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Rattlehead
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
List Building: It's Important
What's the turning point of a game? The Assault Phase? No. The Movement Phase? Closer, but still not quite. Deployment? Well, that's certainly a major factor, but even with the best deployment in the world you'll have an uphill battle without one vital element - a strong army list. Whether you have a seal clubbing session or an hour and a half of painful, unlubricated ass-rape will be decided at the list-building stage, so open your ears. In a dice game, there's precious little that's assured - this is why movement, deployment and list-building are the most important parts of the game. You know where your deployment zone(s) are and the boundaries of them, you know you can move 6" (except Difficult Terrain, which you can move around), and you always, ALWAYS know what's in your army.

Myth #1:
Must - have units depend on the style of your army, there is no IWIN button.
This is untrue. I'm sorry, but as other before me have explained, you playstyle is not a unique and special thing. It's why you picked your Codex, not why you picked your army. Par exemple:

'I swapped out my Heldrake for a squad of Thousand Sons - I think the resilience of a 4++ and numbers is better than the AV12/5++, and I think I need the Scoring presence. Footslogging infantry fit my playstyle more than a Flyer.'

This, while an extreme example, is wrong. Heldrakes are better than Thousand Sons. I don't care about if you like space egyptian marines, and neither does GW - you will buy the Heldrake and love it if you want to compete. Your 'playstyle' doesn't matter - the Heldrake is superior.

A better example would be on that's more common;

'The bikes are in the list because I need a retinue for my Biker Lord, and with 2 attacks each, 12" move, HoW and T5 they're a pretty good combat unit. They fit my playstyle as well, fast combat stuff is my preference.'

Isn't it everyone's?

This is almost convincing - all of these things are true. Bikers are fast, they are tough, they are cheap. But they're not as fast, as tough, or as cheap as another Heldrake, which would incidentally have a higher damage output with the Baleflamer and Meteoric Descent. Here, your playstyle of fast assault units is again debunked - a fast shooting unit is simply better, because you almost certainly have no method of making the Bikes as good as the Heldrake, and certainly not for such a low cost.

Myth #2:
There is no one way to make a competitive list as unit selection and your own usage of tactics invariably effects how effective the list is as a whole.
Tactics - ah yes. Important, but not in this sense. Tactics is knowing where to move your Heldrakes and when to use your Combat Tactics - it's either using the good units you took (some things are point and click, but you still have to know where to point - TH/SS Terminators are a great assault unit, but you don't charge 30 Boyz with them), or making the most of a crappy unit you need (usually found in older codices' Troops slots, but present in some newer ones - yes, I'm looking at you, CSM). Tactics is important, and will get you a long way, but it's not the be all and end all. A player using a well-constructed 3-Heldrake/BBoS Lord/Cultist/Havoc list will do better than the same player using some godawful 3++ Lord with his ubar Thousand Son army with Warp Talons (why is this article so centric on CSM? I think I might be paranoid). List-building defines tactics.

Myth #3:
'A good general with a bad list will beat a bad general with a good list'.
That's as maybe, but what if the good general comes across another good general, but with a good list? Well that's when defeat happens, and usually we want to avoid this. You know what? Good generals with good lists also beat bad generals with good lists, but also offer good games to other good generals/listbuilders. This results in happiness all round. Not really a myth, this one, just a non-sequitur that crops up annoyingly often.

The Lost Archive of Non-Heldrake Related Content:
Imagine, when you're building an army, that you've got loads of little bars, multicoloured if you like, and labelled 'Ranged Anti-Tank', 'Scoring', 'Resilience', 'Anti-Air' and so on. A balanced list will have all of these bars filled to a degree - some combat units, some anti-air, some scoring power, resilience etc. However, most really good lists have a few of these filled to a very high degree, with some nearly empty. Your Codex dictates some of this: an Imperial Guard army, for example, will tend to have low 'Combat' and 'Mobility' (although you can mitigate these and fill them to an extent; you can take the Flyers to add mobility, and Straken/Power Axe Blobs to add Combat, but bear in mind that even if you centralise heavily on these you will never have Mobility as high as Dark Eldar or Combat as high as Daemons), while a Dark Eldar army will tend to have 'Mobility' and 'Ranged Anti-Infantry) in spades, but with conversely weaker 'Scoring' and 'Resilience' (and therefore can take Coven units to reduce Mobility and Ranged Anti-Infantry to add to Scoring and Resilience. Trade-offs.)

The greatest lists, as I mentioned earlier, focus on some of these to the exclusion of others; the 'glories' of 5th edition produced Razorwolves, Venomspam and Draigowing; each capitalised on the strengths of both Codex and Edition to produce a real nails list. 5th edition rewarded mech and shooting; Razorwolves and Venomspam both brought these in absolute gob fulls, while Draigowing abused the crazy Wound Allocation rules of 5th and brought horrific Resilience and Scoring.

