Monday, February 8, 2010

Finding that perfect fit.

 By: farmpunk

How do you pick the best army for you to play?

There are 13 armies, I believe 16 codexes (I loose count), and variations in each codex. Especially the newer codexes, The IG codex alone can generate so many different TYPES of lists...

How do you pick when you're starting out? Chambers had me hooked after I'd played Dawn of War, and then played 10 Tac marines vs. 10 Tac Marines. I've gotten guys hooked on IG platoon squad vs. IG platoon squad. (more...)

A lot of guys bounce around from Army to army. I tried, but I keep coming back to my first love. I hit the right note when I started. It's a balance of fluff, models, and playstyle.

I think finding a story for your force is important, it gives them character in your mind, and makes them more enjoyable to play. If you don't like the story, it's hard to get excited about your little plastic and metal dollies. Some people love the Space Marines, paragons of a human fighting force, supermen.
Some prefer Imperial Guard, the thankless hoards of men with a steel backbone of tanks.
Some like Chaos Marines, the corruption of the ideal, fighting for shattered dreams.
The Tau, fighting for their ambiguous 'greater good', which in this dystopian future must surely be sinister.

I'll admit I got swayed heavily by one concept: Nuns with Guns. Growing up with Nuns teaching at the parish school, made this seem so intriguing. So aytpical, and funny, and fitting. I've got a bit of a background in theology and Church history, so playing an Inquisitorial force just sounded fun. In the dystopian future of 40K, playing people who believe SO STRONGLY that they are doing good for humanity, and yet doing such in a terribly tragic way...

It reminded me of Nathaniel Hawthorne's story: Young Goodman Brown

I like Hawthorne a lot, and I could envision an army around the suspicion and zeal of an inquisition. What's not to like about the endless quest to purge the evils that lurk in the hearts of men, adn protect them from the evils without? I knew that would end up being the base for the fluff for my army.

I think finding a story for your force is important, it gives them character in your mind, and makes them more enjoyable to play.

I think it's also good to find models you like. I wasn't a fan of Space Marines, plain or spikey. Although Nurgle Marines were tempting from fluff and playstyle for me. I wanted a cleaner look.

My idea was that if I didn't like my models, I wouldn't want to paint them too bad. I'm not a voracious painter by any stretch of the concept. I don't have a dedicated place to do it, and I don't get out the gear to do it a lot in my spare time.
I did find models I liked. I found 2 ranges of models I liked. GK's are sleek looking. I like the way they look. I also really liked the way Sisters of Battle looked. Since I could do both at the same time, that would be good.
Yes, they're metal. Yes that makes conversions challenging. I've got to admit I LIKE the heft a metal model has vs a simple plastic one. I'll probably be putting weight on the bottom of my models when I get plastics.

It's good to like your army's playstyle as well. Don't like gunline hoard? There's a few armies you won't care for out there. If you don't like how your army works, you won't like playing them. This was the tipping point for me. I wasn't crazy about GK playstyle, and went with a Sisters playstyle. I'd been told how horrible an army Sisters were, and was told I'd never win over half of my games.

I worked on tactics, and toyed with what works and what doesn't. I found that with short range assault weapons in the troops squads, slogging across the board wasn't going to work so well. I found I needed to be able to put my shots where I'd get the greatest effect. I went Mechanized during 4th ed, when Mechanized Infantry was something to laugh at.

It fit me. I liked my fairly resilient troops, who could hit hard, and using faith could, for one turn, be better than a Marine. I also liked that I was able to win frequently with an army I'd been told was not able to win.
then 5th ed made them much better.

This is where playing with some understanding guys and proxying or borrowing models is helpful. It's hard to know what type of army you like to play if you've not tried it. Most places people are willing to help you try out new stuff, to a certain extent. A new Army every week will get old, and guys don't always like to permenantly loan out their stuff, but proxy and loan can help you get the feel for a force.

Ahh. good fit!
When you do find that fit, I hope you'll find that one force that you always keep itching to play. For me, it's the WitchHunters. When I play IG or DH, or when I watch other people play, I always wonder how the girls would have handled it.
for me it came down to a force that:
could hit pretty hard, had a solid troop choice, good fluff, and nice models. I also wanted a challenge. Being told an army sucked, just made it more of a challenge, since I already liked the fluff and models.

so what is your best fit force?


  1. Nice post, linked.
    For me, it's obviously Deathwing. There's just something about being outnumbered 6 or more to 1.

  2. I kind of had the same experience when I started. My friend that played had me do some tac squad vs tac squad minigames. After that I was hooked, so we went to the store, and I went looking for an army. I told him I wanted something close combat oriented, and he told me about CSM and tyranids.
    I saw these Alien bugs and it was love at first site. My passion for insects and monsters, along with wargaming had finally merged into one great army.
    I love the playing style, the fluff, and the models. I can't paint a set of power armor to save my life, but the organic look of the Nids I feel like I can handle.

  3. For me it was when a new friend gave me a Leman Russ and a squad of the old beret stormtroopers to control in a battle alongside his Marines back in '98. I'd played some Rogue Trader years before when I collected some Squats and a few Marines, but this was the first time I ever got to play a big 2000 pt. 2nd-Ed 40K battle.

    I immediately started collecting Tallarns (So many cool IG lines to chose from back then.) based on my love of Lawrence of Arabia. Spent a few grand on minis even though I was only playing maybe a dozen games a year. Took forever to get even a few painted because I was trying to collect and paint Fantasy Dwarfs at the same time.

    Ended up quitting the hobby finally because I only won a single game in two years of playing. Came back to the hobby in '03 for a bit and played some WAACers at the local stores that put me off the hobby again pretty quickly.

    Didn't pick 40K up again until I happened across a website (Ain't It Cool News) that was reviewing the new 5th Edition rules. So I went down to the North Store to check out the scene. Ended up buying the book and playing an objective mission with my old minis that I (GASP!) actually won!

    It dawned on my during that game that I was actually having fun thinking about tactics and how to get those objectives. Which is something I'd never experienced back in the old 2nd/3rd days of line-em-up-and-shoot-till-someone's-dead.

    I never looked back after that. :)


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