New Poll: What are the main factors that lead you to choose your current army?

This week’s installment of polls is an attempt to understand what makes players choose a particular army.  I tried to include every response I could think of as a deciding factor of why gamers in my group have chosen their armies, but I recognize the list isn’t exactly all-inclusive. 

I’ve had so many armies myself over the years, and have picked them for assorted reasons.  Presently, my key forces are Tyranids and Ultramarines.  If I answered this question for each of those armies, I’d really say that the Ultras were chosen almost exclusively because they were Underdogs.  I started playing them at the onset of 3rd edition, since they were the premier fighting force of the Imperium, but I noticed they were only being played by young kids who were first getting into the hobby, or grizzled veterans.  This was understandable, because they lacked the pizzazz and special rules of any of the other chapters of marines, and were really quiet boring in comparison.  Since I’d already played most of the other armies in the past, I figured it was time to elevate my status to “grizzled veteran,” and don the colors of the Emperor’s varsity team: the Ultramarines.

The Tyranids were more of an army of convenience.  I started playing these sometime in 3rd edition as well, with the idea of playing a mutable swarm.  Genestealer cult had long been my favorite army of all time, and this gave me a chance to relive some of that in another force.  They also were intended to be quick paint jobs, since my Ultras were taking too long to hit the table as a painted force, and lord knows nothing beats dipping for quick paint jobs.

So there you have it, the rationale behind why I play the armies I do.  How about you?  Do you have an interesting story to share?  Please take a moment to vote in the poll (either below, or in the bar to the right), and if you care to elaborate in the comments below, I’d love to hear it.

[poll id=”25″]

As always, Mahalo for stopping by…

Image Credit: Everything Happens For a Reason drawing by Sam Brown of Explodingdog.com.  I just love me some stick character artwork…

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28 comments on “New Poll: What are the main factors that lead you to choose your current army?

  1. I’ve talked about it before, very early on in my blog when I didn’t have followers to respond ( http://nplusplus.blogspot.com/2010/08/picking-your-army.html ) so I’ll just copy and paste a couple paragraphs from it:

    I play Eldar and I chose my army when I was just a kid. Looking back, I’m glad I made that decision. I’ve thought and been questioned from time to time as to “Why Space Elves?” and recently I came up with an answer that makes a lot of sense to me – they’re completely science fiction. I love their look, their sleek form and alien technology. While a fan of the cyber punk and post-apocalyptic settings, 40k is neither to me. I see 40k as Science Fiction and the Eldar ARE Sci-Fi.

    Image-wise, this is my big generalization of 40k: (emphasis on “my personal view”)
    To me, the Imperials are for the classic war nut and the Marines for the modern war nut. Chaos allows you to be the destroyer of worlds and Space Orks bring fantasy to 40k. Nids create a gritty Gigeresque alien, Necrons for the Terminator fans and Tau added the mecha flavour.

    • I guess I never drew a line between 40k and cyber-punk/post apocalyptic, but
      I guess they’re different. Technically, they’re similar in many ways
      (especially when you delve down into the Necromunda aspect of the 40k
      universe), but otherwise, yeah, it does seem much more akin to Star
      Trek/Wars.

      Having played just about every army (save the mecha and the terminators),
      I’ve had various reasons for choosing each, but I find my most compelling
      reasons tend to be based upon theme: I still would love to have a
      Praetorian Guard force with Camel-bound rough riders and elephant
      sentinels… Perhaps one day I’ll actually do it!

  2. Somewhat style, I knew I wanted to play an army with grav-tanks. But I had just gotten through painting a horde army (Tyranids), and wasn’t wanting to paint a lot of kroot and fire warriors, so obviously Eldar was my choice there.

    • Eldar do have a great look to them. I’m not a fan of anime, so perhaps that
      explains why I feel most of the Tau models look like they were carved out of
      a potato. They just lack pizzazz to me, but the Eldar are certainly
      pretty–despite being relatively older style models.

  3. Style, Diversity, and to a lesser extent fluff are what guide my hands…

    I won’t play an army i don’t like the style of, period.

