Tuesday, October 12, 2010

[40K] A Newer Player's Q's: Army Building

I'm thinking this might be a series until I get a better handle on what the crap 5th Ed is all about.

Yes, I think I have * FINALLY * decided what army I'll play. I just have to get figures. And that leads me to the question of the day:

What comes first in army building: the figures or the list?

I don't possess any figs of my own yet. I'm of the opinion that I shouldn't just buy crap willy nilly- I should have a purpose and an army or list in mind. However, there's been some encouragement to use available figs as proxies, building a list to suit them.

Going with the first option gives me control over what goes in my list, what I like and don't like, as well as what flavor or type of army I field. Going with the second limits me to what I have available, but I get to see if I really like the intended army before spending a metric crapton of cash.

Either way, I've discovered that I need one of those Army Builder things (I just happen to be testing one out right now) because it's not the math -it's the details and the math combined. I know I'll get better, but at the moment, I can't keep track of all of it at once.

So at the moment, I'm playing with numbers and imaginary dudes, trying to get a handle on point allowances and Force Org (you're supposed to have a lot of troops, right?) . See you at the next installment.


  1. I'd recommend working out some list ideas first. It sucks to pick up a unit, do all the hobby work and field it to find you don't like it. If you can, play a few games where you proxy everything, assuming you don't own the army at all and have something you can use as proxies of course. Hell, you could even just paint letters onto bases to represent units to proxy.

    As for the lists, by all means start out with a core of troops. Different armies will approach troops differently though. Marines can get away with 2-3 troops where other armies may need more since they're less resilient. Of course you'll need an HQ also and that choice can heavily effect your list choices as well. What army are you looking at anyway?

  2. At least you're not doing what many do and buy all sorts of stuff to build an army and never ever get it ready to be put on a gaming table and all it does is take up space in a closet.

  3. On the other side of that notion, building and painting some units of an army can be a great motivator to use and learn the army. In my area, most people are obsessed with army list creation, as if it were the be-all end-all of winning games. I see far too many people start and quit the game when their "ultimate list of badassery" doesn't do what they think it will once they get it to the table.

    Most armies only have 1 or 2 choices for their basic troop type. The new army I'm starting (Imperial Guard) has only one basic troop type, just organized in different ways. I'm working on assembling and painting these guardsmen while I hash out my list and get some practice games in, but it's seeing the progress that I've made toward the army that keeps me motivated in the face of defeat.

  4. I decided on Black Templar.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to do the list- I'm playing around with it and trying to avoid bad advice (hahaha, silly me).

    Weinas, are you doing power blobs, or something else with your IG?

  5. However you play the list, you're going to need a couple of things: an Emperor's Champion and some Crusader Squads. I use a large Crusader Squad with boltpistols and close combat weapons and two small Crusader Squads with boltguns (and lascannons) for fire support. I've never seen a Black Templar army without the close-combat equipped Crusaders. You could assemble and paint some of those and rest assured that they will make your final army.

    My IG army is made as half of a team-tournament style army. As of now, the list has one large blob squad with some faster moving elements (vets in a Vendetta and Rough Riders) with some support elements (heavy weapons teams and Hydras). As I expand the army to use on its own, I'll probably add more of what is already there...that, and a Manticore.

  6. Wienas:

    What's a "large" vs a "small" Cru Squad?

    Also, I'm getting some advice that I don't need fast attack due to the "get shot; you must move" aspect of BT.

    How accurate is that in reality?

  7. The large squad I use has 10 Initiates and 4 Neophytes. They ride in the Land Raider Crusader with the Emperor's Champion. The two small squads have 5 Initiates and have a lascannon and plasma gun and ride in Rhinos.

    I don't take much stock in Assault Squads or Bikers, but I do use 2 Land Speeders and 2 Attack Bikes with multi-meltas.

    The Righteous Zeal rule can make your foot troops cross the board much quicker than normal foot troops. The problem is that most people will shoot your squad so much that by the time you get across, you don't have much left. I like transports.

    My friend does use 3 20-man crusader squads in a force, but that seems like it would be boring to play with. My army leans toward shooting a bit, but I don't think you can go with a completely hand-to-hand army. There should be some balance.

  8. BTW- I love Manticores. I'd play 'em everyday,if I could.

    Wienas, another question- What's your take on the Almighty Drop Pod? I adore them in concept and design, but have no real idea how they work in actuality. They seem pretty handy for the BT army, but I could be wrong.

  9. I like Drop Pods, but not for Black Templars. Their Drop Pods don't have the "drop pod assault" rule, allowing the Drop Pods to enter on turn 1. Their Drop Pods enter from normal reserves, and yo don't know when that will be. They can be used for units that you want later in the game, but their randomness keeps me from using them.

  10. I got lucky and was able to pick a ton of my stuff up used way back when. This allowed me to have plenty of models to play around with. As long as you're gaming with friends use "counts as" a bunch to see what works for you. CDs work as drop pods.
    Space Marines are a good safe army to start with and get a feel for the game. Don't feel like you have to be tied to them though.
    If you want to add some randomness, apparently GW faq'd the drop pods so that space marines can take them for a squad and drop them empty and separately from the squad.. gives you some cheap dropped firepower

  11. Weinas, Thor and DaveG-

    Thanks so much for your helpful and insightful commentary. I really appreciate it. Last night I sat down with a buddy and went through both the Codex and the GW Catalog and discovered nearly everything I will want or need can be bought as a SM. All I'll really need to do is add bitz to most of them.

    DaveG- We use plastic cups for Drops at our store, but I can see a CD as well.

    Weinas- thank you again. Your "BTDT" comments are exceptionally valuable to me. As are your great pics.