I began planning for the Standoff during the summer. In previous years I was pretty restricted by what I owned. My army was still somewhat small and I did not have a lot of choices. My lists were almost planned for me as a result and they weren’t all that great either. This year, however, I had a lot of choices to make and I knew if I didn’t start early that I would be putting together a list last-minute and rushing through painting units to get them ready in time. That being said, I did make some choices in my list based on what I had painted already. I do not get in as much painting as I used to and I did not want to be painting models the night before the event. It was from there that I began building my list. Speaking of, here is the list that I’m bringing.
As I began working out my list I looked at Daemons again for allies. Allies are something I’ve mostly neglected in 6th edition, mostly because I lack the models from the armies I can ally in. I have some Daemons but it’s a pretty small amount and admittedly I was put-off at first with the Daemons’ codex. The entire thing was redone and I had a lot to learn and absorb and never seemed to find the time to do that. I finally found the time and saw a lot that I liked and the list began evolving.
The core of the list, what I began building around, was the Daemon Princes and Keeper of Secrets. The models were already painted and they’re models I really enjoy using. If I was going to bust out models to use for the fun of it then the Standoff is the event for it. From there it was on to getting other fast vanguard units. Hounds quickly jumped out at me and Spawn are a given in any list of mine. From there it was a matter of getting a solid core of troops and the list was set.
I have play-tested the hell out of this list over the course of the past few months and it has done well. The list itself suits my aggressive style of play. I have saturation with my fast elements with no one unit is being relied upon exclusively. Most often my Princes are focused on early and rarely do they live through a game. It does hurt to see those pricey models go down but my plan doesn’t fold when they do.
All of those in-your-face units buy my troops the time they need to get where I need them. The icon of vengeance on my CSM squads has been crucial and it’s an upgrade I swear by now. The Bloodletters aren’t my ideal choice for Daemon troops but I own the unit and it’s painted so that was the decision there. I visually like the unit as well; they are just very meh in-game.
The tricky part, I feel, about facing the list is prioritizing targets. If you focus on the fast units then you will no doubt get them eventually, it’s happened enough, but then the scoring units are in position by that time. Focusing on the scoring units early means you’ll get slammed by all that fast stuff and bogged down, which then buys time for the scoring units to move about again.
Of course the list isn’t perfect. It’s pretty obvious I gave up a lot of shooting in this list. Matchups against Eldar usually see me tabled. They’re mobile, fast and can pour out some serious fire power. Tau is another rough pairing. It’s not as brutal as facing Eldar but still favors my opponent.
The best part though is this is a list I enjoy playing regardless of a win or loss. I normally shun playing the same list repeatedly. Even when it’s time for tournament prep for these big events I often find myself bored of my list after a few weeks of testing it. I have not run into that boredom block yet with this list, thankfully. Most likely the reason is that I thoroughly enjoy the list itself. Often my lists are built with a competitiveness in mind. I don’t build lists taking only the most point efficient units or whatever the current meta is pushing, but I do keep it in mind with some of my choices. I guess you can say that I normally build casual lists with a sprinkle of competitive. The list for the Standoff though is built for fun; it’s casual. That’s not to say I didn’t make some competitive choices with the list itself but that those choices came after the list was built, not to build it.
It would seem that fine line has made all the difference in my enjoyment of the list. Related to that has been how I’ve done with the list. I feel I have won more with this list than I likely should considering how one-dimensional it is, at least on paper. It’s obvious to anyone the list focuses on the movement and assault phases. There’s no secret in what I’m going to try to do with the list when I face someone, yet my enjoyment of the army and the list has seen me perform better than usual.
I’m looking forward to the Standoff in a few weeks and maybe this will be the year I stand a chance at best overall.