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'There are no bad army builds... 
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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I was at a free play day, watching. I'm having a hard time playing right now, and that's before the touch up work I'm working on.

I enjoy balanced play lists. I know many that don't or that even ONLY play to one advantage. But hanging around examining a guy's Ogre pirates (excellent marks on his Green Stuff hats btw), I was chatting and someone said 'There are NO bad army builds- just bad generals.'

I find this to be partly true, only because we don't really fight another person's ARMY, we fight how they formulate the tactics and the army is just what shows up and dukes it out.

There's also a large amount of statistical variance at any one time- how we build just increases the chances of success in that vein. and different armies do that differently, be it re-rolls, amount of bodies in a unit or straight cheese builds (haha).

So for a person just starting or for a person that has played for a long time: what opinion do you offer?

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Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:28 am
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IMO bad generals are the reason for most losses. Normally it will be the better general who wins, regardless of the armys used.

That said, there are definitely bad/suboptimal armies out there. There are two reasons for this, the first being when the list doesnt synergise with itself. You need to use units and combinations that compliment eachother, forfilling a range of roles to cover each base. Also, magic and other methods of augmenting your troops are a large factor, you need to choose the lores that compliment your army. For example, I would never take corsairs without shadow magic or a cauldron (for KB), because otherwise they are expensive RnF who dish out an extra S3 attack each.

The second reason for an army being suboptimal is overcosted choices. I dont think we have this problem as Dark Elves because we have great internal balance. But, I also play Tomb Kings, and I can tell you right now, Ushabti are a pretty terrible option. They are overcosted for what they are (50 points each!) and other units fulfil their role far better (Necro Knights and Tomb Guard). Another example is Giants, who are very poor choices, especially in 8th edition because they are comparitively slow (no fly, M6) and have no armour.

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Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:42 am
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i had a tournament this weekend. it was my own clubs tournament and its quite wacky, 6 diffrent scenario's which are a suprise. now the tournament is quite small and having 5 club members compete i know where they kind of place. we basicly have 2 chaos warrior players , who hang out at the bottom, 1 wood elf player/high elf who's usually pretty high up (like my dark elves (somwhere between 4-10 in 40+ tournaments) and 2 players (deamon and skaven) who take podium places. both of those last army's arn't fun to play against their cheezy, and both but the deamons in particular trick and cheat and take advantage of reforms and stuff like that.

anyway my point is coming up. When i started my tournament play the first one i played i was running a sub optimal list. i ended up pretty far down their at the end but i had 3 great opponents with intressting army's. after that i ran good shadowmagic army's, and found most (not all) of the higher tier opponents running super cheezy lists and found that they "forgot" more rules then the players who do worse in tournaments. so discussion, calling judges and all in all more frustrating opponents.

i later ran no magic list which worked even better. i'd call myself a decent general as i ran lists which preformed well without heavy cheeze (no double hydra's no unkillable dreadlords, no (shadow)magic)

but yesterday i ran a softer list. because its a small tournament its close and cheap so i wasn't really preoccupied with winning something. and the small size would have made sure i faced one of the stronger and cheezy lists.

my list left me with fewer options as a general, it didn't have the capability to be cheezy. the scenario's were quite weird.

i had a massacre los, a massacre win and a major win.

i placed somewhere mid tier and had 3 great opponents with intresting and varieïng lists. being a slightly cheezy high elf list (got of mind razor twice and kept his 21 white lion block because i failed in killing the champion .

a slightly cheezy warriors list who had 2 units of khornate warriors with halberts and a block of chosen with the terrorbanner and favor. 2 carts and a lvl 4 on a disk.
but he was a great sport and after 10 rerolls on his eye of the gods he conceded to taking the leadership buff. i won thanks to the scenario.

the 3d was a army i was familiar with, the ow so cheezy army of a friend of mine, or at least a almost perfect copy of his skaven list (which won a good amount of tournaments) unlike my clubmate , i did beat this army.


so all in all, I want to conclude with this.

their are bad lists. but a good general can do the best he can with these
their are good list, but a bad general can lose with these lists.

victory is determined by both the potential of a army as well as the skill of the general to draw out this potential, but a bad list has less potential then a good list. of course, a good general will have the skill needed to make a good list.


Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:57 am
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id say that there are many many bad armybuilds. in fact id say that the importance of the army building is becoming more and more important (together with deployment). After the army is built and the units have been played on the board it feels like at least half of the decisions are already made. a bad army (for example one with no fast units) will get crushed by an opponent of equal skill with a good army, and will most likely struggle against a considerably worse opponent.

But ofc with a "pretty good" army a good general will often beat a worse opponent even if said opponent has a very optimized army.

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Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:11 pm
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Some say that the army doesn't matter that much, it's how you play it that wins the battle.
Others say that if your list is really good, you can't play it wrong...

And the normal people who plays this game knows that you need both if you want to win a tournament with good players.

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Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:38 am
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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...Nor-mal...

I wonder what that means lol

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Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:38 pm
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A good general builds a good list.
A bad general builds a bad list.

Sums it up really. List building is integral to being good at the game.

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Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:02 pm
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'There are NO bad army builds- just bad generals.'
This is true only for my opponent, not for me.
On my side, either I lose because of a bad army build, or I win because I'm a good general.
On the opposite side, either he wins thanks to an autowin list, or he lose and proves that he is a bad general.
;)

-=-=-

Definitvely, army building is part of the strategy, and tells a lot about the general.

- The rookie general will read the army book and imagine that such and such unit will surely kill many foes. Several such units make his army. This is where we see lists with many attacks (melee or missile or magic), but no strength, no mobility, no synergy.
- After a couple of games, he will try to optimize each unit, adjusting command group, size, disposition (horde/bus, 5 or 7 wide), magic items.
- Quickly, he will select the appropriate buffs (magic, Ld,...).
- Progressively, he will consider what his opponent might bring, and take units just to counter him: warmachine hunters, speed bumpers...
- It takes some time to grab the synergies between units, and to be able to conceive a battle plan where such unit is supposed to assist such other one.
- A prudent general in an open tournament will take into account all possible foes that he must be able to take into account: VC ethereals, Dwarf castle, Empire gunline, HE magic, Slaan bodyguards, OK charges, DE unkillable Dreadlord...
- The most subtile generals will even adjust it to the local meta-game that they expect: the most dangerous opponents are likely not to bring O&G, Brets or WE; gunlines are out of fashion; the growth of massive über-units has stalled and agile units are coming back...

-=-=-

Now, what can a general do with a list made by someone else?
A good general will make the best use of what he gets. But if he gets no means to control the opponent's movement, the opponent's magic or the opponent's special units (warmachine, ehtereals...), he will struggle badly.
This is where bad lists do actually exist.
With a balanced list, a good general will find all the tools he needs.
Reversely, a bad general can lose even with a so-called "autowin" list against a good general with a well designed list.

-=-=-

Not all lists are made purely for the win.
A list made with the nicest models you have, or with the units going well with the fluffy background of your army (adjusted to meet the 25%), or specifically without the "cheese", will start at disadvantage.
Examining the list, I suspect that the good general will probably have adapted his list and made just a good list with a bias.
So the list tells not about the general's level, but about his motivation (which is to show his army, not to win a tournament).

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Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:35 am
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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I forgot to get back to this thread, and I apologise heartily because one of our own has a second army that is quite terrifying as a Kislev/ Brett style army. QUITE evil either way he plays lol

I agree with the examination of the army list for motivation.

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Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:09 am
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Well I am "IN NO WAY" saying I am a super general or anything like that because I do make my share of mistakes(just like we all do); but this topic made me think about the game i played today.

I played a doubles game with a friend, against 2 empire players. (I'm Dark Elves, he was Skaven) and the list I took was "Balanced" I felt but not "Strong" and i keep feeling like i should have taken more "umph".

The below video is earlier in the game

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5KGehm-oFc


I had one Hydra one large unit of warriors with no banner and you can see the rest in the video below. This was not a strong list but magic didn't go my way, i killed a lot of my own guys with magic.

