What I Like About 40K Army Composition

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll happily attend a 40K tournament with or without army composition. Whether or not an event has army composition does not affect my choice to attend it. If the tournament looks like fun then I’ll choose to attend, and then deal with the details instead of letting the details decide my attendance.

Let me preface this too by saying this isn’t about whether or not army composition should exist for 40K. That’s a dead horse I have no intention of beating. I’m instead discussing what I do like about army composition when it’s being used.


One of the things I like about army composition is the decisions that need to be made. The first choice is whether or not you want to just bring a bad ass list and deal with the army composition score you get as a result, try and run the middle of the road, or go for the full comp points – which generally means it’s a softer list. Margins between exist of course, but you get the idea.

This choice is, in my opinion, a strategic one and why I like it. It’s another layer, another choice, and one that sets up your plan for the day. The following is with the assumption comp has real value for the day and is not a low percentage. Going low comp for the beat-face list means you really need to win at the tables and win big to compensate for the low comp. You’re giving up points in comp with the intent of making them back on the table.

Middle of the road is just that. You’re still looking to do well at the tables, but you’re not as reliant on huge wins at the tables as low comp guy.

Going for full comp allows you to be a bit more lax in your games, at least compared to low comp guy, because you’ve already taken some easy points, and what you gain from your games is padding.

Full Comp

I generally go for full comp or as close as I can get. My reason is two-fold. One, as mentioned above, it’s easy points. In my opinion any points that you can earn with full control, like comp or sportsmanship, should be maximized. How many points you get on the table is a variable, comp is not. The best players and best lists still lose.

Second, it puts me in a more relaxed mood where my aim is more just to enjoy the day, and less about needing to take three games with large margins to win something. My goal is never best general, it’s best overall. I’m competitive, but I’m not competitive all the time. I’ve tried and it just isn’t me.

Trying to stay super competitive at every tournament just ruins my attitude. I start looking at the games as a means to an end, ultimate victory, and less like a fun time with cool people playing a game I enjoy. That’s just me though, and I’m certainly not saying really competitive people don’t have fun, we just have fun differently. My approach is to cater to the event and not expect the event to cater to me.

The Models

Lastly, comp is a great time to pull out those 40K models you hardly ever use – you know, the ones that aren’t competitive. I don’t know about everyone else, but if I own models then I like to field them time to time and comp is the perfect place for it.

  • Amberclad87

    Well said.

  • hippie

    I like that it upsets people.

    • khorneinquisitor

      Yes it does. :)

  • I think comp helps make a tournament a little more starter friendly. Rather than rocking up and getting utterly destroyed for six games as my first tournament experience, comp is the playing field leveller (in theory).I can ignore comp and taking a hosing in my scores, but the majority of players will abide by comp rules.
    No comp tournaments you go there expecting to get some face time with cheese. There’s no ambiguity.
    Both have a place and both make the tournament experience different and interesting. I’d like to say get rid of comp, but that’s just leading towards a world of netlisting and optimised builds where the same army played by a gazillion other players of that list vie for the podium finishes.

    • The vast majority of touranments I play in do not have comp and really the lists aren’t as bad as you would think they would be. But, that’s where I play and a different story at different stores no doubt.

      No comp is my preference but playing with comp doesn’t ruin my day like it does others. As long as I have a fun day it’s all that matters.

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