New thread time!
Cheesegear presents Cheesegear's Newbie Guide on How to pick Warhammer 40K army, by Cheesegear (and contributors).
SpoilerDisclaimer: This is not a guide to say which armies are 'better' than other armies. Except in hyperbole. The 'stars' notation is for what Newbies should play. By no means does this mean that you shouldn't play Chaos Daemons. It means that if you're a new player and don't fully understand the rules to the game, it might be hard to make Daemons work.
Any unit that gets specifically mentioned is a stand-out unit, or will represent a 'must-have' unit that the army has.
General Advice for all armies;
- Where possible, you should always talk to a GW Staff Member. No, you don't have to actually listen to or do anything they say. But, you should at least talk to them so they can point you in at least a general direction. Don't buy anything on your first trip into the store. GW Staff are very persuasive, and you can - or will - often end up buying something you don't even want.
- If and when you do finally decide on an army, play a few games in an actual GW Store using the Store's models. Otherwise, where possible, use proxy models. This will give you a basic understanding of most of the rules and the turn sequence and a general idea of how your army-of-choice plays. Or, at least give you an idea that an army or unit that you thought was cool, really isn't. Or maybe that particular army just isn't for you. And that unit that 'looks cool' doesn't fit your play style.
- Read a Codex. Whatever gets said on the internet, means absolutely nothing if you don't have a Codex to understand what's being said. This ties into the above in that it's kind of important that you have played a few games and know the rules.
- GW doesn't mention it all that much, but; You don't have to use your army's Codex for your army. For example; It's perfectly reasonable to, say, use the Chaos Space Marine Codex to represent a 1st Company of Loyalist Marines. You can, in fact, use Imperial Guard models to represent Tau, or Eldar. Just so long as your models look suitably awesome and your models conform to the rules of a different list (the WYSIWYG rule). If you can also give a background justification - or 'fluffy' reason - for why your Imperial Guard are wielding Shuriken or Pulse Rifles; Even better!
- In regards to the above; 'Counts as' models can generally be shown to be a fluffy reason for why you have what you have. So, maybe your Imperial Guard regiment has a lot of Ogryns. You can use an Ogryn-holding-a-Lascannon as your 'Heavy Weapon Team'. As long as it's WYSIWYG, and at least makes a passing attempt at conforming to the rules (such as base size/shape), nobody cares. However, GW really doesn't like it when you come into their store and start using a different company's miniatures to play a GW game. However, making a scratch-build from Green Stuff and Plasticard is totally okay. Just so long as you aren't giving their competitors money, eh?
- With that said; Painting, Green Stuff, Plasticard and Conversions in general, the only way to get better at it, is to practice. Start easy, start small. Start with adding cloaks to troops. Large, rectangular pieces of Green Stuff. Easy. Maybe you'll be confident to add textures. Ability comes with practice. And, there are literally dozens of tutorials to be found on YouTube. And hundreds of tutorials just about everywhere else.
- Less is more. Don't try to equip your unit to do everything. Assign your units to fulfill a role, and let them do it. Don't waste points on things you aren't going to use.
- Bodies are far more important than Wargear. Do not spend 100 extra points on Wargear, if you could otherwise spend 100 points on buying a whole unit. Wargear is not a substitute for models. Well, it is. But, it's a poor substitute.
- In regards to the above two points, very rarely, should you spend more than 200 points on a single model (such as an HQ model), or 300 points on a single unit.
- Troops. Win. Games. Do not, under any circumstances, skimp out on your Troops selection. More often than not they are the cheapest unit in the Codex, and, Troops are the only units who can capture an objective. Any unit can contest an objective, but, only Troops can claim objectives. All contesting objectives will do is get you is a Draw.
- Assault on Black Reach. Bad for Space Marine players. Good for Ork Players.
- Vehicles and You.
- Cheesegear's Speaking Of Tournaments.... General themes to consider when attending a competitive arena.
- To Tailor Your List Or Not To Tailor
- Wraith's Handy-Dandy Guide to Painting and Assembling an Army
- Closet_Skeleton says:
"Every Troops choice you spend on a non-Scoring unit is Troops choice wasted."
