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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In looking at the different "how to build a list" articles, you find a lot of great advice that talks about redundancy and duality, and the other words that end in "y" - which is certainly great advice. But I think we can simplify the process a bit more for the newer player while the 'bigger' concepts sink in. My personal observation is that most folks have NO idea how to build a list and (a) take whatever comes in the Battleforce box (b) read somewhere that x unit is AWESOME so they need one or (c) they try to mimic a "powerbuild" but fail to understand why X build works. So my goal here is to help newer folks get a sense of how to build a decent list without knowing a bunch of theory around list building.

One of the most useful concepts that I've managed to pick up is the importance of "torrent of fire". If you don't have the ability to pump out a gazillion shots every turn, then you better be awful darn tough because any good list you face will certainly be able to do that to you. I see a lot of guys on the forums post up list advice and all they have is 1 Dreadnought, 1 Predator, and 1 Vindicator which is, in my opinion, a surefire way to lose a game of 40K against a barely competent list. Think about it this way.... If we were playing chess and you start out with half the number of playing pieces that I have, then you're pretty much hosed right out of the gate. You have to be a genius and I have to be barely competent. In my perfect world, all games should come down to tactical ability and luck... Not "my list owns your list" - which is no fun.

So, the simple advice is to do this: for 2000 points I think you need at least 8-9 things that will pose a medium to long range threat (30"-48") In addition, they all need to be Str 7 or higher. This lets you pop transports, the big Tyranid bugs, and side armor on pretty much anything. You will also need some melta to get rid of Land Raiders and other things that get too close for comfort. You will need that many items because most good lists will have at least that many facing your army. And once your opponent can overload you with his shooting you're pretty much done (remember the chess analogy) So the goal is to have enough firepower to put a beating on your opponent's forces and so that the loss of any one or two things in a turn won't prevent you from hitting your opponent back. In other words, you gotta be able to give, as well as take, a punch to the face. If you have a glass jaw, then fight's over. Having only four or five units that can give a punch is setting you up to get KO'd when your opponent has 11.

Thankfully, you're not really all that rich in choices. So your decision matrix shouldn't too taxing on the brain. By the very nature of this method, you're going to fill out some FoC slots. So, out of the Marine Codex at 2K, you're looking at Razorbacks, Speeders, Rifleman Dreads, AutocLas Predators. For Space Wolves, it's pretty much the same except that you add Long Fangs and Living Lightning Rune Priests.

As long as you have at least 8-9 (BTW I think more is better) then you should be OK. You may not have a GREAT list... but you won't get stomped for lack of firepower. To scale this for 1500, I would suggest you have at least 7-8 effective things.

Even with this method, it doesn't guarantee that you'll build "the perfect list" - but it should ensure that you'll put up a fight and not get punked.

As an illustration - here's my 2K All Comers list for my Wolves

  • Rune Priest, 7 Grey Hunters (Melta and Power Weapon), Wolf Guard (melta bombs and Powerweapon) in a Rhino with PMSB
  • Rune Priest, 7 Grey Hunters (Melta and Power Weapon), Wolf Guard (melta bombs and Powerweapon) in a Rhino with PMSB
  • Wolf Guard with Thunderhammer, 8 Grey Hunters (Melta and Power Weapon) in Rhino with PMSB.
  • Long Fang Pack – 5 Missile Launchers, Squad Leader in Razorback with TL Lascannon
  • Long Fang Pack – 5 Missile Launchers, Squad Leader in Razorback with TL Lascannon
  • Long Fang Pack – 5 Missile Launchers, Squad Leader in Razorback with TL Lascannon
  • 5 Grey Hunters (Flamer) in Razorback with TL Lascannon
  • 5 Wolf Scouts (meltagun and melta bombs)
  • Land Speeder Typhoon (ML and Melta)
  • Land Speeder Typhoon (ML and Melta)

Lets count up the threats... 2 from the priests shooting Living Lighting, 3 from the Long Fangs, 3 From their Razorbacks, 1 from the Grey Hunter's Razorback and 2 from the speeders. For a Grand Total of 11 real threats every round.

