I am very familiar with the rules of 40k and know a lot of things about most of the armies. However, whenever I lay an army down on the table, I kinda have the feeling like I don't know what I'm doing. I have done quite a bit of competitive Warmachine in the past year, so I have a feeling for the competitive scene. I was hoping that you could give me a rundown on the basics of how to be competitive in 40k.
I'm looking to start fresh on an army for 40k, but my army choice really isn't what I'm worried about right now. I think sometimes during games I have a hard time trying to decide what is important to do.
Anyway, it would be great if you could give me some suggestions, or even better make a blog post about it!
Well, you have several things going and I will try to answer them. Your questions seem like they are:
#1. You don’t feel like you know what you are doing.
Everyone feels this way at first. It takes while for anyone to learn what they are doing. When I play fantasy I don’t know what I am doing either. I have no idea what units can kill what units, and what tricks and traps, and nasty surprises are in my opponent’s army book that I have to watch out for. Getting comfortable with the game just takes time on the table top and you need experience playing a wide variety of armies and there are just not a lot of shortcuts for that.
#2. Basics of competitive 40k.
The first part of being competitive is to play a newer codex. There is codex creep in the game, so the newer your codex the better your army will be. This is why on the competitive scene there are so many of the new codexes, and so few of the old ones. It is not to say that you can’t win with an older codex, but it is a lot harder and this advice is for new players wanting to win soon.
So here are the armies you should think about playing:
Tyranids are left off of the list because their codex is underpowered. Dark Eldar are off the list because they are very difficult to play, but they can be good. So the bad news is that if you want to play non-MEQs that means Orks and IG, and if you are looking at xenos, that means orks.
#3. I have a hard time trying to decide what is important to do.
When building an army there are 2 types: Active and Reactive.
Active armies do one thing and do it so well that it is hard to stop. To give you some examples of them there are the ork battle wagon lists. They are going to rush forward and then jump out and get you into combat and most armies can’t stop it. Another example is Imperial Guard because it just sits back and tries to shoot their opponents off of the table. There are many examples of active types of armies and they are very straight forward in their approach to the game.These armies are almost one-dimensional, but they still win.
These armies are well balanced and can both shot and assault and they react to what their opponents are doing. These lists are not only a lot harder to play, but they are a lot harder to build and get the balance right, but in the hands of a good player they are hard to beat.
GTs are won by both types of armies, so they are both viable and competitive.
So my advice to a new player who wants to be competitive right away is to simplify the game and take an Active type of army. You only need to focus on doing one thing, and it greatly reduces the decisions that you have to make.
A few examples of Active armies:
Battle Wagon Orks: They rush across the table and try to get into assault.
Razor Spam Wolves: They sit back and shoot the heck out of their opponents
Thunder Wolf Space Wolves: They run forward and get into combat fast
Mech IG: They are devastating with their shooting
Grey Knights: Can be built as either an Active assault army, or shooting army.
Mech Blood Angels: Fast Shooty vehicles
Decent of Angels: Deep Striking close to your opponents and get into assault
I hope this helps. You asked some short questions that have long and complicated answers, and I just gave a few suggestions.