Player focus: Dustin Quebedeaux

I had a chance to sit and chat with the local hero, Dusin Quebedeaux. This Warboss piloted his Green Tide to a 5-1 record at LVO 2020 and took 58th place (besting Brandon Grant by 1 spot),  out of over 1000 competitors. He’s a true gentleman and an absolute joy to play (even when kicking your butt, and yes I speak from experience). If you ever find yourself playing at the Chicagoland Dice Dojo be sure to look him up. He’ll gladly talk strategy, secondary objective choice, and anything miniature war gaming related. He’s also an accomplished painter, winning the Everchosen award for the Dice Dojo. We spoke about how he had gotten into the hobby and his LVO experience below.   

Each Ork banner is decorated with icons to represent different abilities/temperments!
So how long have you been playing Warhammer?

“I had played Warhammer Fantasy as a kid, well mostly just enjoyed the models, but my friends and I recognized 8th edition as a good jumping-in point.  We all bought into it the day it was released. We created our own “beats lab”, where we setup a table and started gaming in my attic.” 

How did you choose Orks as a starting army?

“I have always been into horde gameplay. I had loved the Zerg in starcraft and played a lot of Command and Conquer. I asked a buddy what the horde factions of the game were and he recommended Orks or Cadians. I didn’t have an interest in the Guard, and eventually the zany, fun-loving character of the Ork green-tide drew me in.”

Have you ever considered playing Tyranids or starting a new army? 

“The Long War’s Doubles at Adepticon is a great way to start a new army. Each year my buddy and I choose to start new armies from scratch as an annual hobby challenge. Last year I tried the Imperial Guard and just loved the fantasy of the everyday man fighting the most horrid things in the galaxy. I had a lot of fun with that. This year I will be playing a Ravenwing themed Dark Angel list alongside my friend’s Deathwing.”

Do you have a favorite way to play the game?

“I enjoy a lot of different styles of play, but competitive is my favorite. When you are in a competitive mode, your mind is invested into it 100%. While I am exhausted afterwards, it is completely worth it. 

I do love playing challenging lists as well. I have an all grot list that is a blast to play and brings some fun to my more regular gaming nights. 

Of the competitive formats I really do love the ITC format, and a big draw is actually the people in them. In the many many games I’ve played, I have only ever encountered a bad sportsman maybe twice.” 

How did you get into competitive 40k play?

“The first six months of 8th edition was a learning process for me. I joined a local tournament at Chicagoland Dice Dojo. I got my butt kicked, but I managed to win a single game!

The thrill of that win gave me a taste of the competitive scene and I was hooked. It was a great activity for me and my buddy. We traveled around the local scene, tweaking lists from one tournament to the next. For me there was a natural competitive edge nudging me to constantly reach just a little higher for the next point. I went from wanting to win a single game at Adepticon (won 2!), to finishing in the top half (finished top 50), to going to the LVO (finished 58th).” 

What is your most memorable 40k moment?

“A friend of mine had just started playing 40k, but was feeling down about the game due to how the campaign he was involved in was going. We finally got together and caught a game. 

I marched my stompa upfield near his lines and after a desperate defense my friend finally managed to destroy it with his hellblaster squads. Initially the Stomp did not explode, but I command rerolled it into a massive explosion wiping out a huge swathe of my army. In that instant my friend knew what this game was about. Win or lose, the 40k experience is punctuated by these awesome moments of pure joy that just bring a huge smile to your face. 

The joy of 40k is living that fantasy that we all seek. Some guys want to be the lone gunman, shooting down hordes of Orks. I want to be that horde that just envelopes and destroys your army.” 

“I’ve made a huge mistake.” Arjac, M41
What motivates you to put in all the effort required for this game (buying, building, painting, playing, reading, bookkeeping, etc!)

“I got into the hobby 6 months after my son was born. Those initial six months were difficult for me to destress. I loved competitive computer games such as League of Legends, but it was not helping. I was finishing gaming sessions more stressed than before. 

