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Icraig33
12-10-2012, 05:05
Hi! I've been wanting to get into playing warhammer 40K (i've always like collecting models for the sake of building/painting them, but i've never been too big on the game itself until somewhat recently)
I'll definitely start off playing Nurgle chaos space marines, since I already have a pretty decently-sized army to work off of with them after a few years of collecting, But I want to ask in case I end up wanting to collect a different army altogether: What are the general playstyles of each faction? Now, I know that each faction has a lot of multiple play styles they can use (or at least, most of them probably do), but I'd like to know the generic, most playstyles one thinks of when they think of the different races.

Here is my updated list on the different faction playstyles, though I'm still not sure on certain aspects:

Space Marines - A very versatile and well-rounded army, though a bit lacking in specialized units. Each army has its own emphasis to differentiate from other chapters

Chaos Space Marines - Similar to Space Marines, but with slightly more emphasis on melee combat and psychic abilities. They are still capable of being a pretty shooty army if they please.

Chaos Daemons - very tanky units on the frontline with specialized shooty units in at the back?

Dark Eldar - Very frail but very fast, specializing in hit-and-run tactics and with a fetish for cheap dedicated transports. While they should be a mainly melee faction, they apparently turned shooty as of 6e.

Eldar - A hard-to-play army that relies mostly on mobility and specialized units, as well as having a slight emphasis on close range firefights.

Imperial Guard - one of the three "Swarm" armies i've noticed (the other two being Nids and Orks), with a preference for a lot of guns and a lot of tanks. They are one of the two masters of long ranged combat, utilizing their large numbers to just spray and obliterate. Are also capable of long range precision, but aren't as good at is as, say, Tau

Necrons - Tough, slow (or at least should be slow) faction that can revive dead units.

Orks - kinda similar to Imperial Guard at a glance, but with less epic vehicles (but still pretty good) and much more preference for melee combat (though they can still have a lot of DAKKA if they want to).

Tau - The other masters of shooty combat, though this army utilizes mobility to get in and out of short-range firefights. They also have really good long range options in the Heavy Support tree.

On that note, they also kinda remind me of Warhammer Fantasy lizardmen in a sense (even though the Nids are apparently closer), due to having multiple races representing different specialties (like how the Kroot are the melee units. I don't really know what the Vespid do, but they look like they serve as a type of jump or stealth infantry. And yes, I do know about the stealth suits that the Tau can field, which is why i'm kinda iffy on what Vespids do)

Tyranids - The ultimate melee swarm army, with monstrous creatures as opposed to vehicles.

Grey Knights - Like space marines, but with much stronger and only slightly more expensive units

Sisters of battle - apparently only good with heavy support choices. Also don't have much in the sense of vehicles.

Grentain
12-10-2012, 06:24
Allow me to make a few clarifications to your list!

Spess Mehrins: Everything has better-than-average stat lines, so much that you might assume they were the average! Anything less than a 3+ armor save is useless, and the biggest drawback to the army is that it has very few specialized units. The difference between "Close Combat", "Tactical", and "Devastator" marines is a Bolt Pistol VS a Bolter VS a couple more heavy weapons than you'd get otherwise in a smaller squad. Elites are typically squadrons of sergeants. Each chapter has a couple special rules that set it apart from the rest.

Dark Eldar: Frail is right. Indiscriminate poison weapons don't care if you're paying a premium for high-toughness models, and aren't any more effective against guardsmen than Wraithlords. Transports are cheap as dirt, but the downside is that they don't have any real tanks, and most of their vehicles go down relatively easily once hit. Still, they tend to do their job. Their flyers have some funky missile weapons that cause wounds tests, and I hate them.

