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So it seems that every time my friends and I get together and play 40k, everyone (but me) feels the need to sit down at the computer and use army builder to make an army to play against me. Now, I've always felt that I should have a list that can take any one of the 7 or 8 armies that I usually play against. It's my take all list for whatever army I'm using that day. Mind you I do have different lists to tamper with if I feel the need.
Recently I watched and helped my friends make new lists and he couldn't bring himself to have odd numbered squads... or un-even squads. I didn't think it was that big of a deal despite him re-working his list until his squads were all the same size after giving up wargear here and there. Then I come to read a few lists on the forums and I see the same thing... over and over again. Guys asking where to put there last 15-20 points...
My answer is generally, how about one more guy in that squad...?
I understand that many of us use maximum sized squads when we can, but I keep seeing 4x termigaunt squads at 19 models... or 3 squads of 9 marines.
So, I guess my question is "what's up with that?"
Just so you know, I'm mostly posting because I'm bored. This post is just for fun!
I can tell you for me atleast it has ALOT to do with starting with smurfs, you have a max of 10 per squad and rhinos only allow you to take up to 10. So it's a habit you fall into. And of course I'm like that anyway. But with orks or nids heck even sone units of necrons odd numbers dont bother me.
I don't see your point. Yes it's OK to have odd numbered squads or squads of different size, but more often than not, especially with armies like nids and Orks, there are standard sizes of units that are generally accepted to be tactically best by the community - 30 Boyz, 20 Gaunts, 10 or 20 Gants, with variation. People like to stick with these numbers because they know these numbers are safe. I agree, it is a little ridiculous if you reform your entire list just to have even numbers in each squad, but otherwise it's generally acceptable.
We should perhaps take into consideration that some armies don't have the option to just add a squad member if they have but a few spare points, due to the expenses of squads. A Tyranid player can easily add a Hormagaunt w/TS to his squad if he has 8 points left, but a Space Marine player in the situation would not be able to do that, which would call for a slight list reformation.
All in all, does it really matter? Who gives if someone likes their lists to be symmetrical, it's all down to how they like to field their army, their play style, and how much time they want to consider their list (for instance, if you knew of a game you were going to have with a guy days in advance, you would be more considerate with your list, as opposed to walking into the hobby centre with your army and told you're gonna start a game in 5 minutes (trust me, this happens)). I don't think is really an issue.
Part of the benefit of having 3 identical squads (all 8 men or something) is that they become interchangable. As opposed to have 3 squads of various sizes (one 10 man, one 9 man, and a 5 man) is that they'll now all have three different functions on the tabletop, especially if you play a force that allows different weapon options to be unlocked at certain squad sizes.
Plus, there is such thing as an optimum squad size, particularly for close combat units, where they want to be survivable, but not so effective that they wipe out their target and leave themselves open for shooting retaliation.
Ah yes, symmetry in army building. In the fluff regarding the Iron Warriors, it is mentioned they do everything in 3's. I started to built squads and take the "everything in 3s"-rule to heart. It became such a standard for me, that even when I played other armies, I still created lists based on the same rule.
It took me quite some time to get rid of that obsessive way of list building.
Innovation suffuses this hobby like a tea bag in the boiling water of play.
Similar, but I play IG so it's more like:
1) The first squad will die.
2) The second squad will miss.
3) The third squad will get the job done.
So I usually always take three things to handle one threat......granted it doesn't have to be the exact same unit, but still.
See, I play Sisters of Battle, so for me it's more like:
1) I have one troop choice.
40k: Silver Angels of Our Martyred Lady 7/2/3 - Daemons of the Great Squiggle! 3/1/0
Fantasy: Windhost of Athel'Loren 2/0/0 - Daemons of Another Great Squiggle! 0/0/0
Warmahordes: Legion of Everblight (Absylonia)
Well I have to say whether its habit or not my Squad sizes do end up being the same if I take multiples of the same kind of unit. I don't change my list to have it this way it's just the way it works out.
I think it does have something to do with optimum builds. When I first started I'd take full squads to make them as strong and as durable as possible. Then I made them much smaller, 5-6 man, and found that while I have more flexiblity they die far too quickly. So I decided to go for the middle ground. Generally though, as an eldar player any extra points I have that I don't use for upgrades are generally used to boost my Fire Dragons since I only ever start them at 5 man squads, after all whos really wanting to put double the points into a suicide squad when a half squad in most cases will get the job done?
Anyway, most squads themselves tend to be round numbers due to how weapon access works - the vast majority of squads in the game get weapons per 5 or per 10, couple this with a capacity of 10 being the common (primarily due to SM and their rhinos) sticking to these "core" numbers is vitally important.
Having an even number of squads is mostly just internet bullshit seeping into casual gaming though. Contrary to popular belief having 3 squads of something or even having said squads with different loadouts doesn't make a bad list nor does it really mean much one way or another - it does help some internet celebrities on their blogs harp on about things like "2x2" or whatever (i'm looking at you stelek and dashofpepper) when more often than not these guys have a very narrow minded approach to the game. Plus they tend to shout a lot until everyone agrees with them.