Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Balanced Lists and what makes yours 'Fluffy'


So tonight Bunny followers I delve into that great question when it comes to 'Lists'. 
What to take and why?

There's been some lengthy talk between us in the Battle Bunnie camp regarding what to take when facing certain opponents. I thought I'd discuss the ever existant conundrum of when to build and list and when to go 'Fluffy'. 

As you can see above one of my favourite characters from the Imperial Fists is Senechal Rann. 
Mainly because he's Sigismund's best mate, he prefers assault tactics and he eventually, like Sigismund, becomes a Chapter Master during the second founding. 

So what to do?

Now like the rest of the Bunnies I like to go for a Fluff feel. Why, well your list has to have 'Character' and by that I mean a back story, a history, something that has a narrative that you automatically bring to the table. 
That way you have a vested interest when it comes to painting them and using them in battles. 

I have a few go to units I like to include all the time. As a result my lists usually include some kind of assault based unit, a few light tanks and then some infantry. I then adjust my HQ's and heavy support according to the potential rival army. 

Some might say you could be heading for a downward spiral. Not many Fluff lists will stand the tide to the insane 'super mega death-star math hammered' lists out there floating around the interweb and blogosphere. 

My question really is where do you as our readers stand?

Do you have a unit that you use every time and build around?

Or do you play a certain way and pick you list accordingly?

Is there a LoW choice you always select or do you have a couple you chose from?


This is the bulk of my go-to units if you like. With a smattering of heavy support and one of my LoW's. 

With the Shadow Crusade weekender coming up to which several of us will be attending we'd like to hear your thoughts.
 
Comment below and we'll take on the discussion :)

As always - For the Emperor!
-Tylar ;)

48 comments:

  1. I love my Relictors, so it's fluffy to take a Relic and Librarians who can summon Daemons with Daemonology, as Relictors use chaos to fight chaos and hunt for relics and their higher ranking Officers are Librarians. Simples.

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    1. Relictor that's an interesting choice. I always liked the Red Scorpions for Xenos hunting too :)
      Especially when they got more FW live in Vraks and then Badab for sure.

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  2. I sure do. With my CSM I always try and make sure I have...Chaos Marines! Yes, that sub-par unit that every competitive CSM player will dump on. They are a core part of my army's fluff, so they get included.

    Beyond that though, the rest of variable. However, my HQ choice will often facilitate other choices. If I take a Warpsmith then I'm going to have Daemon Engines. Other HQs have retinues they typically run with.

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    1. What sort of retinues do you tend to go for?

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    2. Soulgore, one of my Chaos Lords, usually runs with The Unbound (Spawn), when he's on his Juggernaut.

      Maelstrom (Sorcerer), tends to go with Gorgons (Terminators), or sometimes Devastation (Obliterators).

      Warforce bounces between Raptors or Devastation (Obliterators).

      Those are the HQs I run the most anyway.

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    3. A friend of mine used to run terminators and obliterators. Great combo horrendous to be on the receiving end of if played well that's for sure.
      I like the idea of Raptors too. That's not one I've heard of?

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  3. Well this is a great post. In my opinion I always go for a fun fluffy list: my skitarii are built around a core of well skitarii. Most people take the minimum requirements and then take "big toys." all my lists are built around the fluf behind the specific armies: ultramarines: Demi company, not for the rules, just cause; word bearers: cultists and traitor marines. Etc. For my other armies.

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    1. Yeah sounds like a good mix here Simon ;)

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  4. I like to go for a mix, fluffy for some lists (my sentinel/infantry/flyer Astra Militarum army ain't winning any tournaments anytime soon :P) and filthy for others (I may own a few riptides...). Generally I find as long as your opponent knows what to expect and is bringing a similarly structured army the game is fun either way.

    I prefer fluffy lists, they're more fun to model/paint etc. but there's an appeal to maxing stuff out to. I'm loving AoS at the moment as (for now) fluffy lists can generally go toe to toe with min/max. One is usually better certainly but it's much less of a foregone conclusion as compared to 40K/30K, hoping 8th edition can reign things in a tad :).

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    1. Riptides. Bane of my 40k life lol

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    2. Yup, definitely only take more than one when my opponent's well aware that's what they'll be facing :P

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  5. Fluffy lists > all :)

    And painted models ... couldn't play with unpainted ones (that's the reason it will take a few months for my first real battle report hahaha)

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  6. My Salamanders are fluffy (well as much as fire and hammers allow)!! HH tactical support squads have flamers or meltas only, large squad of Firedrakes, squad of pyroclasts, contemptor has multi melta etc
    Same really applies for my 40k Salamanders in that lots of flamers, meltas and hammers. Hammers also applies Commanders in both armies!
    Much prefer fluffy to serious!

