This last Friday, I got handed a table-clearing loss. My Orks went up against a well-built, well-played Tau list. But, as the army I lost to revolved around Fire Warriors in Devil-Fish, a perfectly legitimate Troop choice? I don;t think my foe was power-gaming. He simply had the cure for the common Ork.
Agreed. Round 3 of the 'ardboyz qualifier here (which we did entirely for shits and giggles...with maybe one exception, nobody here's competitive like that) lasted all of about twenty minutes. My opponent, who was playing Tyranids, siezed the initiative, and his genestealers jumped on top of me without a moment to pull the trigger. Am I crying cheese for him bringing thirty-six genestealers to the table? Nah. I fought them off, but it cost me all of my Troops choices, and the scenario's victory conditions were based upon holding objectives. Moreover, I had no way to eliminate his Troops from the game, because he was using a squad of Termagants with Without Number to hold the objective in his back field. So I was done when my Tactical Squads were finished. Again, cheese? Nah. Good dice, and my bad luck, and that's all there was to it.
Power gaming is when you have no discourse to tactics, despite what you may say. It's when you go browsing online for the latest gimmick. The combination of units that may or may not be fluffy (admittedly, sometimes, they are) that takes advantage of game mechanics rather than any actual thought on the player's part. Lash of Submission comes to mind-- it actually is kind of fluffy to have a slaanesh daemon be able to have a siren song type effect, but it's used to pull squads into charge range of Khorne Berserkers, and that's where I throw the red flag. It's a gimmick, not any actual tactics. Tactics are manevuering your models, taking advantage of cover, timing your charges and coordinating shooting to its maximum effect, all by outwitting your opponent rather than relying on something you had to bring to the table. There's no strategy in using the Lash, for example... it takes advantage of the turn sequence mechanics to do what it does.
I'm guilty of bringing things to stop these little "killer combos"-- don't get me wrong. But I make them the minority of points spent in the army, and not the singular focus. Nobody can say anything to me when they look at my 2000 point army and see that half the points are in Tactical Squads, and I don't bring Elites generally, but still win through coordinated interaction between units.
I dislike power gaming. I really, truly do. When you act like you have to win at a game with little plastic spacemen at all costs, it reeks of tiny penis syndrome. Seriously, if you need to prove to people you're a real man, go get a degree, or become a noteworthy athlete amongst the local crowd, or something to that effect. Play with plastic spacemen because you can laugh about it, and at the end of the day, you like taking a stroll through the 41st millenium.