Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How I choose my army

To begin, I wanted to discuss how I go about choosing an army.

There are basically 3 steps:

Figure out what armies that I don't want to play.

Figure out want armies that I want to play

Figure out what army I think can win with.

Figure out what armies I do not want to play.

This is the easiest step. I do not want to play a tier one (the best) armies. So that means that I will not play Orks, Dual Lash Chaos, Seer Council Eldar, etc.

The second one is that I like the rare armies/builds and those attract me. So out goes Mech Armies, Vulcan SM, Plague Marines, or MEQs in general, etc. There are so many marine armies around, that I had to scrap my plans for one. The Space Wolves are my first army, and I was waiting a very long time for their codex to come out. Now that it is almost here everyone is jumping on that bandwagon. Also I look around at the armies I see playing in RTTs and in the local area and I see a lot of marine armies and I have to jump off the bandwagon. Maybe after the initial rush of SW players die down and they move on to other armies I might be able to return to my Sea Wolves.

Figure out want armies that I want to play

So then let's take a look at what interests me. There is two ways I go about picking an army. One way is that I like a unit or theme and then build around that. For example, I am not a big fan of Orks, but if I was to build an Ork army, I would build it around Flash Gits. I like how everyone thinks they are a bad unit, but I like how they work and their fluff. If I was going to build a Space Marine army, I would center it around Legion of the Damned. I like this theme so much that I almost built it, and I had to lie down for a while to stop myself from making it.

To give an example of picking units I like and building around them I will point to an army that I built just after the elder codex came out. There was a lot of discussion of which units were good, and which ones were bad. The consensus was that Guardians were very bad, so I started to build my army around them. They appealed to me because they were cheap and they were fast, and they are multi-purpose. I like units that can do many things and fill many roles. Guardians can move and shoot a heavy weapon, Fleet (back when fleet did something), and then they can close and shoot their small arms. So then I had to find units that worked with them. I choose the Avatar because he would make all of the guardians fearless, and negate there poor leadership. I also choose Eldrad (before Eldrad was in every army) because Guardians need a little bit of a boost to be more effective and Eldrad is a great force multiplier. He can cast 2 Guides, or 2 Dooms or 2 Fortunes etc. Whatever I need, he can supply it. And then I build an army around it to compliment it and it turned out every well. This is the list I went 4-0-1 at the LVGT and 5-0 at the Baltimore GT.

Figure out what army I think can win with.

This is the hardest one. I try to match an army up with the top tier armies to see if I have a chance. I compare them to what think I will find at the top tables and see if my army matches up. I look at things like every marine army will have at least one Land Raider, and often times more, so an army must have an answer for them. It must have a chance against horde Orks, Lash/Oblit spam and a Mech army.

Now I am not saying that I have to be able to have an overwhelming advantage against a top tier list (and the fact that they are top tier lists means that there is nothing that has an overwhelming advantage over them), but I want to have at least a chance against them. Hopefully my skill as a player will make up for whatever disadvantage my army has as far as the matchup goes, but I need to at least have a chance.

To give an example of what I am talking about, my SoB army that I played last year had a little bit of everything that could deal with the heavy hitters. I had some exorcists and melta for Land Raiders/Mech, some flamers and a lot of heavy bolters for orks, and I hope my Exorcists could win a gunnery duel with Obits and SoBs are very resilient to lash/psychic powers.

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