    In the case of my space wolves i chose them over blood angels because i love the style of brutal combat and the ability to be better at close combat without sacrificing a lot of ranged firepower making them a more balanced version of the space marines in my opinion. I also love their overall appearance and it meshes very well with my painting style, although in an odd occurance i paint them more cleanly then my other models… When i chose them over blood angels it really was made with little to no thought about the power level of the rules for either side. It’s also a major component of my new Nid force, they play very very differently with their MC’s and swarms. You probably have heard me say things like “i don’t field tanks in my Wolves because i have an IG army”, or “i want lots of MC’s in my Nid army because i don’t have those in my other armies”. All about having armies with different style’s of play.

    Diversity is important as well, i don’t want to be the 6th player of 12 that is bringing IG to a tournament, in fact it’s what moved me toward my marine force and away from my IG for now. It’s also what moved me then forward from my Wolves to Nids…..let’s hope Nids aren’t next on everyone’s list.

    Fluff is important too, i enjoy talking about how my wolves pour beer on their tanks or throw their initiates into combat to see which survive, or how the Swarmlord destroyed my good friends personal favorite character Mr. Calgar. =)

    • I wondered about your choices specifically, so thanks for the insight. I
      had wondered how many of your choices were power gamer inspired (since you
      played IG and Wolves, and had debated playing Blood Angels). Sure, you
      owned Daemonhunters, but you never seem to play them. Now you do own ‘Nidz
      (allegedly), and your logic for why you chose the armies you did makes
      sense. Nids certainly don’t fit into the same power curve, and because of
      that, I suspect you’re probably pretty safe on not being just one of the
      masses (though Danny, Blaine, Simon, Trevor, and I have forces–and doesn’t
      Charles have ’em as well?)

      You coming to Muldoon tonight? I threw a ‘fex in the car, but I didn’t have
      time to pick out an army, so I just brought Space Hulk to play.

      • i will be there tonight, i was there 2 weeks ago with my nidz and will have them again tonight to play.

        I totally understand that i can come off as a power gamer, to be honest i am a power gamer but not when it comes to army selection. Once i decide on an army i do tend to build toward “perfection” but i try to keep it also focused on a single overlying element unrelated to performance.

        Take my wolves, i started Marines with a devout image of either a Dreadnought heavy army or a drop pod heavy army. Wolves lack a lot of fun in the dreadnought area sadly so i went drop pod. At Ard’ boyz with my wolves i kept to that style, i added more pods and i added wolf scouts which i reasoned were the “eyes on the ground” calling in the pods. Recently i’v begun building my wolves out more with thunder wolves ect. but that’s more related to trying new things.

        One thing i want with my Nids is to make a more freindly army, a lot of people don’t like my wolves now and i don’t want people to be uneasy about playing me because my lists are hard. In my first full game with them i asked afterward “Was this more fun then playing my wolves or IG?” and the answer was a resounding “For sure!” even though i won that game.

        My Nid list is still competitive, it has a deathstar type setup with the swarmlord and a normal Tyrant, so some lists will find that frustrating, but it also includes a lot of throw away units and units that are easy to kill. The idea being that the other player gets a good sense of being effective, even if they lose in the end. I’ll say right now shooting armies won’t have a big problem with the force (won’t be cake either =) assaulting armies however will need some solid tactics to remove my core without it removing them first. I don’t think my wolves list would want to face this…shall we say.

        I know there are a good few Nid players out there but Danny sold his Nidz to Trevor , and Trevor really doesn’t show up besides at Bosco’s most of the time. So really it’s just you most of the time, Blaine and Trevor at some events and i’m sorry Simon but i don’t know who that is (unless he goes to Bosco’s mostly, in which case i believe he sold his Nidz as well). Charles has Demons and Necrons as i recall, never heard him talk about Nidz.

      • Simon really only comes to the Apoc games I host: he played the black/yellow
        bugs. I’m not sure that he’ll make it this time either. Most certainly
        he’s not someone you’ll see regularly.