Eldar: Terrible troops choices. Their psykers are okay simply because they have access to Runes of Warding for psychic defense and the Fortune power. Every FOC slot has about one usable option, aside from Heavy Support which is where the bulk of the good models lie. The squads are typically very specialized, and not suited for multi-tasking (even the ones that are allegedly supposed to be good at it). Their tanks are by-and-large overpriced, and got a huge hit to their durability in 6E. Zero access to assault vehicles kills a lot of otherwise viable CC options for the codex. Despite being the third oldest codex, it can still be a force to reckon with if run correctly, thanks to the awesomeness of Jetbike Warlock Squadrons (which have no official model), and the relative awesomeness of the codex's heavy support.

Imperial Guard: In 5E it was basically pay-to-win tanks. That's subsided a bit with the addition of hull points, I believe, and they're allegedly both good at infantry and tank spam, still. Ordnance batteries are really frustrating to play against. I've never played against an infantry guard list, so I've got nothing to say about those.

Necrons: Probably one of (if not THE) strongest codex out right now. It has hands-down the best generic HQ in the game, troops that can reliably thrash vehicles, and super-durable transports. Their flyers are the big cheese right now, apparently. It's also got plenty of silly and fun models for casual players to take advantage of.

Tau: Broadsides are probably one of the best heavy support choices in the game. With this most recent FAQ their tanks got super-durable, and 6E saw that Fire Warriors became a force to be reckoned with. Still, it's an old codex and is pretty much a LEGO army. More or less two different model types that are only differentiated through which wargear tables they can buy from. Allies do a lot for this army.

Tyanids: Got a bunch of neat tricks for Flying Monstrous Creatures in 6E, making them a bit better than before. Still in drastic need of a better codex. It's got a few really over-the-top models (Doom of Malentai?), but otherwise is considered not very strong. I blame the lack of armor value.

Grey Knights: Like Spess Mehrins, but all of them come standard with wargear that you'd pay an extra ~20 points for per model in another Spess Mehrin codex. Oh, and they're all psykers. And their troops choices are really, REALLY good. They have two-wound terminators.

Kakapo42
12-10-2012, 06:37
Hi! I've been wanting to get into playing warhammer 40K (i've always like collecting models for the sake of building/painting them, but i've never been too big on the game itself until somewhat recently)
I'll definitely start off playing Nurgle chaos space marines, since I already have a pretty decently-sized army to work off of with them after a few years of collecting, But I want to ask in case I end up wanting to collect a different army altogether: What are the general playstyles of each faction? Now, I know that each faction has a lot of multiple play styles they can use (or at least, most of them probably do), but I'd like to know the generic, most playstyles one thinks of when they think of the different races.
I think I have a small idea on what the playstyles of each race is, but i'm really not sure how accurate they are. Because of this, i'll provide a list of what I think the general play style of each faction is so that you can correct me wherever wrong (i'll also update it based on what people here tell me):

Welcome aboard!


(I also heard that they have the best vehicles in the game. is that true?)

Not really no. The Imperial Guard have some very good vehicles to be sure, but I would say there are no real 'best' vehicles (and even so which is best for what varies from person to person).


Imperial Guard - one of the three "Swarm" armies i've noticed (the other two being Nids and Orks), with a preference for guns and a LOT of tanks (I also heard that they have the best vehicles in the game. is that true?). and by Swarm I mean having a lot of cheap, expendable units.


Tau - The masters of ranged warfare (with Kroots to do all the dirty work whenever necessary)

Both these factions are masters of ranged warfare, but each has a different approach to it. The Imperial Guard focus on overwhelming indiscriminate firepower, while the Tau focus more on high-powered long-range precision strikes, applying heavy firepower exactly where needed to take the enemy apart piece by piece.


Sisters of battle - The opposite of grey knights in relation to space marines

The Sisters of Battle specialise in close-range firefights. They have a lot of flame and melta weaponry which is devastating at short range and in close quaters, but they have limited long-range striking power (mostly from Exorcist missile barrages and heavy-bolter armed units).

ftayl5
12-10-2012, 09:08
I'll protest that Orks are like IG. They're both very numerous yes, but their similarities end there. IG are a very static, sit on the edge of the field and shoot everything down - because they suck in combat - army. Although there are alternative tactics involving Vendettas and massed tanks, they generally rely entirely upon shooting. With the exception of a few units, IG get slaughtered in just about any assault situation and rely completely on ranged attacks to do damage, which luckily for them, is something they're horrendously good at.

