I absolutely love list building. Putting list theories to the test and the refinement process is just something I enjoy. That being said, nobody would ever say I build competitive lists. Most would probably say I don’t build strong lists. As much as I enjoy the process of list building, there’s always something I’m lacking, a consideration I didn’t take into account, and whatever that flaw is tends to be exploited by strong players.
Ultimately I feel my failure is in not playing to the current edition of the game. I always feel like I’m an edition behind in my list building. It’s not really a model limitation, I keep up on that pretty well, it’s more the mentality of building the list. I touched on this the other day when talking about reinvigorating my Daemons as allies for my Chaos Space Marines.
Allies aside, I need to work on building more balanced lists…sort of. I’ve always said that I love the assault phase and my lists reflect that. By balanced I don’t necessarily mean that my list has a counter for everything and has all game phases covered. That’s a shortcoming of mine that I accept and it’s fine. I’m not out playing in huge 40K tournaments, I’m playing locally for fun. Balanced for me is investing appropriately in my units. Warhammer 40K 7th edition, if you’re playing Maelstrom of War missions (which I almost always do), is a very different game than before. You need a mobile army that is flexible and able to adapt as needed. In addition, you need a fair amount of units on the board to try to cover six objectives. I very often build top-heavy lists. It’s not uncommon for me to invest 500pts into an HQ and the unit it joins in a 1,500 game; basically a deathstar and deathstars don’t pan out all that amazingly in Maelstrom missions. It’s not always a deathstar unit either and sometimes just a couple of very pricey units.
I need to start wrapping my head around building lists for 7th. I know what I need to start doing; I just have to start doing it. The last game I played I went into building the list with this in mind. The list needs work but the single most expensive unit I had were three Obliterators with the Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War. They weigh in at 237pts but it’s the one point heavy unit that is worth it every time it’s fielded. The big thing I was working on was curbing the spending on the units. My Chaos Lord I fielded was only 155pts, which is easily 30pts under what I normally spend on him. My Chaos Bikers were unmarked, saving me 30pts had I gone Nurgle or 45pts had I gone the Slaanesh route I also like. The savings in just those two units bought me a squad of Cultists.
I don’t mind investing in units that are worth the increased cost, like giving Obliterators Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War. It’s a rare day that unit doesn’t make back its points and has proven to be worth the investment. However, units where the investment becomes more a novelty than actual return is what I’m working on curbing. If I can get my points spent more efficiently then I can get more units on the table and more units help score objectives and accomplish other things.
It’s going to take a bit to determine where spending points is useful and where it’s a waste – it’s not always cut-and-dry, but my test run the other night was a good start. I felt much better about my list when I was playing and fought hard for a draw. A draw isn’t a win but it’s not a loss either and losses are what I’ve been piling up as of late. It’s a start.
How about you? What changes have you made for 7th edition in your list building?