I feel it didn't have enough "Punch" and as their Artillery started picking up my lines started going to pieces at the end of the game... EVERYTHING held. I know it was just against empire but i was pleasantly shocked at how well somethings would constantly preform in the games ive played. The below video is what i was saying "Everything's starting to fall apart" but if you pay attention everything is still looking pretty damn good!

I ended up losing around 330pts in this game, it was almost a draw but they beat us in the end but not by much.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42embshwfsQ

but what i was saying is even an army that isn't that strong like this one can preform fantastically.

Here is the uploads page from my youtube if anyone would like to see anymore videos from today or videos from last weeks game.

http://www.youtube.com/user/natelee00/videos?flow=grid&view=0


Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:52 am
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Define Umph? I ask because Balance messes with most everyone except WAAC's

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Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:20 am
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A successful army needs a good list and a good general. With enough experience you can "game by numbers" - you know every strategy, it's up to having the right dice at the right moment.

A bad general with a good list will not be able to exploit the tricks or situations he is confronted with or use his own units in alternate or unexpected ways.

A good general with a bad list is limited to the tools he has available, which may mean some units or tactics are harder to counter (or you have to rely on your opponent being a bad general!).

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Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:34 pm
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I personally find that most of my landslide victories happen due to dice. Most of my wins are closer wins (maybe because I play with others who are around my level). But when I win big it tends to be that I rolled great and he rolled crap. But I always try to run balanced and almost never do cheese.


Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:50 pm
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Well I've seen wins made by army lists. Admitted, it were 1K lists.. but still. When you outgun your opponent and have a fairly good answer to every of his unit, with the means to get these answers in place.. Sure.. you can fail "every attack" and "every defense", but there's only so much bad luck that is probable.

Some lists are simply better. Some units more optimal. Some builds are better in "more situations" and weaker in "fewer". If this weren't true, then we'd all be stacking Warriors because they would be cheaper.

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Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:29 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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so variance plays more of a role (no pun intended) at higher levels? Also: what do you define as a balanced list?

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Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:03 am
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Another issue is the Tournament Comp Rules pack which modify the way a list can be constructed.

That being said the better general will usually win.

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Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:24 am
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Daeron wrote:
If this weren't true, then we'd all be stacking Warriors because they would be cheaper.


We should be stacking warriors! :lol:

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Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:26 am
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The query may be laid: what makes one General 'better'?
the ability to adapt? plan ahead? observations that they make? Just showing up sober (which, btw I don't believe. I KNOW a guy that is insanely good after he has a couple!)?

What traits would you emphasize if you were to break this down to someone new?

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Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:16 pm
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Adaption, knowledge and tactical sense... A good list together with that and I think you'll be doing very well.

Being sober kinda helps too, unless you get nervous in tournament settings, then a couple of drinks might make you improve :lol:

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Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:42 pm
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i have depression, PTSD, and some slight phobia about leaving the house. If I drank for social confrontations, I'd need a flask the size of my army box! lol

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Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:02 am
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There are bad list's, I know I tested many.

But there are list's that look horrible, but if they are made with a certain tactic in mind, then the army might look weak, but in fact it can be extremely deadly. But still it has to be fine tuned and generally coherent with the tactical approach. Most generals rely on a certain play, combo exc. to win, if the do not include it in a list... well then it's a bad list, or bad general form taking an army he cant use efficiently ;).

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Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:34 pm
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Okies my take on a Good Warhammer General.

1. Knows the Rules and FAQ's really well
2. Has played with the whole range of Armies available to gain a better understanding of how they work
3. Can design and build good army lists
4. Can quickly sum up the Battlefield Terrain and therefore optimize their armies deployment
5. Has all the skills required to use their army properly
6. Can recognize a bad army match up and still maximize the points gained from the game
7. During a game can quickly sum up situations where an advantage can be gained

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Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:45 pm
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My take on the subject

http://warhammer.org.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=104028&sid=410615ff2fda4ceb1b98cded2e977aea&start=0

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Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:03 am
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I find your 4, 6, and 7 highly interesting. 6 the most.

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Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:21 am
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