Now lets look at another list... I call it the Best Little One Rock Army in the Carolinas - It's a single rock Codex Marine list I wrote because there are some guys at my local gaming store that just don't have models to drop a truly competitive list. So I set out to make a list that would put us on a more level playing field by reducing the threat to a limited degree. FYI - Single Rock armies are a BAD IDEA.... This exercise in list building was to take a bad idea and try to minimize it's inherent weakness (400 points in ONE selection)

So here's the 2K list....
  • Librarian in Terminator Armor
  • Terminator Assault Squad – 4 w/ Thunder hammer, Sgt with LC – In a Land Raider Redeemer with Multi Melta
  • Two10 man Tactical squads with ML and Flamer in Razorbacks (TL Las)
  • Two Rifleman Dreads
  • Three Typhoons
  • Three Preds (Autocannon and Las sponsons)
Counting up the points, I have a total of 9 threats (I count the 2 ML as only one threat per turn cause one will always miss) - By the "Rule of 9" - it's OK. Not great mind you, but OK.

Hope this helps....
Chris W
http://clt40k.wordpress.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #2
FYI - for codex marines, I typically start with the following 2K list and then remove/add for flavor....

Libby
3x Typhoons
3x Rifleman Dreads
3x Auto/Las Preds
2x Full Tac squad (ML, Flamer, Sgt w/ Powerweapon) in TL Las Razorback
2x 5 man Tac squad in TL Las Razorback

By starting from a very nasty shooty list, I then figure out how to add the element I want (eg, Shrike or Vulcan) and then tailor the list around that theme. But the key is to make sure I still pack a firepower wallup.
 

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Like the idea, but how do you take Razorbacks with full Tactical squads?

Can't be done.
 

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I like this idea for a Sm list but I'm still going to have to get the SM codex.
 

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You can take a razorback with a 10 man squad, there's no restriction in the transport section. They cant all ride in it, but they can choose it.
 

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I like this a lot. The wolves list is pretty solid I really like it. As a Person gearing up to take on the Irish circuit I can relate to a lot of the points.

The single rock is a very bad idea alright. It can be tarpitted or the rest of your army destroyed around it. I prefer 2 slightly weaker rock units for example, an assault squad with a priest in a crusader, assault terminators in a second crusader, both very powerful on the charge and seperately not a gigantic waste on points.

Another idea I've been doing a lot is having a mini rock unit, something like an honour guard appropriately tooled up, surrounded by other assault units. they all hit as one and easily wipe everything out. for me assault squads are troops so I can have a fair amount of scoring units in my list too. worth trying out, giving the scoring guys buffs like ICs to make them a bit more threatening.

a load of small stones can (sometimes) easily do what one large rock wants to do
 

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As a newbie i can say that the temptation is to field a fully balanced army, one of everything, comes mostly for aesthetics reasons. There seems something inherently cheap about having 3 riflemen dreads or just essentially spamming the same unit.

However as i understand more duplication leads to more presenting your enemy with choices which in turn presents him more opportunities to make the Wrong choice- correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I like this a lot. The wolves list is pretty solid I really like it. As a Person gearing up to take on the Irish circuit I can relate to a lot of the points.

Another idea I've been doing a lot is having a mini rock unit, something like an honour guard appropriately tooled up, surrounded by other assault units. they all hit as one and easily wipe everything out. for me assault squads are troops so I can have a fair amount of scoring units in my list too. worth trying out, giving the scoring guys buffs like ICs to make them a bit more threatening.

a load of small stones can (sometimes) easily do what one large rock wants to do

Thanks, in the Wolf list, my troops are kind of mini rock like... between the Rune Priest (4), Wolf Guard (4), and Grey Hunter (3) I'm rolling with 11 powerweapon attacks on the charge...
 

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I prefer Loganwing/thunderwolf at 2k but yeah... Good standard 2xrp list.
 

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Thanks, in the Wolf list, my troops are kind of mini rock like... between the Rune Priest (4), Wolf Guard (4), and Grey Hunter (3) I'm rolling with 11 powerweapon attacks on the charge...
Exactly. I found that having your normal squads built to a certain standard and Assisted with Characters and powers they become very powerful and can easily take on Rock Units. 10 man assault squad with lightning claw, 2 flamers and a sanguinary priest with jump pack(grand total of 290pts) took on a unit of 6 thunder hammer terminators(270pts) I lost 2 models and had them down to one terminator that I could kill in my opponents assault phase so I missed his shooting :) that unit went on to score an objective and win me the game :)

Basically what I try to say here is that you can make an army revolve around 2-3 units but they can be countered and then you're fighting uphill from then on. Don't just ignore the little fellas :)

Just letting you know CLT I'm not aiming this towards you Just think it's worth a mention for another decent build style :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Totally get it... The SW list is pretty much based around the stupid ammt of firepower that it unleashes... In the couple of months I've been playing it, the best I can compare it to is a slow alpha strike... Problem I have is that only a few people at my FLGS play truly competative builds... but many of them are starting to come around... so I've been playing more lower point games. With that list, I kind of wanted to keep it real for the SW... And I like close combat... and with the Space Wolves it just feels right... so I made sure I had 3 offensive units to push forward for CC.... but since I still had a ton firepower, I didn't worry too much about confusing my list by trying to make it too generalist.