- How To Write An Army List | Sample
- Should you buy a Battleforce? In most cases, yes.
Guide to Armies
SpoilerSpace Marines (Codex Marines, SMs):
SpoilerPros: Space Marines are the eponymous 40K army. They are the army by which all other armies are judged. Just about all their units can be outfitted in many different ways to fulfill many different roles (but, in regards to General Advice, they should only try to do one thing at a time). With few exceptions, the entire army selection is plastic for easy conversions and assembly (and, most of the metal models you don't even need). As plastics, the army is also relatively cheap to buy.
GW Staff are extremely knowledgeable on all things Space Marine.
Troops unit choice with the ability to Infiltrate and have Sniper Rifles.
Power Armour and Bolters.
Cons: Honestly, none. Save for the common misinformation that GW Staff will tell you to get you to buy certain units and sets (like Assault on Black Reach). But, this is by no means bad. As a Space Marine is a Space Marine. And pretty much all the units in the Codex can be useful one way or another.
One such example is that there is a growing proportion of Space Marine players who feel - despite the fluff and the statline - that Scout Squads are superior to Tactical Squads (the reason why is outside the scope of this guide).
The only truly bad thing about Space Marines, is that everybody has them. GW sells them at every opportunity. All starter sets ever produced by GW has contained Space Marines as one of the 'learner' armies. By extension, a lot of people turn to Space Marines because that's what they learned the game with, but, what they don't realise, is that the Assault on Black Reach starter kit is weak.
Recommendation for Newbs; *****. But the Assault on Black Reach kit isn't a good start to a Space Marine army. GW likes misinformation.
* or ** depending on whether or not you care about being 'just like everyone else'.
What's so bad about AoBR?
Codex Space Marines theoretically allows you to build 7 different 'themes' of Space Marines (even though it's 6) based around what colours and which Special Characters you like. However, any special character can be used in any Chapter, painted any colour that you choose. So, really, what Chapter you choose is kind of irrelevant since you can use other Chapters' special characters anyway.
The common belief is that 'Space Marines is Space Marines'. They all have Power Armour and Bolters. All of the above applies to the below;
Dark Angels: Outdated Codex. A few minor differences. Many people are best off going with Codex Marines rather than playing by Dark Angels rules. The only reason to play Dark Angels is for Ravenwing. And, even then, sometimes you might be better off with Codex Marines with a 'Captain on Bike'. *
Black Templars: You will need the FAQ. Slightly more focused on close combat. With some unique rules. ***
Space Wolves: Space Wolves are actually the 'most fair' list out of all the Space Marine variants. They're a solid list. They have no actual 'bad' or 'trap' units. ****
Blood Angels: The only real difference in the List is more options to take Jump Packs, Fast vehicles, and a slight bonus to Deep Striking. Staggeringly similar to Codex Marines otherwise and you wont actually lose much by playing Blood Angels. ****
What if you like one particular unit more than the others? Which Codex would be best for you?
Chaos Space Marines (Chaos Marines, CSMs):
SpoilerLike Space Marines, but Evil. So, just about everything that applies to Space Marines applies to Chaos Space Marines.
Pros: Chaos Space Marines are slightly more focused on close combat than their Imperial counterparts - but, by no means to they have to be. CSMs are not necessarily 'better' than regular SMs. Just...Different. Each faction has different toys at their disposal.
There are a variety of different ways you can outfit your squads, and it's kind of difficult to find any two CSM armies the same.
Power Armour and Bolters.
Converting your 'Starter Box' Space Marine army to Chaos Marines is fairly easy. Just add spikes and arrows and mutations.
Cons: There are options in the Codex. Too many options some say. It's very easy to get confused on what or what not to get for your squads and characters. And it's even easier to go overboard on wargear and skills and the like (remember; Wargear != Bodies).
CSMs are also a fairly commonly seen army as they cater to the people who want to play Space Marines, but, think that 'Evil is Cool'. Some do consider who they get associated with as a bad thing.
The 'some of everything' approach that a lot of new players have when collecting their armies doesn't really work for Chaos Marines. Most of the time, you're best off going all-out on one or two of the Cult units (below).
