Friday, March 11, 2011

List Building 101 - Consideration of Unit Choices

In the first post in the List Building 101 I said I felt it was important to know what your play style is and then if you want to be immediately competitive build with that in mind.

So how do you do that? Firstly through army choice and then secondly through unit choice.

Army choice is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re preferred play style is reserved then Bretonnians are probably not your army. Likewise if you are looking for subtle it is going to be hard to find it with Warriors of Chaos.

Once you’ve settled on an army, I think that the best process is to sit down with the army book and go through the list entries unit by unit. Spend some time on this and look at the possible uses for each unit and how they might fit the needs of your style. Key to this is looking at the potential ways the inclusion of characters and magic items (usually banners) may modify their surface characteristics. For instance the inclusion of a magic banner and proximity to a Cauldron of Blood changes the nature of units in a Dark Elf army markedly. Similarly in this brave new world of magic augmentation the functionality of a unit may be changed by the possible selection of one magic lore over another.

Once I’ve gone through this process I’ll generally have three groups – units I’ll definitely include, those I definitely won’t include and a number of possibles. This then gives you a framework on which to build your list.

One thing that is important here are “synergies”. The word is often bandied about in discussions concerning list construction as something you want to achieve. For me synergy is where the outcome of two or more things working together is more than their individual contributions. Good examples are a block of Marauders and a chariot – the chariot joins combat in the second round to add impact hits after the initial onslaught (str bonus, charge bonus etc) has occurred. In my Skaven I see great synergies in using a block of slaves and a Gutter Runner unit in tandem versus elite low Toughness enemy such as Marauders, Swordmasters etc (the slaves engage them in combat and then the Gutter Runners abuse the no randomization rule by shooting into combat with their poisoned slings).

So when considering units always work through how they will operate and whether working in tandem with another unit makes them a better choice.

The next post in the series will focus on what elements you need to cover off in your list construction.

R.I.P. Thomas Henry Dunn 5/09/21-11/03/81 - Missed every day.

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