It's St Albans Smackdown Satellite Tournament tomorrow. I'm running my Shasvastii again as they're the faction I'm currently most comfortable with. I've had a few practice games to refine the lists, and I thought I'd share a few thoughts, though I'm not going to give everything away before the tournament.
The mission pack for Smackdown is "Highly Classified", "Acquisition" and "Capture and Protect". Highly Classified requires a diverse set of troops able to complete randomly selected objectives, Acquisition involves controlling midfield and having units durable enough to survive to end the game on set points of the field, while Capture and Protect needs to recover the enemy "flag" while protecting your own, which suits fast and aggressive units.
I've gone with an approach of writing one list to deal with the flexibility necessary for Highly Classified, and a second focusing on speed and violence for the other two missions. The Highly Classified list is an iteration of the list I wrote for Countermeasures in St Albans earlier in the year. Meanwhile the other list tries out some units I've not got much play out of yet, so I'll be curious as to how it performs in practice.
Practice games have become a really important part of how I practice for tournaments. I don't always get the time to practice every mission before a tournament, so each time I'll review the planned missions to decide what faction I'm taking and what missions I want to practice for.
When I'm learning a faction I'll try and develop a couple of lists for "common" missions, such as "do things with specialists" and "do violence better than the other player". I may then take these to a tournament without practice for simpler missions. I'll then focus my practice efforts on more complicated missions. Generally I don't think my first passes on lists are ever quite right, and it'll take a practice game or two to really pin down what it is I want to be doing.
So, wish me luck for St Albans tomorrow! I was hoping to paint some new models for it, but sadly, life got in the way and not everything I take will be painted. But it will be good to get in three games in a day and catch up with a bunch of my gaming friends.