These concepts apply in 6th, and are responsible for the Heldrake rimming session above. 6th rewards mobility and shooting. Flyers combine both of those for the most efficient price as they don't pay any points for extraneous close combat ability; it's as if you could buy Grey Knights without the Force Weapons for 17pts per model. You totally would, because despite the Force Weapon being a really, really good deal (most armies would pay 20pts for a Nemesis Force Sword, let alone a MEQ with full gear loadout, Storm Bolter and said 20pt weapon), it's not a deal you actually need. I'll just say that again; a good deal on something you don't need isn't a good deal at all. If your Fire Warriors could take Power Swords for 2pts per model, you still wouldn't, because 12 Fire Warriors is better at shooting than 10 Fire Warriors, and Power Swords don't actually help you with Scoring (what you're taking Fire Warriors for).

This is why Terminators are a poor choice; the model is really cheap for what it has, but you can't and won't use all of it, so you're wasting points. Hence why Flyers are so efficient - the Dakkajet has no durability, no melee ability, no Scoring capacity, no kind of buff to the army outside of it's kill power, which is why it's a ridiculously good deal. You pay for speed and guns, and NOTHING ELSE (and to attempt to justify my Heldrake rant above, this is why said flying anus dragon is so good; it pays only for speed, resilience and an extraordinarily efficient gun - you don't have to pay to make it Scoring or pay for it's Close Combat ability, and let's be honest, you're not really paying for what it has, or if you are, you're not paying enough. But no more Heldrakes, we're done with them, right?)

This all loops back to the idea that imbalanced armies actually tend to be better than balanced armies; it's far better to specialise in one or two things and be really good at them than to be kind of ok at everything (and this leads to the use of tactics due to how you and your opponent's armies match up to one another, and so if you're really good at one or two things you can establish complete dominance in that area, but that's a different article.
 

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Entropy Fetishist
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That confirms it, I'm not putting the Heldrakes I bought for my sons army together. LoL.
Nice article!
Why, because they're the providence of arrogant, sneering competitive players?
 

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If I were a competitive player I would laud your points and praise the article. But I'm not lol.

I can see where you are coming from, in a competitive environment but I don't play to win, I play for fun and the enjoyment and story that unfolds before me in a game. So in that light I would say your points are a load of crap and utterly useless. (to a player like me lol)
 

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Rattlehead
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
If I were a competitive player I would laud your points and praise the article. But I'm not lol.

I can see where you are coming from, in a competitive environment but I don't play to win, I play for fun and the enjoyment and story that unfolds before me in a game. So in that light I would say your points are a load of crap and utterly useless. (to a player like me lol)
Next time I'll be sure to add quotes from famous characters in 40k who weren't aiming to win, then. Oh, wait, I can't, because they all do. It's fluffy to try and win :)
 

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It is not fluffy to not take thousand sons in my thousand sons army because i want more heldrakes.

I build my lists on what I think is cool and fits my theme. If I was building a Drop themed marine army then I will only take the stuff that can jump in on its own or fit In a pod. If I win when I play its good, if not then I don't care as long as I had a laugh and the game had some cool moments.

I can see Magnus the red locking his marines up and leaving them at home because he wants to fill his ships with heldrakes FIR TAH WINZ!
 

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This is untrue. I'm sorry, but as other before me have explained, you playstyle is not a unique and special thing. It's why you picked your Codex, not why you picked your army. Par exemple:
What?

There are a fair number of people who picked their codex because it allows them to build the army they want.

And while there may not be an infinite number of playstyles there are still a fair few; at least more than the more highly competitive players give credit to.

'I swapped out my Heldrake for a squad of Thousand Sons - I think the resilience of a 4++ and numbers is better than the AV12/5++, and I think I need the Scoring presence. Footslogging infantry fit my playstyle more than a Flyer.'

This, while an extreme example, is wrong. Heldrakes are better than Thousand Sons. I don't care about if you like space egyptian marines, and neither does GW - you will buy the Heldrake and love it if you want to compete. Your 'playstyle' doesn't matter - the Heldrake is superior.
Again, what?

The player in your example wants another foot-slogging scoring unit in their footslogging force. How is that wrong?

Sure from a highly competitive point of view, removing a helldrake for anything short of another helldrake is a bad idea but they are not the end-all-be-all in every chaos army out there.

Your playstyle wholeheartedly matters, because it determines which things you are more likely to want to buy. Yes your local meta will have an effect on that, but that does not mean that people on the internet know what units you absolutely must take in your army.

A better example would be on that's more common;

'The bikes are in the list because I need a retinue for my Biker Lord, and with 2 attacks each, 12" move, HoW and T5 they're a pretty good combat unit. They fit my playstyle as well, fast combat stuff is my preference.'
This example bars little, if anything in common with the previous one. You went from removing a non scoring flyer that did not mesh with the theme and style of your army for a scoring unit that does, to including a unit which meshes with your theme and the style of your army.

