View Full Version : Playing with a handicap list

09-08-2010, 12:32
So lately I've been fielding my hardcore tournament Blood Angels army list at the local games club... and winning quite a bit. In fact, I havn't lost once in about 3 months.

Point is that most of my opponents at the club don't field highly competitive lists themselves and they're more casual while I regularly attend tournaments.

Having accidentally destroyed a 2000 point chaos list with 1500 points of Angels including Mephiston (honest mistake on my opponent's part, thinking I had a more expensive list) and then trouncing an Imperial guard tank army so quickly the week after that there wasn't really any game to be enjoyed at all, I've decided to shelve the BA at the local club for the time being.

So, setting aside my usual minimaxing ways for the moment I've been working on a way to field my Salamanders to present me with a bit more of a challenge.

This includes:
Fielding units I made just because they look pretty awesome (Space Marine Command Squad with lots of power weapons) that captain with the Thunderhammer that can no longer have a Salamander Mantle. Not using Vulkan, and selecting weapon options that are 'okay' but not optimal, such as plasma and lascannons in tactical squads.

Was wondering though if anyone else had similar experiences and decent ideas for playing less powerful lists to make for a more challenging game.

09-08-2010, 12:50
Hi Fixer,
Actually I think if you can enjoy making a less competitive list, you may be on to something. I'd like to say kudos to your friends, they get thrashed but they keep on slugging it out with you, they sound like good sports. Sadly, the best of intentions don't necessarily guarantee brilliant tactical insights, I know. I am a very poor player, partly because I buy my armies based on what's on sale, and what looks really neat visually. As a result I don't have much a clue how these units will act together for victory, and tend to play each unit seperately much to my opponents advantage.

Anyways, I don't mind losing, but I know it's no fun for the winner to always table me, week after week. One solution I thought of was to ask for 100 pts towards my next army each time my opponent tabled me towards the next week. I think points don't actually make things even. We all know you can make good lists and bad lists with any point value. But you beat your friend with a 500 pt handicap.

So I think what you are doing, making more casual units, is a good way to go, if you can enjoy it. I think you are great for wanting not only more of a challenge for yourself, but also a more winnable fight for your friends!

Emperor bless and cherish you!

09-08-2010, 12:52
in general i stick to the list i write and in the main they are normally pretty competitive. Its only one factor in the game though so if ye generally just better at 40k list writing it prob means you are better in all other regards whilst playing so taking a crap list is a slippery slope to 'forgetting' to move units etc...

I'd stick to what you have but give your opponents pointers and whatnot to make them better players.

09-08-2010, 12:53
I've got a few BA players locally that would love to know what your list is. I tabled two in a row last week with my IG, and they were both running their tourney armies. They came in 2nd/3rd at the tourney (I couldn't attend, darn it).

09-08-2010, 13:00
Definitely something to be encouraged. Pick your squads with nothing but aesthetics in mind, arm them with weapons you like the look of, give your leaders unusual wargear and make each squad different.

Or build to a theme - how about a lightly armed infiltration force - no weapons with a Strength over 6, melta bombs and powerfists to deal with armour etc? Or a force with zero vehicles except dreadnoughts, perhaps just a mass of footslogging Marines with special weapons?

Lord Malorne
09-08-2010, 13:00
I'm getting to the same point Fixer, my lists are generally better than the clubs I go to because of the years I spent playing at GW's 'power gaming', I have been taking units I like though not 'cost effective' for awhile now as its not a 'risk' to take them.

Lately I have been slowly fielding less points in games, like 100-200 points less, nothing major, my opponant does not know though, and I kind of feel it would be a bit insulting if they did :(.

09-08-2010, 13:01
That mate is why I play Ogryn heavy guard and Pure GK lists. I've had some "not fun" games recently with decent opponents who just couldn't deal with either my Wolves or EC.

I tend to find mixing a few nices in for musts goes a long way to evening the field.

09-08-2010, 13:23
Hmm, I like the idea of a handicap system (like in golf?). I'm really put off by playing more experienced players (coz they'll whup me). And most new players seem to be way younger than me. A handicap system would be useful in redressing the unbalance of inexperience.

09-08-2010, 14:39
A handicap system would be useful in redressing the unbalance of inexperience.

Easily done with a simple campaign, all start with a set points limit, if you lose you get 100 extra points in your next battle :D

With regard to the OP's question...
1) Have you thought about abandoning Power Armour? It can present a whole raft of new challenges.
2) Regardless of what actual codex you pick, decide upon a theme and run with that ignoring any units that don't fit the theme
3) Alternatively, pick a list purely from units you normally wouldn't take because you consider them, in some way, to be sub-par.

09-08-2010, 15:04
I always play with a handicap: me! Seriously, I have never been a good player in any game system I have tried. I had all the tactical sense of a drowned rat before my head injury, and now, well, let's just say I like pushing the pretty figures around and making zap zap noises. But I have never wanted to build an army around "winning." It has always been about what looks cool, or has a great story, or what makes sense for the army as a whole. Maybe I would win more if I built lists to win, but I would rather play the army I love.

Just something to consider.

09-08-2010, 15:33
I'm doing similar taking sub-optimal choices from the Chaos book, and not going mechanised :eek:

09-08-2010, 15:43
I do that frequently to teach people to play the game or with newcommers, i usually try new units or thing that i like but are not really competitive.

09-08-2010, 15:59
Sounds like time to start collecting a new army that you donīt have much experience with and choosing units purely for looks and feel. Take that army to your club, and whip out the Blood Angels only for tournaments and tough opponents.

09-08-2010, 16:33
I reached a similar place with my Guard at my local GW and when playing with my mates. It got tiring tabling people with the same list for everyone involved, so before it became an issue I decided to mix things up a bit.

I have a huge collection so I am able to entertain different themed forces, mechanized, armoured, infantry company, artillery heavy etc. I then began rotating units I like or hadn't really used into my hardcore tine tuned list to experiment with the power level of the army and try out units I wouldn't otherwise use in a game I was pulling out all the stops. I love my Vanquishers!

A really refreshing change was using battle missions and creating a loose narrative for my games, which has evolved into a campaign with my friends. Now I can combine my themed lists with the story and it has been really inspiring to play different types of games. There is a difference between giving someone a points handicap and me gimping my list for them and playing the valiant last stand of the 2nd Company Attakar PDF at the defence of the Altair ridge enfilade against the overwhelming onslaught of the metal warriors from the desert. Realising this has refreshed my hobby immensely for me and my opponents and I have fallen in love with 40k all over again.

I would never play down to my opponent because I feel it would be patronising, changing your army and the games you play is the way to go.