Recommendation for Newbies: ****
Chaos Space Marines (Cults):
SpoilerContributions supplied by Winterwind, DaedalusMkV and unknowingly by Myatar Panwar
Lots of attacks...Aaand...That's about it. Khorne Beserkers have WS 5 and also gain Furious Charge, meaning that when Assaulting, they're hitting and wounding most things on 3s and 2/3s. Their initiative 5 (when Assaulting) helps them a lot when they can strike before most enemies and kill them before they get attacks back. Khorne Berzerkers are fairly good at what they do, but, their individual unit effectiveness is directly proportional to their opponent's armour save.
Meaning, that, for the most part, you need lots of Beserkers. Lots. Khorne Beserker armies also don't function very well without Rhinos, as their only ranged weapons are Pistols. So, this is a lot of currency. On top of which; As they lack ranged weapons, Obliterators, Vindicators and Defilers are almost required for the army.
Khorne Lords and Daemon Princes are considered to be the least efficient. The Daemon Weapon gives you double the chance to hurt yourself. As well as +2D6 Power Weapon attacks is pretty much overkill. You don't really need that many.
Their special character - Kharn - is quite good though.
*** You will need Rhinos. Luckily, Berzerkers come in boxes of 12 (which is more than the other Cult units) and are plastic. Which is good.
All models with the Mark of Tzeentch gain an Invulnerable save. Or, their save gets improved if they already have one. This makes Tzeentch-based lists very tough to kill on the outset.
Onto specialised units; Thousand Sons are a Troop choice that comes with a 4+ invulnerable save, and have AP3 Bolters. Perfect for objective-squatting. This also makes them deadly in ranged firefights - and their invulnerable save makes them hard to kill on the return. Being Slow and Purposeful, it's a good idea to get as much use our their Bolters as you can get.
Thousand Sons also have a Sorcerer as their 'Sergeant'. Chaos Psychic Powers being as they are, this is quite good, as most 'shooting' powers tend to be AP3 or better, or allow no save at all. The Sorcerer also comes with a Force Weapon (add Warptime for fun). Meaning units with an Independent Character kind of need to think twice before Assaulting Thousand Sons units.
However, units without Independent Characters (that you can't target), and other dedicated Assault units will have an easy time. As Thousand Sons are the worst Assault unit in the Codex. But, this isn't saying a whole lot, as they're still Space Marines.
Tzeentch Daemon Princes and Sorcerers are quite good, able to choose and use two powers in the same turn. As well as receiving a better Invulnerable save. Tzeentch Lords are 'okay'. The Tzeentch special character - Ahriman - is pretty good. But, far too overpoints'd.
*** Thousand Sons boxes are expensive. But, you get plenty in a box.
Emperor's Children/Slaanesh-based/Noise Marines:
Marks of Slaanesh add to Initiative. This means pretty much everything in the CSM army will be functioning at Initiative 5. If you're unit holds Power Weapons, you can do a lot of damage before your opponent even gets to attack.
Noise Marines. Are. Amazing. Sonic Blasters are essentially Storm Bolters that get an extra shot if you're standing still. A Blastmaster, is a S8, AP3 Blast weapon that causes Pinning. Do you want yet? Just before Assaulting, the Noise Marine Champion has access to a S5, AP3 Flamer. This will kill things dead. Then Assault, at Initiative 5 (if you're opponent didn't fail their Morale check from you shooting the crap out of them, that is) and you can do some serious damage.
Daemon Princes and Sorcerers gain Lash of Submission. Usually considered one of the more unfair psychic powers as it allows you to move your opponent's models. Where? Into Dangerous Terrain, out of their precious cover, towards your own models into Assault range, or even just moving their Heavy Weapon team out of LoS.
Chaos Lords with Blissgiver are perfect Character killers as with 3+D6 attacks and Initiative 6, they only need to cause one wound (with a 'Power Weapon') to kill pretty much anything they want.
Lucius the Eternal is just as good as - if not better than - Kharn. And doesn't even cost that many points.
**** The Noise Marine box doesn't come with with many Sonic Blasters. They are, however, available in bulk from Mail Order. But, they're not that important. You're really only getting Noise Marines for Blastmasters and Doom Sirens.
