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Today I played in a 40k in 40 minutes doubles tournament. Me and my partner, both of us SM players for today, were faced off against an Ork and Eldar army. The eldar player told me he was using an Ulthwe Strike Force and therefore had a better BS than other Eldar.
Not knowing much about the pansy space elves, I just believed that this was all good and legal. However, much to my dismay, I later found out that his entire list was rife with illegal things. In fact, he couldn't have even played an USF army in a 40k in 40 minutes game at all since it requires a farseer and farseer's have 3 wounds in their profile.
Needless to say, I was completely destroyed by a nine model army (5 troops and 4 Vypers) because I haven't really bothered to look over the Eldar rules for more than a year now.
The moral of this little story: If you are serious about this game, then read your opponents codex's and know them as well, if not better, than your opponent does.
As Sun Tsu is famous for saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
Edit: Sometimes I can't spell...
That is wise advice H0urg1ass, I will be sure to take it to heart.
“ Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. ” - Thomas Paine
Yes, "Know thy enemy, know thyself" is something I've always believed in. I think that it does pay to get most (if not all) the Codices just to study the strengths and weaknesses of every army around.
<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>[Subliminal message] I AM KING [/Subliminal message]</span>
i usualy dont know what ill be facing so i take an balanced take all army.
Children in the dark cause accidents, accidents in the dark cause childen.
the Real Lemun Russ: he is talking about knowing your enemy so u can combat his stratgey in game, and in hourglass's case making sure his list is legal <_< .
your taking about being prepared, which is none the less a good thing, but not wat hourglass was talking about.
<insert witty remark here>
It's especially good to know the tricky rules about your opponent, such as the Space Wolves scouts who can come up behind your lines from reserves with a lot of high powered weapons Or the White Scars Hit & Run rule, which lets them leave any combat that they win.
This way, whenever you play SW for instance, you can politely ask him: "You using any scouts today?" Or at least you can prepare for the possibility.