Ramblings: Hello, Rut. We Meet Again

RamblingsI’ve held off on putting up one of these articles where I basically piss and moan about something for a while. The thing is though, it’s a bit therapeutic to do it and it’s my blog so what the hell.

As has become pretty apparent here, for any regular reader, I have not been doing much. I’ve put up some shots of my ongoing Heldrake paint job but that’s about it. The reason is that I have been doing pretty damn terrible at 40K lately and that saps away my motivation for writing about it. As most know, I’m not out to win them all but when you find yourself being tabled more often than not, well that just blows.

What I’m not going to do here is bitch about everything except for myself and place blame elsewhere. I’m not delusional. I can’t make every codex balanced or fix some of those rules in 6th that bug me but I can improve myself.

I’m a hobbyist. I enjoy painting and it’s not just a means to an end. I love putting down models I think are cool and buying at least one of everything, making me also a collector. I am also a gamer and a close fought battle between friends is how I like my games to go; not nuking my opponent off the table. However, the hobbyist in me is hampering my ability as a gamer and I need to find a balance.

My problem as a hobbyist is my collection is often too diversified. Diversity is great and having a huge collection to pull from ideal but when you’re initially building out your army it can be a hindrance. I had a goal in mind when the newest Chaos Marines codex came out and my love of models has overruled that and seen my goal blur. Now, instead of having a thought out collection with which to expand from, I have a hodge-podge of stuff that isn’t exactly the most coherent collection when it comes to list building.

That being said, my goal isn’t clearly defined now either. I still feel that I have barely touched the codex so far, even a year later, and I’m having a hard time committing to any one style to be able to build towards it. That is what has driven me into the rut I’m very familiar with, indecision.

I have no goal with this article or enlightening conclusion. I take that back, my goal was to spew this out in the hopes that it leads me somewhere. At least I kept it short and some of you read through it because I’m curious, do you find yourself in this situation and if so, what do you do about it?

  • Warren Falconer

    So what was your original goal?

    • The basic plan was to utilize the fast elements of Chaos. I’m a huge fan of close combat and Chaos has some great fast units like Spawn, the obvious Bikers, Maulerfiend, etc. I started collecting that way and then stalled out. I have those units but my Bikers are only 5-strong, which has never proven to be effective. I need to bulk them out more and figure out how I want to use them.

      I had also wanted to use Huron to help close the gap with the unit infiltration. Infiltrating up Oblits has been extremely effective when I’ve done it in the past. Someone else runs Huron religiously at the shop and so I didn’t want to also do it and figured I could works something else out instead. Maybe I should just say screw it and go for it again and get over that mental barrier of avoiding what others are also doing.

      • Warren Falconer

        Well the tournament in august may be the perfect chance to shake the rut. 750 points gives you a lot of options to try ridiculous stuff. There really aren’t enough points to be well rounded so you might as well plow everything into a one shot type list.

        As far as not playing the same thing others are, I totally hear you, but the nice thing about chaos is it is so easy to convert up a lord/sorcerer/prince that you can make your own huron unique and just use the rules. Maybe rather than trying to make what you love to play work take a mean beat face list for a tourny or two to help work yourself out of the rut who knows it may also help you figure out how to play the list you want to play more effectively.

        • I have an idea for a mostly Khorne-based list that is aimed at being a some-what simple in-your-face type of list. It will let me focus a bit less on composition and more on the mission.

  • Amberclad

    Take a break. That’s why you have not seen me around lately because I am also in said rut. I had to step out of 40k and re-evaluate what I want out of my hobbies.

  • I would consider looking to the Allies matrix for help. You already have a fantastic looking Ork army that you are pretty familiar with. Rely on them for your core army and ally in CSM units a few at a time. That way you are learning how to use one or two units at a time. This will also mitigate the weakness of an overly diverse collection until you identify the CSM units you want in greater numbers.

    From the few games we’ve had I think your issue is delivering the right units to the right places. With so much diversity and not much redundancy there is usually a clear order of priority. Forcing your opponent into difficult priority decisions has always been a key aspect of your play style and I don’t think you’ve gotten there with your CSM yet. Giving them an Ork screen could help you fill that gap until your CSM collection catches up.

    • I agree about the delivery and I keep looking at Orks and keep considering it. I think I need to nail down what I want to do with Chaos before I get into allies, though Orks are of no cost to me. I should probably just try it honestly and see what emerges and maybe in doing so I’ll find a goal.