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    1. Master crafted, master crafted everywhere

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    2. That's the way I'm building my Salamanders legion, should be a really fun army! (a unit of those heavy jet bikes definitely planned, 3 master crafted super fast multi-meltas oh my!)

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    3. I'm not really sure jet bikes fit Salamanders! I have an image of slowly walking forwards burning everything and if it still lives applying hammers! But that's just me!

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    4. I mainly went for that as I saw a some ones model where they had used a zombie dragon skull on the jet bike and it looked awesome, I've got one spare so i thought I'd steal the idea :P.

      The rest is foot slogging and heavy vehicles I assure you.

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    5. Haha - yeah that does sound awesome!! I've got a redeemer for my 40k and want a Spartan for my 30k but they will be the only vehicles plus maybe a predator infernus!!

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  7. With both of my armies I go for Fluff almost always.
    For my 40k Blood Ravens, it's Librarians and Relics because they're knowledge and relic hunters with a sizable armory of Heresy Era gear (Deimos hulls a Fellblade etc.) as well as the new stuff and I have an Inquistor ally as well since everywhere they go there seems to be one in the wings lol.

    My Fists for 30k are much the same, I rely on Polux and his Breachers and Warders a lot with a heavy focus on Defensive Seige type gear. Short range Artillery like Medusas and Rapier Heavy bolters and Laser Destroyers. Very much the secure and hold mindset which I absolutely adore.

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    1. I know a few people that use Pollux as their lynch pin HQ. He's a great option.
      I hope to be undertaking a really good kitbash/conversion for this years Xmas build up. Can't give anymore away than that I'm afraid. Watch this space ;)

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  8. My armies tend to work thematically, and get built to a collector standpoint, so my haemonculous coven has enough to make 1 of each formation.
    My chaos corrupted chapter,the Apex Gods, is built in units of 5 or 10 with heavy weapons, similar to loyalists and sorcerers with biomancy (as they strayed from the codex by combining apothecaries and librarians into one organisation, before falling to chaos).

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  9. I am aiming to have at least one of every unit for the heresy, but currently my main "fluff" provision for my 30k Ultramarines is boots on the ground. I always try to have between 30 and 50 marines on the board (unless I'm playing a particular rite of war) to simulate the fact that the Ultramarines just had so many legionaires at the height of their strength. It's hard sometimes, since we pay the same points as everyone else, but I've had some great success with my 'Blue Tide'. :)

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    1. My 40k Ultras are on a similar basis - don't have any vehicles or dreadnought, just various types of marines for various situations! Or at least that's the theoretical! The practical is still a work in progress!

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    2. I like that idea Fawkes. Very legion representative. Do you have a specific tank unit you use for back up. I've always liked the Sicarian or the Soartan for delivery.

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    3. I like to use the sicaran as my baseline, but I also enjoy fielding the occasional artillery bombardment with a whirlwind scorpius and two medusas. The only tank I find that I take on a fairly regular basis is a land raider for my Invictarii when I field armor value.

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  10. I think that people will justify their choices no matter what. There are 'savage' units out there and under-powered ones. The only way to get a truly fluffy list is to play narrative - the same way that AoS started. If there are no points then there are no disgusting options. It becomes down to rational players to discuss, practice and learn how to balance. With 18 space marine legions it becomes difficult for some players to capture the essence of the legion. As you say, there are go-to options that people tend to spam and then argue the fact it is fluffy. 'Ultramarines are so big, they would definitely have 10 billion thud guns so I will build an army around that' - that's great but realistically that is not the make-up of an Ultramarine dispositional force and therefore is it really fluffy? That is just one example. The games are such small scale that spamming is unnecessary. It ruins games. Some rules lead players to have to make a change. I.e the sniper rifle rules. They are so useless for their high points that it makes sense to ignore them. Again, if points didn't exist this wouldn't be a problem.

    There are plenty of guides discussing the make-up of armies. These should be followed. At the end of the day it is down to the player. Most lose sight of the way. I would suggest to anyone who wants to start an army - buy the relevant Forge World black book. Read the fluff and follow their main rite of war. Can't go far wrong from fluffy if you do that.

    The answer, for me, is to just pick and choose who you play. Fluffy play for the win!!!

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  11. Waaaaagh! ... oh *cough* i meant ... boyz before toyz ... oh wait >.< ... well i play orks when i do play .. so it is always for the fun of it ... or more along the lines of 'ohhh what dis shiney fing?' and then it goes onto the table to see how quickly it blows up ...

    and well i like squats ... and space puppies ... so it has always been fluff before stuff.

