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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

Friday, June 15, 2012

40K ‘Netlisting’ on the brink of 6th Edition

 We are about to enter a whole new rules edition of 40K, and for many of us this means going back to basics and reworking our armies, list and even playstyle. For others, it will mean a frantic effort to try to keep up by reading forums, seeing other people’s ideas and trying to copy what works.

I’ve already started to see debates flare up again on 40K forums about the pros and cons of ‘Netlisting’ or copying other people’s armies and ideas. In case you’ve been living under an asbestos rock, these can very quickly turn into miniature flame wars where anyone copying portions of other armies gets described as ‘using someone else’s army’, ‘as boring as bat poop’, adding to the ‘blandification of the hobby’, ‘its bad sports’, ‘winning with training wheels’, ‘only winning because it’s a copy of a winner’ and my personal favourite ‘morally dodgy when you just duplicate what has been done a million times before’.

They’re fairly random examples of vast amount of real quotes, so now seems like a great time for a post on the subject for one simple reason.

We are all about to become netlisters.

Like it or not, when a new book is released the changes are going to be a mixture of the obvious and the subtle, the trivial and the profound, the clear and the obscure, and any sensible player will be looking at other people’s reactions, comments and changes even while they are making their own.

I pride myself on making highly effective armies for myself and others and enjoy optimising them, but that doesn’t mean that can I pretend to work in a vacuum or that every idea is completely original and that I don’t plan to seek other people’s opinions. Most of us who are interested in 40K enough to read this blog will dig in to it in detail and expect us all to come up with some original twists and approaches, but we’ll all learn faster by also paying attention to other people’s advice, experience and… netlists. Criticizing other people for copying ideas or claiming they can only win because they use other people’s army lists won’t do either of us any good.

So here for your viewing pleasure is a compilation of what I’ll try pass off as the sum total of the ‘wisdom’ I’ve gained from experience.

On 'Netlists'
  • One man's Netlist is another man's Education.
  • Most unique armybuilds that are not used by anyone else are not used by anyone else for a reason.
On copying successful army lists
  • Copying an army that works can save time, money and speed up a player's learning process. However, just copying a successful list is never enough to duplicate its success.
Matt-Shadowlord's Theory of Tournament Dynamics
  • A Good general with a Good army will generally beat Weak general with a Weak army
  • A Good general with a Weak army will generally beat Weak general with a Good army
  • A Good general with a Good army will generally beat Good general with a Weak army
  • The very best games are between a Great general with a Great army and another Great general with a Great army.
  • While it is more impressive to win with a strong army than lose with a weak one, it is more impressive to win with a weaker army than a stronger one.

On Sportsmanship
  • There is rarely a relationship between army build and sportsmanship.
On "Theme"
  • One man's fluff is another man's heresy.
  • "Winning is a Theme." – JJ Layfield, Worlds End Radio
On 'Composition' Scores
  • However well intended, Amateur Comp does not balance a game. It just changes the balance of a game.
And finally on 40K flamewars,
  • After reviewing Gamesworkshop's latest prospectus and detailed report of operations and activities, it turns out 40K is just a game after all. Don’t take it too seriously.
Agree, disagree, think netlisting is immoral or got a quote of your own to add? Feel free to post below.

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