Isn't it everyone's?
Fast combat stuff? I think gunline armies might disagree with you.

This is almost convincing - all of these things are true. Bikers are fast, they are tough, they are cheap. But they're not as fast, as tough, or as cheap as another Heldrake, which would incidentally have a higher damage output with the Baleflamer and Meteoric Descent. Here, your playstyle of fast assault units is again debunked - a fast shooting unit is simply better, because you almost certainly have no method of making the Bikes as good as the Heldrake, and certainly not for such a low cost.
A helldrake will also not mesh with the biker HQ and help him in close combat. So no the helldrake is really not a better choice in your second exmple.

Your whole point here seems to just be wanking at how good the helldrake is and how anyone who wants to not use it, or use it as often, is a complete and utter moron.

(why is this article so centric on CSM? I think I might be paranoid)
Honestly? I think because with chaos your in love with a monobuild to the point of just outright not accepting anything else regardless of what anyone else wants.

It certainly explains why you keep trying to force the helldrake down chaos players throats.

That's as maybe, but what if the good general comes across another good general, but with a good list?
Well then general A is going to be in for a tough game, and if he is the better of the two then he might just win. By the same token the best general with the best list can still lose, there is no autowin list with autowin tactics; just wins with very high probabilities to win.

The article, upon reading, is incredibly centric on CSM,
Its incredibly biased towards high competitive play in all honesty.


Why, because they're the providence of arrogant, sneering competitive players?
Well they most assuredly do not help things.

Next time I'll be sure to add quotes from famous characters in 40k who weren't aiming to win, then. Oh, wait, I can't, because they all do. It's fluffy to try and win :)
Careful Midnight, your highly competitive jackass is showing.
 

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Rattlehead
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
It is not fluffy to not take thousand sons in my thousand sons army because i want more heldrakes.
Why not?

I build my lists on what I think is cool and fits my theme. If I was building a Drop themed marine army then I will only take the stuff that can jump in on its own or fit In a pod. If I win when I play its good, if not then I don't care as long as I had a laugh and the game had some cool moments.
That's great, but not how you build competitive armies.

I can see Magnus the red locking his marines up and leaving them at home because he wants to fill his ships with heldrakes FIR TAH WINZ!
Why wouldn't he?

What?

There are a fair number of people who picked their codex because it allows them to build the army they want.

And while there may not be an infinite number of playstyles there are still a fair few; at least more than the more highly competitive players give credit to.
Yes, in which case they will already be building the list that they're dead set on and hence have no need of a competitive list-building tactica. And yes, you can have a playstyle and you favour infantry and all that jazz, but it doesn't change which units are good.


Again, what?

The player in your example wants another foot-slogging scoring unit in their footslogging force. How is that wrong?

Sure from a highly competitive point of view, removing a helldrake for anything short of another helldrake is a bad idea but they are not the end-all-be-all in every chaos army out there.

Your playstyle wholeheartedly matters, because it determines which things you are more likely to want to buy. Yes your local meta will have an effect on that, but that does not mean that people on the internet know what units you absolutely must take in your army.
If a player wants to run a unit of Thousand Sons in a foot army, for fluff and fun, that's fine by me, but don't expect to compete with it. Again, your playstyle is unique and special but doesn't change what's written in the Codex, and what is written is that Heldrakes are better than Thousand Sons in just about every conceivable situation.


This example bars little, if anything in common with the previous one. You went from removing a non scoring flyer that did not mesh with the theme and style of your army for a scoring unit that does, to including a unit which meshes with your theme and the style of your army.
Bikers are not as good as Heldrakes. Heldrakes are an independant factor, they do not need to 'mesh' or 'synergize'. They just kill things, and they do it exceedingly efficiently.


A helldrake will also not mesh with the biker HQ and help him in close combat. So no the helldrake is really not a better choice in your second exmple.
Yes, it is. It is faster, tougher, and has a higher damage output than bikers. The only thing it doesn't have compared to bikers is mediocre close combat ability, but who really gives a flying proverbial? Shooting is king in 6th, and if you can kill huge amounts of models with shooting you don't need to be kind of ok in combat.

Your whole point here seems to just be wanking at how good the helldrake is and how anyone who wants to not use it, or use it as often, is a complete and utter moron.
I wouldn't go that far, but I will admit that I don't understand why anyone using the Chaos codex would fail to use a Heldrake.


Honestly? I think because with chaos your in love with a monobuild to the point of just outright not accepting anything else regardless of what anyone else wants.

