View Full Version : Where do you fall in the Competative or Fluff spectrum?

Seth the Dark
14-03-2009, 00:21
I am wondering where people fit between being more focused on the competitive aspects of the game or focusing on the background, or fluff, aspect of the game.

14-03-2009, 00:26
I try and make a competitive list, but I don't think I take it to extremes.

14-03-2009, 00:29
I go for fluff above all. I'm really not a fan of IG with tons of plasma and suchlike; I prefer to keep closer to the way things are portreyed in the novels.

14-03-2009, 00:40
I like to win occasionally but games are sooooooooo dull without a proper 'story' behind them.
You can't beat a really good narrative for a game, especially in a campaign.

14-03-2009, 00:41
I went for the 4th option down.

5000 points Thousand Sons.
Booklet detailing the records of my force's background, victories and losses in a narrative style.
Ridiculously expensive HQ units.

Flying Sorcerer on Disc with Wind of Chaos... :/
AP3 4++ Troops?

14-03-2009, 00:56
I play infantry heavy guard, you cant accuse me of being in it for the win.
it happens but it's not the point of the game

14-03-2009, 01:04
My IG list is firstly Cadian, then I try and make it competitive.

However since the Cadian's will be losing their distinctiveness a bit (no Sharpshooters :( ) I have invested in a squad of Ogryns.

To be honest I've liked the models since they had new ones and I have always liked the fluff so now it's sort of given me an excuse to use them.

14-03-2009, 01:33
I'm mostly for the fluff, but I do try and make a somewhat competative force.

14-03-2009, 02:57
I'm a sucker for background but when I play the game I do my best to lay down the smackdown.

EDIT: Some on this board think that is impossible and that I have no option but to be a WAACko.


14-03-2009, 04:00
If a codex is done right fluff should not equal-loose.

i've always favored theme over power builds. yet my builds were still effective.

14-03-2009, 04:05
I run a good list, in fact as good as I think it can be with what I own, but I don't exploit loopholes or do shady things like nob bikers (although my Guardsmen HQ has a wound allocation that is crazy [all separate guys with dif. equipment in cover = lots of saves made])

I love to write fluff about it though.

14-03-2009, 04:06
half the time i write up lists with some wacky "theme of the week" in mind. only rarely do i actually get around to making the army with it, and when i do, i like to show off my conversions while still being able to thump me opponent.

14-03-2009, 04:43
How about BOTH? Why cannot a competitive list/player be fluffy to the bone?

14-03-2009, 07:01
I voted that"I'm all about the fluff and don't worry about how powerful a list is ". It's about fun and when I win two times happy.

14-03-2009, 07:10
Why can't I be totally fluffy and competitive too? :eyebrows:

The two concepts are not necessarily in opposition. Most 40k games I see at the local shop lack both fluff *and* competition. :(

14-03-2009, 07:11
It depends on the army I'm working with.

When using Chaos Marines, it's pretty hard not to be WAAC because the Marines are quite powerful, highly versatile, and thus fairly competitive, even when played to the fluff of Night Lords. (And btw, thank heaven almighty, Jump Packs are Bitz-order-able again! Say hello to 40 Raptors, heh heh heh...) Also, the bad stuff is obviously so terrible that no one honestly trying to win would be caught with it in their army. The only thing is that I wish Terminators were worthwhile. I have never, ever seen Chaos Terminators perform well. No Frag Grenades, their shooting sucks and Khorne Berserkers fight way better against anyone who matters.

Unlike CSM though, if you actually try to play Tyranids according to accurate fluff, then you're an idiot, but so am I. I'm just barely weaning off Gaunts. Something about owning 160 of the little screwballs makes me want to get my money's worth. Nevertheless, I've gotten a 2000 pt list to as low as 40 Gaunts and as high as 6 Monstrous Creatures and 20 scuttling Genestealers, so I'm finally starting to play Nidzilla because I'm getting sick and tired of everything I like about Tyranids (everything non-monstrous and non-vanguard) sucking loudly.

Unlike modern codecies that have about six good builds, there are only two "fluffy" ways to play Tau, which are Mont'ka (Battlesuits, Hammerheads) and Kauyon (Kroot, Skyrays), while Fire Warriors fall somewhere in the middle of either. Unfortunately, Tau are not the mobile army everyone would like to preach that they are. If they were mobile, their tanks would move faster than 12" and their range wouldn't plummet if they move. If you want to win, you pretty much have to play a Kauyon pillbox game.

