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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tavern Talk - List Building

From Kuffy at The Trading Post:

"After listening to a recent show of Heelanhammer I came across the idea of list building.  I wanted to see how people went about building their lists.  There are a host of methods people use.  Some start with the rare slots or their character choices, while others get the core choice out of the way.  Do you see a difference between a friendly pick up game list and a tournament list?  One thing it seems many gamers often appear to view and consider with their lists is the meta game - how much attention do you put on the local meta-gaming?  Are your lists consistent or do you change from game to game?  I have heard of gamers tailoring their lists to work against certain armies or lists, does this appeal to you?  How do you feel on the topic of tailored lists?"

On List Building:

When I am building lists I almost always think of a theme I am doing first. This gives me a basic idea of an army and how it will look and play. For example, I have been recently building lists for an all Goblin army, so right away that gives me a visual in my mind of the basic appearance of my army. 

Once I have settled on a theme I always move to my Characters. I don't know if this is because I got into gaming through RPGs, but the characters are going to be where I begin. With 8th edition this has become a difficult step because I now can take many characters if I choose. I usually decide if I am going magic heavy and if so I will be taking at least a Level 3 wizard, most likely a level 4 which is how I went with my gobbo list. 

Once I get my characters decided on I move onto units. I don't usually start with any one unit type in particular it really depends on what I am trying to do with my list. For example in my gobbos list I bought up all the war machines I owned. Gobbos are not great in combat so my plan with the list is to bombard the enemy with magic and firepower and let my goblins clean up what is left. I decided at this point I needed to get my troops in and took a 40+ Night Goblins Horde as a tarpit units with several 20 strong gobbo units in support. 

At this point I grab any units I know I want, for instance Trolls or a giant, then I spend what ever I have remaining on those little extra units like fast cav / chariots. This is the same basic process I use on every list I build for Fantasy Battles. 

On Type of Lists:

For me there doesn't have to be a difference between friendly lists and tournament lists. What you need to have is your opponents expectations during a friendly game. At a tournament people will be playing to win, but during a friendly game the two players should know what each other wants from the game. I always ask people I don't know if they are practicing for a tournament or just out to have fun, then I know what to expect before the game starts.

On The Meta-Game:

 I hate this term almost as much as I hate Mathhammer. I pay no attention to the meta game in my area, I play the lists I want to play to the best of my ability and have fun doing so. When I have to start optimizing units and studying local habits to enjoy playing the game; I am then taking something I enjoy and turning it into work. It will then be time for me to leave the hobby

On Tailored Lists:

This can definitely be a touchy subject so my rule of thumb is to avoid it at all costs when playing people I meet at the store. When playing my friends I don't mind using tailored lists or if they do as long as we agreed on it. In a recent campaign I played against a friend we tailored our lists and still had a blast playing the battles

Well those are just my thoughts on list building. I hope you enjoyed this edition of Tavern Talk. Make sure you stop by The Trading Post where Kuffy will be posting other responses to these same questions.

- Meatball

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