Orks on the other hand are brilliant in assault. 1 Boy with a Shoota (which also gives 2 very inaccurate but powerful shots) is very very cheap and gets 4 attacks on the charge and 2 otherwise. 4 attacks per boy in a unit that can usually be seen in 20-30 boyz is ridiculous. That's just regular boyz as well, nobz can easily have 5 attacks on the assault, with S8 and AP2 as well!

They have a lot of cool vehicles as well that can move them about relatively quickly and though Trukks are very fragile, Battlewagons are very tough to crack - especially when loaded with Meks which can repair hull points on a 4+ every turn. Another cool tactic is to fill a battlewagon (open-topped) with Meks and burna-boys. Go and tank shock into the enemy lines, unload 10 flame templates and then use the meks to repair any damage taken in the process. Then if anything charges you they get 10D3 hits from the overwatch.
Ouch.

Radium
12-10-2012, 09:16
(don't really know where they stand when it comes to melee or ranged combat, though i'm guessing the probably do better up close)

That's the way things SHOULD be, but due to 6th ed. Dark Eldar are a shooting army first and foremost.

Gaargod
12-10-2012, 09:53
Worryingly, I wouldn't put Necrons in the 'slow' camp. They can be so - lots of Ghost Arks warriors for example results in a nigh unkillable wall.
However most people you're going to find will not be using them that way. Necron flyers are really good (for their price. Other flyers are better, it's just that they seem to have a good 40% discount), allowing you to field a very quick force if you feel like it. Combine teleporting shenanigans, jetbike wraiths/destroyers are... well, bad things.


Daemons are an odd one. 6th ed gave them some serious boosts (Daemon Princes with wings went insane and, as they don't use vehicles but did have issues against them, the vehicle nerfs are amazing for them), with a few large nerfs (plaguebearers are no longer anywhere near as tough). Then the recent white dwarf change to Flamers and Screamers made both those units really, really good.
However, I wouldn't call them melee centric. They probably should be (or at least, have that option), but frankly, no. Most times it's going to be Horrors / Plaguebearers holding the fort whilst the scary stuff (flamers, screamers, greater daemons, daemon princes) mince the opposition.


Tyranids still suck. People moan about them a lot - and rightly so. The codex is appallingly badly written, with highly questionable fluff but even worse rules which betray a criminal lack of understanding (especially when compared to the IG codex the author wrote just before!)

Denny
12-10-2012, 09:57
1 Boy with a Shoota (which also gives 2 very inaccurate but powerful shots) is very very cheap and gets 4 attacks on the charge and 2 otherwise.

Shouldn't that be 3 attacks on the charge?
(2 base, +1 for charging?)

Has something changed 6th edition? (haven't palyed against orks recently)

RandomThoughts
12-10-2012, 10:53
I think the important thing to understand is that there is a difference between suppossed (intended by the designers, matching fluff) playstyle and actual playstile based on what the army can do best based on the actual rules as written.

Take Imperial Guard for example. Their fluff and accordingly the offical company line place big emphasis on their guns, their shooting, and big mobs of infantry driving forward bravely / being driven forward callously by their commanding officers to win the day. They are supposed to be the ultimate underdogs in the game, winning through sheer numbers and conviction/desperation and the power of their war engines.

Their actual playstyle, throughout most of 5th edition war mostly dominated by small units of elite infantry (Veterans) with powerful guns (3 Meltaguns to ten men) playing the machanized infantry game (riding around in Chimeras and Vendettas) you'd expect for Space Marines based on the (old) fluff, supported by big guns (at least that part was on the fluff).

Or take Tyranids, for instance. The swarms of endless critters depicted in all the fluff was pretty unplayable in 5th (from what I hear), most players focused entirely on monstrous creatures.

