Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Unit Duplication

Over the year’s one of the biggest “alarm bells” in Australasian 40k composition scoring systems (be they math, peer, TO or panel) has been duplication of units. In some parts of Australia – notably South Australia and Victoria – it has been close to a lynching offence.

New Zealand has always been a lot more relaxed regarding it – and I hope being one of the more prolific TOs in this part of the world that I have been a champion of that attitude.

My attitude to what is seen as “spam” by some is dictated by my own approach to army building. In 40k I have always preferred less breadth in the number of different unit types I take, and more of a focus on the tactics to maximise the use of those units. Other people have a different view that only sees merit when achieve the nirvana of replicating a Space Marine “Half-Company” in your 1500 point list. I only partly joke.

I generally don’t see replication as “spam”, I see it as redundancy. In 40k I like to have units that can do a job and I’m realistic enough to know that if I have only one unit that can do that job then I am at risk if that unit is neutralised. By having units that can perform dual purposes I can alleviate some of the risk but not to the extent that I can with duplication.

All my tournament-winning armies have been built with that in mind. For instance my Drop Pod army had nine pods with three CCW Marine Squads, three shooty squads and three Assaualt Cannon Dreads (remember 4th Ed.). Each group of three was exactly the same. The Emperor’s Children was built around three unit types (all in multiples) – Noise Marines, Daemonettes and Noise Havocs.

For me, at least, I see building in redundancy as good army design and something I strive to achieve. It reflects my reliance on maths and normal distribution patterns rather than faith and hope.

So what do you think? Is duplication (spam) bad?


  1. Redundancy is good army design and makes sense. It is effective army construction. Comp hate for 'spam' and replication of identical units comes down to the fact that generally people see this sort of thing as the first step down the road to making a hard list, I certainly agree that would be a fairly correct assumption, but the reaction to a few identical units generally goes too far with the Comp stick.

    Meh, bring on no-Comp tournaments :)

  2. See, I don't understand why people are so angry at fluffy lists. I mean if sending in an army designed to succeed is good enough for the likes of Logan Grimnar, Marneus Calgar, and Dante then it's good enough for a lowly Captain like me and I'll spam transports and identically kitted troops like I've been taught in countless battles against the Emperors enemies.

    People that use comp-scores to restrict and suppress fluffy lists are not the sort of WAAC gamers I like playing with.