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EDITORIAL: Repetition Versus Redundancy

3 Minute Read
Apr 26 2010
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Jwolf here. One of the major arguments Goatboy and I have is based on the difference between repetition and redundancy. Goatboy, if you look at his lists, likes repetition. I generally go for heavy redundancy without little to no repetition.  Lets dig deeper:

I’ll break down a repetitive list and transform it into redundant but largely unique list, then explain why I think the second is better across the board. I’m using Space Marines because they are the most common army, and 2000 points, because that’s our local standard.

Repetitive List

Space Marine Chapter Master – Power Armor, Jump Pack, Relic Blade, Combi-Melta, Meltabombs

Terminator Assault Squad, 8 TH/SS

Terminator Assault Squad, 8 TH/SS

Tactical Squad, 10 strong. Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Power Fist Sergeant, in a Rhino

Tactical Squad, 10 strong. Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Power Fist Sergeant, in a Rhino

Assault Squad 6 strong, Power Fist Sergeant

Land Raider Crusader, Extra Armor, Multi-Melta

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Land Raider Crusader, Extra Armor, Multi-Melta

Redundant List

Space Marine Chapter Master – Power Armor, Jump Pack, Relic Blade, Combi-Melta, Meltabombs

Terminator Assault Squad, 8 TH/SS

Dreadnought, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer, Extra Armor, Drop Pod

Sternguard Veterans, 6 strong. 4x Combi-Melta, 1x Meltagun. Combi-Melta / Power Fist Sergeant, in a Rhino.

Tactical Squad, 10 strong. Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Power Fist Sergeant, in a Rhino

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Scout Squad, 5 strong, Combat Blades, Power Weapon Sergeant

Land Speeder Storm, Multi-Melta

Vanguard Veterans, 6 strong. 1 Plasma Pistol, 1 Power Fist, 1 Storm Shield. Relic Blade Sergeant. With Jump Packs.

Land Raider Crusader, Extra Armor, Multi-Melta

Vindicator, Siege Shield, Extra Armor

Compare and Contrast
Both lists have the common features of Meltaguns as primary firepower, and core units of Thunderhammer Terminators in a Land Raider Crusader and a Chapter Master with Jump Pack escorts.

List one drives pretty much straight down your throat, delivering 2 squads of Terminators and smashing the furniture. The army list pretty well dictates how the army will be played, no matter the objectives. Lists like this are good for learning the mechanics of the game, and have the advantage of simplicity.

List two has the Dreadnought, that will either arrive in it’s Drop Pod or not – it may even be deployed, depending on the mission and opponent. The Landspeeder Storm can be used to disrupt a Deep Striking enemy or deliver Scouts to a distant objective after coming in from Reserve – again, more flexible options. The Scouts themselves might simply Outflank, leaving the Storm to other purposes. The Vanguard can either be deployed with the Chapter Master or enter via Heroic Intervention.

List two provides a lot of different options, which can easily translate into disaster if used poorly. It also has a bit of the kitchen sink feel that newer players gravitate towards, but then learn not to play for “competitive” reasons. The truth is the list is more competitively advantageous than the first list, but the complexity of using it makes it much less effective for a new player. I believe this is where a lot of players and theorists go wrong – a list that is horrible for a new player to use against a veteran is exactly the opposite in the hands of a veteran. We see this over and over again at GTs – the best generals and best overalls are often lists that appear on the surface to be random compilations of miniatures, and often include units that make those of us not playing the list scratch our heads.

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The major advantage list two has over list one is the lack of similarly valuable units means the opponent has more factors than just proximity to influence his shooting and assault decisions, and every variable you introduce into those equations can lead to mistakes, and your opponent’s mistakes are just as important for victory as executing your plan perectly.

I firmly believe that almost any unit can be used effectively, and that it is far more important to play games and learn what works for you than it is to find the points for 6 Valkyries in your Imperial Guard army. Next time you think about taking a unit you love out of your army to make it more competitive, consider playing another 20 games with it in the army – using the unit more might actually show you how to make your Storm Shielded Command Squad on Bikes into the perfect weapon.

-Jwolf out

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