With official army rosters out, it’s time to pit list against list.
We all know that battles aren’t won on the tabletop. They’re won in the most important phase of the game–army building. And don’t even try arguing anecdotal results, it all comes down to how the math works itself out on paper.
So with that in mind, it’s time to take to excel sheets and calculate out probabilities and wound to damage ratios and kills per shot effectiveness to see what’s the best, then write it out on paper, never to actually hit the table. Maintain statistical supremacy at all costs. But, of course this mathematical might means nothing if it’s not recorded on an official Warhammer Army Roster Sheet.
Which, conveniently enough, GW has just provided over at Warhammer Community. With this, we finally have all the missing pieces in place to properly wage war with one another without even needing miniatures. So let’s open up the BoLS Arena (aka the comment section) and see who can build the best list. Bring out your cheese–it’s a knock down drag out fight. But before you level your spreadsheets full of multi-damage weapons at your various opponents, and bearing in mind that I am now an expert on 8th Edition, let’s look at what goes into making a good list.
Does it devastate your opponent emotionally?
Win the battle before it even begins. Look, all I’m saying is if you bring an army list to the table that is “fun” or “a neat experiment” you’re wasting your time. What you really need is the grimace of an opponent who knows that even if they put models on the table, they’re in for an exhausting slog. You want them to feel the weight of that three-turn slog just to have a chance of doing something meaningfully effective to your army.
But even then they won’t be able to because your army either outguns and outdistances them, consists entirely of conscripts and Eversor Assassins, or charges you across the table on turn 1 and stays stuck in combat, denying your opponent the chance to retaliate in any meaningful way because of some BS.
Basically, if your opponent audibly sighs when they look over your list, you’re on the right track. If one of their eyes starts a-twitching, you’ve got it made in the shade.
Does it contain a decent percentage of expensive models?
Maybe you can’t manage to put together an emotionally draining army list that sucks the fun not only from your own table but from the nearest three–but even then, you can still make a statement. Everyone knows that Warhammer’s always been pay to win, so the most expensive models have got to be the best. And we’re not talking about pointswise–no (although see below), we’re talking about cold hard cash. Punish your opponent by putting together a list that they’ll not be able to afford without taking out a second mortgage.
It’s just unquestioned fact–and with that in mind, you’ve got to know how much your army costs pound for pound/dollar/euro/dogecoin. So fire up Forge World and start placing your orders.
Does it ignore at least a solid eighth of the rules?
Look, the rules in 8th Edition are streamlined. They’re the result of a concentrated effort to strip away the unnecessary parts of the game and condense it into a sleek system that’s easy to pickup and play whether you’re a veteran or a novice. But you’re better than any paltry rules. A good army list needs to be able to avoid at least a full eighth of the rules in order to be considered competitive–and realistically, you’ll want to shoot for a solid 1/6th-1/4th of the rules ignored.
Morale? That’s for losers who cry about the fact that they’ve just been shot 72 times by a single unit that inexplicably costs $75 and only 75 or so points. Psychic powers? Puh-leeze, you’re just wicking away all that power and quelling your opponent, so they can’t do anything cool. Shooting? Get real–you stack so many negative modifiers they’re hitting on 9+. Charge? No thanks, you only accept debit. Fight phase? More like smite phase.
Does your army break the spirit of the game, if not the letter?
If your army was never meant to work, and only can exist because of technicalities, or an interpretation of the eight-page document that makes up the ruleset of 8th Edition, then my friend, tournament gold is in your future. I hope you’re ready for all the accolades you’re about to win.
Sure, you might be taking none of the units that define the central theme of your army. And they might be equipped with what was surely a typo to be included on the list, or rely on a willful and particular understanding of wording to function properly, but as long as you’re technically correct while being in no way what the designers intended, you’re good. Put together a list like this and you’ve beaten them at their own game. All the victory is yours by right of conquest at that point.
Do you feel guilty when looking at your list?
If even you, a remorseless master general who never lets emotion get in the way of their decisions, feel at least a mild twinge of guilt or like you’re somehow doing something dirty, then you know you’ve got a winner. That perverse sense of delight and shame is what you want to shoot for–nobody at the table should feel entirely good about what you’ve put together.
So how does your list measure up? We have opened up the BoLS Arena (the comments section) let’s see your best lists. If you dare.