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  1. #1
    Member TacJack's Avatar
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    A question about Ethics and Army lists

    A quick question that has been plaguing me recently.

    I've been playing Warhammer 40K for a few months now and I've just about finished my 1500 point army but I have a question about the ethics of building army lists. Specificaly, I really don't have a single army list. In reality, I have at least 5 different variations of two basic layouts, shooty and assaulty. I choose which list to use and build it on the fly only after I find out which army my opponent is using.

    I'm just wondering if that's ethical or even falls in the realm of sportmanship behavior.
    My first instinct is to say it isn't because I'm not making a solid list but one that only depends on finding the weaknesses of an opponent and then building against them. But I do love the versitity it gives me and the extra creativity it requires.

    Any thoughts on this to help me out?

    People who don't know how to use artillery are using artillery, and that scares me. -TacJack
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  3. #2
    LO Zealot Ostsol's Avatar
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    If you have a regular set of opponents, inquire into their practices and preferences. Alot of people seem to demand that players have a single all-comers army and never use a specific list for a specific opponent. If you ever plan on entering a tournament then this is a very good practice indeed. However if you're primarily a casual player then it's much more important that both you and your opponents are simply able to enjoy each and every game. To that end, simply do as your opponents do.

    In the group I most often played with, we made up our armies usually knowing who we would be fighting. The only real exception is during team games. Since we decide upon then teams randomly, it only makes sense to build the army to be able to handle any of the potential enemy armies and not just one.
    Why do the survivors remain anonymous -- as if cursed -- while the dead are revered? Why do we cling to what we lose while we ignore what we still hold?
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    I think there are a number of things to be clear about here, and to make it easier I'll use real-world examples:

    1) You're not building the entirety of your race's armies, just a specific force. So for example, WW2 Marines - you don't have Strategic Bomber Command sitting at home waiting, you're only building the guys who jumped out of Dukws onto the beaches.

    2) High Command would send an appropriate force to counter the enemy of the day, rather than getting, say, Air Force MPs to fight in every battle, regardless of whether your enemy is drunken sailors or Kaimikaze air force.

    In other words, what you play with in any given game is what your grand poobah chose to send to meet the enemy of the day, on the day, and is in no way shape or form meant to be the army you build to take on everyone.

    Sure, there are reasons why you might want to do that, in terms of practice and getting to know how your army works, keeping costs down, etc but there's no requirement to do so, and indeed there are other equally valid reasons (interest, variety, modelling opportuities) for varying it.

    It's your hobby, don't let it get stale because of something you may think someone else expects (especially if they don't!) I've never had any sort of understanding or expectation, outside a con or tourney, that I'd field an identical army for each game.

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    Senior Member Deek's Avatar
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    Well if your opponets do the same thing. When every I play my brother he has every plasma gun available inhis chaos army and some of mine. (he doesn't have close to 3000 pts) So is that unfair nope cause i know that he plays Iron warriors and I have a couple specialized units that destroy tanks like they were nothing. And whenever I play chaos I bring my librarian. It just makes sence.

    If you and your buddy agree on tournament style play or he has a very limited amount of models you might want to stop or your friend/opponent might stop playing all together

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    Senior Member Lord Malachi's Avatar
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    Tailoring your list to a particilar opponent is logical. While there may be times and circumstances where you have no idea what to expect on the battlefield, this is the exception rather than the rule. In real life and in 40k the commander of a force has a pretty good idea of who they are up against and what their objective is. It only makes sense that they would equip their men with appropriate weapons and wargear based on who they were going to fight, what the terrain will be like, etc. "Balanced" lists are necessary for tournements, but having a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none list is a sure way to ensure your own defeat in nearly every other situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Malachi
    Tailoring your list to a particilar opponent is logical. While there may be times and circumstances where you have no idea what to expect on the battlefield, this is the exception rather than the rule. In real life and in 40k the commander of a force has a pretty good idea of who they are up against and what their objective is. It only makes sense that they would equip their men with appropriate weapons and wargear based on who they were going to fight, what the terrain will be like, etc. "Balanced" lists are necessary for tournements, but having a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none list is a sure way to ensure your own defeat in nearly every other situation.
    It's also very satisfying when you can defeat one army after another with the same list, ranging from Necrons to Tyranids. You'll become a far better player without changing your army list every game. Think... Anyone can buy a bunch of models with the appropriate heavy/special weapons to defeat their opponents. Not everyone can make a heavy bolter work for them against a Necron army, and find ways to use it effectively.

