Friday, March 19, 2010
Theme and Army Build - How Important Is It?
We can all probably agree that people consider theme when building an army, and people consider competitiveness. For my own part, I pick a theme first ... and then I build the list as competitively as I can without excessively violating that theme.
For example, my first guard list was dedicated air cav. It was not the most competitive thing in the world to have 9 valks and a bunch of veterans w/ anti-tank and anti-personnel weaponry, and was a very hit or miss alpha strike only list. Still, I made it as competitive as I could w/out violating that them.
Later, I did a Straken supported "reach out and smack somebody in the mouth" guard build with a Catachan edge ... and Demolishers w/ heavy flamers, chimeras w/ veterans w/ power sword and shotguns and meltas, straken w/ some buddies for combat punchiness, but still some airborne support in the form of vendettas followed.
Some people put theme first, and then focus on putting in the units they think BEST fit that theme, and completely ignore competitiveness.
Some people would like their army to be thematic, but care more about competitiveness, and will come up with a theme if one happens to fit after the fact.
Where do you stand? Where do you think people should stand?
This relates to composition and sportsmanship in most tournament settings, b/c people who differ in opinion from their opponents on this subject will often take it out on them via sportsmanship, and because composition rules will directly impact competitiveness vs. theme.
For my own part, I feel "live and let live" is the only safe way to go from a tournament organizer's point of view. Find a way to reward and make welcome those who favor theme above all else, and those who favor competitiveness above all else, but do not smite EITHER player style (or the greys in between) over the head with the vengeance of your own personal bias.
Regardless, the personal bias of participants, or random web trollers ... well, that always makes for an interesting subject ...
So what do you all do? Do you build your list as competitively as possible and then model cleverly to create a visual theme? Do you not even care about theme? Do you refuse to bring a competitive list at all if it in even the slightest of ways competes with your thematic ventures? No stance is wrong, but I am curious where the various visitors of this blog (so far) stand on the subject.