Having a list thats unbeatable doesn't equate to fun for me. Don't get me wrong, I do play to win, but having fun doing so is more important to me then actually winning. And right now, it really just annoys me you have to have a list thats fully mechanised and you can't take the 'fluffy' units if you want to win.
In my experience, it is the ones with the 'competative' lists that are the douches... so maybe I'm jaded against it... where-as the ones with the fluffy list are more fun and actually, the better players as they have to think outside the box rather then 'X unit kills Y', they think ' I can use A, C or D to tackle X, but better keep B from them'.
OK, I think we all know the kind of player you're talking about... the jackass who is truly there to win with the best list he can download.... But I don't really think of them as being competative... just douchebags...
In terms of unbeatable... there is certainly hard to beat... but I have a hard time coming up with unbeatable. For example, here's what I'm running at 2K in Space Wolves... More details here
- 2 Rune Priests
- 3 Assaulty Squads in Rhinos
- 1 Squad in a Razorback w/ TL Las
- 3 full squads of ML Long Fangs in Razorbacks with TL Las
- Wolf scouts with Melta bombs and a melta gun
- 2 Land speeder typhoons
In my opinion, I have a VERY competative list for 2K and I'd be willing to play agaisnt any "unbeatable" list and I figure I'd have a good chance.... It's based off of Stelek's maximum overdrive list for Marines but with more of an assault punch. I didn't pick it up off a board... I spent a lot of time thinking about why his MO list worked and tried to adapt. See all his "best of" lists for Space Wolves had TWC and I just don't like them and don't wanna paint them... so I came up with my own spin on torrent of fire... In fact, I'm acutally working on a more shooty version at 1.5K here
Since we're talking about stereotypes, I've also noticed a lot of younger players (no offense to anyone under 30) who will read the net and find the "broken/cheesy/whatever" list and then try to be king of the pond for a while... But they tend to get schooled vs a better player with competative list or will get shunned by the community. There was a kid at my old shop who was a complete turd... He asked me for a game once and I told him I didn't want to play him cause he was a douche... There was a few minutes of awkward silence and then end of story... but it wasn't his list that made that decision for me. It was his attitude towards the game. See, the way I see it is like this... I can only really spend x ammt of time away from my family for a game... so of course, I want to maximize my fun... Playing against that kind of opponent is no fun... so I don't do it.
Also, I think I get what you're saying about the changes in 5th. Yes, mech is king and if you want to have a good list, you should put your stuff in tanks. But that's really not the fault of the community of gamers for playing a competative game with the tools that are most effective... It's the fault of the game designers. Personally, I'm bewildered that you'd have so many bad choices in the game. For example, Blood Claws vs Grey Hunters - Lower BS, More attacks but get hit easier... They're not worth the tradeoff IMO. Skyclaws and swiftclaws are also bad choices in my codex. So I take the good and leave the bad where possible. The one good thing is there are a few good builds that you'll get out of the Space Wolf Codex (examples - Loginwing, razorwolf, TWC)
Personally, I think that if you really want a fluffy game nowadays - without putting a bunch of restrictions on who can bring what or thinking about powerlevel of the relative lists... You should look into some of the battle missions.. Decide a week before who's playing what and then spend some time writing your army list to the mission... then give it a play... If I'm all inside a fortress you have to assault, then you won't see a bunch of tanks and you won't see my list above that is built on Kill Points, C&C, etc... Also, it will throw the stereotypes for a loop cause you can't go look for "best of list for the mission on page 35" --- for the more competative player, I have a week to design a list and think about tactics for a set mission... For someone more driven by fluff, you get a narritive... Might be the way to bridge the gap....