I'm calling in a snow day, almost 5" on the ground & the potential for the roads to get icy, so I'm skipping the game shop tonight. Anyways I've been thinking of the whole 40k metagame concept. Metagaming is heard quite often in association with 40k, so much so that if you look up the term on wikipedia 4ok is referenced. I see it mentioned all the time on the BoLS, but in the Austin gaming scene, competitive as it appears to be, I think that that's quite necessary. Indeed for a tournament or playing in a very competitive group, metagaming is part & parcel of 40k. To play in just a standard pick up game, where fun supersedes the 'must win' scenario? No, I don't think it is.
There are a LOT of units in 40k that almost never see the table, purely because they fail in the metagame. Units that aren't the best use of points, rendered obsolete by newer rules, they're too situational, or they suffer from simple mediocrity. Prime example: Chaos Spawn. No one around here uses them, because they suck. That's a real shame as the new models are really good in my opinion. In general, most every non-tournament list I build (damned near all of them) has about 100-150 points devoted to unit(s) that aren't very good on the table top, but I like the models and the concept behind them. Sure I may be all but handing my opponent a few easy kill points in an annihilation scenario. But who cares, its a game. This is supposed to be just for fun. Here are some of my favorites:
The Inquisition. Virtually every Imperial list I build has an elite choice inquisitor of some sort and his little band of idiots in it. I have so many that I could probably go 3 months, @ 1 game a week before I'll run out of inquisitors. I like their fluff, their novels, but no one else ever uses them. Their too situational. Demon armies make few appearances locally, although the new Zoanthrope rules may give inquisitors with psycannons a new lease on life as proxied Ordo Xenos. Here's an example: Inquisitor Ben Franklin & his retinue (the resemblance is striking, no?) Franklin was historically famous as a drinker & skirt chaser. So his retinue has 2 'acolytes' with las pistols & 'man catchers' (shield your eyes kids), and an apothecary with a keg of the Emperor's finest brew!
The Imperial Forestry Service, DON'T FEED THE XENOS! VIOLATORS WILL BE SHOT! Lol, if ever I had a 'signature' unit, this would be it. The forestry service is merely a guise of the inquisition, deployed to frontier or agri-worlds undercover to smoke out heretics where ever they may hide. 'Ranger Smith' with his bolter & his squad of 'Foresters' (Storm Troopers) are always quite popular when they hit the table with their rhino! (these are old warzone models)
Imperial Atlas armored recovery vehicle. If my Guardsmen aren't accompanied by an Inquisitor, odds are that this tank is why. Forgeworld's update PDF gave this quite a buff here recently. Now with the same armor as a standard Russ, and the ability to repair damaged vehicles in B2B (I've not managed to do that yet, but it was an excuse to buy the repairmen who's sole purpose is to remind me to make the repair roll) In general though, I use it purely because I like the model. Though the heavy bolter & stubber do manage to kill stuff periodically.
Sabre defense platform. My renegade IG army never fights without it! The Sabre can have a twin-autocannon, heavy bolter, or lascannon, but none look as cool or are as an ineffective use of a hvy. slot as a quad heavy stubber! Using the artillery rules, its rather fragile too. Though generally low on the list of priorities, I often hear 'you really like that dumb thing, so I'll shoot it first!' I have Rogue inquisitors to back up my renegades as well, with the infamous 'Khorne Dog' being my favorite!
So anyways, hopefully this will inspire someone to shelve the metagame for a small percentage of your list, and just put something on the table for reasons other than just pure combat effectiveness.
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