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Jack Armstrong

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Jack Armstrong last won the day on October 8 2018

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  1. Great post Marc thanks for your considered input. Agree it’s probably more about evolution than revolution!
  2. LHW (Laurie?). It's a really hard thing to explain (and I've done it many times over the 5 ETC's I've been to, well done to me first year and then done to others!). They just built these really bizarre army lists that you would never see in the UK scene at all, or lists that looked similar that they would then play completely differently. People would be used to taking their UK list to tournaments and smashing people 20-0 and not be prepared for the negative play (I don't mean that in a person way but in a 'I'm going to force you to come to me to eek out every point and then smash you when you do'). Which just meant that lists had to be built in different ways to compete. Sometimes we did have lists that forced the meta a bit (Nick Pyms 90 blood letters is an example I remember) but we often made the mistake of trialing them in Denmark and then they were copied and/or countered before we got there. Next time your at an event ask an ETC Vet (old boy) and they will explain better.
  3. Stato just a couple of quick answers (sorry don't have time for a more detailed response'. For the ETC there are currently 40 capped players and it's been running 10 years so that's an average of 4 new caps a year so that's pretty perfect in my personal opinion. For the 'international experience' bit, I don't know how much this will hold true for AoS, but for Fantasy the EU scene was so drastically different to how we played the game in the UK that it was almost a different game. Every year the new players on the team would want to take the lists that did well in the UK meta and the more experienced players would tell them they wouldn't work. They would then take them to Denmark (ETC warm up event) and get smashed most games and start listening to us. They would then get to the main event and after 1-2 games the light bulb would go on and they would say thank god they listened! (honestly this happened too many times to count, ask any capped England player). I don't know if this will we the same for the AoS ETC but everything was mainly done using the precedent from Fantasy.
  4. Morning all, There has been lots of chat on twitter over the last few days about the ETC selection process, most of it positive and constructive but as always on Twitter it’s really hard to get points across effectively. As a preface, most of you who know me know that I’m competitive and my over riding goal of attending 5 previous ETC’s is winning the event and I would do anything I could to try and help the team achieve this. With that in mind I have always wanted the best ‘team’ to be selected. As I have been out with these people on 2-3 trips a year as well as numerous planning sessions they have all become my good friends, but it’s because they were selected not why. With AoS we have a new dawn for the ETC and I’m very happy to listen to any proposals for how we can make the processes more transparent and get a better team – as that means we are more likely to win which would make me happy. A bit of history. England have taken a team to the 7/8/9th Ed for the 10 years this year and it got to quite an established process with a formal charter and application, etc. Last year there was the first AoS ETC which no one from the community was interested in attending. This year it was open again and Tom M volunteered to restart the process for AoS and to my knowledge has used lots of the precedents set by the previous fantasy days ETC selection and charter. Tom posted on TGA and lots of social media about the team and set out his broad criteria for selection here: There were 12 applicants who all had to fill in a relatively detailed application form and of them 6 were successful. Of the 6 3 had prior ETC experience and 3 didn’t, so 3 ‘new caps’ and all three of this had previously represented England or another country at 6N for some international experience. A slight tangent but the 6N team for this year has been announced and of the 8 people selected 4 of them are ‘new caps’ as this has historically always been an effective way to get new people into the England set up. From my point of view this is pretty much the perfect balance between taking experienced players and bringing in fresh blood (I honestly don’t know if this was planned or not but well done to Tony and Tom!). The committee chooses the teams and has historically been comprised of Captain, Captains nominee, ex player not attending, 2 x community reps. Captain has been selected by the outgoing team as its then their responsibility to plan and manage the rest of the year (remember captain can be playing or non playing with a mixture of both over the years). As we didn’t have this set up this year Tom selected the committee but looking at the names on it he had a decent selection from across the tournament scene. Players are then invited to apply via an application form and are then considered by the selection committee. To my knowledge things such as tournament performance, sportsmanship, team ethos, social media persona, army, finances are all taken into account. It’s hard to separate it from rankings as they are a predictor of ability but for me the key is a year when Mark Borland was a selector and he was asking me (as an applicant) not whether I had won or lost a game/event but who and what I had