Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A look into style and mechanics

Hey guys, sorry about the inactivity lately.  After China, I got sick, then my wife got sick, and then I started playing Axis and Allies for a little bit (RTS, 2004).  That game's very fun, very detailed and has a lot of things I look for in a good RTS game.  Anyways, the point of this post.

One advice that I give to newer players whenever they start an army is to play the army they like the most.  In a game like Warhammer, it's really easy for someone to read the background of an army, like what they see and go with it.  This is not to be confused with playstyle though, keep that in mind.  The background, fluff and aesthetic value of an army is what players should look at before they dive into a game.  If you don't like the very models you plan on building, assembling and taking hours to paint, there's absolutely no point on getting them. There's also that "cool" factor that gets people in a certain army.  The red hot bloodthirst that is the Blood Angels vs. the highly technological railgun tech of the Tau is a good example.  Arcane Tempest Gunmages shooting out sorcery-infused bullets from rune-laced pistols is another.

Playstyle is also very important when choosing an army.  Now that you like what you read about the army, their background fluff and their models, it's time to build the army around your needs.  Playstyle is simply your preference when it comes down to generalship.  Do you want your army to play defensively and shoot?  Or do you like to aggressive and assault?  Or would you say you're a balanced type of guy that looks to shoot a little and assault a little.  In the simplest terms, your playstyle describes yourself as a general for the most part.  If it was me you're describing, my general playstyle is fast and decisive, impatient and violent.

When people ask me what army they should play, I normally tell them the same thing:  Go with whatever army you think is "coolest".  This has to do with the models and the fluff more than the playstyle and I think this is the most important.  However, I've seen players who got into their armies because of the fluff and fail horribly time and time again because it doesn't fit their inner general (and subsequently, their playstyle).  I'm talking about Tau players running upfield into the melee because their personalities are reckless and their playstyles clash with their style preference.  Do you know anyone like that?  Maybe yourselves?  I think this is one of the biggest reasons why people jump armies.

So at the end of the day, I still think it's better to have an miniatures army that fits your style more than your playstyle.  This is mainly because army books are flexible enough (or should be) to satisfy your inner general.  A Tau general that loves the look of Tau but secretly worships Khorne might take more Kroot... or a Blood Angels player can take max Devastators with Razorbacks.  Thoughts?

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