Interview with Kamui – Part 2

Here’s the second part of my interview with Kamui. You can find the first part here.

What is your favorite aspect of 40K, IE: converting, modeling, painting, playing, etc?

That’s a hard one to call.  It’s the whole package that keeps me interested in 40K.  If the figures came fully assembled and painted I would still play 40k.  If there were figures without a game I might still collect and paint/convert/etc. but I wouldn’t have so many of them.  Participation in each aspect just makes me more excited to to participate in the others.  I do prefer working on individual pieces because I like to keep trying something new.  Trying to paint too many nearly identical pieces tends to burn me out a bit.  The one piece of the hobby I could really do without is scraping mold lines.

What do you feel is the biggest key to winning a game of 40K? What has your 19 years of experience taught you?

To me, the key to winning at 40k is to keep learning.  As much as possible, try new tactics, try new units, try different armies, and play against different people.  I know not everyone can afford to buy a ton of models right off the bat but over the years it’s pretty easy to filter in new units and even start new armies.  If you don’t have a ton of money an time to build new units, proxy something to try out units before you buy the models.  It shouldn’t be hard to find someone willing to allow you a bit of leeway to try something new.  You could even try swapping armies for a game or two to try something new.  You might be surprised what you can learn about your own army by playing a different one.  Winning aside, 40k is much more fun when you mix things up.

What do you find to be the biggest mistakes newer players make?

Of course, there are the usual pitfalls of inexperience.  Mistakes made because the player doesn’t understand the mechanics of the game can only really be eliminated through research and practice.  But I think the biggest mistakes all come down to imbalance.  One example is in choosing unit upgrades.  Many units have enough upgrade options to vary their battlefield role, and this can lead players into overburdening a unit in the attempt to make it prepared for any situation.  There comes a point where you are only putting more points into options that won’t be used, and these points should be put to better use elsewhere.  I always try to optimize each unit to it’s given role and allow another optimized unit to cover the weaknesses of the first unit.  Backup options on a unit are secondary and only taken when they are very cheap or I have extra points.  For example, my Trukk of Ork Boyz is all about getting into hand to hand as quickly as possible.  I would rather keep rokkits out of those units and put the points into a better anti-tank unit, so I only throw in a rokkit launcher if I have some extra points floating around but not enough for another unit.  Another common mistake that I see is an imbalance in commitment.  Small portions of the army are overcommitted without support and/or the bulk of the army lingers near the deployment zone allowing the opponent to decide the angles of attack.

What piece of advice would you give to anyone starting up 40K?

When possible I would advise new players to do plenty of research before buying anything.  If you have the chance, try borrowing armies to try the ones you are interested.  The startup boxes (such as Black Reach) and army boxes that are often released with a new codex are a great value, but whenever possible I would suggest a new player spend some time reading the core rules and the codex for the army that they are interested in.  This way they can figure out what they actually need to buy to build an effective army.  I’ve seen a number of newer players spend money picking up a bunch of figures that they like only to find they don’t have what they need to field a decent army.

Why is it that pretty much the only time I can win a game against you is when you’re trying out a codex for the very first time and after that game I get slapped around?

I have to let you win once in a while, and when I can blame a new codex it seems less obvious! :P

When I get a new codex I tend to throw everything new into my first list because I’m so excited to try it out.  Outside of the first run in a new codex I tend be more cautious in my experimentation.  I will build the core of my list from units that I now work well together then add in one or two units that I want to try out.  That way if the experimental unit doesn’t work out I’ve still got a solid core to rely on.  It also limits the amount of new rules I have to keep track of.

I know you’ve managed to get your oldest daughter involved in 40K, how’s that going? When should we expect her on the tournament scene?

She’s only six so I wouldn’t expect to see her playing competitively anytime soon.  We’ve been playing very simplified games.  I use a hex mat to eliminate measuring for movement and distance an we each take an equal number of Ork Boyz to avoid points calculation.  I let her choose how many shootas and how many slugga boyz she takes.  Her tactical understanding is growing, she has a decent understanding of cover assault troops vs. ranged troops and is figuring out strategic movement and targeting.  I gave her 15 of my older orks and some paints so she has her own small army of very brightly colored orks.  I’ve been slowly introducing more of the game to her so she can enjoy it without being overwhelmed by the full complexity.  So far so good!

If the Emperor were President, and Ghazghkull were Vice President, who would the Speaker of the House be?

The Deceiver.  Who better for a career in politics!

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I am glad I am not the only deviant out there corrupting their kids with gaming!