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Born Again
08-02-2009, 08:02
This is something that I've been thinking about for a while now, and thought I'd get your opinions on it.

For those of you that don't know, I'm a sucker for themed armies. I rarely, if ever, go into competitive games (I play to win, but they're just friendly games, not tournaments or anything), so rather than coming up with killer combos, I design my armies around a specific theme, and enjoy looking at other people's armies more if they also have a theme to it.

However, in putting together the list for the Orks I've just started, I ran into some problems. I was basing them around the Goff clan. So, I started off with what I saw as essential Goff elements. A warboss, some Nobz, a couple big(ish) boyz mobz, and a Deff dred seemed like good Goff stompiness. I threw some bikes as I had the models from a battleforce... and then I hit the problem. I was approaching the 1000 point total I intended for the army, and was faced with a decision.

With my remaining points, I was torn between taking some Stormboyz, some Lootas, some Burnas, or a combination of two of the three. You see, I really like the Burna models, and they seem to fit the theme well enough, being up close and personal. The stormboyz seem to fit the Goff theme, being fast attacking, HtH troops. The Lootas, on the other hand, didn't fit the theme so well: Goffs are known for shunning ranged combat. However, without them, my army was seriously lacking in ranged ability, as well as high strength weapons. Without them my army's ranged anti-tank ability would be limited to a couple of inaccurate rokkit launchas, or hoping for a Zzap! result from my weirdboy. So, my dilemma was, do I break from the theme for the sake of tactics, or stick with it and severely limit my options and abilities?

So, my question here is, do you think that adhering to the fluff makes for game effective armies? Can you think of examples that are or aren't? Other ones that spring to my mind would be White Scars, if you take a couple of squads in Rhinos, and then lots of bikes, you could be severely lacking in hitting power and shooting, though able to run rings around the enemy at movement and assault. Also, of course, are the Daemons, who the games developers have admitted suffer badly if you don't mix up the different patrons in one force.

So, over to you.... discuss.

EVIL INC
08-02-2009, 13:39
How about plumping for some transport and putting a nob in each of the boys squads?
Getting up close and personal and hitting stuff is Goff style.
Tanks are always hit on rear armor in close combat and some power claws should fix that. large squads are meant to take casualties along the way.
I played a 500 point chaos army in a tournament yesterday.
I was facing 515 points of orks with all boyz and a kopta. They swarmed me to death.
A battlewagon for the warboss and nobs would be a good addition as well as maybe a trukk or two.

Born Again
08-02-2009, 13:49
Thanks EVIL INC, but I wasn't really after tactical advice for my army (though BTW, I do already have some transports and PK's ;) ). I'm after discussion on the idea that armies and factions as they are presented in the fluff, don't always make viable, competitive armies on the tabletop. I just used the example of my Goffs as I'm doing them atm. Had I gone for evil sunz, I may have run into the problem of all those bikes and trukks meaning I was lacking in the man (ork) power needed to overwhelm the enemy. As I mentioned, daemon armies from just one god (which seems a likely occurrence, given they way they portray the Chaos gods as fighting amongst themselves unless there's a mutual enemy they can both put their differences aside over) often have similar problems.

The more I think about it, I'm having trouble thinking of a themed army that doesn't have big holes in it's tactical ability. Would you all agree with this?

*maccas*
08-02-2009, 13:55
It depends what your theme is. Whilst you are presumably thinking of a theme being the predominance of certain units or tactics, in some cases it can be perfectly fluffy to have a variety and balance. For example, a perfectly fluffy space marine strike force could have a (relatively) equal mix of shooting and combat units which does not disadvantage them. Eldar also advocate the use of combined arms and so a fluffy eldar army can also be effective.

arch_inquisitor
08-02-2009, 13:57
The more I think about it, I'm having trouble thinking of a themed army that doesn't have big holes in it's tactical ability. Would you all agree with this?

No because theme and fluff are mostly represented by models, cannoned fluff and what you write.

You could take a completely 'cheesy' army and have every model in it beautifully painted and converted with 3 pages of prose on it and it would still be a 'cheesy' army.

If you want a tactically sound list write it first then build your fluff.

One fluffy unit can go a long way thematically, so it need not be one way or the other.

