Wednesday, August 1, 2007

OPINION: Chaos Renegade Militia army development

So, that Chaos Renegade Militia army list then. Before I leap right in and start buying models for any army I like to have a concept in mind for the army, how it will fight on the battlefield, which models I need to buy and how I will paint them. I thought I'd let you in on this process with the Chaos Renegade Militia as it is more complex than usual and will hopefully give you an insight into just how much (over) analysis I put into this gaming thang.

General concepts
  • This is an army I want to be able to play with for a long time. As far as I possibly can I want to make it edition and codex proof. Forgeworld models are expensive and I plan to spend a long time modelling and painting the army. I don't want all that hard work to go to waste because I overemphasise unusual units or formations. I want to choose a wide range of units which are not dependent on special rules, unusual wargear or wacky deployment.
  • In order to get most use out of the army I want to be able to play it at tournaments as well as in casual play. Forgeworld army lists aren't allowed in most tournaments so I would like to be able to use the army as a 'straight' Imperial Guard list. I'll basically build the first 1500 points of the army with no 'Forgeworld only' units and then include the Forgeworld goodies as extras later.
  • Forgeworld have sculpted some gorgeous Chaos Militia models and I want to include as many of these in my army as possible. That means choosing models not just on their battlefield prowess but including them just because they look good. This will obviously compromise the competitiveness of the army but it is a hit I am willing to take.
  • I have painted an Imperial Guard army before and painting unit after unit of infantry gets very boring, very quickly. Therefore, I want to include lots and lots of vehicles in the army.
  • I want to include as many 'signature' units of the Militia list as I can, to ensure that my army is representative. This should also help to define it's character and make it distinctive from other Imperial Guard armies. In practical terms this means choosing Priests, Psykers and heavy weapon platoons. Ogryns will be included but because they differ between the IG codex and the Militia list I'll do them as extras.
List building
With all of the above in mind I now have to sit down and write the list. As a guideline I'll use my notes on the elements of a competitive army. To paraphrase, I need to:
  • Optimise for escalation (start all models on the board or off the board).
  • Emphasise firepower over assault (mobile shooting is best).
  • Include mobile objective grabbers.
  • Be durable (having redundancy).
  • Assume I will be fighting MEQ's and arm myself accordingly.
  • Include a pushback unit.
  • Include an infiltrating unit.
  • Maximise my scoring units.
  • Try to fill out the full force organisation chart.
Of course, these are all just goals and it is unlikely I will be able to stick to all of them, especially considering the wider army concepts I outlined earlier. These elements are also generic and not keyed to a specific army. I also have some Imperial Guard specific ideas I'd like to adhere to.
  • Command squads are there to provide leadership - not to be in the firing line or to be crammed full of wargear.
  • Individually, most IG units are fragile. Their strength comes in numbers so always try to take at least two of each unit.
  • Vehicles kill infantry and infantry kill vehicles. Give the infantry tank killing equipment.
  • Don't be shy in maxing out on heavy support. IG have little in the way of assault ability so big guns are a necessity.
  • Include at least one infantry squad for every 300 points spent.
This is all the stuff that is going round my head before I have even made my first list! I'll have a bit of a think, scratch out a list and maybe post it on a couple of forums to see if it could be improved and then I'll bring it back to lone pilgrim for the official unveiling.

If you have an hints, tips or comments, please get in touch.

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