played. As someone who has won a fair few tournaments I can assure everyone that you can play better and have a much tougher tournament coming 20th than someone who has won it with a bunny run (I have had a fair few of those and I know it). That is why for me rankings are only a small part and winning tournaments isn’t important, it’s people who are consistent in their finishes and who regularly play against and beat other top opponents. I can’t remember who said this but a few years ago it was something along the lines of ‘I want to be in team England ETC, so I’m going to travel to and play against all the existing team England players until I get better than them and then I’ll be in the team – it worked. So overall I am positive and happy with our approach, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the best one, nor that it shouldn’t be changed (I just had a large hand in coming up with it over the years so hopefully I like it!). The reason a number of people, including me, have been defensive of it on the internet is because lots of the other suggestions we have tried over the years and they haven’t worked. Of course that doesn’t mean they wont work if tried again, but please listen to us who have been around a bit (the old boys) as hopefully our experience should count for something. Let’s look at some of the critisisms and suggestions hopefully in a reasonably balanced way: - You need international experience but how can you get it? - My answer to this has been get onto a 6N team or another team tournament (Blood Tithe and there was one in Ireland recently). Darren didn’t make it onto the England 6N team last year, so he played for Wales and we were impressed by all of their lists which he had a large part in writing and his ability on the table so he has got on the team. Also I can think of about 5 people who have travelled over with the ETC team as a helper to experience it, be with the team and build their credentials for next year. Mark and Tom I think both did this and used it as a stepping stone for getting into the main team. Anyone is welcome. - It’s subjective / pick your friends o This is really tricky. There are lots of different approaches across the different ETC teams from pure top rankings, top ranked person picks their team, top four ranked pick their team, national selection, previous team stay on unless they don’t want to go, etc. The only purely objective one would be top 6 in the ranking, in my personal opinion this wouldn’t make the best ‘team’ but if that’s what people want I’m more than happy to give it a go. The one thing I do know is that for each and every one of those teams across Fantasy, 40k, Flames of War and now AoS is that when teams are announced some people aren’t happy with how they were selected. There is no perfect solution that makes everyone happy, so the fact that there has been so much debate doesn’t mean that the approach is wrong. It also doesn’t mean that it’s right. o I can think of far too many people over the years who haven’t been liked by some of the selection committee who have been picked anyways based on their performances and attitude. Generally everyone then realises that we are all nice people and learn to get a long (a few exceptions!) but I’ve never personally seen people just pick on friends – almost the opposite, if you’re best friends with a selector you need to prove doubly as hard why you deserve it to avoid claims of nepotism (that worked!). o There was a charter written for 8th which stated what England want from their ETC team – which turned out to be winning but in the right way. Hence why we went down the route of looking at playing ability but also conduct. Bryan wrote it about 4-5 years ago and it went out to the community for debate and feedback and then it’s been amended each year since. We probably need a new one now for AoS but this was a starting point. o Some people have suggested a community vote/selection. I’m definitely for this in principle for selecting the selectors (don’t think you could choose a team by vote just logistically). Guessing people could get nominated or put themselves up for it by a certain date and then get voted in. The issue is how do you decide who gets a vote? We have discussed this as an option before to be honest and this is where we hit the brick wall. Registered on rankings? That includes people out of England and only a subset of the community. Any English Warhammer player? How do you stop someone just making up lots of names and votes. My suggestion for this which I would be happy to proceed is that anyone who wants to be part of the discussion/vote would register as part of the ETC for a nominal fee - £5/10 and then they would get to vote on the charter and selection committee. All money raised each year would pay for that years team ticket entries. I honestly don’t see any other way of doing it logistically but happy to take suggestions. o One point raised is on some people in the team have not had as good years as other people who haven’t (judged on rankings). One of the key things selectors look for is reliability and consistency, hence why prior experience as part of the team is essential as is an interest in being part of the ETC team. I can think of very few people who have been accepted into the team on their first application (as points out on Twitter both myself and Russ only got in second time around). This is mainly due to wanting people who are really committed to going – as we have had as many as 4 drop outs in a year which is a nightmare for the team and really throws everything. That particular year was one when we invited