Saturday, July 6, 2013

The changing meta between two continents

Heya all, and welcome back to the Webway!

Well, now that I have finally graduated and returned back to Malaysia, I am able to experience what I call the 'Rip Van Winkle' effect. It has been two years since I have left my country, and when 6th edition hits me, it is when I am in the US and thus my 6th edition meta knowledge is based upon the US meta. Once I returned back to Malaysia, I have observed some interestingly odd things when I jumped around the few stores around the Kuala Lumpur/ Petaling Jaya area.

To be exact it is not really that odd as I knew the meta in its essential sense before I left, but that was during mid-5th edition. So with that I can now observe the meta from an outsider's view which is fun. are the main highlights of my observation (Disclaimer: This is based upon my observation and thus this may not be indicative of the general population or can be used as an objective data);

1)It seems that people rarely play more than 2 flyers based upon my observation. This is a big contrast with the US where any army that can take flyers will always take 2-3 of them (I am the odd one out as I only play one flyer). I believe that this is due to the prohibitive cost of buying flyers in Malaysia which is a significant amount of money, even more so here than in the US.

2) It also appears that not a lot of people actually pay a great emphasis on having lots of troops in their army. This is entirely at odds with the trends that I see in the US where troops are filled to a greater degree. Over here I am seeing a tendency to go for units that can dish out a lot of firepower, thus Malaysians are more prone to fill out their heavy support and any slot that could put a whole lot of firepower (Which usually means fast attack and/or elites).

3) There are a greater amount of Non-Marine players in Malaysia. The only Marine players have either jumped to the Dark Angels boat or the Chaos Space Marine boat, and the general 40k meta revolves around the Xenos races. This has always held true in Malaysia in my opinion as a result of our smaller community, for we like to be unique snowflakes. Also with 6th edition favouring non-Marine armies for the time being, I could see why the marines are not out in full force.

4)Everyone plays with the hardest list that they could do, and at the same time also adhere to a certain concept in mind that may or may not be fluffy. I find that this is rather interesting as in the US, the tendencies for army building is between two very extreme spectrums; Competitive to the point that it is bland, or fluffy to the point that the list is utterly useless. Of course there are a few in between those two, but they are quite uncommon and the netlisting can be rather endemic.

The Malaysian wargamer on the other hand is a very different kind of beast; they tend to be casually competitive players. That means that they intend to win with a powerful and/or efficient list, but they also like to have a certain concept to have in their lists that allows them to use models that they want.

In a way, I am very much surprised and yet not surprised by the meta. The main reason why I have these mixed feelings is that it is a meta that is very reminiscent of the 4th edition meta for me, the edition where most Malaysians are introduced to 40k (at least to my knowledge) which prioritized the use of heavy firepower and min-maxing. I am also surprised that despite the change of the rules to have a greater emphasis on objectives, the players are playing to kill than to take objectives.

On the bright side, my Dark Eldar feels at home both here and at the US, for I build my Dark Eldar based upon a Malaysian mindset but also at the same time I also build it for an American meta. This impacted my playstyle as I now have a bizarre range of philosophies that I used in my games now in Malaysia.

Alright my evil bondage sado-masochistic space elves of doom, time to get used to your new home.

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