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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Monday, January 3, 2011

(List) Writer's Block.

Today we have an article talking about the problem I've encountered over the last few days when it comes to writing army lists. List writer's block. This is something that everybody encounters from time to time. Whether it's a case of not being able to fit in everything you want, or not being able to get a good balance in the list, or simply not being able to build a list you think is good. So I'm going to look at a few methods that help me get back on my feet and building good lists. (:

Now, list writer's block is something that I find occurs more often when you have something big to prepare for. In my case, this is a tournament. I need to have my 1750 army ready for then, and because I need to paint and build it, I need to know what I'm having and what's in my list. All fair and dandy, but this adds an awful lot of pressure to get your army list as good as it can be, and tested and all that shinazz. I mean, if you look at my blog you'll see it's got about 6 posts about BA in the past 2 days. I'm panicking slightly. :D

Personally, I don't believe there's such a thing as a perfect army. I think every army has something it struggles with. Most armies in 5th edition are pretty vulnerable to Tau, for example. Tau's monobuild is just really good against the 5th edition standard. Kinda weird but hey. So, with that in mind I think focussing on the strengths of your army rather than the weaknesses will definitely help you see it in a more positive light. For example, rather than saying something like "Ugh, my army doesn't have much transport dinging capacity. Look at that IG list player Z has, his has loads". Don't. Sure, IG come with natural inbuilt transport dinging capacity, but if you blow up an IG transport, half his squad dies. And IG suck in combat (Straken being the exception). Don't look at the fact your list has a bit of trouble outmaneuvering other lists, look at the fact that your list can blow those lists off the table. Of course, you need to do this within reason, otherwise you end up in situations like "homg I have 4527589 plasma guns and 175892730 lascannons!". "But you have two scoring units of 6 men and they're both on foot.". "Plasma Guns!". Etc. Yeah, this needs to be within reason, for sure. Look at your list in a positive light, but don't go overboard. There are some fundamentals of the game that you pretty much have to have in your army.

Another thing that can help if you're really stuck with your list is look at other people's army lists. Especially the army lists of good players. See what they have and you don't. It's good if you can see their list's in action as well, as you can see what really does the heavy lifting, and what they have no problems with, and compare it back to your list and see what you can do. Of course, don't go comparing every list under the sun to yours, only ones that're relevant. For example with my Blood Angels I've been looking at mech Blood Angels lists (ofc), but also Immo Spam lists (similar playstyle) as well as Strakenguard (yeah). All these armies have a pretty similar goal to mine, but do it in different fashions. However, there's still a fair bit I can learn from looking at these army lists. For example, one I picked up is I don't need any long ranged dakka designed to kill tanks (just suppression). Of course, I was going with that anyway, but it's nice to have it confirmed.


That's another way to help if you're having difficulty with a list. Just stop. Play a different game or a different army for a while. Don't even look at your previous lists. Back the hell off. Then after a while (usually a few days for me) you can come back and have a look at your army lists, and see if there's a glaring flaw that you just didn't notice and were too engrossed in list building to realise. Or perhaps you'll come to the realisation that you have in fact made the perfect army. You never know, it could happen.

Finally, build lists for different armies. See if you try to build a tournament quality list for an army other than the one that you're stuck with, you might realise that sure, while army X is so much better at A, B and C then you, your army is actually much better at D, E and F. It can really help to see the other side of the coin, as it lets you appreciate your army's strengths much more. For example, I play Warmahordes. I usually play Circle, who're very speedy. Then I started Khador (Slowy McSlow), but used Strakhov (Speedy Mc15"threartangeonB-09). So it didn't seem that slow to me. Then in my first game without Strakhov (using Irusk) I was completely taken aback by how slow my army was, and how my opponent could literally run rings around me. Made me appreciate what my circle takes for granted a bit more. But now going back to circle I'm not used to a stiff breeze killing most of my figures. >_< However, the point is, try it! It helps, really. Lately I've been making a lot of IG lists to see what they can bring to the table, and comparing it with my BAs. The conclusion I'm come to is "They win at shooting, but if you get all up in their face, there's not much they can do to dislodge you." Especially if I assault >:D

So, all that said, I have a rather large problem. None of this seems to be working for me! I'm really stuck with my army, and I can't really see a way to get it up to shape. The latest series of lists I've been coming up with I've liked, but I still feel they're missing something.

Yes. This whole article was just a clever ruse. It's actually so I could get you here to give me a hand getting un-stuck from my rut. Anyone who does so can have the whole internet. (:

Hope you guys enjoyed the article. :D

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