Born Again
08-02-2009, 14:05
It depends what your theme is. Whilst you are presumably thinking of a theme being the predominance of certain units or tactics, in some cases it can be perfectly fluffy to have a variety and balance. For example, a perfectly fluffy space marine strike force could have a (relatively) equal mix of shooting and combat units which does not disadvantage them. Eldar also advocate the use of combined arms and so a fluffy eldar army can also be effective.

I suppose this is true in some cases, the SM strike force certainly, as for Eldar, I still think it depends on the craftworld. A Biel-Tan army with lots of aspect warriors will probably be smaller in numbers than usual for an eldar army due to their points cost. I'm not really familiar with the Eldar army list though so I can't comment too much.

EVIL INC
08-02-2009, 14:21
Ahh. I see what you mean. That is a mistake many people make.
A theme does usually mean you will have a predominance of something over another but that does not mean you need to totally exclude stuff.
Take for example khorne armies. A khornate force (and the original world eater incarnation). Khorne favors blood and guts and warfare. So many people looked at that in a one dimensional view that GW just went ahead and later made world eaters the one dimensional berserkers when khorne enjoys heavy weapons, tactics and such just as much because they too provide skulls.
Looking at the more recent codexes, I am seeing a return to more well rounded armies that allow for great themes and yet still allow for extras.
Look at the goffs. True, they are up close and personal. Does that mean they they cant find boyz in thier clan who are willing to use big guns (or more likely have boyz being punished or the warboss want to run forward to the staccatto sound of big guns and want someone to provide that noise, ect)? Likely not. Here is a good way to add them (lootas) in a fluffy was to your army. In a goff clan, I would use the skinniest weak looking boyz models possible to convert them from. This is because those are the ones who "got stuck sitting in back" while the bigger boyz got to run forward.

Just understand that a them does not mean your army has to be one dimensional. Those make for bland and boring armies that make no sense. Just look at the fiasco that they had with the legions by doing that.

susu.exp
08-02-2009, 15:24
Well, single clan lists arenŽt that fluffy anyway. Orks usually fight as Tribes, which include members of many clans. The only time youŽd get Orks from a single Clan in a formation of 40k game size would be during a Waargh, where many tribes meet and then reorganize themselves into Clan-based units. Still the Waarghboss will send some other Clan units along to help out. "Grimdazz, move yer Lootaz to da uvver side and add some dakka to da Choppy Goffs".

The only time IŽd expect a pure Goff force is either when a Waarghboss isnŽt cunning enough to do so, or one of the Goff units in a Waargh gets attacked unexpectedly. In both cases it makes sense that they wonŽt be that effective... (though you could add Tankbustas with a few hammers and Squigs they are pretty Goff at least IMHO).

catbarf
08-02-2009, 16:12
The fluff is designed by gaming geeks who believe '300' is a historically sound documentary. The rules are written by a group of flailing orangutans. Both groups have no contact with each other. Draw your own conclusions.

ShaiAhlude
08-02-2009, 20:18
Well, Wych Cult armies are about as "themed" as you can get. Are there areas that Wych cult lacks. Yes. But a good player can cover/reduce his weaknesses in good force selection. That's true in any "themed" army.
I know people (Khorne players) who don't CARE if they have havoks or obliterators. They have Khornate Defilers and spend the other points on tranports to get thier chainsaw-weilding loonies to the enemy. :D

My point here is: Don't get caught up in the "weakness" of a themed army. You love the Goff view of things Orky. Great, go with it. If you think you need help in force selection, ask around, someone around here will be happy to give you his two cents worth. ;)

Born Again
09-02-2009, 05:23
Thanks.

I guess I hadn't really considered some of the options here. I admit I do tend to get a little (a lot) carried away by army themes :p So I suppose in my case, one unit of Lootas isn't gonna disrupt the theme from the big boyz mobs. Khorne is another example, while CC heavy, they have always had guns (old Epic Doomlord, anyone?).

Guess you've all proved me wrong: or at least, shown their are ways to get around these problems. Which makes sense, I'm sure in real life commanders would be aware of the weak points in their forces and compensate and cover for them.

Cheers!

