Tayne’s Next Army: How I made the choice, by Graeme Nicholls

14 Oct

It’s time for me to start a new army. I’m sure almost all of us get to this stage at some point, you play your army repeatedly and at some point you look at your models and just fancy pushing around some different models for a change. Sometimes, sure, it’s just a passing phase maybe idle thoughts got you there, or perhaps a game with astonishingly bad dice luck. This time is different, this time I want to hit something…

With models, of course. I play Dark Angels*, as I’ve discussed previously. I also have a Tau army I break out on occasion, and a couple of Marine codices should that urge take me, but I’d like to try something new. Well, new to me. See, I have a strong desire to play the underrepresented armies, the older books that are viewed with a frown by some gamers. For me, it’s both a way to stand out and a tactical challenge, but that’s a topic for another post, for now, I want to talk about my thought processes as I decided what army to pick. This is not intended to be the “one” way to pick a new army, it’s not even the way I always use, but this is the way I chose this time.

My first thought was assault. Tau are fun in an assault. Yep, I seriously just said that. Kroot hounds surprise people and, thanks to the I5, often get some kills before the opponent. Crisis suits are S5 with two attacks each, a fact often forgotten until they punch back. Both units, sadly, die frequently, I never said they were successful. Dark Angels can hold their own in combat, especially the most common of lists, the Deathwing, but they excel far more in their flexibility, playing the battlefield and terrain to their best advantage.

However, I don’t want another marine list. Power armour is common, and three of the frequently cited “power” lists only increase the amount of these armies in play. That is simply not for me, so we can disqualify armies such as Blood Angels, Space Wolves or even Chaos Space Marines and Black Templars. More than this, I want some flexibility to the army. Yes, I want to build around and assault force, but I’d like the option to do so in more than one way, if possible.

These criteria narrowed the field to few contenders: Tyranids, Chaos Demons, Orks or Dark Eldar. For these armies, I did some research. A few quick google searches will bring up a number of tactica threads for any army. I looked, I read, I pondered builds. Tyranids I swiftly dismissed. Whilst I love the idea of using monstrous creatures (a rare unit I’ve not had the chance to play with), what I read did nothing to grab me. Genestealers will tear into near any unit, but they are fragile. Gaunts will win by sheer dint of numbers, but that’s swarming, a tactic I know I don’t really enjoy.

For Orks, there are two basic builds that work effectively: the foot slogging swarm (no thanks) or the battlewagon brigade. Now here we’re talking fun, it certainly handles the assaults and nobz/meganobz are elite enough for me. And yet… I don’t like the style. Ork’s have a very distinctive, ramshackle look to them that the hobbyist in me dislikes. Time to leave this temptation (oh burna boyz, how fun you look firing from a wagon) and examine the last two.

Now for Dark Eldar. They are fast, Hellions with the Baron are an amazing unit, no doubt. I heard a build (I forget where, apologies to the list maker!) where this unit begins with three homonculae, two of which have webway portals. Slingshot the unit forwards with the HQ’s leaving and rejoining, pop the portals and the rest of your army can rush out. Better yet, with two portals, they have two deployment options and more importantly, that the enemy have two zones of threat. True, Dark Eldar are fragile, but the Hellions begin with Feel No Pain and Fearless along with Stealth via the Baron. And there are the other builds. Venom spam has been mentioned frequently on the 40kuk podcast itself, there are people that do well with the aircraft/raider shooting variants too. Yet, these are not assault based variants, fun though they may be.

Chaos Daemons are old these days, and Grey Knights are certainly a strong counter to them. And yet, when I look at the troop choices, I see potential. Horror’s are expensive, but unleash a torrent of fire, Plaguebearers are solid objective holders, and Daemonettes/Bloodletters are fearsome in assault. Thats just the troops (bar nurglings, but swarms immune to Instant Death? Go go tarpitters!), Bloodcrushers and Flamers, Flesh Hounds and Fiends. I look at Chaos Daemons and see a whole number of lists to the Dark Eldar’s one.**

My new army is Chaos Daemons.

*For anyone interested, I will keep writing about Dark Angels, but now about more than just them under this column.

**That is, one list that I wish to use. I’ve not covered the Venom Spam list, but that works via shooting and doesn’t meet the basic premise I began with.

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4 Responses to “Tayne’s Next Army: How I made the choice, by Graeme Nicholls”

  1. Embolden October 16, 2011 at 20:53 #

    Certainly an interesting article into the mind of someone who’s choosing a new army, defiantly looking forward to more!

    As an Eldar gamer I can certainly recommend the older armies for a challenge.

    • thetayne October 19, 2011 at 08:58 #

      It’s by no means the only way to pick (not even the only way I’ve picked an army before), but I really do recommend people figure out what they want from their choice. I wanted assault and style (to a lesser extent), picking a top tier build didn’t feature for me to enjoy.

  2. The Voice October 18, 2011 at 08:23 #

    I must admit, even after the deamons having a tough time of it now with grey knights they are still one of the most fun armys to play with i think. I shall be following this with eager anticipation.

    • thetayne October 19, 2011 at 08:59 #

      Yep, they have a completely different playstyle thanks to their dramatic arrival each game, I can’t wait until I can get the first game underway (dang bloodcrushers, so pretty, so hard to proxy..)

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