Throughout my gaming experience in 40k, I have fought against a lot of powergamers, good competitive gamers, good thematic players. But for some reason, among all the gamers I have fought against, I for some odd reason love fighting against a certain type of gamer; the Janky good gamer.
Janky is a term used in card games meaning strange, wrong, screwed up and/or no one really knows what it means. In 40k, I tend to use this in its more light-hearted tone; that of strange way of playing or making a list. It so happens that in everyone's time as a player they will eventually meet up with such a player. The fact that this is not comparable to a newb or a noob should be noted, for the former means that they got no idea on what unit to use and for the latter they don't know the rules properly and act like they know everything. When i talk janky good players, I mean that their lists are so weird, but when they play it it is just plain scary good.
You know how it happens and for those who don't lemme run you through it. You being the player decided to go to the local game store, and wanting a 40k match. There you find another player who is an all-round nice guy who woould all be too glad to play with you. But when you see his army, you say to yourself "What the hell?".
There before your eyes, you see a list unlike any other. It is not a cheesy list, not a balanced list, but instead a list that if more akin to some Circus Circus performance, where you see the units that no one ever uses in tandem with each other with other units, creating what looked like a really sub-par list, if not really unplayable. You think he was a noob, or a newb and say to yourself that it will be easy. As he deploys his units, you see that even his deployment is really off, and you wonder what is he pulling at, or not pulling at all. You deploy, with alll the precision and focus of a player who have seen many battles.
However, when the games start, you realized that for some reason, his list is strangely working very well and somehow he is holding out, in fact at some point his army is breaking yours apart. Before long you already ended up with a battle that challenges you to your limit.
I have the privilege to play with a player like this at a somewhat regular basis. His name is Yee How, and he plays Imperial Guard. But the thing about him is that despite the fact that he got lists enough for all types of Guard (from footslogging to Mech), but his personal favourite is his conscripts and Penal legion lists. He loves to spam these particular units, and play them with the addition of a Commisar with some rather weird upgrades and Straken together accompanied by other platoons. He also plays with vanquishers and some executioners, which makes for a rather weird list. What makes it even weirder is that contrary to most guard army, he would personally love to charge you than to shoot you. And due to the unit's rules and the like, he can potentially make my games very interesting.
He would nuke his conscripts with chenkov if it would mean that he can charge you the next turn. He would allocate that shot to the commisar with the large blob of men if it means that he could do some weird shooting and/or charging at you. He would use his tanks as meatshields for his men if it means that his tiny men would be able to do something to you. Almost everything he does with his army borders on madness, but it does work.
Among all the players I have played against, he is the only one I can never truly read as he is just too random for my own mind. I mean I am rather unconventional, but I do have a sense of building a lean and mean army list. But compare that with Yee How, I am as rigid as Barbara Streisand.
Due to this, I rate him rather highly on enjoyability of playing against, as he always make my 2 hours of gaming a worthwhile experience. In addition with his sportsmanship and being of a similar mould of being joker players, we get along very well. In fact, if I were to face im in a tournament, I would either win very big or lose very big against him.
Players like him challenge me, for I learn on how I can use subpar units to my true advantage and win me games. I also learn about how I can use some weird technicality to make my games so much more devastating, and how a small notion of arrangement could affect the entire course of the game.
If I could face more players like this, I would be so much more happier. but alas I am stuck with more conventional players. This not to say that conventional players are bad, but seeing the same o' things can be rather tiring, and seeing a whole new unit on the table is always a treat. I rather see Thunderfire cannons raining down shots on me than seeing a Razorback spam list. I would rather see a Chaos Slaanesh lord with daemonic weapon and a bike than the Lash prince. Sure these units are subpar at times, but when the are used with devastating effect, I am very happy that I am on the receiving end of it as this showed that these people do have some originality in their though processes.
So with that, I bid thee adieu and enjoy your holidays.