If I'm actually playing Black Templars, I've pretty much resigned the game right there because I don't own enough of the right models (have 20 Inits + 20 Neos, need 40 Inits + 40 Neos total), so I just stuff the list full of Grey Knights and pretend they're "Daemonhunters".

14-03-2009, 08:14
if you actually try to play Tyranids according to accurate fluff, then you're an idiot

The funny thing is that your nid force does not necessarily have to represent the same demographic proportions as the total hive fleet, so any list can be "fluffy."

In 4th ed, when Eldar skimmer tanks were all the rage, I played against an all skimmer Alaitoc force. I had no problem with it because even though Alaitoc relies on its scouts a lot, I figured they'd probably have mechanized strike-forces as well.

I'm in the camp that thinks that pretty much any army build can be fluffy, because the galaxy is a huge place, and has room for tons of variation.

14-03-2009, 08:16
I find playing the game makes me want to read the fluff more and vise versa.

14-03-2009, 08:44
I am very competitive in everything I do. I will do everything I can within the rules to win. That being said, fluff is part of the rules for me. I would never intentionally go against fluff, even if the rules allowed for it. An example would be my IW. I would not be against using a lot of oblits. That's fluffy and within the rules. I would never consider even a single lash army. There is nothing in any IW fluff that suggests a connection with Slaanesh. I do use bezerkers because the fluff is there. I do use plaguemarines, but I justify this as bionics. The models have bionic bits. They aren't sickly or anything.

Another thing that drives my army design is what I like. I'm not a huge fan of oblits, so I don't max them out that often. I am a huge fan of armor and titans. Both are common in my armies. I also use a lot of artillery in my traitor guard. It's fluffy that IW would have a lot of arillery. It's also fluffy that the IW's human slaves guard it (read Storm of Iron). I also happen to like a lot of the artillery pieces in the game from the models to the rules and the feel they give the army.

Aubec le noir
14-03-2009, 09:05
I love fluff but i like been competitive as well
Aubec :chrome:

14-03-2009, 11:28
The thing I concentrate on is having a fun game, as in creating interesting situations on the table. Thus I'm trying to create balanced armies that are not boring to play with and against, rather then "fluffy" or "competetive". "Fluffy" army often means spaming the same few units over and over (so-called CSM Legions armies excel at that); "competetive" armes often spam most effective units rather then units sharing a theme; one guideline I'm trying to follow to keep things interesting is that if unit is not a core choice, I avoid taking more then one of it if possible (some armies, like Dark Eldar, have to few useful units per choice type to allow that).

This said, I usualy try find a theme for an army after I have my list ready, and when my opponent's army and mission type are decided I try to find a storyline that justifies why exactly these armies fight exactly that scenario. That follows from WD battle reports from better days, where report always had backstory chosen to fit armies rather then other way around.

14-03-2009, 12:05
I got into this game because of my love of the background material and I've always tried to make my armies appropriate to to that background so, to me, making a force has to be done keeping this in mind.

Even in random games against whomeverr I always give the scenario a litttle narrative and will sometimes use the outcome to advance the background of my army or flesh out the established material more. By that I mean that I've written little bits about each army for myself and occasionally add to it. It just sounds more impressive to say it the other way.

Born Again
14-03-2009, 12:15
I went for Fluff with some competition.

I design my lists pretty much based solely on fluff. I don't worry about how hard it is or what's a good combo. I go off of fluff and what models I like. However, I do take a very small amount of the gaming side into account, but only when it comes to minor things. Mostly I get competitive in the actual games: when those models hit the board, I play to win. I don't think of that when I write up the lists though, just the fluff.

captain malachi
14-03-2009, 12:18
Well, let's see. My daemons have 3x winged Nurgle princes, a 'thirster and a keeper, with some plaguebearers to hold objectives (well that throws fluff right out the window, an all Nurgle force being led by greater daemons of Khorne and Slaanesh?).

My space marines are fully mechanised with 2 vindis (well, at least it isn't as bad as the daemons).

Yeah, I think it's safe to say I'm a powegamer.

For the record though, I do like the fluff, I just don't bother making sure my lists are fluffy.

14-03-2009, 12:26
I voted "middle of the road". My IG army has a pretty original theme going on, with named characters, background fluff, heavily converted troops and an original paint scheme. That doesn't stop me from taking any unit I fancy though, just so long as I can model the unit to fit the rest of the army.

Eg: when the new codex is released I'll get several of the special characters, such as Kamhir (Spelling?) and make my own model to represent them but I won't be able to take Yarrik or the other big names because there's no way they would be in my army, and due to their fame, no way to represent them as anything other than themselves.