The Codex list with the termies, was an exercise in "I want to do X... and I know X is wrong/bad/dumb.... but I'm gonna do it anyway and see if I can shore up the other elements to make it not suck so much" -- but yeah, putting 550 points into a single unit is pretty dumb... the illustration was to show that you can pretty much take ANYTHING you want and still have a decent list as long as you have enough firepower...

Hey Ahab, please write something about TWC.... Ie, how to design a list around them? I gotta admit, I just don't get how they work... and would like to see your thoughts....

Reevan, you should take a stab at the jumpy guys... what is an idiot proof way to build a jumpers list (my 30 assault marines want to know... every time I try to build a BA mech hybrid, I've gotten schooled....)

This is just one way to approach listbuilding... It's certainly not the be all end all...
 

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well list I'm currently trying out and have had great luck vs. my other successful lists ( my double raider list especially. this destroyed it :D ) is this one and it is hybrid.


Librarian – Jump pack, Unleash Rage, Shield of Sanguinius – 125pts

Sanguinary Priest – Jump pack – 75pts

Honour Guard – Jump packs, Blood Champion, Chapter Banner, Power Weapon, Power Fist, Flamer – 260pts

Assault Squad A – X10, Lightning claw, X2 flamers – 215pts

Assault Squad B – X10, Thunder Hammer, X2 meltaguns – 240pts

Assault Squad C – X5 – 100pts
Razorback – Twin-linked Lascannon – 55pts

Assault Squad D – X5 – 100pts
Razorback – Twin-linked Lascannon – 55pts

Attack Bike Squadron – X2 multimeltas – 100pts

Baal Predator – Heavy bolter Sponsons – 145pts

Baal Predator – Heavy bolter Sponsons – 145pts

Predator – Autocannon Turret, Lascannon Sponsons – 135pts

Total 1750pts
39 marines (bikes inc.), 5 Vehicles


honour guard makes a very good mini rock unit with 10 power weapon attacks, 5 at ws5, also with 2 priests I have a pretty good chance of giving everyone the benefits. I have them in an hourglass formation, large squad with librarian, honour guard, large squad, every one gets FNP then, and front unit gets 5+ cover save everything behind it gets 4+.
Attack bikes stay close to them and take on any enemy tank that comes close or just smash into any vehicles that get close really. Baal I originally had as 2 vindicators but they were too risky and were popped pretty early on for their threat value. baals I can outflank and hit long fang units or any held back units with ease, even getting a lot of shots into rear armour too.
the lazerbacks I use for their increased firepower and tagging with the autolas pred can pop most high priority tanks like raiders etc.

I used this against a list with 2 land raiders, a tooled up assault squad in one, assault terminators in the other and a vindicator. I lost 8 models in total. that list was tabled :)
 

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2k point TWC army.
Pros: Rips through infantry and light to medium armor lists.
Cons: No true psykic defense and can have problems with heavy armor.

HQ
Lord W/ FB, SS, TWM, SotWB, and 2 Wolves- 260

Loud out explanation: FB will take advantage of the 5S offered by the TWM and SotWB will give you some damn good anti-horde killing power. The 2 wolves will give you some hit and some extra wounds.

Elites
Iron Priest W/ TWM, and 4 Cyber wolves- 165

Iron Priest W/ TWM, and 4 Cyber wolves- 165

Loud out explanation: This is pretty cut and dry, TWM gives the priests one hell of a stat boost and speed and the 4 wolves hit hard and give some extra wounds for the unit they join.
Troops
10 GH with MotW, Standard, and 2 Melta guns. Rhino -215

10 GH with MotW, Standard, and 2 Melta guns. Rhino -215

Load out explanation: In this list your GH aren’t your go to guys but you want them to be effective in almost any situation, regardless of their overall standing in your priority list. MotW and a Standard will give them the ability to trash most potential threats, not including CC specs. 2 meltas will give them some much needed punch against mech, a priority in the tread heavy days of 5th edition.

FA

3x3 TWC with TH, and SS. -630

Load out explanation: These guys are upgraded to take advantage of wound allocation and the 5S of the TWC.

HS
5 LF W/ 4 ML-115

5 LF W/ 4 ML-115

5 LF W/ 4 ML-115

Loud out explanation: None required.

This list can be altered to fit a RP with some work.

