Friday, April 15

Elemental Army nonsense part 1: Overview & Fire

A while back a friend of mine and I were having a discussion about the different army types around there and how they fit with each other. Today Im bringing you the outcome of those discussions, read on for all kinds of goodies.

We talked about the Rock/Paper/Scissors effect that a lot of armies seem to have on each other.  As we did this we came into a topic which is not entirely original, but nonetheless interesting.  We saw 4 different army types which were associated with 4 different Elements: Earth, Fire, Water, Air.

We then began to talk about the different attributes between the four Elements and how they applied to the overall style of the army.

I thought it was so interesting that I wanted to bring it here, to my loyal reader(s) (thanks mom).

Instead of typing up a wall of text about all 4 elements, I would rather just cover one Element and a couple of Army list examples that are based off that element.  I will also try to write up a battle report with said elements as part of the individual posts.

Just a quick note first... All forms of elements are viable, though some people prefer lists of a certain flavor all of them can be competitive in the right hands and with the right build.

FIRE!!! (Feel free to add as many exclamation points as needed)

Style: Fast and Furious...
Wins based on: MOMENTUM!
Loses based on: Loss of Momentum
Counter: Water (duh!),

I find that most army lists I play tend towards the Fire style, I like to get in there and start punching things in the face with both hands!  Fire doesn't hide this tactic very well and most opponents will see your hand before the game even starts.  The reason is because you obviously don't have a "Plan B." However, this thought will often scare the living tar out of your opponent because they will stress out with target priority.  If you get first turn your move will likely be flat out towards the opponent, if your marines you will likely pop smoke on your Rhinos, you would pop smoke on your razorbacks, but you likely don't have any.  This  style doesn't do MSU, because if your going to be in the thick of your opponents army you want a lot of bodies, you also likely don't have razorbacks and the like because you don't want to be tempted to shoot.  Normally Fire lists are all about close assault because like the actual element, the closer it gets the hotter it burns the opponent.  Your squads will generally have lots of meltas and other assault weapons, i.e. power weapons.  Your HQ's will be things similar to SM Chaplains and Special characters like Mephiston and Logan, who are either embody fire themselves, or make everyone else's fire burn hotter.

The big thing to focus on with a fire list is momentum. If you lose the momentum and get bogged down you will likely cool off and have a hard time winning.  One great way to keep the momentum going in your favor is by overwhelming force... This means going into assaults and fire fights you know you can win with more than is generally necessary to get the job done.  You don't want to be stuck in combat with a  large kroot squad for 2-3 turns... You want to kill 90% of it on your assault and then finish them off in their assault, then move on to the next squad during your next turn.  Doing things like multiple assaults is great for this army, it helps you get the most out of your kills and generally helps you stay in combat during their turn.  When you have your enemy on their back foot PRESS THE ASSAULT!  There is no "consolidate the position," there is only "Burn baby, BURN!"  When you look at the table you should see very little in the back lines, everything is up front smashing face.  There are also usually 2 outcomes with a Fire list...1- You get blown away before getting to the enemy, or 2- you get into the enemy and it is "all over,"

Armies that do Fire particularly well:
- Blood Angels: A big portion of Blood Angel builds will be "Fire,"
- Khorne Daemons
- Some Black Templar styles
- Space Wolves (Thunder wolf cav in particular.)
- Battle Wagon Orks
- World Eaters

Sample Army List (It wouldn't be a blog without an army list!)

Blood Angels 2000 points Fire List; (Im not saying this is a good Fire list, just an example)

- Chaplain
- 9 Death Company
 - 3x power weapons, 2x power fist
- 10 Assault Marines
 - 2x melta gun, power weapon, Rhino
- 10 Assault Marines
 - 2 x melta gun, power weapon, Rhino
- Assault Termies
 - 5 TH/SS
- Furioso
 - Talons and Heavy Flamer
- Furioso
 - Talons and Heavy Flamer
- Baal predator
 - Sponson Hvy Bolters
- Baal Predator
 - Sponson Hvy Bolters
- Storm Raven
 - Multi Melta, Las Cannon, Extra armor
- Storm Raven
 - Multi Melta, Las Cannon, Extra Armor

As I said, This list doesn't hide the fact that it is going to be in your face as soon as possible.  Your opponent will know this and will do everything in his power to stop those two ravens.  If he doen't and they get into his lines, it is likely game over for him.  Some opponents will try and say "Not if I use this tactic, or not if I use this army." Which can be valid...But unless you are running the element that is counter to Fire it isn't going to happen (usually).

That is all for fire.  What are your thoughts on fire lists? And the style in general? 


  1. Cool writeup, I like the idea of each list representing one of the elements :)

    I'm not sure I've ever bought into the whole paper-rock-scissors thing in 40k though. Players and the lists they design can create this kind of matchup, but a competitive list in 40k will have a reasonable chance to beat any list they face, regardless of style. I don't think I would play the game if I didn't believe otherwise.

    As for the fire style- it's not really what I'd want to take to a competitive tournament. If I'm banking on the opponent not getting lucky (i.e. destroying one or two of the Ravens right away), my list will likely fail in a 7-game tournament. Having backups and backups to the backups is key, multiple units that can do the same things in different ways across the board... redundancy/consistency is (in my opinion), greater than raw, uncut hitting potential. But that's just me. Fire armies are certainly hard/scary to deal with!

    What element are you doing next?

  2. X- Thanks man... I really enjoy this as one of those things that is fun to talk about, even though most armies are not entirely one element or another its still a fun idea.

    INterestingly enough, I consider your Wolf Star list to be a fire-like list... The Nature of Thunder Wolf Cav is just like that IMHO.

    Next will likely be water.


    1. Excellent that you post in here the these discussions because it was something I really wanted to know, now all my doubts have been totally evacuate.