  4. Being stationed in Kansas + Assault on Black Reach + Not Wanting Blue Marines = Blood Angels.

    Tired of painting red + Wife liked Daemonettes and Pink Horrors + wanting the farthest thing from Marine possible = Daemons.

    Seriously, that’s all there was to it. I wish I could say it was fluff, or the look of the army, but I’m a pretty simple guy.

  5. Personally I chose guard because I loved the Catachan Sentinal and the story of Marbo… so I started on Catachans. When they phased that out I became a tread head. Later, when the most recet Ork codex came out, it seemed fun so I took that up. Course, then the new guard codex came out and offered me Straken and Marbo again, combined with shiny vietnam huey style valkyries…

    Eventually I got back to my orks as part of a tale of four gamers challenge and made a good army of them… but my first love is always guard, and it all stems down to that copy of white dwarf about the new catachan sentinal and marbo…

  6. Before I read through the options, I was thinking ‘which of my current armies shall I answer these questions for?’, then realised that my answers apply to any of them.

    The story is the most important thing for me. When I play a game, I want to tell a story, so I have to like the characters and the setting. So ‘style’ and ‘fluff’ were my first two picks.

    I then picked ‘rules’ and ‘modelling’, but I would change the emphasis. I want the army to be fun to play: that’s why rules are important. Part of being fun is being able to win (one reason I’m going off my orks), but it’s not important to me that the rules for the army are ‘powerful’ or ‘strong’. They have to be fun, characterful, and give me a chance of winning if I play well against someone who isn’t playing much better than me.

    My last pick was ‘modelling’. Again, I’m not bothered about it being ‘easy’, but I do care about it being interesting. I want to be able to personalise my armies. I want to create a good looking force. I want to be able to take my idea of how the army looks and create it. I’d prefer it if that wasn’t too difficult – indeed, if it was very hard or time consuming I would almost certainly say there’s no point. But I wouldn’t pick something ‘easy’ over something ‘interesting’.

      • Yes. I should add that it’s my understanding of the fluff too.

        Take the orks: it seems that people with 15 battlewagons and 10 Nob bikers can do pretty well. But it’s not what I want to play with.

        My horde (around 90 orks in a 1000 point list) can very rarely win, no matter what I do. Morale is terrible and even large units suck at close combat. I charge 20 slugga boys into marine tactical squads and either lose, or just get held up long enough for someone else to charge me and wipe me out (through a combination of normal kills and fearless rules).

        I drifted away from 40K when 3rd edition came out, but was largely tempted back by the ork codex (which did eventually become very, very out of date). I loved the mobbing up rules, the waagh rules etc. Playing a horde of orks was fun. These days, my friends enjoy playing against me as it makes a change from their usual match-ups with each others’ elite armies, but they rarely fail to exploit the weaknesses of a horde that just doesn’t do what the fluff suggests it can.

        Just to be clear: I don’t mind losing. I just would like to feel that I’d had a chance of winning if I’d played well. Without having to abandon the kind of army I want to play for the units in the codex that still work.

        I was pretty disappointed with the new Tyranid codex too. So many units seem incapable of doing what they should do – Lictors being a prime example (and I mention them because they were key to the theme of the army I’d been intending to build and play during the period leading up to the release of the codex).

        I’m strongly tempted by the Dark Eldar now, because I’d love to play an army that is fast and tactical. The new codex seems to do that, though I don’t know if it’s competetive.

      • I’ve never seen a new DE army fielded (though apparently I know a couple of
        people who have them), so I can’t speak to that point, but I will agree that
        some codices (such as ‘Nidz) seem to miss the mark. Lictors, in particular
        have been bad for several editions–but it wouldn’t take much to make them
        good. Even a simple enough change as allowing them to charge the turn they
        arrive would be huge (but not devastating to the opponent).

      • I’ve never seen a new DE army fielded (though apparently I know a couple of
        people who have them), so I can’t speak to that point, but I will agree that
        some codices (such as ‘Nidz) seem to miss the mark. Lictors, in particular
        have been bad for several editions–but it wouldn’t take much to make them
        good. Even a simple enough change as allowing them to charge the turn they
        arrive would be huge (but not devastating to the opponent).

