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Pimpcron: Highlander Format Is Alive & Well

5 Minute Read
Nov 2 2019
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Pimpcron thinks we need a hero and that hero is Highlander.

Hi! Hello! Salutations! Greetings to and yours! How have you been? What’s going on? What’s up? Anyway, be sure to answer all these questions in the comments section, I’m dying to know.

In A World …

In a world where codex balance is out of whack, one format stands to defend fun. That format is Highlander! [thunder claps] So just briefly, Highlander is a format of tournament that doesn’t allow more than one of any unit in your list. For example, you couldn’t take more than one unit of Terminators, or more than one Riptide, etc. One of the chief complaints about Warhammer in a competitive setting is the use of Spam: taking multiple units of the very best thing. In my personal opinion, spam is one of my biggest pet peeves and this goes a long way to limiting it.

For instance, you are seriously hampering a Space Marines player when he can only take one 6-man unit of Aggressors. Now he is only limited to a paltry hundred-something shots from the gauntlets. But that’s still better than several hundred shots.

It’s Just Better

Highlander is a good insurance policy that your opponent is somewhat limited in the number of cheese units they can bring. Unfortunately, some don’t think it goes far enough. Let’s say you really thought Dreadnoughts were the bee’s knees and wanted to try to spam Dreadnoughts in a basic Highlander tournament. In a Space Wolves list for example, you could still take Bjorn, Murderfang, a Contemptor, a Wulfen Dread, a Venerable Dread, etc. It limits the units to a point, but some events limit the selections further to help squash spam.

In my far superior, super-friendly convention Shorehammer® we use a naming rule to further limit things. For example, if two units share a name such as Wulfen Dreadnought and Venerable Dreadnought, you can’t bring both of those units because they are essentially the same. Our format also limits you from taking Assault Terminators and regular Terminators too. I feel like our format further limits spam, but allows enough freedom to still take what you want.

I’ve heard of other tournaments that actually have lists of what units are considered the same which would be a much more comprehensive way to limit cheese.

Highlander: It’s Not Just For Tournaments!

Highlander is the best, easiest way to limit cheese without a ton of extra tweaking. The rules are simple, and easy to follow. That’s why I actively try to play all my games using Highlander Format. If you are playing a stranger who has brought god knows how many of the same unit, you can start by saying you’d like to play Highlander. Most people know what this is, but if they don’t, it only takes a moment to explain it.

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I have never liked spamming things, it seems to me that in a regular game we should use the fluff-to-jerk scale of spamming.

  • Taking one unit of something, no matter how powerful = perfectly fine.
  • Bringing two units of the same thing: powerful unit = edging towards cheese, normal unit = perfectly fine.
  • Taking three of the same unit: powerful unit = straight cheese, other units = edging towards cheese.

I think we can all agree that every codex has its lesser-powered units. So, forcing a player to branch out and take some less-than-competitive units is a very good thing. It helps dilute the whole cheesy soup they are trying to make.

And if I love anything, it’s watered down cheese soup. Mmm mmm.

Okay, I’ll Come Out and Say It

Generally speaking, if you are taking three of the same unit you need to stop yourself and ask if the opponent is going to have a fun time playing against it. I mean something that seems innocent at first like taking three of the same Troops choice could potentially spell disaster for the fun factor of the game if taken to crazy lengths. Three units of Ork Boys doesn’t sound so bad. Until you realize it’s three units of thirty Boys. In my eyes, that’s just abuse. I know that Green Tide is a thing and people like to take it. Certainly it’s not the most powerful combination ever made but if nothing else, it gets boring to play against.

Part of the allure of this game is playing different players with different armies. If half the units of the field are the same unit, your opponent is limited in their tactical decisions. The rule of the day: vary your lists and take different stuff. It forces you to play differently and forces your opponent to have to make good choices.

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Variety is the spice of gaming.

Alright, which one of you Green Tide players is mad now?

Hey! This article is brought to you by my top-tier Patreon supporter Mike Cowley!

Thanks Michael, smooches!

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