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40K Deep Thought: Can We Start Printing Out Army Lists Again!

3 Minute Read
Aug 22 2018

Is it really too much to ask people to have a hard copy of their lists in 2018?

So I’m sure you’ve seen this before.  You walk up to a game table and lay down your army. You explain it all and hand over a copy of your armylist for your opponent to take a look over. Then you ask for their list and you get this: “it’s digital” and a variety of excuses…


  • It’s in BCP
  • It’s in Battlescribe
  • I made it in the GW app
  • I can email it to you
  • It’s in excel
  • My dog ate it

The list goes on…

Come On People…

I have a real issue with this.  We play a physical game with physical models. We roll actual dice. One of the key parts of the game is to be able to look over your opponent’s list to get some idea of that you are playing.  While yes it is 2018 and everyone has phone there is a real difference in effectiveness in digging through your phone to lookup some list detail, and having a hard copy at the the tabletop to glance over.

Physical lists not only make it easier to see what you are dealing with, its an easy way to both check for obvious errors (it happens to everyone), and to learn about different armies that you may not use.

  • What if my battery is dead?
  • What if the website you are relying on isn’t accessible?
  • What if the file format wont open on my phone?

There are a thousand things that can mess up access to a digital list.

But for me it’s just common courtesy and decency. You took the time to make your list, to buy, assemble and lovingly paint your models.  Come on – just bring a hard copy with you. If you really want to impress the other player, print out an extra list so they can take it home with them.


I remember back in the old days – when players would put a lot of effort into presentation of their lists and make them their own creative works.  That era is almost entirely gone from 40K, but I really hope to see it return.

There is no “correct” army list format for 40K and never has been. Unless you playing in a strictly regulated event you will encounter everything under the sun, from multi-page readouts including all the rules, to slim and trim 1 page summaries, to the “old-school” and I think charming handwritten lists on lined paper.  And there is nothing wrong with it.

~But please, give your opposing player the basic respect of getting to see your list on paper.



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