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  12. I've found 30k a little hard for building fluffy lists with my dark angels, without just making a list that looks like 40k with the odd 30k unit. I think with angels of caliban, and their new rules in book 6, it's shed a bit more light on the other wings, and the personality of the legion during the heresy.

    I run mainly ironwing at the moment. I feel the dark angels attitude is to get the job done with any means possible. It doesn't need to be fancy, or perfect, or a particular style of warfare, if it works, we'll use it, and we have a tone of terran tech to do it. With the new rules they've released, i always try and mix in their unique wargear. My praetor has always had a terranic great sword, even though it's done nothing in a game yet lol. I always try and use the older styles of armour to represent the fact they've been crusading for so long. I try and throw in some rad to represent their dirty tricks department, and generally favour the older designs of vehicles. I'm looking to add in a malcador or 2 as the current fluff states it was used during the wars on terra. I figure the first legion would have had a few when they first went out on crusade.

    Can't wait till we get some special characters and units. And if forgeworld have time, the monotrack portcullis thing and sword wing fighters wouldn't go a miss. :)

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    1. That's a great way to look at it Douglas. I look at that the same with my Fists. They have a massive veteran Assault Cadre with Rann. A fleet based breacher history and then you have shock troops like the wardens and Templars.
      But as you say they also have tonnes of artillery for drive warfare and tanks. So I'm pretty set with fluff no matter how I choose :)

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  13. My iron warriors are a naccent force (buikt and painted 3000 points in the last three weeks and am expanding from there) but i am trying to make it as fluffy as i can. Heavy armour, heavy artillery, and robots in support. Just picked up a Typhon as well, as i figure if Perturabo commisioned them they should always have a place in large games

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    1. Sounds good. Be nice to see some of these send to us or posted up in the Facebook page.

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    2. Perhaps in a couple of weeks when i am a little happier in my personal skill. Havent painted anything for near ten years before this project, but came back to the hobby for horus heresy. Im feeling a little rusty right now though

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  14. I always read the Black books and where it says the Legion favours certain types of units/tanks I ensure that option forms a core part of my lists. For instance the Death Guard really favour the robust and "for every occasion" Vindicator, so I aim to have it in every battle. They also don't make much use of fast units, so I don't field Jetbikes. I prefer the "let's slog across the battlefield and show them how tough we are" approach, but as in the books, generally we are decimated by the time we get anywhere lol. Ho Hum, at least I represent them hey?!

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  15. Like Tyler mentioned above, a lot of Imperial Fist players use Polux as their lynch-pin HQ - I'm one of them and I build the foundations of a Stone Gauntlet list around him and then expand out from there:

    1) What's the scenario?
    2) What is the force lacking? Speed - assault infantry/troops in metal boxes; Armour - missiles/rapiers/melta bombs; and so on to try and develop a list that is "a jack of all trades but a master of none"
    3) Is the force to heavily biased one way or another? Does this really suit the legion and/or mission? Is it likely to be too brutal under certain situations (likely already answered by the bias question however if I take a sledgehammer unit then I do ask myself again)?

    I can loop around these points for a while until I produce a list that I am happy with. It's also hardly a perfect formula as well as it's all subjective, for example, I tend to generally avoid taking non-Primarch LoW choices as a personal preference unless it makes sense to take one (apocalypse games, other scenarios where I'm likely to be facing a titans) but I know people who like to take them and that's cool too! I do enjoy stepping up to fight Knight titan lists as I find it is a fun challenge for me with my style of play. I had a brilliant game facing a Questoris list at the last Horus Heresy Throne of Skulls that almost got my favourite game vote - it came right down to the last turn and the only thing left on the board was 4 of my legion breachers!

    What I don't like is playing opponents who take brutal lists designed to win at all costs because it just comes across as there has been no consideration for the opponents enjoyment. This can be done entirely unintentionally (for example Imperial Knights can be seen as brutal because people don't always have an answer for them - I personally don't mind as I normally make sure I do have an answer for light-mid armoured targets) but there are others who deliberately "play to win".

    This becomes apparent in tournament settings however I believe events at Warhammer World these days are great because they use a favourite game vote system that puts sportsmanship and participant enjoyment before victory points. This actively encourages people to play more fluffy lists (both in terms of more thematic and reduced brutality) and the atmosphere is also relaxed as ultimately your success in the tournament is determined by your opponent first and your armies performance second. I am sure the campaign weekend will be different but I am cautiously optimistic that the participants will be like-minded and will play fluffy armies :)

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  16. Well, I'm currently painting up heresy death guard with infantry in multiples of 7, playing the reaping rite of war. It doesn't get much more fluffy than that...

