The Warhammer hobby is rather intriguing for me.
First, off, the elements which many people love the most are the most painful for me. I intensely dislike assembling models and it get worse if they are metal. I do not like trying to come up with conversions. I do not enjoy the painting...though I do like the outcome.
But of the elements I dislike, perhaps none matters more than putting together a list. Yet it is perhaps the most integral to the game.
This is most true because in our group we habitually play not just with proxy models, but often enough without models...just bases. So having a model assembled and painted is not a requirement to play...but having a list built IS.
I have never figured out why I hate the process so much. From certain standpoints, it is extremely easy to build a list...
Come up with something you want your army to be capable of, select a troop with that capability, pick a number of figures, total it up. Rinse, repeat.
But from another, it is very difficult. Example:
I want to build a 2500 point Warriors of Chaos list. So I start with the models I most want to include...Knights. These days, 5 Knights do not A) survive or B)accomplish anything meaningful.
My propensity to fail 80% of my saves means I need more of them than someone who saves a statistically accurate percentage (and yes, I have been charting it...sad to admit, but true) so they take up a large percentage of my list compared to what they should.
So now I have dedicated 650ish points to one unit.
I like to have a level 4 wizard, typically a D-Prince because I like the model. They are vastly overcosted for what they do, checking in at 535 points. I could do it for 200 points less or so with better capabilities by going with a basic one, but I like the model.
Next I put in my favorite bsb knight with the stubborn banner and I am already at like 1450 points, give or take a few.
Problem is, I have yet to put in any core, am extremely susceptible to failed magic phases (for or against), monsters, shooting, war machines, anything that eliminates armor saves...that is a lot of holes and I still need to have backup for the D-Prince.
Drop in a Infernal Puppet caddy, my beloved but overpriced and almost useless Shaggoth (I think in one game he actually has been able to take out his assigned target...in about 15 attempts.) and I then throw in either some Marauders or some Chaos Warriors and I am at my points list total.
The problem is...it becomes a boring list because it is the same EVERY TIME.
So I try different things, but every time I do it leaves huge, gaping holes...like if I try to build a heavy infantry list (which I have tried a couple times) I get squished by shooting/flying monster heavy lists. If I go Knight/Shaggoth/Dragon Ogre-less, I get demolished by war machine heavy lists.
So my choices are either army that is so killy it overcomes having small numbers and are easily outmaneuvered or a larger army that is easily outmaneuvered and cannot deal with anything but soft core troops.
So I end up happy with neither list.
So I started looking at other armies in search of one that I will find fun to use, will be balanced enough to give a good game to the heavy shooting with numerous monster lists, the multiple war machine lists, and still be soft enough to not crush the uncompensated for pointless core armies without them having any hope.
High Elfs are a natural first look. First off, I have enough of the models, most of which are painted, and they have access to most of the elements I like; they can field dragons, knights, wizards.
The problem comes when I start trying to put a list together.
As always, start with the stuff I truly love...throw a Dragon, a high-level mage, and enough Knights to be useful....and suddenly I do not have enough points purchase units to deal with stuff like multi-monster or multi war machine armies.
The High Elfs I have painted look (in my opinion) very cool and fresh. They look together, like a "real" army with enough differentiating factors that they do not look like all the same.
But they are still S3 guys and S3, essentially no armor troops have very little chance against Skink poison javelins, Dark Elf Repeater Crossbows, Bretonnian Trebuchets, Skaven Plague Furnaces, WoC Knights....and that is just one thing from each opposing army!
So I then have the choice between building a list that has stuff I like but will lose and lose badly without much of a chance or I can build a more optimal list that I don not really care if it wins or loses because it bores me.
So I set aside the High Elfs and look at the Dwarfs.
Again...like the paint job and look. But Slayers die far too easily, I have taken over 20 Cannon shots in various games and have yet to have them do more than a single wound for me, and their elites have 1 attack apiece and are too expensive to field enough to withstand the opponents' blows when it comes to stuff like the Doomwheel, dragons, Chaos Warriors, Minotaurs, Grail Knights, Cold One Riders, etc.
So I either take a list other people hate to play against because it is blocks of shooting and little else...or I take a list that in my hands has no chance.
I do not have enough models to field Vampire Counts of any particular size, so I am back to Warriors of Chaos.
On the one hand, they have the advantages of being my best painted, best based, favorite army.
On the other, they are repetitive...and that is largely because of list building.
So it becomes and endless loop...grr.
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