Or if you look at Eldar, we're supposed to be an elite army with fast, deadly units outnumbered by nearly everyone that is not another Elite army (i.e. more than half the published books). The only problem is: Our firepower is pretty lackluster, one of our strongest builds right now (from what I hear, I haven't played much in 6th yet) is a phalanx of slow, durable Wraithguards slowly marching straight towards the enemy lines.

Essentially, what I'm trying to say is this: If you had asked me this question before I started playing on a regular base, my answer would have been pretty much what your first post looks like. Because that's what the armies are suppossed to play like. What they actually play like is quite a different question, however.

Zimfan
12-10-2012, 12:28
Begging the OP's pardon, I have a question I was thinking of starting a thread for that may be better placed here since it's related to the subject (if a bit narrower).

My wife and I are also just getting into the game. There hasn't been any difficulty picking "primary" armies. We've got a moderate sized Chaos army that I'll likely be playing more and have been putting together a Salamander force she'll be playing most of the time. I'd kind of like to add a non power armored army for some variety. I was thinking something that wouldn't come in hordes (I paint at a speed that can best be described as "glacial") and don't have a huge amount of interest in Necrons, Daemons, or Dark Eldar.

I was wondering, at any given points value would either Tau or Eldar be a more "elite" army relative to the other? And as a followup, I'm guessing Tau are strongest at range , are Eldar more of a mid-short range army generally?

Austinitor
12-10-2012, 13:29
In the Eldar v Dark Eldar distinction, do note that Dark Eldar have much longer ranges and much greater shooting quantity, in general.

Eldar do have some less fragile options (a few elites and heavy support with 3+ armor, some 4+ rather than 5+ or 6+ armor) that are still much more fragile than say, Mehrines.

They also have some brutal up close shooting (Fire Dragons, Wraithguard, and some medicore artillery pieces with infantry-grade range), but do have the shortest shooting ranges in the game (ironic due to "seers" who can see "far"). One theme of Eldar is synergy through psykers, which really makes them play like "waramahordes" in so far as most units are dependent on farseer support to accomplish their specialized roles.

They likewise have inferior vehicle fields (chance to ignore Stunned/Shaken rather than chances to avoid the hit, entirely), but stronger vehicle armor than dark eldar (12 vs. 10).

Icraig33
12-10-2012, 21:16
Aight, i'm going to update my list utilizing the feedback I have at the moment. Thanks for those who have helped so far!

ftayl5
12-10-2012, 23:04
Shouldn't that be 3 attacks on the charge?
(2 base, +1 for charging?)

Has something changed 6th edition? (haven't palyed against orks recently)

My mistake, I thought furious charge granted +1 attack, it's actually +1 strength. Oops, but my point is still there.

Icraig33
13-10-2012, 04:55
I updated the list. I was going to do it much earlier, but something came up.

anyways, is this list more accurate?

A.T.
13-10-2012, 12:03
Sisters of Battle - Celestine, seraphim, a mix of 3 exorcist/heavy bolter squads and everything else is a twin melta/flamer power-armoured guard vet squad in a rhino.

That's basically every competative non-allied sisters army you'll face with the WD dex, with an occasional melta-razorback or forgeworld repressor/avenger mixed in. They should not be compared to marines - while they are equipped similarly they lack the same range of options, fold like tau in combat, and have comparatively weak moral and durability.
Unlike marines there is no point bringing high power units to fight the sisters - a basic assault squad will roll them as quickly as a 400+ point deathstar and sisters players can gain a little advantage from this inefficient exchange of models.

They don't prefer close range firefights, they just don't have any alternatives outside of their heavy support slots. They can gain a significant boost in power when they are lucky with their rolls - their heavy support options are all reliant on rolling high with random attacks and intermittent rending, their compulsory HQ randomly ressurects, they all have a 6+ inv save, and the special rules for every infantry unit in the codex are activated based on a single D6 roll at the start of each turn followed by a coin-flip (no, seriously).

