Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tavern Talk - List Building.

Time for another edition of Tavern Talk courtesy of the Trading Post! This time around Kuffy asks:
"After listening to a recent show of Heelanhammer I came across the idea of list building. I wanted to see how people went about building their lists. There are a host of methods people use. Some start with the rare slots or their character choices, while others get the core choice out of the way. Do you see a difference between a friendly pick up game list and a tournament list? One thing it seems many gamers often appear to view and consider with their lists is the meta game - how much attention do you put on the local meta-gaming? Are your lists consistent or do you change from game to game? I have heard of gamers tailoring their lists to work against certain armies or lists, does this appeal to you? How do you feel on the topic of tailored lists?"

It feels a little disingenuous to be writing about "list creation" when I haven't played a game of WHFB since last year... but since when does a lack of experience keep me from blabbing away!?

My approach to list creation typically depends on the type of games I will be playing. Taking part in a tournament or other competitive play requires a different type of list with different tactics - specifically being able to handle threats and challenges of all types (the all comers list). Playing a random (or planned) pick-up game with others is a different type of list, though I rarely tailor my lists to be "the best" against a certain army it is important to have a fighting chance of a fun game.

I have refused games against opponents who have brought lists tailored to destroy my specific army - like bringing double doomwheels or aboms against my Ogres if you are a Skaven player for example. This decision has never been made from the "I don't want to lose" place, but more from the "I want to have a fun game" zone. Playing with my Ogres is already an uphill battle in most situations!

"Grey Seer at 1k LOLOLOL"

When creating a list I usually look at an overall theme. That might be completely subjective, fluff driven, or keyed to one or two specific phases or capabilities of my army. I try to have at least one thing I can do each phase if possible (neither Vampires nor Ogres get much in the way of shooting), and I usually start each list with my character selection. This is most likely due to the two armies I own both being very much character driven - Ogres with CC ability and Vampires with magical support.

The final filter that must be applied to each list I build is purely an economic/realistic one - do I have the models required to field this list? I am not rich nor do I own enough models to make every list possible with either of my forces so some sacrifices must always be made to make it work.

I think for tournament play it is most important to build a list and practice with it several times before making changes. Once you have learned how the army plays you will have a much easier time making those types of decisions without the aid of "theory hammer".

So that's it! The basic overview of what I look at when building my army lists. How about you? What goes into your lists and how do you go about deciding that?


MikeD said...

Any army list that I try from any wargame, first has to be a list unique to the army. Then include the fun units I want to play. That's important to me so you can learn the army and have fun.

Then it can go into separate Theme lists and competition lists. Build a core for a theme, such as Lots of Squigs or All Night goblins for my OnG lists. Or DoA jump pack only for my 40k Blood Angels. So, yeah, I agree, in that order, unique and fun lists trump tailored lists and a list has to first be considered in its environment. No need to have hard lists for fun games, and vice versa.

argos said...

great read.
Most lists I create have a vibe to them. I start thinking of what I want to be my 'right and left' hook and build support and synergy around them.

and agree 100% w/ your comment about 'list to destroy yours'. As a beastman player, I fee your pain!Too many times, at the local game shop, some one says "oh, beastmen...let me make a list!" bam, double HPA and Irresistable Force 13th spell.

Some lists however, are fun to smash in (read high elves)

When playing a friendly game vs ogres, I avoid taking 'game ending' spells like pit of shades etc. Which makes things rough due to the three viable lores we have access to.