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Something I have noticed recently is how my opponents seem to disregard cheaper/weaker units while focusing most of their attention on the traditional powerhouse troops, and in many cases it ends up costing them the game.
Banner of Swiftness on Khorne Warriors - first turn they book it, and people always panic
Meanwhile an ignored group of hounds goes wide for the warmachines
That block of 18 useless marauders hits a flank of a big, fat steadfast unit destroying the entire block with ease.
Predictability is our worse enemy - lets be more focused on variety as opposed to optimized lists.
“If you’re in the penalty area and don’t know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we’ll discuss the options later.” – Bob Paisley
Only if that variety actually makes us better. Change for the sake of change isn't a motto I would adhere to.
Every army always has "fiddly bits", in my experience - there's always that one unit that could potentially be replaced by another, and sometimes you just have a few points hanging off that you eventually find a home for, but you can always change what that home is. Every now and again, you do a strategy alteration where you actually change how your army fights. One example for me recently has been the incorporation of Chosen - they give my Warriors a lot more freedom because my opponent has to be worried about that solid block of almost-unkillable that's plodding their way. Another has been that I've decided to put my BSB on a Disc, because Eye of the Gods was driving me crazy.
I daresay change for the sake of change is what drives a lot of our innovation as WoC. Bring three Giants to a game to see what happens. Bring your entire special allotment in Chaos Spawn. Do a horde Marauder Horsemen with flails! That would drive some panic into people when they see thirty horsemen in horde formation, take their vanguard move at some weak spot in their line!
Admittedly, in a tournament situation this might not be doable, but in a friendly game (and probably with some proxies so you don't spend 400 bucks on Marauder Horsemen) who knows what kind of strategies might develop?
You can't bring 3 Giants in a game under 3,000 points, so that's an entirely game size-dependent list. And Chaos Spawn are Rare (though 2 only count as 1 Rare choice), so 4 of 'em tops. 30 Horsemen as fast cav is very wasteful, as Vanguard will always allow your opponent 1 turn to do something about your Horsemen (charge them first, shoot them, etc.), and the best save that lot will muster is a pitiful 5+ (and that's if you settle for an anemic S3, maybe S4 on the charge). Good luck beating anyone with that.
I'm not a person that enjoys being a naysayer, but don't reinvent the wheel. If you're getting figured out and you're getting beat because of it, fine, switch things up a bit. Otherwise... if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and there's a reason certain combinations are not used.
Last edited by rothgar13; September 30th, 2011 at 23:50.
Sadly, my friends always target my giant block of marauders whenever I play them, they have good reason to obviously. But even with chosen on the board, they don't tend to fear them as much as I would like. Which in some cases can be good I guess, but everyone plays a little differently. I'm not opposed at all to throwing in something fun, like a lord on dragon, or a giant group of chaos ogres, backed with forsaken hah, how funny would that be? But ya in tournaments and stuff you'll find those kinds of lists more discreet.
Chaos Ogres would be funny, because they're just terrible. Forsaken do have their uses though.
If I told someone that I've never met before that I was using my 'optimised' Chaos list, what would they be expecting?
I think it really depends on what 'most people' have in their chaos armies around you and what you mean by 'Optimised' Lists. Chaos armies are SO diverse that there are multiple paths to an 'optimised' list. I have two main armies that I use and they are COMPLETELY different. Seriously, the only things they have in common is that they both have a Sorcerer Lord and a unit of Chosen and even then the weapons and equipment are all different. Other than that they don't even use the same Core/Special/Rare. So, considering that I think these lists are fairly 'optimised' and I use both fairly often, how will someone be prepared for such diversity?
If you constantly use the same list against the same opponents then sure, things will get predictable, but as an 'army' I don't think 'predictable' even applies to us. Which is apt really considering we're Chaos
It's probably got something to do with people working out what's worth it's points. For example forsaken could be fun if they had some decent armour and weren't overcosted. People work out what is worth taking and tend to stick with it. I tried out a completely different list to usual against a deamon tournament army and did fairly well. It wasn't so much the units as the tactics (and getting mindrazor off on frenzied warriors lol).
I tend to play around with character items and the list changes to support them so a fast lord will definately be supported by knights. It would be marauder horsemen if I had any. A decent foot combat lord/exalted will be supported by a block of warriors that are tooled out.
My point is predictability in list isn't such an issue as a decent opponent will have the measure of your list after 1 turn so it's down to tactics and how you use the list.
That isn't to say trying out new builds and different units isn't a good thing and as far as books go we have IMO the best chance at such change.
There's definitely something to be said for trying new things, but I think that a bit of consistency is definitely called for. I've been running the same list since 8th came out. It focuses on the same basic units, same general tactics, and the way that I see the game being played. I've definitely tried some different outliers in the army, things that have come and gone:
11 M.Cav w/ MoS, Flails, ThrowingAxes/Javs, accompanied by a MoS Exalted w/ Steed of Slaanesh, Roar/Stream, Musk
- It did great early on, and still does, but I started dropping it because it took up so many points just to get an early lead in unit/warmachine kills.
16 Chosen w/ MoT, Wailing, Favor, (every weapon available at least once) accompanied by BSB w/ Banner of Rage, and Festus
- Great, again, but I started dropping them to Warriors to save points, let them carry the Banner of Rage themselves, freeing my BSB up for the Book+3rdEye+Scroll
8 Chaos Knights w/ MoT, Blasted Banner, accompanied by 2 Exalteds on Jugs w/ ASF items
- Downright ridiculous. So expensive, that even though it blew straight through anything it lined up against, it just wasn't earning the points back.
Other things I've tested out included the Hero Cannon, Super-MSU style armies with units of 6 models, a MonsterMash, a Dragon Ogre army, and even an All-Cav army.
I've been there, gotten the T-Shirt for just about anything, and I have to say that I feel I've really dialed my list down to the point that I know exactly what I want, and even if people see it coming, they can't seem to stop it. It's what makes WoC great - the way I play isn't necessarily the way you play. I don't use Hounds for example, because I've never been successful with them, but I know plenty of people here who swear that they couldn't get by without them.
WoC as an army is definitely something born out of the insane minds of our little cult of followers. Somewhere, someone will come up with an idea so utterly degenerated and stupid, that it actually works (see HeroCannon- biggest 'wtf' moment of this WoC-forum's career IMO ). We give people optimal info based on what we're aware of. The way that we play the game, and based on the bare-minimum level of effort. You might have some insane tactic which involves all sorts of crazy moves and actually makes Forsaken a valid unit choice. But we're still going to tell you that you could save yourself a lot of angst and maneuvering (which can lead to an "all or nothing" battle plan thwarted by simple bad luck) and just grab some Warriors.
That's what optimization is, in my opinion. Figuring out what works the best, in the simplest possible way. If you want to have fun and add some spice or uniqueness to your army, go for it. But there's something to be said for bringing a sledge-hammer to a knife-fight. You don't need finesse, you don't need training or skill or natural ability, you just need to be able to identify the business-end of the weapon and start swinging. If a noob can pick up my list and start winning games with it, imagine what a veteran can do.