Revelation: Click, Click, Boom!

I’ve put up a lot of articles about just playing the game the way you want to. Talking about finding something that works for you, not what everyone else tells you to do. That all the advice in the world is worthless if you aren’t having a good time. Well, some times you need to heed your own advice.

I recently had a enema…err, I mean an epiphany. Long story short, playing my Marines has been an ongoing struggle to find a fit. To find a style that suited me and I enjoyed. I started finding some elements that were working and slowly making progress. Then the other weekend I attended a tournament, Battle for the Burbs, and my Orks were curb-stomped. For the tournament this past Saturday I decided to use my Marines, not having the heart to try the greenskins again. I put up a test list for my Marines that was rather sad but it got me thinking, and with the help of Ming in some indirect way I really can’t explain, I was on to something.

The culmination of recent events got me to realize something, I need to play aggressively. I’ll save you all the crazy ride that is my thought process, but that was my big revelation. I need to play my Marines like my Orks. I usually do well with my Orks when I keep to that simple concept. The times I lose with them is often attributed in some degree to forsaking aggression for a more cautious approach. Now, I’m not saying I do the same thing every time and just cram my army down someone’s throat. Aggressive game play is no less strategic than any other approach, or it doesn’t have to be anyway. So, if I do well with my Orks when I play aggressively then why not do the same with Marines?

I had found a few key components to my Marine lists that I kept falling back on prior to my mental breakthrough. These elements are aggressive, so why not build on that? That’s exactly what I decided to do for the tournament this weekend. I wrote the list, got some feedback and decided to run with it untested. Now, I did do well this weekend, getting a 3rd place tie, but it wasn’t how I ranked that opened my eyes, it was how much fun I had playing it, the rank was just affirmation of a realization.

I’ve said it before and now I’ll say it and adhere to my own advice, play the game the way you want to play it. Screw everything else, go have fun and when you’re having fun everything else will fall into place.

Librarian Orien Legatus
Librarian Orien Legatus

++Exert of Epistolary Librarian Orien Legatus’ speech to the First Wing aboard their Strike Cruiser ‘Bloody Talon’++

“Brothers. For a decade now our path has been unclear. We have performed with honor in countless wars. We have served the chapter and the Imperium for the betterment of mankind with all the fervor and loyalty that is expected of the Emperor’s angels of death. Yet, despite all our success we have been adrift, our course ambiguous. The tarot refusing to guide us completely. That time is over my brothers.”


I began playing Warhammer 40K in 2006, and have been an avid player and hobbyist since then. I have also been blogging about 40K for almost as long as I've been playing it, having started Creative Twilight in 2009.

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  • Anonymous

    “audacity, audacity, always audacity!” ~ Frederick the Great.

    Marines are the super-human warriors of a crumbling empire in the far future. So cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a terminator squad plow through half an army. Shock and awesome is what marines are made for.

    So in the word of the immortal bard(ess). Be Aggressive, be be Agressive WHOOO!

  • This is ridiculously good advice.

    The moment I started to play my Eldar aggressively was the moment games starting fairing in my favour. I was always too busy with all sorts of plans and army lists to counter my opponents that I wasn’t throwing anything at them for them to specifically worry about, just counters. But as soon as I started playing MY OWN lists, not lists designed to be ready for different situations, I started kicking ass. My opponents weren’t ready for it, and then they started having to think outside their strategic boxes.

    • Yeah, it’s not necessarily about playing aggressively as it is about playing the way you want, the way that works for you. That’s the thing with the information you can find everywhere, it doesn’t account for your style. I imagine my lists I’m testing lately would be shot down in a heartbeat by the great minds out there for a plethora of reasons but it doesn’t matter, the lists suit me. All the other stuff I tried was like wearing a shoe the wrong size. It did the job but didn’t feel right.

  • James S

    That’s the sort of list advice I like to see!

    Yeah, I’m an aggressive player too. Maybe because I started with Orks, but my Guardsmen always seem to do better when I’m not afraid to throw them into the enemy. You have to break a few eggs to make the omelette of victory ;)

    And even when I lose crushingly, if I played aggressively I still have a lot of fun. The only games I don’t particularly enjoy are ones where I play carefully, sit back and shoot and still lose. I hate losing with half my army still sitting in my deployment zone.

    • I’m so with you.

  • I had a similar revelation a while back; I don’t like a fair fight. I don’t mean that I cheat, or over-point lists, or anything like that. I mean that I like armies that are mobile enough to engage selectively rather than relying on tarpits, redirection and other staples of the gunline, can escape from being tied down rather than fight battles of attrition, and achieve results not through having the best stats, but via debuffing their targets and selectively ignoring or manipulating terrain.

    • That’s exactly what I’m driving for. The trick I’m finding is balance. To be mobile but not giving up some aspect to achieve mobility. Having some real aggressive elements without relying completely on it.

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