some newer faces who had been winning a couple of events and they were the ones who dropped on us. I’m not saying this means it’s right to not pick newer people, but as it’s a relatively long-term commitment we are after people who will stick it out. I’m running out of suggestions and think so much has been bandied around over the last few days that a few things have got lost. Let me leave it on these points: - We all want England to do the best it can at the ETC. - We all want the selection process to be fair, personally I also want it to be about more than just recent results or rankings. - We all would love there to be no dissent each year a team is announced and anyone who has any well thought out solutions I, and I’m sure the rest of the current team and wider community would love to hear them. - Lastly I know most people who have been involved in the twitter thread in person and you’re all really nice people when I’ve met you and played you. Twitter sometimes doesn’t come across well so can everyone please keep this in perspective and anyone wanting to apply for England in the future for 6N and ETC I fully encourage you to do so. Lots of love and peace, Jack
  5. Thanks Ben. Gutted I can't make it - didn't plan these twins very well! Good luck to everyone who is going and thanks again to Ben for running something for the community out of his own time and pocket. I'll be watching coverage with interest! See you in 2020. Jack
  6. I thought I would write this post after doing my usual post game/tournament rumination and share with everyone the process I go through to try and get better at AoS. It probably also helps that the last game (that I will refer to most) was streamed so you can go back and look at what I’m referring to. It was the final game of Angelcore and I was lining up against Ben Savva’s DoK list with my Morathi, 2x Frostie, 3x10 Arkanaughts and 2 x 30 White Lions. The reason why I think this process is important for everyone is it’s too easy to blame why you win or lose a game or tournament on dice as that is often the obvious reason and what you focus on but that stops you improving as you don’t see all the things you could have done. The commentators and other people have said it was an amazing and deep tactical game with top level play, yet looking back on it I made so many mistakes (or could have played ore optimally). I could look at the game and think if Ben’s Heartrenders hadn’t rolled a 4+ to be able to move and sneak an objective off Morathi and effectively pin her in place for a turn to claim it back I would have won the game. Or if that had happened Ben could have looked at the game and said I won all of the priority rolls and if only he had won one of them he would have won. Neither of these things is the reason one of us won or lost, they are just the single obvious ones as they are single important dice rolls. My plan for the game was to try and pin him first turn with buffed up phoenix and then sneak around to other objectives. When my charge failed my strategy was to get a double turn to be able to jump behind him with retreats and charges to get onto his objectives with my big things and force him to split his power. As a strategy this wasn’t that bad, but what I should have done is: - The frosties should have started going in opposite directions turn one, one to pin him and the other lower ready to sweep around to the other objective. - Both forsties should have been in front of my white lion unit on the objective – with a 2+ armour save they would have been able to take the Which Elves charge and I wouldn’t have lost a unit. - Morathi moved out of LoS of his Morathi on T1 so he couldn’t cast spells on me but moved out of buff range of the second Frostie if I got the 2nd turn - When I got my second turn and used Morathi to kill a middle one of his Sisters with the gaze to make him lose half the unit, I should have done that to the Witch elves (I’m not sure I would have been in range but might have). That would have forced him to lose either the larger group of models or the smaller group that was in range of all his buffs. I could have then charged off into the Sisters. - I pinned his Elves well and used 3 different units to split the ways they had to pile in to prevent him being able to do it effectively, what I should have done is use Morath to be the one in base contact with him as she would have survived longer and freed up the Frosties. Also the top right surviving White Lions should have been further back so he coulnd’t pile in and get them with 2 turns. - The Arkanaughts shouldn’t have been on the building (why they never moved) as that meant they couldn’t head towards to other bottom left objective – if they had been on the ground they should have been moving there from T1. - The White Lions should never have charged the Witch Elves. I was clutching at straws by this point anyways but achieved nothing, should have strung out in a line with the arkanaughts behind and over 6” from the objective so he could never claim it with the witches. Probably a few other things – I haven’t watched the video back but this has been my memory of it. If I can remember about half of these things then I will be a better player and less likely to lose next time – the dice don’t really come into it. Many congrats to Ben on the win. Was my favourite game of the tournament andmy brain was buzzing all the way home.
  7. Great post Tom and a really strong selection committee. Good luck and thanks for taking on the burden. Consider my name in the hat. I’ll just start the hunt for childcare early!
  8. Jack Armstrong

    AngelCore 2018!