Firaxin
13-10-2012, 15:56
Chaos Space Marines - Similar to Space Marines, but with slightly more emphasis on melee combat and psychic abilities
Eh... CSM can actually be pretty shooty. 3 of the 4 Cult units lend themselves to gunlines, new dinobots/dragonturkey are pretty shooty, etc.


Dark Eldar - Very frail but very fast, specializing in hit-and-run tactics and with a fetish for cheap dedicated transports. While they should be a mainly melee faction, they apparently turned shooty as of 6e.
Cheap/abundant Blasters meant they were always pretty shooty, to be honest.


Imperial Guard - one of the three "Swarm" armies i've noticed (the other two being Nids and Orks), with a preference for a lot of guns and a lot of tanks. They are one of the two masters of long ranged combat, utilizing their large numbers to just spray and pray.
"Spray and pray" describes a shooty Ork army. Guard are more "spray and obliterate." :angel: They're also perfectly capable of precision, see: Vendetta spam.


Tau - The other masters of ranged combat, though this faction uses powerful, precise shots that can tear appart their enemies.
This is a misnomer. I cannot emphasize enough, Tau are NOT a long range shooty faction, and never have been. Yes, Railguns are awesome (and relatively cheap) but those are only in the Heavy Support section. All of their other weapons are in the 12-36" range, the better options being at the lower end of the scale.

Tau actually play somewhat similarly to Sisters of Battle, using their mobility to rapidly engage/disengage from short-ranged firefights.


On that note, they also kinda remind me of Warhammer Fantasy lizardmen in a sense, due to having multiple races representing different specialties (like how the Kroot are the melee units.
Naw, I'm pretty sure Tyranids are supposed to be 40k's lizardmen.


I don't really know what the Vespid do, but they look like they serve as a type of jump or stealth infantry. And yes, I do know about the stealth suits that the Tau can field, which is why i'm kinda iffy on what Vespids do)
What do Vespid do? They're there to trick Tau players into wasting points they could have spent on Battlesuits :p
They have short ranged AP3 rifles, like Thousand Sons Rubric Marines, but in all other respects they suck (kinda like Rubric Marines :angel:).


Tyranids - The ultimate melee swarm army, with monstrous creatures as opposed to vehicles (though apparently they suck really bad at the moment)
They're not terrible... In 5th ed Fearless rules meant playing a swarm army was suicidal; at the same time we lost the ability to spam cheap/powerful monstrous creatures that we had in 4th.

But it's not 5th edition anymore, it's 6th. Maxed out Tervigon/Termagaunt lists are pretty competitive 'round where I live. Trygons and Tyrants are also pretty good. I believe Tyranids also got a huge boost by gaining access to the core psychic disciplines (Biomancy, etc), we can field a lot of psykers.

Furthermore, there are very few good melee units in the current Tyranid 'dex. Or more accurately, the competitive shooty units outnumber the competitive melee units.


Grey Knights - Like space marines, but with slightly stronger, slightly more expensive units
More like a lot stronger, but only slightly more expensive. Hence the :cheese:


I was wondering, at any given points value would either Tau or Eldar be a more "elite" army relative to the other? And as a followup, I'm guessing Tau are strongest at range , are Eldar more of a mid-short range army generally?
Zimfan, I'm hesitant to advocate either side because both of these armies are supposedly getting a new rulebook sometime next year. Seeing as you and your wife each have a starter army you can continue to expand, and you paint at a glacial pace anyways (;)), I would advise waiting and seeing what their new rules are before deciding.


They don't prefer close range firefights, they just don't have any alternatives outside of their heavy support slots. They can gain a significant boost in power when they are lucky with their rolls - their heavy support options are all reliant on rolling high with random attacks and intermittent rending, their compulsory HQ randomly ressurects, they all have a 6+ inv save, and the special rules for every infantry unit in the codex are activated based on a single D6 roll at the start of each turn followed by a coin-flip (no, seriously).
In other words, not a beginner's army. :angel: