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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Email in: Balanced training wheels


"Hi,

A bit of background: two players (me and a friend) want to start playing 40k. We both want to become at least semi-competitive in the long run. We got the rulebook and templates for free from someone who bought a second starter set, so there is no need focus solely on marines or orks. Due to both time and space constraints we will be playing 1000 points until we really know the odds and ends of the game. Thus:

Can you build us two army lists at 1000 points (any two armies) that works at that point level, is balanced against each other, teaches most of the important aspects of the game AND forms a good core for later expansion into the 1500/1750 point range? Our plan is to proxy the list, then build it and in the end paint it, all the while playing it once a week without doing any changes to the list at all. Our goal is to understand the game (at least at an intermediate level) before we start shelling out money for any random mini that looks cool.

Thanks. A strange request, perhaps, but a sincere one none the less.

- Malty"

Good old scheduled posts. Well Malty, for two 1000 point lists which scale well, you can't go much farther than Imperial Guard and Tau (I'd include Dark Eldar in here as well but they are getting a re-vamp soon so this might change). Both of these armies can bring disgusting amounts of firepower and survivability to the table which can be added to as you scale up to higher point levels without swapping out a lot of units. Both cost a lot of money though in terms of models (tank chassis for Imperial Guard and Crisis suits for Tau). So before lists are put down, would either of these armies be okay for you guys? Maybe read their codecies and check out information on this blog about the armies so you can have an idea of how you want to proceed.

Anyone who wants to put down some other thoughts for armies or army lists which can scale from 1000, please do so as well!

22 pinkments:

Gunn Bot Mk IV said...

I saved money for my Guard by building my devil dogs, manticores, and hydras out of chimera kits with bits that I traded for.

-willydstyle

Jon said...

ebay is great for second hand suits for tau... I don't know why, but they're always on sale cheap. In addition, I saved money by converting my pathfinders from fire warriors and buying random dogs to make hounds (just did that!)

That being said, any army that is "spammy" is great for scaling. I'd say avoid super-elite armies, as they are unplayable below a certain points level, as well as orks, who have problems currently.

Sage said...

Tau's a decent race. Just remember it's a finesse army, and you'll need to practice how to stall and block enemies so you can get some decent shooting done.

You'll need at least $250 dollars to start up a Tau army, 150 of which will be spent on Crisis suits, and the rest of which will probably be spent on a battleforce and either a Hammerhead, Broadside, or Piranha. Best say $300-350 then. Although, once you've got that, you've basically got a Tau army on hand, you'll only need some more crisis suits, Broadsides, pathfinders (try using Fire Warriors, and hounds (wait till later and try to mod Warhammer Fantasy chaos hounds which are MUCH, MUCH cheaper then Kroot Hounds).

Finally, Kirby, I can't believe you're trying to turn new recruits away from the Greater Good! How else could they could experience the happiness of being banned from playing the army at their local store for being too good?

VT2 said...

When checking for second-hand tau, make god damn sure the feet are intact. You can repair or convert everything else, but if the ankles are damaged, don't buy - ever.

Regular marines scale very well from 1k.

Librarian.
2x5 sternguard in rhinos.
2x10 tacs witn multi-melta, flamer, and rhino.
2 predators with autocannon turret and heavy bolters.

Or...

Librarian.
2 dreads with twin-linked autocannon and dread weapon.
2x10 tacs witn multi-melta, flamer, and rhino.
2 vindicators.

Or...

Old faithful captain (relicblade/fist/thunderhammer and combi-melta).
Command squad with 4 plasmaguns and 2 lightning claws, in razorback with lascannon and twin-linked plasmagun.
2x5 tacs in razorbacks with lascannon and twin-linked plasmagun.
2 predators with autocannon turret and heavy bolters.

Lyracian said...

I was going to post some Marine lists, but our resident expert beat me to it! On the last one though you can fit in three Predators.

1000 Marine Armoured Company
150 Captain w/ Relic Blade, Combi-melta, Hellfire Rounds
265 Command Squad w/ 4x Plasmaguns, Champion* in Las/Plas Razorback
330 Tactical x5 in Las/Plas Razorback x2
255 Predator w/ Hvy Bolter Sponsons x3
16 Marines, 6 Tanks

*Replace Champion with Lightning Claw if you do not agree he can take a Plasmagun.