    until

    I'm in. Twins permitting.
  9. Just trying to pay via paypal and the email wasn't recognised. I'll try again on a compute but I'm not missing anything am I? rdavidj54@googlemail.com
  10. Think I’ll be coming along to this as well - should be good.
  11. I completely agree with Tony on the top 5. Have to put myself in first place though!!
  12. That's okay - I've been called much worse! I've actually fed back to GW a couple of FAQ/Rules clarifications that I think would make the game better and would also completely stop Vanguard Wing! The problem I find is that in the meta of Tz Changehost, Skyfires, KO Dropship and Slayerhoard I think you need it to compete with the other top lists. If they all get the top edge taken off them the game will be better as more lists will be at the 'top' level.
  13. There was a lot of talk on twitter about this yesterday and I wanted to post in something more than 140 characters as I feel strongly about this. The argument is that in the Stormcast book and the new Firestorm book there are passages of text, which could be interpreted as rules, which say that if you want to play a certain City or Battalion then the army needs to be painted in a certain way. This debate was already had around the time of the SCE book and I had a healthy debate with Ben Curry on one of his daily episodes about it. One of the main arguments I've heard in favour of it is linked to 40k and that you wouldn't bring for instance a Space Wolf army and say it was Blood Angels. I just want to extrapolate slightly on this example and show why I think it isn't valid in AoS. In AoS the models are exactly the same for every 'Chambers' (Tempest Lords, Harbringers, etc) there is just a different 'recommended' colour scheme. Now I agree that if you have an army that is painted in the Tempest Lords scheme and you bring them along and say they are Harbringers then it could confuse people and not be that appropriate (although I still actually wouldn't mind at a tournament, but I get the argument!). If however you painted an army in your own colour scheme and background, then I see no reason what so ever why you shouldn't be able to use them as any of the chambers. If you compare this to 40k, if I have a unit of 10 basic marines and a rhino and I paint them in a unique colour scheme of say brown/blue (no idea why that combo came to mind!). You then buy something unique to a chapter like a unit of Dark Angel Deathwing Knights and you paint them in the same colour scheme. I don't know anyone who would have a problem with you using those 10 marines and rhino as Dark Angels. If you then bought a unit of Blood Angel Sanguinary Guard and painted them in the same colour scheme and brought the same 10 marines and rhino and used them with your sanginary guard, I don't see anyone who would have a problem as you using the marines as blood angels. That is where I think the big differnce is - GW is trying to get us to have unique 'chapters' in AoS but all of the models are the same. If they bring out a new say dracoth unit that can only be used in Tempest Lords then for sure you can't proxy them as something else to use in a Harbringer chamber. If however you are just using the same bog standard models painted in your own scheme/background/theme - why shouldn't you be able to use them as a chamber of your choosing? I've also heard the argument that if some new person turns up to a GW event with their painted Tempest Lords chamber in the GW colours and play against you who are using your own colour scheme tempest lords it might be confusing for them. But I don't really buy that argument and think it's much worse if someone spend months painting up their own custom chamber with background and then wants to theme it around the rules for one of the official chambers. Just my opinions. Jack
  14. It was a great game thanks Dan. Also think I played the whole tournament thinking they needed to be within 6" to trigger the extra attack ability and it's actually within 8 so the trail guy could have been piling in! Not much of a difference but nice to know. In answer to the other question I didn't face any high armour save units on the whole, the one I was worried about was the SCE mirror against Drake + Fulminators that Sam was using. As Ben said earlier though the whole trick of the list actually isn't in the offensive power of the Liberators it's the fact that it's 60 wounds, with inspiring presence and a 2+ rerolling 1 save that you just cant chew through. It's the same theory as Dans army actually, the bloodletters are just there to die slowly while the rest of his army scores objectives. If the Liberators can die slowly over 3-4 rounds while I'm scoring all the objectives and chipping away at all the units then I'm very happy. For instance in the Changehost matchup it takes them 2-3 magic phases to do the 60 wounds by which time my prosecutors and judicators have normally cleaned up and I've been scoring objectives. If instead he focused magic on the Drake/shooting the liberators clear up in combat (they are amazing against 5+ wound stuff due to the +1 to hit meaning they get extra wound rolls on 5's).
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