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    1. Nice. You should check out some of Drakes posts. Very nice for inspiration in the DG area.

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  17. Just starting out with a World Eaters force and trying to have lots of infantry with some dreadnought support and very few tanks. Trying to capture the whole caught up in the blood lust vibe and abandoning vehicles and equipment left, right and centre in favour of close combat

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    1. It's a Legion I also like. More so the shattered legion variation of the guys that survived Istvaan and then went on to remain loyal on the rampage :)

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    2. Getting to beat up loyalists is the best bit though :)

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  18. Longtime Alpha Legion player here, straight from 2nd edition and a sinister colour scheme as well as the intention of being the best in everything against 'brother' Marines. I've sat on top of the figures for quite some time, but have tried to keep them as 'regular' as possible (10-man squads, Rhinos, Predators with lascannons, Dreadnoughts) with the weirdos and cultists left for my other Chaos Marine lists (World Eaters and Emperor's Children, by the way). They're not impressive, and Arkos the Faithless as a leader will never get his 'devious tactics' straight (he usually chooses wrongly every time I reroll because of his abilities) but I still have a soft spot for them and will field them every now and then if only for the memories. Cheers.

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    1. The alpha legion Uogardes are really nice. Still waiting in the Alpharius/Omgegon minis though ;)

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  19. I have to have a back story for an army and then I build my list around. For example my Death Guard loyalists are a fragment of the 7th great company that never made it to the betrayal being trapped on a forgeworld and swear to defend it after they hear of the heresy. As such they have a blend of battle damaged old gear such as mk II & III armour and the battle worn Typhon "Thunderchild" but they also have newer versions of kit and a heavy tank destroyer that is painted up as if it is so fresh off the line as not to have been painted yet let alone named.

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  20. My 30k Salamanders I always try to include a unit of firedrakes and pyroclasts in the list if I have the points.
    I enjoy fluffy armies with variety so I run a mix of stuff.

    Main things I try to stick to:
    - Minimal to none anti-grav as Nocturne makes them break and thus they rarely use them.
    - I try to keep my unit sizes to 10 for tacticals/power armour and 5 for terminators, as the write up in book 2 seems to suggest they tend to run small units.
    - Multiple special weapon squads (pyroclast and tactical melta/chooms).
    - Lots of flamer, melta and thunder hammers.
    - Having rhinos/land raiders for almost all my dudes to ride in.
    - I enjoy using a praevian with 3 Vorax battle-automata as I'm playing one of the two legions where that rank is an honor instead of a dumping ground for the unwanted lol.
    - Almost everything I have for the army is very short ranged and "in your face" and that's how I tend to use it (deploy like I am going to go first and go for the throat/objectives).

    I have both a glaive and vulkan but try not to use them all the time as they're both pretty brutal.

    I also love my box dreadnoughts (also kitted out with flame and melta lol) and my tactical rotor cannon squad just cos they look cool :)

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  21. I've got already two legions and I'm about to start my third and fourth at the same time (thanks GW and your new box ^^).

    So, my two legions are the VII and VIII, Imperial Fists and Night Lords.
    Why did I choose this two legions that are so different?

    Well, the Imperial Fists are the original chapter of Sigismund, who is the character who throw me into the 40K universe 17 years ago with the Black Templars. When Extermination was out and I've read that he has rules, well, I didn't have a choice xDDD
    My IF list is very simple, there are almost only Bolters and Heavy Bolters and it's not very mobile (only one transport, a Spartan with Sigismund, 10 templars, an Apothecary and a Chaplain), Tactical squads, Contemptors and Leviathan Dreadnought. I've always read that the Imperial Fists were masters on the "fortificated assault", so I tried to play like that.
    I like to do the "If you want it, you need to come here and claim it if you dare" xD

    And the Night Lords... Well... The book series of Aaron Dembski-Bowden is my absolute favourite Black Library series (For those who didn't know, the books are Soul Hunter, Blood Reaver and Void Stalker) and I fell in love with the characters so much that I needed to build a 6 men terror squad/command squad dressed like them just to field them xD
    Not to mention that the Night Haunter is my favourite Primarch and I love Sevatar too!
    I love the Terror Squad and the Night Raptors, so I always try to field as many as I can of them.

    For me the Horus Heresy it's only fluff. It has no sense to do powerplay with so much characterized units.
    Pity that here in Italy very few people watch the game like me and in my local store there is an horrible xeno Eldar spam.

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  22. Whenever I see a 30k army with 6 Thudd Guns or 6 Plasma Preds and a Scorpius, I just think he's a c%*t. This stuff is neither fun to play with or again.

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