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Friday, 11 January 2013

UK Masters Interview Brazilian Style:

I managed to catch up with Raf Harbinson originator of @wooftime on his thoughts & predictions for UK Masters which he is attending this weekend.  Many thanks to Raf for his time, so without further ado! 

Q.  What was your path to Masters Qualification and what are your thoughts on team events qualifying as I know it has come up?
 I struggled for motivation this year following a very successful 2011, so general performance less than stellar, taking to almost every event lists that I felt were less than significantly underpowered (have not been impressed with the VC comp on the new book in the UK). Qualified via South Coast GT (10/156), Midlands Open (8/100) and the two team events: Polish Sausage (2/20 teams) and Brothers in Arms (3/16 teams).
I used VC for every event, mostly some variation on my “wooftime” list. Have used VC solidly for the last two and a bit years, so a bit jaded with them – hence switch to Lizardmen (first 6 games with lizardmen ever were at last month’s winter incursion (where I finished around 10th, before painting scores put me down to the mid 20s)).
Team events are a controversial one! J
I get all the arguments against it. However, it was announced at the beginning of the year and everyone knew it would count (think one of the reasons for the good attendance at the events). I honestly think if they had not counted I would still have qualified – I would have just gone to other events and taken more sensible lists.
Team events were the complete highlight of 2012 for me. Easily the toughest, most stressful, most fun & competitive warhammer I have had in years. Singles events in the UK get rather similar, so was a great fresh change. I think the team event points were easily the hardest qualification points I got, you also so rarely get a very good matchup. I can’t recommend team events enough.
 Q.  What are your thoughts on the Swedish comp and how did it influence your list design?
 It’s both brilliant and an imbalanced stress-inducing maze of a document!
I had decided that I was going to use Lizardmen for this (which adds to the headache – Lizardmen are incredibly harshly comped (to the point no one in Sweden even runs them anymore)). We were given the army brackets (8-14 comp score, each 0.1 comp score difference is worth 10vps each game) and this is where the second-guessing started.
At an 8 you can probably build a normal-esque Lizardmen list. However, if everyone was bringing lists scoring 14 I would be giving up 600vps per game, so that was a non-starter.
The Swedish comp pack is hard to fully understand without working out armies for each race, so it was very hard to second guess the meta. So I worried that the vast majority of people would go for a 14 comp score, and decided to do the same. Some of the players are too good to deliberately give big VP head starts too without being very confident about your list.
When it came to my list design I decided I was going to get a 14 comp, and then built the list around that.
The main driver to my list was minimising comp score – hence the addition of skink chiefs, which cost 0 comp points, and I felt could do a job as 63 point redirectors. 17 strong units of skinks are also the cheapest comp scoring units I could find… You get the idea J
Decision to go dual slann was partially a painting thing- wanted to take saurus cav because had the models painted, so needed some magic to try and make them vaguely viable. Death to try and draw dice/scrolls/pick up points
The 14 meant: No Rumination, No chameleons, Only one terradon unit, No life magic, no Salamanders, units of skinks that are too big and not enough skirmishers… :D

Q.  What do you see as good/bad match up’s for your list out of the other Master’s players?
 I’ve been looking at this recently… there is the theoretical good match ups, and the realistic ones (because I have limited experience using Lizardmen).
Technically, any of the low scoring lists are very good news for me. My list is really not very good though, especially against armour, and has too few units. In a lot of games will boil down to what magic I can get off (what could possibly go wrong with that?!)
Really bad match ups are probably: Nick’s DoC (insanely good list) and Jack’s WoC (too much armour). Keith’s VC is very 50/50. Plenty of others I think I will lose though! J
Good matchups (in theory): Will, Dan (too much of a head start). Mike’s Chaos Dwarfs (no shooting). The ogre players (standard lists- can do wrong). The VC players. Ben’s Skaven list (insanity!). Now, if only I knew how to use lizardmen!

Q.  Top 5 Master’s lists Raf Style?!
1. Nick Pym’s Daemon list is the most broken thing I have seen in while, and quite how it got through the comp I will never know. List is geared up for the Enfeebling + dwellers, blue scribes fuelling it with power dice. And plenty of chaff to keep people off him. That list getting a 14 is actually insane
2. Talking of insanity… Ben’s Skaven list is a thing of beauty. I think he will do well with it too, despite all the laughter. It will roll over some of the matchups – all depends who he faces on the day
3. Keith’s VC list. I think it has massive weaknesses (only one lvl of Vampire magic, only 5 knights to kill till lord gets no look out sir etc), but getting a 14 with an army that can pick up a lot of points against the right targets is incredibly well done.
4. Jack’s WoC list. Interesting how differently you view armies depending on what army you are running. With my VC I would love to face this every day of the week. But the sheer amount of rush offence, in two nice waves, makes this a tasty list. And a lot of armies will struggle to deal with the 1+ armour chaos wall.
5. Well, I can’t vote for an Ogre list, as they all try and be different but end up looking the same, so will go with Hristo’s Dwarf list. Think it will do very well. All the points in one unit, 2 destroy scrolls. Artillery kills some stuff before dying. Expect lots of narrow wins/draws out of him.

Q.  Raf’s your predictions for Top 3 and last place?
1. Nick Pym. Think Nick will retain it, his list is just too evil.
2. Chris Legg, think it’s a good solid list, good in most of the matchups.
3. Probably Jack, who can push forward into combat with most of the lists.

Last… Well, me probably J If not me then one of the ogre players J

Q.  Your Warhammer goals for 2013?
Was going to be “qualify for masters again” but next year it will be during my honeymoodn – guess it would be good to get the chance to decline the offer.
Otherwise, get good with lizardmen, and have 3 armies (VC, lizards and probably Bretts) that get me full painting points – am fed up of dropping 15+ places on small painting issues! J 

Raf thanks for your time!  Hopefully catch up post Masters!

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