I was musing today about what it is that I like about various armies, why I pick certain armies and avoid others. Here's the result of my introspection.
First of all, a list of my current armies:
- Space Marines (Silver Skulls)
- Space Marines (Space Sharks, including counts-as Deathwing force)
- Chaos Marines (Hell Hounds Word Bearers)
- Chaos Marines (Sons of Horus, planning to redo)
- Orks (Blood Axes desert mech force)
- Imperial Guard (Merkan 76th foot horde with tank backup)
- Imperial Guard (Scythiak Usurpation chaos guard foot horde with tank backup)
And armies I've had in the past but have gotten rid of:
- Space Marines (Praetorians)
- Chaos Marines (World Eaters)
- Eldar (Biel-tan swordwind)
- Tau (twice - one all-jump/skimmer army, second ambush no-crisis-no-vehicles)
- (Tyranids) -briefly tried but stopped partway through building
- Lost and the Damned - I didn't give up on them, but they got phased out
So, things I like:
- Lots of relatively normal joes (two foot guard armies)
- Elite guys in battlesuits (many power armor armies, Tau)
- Some barbarism and brutality mixed with the high tech (Chaos, Scythiak, Orks, Space Sharks)
- Monsters (Orks, daemons, daemon princes, Ogryn, big nid bugs appealed but army as a whole didn't)
- Unusual or ramshackle vehicles, walkers - (Dreads, Sentinels, Defilers, Orky and Orky-style vehicles)
- Non-linear deployment options (drop pods, deep strike, summoning, infiltration, outflank, etc.)
Looking at the armies I parted ways with:
- Praetorian SM - very linear, upright eagles-and-sigils style marines. Played fine, but not as fun to me as podding down from orbit and a bit too goody-two-shoes for my genetically engineered killing machines.
- World Eaters - didn't really get rid of them, just a few units and put the rest in storage while concentrating on other CSM armies.
- Eldar - too clean, very fast but still mostly linear, no real elements of barbarism
- Tau - similar to Eldar. Last version had more non-linear aspects, some barbarism with kroot, would have kept but the stable was pretty crowded and other armies hit more of the buttons.
- Tyranids - monsters, but that's about it. Not enough buttons.
Lost and the Damned really does hit my buttons. Normal mooks, elite power armored guys, monsters, summoning and other sneakiness, barbarism and brutality, weird/ramshackle/looted vehicles. If I had to pare down to one army, but could make it big and full of options, I think I could be satisfied with a Lost and the Damned type force. Here's hoping that the next Chaos book allows for all that!
What are your buttons, what do you like about the armies you have? What makes you keep them over others you've rejected?