i have been reading over your blog and you always seem to know what you’re doing, and more importantly why. Your ideas are very useful and your tactics have helped me out on quite a few occasions when I’m playing 40k (just never when i intend to write up a battle report it seems haha). Now i have been playing 40k for a fair few years, yet i have never been able to make the jump from using simple tried and testing tactics to your level of thinking outside the box and being able to see what's best for each situation.
My question is simple, where do you get your ideas and inspiration from, for your tactics as i would rather enjoy where your musing come from.
No worries if your busy dude, just felt like emailing this
Malduran, thanks for email and for the really kind words! I think for all of us it is finding our passion for the hobby, be it playing missions, tactics, painting/modeling, or all of that. I really believe that once we can set our ego aside, that is when the passion open up.
Follow me on this for a bit, and I hope to make some sense out of it, and how my mind works in 40K…
Something draws us into playing 40K, usually a friend, but then there is an element of the game that really sucks us in. For me it was the fact that I started from an old school D&D background where we used miniatures in all out adventures and campaigns. So naturally any game that allowed me to paint and play with miniatures was awesome- and 40K sold me on that easy.
Starting the hobby, even if you already come in with some skills in painting and miniature wargaming it is very overwhelming and there is a huge learning curve. We can’t even think about winning a game, or perhaps even making it though a game fully since one is still learning the rules.
Same with painting, I can fondly remember looking at the GW “how to paint” steps where it goes from a bare/primed mini to a fully completed mini in three steps. Took me a while to figure out there are like ten steps in-between.
But you are psyched and having a great time, so it is only when you look back that your realize your mini’s were painted like crap and half the rules you were using were wrong…
…but you were having fun!
Then at some point it happens, you become comfortable enough with the game and your skills as a hobbyist that you start winning more games then you lose, and you win a tournament or two here and there, and the winning bug bites you.
Winning the game suddenly becomes very important, and not to get all psychological, because I’m not a shrink, but I think the winning bug bites us all because it is a way of validating our hobby for ourselves- something we can taste and feel.
It can become an obsession, the only reason we play the game, a powerful force perhaps not understood outside of the 40K culture.
Winning is a powerful energy in the hobby- battling all day with your little dollies, and then being called up on stage or forward among your peers to receive a prize for X place, the applause, the thrill…
Maybe it is just me?
But then you keep playing and playing, winning and losing, to the point that you really can’t keep count. Sadly, like real nerd I used to track my wins and losses and what army I played vs. what army for years myself, but then it happens.
The ego of winning is satisfied for a moment, and you can now embrace the passion of the hobby, which often reflects what you enjoy the most.
I’ve always played Eldar, and when the 4th edition codex came out I decided I wanted to do a Saim-Hann army based on my love of the models, which in my mind is defined as everything flies on the table- jetbikes, vypers, and even the ground troops are in skimmers.
That was the only criteria of the army- not what are the best units, redundancy, spam, or anything else.
My first battle was against Brother Captain James and his Tyranid army (back in 4th edition where stealer shock was powerful) and he wiped me off the table so bad!
That right there was almost the end of my Saim-Hann, and it forced me to take a step back and ask myself what does my army DO well, how can I use that against my opponent, and how can I stop my opponent from taking that advantage away from me. I can’t compete against an army that GW has intentionally made broken to sell models, so we have to find alternate areas to exploit for the win.
I’m getting a bit long winded here…
I guess what I’m saying here is that my ideas, good or bad, don’t originate with “winning” first even if that is what I do ultimately want, and I do! The passion to create and discover flows since it begins from a whim.
On all levels you sometimes hit gold, and other times fail quite spectacularly.
Take my Harlequins…
In my mind, I loved the idea of a bunch of clowns running up and punching dudes, it’s one thing to get killed by super human genetic soldiers, horrible space aliens, or daemons from the warp, but clowns?
Naturally that lead to harlequins and that I could get thirty of them on the table. All that mattered for the starting point was getting as many as I could on the table.
From there it was discovering what they did well, and how to prevent my opponent from killing them- in theory. Free from the concerns of winning and being judged by me peers allowed me to find what works for them.
Many of my armies are inspired in this way.
So the first step is to find your passion, and I’m just kind of picking anything right now, but let’s say you are obsessed with assault marines- let’s put thirty on the table, and how are we going to make them work? What special characters will amplify them- Shrike. What units will support them- speeders. Fall in love with a concept and your tactics will build around it, as long as you can handle getting thumped along the way and stay the course.
What keeps you coming back week after week to play the game with your friends- that is your passion, single something out and build, innovate, and create from there!
Ultimately that is the source of my tactics- picking an odd unit with some wacky rules as a base, and building all around that to make it work.