Hi guys, welcome to another one of my rambling sessions. One of the most common questions I get asked on a regular basis is “How do you write lists for events that you attend?” I thought it would be cool to share a few tips of Army List building for events that I’ve picked up over the years in a short article as well as explain some of the mistakes I have personally made when writing lists so you don’t have to make the same mistakes as me. Now apart from the obvious, Mani spams 5 million broken units, there are quiet a few things to bare in mind when writing your tournament army lists, so let’s have a look at some.

Now in my opinion the first thing to always consider is “Am I playing a faction that I enjoy the playstyle of?” It’s actually very important that you enjoy the way an army plays on the tabletop and the way it interacts with enemy armies, the reason being that events are supposed to be fun. You will usually be spending an entire weekend at an event and you don’t want to be stuck there with an army that’s draining the fun out of the weekend for you. This also means if you enjoy the combat element of the game, don’t rock up with a gunline because you won’t enjoy yourself.

Once you’ve chosen the faction you want to take, probably one of the most important things to consider when writing your army list for that faction is “What Secondary Objectives are reliable for my army to score”. This can often be the deciding factor in most games, who has the better secondary choices and can score them easier. Now because of this, I like to try and incorporate a lot of different unit choices in my armies because that gives me the wider range of achievable high scoring secondaries. For example, before todays dataslate dropped I would try my best to build an army which was really good at scoring 3 specific secondaries and that was a trend for me since the start of this edition. I would build armies which were great at scoring Stranglehold because I took cheap expendable trading units to throw out to the centre objective as most tournament missions currently are ones with 5 objectives on the board. I would take 2/3 fast moving Infantry or Biker units consisting of 6 models each to easily perform RND or Raise the Banners for me, and finally I would try to take 3 tough, fast or untargetable units as my To The Last picks. Take my last list for example, I had Vypers and Rangers as cheap trading units to get me Stranglehold, I had 3 6 man Windrider units to score RND for me, and I had Baharroth and 20 Hawks which could always jump out of harms way as my 3 To The Last picks. The reason I liked to design my lists in this way is because it allowed me to score very well regardless of what my opponent had bought to the table. I can score Stranglehold, RND & To The Last all with my own models, where as if you don’t build a list with that in mind then you end up taking secondaries which don’t offer as many points or your opponent can work to deny such as assassinate. If you took assassinate it gives your opponent the opportunity to keep their characters hidden at the back of the board to deny you a huge chunk of points. So for me the most important thing to bare in mind is building secondary picks into your roster. Now saying that, it’s become even more important now that the easily maxed out secondaries like Stranglehold and To The Last are no longer in the book, you need to build other secondaries into your army and they are a lot harder to score 15 points on now. I do want to say that I am a very big fan of this change, I agree that secondaries should be hard fought and it should be hard to score over 10 points for any secondary objective and that’s what will become more common now which in my opinion is a positive change for the game.

The next thing to consider is the current meta and state of the competitive scene, this can be the hardest thing to balance in my opinion. So if we were going to take something like Adepta Sororitas to an event we would look at what is currently doing really well in the meta. If for example Imperial Knights were at the top of the meta and currently winning most events we would want to include some retributor squads in our army to have some options to take knights out when we eventually play them, but this may mean We are now vulnerable to Tau as they can move very quick round corners and get the drop on our retributors and they are also great at taking down knights. We have to now think Tau will be taken by a fair amount of players to this event as they are one of the counters for the best current faction, so if we include 2/3 rhinos in our army we still have our retributors to take out knights & Crisis Battlesuits, but we have them sat safe in rhinos that now need to be cracked open before the Tau can take them out. Thinking in this way means we could now be turning up to this event with an army that can take on the 2 best armies in the game currently and give them a run for their money because we have looked at their weaknesses and teched into them. This is a great practise to get into aswell guys because if you want to really compete for a podium spot at an event you have to be prepared to go though the top lists in the meta, you can do this by taking one of those yourself and teching to have the upper hand in mirror matches, or you can take an off meta army which is a counter to the top armies and many players won’t be expecting or have practised against.

Now one thing I want to mention before I stop going on and on is something I’ve been guilty of many many times. Don’t decide to change half your army list or in my case your whole army list on the day of list submission a week before the event. I have done this countless times and sometimes it has really bitten me in the ass (well deserved) for 1 of 2 reasons. The first being that I haven’t had access to all the models I needed so I run around like a headless chicken trying to get a hold of them and then stay up all night every night for the next 4/5 days trying to get them all built and painted before the event. That has been the lesser of my 2 problems because Dawid has bailed me out of that situation countless times as he paints like a beast and always helps me out. The second way it’s caught me out is because I’ve changed the list that I had 10 games with to a fresh list which I had only theorised and not had any actual games with. Then I played 2 games that week leading up to the event and it just wasn’t enough to learn all my tricks and also gauge the weaknesses in my list to be able to play around them efficiently. So learn from my mistakes peeps, don’t change your list last minute :’)

 There you have it guys, I hope you’ve picked up a few tricks and tips for list building with competitive events in mind and also I hope you take on board those mistakes that I made when list building sometimes and you don’t fall into the same pitfalls as I did. Stay safe, play lot’s of 40k and enjoy the New Balanced Dataslate Peeps!!

Also if you have any tips of your own when it comes to writing lists for competitive events, please share them in the comments below so we can all learn and grow as competitive players together, Peace Out, Mani!!

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