So I'm not a very seasoned tournament player, but I've learned (in the 3 I've played in)........that in order to be competitive, one must get rid of any fun, balance, and desire that they have for a specific army list.
Running a balanced list makes sense to all of us, but doesn't really hit home at most tournaments. And you can get rid of the fun because it comes to ultra competitive, and you have those people that call every little rule, then scrutinize you for not knowing the rule book, cover to cover. You know, that guy who's played since 1st Edition. His models look somewhat dusty, because the morning of the tournament, he took off the shelf. And he's included in every conversation in the room, because he knows everything about everything 40K related. And forget about running that cool character you like in your codex.......cause unless he's EXTREMELY over the top, and around the points value of say.........300, then he's not gonna match up to that one character who is.....and you'll get squashed.
Now I'm pretty sure there hasn't been a major tournament winner who has ran a balanced army. I play the close-combat heavy, Black Templar, and even I run a balanced list. For, the biggest reason, because I paid for a full codex, and I want to use it all. Not just 3 or 4 pages out of it. And I love the fun in having different attributes to an army. I build balanced lists because I want to challenge myself, and challenge my friends. I don't see any fun in just 2-turning people, walking threw them. When I think about really nasty army lists, I think of "The Drive-by Tau", The Imperial Guardsmen "Leafblower", or "Mech-Vet",............(those damn guardsmen), and almost any Space Marine "3 Land Raiders Down Your Throat".
So in order to be at the final 2 tables, you gotta run what our friends, and probably many others, would call beardy, cheap, cheesy, and over the top. And no.....that isn't a Stallone reference. You know, one of those things that make you look at it and go............."Really? Come on man??!!" Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. The whole point of this game was to enjoy watching the battle unfold in front of you, and having some comradery amongst your friends. You can even ask any of the games original creators, or read their quotes, and they say that this game is not meant for tournament style play.
And another funny aspect I find with tournaments, is those people who use "count-as" models. I can COMPLETELY understand doing this at your own house, hobby store, with your close friends, because they will allow it. But in an official atmosphere, where you will be judged on painting, sportsmanship, conversion, knowledge of the game, and so on..............you should have your stuff in order. Now I know that conversion can play a huge role in this, but you should at least run marines when your running a marine codex. Not substituting nids into an orcs list..............or Epic 40K models in for a Grey Knights army. (You know who you are). Doin things like that can alter line-of-site, range on different weapons, movement and charging distances. Plus you owe it your opponent to give them the chance to see what you have in your army, and not trying to guess or remember, every 3 seconds, on what they are shooting at or assaulting. And to the people who do this.............suck it up and buy the required models!!
Now I realize I'm probably giving myself a couple of "Delta-Bravo" points here, but these are some things that need to be said, and some people need to hear them. Take it for what you want, but I like to be legit, having the actual model that the codex calls for on the table. And painted them, the color that they are suppose to be painted. But whether you play tournaments or not.............remember to have fun, pick up your dice after you throw them, and don't be a Douche!!!