New rules and new army’s mean that the ‘best’ army is constantly changing. ‘Codex creep’ moves glacially forwards but if one can get ahead of the loop and have the next army ready to go when the rules change, or the new codex is published, there is a window of opportunity for players to make hay while the sun shines.
Several months ago I was horrified to see photographs of me playing with the same marines that I am using now but dated nearly five years ago. I was amazed as it only seemed like yesterday that I started painting my ‘Bleeding Aces’ chapter. My Guard are similarly aged so I thought that I would get ahead of the curve by painting an army that was due a new codex and that was non competitive under 5th edition. Surely, any changes could only make them better. But which army?
I also needed to enjoy the fluff and paint scheme if I was going to paint a whole army and so I decided that a Thousand Sons army would be fun to paint. It was also rubbish on the tournament scene given the expensive points cost of the troops themselves and the fact that I was handicapping myself by only using models that carried the mark of Tzeentch. No Obilterators for me!
In early 2010 I bought my first troops and they sat on my shelf for 12 months. So much for getting ahead of the game! However, there was still time as nothing had happened to improve the Chaos Space Marine codex in the interim, and I’m now almost completing my first unit.
At the same time I was persuaded by a fellow to paint Necrons – Rob you know it’s your fault – and I found them a lot easier to paint than the Thousand sons and very cheap to buy from a famous on-line auction site. For only a few pounds I was able to get hold of a Monolith, a pile of warriors, and a few destroyers and Pariahs. I determined to paint them using a limited pallet of only six colours and they are turning out very nicely indeed.
Fast forward to the present day and the new Necron codex is imminent. I have half an army and am unwilling to paint anything else until I get to see the new book. The question is therefore will I be able to paint enough new Necrons after seeing the new book and get them on the table before the world is awash with the tiny tinny toasters? In addition if I make a snap decision to buy new models on their release, will I make the right decision and buy the effective kit or be lumbered with models that turn out to be a waste of space?
Alternatively do I accept that I have missed the bus and drop the Necrons to concentrate on the Thousand Sons in the forlorn hope that they will get a boost in a new codex or in 6th edition both of which look like a 2012 release? Decisions decisions.