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A while back I submitted an article to discuss some of my thoughts on building armies. As soon as the submit content feature is back online, I intend to submit it to the articles section of LO. Since then, I've decided to discuss a few other aspects on the issue of army building, and thought I would provide them below. I welcome any feedback that you may have, and intend to edit the article based on helpful comments prior to final submission, whenever that feature is fixed.
I look forward to your comments.
Your humble servent,
When making selections from a Codex army list, a player should conduct some analysis to determine which units will be most effective. Such analysis should help focus the player and aid him or her in making choices that are based on reason, and not on emotion (or good marketing). Such an analysis might aid a commander in selecting units that are helpful to the army, and avoid making choices simply because the unit may appear to be â€śniftyâ€?. What follows are a few techniques that might be useful in conducting such an analysis.
A technique one can use in army selection is to conduct a point-by-point evaluation of potential selection choices to evaluate how effective the choice might be for your army. Iâ€™ll offer the following categories as a start for your evaluation: Mobility, Firepower, Protection, and Close Combat. Rating each of these categories using a simple scale from 1 to 5 is a technique that is easy to implement.
Mobility is arguably the easiest category to determine, as it is the least subjective, since every model already has a fixed movement rate. The standard movement for an infantry model is 6â€?, which we can rate as a 3 on the 1-5 scale. For most models, moving this distance does not significantly reduce performance. I would rate a standard Space Marine tactical squad as a 3 in Mobility, while an assault squad would be given a 5. A devastator squad, however, would earn a 1 for Mobility; although they have the same standard movement rate as the tactical squad marines, making such a move severely reduces the squadâ€™s effectiveness for the remainder of that turn.
In the Firepower category, one can assign ratings for the amount of lethal, ranged fires that the unit or vehicle can place on the enemy. This category is probably the most subjective, as you will have to factor in multiple variables, including weapon ranges and strengths, AP ratings, and other effects (such as pinning). One might assign an assault squad with a firepower rating of a 1, a tactical squad a 3 (or 4 when within rapid fire range), and a devastator squad (with 4 missile launchers) a 5.
For Space Marines, the majority of your forces will have similar Protection ratings, since the armor value is the same for most of your models. One might assign models with a 3+ save a rating of 2. Scouts might be rated as a 1, whereas bike squads might be a 3, considering the increased Toughness, and potential for Invulnerable Saves, when Turbo Boosting. Vehicles, of course, have improved Protection, when compared to standard infantry models, thus we would assign most vehicles a rating of 5 (or use an extended scale, beyond 5, to account for the significant difference in Protection afforded by vehicles).
In the last category, we must assign value to the Assault potential of our units. Ratings could include a devastator squad at a 1, a tactical squad with a â€śhiddenâ€? power fist at a 3, and an assault squad at a 5.
The utility of following through with a classification scheme should become apparent as one begins to determine which units to select for various army list roles. When building a force, the commander should have an appreciation for the various roles that need to be filled, in order to field an army that has mutually supporting capabilities. A few such roles include the following:
Base of Fire:
Rear Guard/Flank Security:
The capabilities of each selected unit should be tailored toward the accomplishment of some role in the army. Ideally, units should compliment one another to reinforce strengths, while limiting vulnerabilities. Each of these roles requires different strengths as priorities; for example: Firepower, and then Protection are the two most important aspects for a unit that will be used as a Base of Fire. Thus, an eight man devastator squad with four missile launchers is an excellent Base of Fire selection; its Firepower potential is greater than that of almost any other unit, including most vehicles, and has an adequate degree of Protection (3+ save, basic marine â€śmeat shieldsâ€?, usually deployed in cover). Although the unit lacks in both Mobility and Close Combat capability, neither of these attributes are required in the Base of Fire force.
If another selection has similar Firepower and Protection scores, but a higher degree of Mobility and Close Combat potential than our devastator squad, we would normally consider that to be a superior choice. However, our forces are limited by a specified allocation of points with which we must make our â€śpurchasesâ€? of units. Increased Mobility and Close Combat potential will likely come at a premium, but arenâ€™t all that helpful for our Base of Fire units. Thus for the sake of efficiency, we should discard more costly unit choices that are good at everything, in favor of those choices that are specialized toward the role we intend for them to fulfill.
