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JUGGERNUT
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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering what you all think about this:

Recently, I was criticized (albeit in an extremely benign way) for trying to tailor lists against certain opponents, and got the impression that this is the prevailing attitude. I was told that I should be building armies capable of fighting "all comers."

I can see no problem with creating a list for all comers, but why wouldn't I adapt my army to suit the situation?

Aspiring Champion: I don't know, m'lord. Last time we fought these guys, we had no way of dealing with all their heavy armor. We have plenty of badass close combatants, but very little in terms of firepower. Perhaps we should revise our strategy?

Chaos Lord: NONSENSE! Send in the cultists! Blood for the blood god!

In case you wonder, I don't intend to "bring to cheese" against any of my friends. However, it could be the difference between being tabled and actually having some options against a certain list. I'm not bringing 3 heldrakes to the table, or even 2.

What do you think? Do most 40k players really frown on this? I think it's rather silly, myself.
 

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It's more overt list tailoring that is really disliked. Adjusting a list can be useful. But if you are playing Dark Eldar and your opponent fields a mostly foot army, it would be unfair for all your Dark Lances to suddenly become Disintigrator Cannons. If you face the same person frequently and want to bring something to answer a challenge they have you trigger an arms race of sorts too.

Among my gaming group, we generally make a list without knowing what army our opponents are using. This ensures the list cannot be set to eliminate a specific threat. It makes you learn to work with what you have at hand too.
 

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As with everything, I think it has grown from a combination of tournament 'best practice' and indivuals who list build with the intention of winning regardless whether their opponents are having fun.

So long as you are playing each other in a fun, social way it shouldn't be a problem. If you're being consistently tabled and have decided to change your list, that's fine. This should see your opponent change his list in response. That, after all, is the essence of the game. This isn't chess. It's a game set in a well developed background where tactical flexibility is one of the crowning virtues. The other one is having a good time - and not only enjoying playing, but letting the other person enjoy it too.

In summary, list tailoring is part of the game, if your opponent can't deal with it, ask them why they won't change their list too.
 

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If you've written a good list then to a certain extent you shouldn't need to tailor it at all, unless you're playing someone with a completely unbalanced list - e.g. all Flyers, foot horde Guard, Green Tide and so on. Whenever I write a list I run through a mental checklist:

- Can this list routinely get First Blood and Linebreaker?
- Can this list deal with multiple AV12 vehicles?
- Can this list deal with Flying MCs/Flyers?
- Can this list deal with at least one horde unit?
- Can this list deal with at least one large Terminator unit?
- Can this list crack AV14 on turn 2?

If the answer to more than one of those questions is "No" then I revise the list. This means that I normally have an answer to most common archetypes I see across from me, with only the rare completely unbalanced army that forces me to rethink how to play against it.

From your first post I assume someone is accusing you of list tailoring because you're getting a single Heldrake? That's not tailoring. That's writing a list which includes the best unit in the codex, and there's nothing wrong with that. The day you take multiples of them though, then your casual opponents might have a basis for complaint...
 

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It's sort of unrealistic too. In a real war you may know the type of enemy you face favours mass infantry or heavy armour and may include certain weaponry to counter that but you don't KNOW they will use the tactic they are known for so you will include things to counter anything.

It would be an "all comers army" that leans slightly towards the enemy. Swapping a few weapons out ere and there and maybe swapping a unit is cool and realistic but a total overhaul is a little unfair and not realistic.
 

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Aspiring Champion: I don't know, m'lord. Last time we fought these guys, we had no way of dealing with all their heavy armor. We have plenty of badass close combatants, but very little in terms of firepower. Perhaps we should revise our strategy?

Chaos Lord: NONSENSE! Send in the cultists! Blood for the blood god!
This made me laugh!

Besides, what is your pal expecting if he always shows up with the same list that tables you? That you just play to be tabled or that you adjust your list to have some chances. Some basic "list tailoring" is just ok. I'd be more pissed off to have a friend who always shows up with competitive tourny level cheese lists rather than some taylored anti-me lists. He knows the way i play, the models i have, so he prepares accordingly. I know the same stuff and do the same! it is just logical. All comers lists are good in tourney scene where you do not know who are you going to face. But, mind you, if you'd be in atourney with your usual gaming group...you'd know the armyes and the game styles of people and you could and would taylor! Don't be cheesy, but don't be stupid either! :grin:
 

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It's just one of those unspoken rules, I've found it to be prevalent in every gaming circle I've come across. Tailoring to a specific opponent is a nono. Writing a list that fares well against a certain army configuration is okay though.

For example, during 5th edition I favoured xenos lists heavily, primarily tyranid and necron. My preferred list build was always in favour of numbers, so I ran a swarm of gaunts and a horde of necron warriors in each respective list. My opponents knew this, and most of their armies adjusted by carrying more flamer weapons, and two of my marine player opponents went from fielding one vindicator to two.

It gave them a sporting chance against the numbers I fielded without being a complete counter.

So all in all, I would say tailoring to a specific army typeset is okay, tailoring to a specific army list is not.
 

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:goodpost:
Yeah, if I heard you had gaunts one game so I ditched my las and took all frag missiles, you would be a bit of a dick
But of you were being tabled by fliers, by all means take more AA, your opponents the dick!
 

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In summary, list tailoring is part of the game, if your opponent can't deal with it, ask them why they won't change their list too.
I think you're misunderstanding the difference between list "tailoring" and simply adjusting a list.

Tailoring a list would go like this:

I play against you one week SM vs Nids. I notice you run a horde style army, just loaded down with cheap units. I lose the game because I'm not equipped to handle the large number of models due to limited flamers and template guns.

Next week I show up with a new list composed of several Vindicators, all special weapons are flamers and 1 or 2 Land Raider Redeemers lead by Vulkan. I proceed to table you in 2 turns, as I now know your tactics and your list build. You get upset as I've meta gamed the hell out of your list.

Adjusting my list in the same instance would be me showing up to the second game with some flamers on my marines and 1 vindicator.

In short:

Tailoring a list means I built it to be a hard counter to another players list.
Adjusting a list means I saw weaknesses in my list and changed a few models to compensate for it.
 

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:goodpost:
This, exactly this!
 

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I would have to say I would be fine with totally tailoring your list ,I would and have in the past and if I were gaming to win I would do it again, its totally part of the game isnt it? Its part of war for that matter, if you get knowledge of your opponents force and have the capacity to call up some hardware to help you crush him to a pulp as a general thats your job isnt it? Likewise if billy bob turns up every week with tje same force and you dont make any changes and loose again your not really taking the game seriously,I say if you have the chance to tailor your force for an opponent to help you win you should take it.

as for it being an unspoken rule ?you must have read that in the unwritten rules volume 1



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In a friendly game, just no
In a competive game then thats the point, winning
You tailor to win, tweak for fun
 

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I would have to say I would be fine with totally tailoring your list ,I would and have in the past and if I were gaming to win I would do it again, its totally part of the game isnt it? Its part of war for that matter, if you get knowledge of your opponents force and have the capacity to call up some hardware to help you crush him to a pulp as a general thats your job isnt it? Likewise if billy bob turns up every week with tje same force and you dont make any changes and loose again your not really taking the game seriously,I say if you have the chance to tailor your force for an opponent to help you win you should take it.

as for it being an unspoken rule ?you must have read that in the unwritten rules volume 1
I've got to agree with this. With no 'unspoken' rules and in an over-simplified example, you turn up one week with a (so called) tailored list, over the following weeks your opponent should then tailor theirs right back and theoretically the process continues, with a back and forth until you have 2 players playing games with some very powerful but balanced forces that cannot be 'tailored' against. That would be the theory anyway. By simply bowing to pressure to build a list that is 'fair' or 'balanced' without knowing exactly what you're doing, you're missing out on valuable learning experience.

If you're playing a game that's that friendly then you should be coming up with some crazy ass, balls out nut job of a home brew scenario or mission or something down those lines.
 

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In my gaming group we all tailor our lists to high heaven vs each other, we've actually managed to get quite a fun meta game going on between the actual games themselves.

We have a facebook group to organise matches and discuss things, and we've started dropping fake hints on the units we're bringing to throw each other off.

One of our guys has CSM and Tau, but announced he was selling his Tau off to get some spare cash for his car - the auction didn't reach the reserve, but he neglected to tell anyone that and brought a massive gun line Tau army, much to the annoyance of everyone who'd tailored for CSM.

Anyway, back on topic - i think tailoring is fine as long as it's good natured and everyone is enjoying the games. If you table your opponent on turn 2 then maybe you've gone too far, but if it forces them to adapt their playstyle and gives an even-sided game then what's the harm. I can't see why you'd want to bring the same 'all comers' list every week, sounds kinda boring :(
 

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In my group of friends/players (about 5 of us) our "friendlies" are always competitive. It's how we play. We play to win, and we give eachother shit for losing, but at the end of the battle we discuss how we could have bettered our armies, our tactics and our play style. But the matter is, we tailor the hell out of our armies to win. We remember what we each took the battle before, think if they have anything new in their army (so there is still a little surprise element there) and we make accordingly. Its fine, people who cry about tailored lists need to pucker up.
 

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Recently played in a WHFB campaign. Order vs Destruction. Plenty of players on both sides. Ran a Forgeworld campaign with lots of scenarios, not all of which were even balanced or meant to be.

Each team ended up creating private groups on Facebook to talk about what the other players normally fielded so we could adjust our armies accordingly. Both sides ended up doing it.

If I know I'm facing lots of warmachines, I take the magic item that gives my main unit a 6+ ward save vs warmachines. Why wouldn't you? I know he's asking his team mates what to take against Ogres. Part of the fun to me.

If I know I'm playing against Space Marines, I'm taking more AP3/2.

If I know I'm playing against a horde type army, I'm taking more flamers.

But he knows I know this, and will adjust too. Try to out-meta each other.

To me it is the spirit in which you're doing this that determines whether it is right or wrong.
 

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As some people already stated before me; tailoring your list to counter your opponent is what makes this game so much fun, if you're opponent isn't a sore loser he will do the same. As I've seen someone mention before it takes the game to a whole new level; suddenly the battle itself plays only a small part in the grand scheme of things as people begin to think like real generals and start spreading false rumours around about what they will be bringing to the table. The greatest strategist will be victorious and it forces people to be creative instead of just bringing more Cheese to the table. I.e. what are your 3 Heldrakes really worth when your Tau opponent has missiles comming out of his ass?:grin:
 

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Changing up your list a bit in response to who you are playing doesn't seem like list tailoring to me. I generally take all comers, but there's no reason to feel bad if somebody brings out AP3 weapons to fight my MEQ's, or brings along flamers and meltas if they know I am bringing my (mechanized) guard. On the other hand, I have played against people (One Tau player in particular stands out in my mind) who would wait until they had seen your army list, then choose from one of several lists specifically designed to trash yours. That is what I think of when somebody says "list tailoring."
 

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JUGGERNUT
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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all the responses. I by and large agree with the sentiments expressed.

I have 3 lists: 1 tailored to fight a specific player whom I'd have no chance against, unless tailoring for him. 1 is an anti-Space Marine army, which includes veterans of the long war, which is totally useless against any other armies, and the 3rd is for everyone else.

I don't feel so bad, because I've only won 1/4 against the Iyanden army I'm tailoring against.
 
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