View Full Version : Can you build a viable (not uber-competitive) army with the 1 box = 1 unit mantra?

19-12-2014, 19:09
I've been thinking lately about how GW tends to box their kits; often you don't get all of the options for a squad in a single kit and sometimes not even enough models to make a complete squad and you have to end up buying a second box to make a single unit at the maximum size and/or with the options you want to give it. While this isn't a thread to complain about that, it got me wondering.

Is it possible to build a viable (not competitive as I know that's not really reasonable to expect) force that adheres to the concept that 1 box = 1 unit? That is you buy a box and don't have to buy a duplicate only because you want to field 10 and the box only has 5 or because you want two of the same weapon and the box only has one included.

What that means is something like buying a box and only using the contents of that box to build the unit, without taking options that would require buying a second box or a different box just to kit out that unit. I'm not saying you can only take a squad once; you can field multiple squads but the idea is you shouldn't have to buy two boxes because, for example, you want two meltaguns and the box only has one - under this concept you could only field the options in the box without explicitly having buying a second box just for the options. Or, for example, buying two boxes of Sternguard because you want to field a unit of 10 and there are only 5 in the box.

The idea is to approach buying models from a GW collector's perspective where you buy models for your collection and then decide that you want to play a game with what you have, and most collector's aren't going to want to buy two boxes to make a single unit or for options that require a second box because one doesn't have the number you want. This could technically be expanded to include bits (e.g. if I bought a Tac Squad and didn't use the meltagun, I can use that meltagun with a Sternguard squad to give it 2 meltas without breaking this experiment) but not buying 2 boxes just because I want 2 meltaguns.

Is it possible to start (assuming starting completely from scratch, no existing models at all) a 40k army with these restrictions?

I realize this might be a little confusing so if you are confused by what I mean I will try to explain further or provide more examples, but I basically mean a scenario like the below:

I want to get a unit of Sternguard, but I don't want to feel ripped off and have to buy two boxes to make a single squad. I restrict myself to buying one box of 5 Sternguard and equipping them with the contents of the kit (and if I have any bits already) to field a single unit of 5 Sternguard for games. If I later buy a second box of Sternguard, I can either field two units of 5 or one unit of 10 or a combination in between, but I don't want to buy two boxes for every one squad that I want to field.

19-12-2014, 19:22
The short answer is yes, it is possible to build a legitimate if non-competitive army in this manner for most of the factions in 40k. Most of the kits are generally self contained, and it's only the idea of better composition that makes us mix and match or bits purchase. There are notably a few units here and there that are not viable by the box contents, but most of it is.

19-12-2014, 19:30
The short answer is yes, it is possible to build a legitimate if non-competitive army in this manner for most of the factions in 40k. Most of the kits are generally self contained, and it's only the idea of better composition that makes us mix and match or bits purchase. There are notably a few units here and there that are not viable by the box contents, but most of it is.

That's really good to know, as the notion of having to buy two boxes to make a single unit is one of the things that really turns me off from playing 40k again. If I could get around it (which it sounds like I can) it becomes a slightly better idea to toss around.

19-12-2014, 19:39
Depends a lot on the army. Probably easiest army to do so would be space marines. IG would be pretty screwed as their basic infantry box has just flamers and grenade launcher. Flamers good but you would like some plasma's and meltas and heavy weapons(which you get none). Orks are bit limited. At least you probably wouldn't have problem with adding trukk for second box? (then again there is combined trukk+boyz so technically one box :D). For foot slogging 10 orks is hopeless.

But 40k has it easy. 2 boxes is generally max you need apart from very few units. For FB 3, 4 or even 5 isn't impossible.

19-12-2014, 19:47
How do you treat transport vehicles? Are they out alltogether? Do only codeci with transports listed as FA (like FA pods or FA razorbacks) work? Are you saying that if I wanted a squad of 30 gants I couldn't that because I'd need three boxes to make one squad? If so then most horde armies will be screwed outright...are you primarily concerned about buying boxes for extra weapon options?

'Nids can have a pretty good army consisting of "1 box=1 unit". Tyrants, Warriors (or rippers...lol), and various MCs+pods all work wonders.

Dark Eldar are the same. Necrons don't really have all that many options anyway...

Eldar are pretty darn close to that.

In fact as I think of it, most armies would do decently under that theory.