    This also goes much further than just weapons and wargear. If you know how to deploy your army well, then it can be just as effective as having the perfect weapon for the job. The owner of my local club uses the same very BAD Ultramarines list every game, but he's an amazing tactician, and knows how to deploy and fight with his forces. He's defeated everyone at our club at least once with that list. That, IMO, is the sign of a very competent player. If you prefer the tactics of the game to go as far as army selection and end there, then that's all well and fine. If you want to learn about the tactics in the game, and truly realize what Warhammer 40,000 can, and should be, then use a fixed list, and learn how to beat those opponents that give you a hard time. I can guarentee you it'll be FAR more satisfying to win that way than to rotate your army each time.

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    Member TacJack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firedrake28
    It's also very satisfying when you can defeat one army after another with the same list, ranging from Necrons to Tyranids. You'll become a far better player without changing your army list every game. Think... Anyone can buy a bunch of models with the appropriate heavy/special weapons to defeat their opponents. Not everyone can make a heavy bolter work for them against a Necron army, and find ways to use it effectively.

    This also goes much further than just weapons and wargear. If you know how to deploy your army well, then it can be just as effective as having the perfect weapon for the job. The owner of my local club uses the same very BAD Ultramarines list every game, but he's an amazing tactician, and knows how to deploy and fight with his forces. He's defeated everyone at our club at least once with that list. That, IMO, is the sign of a very competent player. If you prefer the tactics of the game to go as far as army selection and end there, then that's all well and fine. If you want to learn about the tactics in the game, and truly realize what Warhammer 40,000 can, and should be, then use a fixed list, and learn how to beat those opponents that give you a hard time. I can guarentee you it'll be FAR more satisfying to win that way than to rotate your army each time.

    That's probably my problem right there. I value tactics and using what I have not what I want above all else in pretty much every other aspect of my intrests. It was sitting badly with me because I think I see only fighting with what I needed to win too easy and wrong.

    I'll have to tool down my lists a bit into one and I think now I'll be happy with it when I manage to do it. Of course, I'll have to run it by you guys for critique. :p

    Thanks a lot guys. It's pretty impressive how a couple of different points of view can help you through a problem. ^^
    People who don't know how to use artillery are using artillery, and that scares me. -TacJack
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    Senior Member Deek's Avatar
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    And remember if your opponet is using the same forces time after time because that is all he has, play at his level it is the only honorable thing to do. He is using units that are most likely not effective against you so you should do hime the same. It is just good sportsman ship to keep your opponent in mind always not just when writing a list.

    From experience I can make my apce marine army to beat the pants off of anything but it is far more rewarding when I use my same 1000 point tau to beat my opponents Nids, Crons, Iron Warriors (not to often), Space marines, And Black legion.

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    I have no standard list which I talor all the time. instead I make different lists everytime to see what works good against which opponent. It also depends on the mood I´m that day, sometimes I charge blindly forward with a marine heavy army while other times I systematicly destroy the opponents flanks with superior firepower in the form of a LRC and a vindicator. But I always keep in mind not to build a power play list against my opponeny.
    Don´t mess with the dicegod

  11. #10
    Slave to the flesh The_Outsider's Avatar
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    To be honest, I only take one standard all comers list because that is practically all the models I own. I do not see any harm in taking multiple army lists to (for example) veterans night as it keeps you flexible.

    A week or so ago I went down to GW on a thursday night as usual (note we have a tournament goig on) and came up against a black templar player, now he has many army list and carries nearly all his models with him (while I take my only decent 13th company list) and the mission was take and hold.

    He decided to tailor his force with practically all terminators (a nightmare for the 13th co. to kill), but then synergy kicked in and half my amry raped nearly 20 terminators, while his uber squad raped my amry.

    The point is that tailoring your force is a good way to get an advantage, but sooner or later its may start to be considered unsportmanship like.

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