Death Guard/Nurgle-based/Plague Marines:
Extra Toughness. Might not seem like much. But, it's (usually) the most expensive Mark for units that can take it for a reason. Works best on models in Terminator Armour or models on Bikes.
Plauge Marines are pretty much exactly the same as regular Chaos Marines, except with Toughness 5 and Feel No Pain. They're extremely hard to kill. On top of which, they have Defensive Grenades. And that's pretty good. Aaand...That's about it actually. Not much can be said about Plague Marines except exactly that.
The Mark of Nurgle is mostly wasted on Daemon Princes as they don't really need the extra Toughness compared to what else they could take and Sorcerers on gain access to Nurgle's Rot, which, again, compared to other powers, isn't that great. As Nurgle's Rot works best in close combat. But, Nurgle Sorcerers only get one psychic power per turn. So, it's Nova, or use the Force Weapon.
On Chaos Lords (especially in Terminator Armour), the Mark of Nurgle is alright. Giving access to a reasonably good Daemon Weapon.
The special character for Death Guard is Typhus. He's pretty damn good. Opinion appears to be divided on whether or not he's worth the points. He has Wind of Chaos, and Nurgle's Rot (otherwise known as Nurgle's Nova). And he auto-passes all psychic tests when using those powers. As well as having the Nurgle-based Daemon Weapon, that also counts as a Force Weapon. As well as Terminator Armour and Defensive Grenades. Whether you like him or not is your choice.
**** Plague Marines are pretty boring for options. But, Toughness 5 and Feel No Pain are really, really good. And the Mark of Nurgle is usually the most expensive Mark for those who would get any real use out of it.
SpoilerIf you think of the movie Alien, or Starship Troopers, Tyranids aren't far off the mark.
Pros: Tyranids are primarily seen as a close combat swarm army. The big Tyranids are extremely customisable and immensely powerful in whatever role you want to give them (but you should only choose one role at a time, remember), and, the smaller Tyranids come in massive numbers designed to make your opponent crap themselves on just how many bodies you can put on the table. The Tyranids also possess one of the most deadly close combat units in the entire game.
A Troops choice that can Infiltrate.
Most of the army is plastic. And, many of the metal models you only need a few of. So, per box, Tyranids are pretty cheap. Also, the Tyranid Battleforce is generally considered the 'best' one. Although, it's definitely recommended by most of the internet that you get two.
Cons: Like CSMs, it's often possible to overload your Monstrous Creatures with too many biomorphs (wargear), which gets expensive. Fast. And, many of the smaller Tyranids are designed for one unchangeable role. The smaller Tyranids can't adapt their units for what they want to do. A Tyranid army is usually seen as very shooty-heavy, or very assault-heavy. It very - extremely rarely - can be both. Often, trying to be both is actually a detriment to the Tyranid army.
Without the bigger Tyranids to back them up, the smaller Tyranids suddenly become a lot more vulnerable, partly because they already have low toughness and high armour saves to begin with. Therefore, you may need to spend a bit of money on the larger, more expensive models.
As a swarm army, box-per-box, you also don't get very many points in each box. This means you'll probably have to end up spending a lot of money to get a decent amount of points onto the table.
Also, like SMs and CSMs, if a 14 year old kid isn't playing SMs or CSMs, then they're playing Tyranids.
Reccomendation for Newbies: ** to ****. Depending on how much real-world currency you have to spend. If you don't have a lot of money, you wont be able to field a lot of bodies or acquire the larger Monstrous Creatures. If you can field ~50 Termagants and 50 Hormagaunts per battle and have Monstrous Creatures to back them up...Good.
SpoilerElves. In SPAAACE!
Pros: The Eldar boast a 'swiss army knife' army. They have a unit for everything and every unit can do their job well. Each and every unit looks vastly different to every other unit, and are actually supposed to be painted in different colours to each other. So, you have a huge variety of models and colours. If variety is important to you.
Most of the army can Fleet. All Eldar tanks are Fast, Skimmers, and the army contains Eldar Jetbikes (which have different rules to 'normal' Jetbikes). In short, the Eldar army boasts speed and maneuverability.
