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I don't know about everyone else, but it has always seemed to me that the most repetitive, redundant armies are often the most successful. This is especially true in 5th edition with the inception of Troops as the only units capable of capturing objectives.
I admit it, I'm guilty myself. My Death Guard Army consists of a mechanized horde of Plague Marines. It's effective. You see a similar tactic with World Eaters and their Berzerkers. In 2000 points, Smurfs with 5 or 6 Drop Pods of Tactical Squads, Orks with 5 or 6 full mobs of Boyz, Tyranids with nothing but Monstrous Creatures, the list goes on.
The rules seem to reward a lack of imagination, a trust in stat lines and a surrender of tactics, army composition and combined arms theory. Whatever happened to an army with a half a dozen different types of units, working in a synergy of purpose to devastating effect?
It happens. Occasionally I'll come across a list that is surprisingly effective for having more than a bland 5 Troop selections, 2 Heavy Support and an HQ. In truth however, if you don't have a healthy amount of redundancy in your army, you will most likely lose out to the overwhelming power of boring lists.
This is a call to arms for the creative minds of generals who wish to beat their opponent with tactics, not lists, planning, not spamming, and a variety of units working together as opposed to one type of unit, multiplied.
Post your varied lists, your theories for tactics against redundant ones, and your stories of conquest over the dreaded Bored Horde!
Im only a new player but I see alot of potential with tank-shock, if you get them in a position where they cant move out of the way its chould be an instant kill, some turbo boosted jet bikes to makes some walls seems like all one would need to destroy an hole squad of foes buy sheer unit placement!
Could you understand the beauty of the beast?
Indeed- tank shocking is a beautiful thing. My friend has a dirty tendency to recall the old bum-rushing RhinoRaid lists for SM. He just deploys all his tacticals outside the Rhinos. During the course of the battle most of them become disabled, but he points them straight at objective and units. A rhino with a scoring squad can push the foe clean off an objective, park atop it, and hold it.
We are both known to utilize some serious ramming attacks. Great fun there. Always unexpected too. Think of the British fire-ships against the Armada... yeah. It's like that
Also- I think that 'combined arms' has slowly been phasing out over the various editions. The best way to play, I feel, is to play city fight. Troops in that game can easily be turned to paste by some of the more elite choices. I've had a single Predator hold a street for the whole game. It was immobilized and lost one of it's sponsons and both storm bolters, but that thing cleared that whole street by game's end.
Also, if you're playing friendly games, just let anybody score. Works for me.
I love Cities of Death, its a great supplement and all the games ive played using it have been a great deal more exciting than some of the more standard games of 40k i've had.
I think a lot of it comes down to your approach to the game, personally I'm not really motivated by winning (although thats always nice) as i dont really play enough anymore, so its just nice to get a game! Im inspired by models I want to paint and then, having painte them, I want to see them in action. This leads to some indiosyncratic choices in my lists. For example in my Guard army I use Ogryns, Ratlings and Rough Riders. I dont use them correctly but for me its fun having to adapt to the tactical situations some of the more oddball units throw up. This is why I have never really been interested in SMs, just too good all round, I want weaknesses damn it!
PLAN CLAN MAN!!
He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man- S. Johnson
I don't have the advantage of having played from the Rogue Trader days, but I must agree that the "troops only scoring units" move from 4th to 5th edition is a huge sign that yes, the game's rules are moving away from the "combined arms" idea, at least in the TRADITIONAL sense. In fact, through most of LO's 40k boards you'll find anyone fielding a list of only two troops units is encouraged strongly to beef up your troops.
However, I have to add that it comes down to the player, too. I seem to have the same argument with this issue that I have in the whole anti-"cheese" arguments that crop up here from time to time: Yes, GW definitely shoulders some of the blame toward allowing if not encouraging grunt spam, and I will agree that filling your army with six full Space Marine tactical squads, Tau fire warrior squads, Ork boys mobs, Eldar guardians, etc. is a fully-functional, potentially game-winning, tournament-winning army, but that's hardly the most... elegant solution.
