Due to spending far too much time writing and rewriting etc lists lately I decided to write this mostly to get my thoughts down on paper. What follows are my thoughts and opinions based on my experiences both at the main event and at various practice events as regards single player armylists. (Team events tend to differ based on the size of the team and role of the player). Part 1: Know your enemy Knowing what to expect and what is and isnt allowed is vital when sitting down to write a list. In the ETC and under that comp this is generally easy enough. Most tournaments publish lists and due to the highly competitive nature of the event there isnt much variety. Most armies have one or two builds that work well. Beastmen They generally have one build with minor variations. You'll see 2 big(40+ish) blocks of m5 infantry, heavy magic, cheap low LD chaff and some chariots. Things to watch out for include a flying doombull especially now they can have a 3++, 1+ rerollable doombull/beastlord with asf and extra attacks for each save he makes, +1 strength banner on the bsb, powerdice spam from herdstone and/or death. Brets These are another one trick pony, one mega lance, one baby lance, two trebs add chaff knights and pegs to taste. They almost always pray so you can go first and the only lores you need to worry about are life, heavens and beasts. Things to watch out for include the HKB lord, double scroll, +D6" on first charge, wizards have innate MR, small chance of the Bret RAF which has mostly fallen out of favor. Chaos Dwarfs Rarely seen due to not being a real army they actually have 2 builds, monster mash and full gunline. They will always have a block of dwarf infantry as core with some hobgoblins to round it out. The monster mash usually includes a flying lvl 4 likely on death, k'daai, bull centaur taruks( think scar vets on crack), and some death shriekers(stonethrowers). The gunline will be magma cannons, death shriekers, hellcannons and dreadquake mortars all of which can fire indirectly and there will be at least 2 engineers to babysit the artillery park. Things to look out for k'daai( will eat entire temple guard block in a turn or 2), wolf khans, ashstorm and chalice of blood and darkness. Daemons Generally an MSU army the main difference is GD or not. Things to expect are min 2 units of horrors, skullcannon, beasts of nurgle. Commonly seen are plaguebearers/flies, ambushing fleshhounds, screamers, furies and hearlds of T. Be aware of the reign of chaos table, there isnt much you can do about it however. No scroll, MR and rarely a lvl 4 means they tend to be vunerable to magic. Word of warning careful of the triple GD list. Karios = bad but should be rare Dark elves Very much an MSU avoidance list though dont be surprised to see blocks of infantry. The darkelf bus is comped out so expect lots of shades, 4 rbts, warlocks, darkshards and a couple of fast combat characters which can probably take on a vet. The infantry are executioners and things scar vets can smash up. Things to watch out for include strong shooting, cloak of twilight, ring of hoetek, and armywide asf. Dwarfs Mono build army, standard list is 2 organ guns, 2 cannons, 2 engineers, 2 stubborn blocks(hammerers and longbeards both s6), 2 runesmiths with destroy scrolls, bsb and gyrocopters. Occasional variation but not much, still sits in a corner and gets 10+. Empire Two dominant builds the 1+ wall and the light/death coven counter attack. Expect demis, cannons, a tank, chaff knights and either a halberd bunker with waraltar or knight bus with runefang(s). Things to watch out for Van horstmanns speculum, mEngineer with helblaster, buff carts giving extra magic dice. High elves 3 builds here(oooh such choice) Monster mash, cav bus( may feature monsters but max2) and infantry. Expect silverhelms, 4 rbts, frosty(s) and banner of win in a deathstar of some form. Things to watch out for include cavPrince, Stardragon, book of hoeth lvl4, white lions, razor banner PG and seahelms swift reform when charged. Lizards Mirror match. Wandering or high slann, only real difference is full avoidance shooting or mostly avoidance shooting with a block of TG. Ogres Like high elves they will have a gutstar with mournfang/maneaters and iron blaster 3 sabre tusks and chaff. slaughtermaster + runemaw are almost a given, the choice is crown of command or hellheart. Things to watch out for include flying tyrant, firebellys, gnoblar trappers and gorgers. O&G Green dwarfs extreme mono build. 2 doom divers, 2 rock lobbas, 2 manglers, block of savages with shrunken head, trolls and chaff. watch out for fanatics, foot, hand and pumpwagons. Skaven Fairly standard infantry block army with lots of toys. expect 3 40s of slaves, 40ish storm vermin with the stormbanner, grey seer and some mixture of cannons, hellpits, doomwheels and the new super rat ogres. Things to look out for include the bell, doom rocket, brass orb, D13, Plague, wither, plague monks with furnace and plague banner and gutter runners. Tomb Kings Very meh army no one took them last year so unless special characters help dont expect to see them. common builds were light council and khalida archer spam. Tricks include casket, hierotitan, and killing blow on most things that fight. Vampires Screams and infantry or a cav bus. no really tricks bar the occasional hex wraith spam but comp stops the worst of it. expect swiftness skellies, crypt horrors and banshees with death. Warriors MSU combat with more supermen wannabes than most comic book conventions. 3++ on chaos lords, sorcerer lords and exalted heros, double demon prince is currently very strong, expect double skullcrushers, chimera and core chariots. No real tricks bar hellcannon shenanigans, they just run up and punch you in the face. Hard. Wood elves MSU shooty avoidance with wild riders. expect mobile wizards, 21ish wild riders in various configurations, waywatchers, trueflight and poison core. Things to watch out for include waystalkers, moonstone, sisters of thorn bunker, ambushing glade riders.