As with their Infantry, they also have HQ units to fit certain roles. An Autarch can be outfitted to suit almost any battlefield role. Eldar Farseers and Seer Councils are powerful psykers. And the Avatar is a close combat Monster (literally).
A lot of the metal models in the range come in reasonable sized boxes at a (fairly) reasonable price. The good news is, you usually don't need too many of the metal models.
Troops unit choice with the ability to Infiltrate and have Sniper Rifles.
A Wraithlord is one of the scariest models in the game. An absurdly high Toughness and a reasonable armour save. And can kill troops and heavy armour with equal ease. Often at the same time. It's strength 10 and Monstrous Creature status also means it can rip apart tanks even when it's guns are suited to killing Infantry. It even causes Instant Death on most Infantry that attack it. Including a lot of HQ characters.
Wraithguard are like smaller Wraithlords high Strength and Toughness, with a good save and toting around deadly guns.
...It's possible to build an entire army out of Wraithguard and Wraithlords.
Cons: Low 'Elf' Toughness.
The sheer amount of variety can sometimes make it hard to decide which units to take. Especially since some of the units in the Eldar army overlap, but, achieve their role in slightly different ways. And it's these 'slightly different ways' that can make or break the unit depending on your opponent. Some particular units are even useless or near-useless depending on your opponent.
Every unit fills a role. And is unadaptive. You can't manipulate any squad to do anything other than what it was designed to do (except Dire Avengers). And, in smaller point games where you can't afford to take every unit you want, you'll know that you're missing that unit. Because nothing else you have will be able to perform as well as the missing unit.
It's these missing units that make of most of the metal models that will be in your army. You'll need the metal models.
Individual Wraithguard units can often be prohibitively expensive in currency.
Taking too many Wraithlords in your army will have people crying for curdled dairy products. That is; Cheese. In lower point games, just one Wraithlord is enough for "OMG! Cheese!" cries.
Recommendation for Newbies: *** or ****. The Eldar army is an army where it's hard - but not impossible - to go wrong. With such a huge mandatory variety in models, an 'I want every unit' mindset (common in newbies) is actually beneficial to the Eldar army setup.
Dark Eldar (DE):
SpoilerLike Eldar, but evil (there's an argument that Dark Eldar are more evil than 'regular Chaos'). But vastly different.
Pros: The Dark Eldar as just as fast and just as maneuverable - if not more - as their 'good' Eldar counterparts. Except pack a lot more firepower. Each and every unit is customisable (unlike Eldar) to attack different things. Splinter Cannons for killing Infantry and Dark Lances for popping tanks. And you can fit a lot of both in an army.
The Dark Eldar close combat portion of the army is nothing to be sneezed at either.
The Dark Eldar also posses Raiders. A Fast, Skimming, Open-Topped Transport vehicle. For some, this means putting a squad of Warriors in and flying them around the battlefield and shooting anything that moves thanks to being open-topped.
Because a Raider is also Fast, and Open-Topped, and some Dark Eldar Infantry are also Fleet, it means Dark Eldar are often capable of the 'First Turn Assault'. Given just how effective Dark Eldar assault units are, this can only end well.
Also being Open-Topped, it means that when (rarely if) the Raider is destroyed, it's occupants can bail out easier.
In this author's opinion, the Dark Eldar also host some of the best models in the entire GW range.
Cons: Fragile. Fragile. Fragile. The Dark Eldar army is best described as 'shock and awe' (read the fluff ). The goal of the army is to butcher and hamstring the opponent as quickly and as brutally as possible. If it isn't blindingly obvious that the Dark Eldar are winning by Turn 3 or 4, then they probably wont win the battle at all. By turn 3 or 4, most of the Dark Eldar Raiders should be destroyed (if they're not, laugh), leaving the Dark Eldar to rely on their enormous Toughness of 3, or Jetbikes.
The Dark Eldar have huge reliance on their Raider transport vehicles. This will end up costing a fair bit of currency in the end as nearly every unit will need one for extra protection or speed.
A lot of (effective) Dark Eldar armies tend to look the same.