I do feel it's possible for a savvy player to make the 5th edition rules work without resorting to such a simplistic build. Regrettably, it's pretty much impossible to take your game-winning 4th edition army and not think to add at least one troops unit to it now, but I don't think six full squads are necessary. Not even in 5th edition. GW has made it clear what it was thinking with the new rules: War should not be about elite units winning battles. It should be about elite/heavy units acting as a spearhead, either by bullying straight through the opponent's front lines, or artfully circling/dancing around the opponent, surgically removing the most dangerous bits. Then, the troops, which should REALLY be the gamewinners, move in to take the objective.
So yes, troops are more important, but the elites will not, indeed CANNOT disappear, and no player who has any imagination or tactical savvy will throw out their terminators, rough riders, harlequins or immortals just because they can no longer take objectives. An army made up of nothing more than six identical full troops squads and one HQ is, in my opinion, the lazy way to a win, just as much as various units and combinations that have been labeled as "cheese" even back in 4th edition, which I won't go into here. You know what they are.
Note I said six IDENTICAL full troops squads. Even if you want to max out all six slots, six full squads of troops needn't be boring. Space Marine tactical squads, for example, have enough options to make two different squads act totally different from each other. My SM list only has three troops choices in it, and one of those is scouts with sniper rifles. Living dangerously? Sure. I just need to figure out how to do it, not how I'm going to squeeze more tac squads in. For one thing, I can use combat squads to turn two scoring units into four.
Chaos players are even luckier. With four different cult troops options in the mix, you can potentially have six completely different (fluffwise, models, and tactically speaking) troops choices. Hardly "boring" or "ordinary."
Eldar get at least four different kinds of troops choices (technically five, as the guardians come in two types, excluding the jetbikes), and any player worth opposing will mix them up a bit. Even Orks get multiple options (one of the troops choices in an upcoming project of mine will be grots!)
I suppose my poor necrons are the only ones that are suffering here, with only one unit available for scoring now, but I suspect the upcoming codex will change that.
And speaking of codex rules, we haven't even mentioned the "counts as troops" rules that, coincidentally, have popped up in pretty much all the new codices lately. Space Marines, Orks, and Eldar are just three examples (bikes, jump infantry, etc. for marines, nobs with a warboss for Orks, a full 10-man squad of wraithguard for Eldar, etc.). I find it hard to believe that troops choices are "boring" with them in the mix.
Now, six 10-man squads of tactical marines all carrying bolters, a missile launcher, and a flamer, well yeah, that IS boring and that player should be smacked, but that's not GW's fault. That player COULD do a lot more with the scoring units, but he/she simply doesn't CHOOSE to.
So, as I said, it also comes down to the player. It can be as dull or as exciting as you want it to be.
Well as far as the troops only argument goes, isn't it more "realistic" in a sense? Most real life armies are made up of rank and file troops. You don't see a U.S army made up of Rangers and Special Forces fighting along side a unit of S.E.A.L.s. These are elite and specialized units and can't be spared for every single little engagement. So it's more "realistic" (if you can be realistic in a universe of space elves, super humans with chainswords, and daemons) that our 40k armies would mainly consist of ork boyz, tac squads, platoons, and the like.
And although it's created a new kind of cheese, it's certainlly killed off some of the old cheese. Remember Iron Warriors? Two bare bones tac squads and 9 obliterators and a bassie? People will always find a way to cheese the system. And going with an earlier point made, it would be stupid to cut out fast attack, elites, and heavy support entirely. I don't know what I'd do without lootas, rokkit buggies, and looted wagons! And I'm sure there's others who feel the same way.
If you want to gripe about dullization of a game's new edition- lets talk 4th ed. DnD...
My award winning Orky tale
TBH, I should have seen this coming after 5th was released, and in some ways it makes me glad I no longer have my so called "boring" SM list anymore, but this whole thing makes me laugh.
I used to have an SM force that was something like 5 Tac squads at around 9 men (And even a list of all 6 slots of tac squads of 8 IIRC.) It was something you rarely saw, and I enjoyed it as it was different to the so called "cheese" lists that consisted of 3 tanks, or 2 land raiders, or etc etc.
