What army do I choose?



By: Kitbasha Jay

Today on the blog I wanted to reach out to the newbies amongst us. There are those who are super into 40k but find it an incredibly overwhelming universe to get their head around. At the same time there are veteran players that would like to get their friends into the game, or have an acquaintance interested in the game, but don’t know how to help this person navigate the intense fictional universe that Games Workshop has developed over the decades

It can take years, if not decades to learn the vastness of the 40k universe. Many come into it not knowing where to start. However, There is one question that is more or less universal for all new players. What army do I play?

There are many factors that can decide the army that you choose to play. Today we’re going to go into some of the deciding criteria and how you, or your friends, can approach the game and make a choice. There are different reasons to start an army and many people come to their army of choice for different reasons. That’s what we’re going to cover today.

Aesthetics – The first factor one should consider when contemplating what army to play is the appearance of the models. Even to this day, after being in the hobby for 20+ years, I choose my models by what I think looks cool. Or at the very least, something that I don’t think looks stupid. Even if I don’t like a model but feel I could use a certain unit in my army tactically then I will kitbash one. Hence my nick name.

Bottom line is that aesthetics are important. You’re going to be spending a lot of time assembling and painting these pieces. Choose something you really like the look of. It will make staring at them for hours upon hours not so tedious.

Storyline – Most people refer to this as “fluff”. Every race in 40k has a unique personality and storyline. These are reflected through the stories provided in the rulebook and codex supplements. Also there are a myriad of novels and comics written about the 40k universe. Sometimes we hear about the fluff of an army and immediately find something we love and can connect with.

This is the second major reason I feel people choose a faction. They love the fluff. I’ve even known people who started an army just because they read an awesome Black Library novel and were inspired to start whatever army the book was centered around. Usually including characters from the novel in their armies.

Whatever Wins – There are those players, however few and far between, that only choose to play an army because it’s what’s winning the competitive scene right now. They hear that people have been tearing it up with Tau so they start Tau. Or Chaos Daemons are winning all the tournaments so they start a Chaos Daemon army.

If competition is the reason you’re getting into this game than by all means go with whatever is most competitive. There’s nothing wrong with doing things this way if you need to win to have fun. Since 40k is a very narrative game, much like most miniature games, people tend not to build an army purely because it’s a winning army. But there are those that do.

I’m lucky enough to belong to a 40k gaming club here in Toronto. They’re called Hogtown 40k and they have all kinds of players as members. The truth is that most players in the club who do build super competitive, over the top armies still keep them within the fluff. They don’t ally races that would not normally ally just because the rules allow it even though it wouldn’t make sense in the fluff. There is a massive narrative aspect to this game that just can’t be ignored.

These are the reasons I feel that people choose the armies they do. There’s nothing wrong with allowing one or all of these factors to influence your decision. If I could offer my own personal advice…go with whatever you like. That way it will always be fun for you and will always be a hobby that you enjoy. Once it stops being fun and rewarding there’s no reason to keep playing.

Until our next Encounter!

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