Poll Results: Why Did You Choose Your Army?

Our most recently closed poll was concerning why people chose their army.  More specifically, the question was:

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

Now before we get into analyzing the results (or the underlying question), let’s take a look at those results:

[poll id=”25″]

As you can see, there were a myriad of options available, but not everyone agreed that the list was complete enough.   Hurricane Girl from Craftworld Iybraesil suggested that she’s playing her current army (mechdar) largely because she didn’t want to paint another horde style army.  I hadn’t considered the Monty Python “And Now For Something Completely Different” mindset as a factor.  While Tom (guest poster of Warhammer39999 and proprietor of Longbeard Painting & Modelling) shared that he’s purchased a WHFB army just for the comedic value of “Boing, Boing, Boing!”

There was also some question as to whether I’d worded the choices properly.   I had phrased the response as “Modelling: they seemed easy to assemble and paint.”  Angelic Despot (who needs a blog so I can give him a proper link), reminded me that not everyone’s after the easy win: some people go after a project for the exact opposite reason.  Whether it’s a matter of being able to personalize a force, or overcome a hobby challenge (for instance: those sadists who are converting Tyranid Harpies from assorted kits–like Faolain’s impressive creation here).  Certainly a good point.  I did try to include this in the poll with the option “Rarity: I wanted a force that was unique, so I hunted down rare bits/models,” but maybe it could’ve been worded a bit better.

With the options that were given (however they were worded), fluff and style were the clear front-runners, each capturing 73.6% of the total vote (remember: people were allowed to choose multiple selections).  It should come as no surprise that people can get behind an idealic story or cool looking models, but I honestly expected more people to say they were influenced by how powerful their codicies were.

To my surprise though, more people stated that they chose their force because it was underpowered than powerful.  Granted, I was one of them, so I know where they’re coming from, but still.  There’s got to be a reason why the most powerful armies seem so popular, right?

GW's Inspiration for the Cadian Uniform

Perhaps people aren’t as likely to admit they chose an army because it was powerful?  I would’ve thought the anonimity provided by the poll would change that for the most part, but it’s something to consider.  More likely, I think people spoke from the heart.  So the remaining question is: What is so cool about the Imperial Guard models/fluff?  They’re 15 year old tank models and the infantry are straight out of SpaceBalls!?!

For more interesting reads on the subject, you might want to check out the maple-based programmer Dave G’s blog: N++ Wargaming and his thoughts behind what goes into army selection.

As always, thanks for voting.  There’s another active poll to the right of the site, please take a moment and share your thoughts on that as well.

Spaceballs image from the movie of the same name by MGM.  “Choose One” image from www.explodingdog.com.  Have I mentioned that I love stick figure drawings?

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10 comments on “Poll Results: Why Did You Choose Your Army?

  1. I am one of those people who got into the Guard because of models and fluff. I liked the idea of normal, unaugmented humans up against the ridiculous terrors of the galaxy. The tanks look suitably big and boxy and give it a more current era feel than any of the other armies, which I approved of. I also like shooty things, and Guard are second to… well, maybe one in shootiness.

  2. I know many a people in the Nid community back when also played cron/tau. They are near opposite styles of play (talking 4th ed) and so it was something different to master and enjoy.

  3. I missed the poll for some reason, but I chose my first codex specifically because of a single unit. I went with Dark Angels because they could get Terminators as troops. I liked the idea of only failing armor saves on a ‘1’.

    Things looked kind of discouraging when I lost my first 20 or so games in a row, but I eventually got the hang of them. My more recent outings with other codices have been all about tournament efficiency, however.

      • I did try out Loganwing to compare how the armies work. I think all TDA Loganwing is a little bit weaker than Deathwing. I think if you mix up some power armor WG to save points, the Loganwing was better before the FAQ update. They seem pretty close in power right now with each being better at different aspects.

      • You don’t mean to say that the update somehow nerfed Loganwing, so it’s
        worse now, do you? My first pass over, I read it that way, but now that I’m
        thinking about it, it makes more sense to interpret it as: “the Loganwing
        was better [than the Deathwing list] before the FAQ update.”

  4. I recall when all of my friends started 40k, they all chose various flavors of Space Marine. I really liked the Space Marines, but didn’t want to be “another Space Marine guy”. Then my eye drifted over to chaos…

    I originally picked them so I could “do” Space Marines without “Being” space marines. But as I gratuitously pored over the codex, a romance began that would last a lifetime(it was the 3.5 edition that seamlessly blended fluff and cheese, if I had read the 4th edition first, I may have swung the other way).

    I know it seems silly, but because my first exposure to the universe was from Chaos’ point of view, it has sort of permanantly biased me away from the Imperium, and as such, the only Imperial army I’ve ever attempted was Adeptus Mechanicus(who aren’t even truly Imperial) and shaped me as a 40k player since

  5. “Angelic Despot (who needs a blog so I can give him a proper link)”

    No, I don’t. I just need less ‘real life’ ™ in my life so I can get around to finishing my guest blog articles!

    I wonder if part of the reason ‘powerful codex’ wasn’t a more popular choice is that it’s not necessarily how people understand what they’re doing.

    i.e. The Imperial Guard codex, despite some very old tanks, does still have a lot of cool models (and the tanks seem to be pretty popular) – a lot of people seem to be able to relate to the similarity between the IG and real (contemporary or historic) armies.

    Likewise, with all its customisability, it’s fun to select an army, and with all the game-play options (from artillery, to elites, to massed infantry, to special order rules, to some of the most mobile units in the game) – it’s a fun army to play.

    The fact that it’s a strong/competitive codex just means that it STAYS fun to play with. Picking a fiddly army that constantly loses, or an army that plays the same way every game (and possibly also loses!) can get pretty dull.

    So perhaps people gravitate towards powerful armies not because they win per se, but because they remain fun to build, pick and play. Winning comes into being a part of that, but it’s not necessarily what people think of as being a main reason they’re drawn to the army.

    Plus, I think people like to think that when they’re doing well (winning a lot) it’s because they’ve finally found a codex they ‘click’ with and that allows their natural genius to shine, rather than that they’ve just picked up an ‘auto-win’ army.

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