On top of this, the system you use to write up your list is further tweaked by the guys and gals you play at your gaming club, hobby store, etc. Across the internets star cannons are regarded as a total fail, but all my vypers are armed with them, why? Locally where I roll the dice it is marine heaven, so lots of AP 2 shots makes sense. Adjust as needed…
Another layer that I add over my own system of army building, or perhaps filter is a better term. With each of my 40K armies I try to build them based on both a theme, but also their ability to take advantage of as many of the rules, phases, and special abilities that they can. I can’t be the best at everything, but if I have options I have one more thing that I can throw at an army that might not be able to deal with those options. Check out the chart below (click on it to make it bigger) for two of my armies:
I want to try and fill out as many “X”’s as I can for each category to open up as many options as I can throughout the game. Now some armies just based on their nature and codex age will be better able to do this then others- my Harlequins more so then my Tyranids, but simple changes in your list can open up so much. Say you play Space Marines and have a group of assault terminators- put X’s in the assault ability. However, add a librarian in terminator armor to help boost them even more and you then open up some psyker options. You also want to see if certain unit tweaks or upgrades will unlock universal special rules like hit and run, preferred enemy, and furious charge- all advantages that might be overlooked. It will also help show you where your army is vulnerable and how you might need to shift some units, or at least be aware of it- as seen in my Tyranids which are weak in the shooty area.
~Your homework is to now draw up a similar chart and check off as many of the boxes as you can for your own army- you never know when pinning, rending, infiltrating, and all the other rules options which are often overlooked could make a difference, or give you a slight edge in the game. Fritz out.