      • I usually find that I perform best when I stick with a core force that works for me and add new elements one at a time. That way I can feel out the new unit while the core does my heavy lifting. As I become familiar with the new unit and how it affects the dynamics of my force it can become one of my established core units. But when I put in too many elements that I’m not as familiar with or even unfamiliar combos of otherwise familiar units my performance becomes very unstable.

        My favorite thing about the Allies rules is that it allows me to take this same approach to learning a new army. I can test new units in a more controlled manner and develop a better feel for their individual capabilities. Once I have that it becomes much easier to see how they fit with other units.

        I also second Falconer’s assertions that you shouldn’t cut out a unit just because someone else is using it. I’m no fan of blindly following the pack but stubbornly avoiding anything popular is just as bad if it prevents you from playing what works for you. I also agree that it doesn’t hurt to start with a beat-face type of list to get a better feel for what works in the army.

        Whichever approach you take, you’ll be much more successful if you start with something proven and experiment slowly from there.

        • No arguments here. I’ve been also considering trying out Huron and then allying in Orks and grabbing some Kommandos so I can infiltrate at least 2 units up and possibly 4.

  • Bowlzee

    Out of Interest what is the list you are currently taking? I use a Mono Slaanesh army, Emperor’s Children with Slaanesg Daemon Allies. I don’t win often, but it’s usually a lot of fun :)

    • I lean towards an undivided list but I play a bit of everything, at least with what I own. There’s really no one list I play. I have been wanting to try out a Slaanesh based list though but without Daemons.

      • Bowlzee

        The Slaanesh CSM Army is very good. Squad of 5 Noise Marines with a Blastmaster is a great small unit. Take 3-4 squads and they are excellent long range firepower. Lord with Mark of Slaanesh makes these troops, put him on a bike with about 6-7 bikers then you have a great fast attack threat. You could even put him on a steed of Slaanesh and give them outflank with acute senses. You can then flavour the rest of your army however you like. But that’s a great core.

        Seriously though, look at Daemonettes, add a Herald (with ML2 hope to roll acquiescence – no overwatch) and you have one extremely fast assault unit. You can take up to 4 Heralds in one HQ slot… Give them an AP2 Etherblade (10pt Lesser Reward), loci of Beguilement (reroll failed to hit, and cannot refuse a challenge) screen them with 20 Daemonettes and you’re ready to go!

        • JustHippie

          Can’t take 4 Heralds per HQ slot in an Allied detachment unfortunately. And the Herald of Slaanesh is only Ld8 so casting is pretty hit or miss IMO.

          • Bowlzee

            That is a shame about the allies HQ slot limit, but I guess it makes sense!

            LD8 is hit or miss, but it can be awesome. I had a squad of 18 Daemonettes and a Herald charge a 10 man Paladin squad with acquiescence cast, Rapturous Standard reducing ws, Loci of Beguilement reroll hits, and I killed 5 Paladins, whilst only losing 3 Daemonettes… Not a bad return!

  • JustHippie

    Psychic powers! Ally in a Daemon Herald of Tzeentch ML3 to give those Spawn a 4++(forewarning), prescience is incredible and would make those Oblits actually hit. You could do a disc Herald with screamers for better speed and mobility or simply a foot one in Horrors for a cheap ally detachment.

    You could even give him the Grimoire and use it on Oblits so they are 2+/3++.

    • I’ve been really considering psychic powers. I’ve been stubbornly avoiding them, mostly because doing it in Chaos Marines is a bit trickier. I can’t hide my Sorcerer in a transport and cast, he has to be outside a vehicle, and that limits my options; forces me to create an expensive retinue to keep him safe really. Daemons may be the option for it and I’ve also been tossing around that idea. I keep saying it but I need to do it and just sit down and go over the Daemons codex. It sucks because I have very little in the way of models for them so I guess it’s time to visit eBay more often.

      • JustHippie

        You can borrow anything of mine anytime, just shoot me a PM or email. I usually have extra troops for Portalglyph kicking around anyway. Tzeentch is most reliable since they get +3 when manifesting. All Heralds are Ld8 so it’s a crap shoot without that +3. Also you can GtG and still cast Blessings and Maledictions and in area terrain that is a 3+ cover rerolling 1’s which is pretty durable(except against Serpent spam).

        • Trying to work through some ideas with Daemons now. The amount of stuff in that codex is insane. I remember why I stopped looking at Daemons as allies, I wasn’t up for all the homework! However, I need to stop being lazy and understand how they work so I can bring them in as allies.