Recommendation for Newbies: ** or ***. The Dark Eldar are easy to learn, but hard to master. But, once mastered...The Dark Eldar tend to either win by a significant margin (often by Turn 3 or 4), or lose spectacularly (by Turn 5 or 6).
SpoilerThink The Terminator, or perhaps think of Undead metal skeletons. And you can think of the Necrons.
Pros: Some of the toughest basic Troops in the entire game.
Power Armour and Bolters. Except 'Necron Bolters' have a special version of Rending-but-not-quite, allowing them to wound Toughness 8 or better models or cause Glancing Hits to any vehicle. Including Land Raiders. Yes. The basic Troop type, with no options, can cause Glancing Hits against Land Raiders.
As well as their reasonable Toughness and 'Power Armour', they come with the We'll Be Back rule. Essentially your models can stand back up, even after they've been 'killed'. Like Undead. Or T-800s. Essentially, the Necrons are hard to kill. And sometimes don't even stay dead.
Warscythes - available to Necron Lords and Pariahs - are the best weapon in the entire game. Ignoring all saves - including Invulnerable Saves - and rolling 2D6 for Armour Penetration. Given that both Lords and Pariahs have Strength and Toughness 5, they can and will carve through almost anything put in front of them. Not even 'hard' units, that rely on 2+ armour and Invulnerable saves (like Space Marine Terminators) need to think twice about assaulting Pariahs.
The Necron army list is straightforward. You don't have to worry about whether to take Flamers or Plasmaguns. The unit is the unit. No fiddling necessary.
Most of the (useful) Necron model range is plastic. And also come at a high in-game points cost. For this reason, the Necrons are probably the cheapest army to buy when it comes to currency.
Necrons are extremely easy to paint.
The C'Tan. The Necrons are able to field near-literal Gods on the battlefield.
The Monolith. There's a legend that if you crack it open, it's full of cheese!
Disclaimer: Cheesegear does not endorse breaking your Necron Monolith to find out if cheese is inside it.
Cons: First and foremost, the Phase Out rule. When an arbitrary proportion of your army is destroyed, the Necron army automatically loses. Regardless of the mission being played, the opponent has the same objective; 'Kill them all'.
Certain units are able to mitigate Phase Out from happening. One of the best ways to do this is to take a lot of the cheaper - and less fun - units in the army. For this reason, a lot of (effective) Necron armies tend to look pretty boring and are always pretty similar.
The only real individuality to be found in the entire Necron army list is to be found on the Necron Lord. No other unit truly allows options except for whether to take grenades or not.
The Assault capabilities of the Necron army is pretty effective, but, minimal. Either being expensive in points (like the aforementioned awesome Pariahs) and/or are not Troops. The Necron list also has a profound lack of Power Weapons, which doesn't help. The only power weapons found in the Necron list are Warscythes, which are only found on the expensive units; Lords and Pariahs (please note that Warscythes are awesome, however).
Pariahs may be totally awesome, and perhaps the best unit in the game, but, they don't come with the Necron rule. Meaning, every Pariah you get for your army, means that you're one step closer to Phasing Out earlier.
The basic Necron Troop comes at a high points cost, for this reason, Necrons do not often do well in games that are less than 1000 points.
(Unless the opponent doesn't entirely know what they're doing, and doesn't know how to defeat We'll Be Back or force a Phase Out).
Recommendation for Newbies: The Necrons are a very straightforward list. Very few options to get confused about, and extremely easy to paint. Necrons are very much like the Dark Eldar. It's very easy to make a bad list. It's also very easy to make a completely devastating list if you know what you're doing.
* if you can't get your head around Phase Out or want a list that offers variety.
**** or even ***** if you're looking for an easy army to put together and paint. And you can get your head around Phase Out, and know how to make it less bad.
SpoilerWith help provided by Nameless Ghost, Ricky S and Selrahc
Tau are the archetypal alien race. Very progressive technology and a near-utopic society. Also draws several parallels to Mechs and Exosuits - if you like that sort of thing.
Pros: Firepower. You want a really 'Shooty' army? You pick Tau.