GreyICE said...

One can honestly never go wrong with the space marines, some flavor of power armor is always going to be competitive, and you can always field your army as something different if 3 years down the line the Blood Angels you started as are completely uncompetitive, and the new power army of Black Templar are owning things.

I do not recommend the greater good. Every one of their armies is the same. For all that people malign orks, they do get to bring 5-6 cool builds with nifty options. Tau get to choose between vanilla and french vanilla. It's an essential problem of the army.

Yes, if you NEVER want to do anything different, that's cool, but if you want to play around with close combat, or field an offbeat choice, or just do something strange one week, Tau do not reward you.

Lyracian said...

Not quite sure how it would play against the Marines but you can build a 1k Tyranid Swarm.

1000 Points - The Swarm from LV-426
220 Tervigon: Catalysis, TS, Talons, Regeneration
200 Hive Guard x4
160 Hormagaunts x20 w/ Toxic Sacs
160 Hormagaunts x20 w/ Toxic Sacs
170 Genestealers x10 w/ Toxic Sacs
090 Gargoyles x15

Gargoyles are mobile cover saves. Hive Guard would concentrate on killing Razorbacks so the Hormagaunts have some soft meat to eat. Genestealers outflank and go for Predators (who can only fire one gun if they move).

maltyblend said...

All right, I've asked around a bit, and this is what I've been told I can get for really cheap (or even for free!) from some of the local painters and modelers:

* virtually any number of (tactical) marines on foot and terminators with storm bolter and power fist/sword.

* A pretty large number of metal imperial guard infantry (Vostroyan). He said he had close to 50 models.

* The orks from both starter sets that contained them (2nd and 5th I think that is).

* An incomplete and mostly unassembled Tau battleforce. I do not know what parts are missing (if it's the crisis suit its probably a bad deal ...)

* Some tyranids from the last starter set.

Judging from your comments, and the site in general, I would say some variant of space marine is in. The second army I guess is any of the other I can get (almost) free stuff for.

VT2 said...

For tau, something like this is always nice. Every crisis and commander's got the same, general purpose build: plasmarifle, missilepod, multi-tracker.
Bear in mind, tau's got an ancient book, and when it's finally replaced, lots of things are going to change.

Shas'el.
Shas'el.

2 crisis
2 crisis
2 crisis.

6 firewarriors.
10 kroot.
10 kroot.

Pathfinders and devilfish.

And orks can run this...

Warboss with claw and cybork body.
Warboss with claw and cybork body.

7 lootas
7 lootas

5 nobz with gear.
5 nobz with gear.
15 boyz and nob.
15 boyz and nob.

2 koptas.
2 koptas.
2 koptas.

Terminator marines?

Librarian.

5 terminators, one assaultcannon/cyclone.
5 terminators, one assaultcannon/cyclone.

5 tacs in plasmaback.
5 tacs in plasmaback.

Attack bike with multi-melta.
Attack bike with multi-melta.

50 guardsmen don't get you a whole lot, unless you go veterans, and even then, you need 6+ chimeras to make it work. Not a recommended starting army.

Gunn Bot Mk IV said...

50 Guardsmen is only 10 guardsmen, 10 command squad minis (usually more of the same guardsmen) and 2 commissars away from two 30-man blobs, which can be a very decent troops "core" for a hybrid Guard army.

Lyracian said...

@maltyblend,
Marines are a good start because, as GreyICE said, there is always several Codices to choice from. Of your other offers the Orcs sound the best as that should be over 1000 points to start.

There is only 150 points of Tyranids in the old starter. Not a great start to an army, but you can always proxy them as more Orcs.

VT2 said...

Tons of macragge boxes, plus some warriors, give lots of infantry for tyranids.
There's something like 12 gants, 8 genestealers, and a ton of useless sporemines in it.

Jon said...

I stand corrected, VT! I mostly maligned the ork army because I was under the impression that things that work at 1k might not work as well at higher points values. Consider my advice rescinded.