          I’m looking to start pretty minimal just to start feeling them out instead of diving in head first and learning way too many rules at once. So, I’ll likely only need to borrow a disc Herald of Tzeentch, some Horrors and whatever else I sprinkle in to test.

  • I find that the game is quite cyclical for me, so I go through hot and cold spells. For that reason, I didn’t find it odd that you weren’t posting much as of late. Still, it’s sad to hear that you’re getting “pwn3d” so much. I have a local friend that’s having difficulties (probably for similar reasons). He’s officially up to an 0-17 start to 6th edition. I don’t want to throw a game for him, but it’s hard to give him concrete advice about how to change the outcome. I think the best thing to do is to keep trying, and ask questions. Either that, or stop facing cheesy WAAC opponents.

    • They aren’t WAAC opponents but they aren’t rocking fluffy lists most of the time either. Most of the time the players at my FLGS are prepping for whatever the next tournament is going to be. So, I may not be facing WAAC players but I am facing tournament lists. I don’t mind that but where I’m struggling through my collection at the moment, well it makes for some very one-sided games lately.

      • Well, come over to my place sometime and we can throw down. I don’t play in tourneys, so I don’t mind mixing up my lists at all.

        I know where you’re coming from though. There are a few players locally that are habitually playing tourney lists (despite the fact that there are no real tourneys in the area); for whatever reason, I’ve not played any of them. I’ve seen them on a regular basis, and know what their lists are designed for–and know that’s not really compatible with my list design, so I guess I tend to avoid them? I’m not sure that’s true, but to avoid a diatribe, I’ll just say that’s what I’m doing. Maybe I need to make a blog post about it…

        Anywho, I’m fortunate enough that there are enough like minded gamers locally that I don’t have to worry about it. The guys that make “crush your face” kind of lists are something I can avoid for more casual gamers. Then again, maybe my lists are more fierce than I think? I s’pose that would explain my win/loss record…

        • How long is the drive from Maine to Alaska again? :P Other than that, sounds great ;)

          • They have these crazy new inventions called airplanes. You should look into them; I think they’re going to be a pretty big thing.

            • You think I would trust my army to a baggage handler or cram it in overhead? Hells no!

  • JD Brink

    1. You’re right, it is your blog and you can use it as therapy if you want to.
    2. If you find you’re not coming out at the end of a game the way you’d like, maybe you need to try a different play style. Personally, I like playing with a variety of units. Especially with Chaos and Eldar, I can’t decide what units I like best so I play a different list every time. And I still win as often as I lose. Reason being, I’m not playing with spammers or competitive players or whatever (maybe you aren’t either but just from this it kinda sounds that way). When i play, it’s always casual. No one I like to play with makes kill-or-be-killed lists. That’s just not fun for us. I’m not sure who you’re playing with or what style, but maybe try a new style or even play with someone different. (I’m not saying dump your friends, just try something new.)
    3. You’re not alone. I find my own 40K motivation bleeding out as well. In my case, I have a lot of other projects I want (no, need) to be working on and they trump this. So now, sadly, when I look at my display case a little voice sometimes whispers, “You dirty waste of time… I should get rid of you.” I don’t want that! (And is it bad that I hear evil voices?)

    Overall, my suggestion is not to “dump your friends” or anything, but maybe try playing with a few people with a different play style. Or get your friends together and say, “This one’s for fun” or set up some kind of special rules where the usual objectives for winning are different. Or try a kill teams game where it’s just a handful of fun little dudes with character where your variety is a plus.

    • True enough.

      I think what I’m doing to do while I get my shit together is pre-plan my games against certain people and armies. Normally we all show up and pair off. This way I can play against someone with a more tame list while I learn to work in allies as I need to, or simply play someone familiar with my army and/or ally to get some feedback.

      • JD Brink

        Also easier to tailor your forces if you know who/what you’re up against. If I know I’m facing a power armored army my choices change, vehicle heavy, light armored, etc.
        Sounds like a good plan any way you slice it.

      • Warren Falconer

        I’d love to face off with you with the army I am working on. It is still mostly grey, but I have been looking for a tournament to pack up the stuff and travel down there for. Maybe instead of waiting for a tournament I can line up 2 or 3 friendly games with you regulars over a Saturday or something. My lists are nothing if not fluffy ; ).

        • Normally there’s a few guys who schedule games on the weekends; just hit up the forums. I’d gladly play you if scheduling worked out.

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