Like Necrons and Space Marines, you actually can't go very far wrong with the 'normal' Troop choice; Fire Warriors. They have a decent save of 4+, so they aren't dying en masse to Bolter fire. And they boast the best base-Troop weapon in the game. Yes. Better than Bolters. Easily. Their Transport (Devilfish), similarly, for it's points cost is one of the best in the game. Second only to the Eldar Wave Serpent. You can field a very respectable army fielding nothing but Fire Warriors and Devilfish - just bring some anti-armour weapons.
HQ and Elites choices field some very respectable units in the form of Crisis Suits and Stealth Teams. Effectively your Mechs/Exosuits/Gears. With their ability to take a wide array of guns, on top of their ability to fire at multiple units at the same time, it makes them a very nice support unit for your Fire Warriors. Or, even a front-line squadron if you're brave enough. Crisis Suits also possess Jet Packs, rather than Jump Packs. Which is a really cool bonus to have. As it allows you to move in the Assault phase for move-shoot-move combos like Eldar Jetbikes.
Tau Heavy Support though is what you're really looking at. Broadsides are exactly what their name suggests if you're into Naval Warfare. Broadsides carry Railguns; High-strength guns designed to annihilate whatever they're pointed at. And they do it well too.
This author would be remiss if he didn't also mention Hammerheads. One of the better tanks in the game.
Cons: Tau fold like paper in Assault. What they do in Shooting, they lose out in Assault. Even worse than Necrons. Low Weapon Skill, low Toughness, low Initiative, and no access to Power Weapons or weapons that don't allow saves in Assault. Their decent armour saves them somewhat, but not much.
The Tau also have more than their fair share of 'trap' units. Which, outside of Themed Lists, don't actually do very well.
Like taking Kroot. Kroot are better in Assault than pretty much anything else in the army, but, that's not really saying much. You're best off with more Fire Warriors.
Ethereals are extremely good. But, your opponent will pretty much always target him first. And then he becomes a massive liability for your army.
Like Tyranids and Chaos Marines, it's kind of hard not to go overboard on Wargear options on your Crisis Suits, because they're all just so good. Leaving you fewer points to spend on Fire Warriors. Not only that, Crisis Suits are not Terminators, and don't do real well under fire.
Heavy Support choices are expensive in points. Problem is, if you don't take them, you're seriously missing out on some really impressive firepower options.
Recommendation for Newbs; *** The Battleforce is one of the better ones around, so long as you remember that the Kroot are essentially 'free'; If you didn't pay currency for them, you're under no obligation to use them. Replace them with Fire Warriors as soon as you can. The Tau way of battle also requires a lot of tactics to use well (similar to Eldar), in that you need to prioritise fire and occasionally you have no choice but to sacrifice the odd unit here and there. Tau often play very static roles, unless you shell out extra currency for Devilfish. Which isn't always the best thing in the world. And no. There really isn't a way around being bad at Assault. The best thing you can hope for is that you've shot the crap out of your enemy before they get there.
Chaos Daemons (Daemons, CDs)
SpoilerDaemons. They come out of the Warp to eat your face. That's about all you need to know.
Pros: Chaos Daemons, as an army, possess some of the more powerful units in the game. Strong HQs, strong Elites, reasonably impressive Fast Attack, and some strong Heavy Support in the form of Soul Grinders and Daemon Princes.
The entire army is Invulnerable and sports Eternal Warrior and Fearless on every single unit except the Soul Grinder. But, as a Daemon, the Soul Grinder gets some pretty impressive things on its own. So, Power Weapons and other low AP ranged weapons don't really have any extra effect on Daemons. Your opponent is basically wasting points.
Very powerful Assault army if you can get it there. It only takes three or four models to wipe out an opposing unit of 10 even on a fairly average day.
Very fast army. A number of Beasts/Cavalry and Jump Infantry units, and the whole army Deep Strikes.
High diversity and distinctive imagery of all it's units.
Most of the army is plastic (or soon will be), which keeps currency costs low.
Cons: *Deep Breath* Well, deployment. Before any game even starts, you're at a disadvantage. You can't actually plan with Chaos Daemons. Before the game starts, divide your army in half. Half your army arrives on Turn 1 via Deep Strike, and the rest of the army trickles in over the rest of the game.
