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S&M Thoughts: What’s Your Style?

4 Minute Read
May 20 2011

Some styles are more… Eccentric… Than others…

Mr. Black here, dear readers, back again with more Strategy and Method Thoughts (Episode 4, for those keeping tabs), and today I’d like to talk to you about something that crosses armies, game systems, and even our gaming groups: Your play-style and what it says about you.

We all have one, whether we know it or not, and it can usually be seen in our choices as to what army we will play or, in the case of inner-army choices, what units we choose to bring to the tabletop. A lot of people just generalize this into the categories of “melee” or “shooty”, which in turn usually correlate to “offensive” and “defensive”, and while it’s true that those are some of the main differences in overall play-style, to simply say that’s it would be a gross understatement of the diversity in mindsets we have present.

That being said, let’s take a look at my own styles for example, and see what we can garner from it.

Hmm… For some reason I have a feeling that the idea of “looking into my head” is making Bigred roll in his grave… Not that he’s dead or anything. Or missing. Or… You know what, plausible deniability… Let’s leave it at that.

So, what armies do I play most often?

-Dark Eldar Wych Kult
-Blood Angels

So, right off the bat we can gather that I like Assault armies. None of that pansy sitting back and shooting for me, no sir. Basically in my case I just like the up-close-and-personal style of combat. I mean, I enjoy my firearms (hell, I work in a gun store), but standing back and shooting an army off the table? Hell, that’s more like a video game enemy than an opponent, it’s just something to be beaten, no plotted against (take notes, Leafblower). For me crushing your opponent’s forces face-to-face is the way to go, make them feel every loss as their unit is swept away not by some impersonal ranged attack but at the malicious and hateful fists/claws of your own legions. Hell, even the idea of my armies moving forth like some unbreakable wall of sheer hate that will run you down makes me smile. Does that mean it always works like that? Hell no, I get shot up all the time… I mean, those are bullets after all!

But surely that’s not all there is to it. Nope, if we look a step further we also notice another reoccurring theme: I apparently hate my own units. Yes, if you look at it closely you’ll see that four of those armies just plain don’t have any issue about sacrificing their own guys to get something accomplished. Dark Eldar? Take one for the team. Tyranids? Working for the Hive Mind grunt! Skorne? Yeah, pretty much their entire fluff is about sacrificing anyone and everyone for pretty much any reason. Cryx? Undead pawns to be used and abused. Blood Angels? Sacri- wait… What?


Ok, we’ve found the exception: Blood Angels, and surprise surprise, it’s also my least played army. Why? It’s not that I dislike them or anything, I wouldn’t own the army if that was the case! It’s merely that each unit is important and you really feel it when they die and… Well, you have to value them too much… See, for me I love my cheap units of Mechanithralls, Wyches, and Hormagaunts, specifically because I know if I need something done I won’t mind sacrificing them to gain some effect, especially if that effect is screwing over an opponent’s valuable force. This concept is pretty much the reason I won’t play Grey Knights, despite the fact I love the models and the fluff: they’re just to-damn-valuable to throw away!

Hmm, I’m sure someone could draw some stark conclusions regarding the above philosophies in contrast to sadomasochistic tendencies… But it’s a game people, come on!

Not to say there aren’t some fun things I could show you

So that brings us to the discussion topic of the week. Where would you, as a player, place yourself? What is your style? And what are the subtle nuances beyond that? Do you value your troop’s lives, seeking to protect them from harm by giving them long-range guns? Is every one of your models a precious flower that should also be tough and durable, ala a Superman Grey Knight Paladin army?

Don’t generalize yourself, let’s hear specifically why you play the way you do, why you make the choices in units/armies/hell, even games systems!

~I want to hear all about you, your little habits and rituals, your style and how you tick… I want to see just how you work in that little head of yours… -Mr. Black


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