      • The main thing I want is for them to do what they’re supposed to do. They should be able to be on the board from turn one, not rolling to come in from reserve and/or they should allow deep strikers etc to use their ‘homing beacon’ rule the turn the lictors are deployed – anything to ensure that they were actually a help in guiding your swarm to the enemy as the background suggests they should.

        I agree it wouldn’t have taken much to have fixed them. And I think there are quite a few units in the Tyranid codex which are similarly ‘they could have been so cool, but instead are just a bit meh…’

        I’ve never seen the dark eldar fielded,in real life but there’s no disputing their speed!

  7. For my orks and Ultramarines it’s a combination of fluff and style (and getting marines + orks in the 2nd ed box did help). Some of my favourite models at the time were the Ultramarines captain with the plasma pistol and powersword (who I now use as Sicarius) and the old bad moon and snakebite models

    For me though it’s often more about reasons not to collect an army- I love the idea of daemonhunters and dark eldar but have been put off for so long by the lack of plastic for the hunters (just too expensive/annoying) and the old models for dark eldar. I’m really looking forward to April at which point I’m sure I’ll choose one of the two to start now that my reasons for not starting them have gone/are going.

    Similarly I’ve always loved many of the IG armies but all metal/resin steel legion/valhallans/tallarn/praetorians/death korps has always been a turn off just due to the cost (direct only and not being able to save the 40% or so off NZ/AUS prices by ordering from UK independents makes it even worse) and the annoyance factor of the materials.

      • It’s more a case of the official NZ/AUS prices being 30% or so higher than anywhere else in the world, hence even paying the full retail price in pounds is so worth waiting a couple of weeks for stuff to be sent to you. As an example a land raider crusader is NZ$120 at GW here, It’s 35 pounds at Maelstrom (with their 10% off retail) which as of now is worth NZ$73- the Australian prices are similar.

      • A bit of both- in fairness both the NZ and the AUS dollar is worth more versus the pound and the $US than they used to be. Having said that there’s no reason GW couldn’t have taken this into account when they made price changes- I understand lowering prices pisses off the independent retailers who bought stock for higher and then have to sell it for less but they wouldn’t even had have to have changed the sticker prices if they’d just not imposed some of the overseas price rises on us too. Basically they make more on the sale anyway cause of the currency fluctutions then they still hit you with the price rises which isn’t cool- hell if they’d been more reasonable I would have bought a fair bit more stuff from the GW Sylvia Park store when I was living in (or still visiting) Auckland which they would have gotten the full value of rather than buying from independents overseas who of course take a cut of what GW could have made off me, 10-15% extra I can live with paying just for the sake of convenience, 40% is taking the piss.

        So long story short- I’m leaning more towards the personal vendetta at the moment, whether it’s against the customers or the local stockists who just can’t compete against the savings of buying overseas I’m just not sure.

      • It’s more a case of the official NZ/AUS prices being 30% or so higher than anywhere else in the world, hence even paying the full retail price in pounds is so worth waiting a couple of weeks for stuff to be sent to you. As an example a land raider crusader is NZ$120 at GW here, It’s 35 pounds at Maelstrom (with their 10% off retail) which as of now is worth NZ$73- the Australian prices are similar.

  8. It’s all aout the fluff.There is just so much of it how can anyone not be drawn in by it. My favourite part of creating an army is writting about it. History, reports, anlysis, even short novels all makes for a much richer hobby experience.

    I do have to admit though to having done a WFB Goblins army purely to try and bring a sense of humour to GT players a few years ago, making bouncy noises while moving squigs at GW HQ, best laugh i’ve had in years.

  9. for the last 10 years i have only collected Imperial Guard (dabbled in other stuff, but so infrequently its not important). however, in the last two editions i ran mainly infantry lists. i was very glad when 5th came around because i could finally make use of my love of tanks instead of being punished for doing so. therefore my two answers are the powerful rules and the style in equal measure.

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