...The really annoying part, is that you don't actually get to pick which half you get on the first turn. The only way to make a 'plan' with Daemons, is to have symmetrical halves, so, no matter what comes down, you've got what you want. Which means, all that diversity in models goes out the window as you now need to duplicate every unit. Leading to 'cookie cutter' units. Which nobody really likes - unless you want that.
Yeah, the entire army arrives via Deep Strike and reserves. It's both good and bad, it's more often bad. Since Chaos Daemons have a real lack of shooting. The opposite of Tau, who have low Assault. But, due to Deep Striking, and the disallowance of Assault, your army will get shot at before you get to Assault with your units.
This is solved by 'aggressive Deep Striking', which is ignoring terrain difficulties, and deploying as close to your enemy as you possibly can so you can Assault next turn. This means that you could take casualties from Difficult Terrain, and following Shooting phase from your opponent. To do this, you need lots of models, which costs currency.
The Codex - like Eldar - has a higher-than-normal amount of unit redundancy. Some of those diverse units that you like, just wont be taken because there are other units that can do the same job, better. Like Necrons, Daemons' Elites and Fast Attack choices are mostly just more powerful versions of the Troops units. Because of this reason, Daemons' Troops are pretty lackluster in comparison to everything else. Except that you have to take Troops...well, because they're your Troops. Which is even worse because those Troops units aren't exactly cheap in points.
With such a low save, Fearless is quite often a hindrance. And, unlike Orks or Tyranids, Daemons don't usually have the numbers to keep up a sustained losing-assault. But, Daemons don't usually lose Assault (even with such small unit sizes). So, you've got that.
Recommendation for Newbies: * The deployment rules are like nothing a new player would be able to deal with. Not to mention the complexity and tactics that you need with a Chaos Daemons army in order to win.
** If you really like the imagery and painting/conversion opportunities that Chaos Daemons presents.
Sadly, Daemons are more Cons than Pros unless you build your list a specific way. Which you - a new player - probably wont do.
Grey Knights (GKs):
SpoilerTBD. Needs redoing for new Codex.
Recommendation for Newbies: * or **
A pure Grey Knight Army is arguably one of the trickiest and most difficult army to use in Warhammer 40,000 - every casualty is a massive set back and your plans have to go off perfectly, for even the slightest mistake will leave you crippled in an instant.
Witch Hunters and Sisters of Battle (WHs, SoBs): ***
Orks: *** to ***** depending on how much currency you have (horde army). Extra points because it's the more useful of the AoBR Starter Armies. So, a decent Ork army actually comes stock in the 'newbie box'.
Imperial Guard (IG): * to ***** depending on how much currency you have. A ***** IG army is the single-most expensive army in the entire game. Even more than Daemonhunters.
Imperial Guard Tanks.
Still to come;
Imperial Guard, re-done Grey Knights, Witch Hunters and Orks.
These armies I have lot of experience with. Send PMs if you believe you have advice that I might leave out.
Actually looking for, or things I can't write myself;
More General Advice (I think I've covered most of it).
SEND PMs. Don't Derail Thread.
Please submit suggestions for additions to the guide to my PM box as to keep from derailing the thread. Also, try and keep it general. Specifics can be delved into after the aspiring player has picked an army.
This hobby breeds opinions like no tomorrow. Please read.
Some Battle Reports
Spoiler* Warhammer 40K Tactics
* -II- Tactics for the Tactics God
* III - Hats for the Hat Throne
* IV - The Enemy of Your Enemy is Still Your Enemy.
* V: Everyone Is On Fire. Some Moreso Than Others.
* VI: Chaos Bringing Eternal Darkness? I brought my flashlight.
* VII: Common Sense is not RAW.
* VIII: "You're Gonna have To Face It, You're Addicted To Maths
* IX: "Mech Is King? I Never Voted For It!"
* X: "Everybody expects the Inquisition!"
* XI: "More Threads than your Tactical Squad has Room for!"
* Warhammer 40K Tabletop XII: "Now in Rapid Fire range!"