The problem with list building

When designing new lists I constantly run into several self imposed problems that limit the effectiveness of my armies.

Firstly if I like the models I want to include them nothwithstanding their effectiveness on the table top. Secondly I want to paint models that are easy to paint and build, especially if there are going to be a large number of them. (laziness here I think) Thirdly if I already have a number of models I always try to incorporate them so that I have less other models to acquire. (more laziness?) If you take all that on board it means that very often my lists are made up not using what is most effective but what is simple to build, easy to paint, attractive, and what is already on my shelf.

I find myself designing an army list that I think will be effective and then replacing models and units with what I have or with what I think will be cheap to acquire and easy to paint…or hopefully both.

Frustrated and confused!

Am I alone in this? I envy those players who are able to design lists, acquire the models and paint them without regard to what they have or their skill at modelling. Perhaps this explains why I have 24 Ogryns and continue to try and use them simply because they are on the shelf.

What factors amend the lists you come up with, or do you just build the best list you can?


16 thoughts on “The problem with list building

  1. Like you Michael I initially tend to look at what units and models I like. Some consideration will be given to what models I may already have but that’s not generally an overriding factor.
    To some extent the financial cost of the models may play some part but again it’s not necessarily an overriding factor ( if I wanted 3 Land Raiders or Storm Ravens I would get them for my army it just might take me a few months).
    To be honest effectiveness or overall ability to totally dominate all else is just so far removed from my army building ethos.
    I like the idea of themed armies and find a lot of inspiration for this from the fluff surrounding 40K.
    From a practical perspective as a very slow modeller and painter I do tend to consider how easy it will be to ensure my new models end up looking asthetically pleasing.
    However the bottom line is generally play with what I enjoy and think fits with that particular army.

  2. I would go more or less with your method in most cases. I may have read some fluff somewhere or feel an army should play a certain way based on their background. It is only after several batterings that I start taking some more effective bits, but still hold back from outright cheesey lists or the optimal configuration. Hell, I can’t even figure out the best set up in most cases especially when I don’t want a cookie cutter army. I try to put together something I like the look and feel of and that can be reasonably competative at a tourney. Then get laughed at down the club for the crapness of it LOL.

  3. Having just been flicking through the pages of the Imperial Armour Badab War-part 2 book Santa brought me for Christmas I do find these books to be inspiration to build or model a new Army.
    As has been discussed over on TWF I would like to see the adoption or allowance of Armies or rules sets from the Imperial Armour books at 40K events, as not only do I feel that this would allow a natural evolution of the gaming experience, I also believe that it certainly can’t be any more broken than the cut and paste spamed/WAAC forces we are seeing rolled out in an ever increasing abundance.
    The variety of forces the IA books allow could hopefully act in some part at least as a counter balance to mindnumbingly unimaginative point and click clone armies currently in use.

  4. The problem with that is the cost of the IA books. I for one don’t want to pay £55 to find out what some random stuff does that i probably will only once in a blue moon due to forgeworld prices.

  5. That’s certainly a fair point Alex, The AI books certainly aren’t cheap (I believe the one Santa got me was retailing around £54), However if you do get your hands on one or even borrow one off one of your more affluent (read stupid) gaming buddies who has bought a copy there is some really nice stuff and different bits and pieces in there.
    Also you don’t necessarily need to go with any of the majorly different FW kits as both the Badab War books have loads of alternate Loyalists and Successionist Chapter lists with some nice Characters. You can use about 90-95% of your standard GW Marine kits with just an occassional FW purchase if you want one of their Special Characters models or earlier Markks of Marine armour.

  6. I always pick a list to include conversions or units that I like and have an affinity to, though if I didn’t I would have dropped my Emperor’s Children years ago. My Eldar are the same I love Spiders and so field 2 units most of the time and 3 where army size allows, rather than 3 holo falcons with dragons packed inside.

  7. Ah how I miss the good old days where everybody knew Falcons held Harlequins – none of these difficult (and potentially game losing) decisions about whether to use the scoring unit upgrade or not.

  8. Me too, the good ol’ days when rending really did the business and 6 Harlies or more importantly 6 Daemonettes would happily slaughter a squad of marines 😉

  9. Exactly Gary and our aspiring champions could out class most lords, chapter masters and hive tyrants and we didn’t need a chaos lord in the list but had to take one anyway!

  10. Our time shall come again Steve… the way, if you haven’t already got it, I’d recommend getting Imperial Armour Apocalypse 2nd edition. It allows you to use Dreadclaws, Contemptor Dreads, Giant Chaos Spawn, Spined Chaos Beasts and Hell Talons in games of 40k….hmmm….Dreadclaws

  11. I typically find myself unable to move away from good units. For example Long Fangs in a Wolf list. I can’t imagine not taking at least one unit of them. Maybe i’m just a waac’er 🙂

  12. Grin you clearly haven’t seen my full figure collection then mate 🙂 Giant Spined Beast and Dread Claws check, other large chaos beaties etc check!

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