I encourage you to conduct your own similar analysis of the other roles, and those I havenâ€™t included, and of the various unit types that you might select to fill those roles in your army.
Yet another method in which a player can conduct army list selection is to employ a cost-benefit analysis. Before purchasing any unit, model, upgrade, or piece of wargear always ask whether the benefit you can reasonably expect to gain from the choice is worth the opportunity cost, usually measured in terms of a standard trooper for your army. For example, letâ€™s assume that a player is buying a mid-size Space Marine tactical squad of about 8 models. For the same points, that player could purchase a squad of 7 models, but arm one of them with a lascannon. Also for the same cost, the player could purchase a squad of 5 models, arming one with a lascannon, and upgrade the Sergeant with Terminator Honours and a power fist. What the player should question is whether the benefit gained from the available lascannon and power fist wielding Sergeant is worth the loss of 3 standard Space Marines for that unit. In order to determine whether the benefit outweighs the cost, you must examine the role that the unit is likely to fill for your army in both an offensive and defensive scheme of maneuver.
Dont take any of this as insulting, i just intent to challenge your points to further improve them.But some do not, many units have fleet of foot, or similar powers, for example, others have scout moves, many other units have elaberate transport options, deep strike, or infiltrate. All of which determine how mobile a squad is.Mobility is arguably the easiest category to determine, as it is the least subjective, since every model already has a fixed movement rate.
Mobility on its own is irrelavent, rather, its the ablity of the squad to be where it needs to be, when it needs to be is what matters. Granted, moving faster is the surest way of achieving such a goal.Compared to only the space marine codex, i feel thats basically accurate, however compared to other armies, say Dark Eldar, with a lot of luck they can potentually assault from 32 inches away. So i feel at best an assault squad could earn a 4. Where as bikes and landspeeders would be a 5. And while DE can potentually strike from 32 inches, on average its more like 24, thus earning them a 5.I would rate a standard Space Marine tactical squad as a 3 in Mobility, while an assault squad would be given a 5.
Units like tactical squads i would rate at 2, because there shootying is effected by shooting, and they can assault and shoot. All of which makes them less mobile. Where as termintors are uneffected by moving and shooting, and can deep strike, making it easier to get them to where you want them. Same thing for dreadnoughts, preditors with heavy bolters would be a 3, while a preditor with 3 lascannons would be a 1.A player should also consider how is opponent will react to his list.Also for the same cost, the player could purchase a squad of 5 models, arming one with a lascannon, and upgrade the Sergeant with Terminator Honours and a power fist. What the player should question is whether the benefit gained from the available lascannon and power fist wielding Sergeant is worth the loss of 3 standard Space Marines for that unit. In order to determine whether the benefit outweighs the cost, you must examine the role that the unit is likely to fill for your army in both an offensive and defensive scheme of maneuver.
standard chaplain Jp, 10 assault squad, 2 plasma, fist
8 man tactical squad lascannon
8 man tactical squad lascannon
8 man dev squad 4 ML
1 dreadnought Ac, extra
Ok- maybe this is about 1000 i dont know.
But what is the opponent going to shoot at? Well a single lascannon isnt very dangerus considered to 4 ML. Also the opponent would need to kill 7 marines before stoping either lascannon, where as he would only need to kill 4 marines the dev squad before stopping some of them from firing.
Further more, compared to an assault squad with chaplain, a dev squad is relativly dosile.
The dreadnought wields an assault cannon, but its range is a bit limited, possibly could be avoided, it probably ranks just under the dev squad for danger.
This will probably mean your opponent will quickly bring all his weapons to bear on your assault, because he has little hope of killing the tacticals, the devs are farther away, and less dangerus, ect. Thus your assault squad will get blown away with a dispropationate amount of firepower directed at them.
But if you split your tactical marines into 3 squads of 5 men, and add a lascannon (which costs the same points)
Youll now have increased your firepower by 50%, for free. Your tactical squads look more dangerus, and they are, they look killable, now your opponent will be sending shot into the toughest troops in the game, instead of only your best squads. Devided your opponents firepower is very important.