Johnnyfrej
09-02-2009, 05:29
The fluff is designed by gaming geeks who believe '300' is a historically sound documentary. The rules are written by a group of flailing orangutans. Both groups have no contact with each other. Draw your own conclusions.
This is a shot in the dark but I have a feeling you dislike 40k, catbarf.

susu.exp
09-02-2009, 05:36
Khorne is another example, while CC heavy, they have always had guns (old Epic Doomlord, anyone?).

Surely you mean the Lord of Battle or the Cannon of Khorne, or the various daemon engines. The doomlord was a flyer of Tseentch.

shutupSHUTUP!!!
09-02-2009, 05:37
The thing about themed armies is they often go to extremes that the fluff itself doesn't imply. It's ok to have a few supporting units that are there to make it easier to win.

Born Again
09-02-2009, 09:14
Surely you mean the Lord of Battle or the Cannon of Khorne, or the various daemon engines. The doomlord was a flyer of Tseentch.

Indeed I do :) The Lord Of Battle was the one, I knew it had the word Lord in it somewhere. :p

jeffersonian000
09-02-2009, 09:49
I have to say, it depends.

There seem to be two camps in the 40k community: Fluff (background) vs RAW (rules as written). A Fluff player builds their army based of what feels right to them from their understanding of the background of the game. A RAW player builds their army based on how the rules work, regardless of logic or even common sense. Those gorgeous armies that are just so much fun to build and play tend to be Fluff based, while those armies that exploit loop-holes to gain an advantage the average player isn't prepared for tend to be RAW based. The better RAW armies are based on Fluff, while the better Fluff armies use RAW to their advantage. Confusing?

Perhaps.

Question: Is one style better than the other?
Answer: In a tournament, the winner usually ate the Fluffy armies RAW.

All I can add is, if it seems like a good idea to you, then you should learn what it does, how it does it, and what you should expect others to do about it. Proxy the unit in a few pick-up games to get a feel for the unit’s abilities before committing it to your army build. Work out tactics to assist the unit with doing its job. Work a reasonable background for why the unit would be present in your army.

This will bring your "background" closer to how the "rules are written", and thus bring more enjoyment to your game.

SJ

mughi3
09-02-2009, 09:59
To the OP

This has been something of a thorn in the side for players since GW seems capable of matching fluff and effectiveness with some army builds and not with others.

Remember 3rd and 4th ed iron warriors? of of the most powerful build out there and they took it away because of that, but it was also very fluff oriented to go heavy since they are supposed to be the siege marine chapter.
On the flip side you can look at some other very fluff builds and know no matter how good they look and how much they fit the bill as it were, the game rules do not equal the in universe fluff and the army operates at a huge disadvantage.

I to love a themed list and i will favor it over a super powered list but i still want it to at least be effective. a chance of victory is a good challenge, no chance at all is just boring games.

Ferox21
09-02-2009, 10:30
Well i also prefer the fluff over the rules - as for the blood angels rules for exampple: i found it silly to have assault marines as troop option cause the angels are still mailny organised after the codex astartes meaning they should have more tactical than assault marines - however there are some blood angels lists that even dont field tactical squads...

But for the orks i think it is quite ok to take a loota squad. I for the instance are starting an evil suns themed ork horde but i will also use one lage mob of shootas an lootas and so on - in this case with the explanation that not every boy-mob could afford a pik-up an that the existence of so many vehicles has attracted some meks who brougt their companions as well.

But with Goffs, i know the problem as GW excluded the range combat quite strictly from them in the fluff, but in this case like above mentoned: Take it as "penal troops" etc. And think about it, that even in the Goff mentality there might be some warbosses who can see the advantage of big guns (the noise thning an so on...).

LemanRuss
09-02-2009, 11:09
dilemma is that you don't have a balanced list.
i say so be it, who needs to take on all comers, this means you will be far better of against armies with less ranged firepower and harder pressed against armies with more of it.

i do space 13th comp and boy are they always getting hit hard at range, but its just that bit more rewarding when you see youre extensively converted and themed army killing a foe even tough it has a major weakness.

besides who needs shooty stuff when you got da choppy stuff.
like the greeks said, shooti'ns fer pusses

jefferson613
09-02-2009, 17:07
your boys can't get shot up if they're in CC ;)

AdeptusOverton
09-02-2009, 19:22
I have a pure themed Khorne Beserker army footslogging and really fun to play

Bit neutered now though but still love it :)