Artemi said...

My issue with suggesting Tau and IG for starter armies is that while they CAN do assaults, you'll likely want something that can do it reasonably well. Otherwise, you are likely to get the impression that shooting produces better results every time or whatever.

Also, I would agree that a Marine army is good to work with. Frankly, you will NEED to know how to deal with them, so you might as well get started early.

For your second army, though, I would try to consider getting something other then a 3+ MEq. As much as I hate to throw in the towel for the new hotness, IG might be a good choice. They play quite differently, and have a big difference between play with foot troops and vehicles to get some different experiences in.

Depending on how quickly you want to get started, though, waiting a few months for the Dark Eldar might be a good idea, too. They are GOING to be fast, strong, but incredibly brittle, so they'll play quite differently then Marines, I suspect. I think transports and mobility are going to be important to them, which is good for learn 5th's ins and outs, and should have enough ranged and assault elements that you'll get a well rounded experience. Poison might actually be the problem, here; against only one army, and a Marine one at that, the effects are going to be magnified, and the Marines might come across as more squishy then they actually are...

Brother Loring said...

Wolves
Rune Priest - 100
Wolf Guard Pack (3) - Combi-Melta 69
4 x Grey Hunters (5) - Meltagun - 80 Las/Plas Back - 75
Thunderwolf Cavalry - Storm Shield, Power Weapon - 95
Long Fangs (5) - 4 x Missile Launcher - 115
Total - 999

Bugs
Tervigon - Catalyst - 175
Termagaunts (17) - 85
Tervigon - Catalyst - 175
3 x Hive Guard (2) - 300
Tyrannofex - Rupture Cannon - 265
Total - 1000

Black Templars
EC - Abhor the Witch -110
3 x Crusader Squad (5) - Flamer - 85 - Razorback - TLLC - 90
2 x Land Speeder - MM - 130
1 x Predator Destructor - HB Sponsons - 110
1 x Predator Destructor - Lascannon Sponsons - 125
Total - 1000

Kris said...

I feel if you want two balanced armies to play against each other, it shouldn't be two shooty-dominant armies. IG/Tau-Nids, or SM-Orks would be good foils for each other, as well as thematically appropriate. Especially if you ever plan to switch-off and play each other's armies.

maltyblend said...

I'm really thankful (and a bit overwhelmed) from all the feedback. I think Orks might be the second army, since VT2's list (when I proxy the Lootas) will cost us the equivalent of about 30$ or 20£.

However, when building up (how I read) his list, it ended up at over 1000p, so here is my attempt at modifying the list: (please, rip it apart)

2* warboss w/klaw & cybork body
2* 7 lootas
2* 5 nobz (1 klaw)
2* 10 gretchin & runtherd
3* 2 deffkoptas with twin-linked rokkit launcha

I've basically replaced the two boyz squads with gretchin, and added a klaw to each nob squad. There are surely better ways to do it, I bet.

Brother Loring said...

I'd probably try to get 3 units of 5 lootas if possible.

Lyracian said...

I am not an Ork player. However if you just drop Nobs & Koptors from VT2's list you can get this -


1000 Orks
95 Warboss with claw and cybork body.
95 Warboss with claw and cybork body.
105 7 lootas
105 7 lootas
170 6 nobz with Painboy, Big Chopper x4
125 15 boyz including Nob w/ Klaw
125 15 boyz including Nob w/ Klaw
90 2 koptas with TL Rockkit
90 2 koptas with TL Rockkit

Lyracian said...

...and having seen Brother Loring's comment you can drop Choppers to get an extra Looter.

VT2 said...

If possible, avoid boyz when running orks. They're, uhhh, not very good - at all.

Yeah, I just threw something together =P
Gretchin are useful. Think of them like cheaper kroot, that can't fight at all.

Always max out on UNITS of lootas and koptas/trakks/buggies, then worry about filling them.

Kirby said...

@Artemi; true re assaults as beginner armies.

I would echo the SM sentiments and whilst IG/Tau are better at the 1k level, Space Wolves in particular can scale very well and add a combat emphasis.

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