Kirb your enthusiasm!


"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

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Email in: 40k list design thought

"Howdy Kirby, Grand Master Raziel here. I've had a niggling little idea I thought you might like to respond to in your blog. I can't help but notice that you and the other regular bloggers on 3++ are fairly down on the versatile units. You seem to always push specialized units over versatile ones, and you never support spending points on further versatility. Buy a power fist for a Tactical Squad? 25 points wasted!

However, I think your design philosophy is colored by the fact that you and your other blog authors always build 2000pt lists. 2000pts gives you a lot of leeway - you can afford a large amount of units and indulge in specialized units to cover all the bases you need to cover. That's great for 2000pt lists, but not all games are 2000pt games. Until fairly recently, most of the tournaments I went to were 1500pts, and I even needed to have a 1000pt list for an escalation tourney I went to.

What I'm getting at here is that in smaller games, you can't always afford to sink a lot of points into a unit that only does one thing. When that's the case, versatile units that can positively contribute in all phases of the game start to shine more, because they don't necessarily need a specialist to come help them out all the time. The Tac Squad with the power fist, for instance - I wouldn't send it after a healty Hive Tyrant, but they can beat down a Tervigon pretty reliably, and if that Tyrant only has a wound or two left, I might send them after that, too. It requires more on-the-spot judgement than when playing with specialist units, because you have to have a realistic idea of what to expect from your units and a pretty good idea of what opposing units can do, but for an experienced player these should not be difficult judgements to make, and being able to rely on the generalists to handle most situations frees up whatever specialist units you might have for really critical taskings.

So, that's my thought for the day. I look forward to your response."

I know most of our lists concepts are designed at 2000 points though I try and make a point of discussing movements down to 1750 where possible (some lists obviously cannot). I don't really like to discuss lower points (such as 1500) as you really start to move out of balanced 5th edition territory then and when you get to 1000 and less, it's very easy to make unbalanced lists in an attempt to play the 'meta.'

What I meant by this (we'll take the more extreme example of 1000 points) is that you can have an army with something like 100+ infantry or 10+ tanks with certain armies but it's VERY hard to build a list which can deal with that amount of both infantry and tanks. At 1750+ you are more capable of dealing with the extremes of both lists types (i.e. lots of infantry and tanks) whilst not having extreme weaknesses. This is where balanced lists come into play. On the flip side, once you go past 2000 (i.e. 2500), this can be completely reversed where you can make lists that wouldn't work within the balanced environment but take advantage of something skewwy in the army book (i.e. nine Carnifexes, five Tervigons, sixty GKT, 90 FNP Blood Angels, etc.).

I will see if we can place more emphasis on the 1750 in our list building exercises though I don't imagine 1500 will be popping up a lot - more so only in response to reader e-mails. Being in Australia were 2000 isn't heard of (bloody comp mongers =D) I do make a lot of lists for 1750 that I intend to use but perhaps further emphasis could be placed upon this.

Anyway, what do others think?

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