Goatboy here again wanting to chat about utilizing sub par units. We all know what makes one unit better then another. A mixture of effective points cost. Yes some things are super expensive because they are obviously bad ass, but when they become too expensive and lose their actual game value is when things get into the “crap” range. Every codex has their duds and today I want to talk about utilizing some of those duds in an army.
Lately I have been thinking of using some of these sub par units to help push my skill. I know that building an army list can be just as skillful as throwing down in the actual game but I think the only way to increase our tactical know-how is to push outside of the normal box that we think is good and bad in the game. It also helps, that playing different things opens us up to new avenues of game play as well as hopefully new discoveries to bring to the table.
Lets look at the reasons to play sub par units. First of all one of the best benefits is that you throw your opponent off. Nothing is better then causing your opponent to rethink their decisions. So much of the game is based on actively controlling and projecting threats. Using a unit that is normally not considered a true threat is one way to throw off your opponents game. Sometimes these units get to live a lot longer then expected. Other times they become a great cog in the war machine of your army. Those extra attacks can turn the combat from a bust to a small loss pretty easily, thus giving your guys a chance to win the war of attrition.
Secondly sub par units can provide endless game possibilities. This is a game that involves at least 2 people. When the turns become a goldfish game you know that someone is most likely not having fun. These sub par units are not designed to overtly crush your opponent. They are designed to be played with and hopefully cause some kind of “high five” moment that makes that night fun. I don’t know how many times I have had so called “Superior” units taken out by the random nature of the game. I know I should win, but these moments are what makes me keep coming back every week to throw dice around.
Thirdly these units provide a way to truly judge your actual skill. It is one thing to kill your opponent with a tactical nuke, it is another to beat them with a spork. When you win with an army that the internet thinks is rather crap you are really showcasing your skill just as a competent general. I know that sometimes you could just be lucky with your match ups, but when the amount of games hit in the 5+ it is really hard to dodge all the silver bullets within a tournament.
Now I know in the hands of two equal generals, the better list should win. This isn’t saying that all players should play with “crap” units. This is just a way to hopefully get you to breathe some new life in the game. Too much of the time we are all obsessed with the new hotness of the current codex. We forget a lot of the time that this game is really about fun. It is finding these little gems in a book that make a story for the night.
So what so called “crap” units do you like to use and why? Lately I have been having fun with Blood Claws and all their fun variants in the Space Wolves codex. In fact this moves into Blood Angels too as the thought of trying to have fun with Blood Angels Bikers and their chance to get all mad when they charge in with one guy holding the Sippy Cup of doom. Questions?