Monday, 7 February 2011

[40k] Balancing Your Armies

Morning all,

It's been a long while since I posted a blog on here and I've not had much time to do some hobbying, due to work and family commitments. Thought I'd do a quick one to ease us into the working week.

I took part in the doubles tournament at the Northwest Gaming Centre, along with Farseer Jordan, but in order to do so, had to use my Imperial Guard to ally. Now, I've had the Imperial Guard for a long, long time - infact, they were my first 40k army. However, I've never really given them much time over the past few years.

One of the main things for me, with not having much time due to work, is the "Pick up and go" factor that some armies give me. I know that I can probably leave my Ork codex at home, I know the stats that well, therefore they're very easy for me to go in the house, grab the boxes and not have to pre-think much before I go to the club.

So, that got me onto thinking about balancing my playing time with armies and how people go about that (if they even do?)...

Imperial Guard:

As I said earlier, my Imperial Guard were my very first 40k army. I started them back in 2003/2004, with a few boxes of Cadian Shock Troopers, but assembled them all without looking at a Codex. So I was left with very impractical squad setups and extremely limited choice.

In recent times, I swapped a Chaos Marine army for a lod of Guard stuff from fellow MAWS member, Col. Straken. With that I got enough Guardsmen and tanks to give me some flexibility within, it was just a matter of painting them up - which the recent doubles tourney gave me a kick start into doing.

Tournament Entries: 1 (Marauder Doubles 2010)
Playing Frequency: Very frequently lately, before that, probably less than 10 games.
PAG Factor: 8 out of 10. I know the units being used pretty well, and quite familiar with others.

Orks are my go-to army. They're quick to play, all packaged up for transport and I knew the codex off by heart, meaning it's quick to make a list and easy to play on the night. I think they're my first real "I'll look at the codex before I start this..." army, which means I didn't end up with pointless squad setups or hamstring my self with army variety.

Tournament Entries: 7 (ish)
Playing Frequency: Practically solid for 2 years.

PAG Factor: 10 out of 10. I know the codex really well, everything is packaged up into relevant units.

Necrons were my first attempt at an army after the Imperial Guard, when I had a good grasp of the rules and also using the codex. They were chosen since they're super quick to paint and a change from the horde mentality of the Imperial Guard.

Tournament Entries: 3
Playing Frequency: For 6 months solid, then about 3 times since.

PAG Factor: 8 out of 10. Easy enough to pick up the codex and make units and transport. Hard to grasp.

Chaos Daemons:
These are my most recent new army to get on the table, and I've really not played using them enough. They were bought as another excuse at an all plastic army and something I'd not seen used a lot - all Khornate daemons. I wanted an all out assault army, no faffing around camping on an objective or rapid firing the enemy - just run at them and kill.

Tournament Entries: 0
Playing Frequency: Less than 5 games.

PAG Factor: 5 out of 10. Think I'm still yet to win a game with these guys, and just never fancy getting them out of the box.

Brotherhood of the Forge:
These are my brainchild, an attempt to use the Sisters of Battle codex, along with an excuse to get Dwarves into 40k. I'm capped at the minute to 400ish points and needing to buy a lot more to get them up to a full army. Think I may need to start buying some more bits for them this month...

Tournament Entries: 0
Playing Frequency: 2 Games.

PAG Factor: 2 out of 10. I've read the codex a fair bit, but very rarely used them on the table.

Dark Eldar:
I've still yet to get these guys on the table and they're not even painted yet... (some are still to be undercoated!) so these aren't getting much love at the moment. I'll hopefully get them painted up and on the table soon enough.

Tournament Entries: 0
Playing Frequency: 0 Games.

PAG Factor: 5 out of 10. I've read the codex a lot, since the day of release, just need to play games!

So what do you guys reckon? How do you balance your playing time and do you have unloved armies, that sit in a box for years, come out to be slaughtered once in a while in an Apocalypse game, then go back to the dusty darkness....



  1. I have bouts of Plasticrack cravings and go on a mad spending spree after reading a really good book, then my ambition fades and I'm left with an army that needs painting for a tournament in a week. As for the do I spread my play time between armies then rarely.

    My First army was Grey Knights about 5/6 years ago now and I got about 2500-3000pts (then got you to paint them)I played with these guys for about a year and a half solid and got to know them pretty well, but this was back in fourth edition when they weren't so uber-costed.

    I then Picked up some Eldar as I loved the Aspects and had been playing way too much Dawn of War, these were my real first attempt at painting and building it all myself and after getting a cash boost got about 5000pts (then traded and gave about 1000-2000pts away) I played with these guys for about a year and a half again, before fifth edition came out and then I turned to the...

    Imperial Guard, I loved the tanks, I got a job lot cheap, but I just couldn't bring myself to enjoy them and so only played a few games over a course of a couple of months before trading them for...

    Chaos Marines, I played with these guys on and off for the last year or so while building Space Wolves (who will be out again tonight) and my 800(ish)pts of Tyranids.

    I keep looking at other codex's as they come out (Dark Eldar) but, I have to fight to say, I have no money, and I need to spend time with my old armies, get them sorted, and Grey Knights are out in a couple of months!!!

  2. Well what to say. I have a lot of Marines who are my goto army. Though I have to admit I'm not to great with them. I know the stats and generally can give everyone a fun game. I enjoy the fluff and the fact everyone hates the blue boys.

    I used to really enjoy playing Dark Eldar with the old codex as it was that old it was good to show people the power of focused lists. But in this new codex I just cant find the love. Its a shame really. Might wheel them out next week.

    I dont think its about balancing as with most life issues people fall into routine, whats comfortable this is the same with 40k. Armies become like best friends, familiar lovers. They push the buttons right just feel right.

    Now the question is do we continue to live the comfortable life or do we change just to feel alive. As they say variety is the spice!

  3. Balancing the play time of ur armies is a tricky one when u have a ridiculous amount of points available for 5 armies but daemons count as 5 armies in their own right as I mostly do pure lists. So let's say I have 9 armies. Some just don't get much playtime if any, like nurgle daemons. All armies I have are charge into cc or die tryin. I just like the option of having a different army every time I play, be it a comp diff army or just a diff build, which is at a detriment to my wallet. Got a blog risk on this if i ever get round to it.

  4. I'd love to see more of the Brotherhood of the Forge. Great looking minis and they look like a project I've been toying with recently.