Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Give a little bit

(another repost from an article I did earlier for Deepstrike Radio)

We all know that there are a lot of really awesome units out there that just don’t see the table that much.  

Chaos Possessed.  Flash Gits.  Ogryn.  

It’s the same with a lot of upgrades that could be fun but we leave off.

I’m looking at you, plasma pistol!

Why is this?  Points of course.  Either as individuals or as a community we have decided that X just isn’t worth the points.  It’s just a little too expensive.  Y can do the job for less.

Of course you can find “better” things to spend the points on.  But are you really that strapped for points?  Unless you’re headed for a major tournament you expect to place at, does it really matter?  Even then, does it really matter?

I say that we should all try to find a little room in our lists for some pizzazz.  A long time ago I read an article by Dennis O’Neil that talked about the Japanese artistic concept of wabi; roughly that something imperfect can be beautiful because, not in spite, of that imperfection, like how a leaf that has been nibbled on a bit by a caterpillar can be more interesting than a supposedly perfect, untouched one.  

We should bring a little wabi into our army lists.

I’m not saying go crazy.  But surely we can find a few points to “waste” in most lists.  After all, when we look at these inefficient units and upgrades, for the most part they’re not total wastes, worth zero points.  Instead we say that they’re overpriced – if they were X-3 points each instead of X we would use them.  

Let’s give a little bit, and accept that extra price.  Do you think Possessed are four points too much?  So a unit of ten is 40 points too much?  In a 2000pt army, that’s 2% of the list.  Would that really break you?  I’d wager that if you like the idea of Possessed, you’ll be happier in the long run with them instead of the extra Spawn or ten zombies or whatever you would have bought instead.

Set yourself a goal, or if you prefer, a limit as to how much you’ll “waste” in a list to make it more enjoyable for yourself.   Could be 1%, could be 10%, whatever you’re comfortable with.  Then see how overpriced you think the things you like are, and see if you can fit them under your threshold. 
Try it out.  I think that you’ll enjoy your armies and games more, and you may even surprise your opponents.  For myself, I know that I’ll be trying to cram some plasma pistols into the new Chaos Marines I’m making.

I just wish there was a way to add them to Possessed.


  1. My frequently used Techmarine approves of this message!

  2. Fluff over form for me every time. Would rather lose regularly playing with cool stuff than win playing a boring spam insta-win list.

  3. Techmarine on a bike with a sero-harness. You have been cleared for duty.

  4. My ratling snipers have surprised people several times. The most recently was when a unit of seven ratlings charged a daemonette squad on an objective. Yes, six of then died but I roll snake eyes on the break test so the last one held the line and denied the objective to the other player.


  5. Good to see so much Techmarine love.

    @ColKillgore - yep, sometimes the underdogs can surprise you!


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