Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Big Picture: Looking back at the 2014 Spanish Nationals

 Metagame or “meta” for short is one of those words you will probably encounter while playing any game with a competitive component to it. It’s also a word that has several meanings within any game. In most cases it refers to a strong team or strategy on either a local, national, or global level.

Discussing the meta is often a mechanism to either stagnate or stimulate growth in a community. In some cases people look at event results and take them as the absolute final judgment of what teams or strategies are good or bad, which can stifle creativity. At Lock Check we believe that while some teams are powerful, nothing is unbeatable against solid play and critical thinking and with that we often find ourselves experimenting with more unorthodox pairings. We’re not Hipsters, we’re Pioneers! With that being said I’d like to look at the Spanish National championships that have happened recently.

When getting into any new game a player often finds himself wondering what things they should buy. In the case of many games it only makes sense to purchase the newest pieces due to the theory of power creep. For those who aren’t in the know, power creep is a part of every game as it matures, the pieces are constantly getting better or more useful than their predecessors. One of the most interesting things about the Spanish National championship was that it had pieces that ranged from the season 01 window boxes up to the recently released Dark Heroes set, which is a great thing for a player to be able to purchase all of the window boxes or expansions knowing their figures still have a place.  

One of the positive parts of looking at other metas is you can see some interesting interactions that you might not have thought about. Black Crow was a very popular piece showing up in twice in the Top 4 and in both cases used in different ways. In the winning list he was used in tandem with Count Harebourg and Fern Sock’em to create a strong control team by pushing, pulling and locking your opponent where you want them. It has a deceptive amount of mobility with the Count’s ability to teleport to a robot penguin buddy and the crow’s once per game ability allowing them to quickly close in on a target.

The other showing of Black Crow was in a similar control fashion, but focusing on his bandit roots. Instead of locking opponents down, it instead revolved around buffing Black Crow so he could throw out two crobaks early game or be thrown out by Poochan into the middle and collect as much gold as possible during the crippling portion of Black Crow’s power “The Black Crow’s Laugh”, again mobility is a strong theme.

The other two lists were ones that contained the battle tested presences of Goultard and Merkator who have had consistent showings since they were introduced and odds are they will continue to be popular as they can counter popular strategies.

It’s interesting that Black Crow came out the gates strong as many players rallied around the strength of Katar as being the strongest character to come out of Dark Heroes. We won’t see any more of the Dark Heroes in major events as the World Championships have ruled them out of play due to not every region having them available long enough to get accustomed to how they play. Either way I’m excited to see what new ideas and what secret tech is out there being saved for the big dance in France.

Jeric is an established miniatures player who provides tactical insight, event reports and a few odds and ends along the way

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