40k Opinion: How I Learned to Stop Worrying...
...and learned to love 40k again. Lately, I've decided to get rid of my Imperial Knights, it started off because of how frustrated I was with how events treated them. It seemed that there were a lot of people out there who instead of taking the time to learn how to handle them, instead would complain loud and often until Tournament Organizers were forced to react and impose penalties ranging from outright banning the entire army (WTF?) to penalizing them in their scenario rules. When Forgeworld showed off their Chaos Knight, and proved to the world that they are indeed coming, that was the last step I needed to say good-bye to the army I had proclaimed would be my top competitive army, and instead get back to focusing on my Chaos armies.
Now, the downside to playing Chaos is that frankly, outside of taking some very specific builds which I don't find all that fun, they're generally not what you'd consider a top-tier army. I really enjoy them, but I can tell that I'm starting to get burnt out of following tournaments, so lately, I've been doing a few things differently, which have actually reinvigorated my enjoyment of the hobby:
Over the last few years, my local game group has focused solely in playing in tournament events. In doing so, it basically became the only way we played, using tournament nerfs to things like Invisibility and 2++ re-rollable saves, tournament scenarios and so on. Lately though, we've started to branch out, ignoring the nerfed rules, ignoring army composition restrictions, and playing a variety of scenarios, everything from Kill Team, Cities of Death, Planet Strike and Altar of War scenarios.
When we focused on tournaments, it started getting both difficult and frustrating keeping up with what event allows what, which abilities or weapons have been changed by the different events, and what we could even take in our army. By completely throwing out the idea of tournaments in our normal day-to-day gaming, it's actually become a lot more fun, despite us still bringing the most powerful armies we can muster. Now we're not afraid to bring totally un-nerfed destroyer weapons, as we've found that they work well to balance out against 2++ re-rollable saves, or how super-heavy walkers end up being a big problem for most invisible units as they just get stomped to pieces, and so on.
This isn't to say that I think the game is perfectly balanced by the presence of these hard counters, more that it's actually not much different than by playing with the rules nerfing everything. It seems that the more the rules continue to grow with new books coming out, the events are having to change their own rules to make sure that the nerfs keep rolling. This has resulted in a snowball effect of nerfs, when what's really needed is a total reset of these tournament rulings to review the game in it's current state.
So now, because at least locally, we're not afraid to bring the dirtiest cheese to the game, we've also had to really not get upset about losing. We all play to see what dirty things we think of can do on the field of battle, it is equally as entertaining watching a Brass Scorpion stomp things off the table as it is to watch said Brass Scorpion get totally obliterated by a Destroyer Weapon. Ultimately though, as we've been playing with everything unrestricted, we've noticed people wanting to take less of these "super units" as when faced by their hard counter, they're easily eliminated and end up presenting a large point investment that could end up costing you the game.
In the end, we have as good of a time losing as winning because we're learning more about the game and our army, instead of complaining that _____ is OP, we instead derive a really good time from trying to figure out exactly how to destroy it. That's what we did in editions past, and it's no different now, except that there is nothing anymore without a hard counter.
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
In the end, if tournaments are getting you down, like they were getting me down, realize you can do something about it! You only need to play by tournament rules AT THE TOURNAMENT! The rest of the time, you can play the game how you like, which for me is basically old-school 'Ard Boyz style, bringing the best, nastiest options available in the game, and either challenging myself to defeat whatever my friends can come up with, or instead challenging them to try and beat the devious machinations I have in mind.