With 40k, I found  I can go upstairs to my hobby space, settle in to some music, and just hit a flow where the stress of the day just melts away. It’s very meditative for me. 

While I love engaging in tournaments and pushing my mind to its limits for the day, the hours and hours of (probably 1000s) that go into painting my army is very important to me.” 

Overall, how would you rate your LVO experience?

“I would separate the location itself from the convention. I was not a big fan of Las Vegas itself, the food was terrible and everything was expensive. Overall I’m a big history buff, and that will influence my decision to go to NOVA this coming year over the LVO.

The convention itself had its hiccups with the delays involved with BCP, but you could tell that they were trying their best to rectify their situation, so I hold no grudges to them for that. 

The big thing about the convention though is that the atmosphere was simply amazing. You are in a group of 1000 like minded people that are all into the same things as you. That really turns the event into something else.”  

So how did you decide to bring Orks, and what drove you to bring the list that you did?

“I took a list to LVO that I love to play that hasn’t fundamentally changed since Adepticon 2018. I love engulfing my opponents in waves of boyz.  I did make some sacrifice to my list, as there is a balance to be had between playing what you love and what is competitive, but finding that balance is possible. 

I do think it is important to chase your fantasy and put yourself into your list. I had to shake a player’s hand for having such a beautiful Salamander army. Despite some of the hate marine players may get, the love and care put into that army was very clear.

A player like Sean Nayden, who plays the game so well but can still put in the care and effort into the hobby side as well is something I think we can all learn from.” 

So what was the secret to your success with the green tide in an ocean full of space marines?

“I played the IH list twice, first losing to it, then winning against it. The game that I won came down to me knowing my army much better than my opponent. The stress of thinking through deployment or worrying about model spacing isn’t there, since it has become almost automatic for me.  That was undoubtedly an edge for me over my opponent. 

The game verus IH that I lost to was piloted by Aaron Aalong. He was a terrific opponent and an absolute gentleman. You could just sense he was a tier above, as everything he did was so precise and thought out well in advance. I’ve also played Juice at Adepticon, and these top players just have a presence and calmness about them that puts them on another level. At LVO, Aaron even gave me a few tips in deploying my smasha guns that made a big difference in winning my final match-up versus IH.  

IH can be beaten, it is not the end-all-be-all. It can feel impossible, but you have to rethink how you play the game and how to play against them. Are IH too much? Yes, but you can overcome it at the mid/low tier of competitive play. 

It starts with being comfortable with the army you are playing, and entering your game in a relaxed state. There are a million articles out there about how nasty the IH list is, but that can’t help you when you come up against it. It is what it is so you have to keep your head level and utilize the options you do have. Winning the mental game is #1.

I feel Ork hordes are actually quite strong against it, but thunderfire cannons are a big problem for me, so I had to adapt. I focused more on spending CP to deepstrike my boyz and worked three dreadnaughts into the list that I could carve out space for, and then utilize their smaller footprint and 3D6 charges to eliminate the indirect fire. 

I was also used to rushing the high threat targets, but I had to shift my strategy to just killing the screens. The Leviathan was going to do a ton of damage to me, but removing his intercessors removed his screens and his ability to hold objectives, while I could just teleport around controlling the board.”    

What would you say to someone that’s on the fence about attending the event next year or competitive events in general?

“These big competitive majors get a bad wrap, but you are going to meet a lot of people that are passionate about the game. You may take a hard loss your first game, but the matchmaking will make the rest of your games fantastic. 

I recommend everyone give it a try. Even if you don’t attend one of the GTs at a major, sign up for one of the accompanying friendly events. It’s really about the atmosphere at these events and there’s nothing else quite like it.”

Any final words of wisdom for the aspiring 40k players out there?

“Innovation and experimentation is important. Keep evolving your game. It’s great to look at what top players are doing but try and take it the next step. No one was running 18 smasha guns before I did at Adepticon last year, or playing target denial with Orks, but you won’t find these amazing strategies and tactics without trying something new.”