Ok, this is a simple, easy, and effective TWC list that shouldn’t have much trouble with most lists you will come across.

With this you use a fairly simple plan; drive up with your rhinos using them as cover for your thunder wolves while you advance and your LF will provide fire support.

Warning: there is no such thing as a TWC beginners list.... it just doesn’t happen very often. If you are just starting out DO NOT attempt to go right to this. It will cost you a great deal of $$ and it is hard to find the models. Plus it takes a bit of finesse. IOW start small and work your way to this.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So in normal games, how often should the TWC get torrented... I could see dropping eveything on them in one turn, but with 3 units, they seem have some survivability... plus the 18" threat range don't hurt.... Is the the right assessment?
 

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Right on. With three units and the extra wounds from those cyberwolves they are going to hit and hit hard. If you ride them behind the rhinos they get abit more. And no one has ever knocked a squad down in a songle turn with this loadout, I also tend to roll well.
 

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I like your ideas with shooting and target saturation but if I can throw my 2 cents in here. Short of IG (who can double - triple the amount of firepower of nearly any army) I think CC is the only way to reliable table your opponent. CC does 2 things that shooting can't do for you. 1) If you can sweeping advance your opponent, you guarantee that the entire squad is wiped out. Whereas shooting I find can lead to 1 or 2 models left alive in a squad. Which then draws a difficult decision - finish the squad and waste firepower or move on to the next and hope to deal with them later. 2) CC allows you to engage multiple units speeding up the killing process. If you can get 2-3 squads to break in combat and run them down, you've increased efficiency more than shooting at 1 squad and hoping to wipe them out/break them.

I find that tabling your opponent is one of the quickest/simplest ways of achieving maximum points in a tourney setting.

You job as general is to balance CC with shooting. Using your shooting to neuter their CC units and your CC units to run down multiple shooting units. Essentially, its one big giant game of rock paper scissors.
 

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How would this methodology apply to a purely Jump Pack based BA army, or any other Drop Pod/Deepstriking force? Would it be a matter or making sure you have enough Meltaguns/Flamers and 'threats' on the table? I assume that maximizing the number of models you can get on the field and into combat is also a factor.
 

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I have been fiddling around with lists a lot recently for BA and came up with 2 very powerful lists, one fully mech, one jumpers. They are easily the best lists I have used since I got into the more competitive style(actual tournament style) of gaming and They're both pretty effective.

Jumper army


Astorath – 220pts

Librarian – Jump Pack, Unleash Rage, Shield of Sanguinius – 125pts

Honour Guard A – Jump packs, X4 meltaguns – 205pts

Honour Guard B – Jump packs, X4 meltaguns – 205pts

Assault Squad A – X10, Thunder Hammer, X2 meltaguns – 240pts

Assault Squad B – X10, Lightning Claw, meltabomb, X2 flamers – 220pts

Assault Squad C – X10, power weapon, X2 meltaguns – 225pts

Vanguard Assault Squad – X6, Jump Packs, X2 lightning claws, X2 thunder hammer, X2 shields – 310pts

Total: 1750pts

Astorath is a good solid HQ with his chaplain abilites, Str 6, and the ability to get red thirst on a 3- instead of just a 1. It makes up for the lack of priests within the actual assault units. Vanguard are set up to take out pretty much any high target thing, MCs, vehicles, or just large priority targets like oblits.

Mech Army


Librarian – Terminator Armour, storm shield, Shield of Sanguinius, Unleash Rage – 145pts

Terminator Assault Squad – X6, X4 thunder hammers – 260pts
Land Raider Crusader – Extra Armour, Multimelta – 275pts

Assault Squad A – X10 Power fist, X2meltagun – 235pts
Rhino – 15pts

Assault Squad B – X5, power weapon, meltagun – 135pts
Rhino – 15pts

Assault Squad C – X5, power weapon, meltagun – 135pts
Razorback – Heavy flamer – 20pts

Attack Bike Squadron – X2 Multimelta – 100pts

Attack Bike Squadron – X2 Multimelta – 100pts

Vindicator – Siege Shield – 155pts

Vindicator – Siege Shield – 155pts

Total: 1750pts

Much more rock and medium range based but Still very effective vs. thunderwolf lists, lash lists, leaf blower it struggled with but once I'm in range they fall easily. The land raider is flanked by the vindicators, causing some serious target saturation. Vindicators, although usually frowned upon are very good in this list when teamed up with the bikes. They pop transports vindis hit the insides. Combat squad the 10 man assault squad to have a walk on objective holder later in the game gives a 4 possible scorers.
 
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