14-03-2009, 12:46
I like the fluff, but then I've come at it (this time in the hobby) from an RPG background.

I'll never play in a tournament and I prefer the creative over the strategic any day of the week anyway.

14-03-2009, 12:49
ok, I definitely play to win but I'll get to that in a moment as the Tau comment incensed me a little- neither Kauyon or Mont'ka is a type of list- its a strategy/tactic [I'm debating between the two- lets just call it a battle plan]. A fluffy Tau list is one that has the right equipment to achieve the kill- mont'ka and kauyon are the two methodologies for being able to use this to achieve the kill. In fact, tau fluff is very specific that cadres are combined arms forces fitted for the mission at hand so actually EVERY Tau build is relatively fluffy- from battle lines built around Kroot to hunter killers set around a lure (which can be anything from auxiliaries to bonded fire warrior teams). What isn't fluffy, however, is a fire warrior gun line as Tau don't hold ground to make the kill- they regard territorial gain as irrelevant- once the prey is killed the ground is for the taking.

I guess truely fluffy tau would be an army built to take on whatever they were facing- but I kind of see that as cheating- so any kind of combined arms cadre- m,echanised or not, is fine by me. Secondly Tau are rather fast- an army with plenty of builds where everything can move 12" a turn and still shoot is rather manoeverable- I might suggest that there are other ways of playing you could try.

Anyway... Rant over! At the end of the day to me its a game and the objective of a game is to win. So I had to go for the first option- especially as I love tournaments etc. thats not to say I have no time for the background- in fact I find that when I deeply like the army (Tau!) it makes me play better as I hate the thought of the little blighters dying worthlessly. I also play a narrative style campaign every year- so fluff is important to me but at the end of the day, like any game I play, I play to win, on my own or as part of a team and I would never limit myself by trying to be flufftacular. that said, I do prefer armies where as a whole they fit their background better- which is why I like my tau more than my Chaos marines as Tau actually even fight as described in the codex!

Mordian Marauder
14-03-2009, 12:51
I'm too laid back to care much about winning. That's probably a bad thing, especially in real life, but still, it makes winning once in a while that little bit more sweeter.

I don't really mind though. I'd rather be gaming with something I put time and effort into creating than some prefabricated guaranteed one shot kill list. There's no fun or variety into playing that way, in my opinion.

14-03-2009, 13:53
I try to make a fair list.

I don't like cookie cutter lists, and I will build a list that seems balanced on paper, while bearing in mind the background (my Sallies only have 1 FA choice).

Then I will play with the list, and make amendments where I deem necessary.

Eventually, I hope to have a solid list, that can take on most lists, without it being abusive.

Captain Micha
14-03-2009, 13:55
I am wondering where people fit between being more focused on the competitive aspects of the game or focusing on the background, or fluff, aspect of the game.

Middle of the road player here, actually I just field whatever I think looks cool "Viability" be damned.

I can generally make things viable that most people consider unviable and enjoy some large successes due mostly to my unconventional tactics.

Whatever looks cool, also tends to get written into my personal fluff.

Grand Master Raziel
14-03-2009, 14:40
Very few people are going to come out and admit to themselves (much less anybody else) that they are a hardcore, rules-abusing cheese-monkey.

Anyhow, I put my vote in the "Competitive, but with a nod for the fluff" category. The way I'd put it, is that I play to win, but I don't necessarily build army lists to win. I tend to build lists around a theme, but I don't get so wrapped up in the theme that I lose sight of what I think makes a list solid. Once models hit the table, though, I give it my all, which sometimes results in a somewhat one-sided game.

I do like the background aspects of the game, and doing such things as naming my characters - not just ICs, mind you, but squad sergeants as well. Naming a squad after its sergeant gives it a lot more character than simply assigning it a number. However, I don't go running out to buy the latest BL releases to pore over for every obscure reference they have to offer, the way some people do. Basically, I think any background material that comes from the Black Library is automatically suspect, as IMO the game designers are bad at writing narrative, and the professional writers take wild liberties with the setting for the sake of their stories.

14-03-2009, 15:00
I like the fluff of the army, but my fluff is usually some scenario i've thought up. As a result of likeing wraithguard/lord, my army also has alot of guardians, as i figure most of the aspect warriors would have gotten munched by the nids at Iyanden. If i'm not playing like that i'm playing some type of mainstream craftworld, or some temple garrison with it's own fluff, but fluff is the starting point for my armies.

