No 'Risk' No Fun

On how small changes in a list and the way you play it possibly turn out to be a lot of fun and victory! But being hard to apply. Part I

Trying to play a little bit more risky with my marines last night, turned out to be fun and brought me the 8th win in the 10 games I played in our campaign. Usually I basically run a Librarian with nullzone and some other power, a dread, 2 Preds, a Vindi, 3 Landspeeders, 2 tactical squads and a stern guard and I try to vary depending on the enemy, sometimes drop the stern guard and add an additional tactical squad. I did pretty well so far. But as strange as it may sound, I wanted to change something to this working lists I had not tried before. I tried the Captain with Command Squad (4 plasma guns and an Apothecary) against the necrons and it worked out pretty good. So I wandered what to take and after reading a nice article on the 'Yes the Truth hurts'-blog I decided to run a 'Master of the Forge' (henceforth MoF).

the agony of choice
With the current SM codex one definitely has a lot of choices and some of them really sound great, considering the rules or the fluff, and there are many fantastic models BUT, if you do spent some time on studying the individual choices you will see, that in the end a player tends to reduce this plethora of units to a core, which typically is the same had used before. In my case this have always been, dreads, tacticals, scouts, landspeeders, predators , vindicators and stern guard. Additionally some units always drop out because they are really useless or because of personal taste. In my case this have always been things like, bikes, scout bikes, Land-speeder Storm, Assault Marines, ...

Wait, but this exactly melts down to the same list(s) I already mentioned above, and there is the dilemma, you cannot just change your army list completely, you can do changes judging on experiences with units, personal taste, enemies,.. But all these changes are (normally) very 'small' and the core of the army will stay the same. (Ok, at this point I should say that I specialise myself now to the case of a SM army.)
So, changes like dropping Melta bombs when playing against 'Nids or including them when facing IG are usually what happens.

Now what I tried was to at least change the HQ choice and take a look on how this effects my army. Taking the MoF I had to choose whether to give him the conversion beamer and or use him more close combat related. I chose the conversion beamer.
Ok, now since he probably should not move very much in that match, I had to support him with an unit to ensure his survivability. Now the MoF is able to bolster ruins by increasing its cover save by +1. Thus I chose scouts to support him carrying camo cloaks (giving them a 2+ cover save in that ruin), sniper rifles and a rocket launcher.But bolstering ruins is not the only and real advantage of the MoF, he also changes your army list composition by allowing you to take dreads as heavy support. Sounded great, lets play a dread base army I thought, until, until I realised the problem related to

Confinedness of the personal collection
I noticed that in no way I could field more than 2 Dreads, simply because I don't own more then two (well, in fact 3 but one is not usable). And this was not the only unit where I noticed that changing an army is not just limited by the personal taste and the usability of certain units but also the banal fact that one has to own enough models! To cut a long story short, I quickly saw me facing the same choices as always. Sure I could have used a whirlwind proxy but I did decide for the predator again.

Now the final list I used looked like this:

MoF with conversion beamer
10 Tactical SM, with Rocket Launcher, Flamer, Rhino
10 Tactical SM, with Rocket Launcher, Flamer, Rhino
10 Tactical SM, with Heavy Bolter, Melta gun, Rhino
7 Scouts, with Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles, Rocket Launcher
Dread with Plasma Cannon, Heavy Flamer
Dread with 2 x twin-linked Autocannons
Landspeeder Typhoon
2 x Predator with Autocannon, Heavy Bolter

As one easily notices, no big changes made even though I tried really hard. But at this point I was really sure, that the change of the HQ choice would enable me to change my style of playing against the 'nids. If it worked out and how will be told in the next part of this article, following the next days...

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