocate your Knights as Paladin’s and Errants as needed depending on what your local tournament meta looks like.

Two of the three man units of Acolytes deploy in reserves and will hug cover to grab objectives near our own table edge. The other two small units of Acolytes naturally hang out in the Storm Ravens, ready to hop out on objectives in the late game. The Storm Ravens are configured in order to deal lethal damage to other flyers. Their Mindstrike Missiles are also key in handling the other psychic based armies currently seeing play.

I feel this list gives a tactically minded player who is capable of planning movement several turns ahead all the tools they need to overcome any opposing army…or maybe not. I have no idea what makes up a competitive list. In fact, I can’t even remember if allies of convenience can target each other with psychic powers. Other than one game as ringer at the Renegade GT, it has been eleven months since I have played any Warhammer 40K.
Last Spring I was coming off of my best string of tournament performances I had ever had. With 3rd overall at two GT’s, 6-1 at another, and Best Sportsman at Bugeater I was not only at the top of my game but having more fun than ever. Going to gaming stores was less about getting ready for tournaments and more about seeing friends and building up the community.

Last May I graduated from college and began preparing for a year of ministry abroad traveling to eleven countries in the developing world over eleven months with only what I could carry in a backpack. Not only would I be using all three of my degrees but I would also be fully living out my faith and social justice values.

As part of my preparation it became clear in my heart that I needed to give up table top gaming. I already was selling all of my other possessions as part of my fundraising, so it would be out of place that I would hold onto this while casting off the rest of my life. Plus not playing freed up time for me to both get an additional job and spend a greater amount of time preparing mentally and spiritually for what was to come during my year abroad. I played in one final tournament on my birthday; placing third with a silly list that was made up of models borrowed from seven of the gamers who had became my friends thanks to the gaming community.

Then it was over. I had joined the uncounted ranks of former Warhammer players. 

Teaching at a school in El Salvador this March.
Honestly though, I am glad I quit cold turkey. On one hand it was, and will always be, worth it by virtue of making my present life of teaching orphans in El Salvador, working with gang members in Honduras, and speaking messages of freedom in Albania possible; on the other hand, in a less immediate sense, it is a full expression of a truth which hides just beneath the surface and is never fully talked about in our community.

The Warhammer community does a lot of good; Foodhammer, Toys For Tots drives, and numerous events to support members of our gaming family who have faced tragedy. Even the Nova Open has/is becoming a charitable endeavor. Our community is full of bright minds, incalculable skills, and bold hearts which seek a more just world. What if the time, talents, and vast financial resources of our community, rather than being invested in the games we both enjoy and challenge ourselves with were instead applied directly toward curing the ills of the world. What if those events which bring out the best of our community became the focus of our community?

This is not a call for everyone to abandon table top wargaming, I cannot make that decision for everyone, that is for you to discern. I would though challenge you to ask the questions which were in the back of my mind as I rolled dice and sought glory on a miniature battlefield. I encourage you to address with your gamer buddies the elephants in the room.

How do we justify spending the sums we do on models in a world where innocent children are dying every day from starvation? How do we account for the hours spent building and testing lists when that same degree of research and strategy could bring great strides in tangible plans to stop the rampant human trafficking that enslaves a greater number of human beings than were captive at the height of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade? What if the devotion and consistency we applied to reading 40K blogs and listening to Warhammer podcasts was applied to further educating ourselves and generating true civil discourse over these and other issues which challenge our society and world?

These are the elephants in the room at every tournament hall. It may only be now that I am abroad that I physically look into the eyes of the starving and hold the cold fingers of those who could have their lives saved by our community, but I have known for a long time the cost my (our) actions and choices. Maybe you play these games to, “Get a break from the real world,” but to deny that each hobby room contains the resources necessary to change lives is to disregard the empiric fact that if we choose to continue to use our discretionary income in this way then we sentence other human beings to death. To refuse to accept our connection to these issues to use the same defense that has been used by the bystanders who allowed the greatest dehumanizations and violent acts of our world to occur. That is not flagrant hyperbole, that is the true that is before my eyes each day.

Working with the homeless and sick in Guatemala in February.
If you read this and change nothing, keep on playing and enjoying the game that I loved and I look back on with the fondest of nostalgias, then I am sorry. Despite the pain that would place in my heart, I cannot judge, I continued to play and spend and invest my time even though I knew these truths. If this leads something to change, or a conversation to happen in your gamer group though, I would love to hear about it.

If you are interested in contacting me or following my journeys in the developing world, my personal blog at anthonyguidotti.theworldrace.org is the best way of doing so. To those in the community who have supported me and my mission thus far either in prayers, financially, or in another way, I am eternally grateful. To my 40K friends in Minnesota and across the country, this is not the end of our time together, and I look forward to seeing you all once I return.

Anthony “Turn 7 Wargaming” Guidotti
Sofia, Bulgaria

Developing sustainable agriculture at an orphanage in Honduras in January.
PS: To those of Christian faith reading this, I encourage you to read the first part of Colossians 3. This scripture has came up time and time again for me as I debate these issues and the way in which I am called to live my life. That said, I don’t think the points I make here rely on Christian beliefs, but rather are truths that are universal to our global human family.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats with your new endeavor and may it be a fulfilling one!

    Stay safe. Take care!


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