That being said, nobody really likes to lose. Although I play eldar, it's really not THAT hard to make a competetive list with anything in the 'dex.

14-03-2009, 15:03
I make lists that are fluff based and while this can sometimes make things harder in game to acheive victory I find that when I do it's all the more satisfying when it happens and with my Guard especially of late they tend to draw alot of the time which I think is good enough alot of the time.

I also play game far less often than i'd like to usually getting maybe 2 games per month at best so i spend far more time reading about stuff and painting models than playing games so to me the fluff is probably more important than competativness.

Captain Micha
14-03-2009, 15:15
Heh you can tell you are a marine player Raziel. You have so few serjs that you can actually name them.

14-03-2009, 15:48
I'm in the middle, I don't like to field improbable armies, but I don't like to get mauled either.

For exemple, my Steel Legion doesn't use chimeras because they are terrible, but I don't play them as drop troops either because that would be terribly unfluffy. It's not all Steel Legion regiments that are mechanized anyway.

My White Scars have 2 full squads of bike, characters on bike and a bike mounted command squad. No dreadnoughts here and veryone who isn't on a bike rides in a transport.

More a theme than fluff here but my nids use lots of TMCs and fery few gaunts, but I am left why so few troops that it isn't hard at all to at least get at least a draw against them in objective missions. I don't use a broodlord either even if he is way better than my CC flyrant.

My Grey Knights are played as a pure force, Yes I sometimes field less than 30 models in a 1500 game, but I prefer to lose with this theme than win with a rag tag looking army of Imperial units.

14-03-2009, 15:49
I'm a background player. I don't particularly care about how powerful or competitive a list is, I just want it to be as characterful and as close to the background as I can get it. For me the game is campaigns and stories.

Sister Sin

14-03-2009, 15:57
I'm actually physically incapable of building a competitive army; it's always the background and modelling oppurtunities.

14-03-2009, 16:17
I think the poll lacks alternatives. While I'm still to start an IG army (waiting for the new codex), based on how I play fantasy I'll go for the pretty stuff. If the unit/mini looks good I'll go for it, fluff and competativness be damned.

Of course the nice looking things might be fluffy and/or competative but then it is a coincidence, not a goal.

14-03-2009, 17:13
I love the 40k fluff and my armies always have a theme in mind when I start them. That said, I will use competitive armies for tournies or when my opponent goes WAAC.

14-03-2009, 20:12
As a side note- I'm happy to be labelled competitive but there's a purist part of me that means the uber-units are generally left at home. I read somewhere taht the difference between casual and power gamers is taht power gamers try and out power their foe, while casual gamers try andout tactic them (massively summed up by the way) Now while that's a nonsense, it does show 2 distinct styles to list building. As a reactionary player I always want my bases covered and so use tactics that are perhaps alien to power style players. Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with both ways of playing but I want to be competitive and not necessarily 'cheesy' This means my armies are often quite fluffy for a WAAC gamer (not that I'm that WAAC but still). They still get called cheesy when they start winning though...

14-03-2009, 20:16
The game is no fun if you don't know your own guys' stories.... You individualize your army and make it an actual emotional game. I don't mean waaaaaah cry cry cry.
Stuff like:
"Noooo! I lost an entire squad!" (Even though it might not even be that strong.)

14-03-2009, 20:18
I fall somewhere in the middle. I try to avoid the cheesier lists and myself abide by fluff restrictions and I love the background to my armies and try to follow those but I don't really go all out with it and make up excuses from time to time to use certain models and rules. I don't really ever try to rationalize or create a story for each of my matches. Any fluff and such that goes into my list is all well and good but once I hit the table it's game on, I play to win with what I have which usually works great as I have many like minded opponents so I win some and I lose some and every game is usually a blast.

14-03-2009, 21:12
I choose the 4th option down. I'm more into the fluff/background/imagery of the game then the WIN factor. If I just cared about that I'd put together a 'point-and-click' beardy army of silliness. Since I'm more into the fluff/look of the game, when I make an army, I go for the good looking models first and foremost, and then try to adjust the list to at least be a little competitive (i.e. not lose EVERY game!). I'm working on an Ad Mech army right now, so I think that pretty much answers the question in itself:D

Khornate Fireball (Ork)
14-03-2009, 21:17
I choose a strategy I like, and certain non-negotiable units to fit background, then optimize competitively from there. So, for example, I want to make my Evil Sunz powerful, but I wouldn't switch to a horde of footslogging Shootaz if that turned out to be a more powerful build than any Evil Sunz list.