TBH, it was a list that was often praised at tourneys for that reason, for not being "cheesey"
-This list was later changed though for a more balanced list which only had 4 Tac squads. (Two of 9 men, and two of 8 men.)
My point is, I find it funny that now that the same list would be critised just because the rules have changed. I guess you just can't please everyone eh.
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I have to agree with most peoples comments, and as an eldar player it is a major change. Eldar elite fast attack and heavy are amazing while our troops are merely good. It was rare to see eldar lists with much more than the basic two units of troops. I believe the change is a very good thing. Now I've used 5th as a reason to finally get a true ulthwe style army going ( love the fluff but had trouble with using the army well for a long time ). And with 5th I gave all my units transports because I felt that my eldar were not fast any more now that everyone could run. Because of this my list is probably one that you don't like, 5 wave serpents 3 fireprisms 4 storm guardian squads 1 unit of banshees and a farseer. But it is very much in line with the fluff of Ulthwe.
Now my tactics and planning has changed with my other lists its basicly getting the aspect warriors to the units they are ment to fight do that enough and I would win. When banshees are my resilient unit I take alot more care in limiting LoS. So it's now about overwhelming units with mass fire and picking off isolated units so my fragile units don't get killed from return fire.
I generally don't mind running into cut and paste armies, if they are all the same then I already know what to do about each of the units. Speed has also helped me alot as I can focus on one unit and hide from the copies.
Most of the armies you listed have tough troops that are effective against an array of targets so taking multiples of them gives you a force that is hard to move off objectives but still able to eliminate threats. When I run my more traditional types of eldar army I find myself hard pressed to keep my troops alive on an objective unless I'm willing to spend points for transports or drop ~500 points on wraithguard and the fortune farseer to go with it.
I also agree with those who are saying that GW is trying to make a more 'realistic' game, but unfortunately, the kits of the troops choices just aren't there. The guard have the most 'real' troops selection in the form of their platoons. Basically a troop choice with supporting arms. If every army were designed around the 'Platoon' system, it'd be a much better game IMO. For example- with marines it's something like this:
Marine Strike Team
2 10 Man Marine Squads
--1 marine may be upgraded to carry an assault weapon
--1 marine may be upgraded to carry a heavy weapon
1 5 Man Marine Headquarters
-- 1 Marine may be upgraded to carry EITHER an assault weapon OR a heavy weapon
-- 1 Marine may be upgraded to a medic
-- 1 Marine may be upgraded to a Sergeant at Arms
----the HQ may select 2 support options from the following list
-- Mounted Warfare: 2 Rhinos
-- LineBreaker Squad: 5 marines in a Razorback, 2 marines may carry assault weapons
-- Bastion Squad: 5 marines, 2 marines may carry heavy weapons
Specialist Teams- Marine Strike Teams each have 1 attached Specialist team. These teams are found in the following sections of the book.
(insert Fast Attack, Heavy Support, and Elite choices here)
That makes far more sense, as it requires players to take troops in order to have access to better gear, and uses points to limit what can be taken.
The way the SM codex is written now, the points values are already assigned to each squad. They could do away with points entirely and just say "everyone take 9 squads. Any 9, and that's your list". They'd just have to make sure each squad was worth an equal value. Like checkers...
I take your point Cap, i've always thought that Scouts would really come into their own in Cities of Death for SM's...
Your ideas for a new force organisation are interesting. You should check out the Warhammer Historicals game 'The Great War', which is based on 5th edition 40k, but adapted to simulate the First World War. The armies are organised around a command HQ, some core company choices (which themselves are similar to the infantry platoons of guard) and then you choose from battalion support (i.e Machine gun detachments, Light infantry etc.) and Regimental Support (Tanks, Cavalry). The number of support choices you can take depends on the number of core choices you have, so for example if you want to take a company of Highlanders in a BEF 1914 infantry force then you have to have taken a minimum of 2 infantry companies.
Initially its a little complicated but it does result in more balanced forces, and with different varient list options (infantry, Light infantry, cavalry battalions) there is a plethora of different choices to make.
PLAN CLAN MAN!!
He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man- S. Johnson