Saturday, December 4, 2010

Defeating the List Tailors!

I think most of us know these guys. The guy who asks for a game, then asks what army you are running and then hits you with a list that was tailor made to stomp your face in. These people are the list tailors and they love to talk about their victories, despite the fact that they are only good at beating down take-all-comers lists with lists made to beat them ...

A while ago, our own Captain Obvious went to a not-so F, but fairly L GS in our area back when he was running the old DE. He got into a situation like the one mentioned above and his opponent busted out as many heavy bolters and flamers (we're talking about dev squads with HBs) as he could on the table. Even Obvious could see that this was a trap, but played it out and yawned as his raiders went down and his space druchii died. The kid was estatic to see that he was beating an army seldom seen in the area, despite having a good rep on the internet for kicking ass.

Obvious called the kid out at the end about the obvious amount of list tailoring that went into the match. The Space Marine list would clearly not work in a take all comers environment due to its lack of anything above S7 ect. Obvious asked the kid for another game and got the kid to agree to run the same SM list. This time however, when Obvious deployed, it was another of his take all comers lists - his Black Templar. This time Obvious rolled across the board and all but tabled the kid, who, in true list tailor fashion, lamented that Black Templars were "broken" and "cheese".

I tell this story because I know I have been the victim of the random list tailor and while the practice is horrid, the individual is often redeemable; they just need to be taught a lesson. In fact, I don't even think some of them understand the concepts of Take-All-Comers or List Tailoring. If you feel the need to play a known list tailor, you can pull the hoodwink like Captain Obvious did above, switching armies as he did, while still using a take-all-comers list, but what if you only have one army? Well, this is where owning a serious portion of the model range and having an understanding of your codex comes into play. When you go to the store, bring a couple of the lists you've been brainstorming. If the list tailor tries to strike you down, run the list that deviates from your norm. For instance, if you always run mech guard and the list tailor shows up and asks for a match, hit him with your outflanking Al-Raheim take-all-comers and watch him scramble.

After the match, talk to them about the game and how you develop a real list - a take-all-comers list, which is a true measure of your skill, unlike a tailored, autowin list. Be gentle, they typically tailor because they have a sensitive ego and a need for acceptance and validation.

Some list tailors simply cannot be redeemed and are not worth the time to play on most occasions and the best lesson to those guys is to never give them a game. When they realize that nobody wants to get a game, they will either come around or they will go back to their X-Box to swear at little kids over their head set. I can say however, that if you are up to it (the tailors aren't the best players, they just tend to overload lists against your specific list), play them and beat them. There is no better test of your own grit than to win a game against a list that was made to be a rock to your scissiors.

Now, I turn the post over to you all. Have you had any experience with list tailors? How did you handle it? Are you a list tailor and think I am wrong? Sound off, comments and feedback are always welcome!


  1. I used to have a friend that would do this to me... Even if we were both supposed to make our lists beforehand he would "forget" and make his list after I showed up, and he could see what I had.

    I never did beat him. I would just smile and play the game. Now he doesn't do much gaming... It's kinda hard to get a match with that sort of reputation.

  2. I always pull the fast one when someone I don't know asks me to play a game.

    I get out my two land Raiders and some terminators as they "get their stuff ready" Then when it comes time to deploy I tell them my list is all deep-striking Blood Angel jumpers, and I am reserving all of it.

    If they have an all-comers list, no problem. If they tried to list-hammer me, then they have a big surprise.

    Works like a charm.

  3. I've had problems like this before. It was against a kid who plays Orks at my gaming club on campus. Not to mention that, but he was a ridiculous power-gamer, looking for loopholes in every little thing. It got so ridiculous that now he doesn't even bother bringing his 40k stuff with him because not a single person will play him. Sometimes you don't even need to teach a guy a lesson. If they're a repeat offender, just deny them a game.

    Honestly, I never thought to tailor a list in all my years of playing. It just seems unsportsmanlike regardless of what individual it was.

  4. List tailoring takes all the fun out of the game. Whats the point? Seriously why bother playing a game when ur army was perfectly put together to destroy your opponent. Where is the fun in it? Might as well just deploy then shake hands and say good game.

  5. I honestly think it is easier for some to actually make an all comers list. That is some army lists lend themselves to the process. Space marines and Imperial guard are a good example. Eldar are an example of an army that is not easy to do an all comer list. It takes lots of work. You must do a well balanced army. I admit, and so should of most of you, that I do list tailor form time to time. I do it with the express purpose though to teach a power gamer a lesson. This is needed from time to time to give power gamers a reality check and put the fear into them. Mostly so they leave the newbs alone.
    I tend towards themed lists now. They are fun and generally aren't even all comers lists. They also are a list people don't expect to win. jokes on them :-)

  6. I have always taken an all-comers list but, in the local league it is a good way to loose as power-gaming and rules lawyering rein supreme. I find that I tend to list tailor these days as I know the local scene my lists are not OTT and I am happy with a draw against the WAAC players.

    The new year will see me totally rethink my list and make use of all the wargear options and characters abilities.

    Will I have as much fun? Fingers crossed I win more games!

  7. I usually just play them with my all comer's list. And try to see even with the advantage if I can beat them. I figure in any big tournament you've got a good chance to run into a army tailored to beat yours so I use it as a learning experience.

    Then I never play them again.

  8. This drives me insane. It has gotten to the point where I don't tell people what army I have with me. I always bring a list I wrote the night before at home.

  9. Frankly, it's not often an issue for me. I either am playing Mech Guard (which everyone tailors their all comers for these days, at least to some extent), or Daemonhunters (you don't need to tailor to win, just don't suck).

    I tend to fall into the opinion "Go ahead and tailor, I'll beat you anyways". And it's a good, good feeling when I do.