19-12-2014, 20:04
Not that I've thought it out 100% but the idea was transports are their own thing and included, just not things like buying two boxes of Sternguard to make a single unit because then you're paying double for one squad. The ultimate idea is to avoid those kinds of situations where you have to buy multiple boxes to make a single squad, because then you need multiples of multiples to make an army.

The unofficial goal is to keep the cost of starting a new army (or starting a first army) to a reasonable level, in part by not having to buy 2 boxes of say a $50 kit to field a single unit on the table.

19-12-2014, 20:29
I posted in the other thread that you can make a pretty good army out of only Tactical and Devastator boxes, but we can do some illustrative numbers here.

Tactical box comes with ten guys, one of each (four total) special weapon and the ability to make any combi weapon. Plus it comes with one Heavy, the Missile Launcher. The Tactical box also comes with a spare torso front. (ten sets of legs, ten torso backs, but eleven torso fronts)

The Devastator box comes with six sets of legs, but only five torsos. But it's got eight Heavy Weapons! Two Lascannons, two Heavy Bolters, two Plasma Cannons, one Multimelta and one Missile Launcher. Even if you don't use the Heavy Bolters (I rarely see-em on the tabletop) you still have several options for your new Devs and Tacticals.

If you buy a Rhino, or maybe any SM tank, you'll get some crewman parts which include another torso back to go with the spare front from the Tactical box. Add the spare legs from the Devastator box for an extra marine. Or you could use the "Techmarine" torso front form the tank kit (it's got the mechanicus symbol on it) along with the mechanicus shoulder pad from the same kit, and combine that with the funny "techy" optional backpack from the Devastator kit, and you can jury-rig a decent Techmarine out of it. Decorate with Servo-Skulls (Devastator Kit again) and it's a pretty sweet little model.

Edit: Three kits, potentially five unts. Two five man Tactical teams with Special Weapons, one five man Devastator unit, one Techmarine and a Rhino. Or you have enough heavy weapons to do two Devastator teams and one Tactical team instead. An anti-infantry team with HB and Plasma Cannons, and an AT team with Lascannons and Missile Launchers, and a five man Tactical team with Grav, Combi-Grav in a Rhino with Techmarine (with auspex to reduce cover saves?) Sorta 450 + points depending on options.

21-12-2014, 15:00
The most likely candidates are MC- or vehicle-heavy armies, as they'll use lots of points on single-model units that are expensive in points but obviously self-contained in a single box.

Daemons and Tyranids would both fare alright under these rules, mech Guard might have a hard time though because you'd be unable to equip your Infantry well. Eldar would be fine too with 5 DA in Serpents.

22-12-2014, 00:30
You could do something like this:

T-fex in T-cyte
T-fex in T-cyte
T-fex in T-cyte
- 1500-ish, Leviathan detachment.

It would involve making a few tentacles and handling twin Devourers in your coice of manner, but for an experienced hobbyist it should be no problem. Throw in a Crone or two and some upgrades to get to 1850.

While technically each Tyrant box comes with only one set of Devourers, many players either don't care if you use only one set of arms. Other players use T-fex Fleshborer Hive arms to represent the guns, and this build has enough kits to do that with each Tyrant.

22-12-2014, 00:38
Imperial Knights don't have the problem you mentioned. With that in mind, you can just field 3 Knights plus some other support for anti-aircraft work and mobile scoring.

22-12-2014, 16:00
Some daemon princes, greater daemon and imp knight?

22-12-2014, 16:12
Grey Knights easily. Terminators/Paladins come in a single box with all weapon options.

Asura Varuna
23-12-2014, 21:42
Eldar with Wave Serpents added to 5 man squads. Only thing you're restricted from really is 6 man jetbike squads.

23-12-2014, 22:41
As noted, Space Marines of any variety can do this easily. Then there are Tau and Necrons. Chaos Daemons as well.

Snake Tortoise
23-12-2014, 23:03
I think you have to be going for something quite specialised in most cases where you'd want extra parts not included in a plastic kit. Tyranids have the problem of twin linked brainleech devourers for hive tyrants and carnifexes

Stay away from havoc squads (you can do similar things with predator tanks) and you shouldn't have problems with chaos marines

Still Standing
24-12-2014, 22:19
5 Rangers
5 Rangers
5 Wraithguard w/ D-Scytes in Serpents w/ Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon
5 Wraithguard w/ D-Scytes in Serpents w/ Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon
Wraithknight w/ Suncannon, Scatter Laser

Pretty competitive Eldar army at 1500pts. All units are from 1 box. It's my tournament army. :)