It certainly explains why you keep trying to force the helldrake down chaos players throats.
I force the Heldrake down people's throats because it is the best option. It is criminally cheap, extremely tough, has a huge damage output, and is exceedingly difficult for many armies to deal with. Chaos is hardly a monobuild (you get choices of HQ, Troops, kind of Elites, and a couple of options in Heavy Support), but it does need to have Heldrakes, because if you're not using them you're not using the Codex to the full.


Well then general A is going to be in for a tough game, and if he is the better of the two then he might just win. By the same token the best general with the best list can still lose, there is no autowin list with autowin tactics; just wins with very high probabilities to win.
I don't understand. General A and B are both equal skill level, because they're hypothetical people. I never said there was an autowin list, this is a game of dice, but as you say there are lists with high probabilities to win (against worse generals and/or worse lists). The general with the best list *can* lose. The general with the worst list *can* win.

Its incredibly biased towards high competitive play in all honesty.
That's how I roll; it's a tactica. If you don't want to play competitively, go to the Fluff forums instead of tactica.
 

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Article should have been named "csm players take helldrakes, they are important"
QFT



Anyone that has been here for a while knows how you feel about them Mid. Could you put forth non codex specific points in regards to the importance list building?
 

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Rattlehead
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I used the example of CSM to illustrate a point, because they're the race I see most bad army lists for. I could say the same of Tau, when I see people taking Stealth Suits instead of Crisis and Riptide, or Eldar when I see people taking foot units instead of Wave Serpents. Both are relevant, just less obvious.

But I'll add an extension on general concepts.
 

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Thing is nothing in your post mentions troops. With most of the games being objective based that is s huge hole in the post. There is more to list building than spam the best unit in the codex. Especially at the competitive level.
 

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I get its a tactica thread but you can't bring fluff into it and claim it is fluffy. You are building cookie cutter win lists to win as your sole aim. I get that, people play like that in some places and some people enjoy that sort of play, each to their own. But you can't claim fluff building like that and can't say someone is not fluffy because they decided to take 1k sons over a third drake.
 

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True but a "1k sons" army with only one squad of them and the rest small units of plague marines because they are the better choice in the book does not make a fluffy 1k sons army.

I would also suggest your point "you chose the codex for the play style" is wrong. I chose the army that appeals to me and has cool back ground that I like. Then I pick a theme and build my list.

My marine army will ALWAYS have 10 man tactical squads and delves ratio squads. People are doing the whole 5 men and heavy weapon because its better game wise. But that is not fluffy. A tactical squad has 10 men. Devestators have 10 men. Etc etc.
 

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Rattlehead
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
True but a "1k sons" army with only one squad of them and the rest small units of plague marines because they are the better choice in the book does not make a fluffy 1k sons army.
Which is your choice, of course, but does not reflect a competitive list. Some warbands have one unit of Thousand Sons, and then many units of Plague Marines. Some people think that the Thousand Sons rules do not adequately represent how difficult animated suits of armour are to kill, and therefore prefer to use the Plague Marine rules for them.

I would also suggest your point "you chose the codex for the play style" is wrong. I chose the army that appeals to me and has cool back ground that I like. Then I pick a theme and build my list.
I don't understand this; if I like Dark Angels fluff, and I like Dark Angels models, why can I then not play with the Space Marines codex? If I like the look of Skyrar's Dark Wolves, and I like the idea of them, do I have to use the Chaos Space Marine codex, despite the Space Wolf codex fitting their concept more aptly?

Fluff is more flexible than what is presented in the Codex. By your logic, you're not allowed to play a Mechanicum army, because there is no Codex: Mechanicum. But I'm sure you'll agree that's a stupid concept, and Codex: Space Marines or Codex: Imperial Guard for Skitarii/Dreadnoughts and Tech Guard are perfectly good substitutes in the absence of a Mechanicum codex.

My marine army will ALWAYS have 10 man tactical squads and delves ratio squads. People are doing the whole 5 men and heavy weapon because its better game wise. But that is not fluffy. A tactical squad has 10 men. Devestators have 10 men. Etc etc.
This is rigid and dogmatic. Sometimes, Marines die and they cannot instantly spawn more Marines to make squads of 10. Sometimes, the situation calls for 5-man units issued with heavy weapons. Sometimes, a Chapter will not follow the Codex Astartes rigidly and field it's Tactical Squads as smaller units of five as standard, rather than ten which break down into two units of five. Sometimes, Combat Squads.
 

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Critique for da CriticGod
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Your last points smack of Heresy. Tread softly!

I think you are trying to justify power gaming and trying to coat it in fluffy. That's your choice though dude. If you are enjoying your game and I mine then who cares?
Well said.

That sounds like taking the ugly and wrapping up in the soft. Take an ugly, brutal list and shoe-horn the fluff around it.

New definition.
Tar and feather gaming: Writing a nasty or abusive army list incongruent with the game setting or background and attempting to justify it by distorting the game setting or fluff.
 
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