Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Armies I like to play and why I enjoy them
This article is intended to discuss why I play the armies you often see featured here. Basically there are three fundamental concepts I follow:
I like to play armies that are built in such a fashion that they are rarely seen elsewhere. You can do this with a popular codex so I don't mean to say I only use codices that are out of favor with the current meta. I have always been a big fan of Blood Angels as you will know if you visit here often. A good example of this attribute is that I decided to focus on a jump heavy army - Descent of Angels (DoA) - versus the more popular razorspam most people are playing now. I don't like to handicap myself and don't design armies with an intentional handicap. It does seem that I more comfortable with armies that can deep strike en masse versus what you traditionally see. Deep striking armies are not affected by the rules of deployment and to me that is a big advantage now. What I see is that people will incorporate some of my ideas such as Vanguard veterans for Blood Angels. I think that it cool and let's be honest - when you see others using your concepts it's a nice feeling.
I love armies that have a lot of character. It's easy to do with armies such as Blood Angels and Space Wolves just by the very nature of their background. I think it's harder to design an army such as Chaos Space Marines or Imperial Guard that have a lot of character unless you are willing to lose some of these type armies' main strengths. Rarely do you see people playing with Straken or Ahriman. I understand why though and am not knocking anyone for not using them. I will say I think it's too bad people don't feel comfortable using the less popular special characters instead opting to emulate the more popular lists we typically see on the Internet. You can always follow what is proven, maybe you'll win more games as a direct result but I would be willing to argue that you can design unique armies with lots of character that are also very strong on the table. One advantage of playing armies that are not popular is that you have the opportunity to take advantage of the meta and your opponents won't have tried and true tactics to defeat you. That said I'd never design any army to intentionally take advantage of some obscure rule; I've seen my share of these armies and they tend not to be fun to play against. I like to see people using their imagination and come up with some really cool armies that look fantastic. To me that is a big part of what the hobby is all about, unfortunately this seems to be often overlooked.
(3) FUN !!!
This is probably the most important aspect for me. I like to build armies that are fun to play. If you play an army that is a sledge hammer sure you'll win lots of games but it might become quite boring really fast. If I build an army then I want to have the desire to play over the course of several years. For me a good example is my now defunct 13th Company. I started building the army as soon as it's codex was released and played it right up until it was no longer allowed at large tournaments. I think that was around three years total time. Once I figured out how I wanted to play the army I put it altogether and had a blast. I'm not sad it's no longer playable anymore. It was definitely one of my best looking armies and won lots of painting awards. It was a strong army as well - back during 4th edition most players avoided using lots of mechanized units and you could field a highly mobile 13th Company army. I think mech will continue to be popular when 6th edition is released, which is still about two years out.
So there you have it. I hope this article will encourage others to try some new things and take a few risks. You never know until you try and heck you might just find yourself enjoying it.