Building a Best of List

Some people just don’t understand how to build a Best Of list.

Others don’t understand why you’d want a Best Of list.

Well, let’s get this taken care of real quick.

Best Of lists have several things going for them:

Every unit possible can deal with armor AND infantry.

The list is balanced, meaning it can take a lot of incoming fire and still beat an unbalanced list.

Specifically, balanced lists have as many units as possible on the tabletop.

Sure, Kill Points can hurt a list like this but Kill Points makes the game less fun–and that’s not good for the hobby. Probably why most people don’t really like playing Kill Point missions.

Additionally, the more the opponent is trying to minimize his Kill Points–the better off your army is.

You see, having lots of FOC slots filled means you have lots of targets. Until 40K becomes FOW, there are exactly two armies in the game that can split fire. Demons can, but are ineffective at it because they can’t torrent the enemy. Tau also can, and are also effective at it. So everyone else that has 9 bolters and 1 multimelta, will be firing the multimelta at tanks while the bolter guys stand around carrying their ‘I am a wound marker’ posters above their heads.

So all the armies that people think are so clever, and have 300-800 point units with a grand total of say 6 kill points versus your 16; can only kill as many units per turn as they have units. Given how most spendy units are in fact CC units, if you can stay away from them…or chew them up before they get into CC, then it’s very likely that not only will you be able to suffer few if any losses…but you will be able to delay and deny while concentrating on those units in your opponents list that are the most dangerous to you. Once they are gone, you’ll find yourself able to again take only minor losses as you again concentrate upon the enemy until his army is broken.

Making Best Of lists really requires you to figure out exactly what you want to do with a given unit, and make sure that even if it can’t do another role AS WELL as a another unit, it can at least try. A great example is the HB/AC Predator. It isn’t great at killing tanks like a dedicated anti-tank unit is (like a MM speeder at close range) but it is entirely able to hurt light tanks. Since it does a good job against infantry, it passes muster. That’s just the way you have to think when building a balanced force, which in essence is all a Best Of list is. It’s the epitome of backup systems. If part of your army fails, another part can take over.

Some armies, like Demons, just don’t have a ‘Best Of’ list truly available because they can never be balanced due to their inherent need to CC and many armies ability to negate that.

At any rate, sometimes you can’t figure out how to make your list work when running the numbers because you add one of two things:

1) You add fluffy units.

2) You add favored units.

Fluffy bunnies and man-these-veteran-models-are-boss do not make for good army selections.

If you want to make for funny talking goober units that may or may not kill you as much as the enemy, then read this. There’s nothing wrong with knowingly playing sucky units. Just don’t pretend like they are good because you happen to win with them. 😉 Anyway, the Best Of lists are designed to give you as many tools to beat the enemy with as possible, and stymie ‘specialized’ lists that are totally unbalanced.

Are they unbeatable? No. However, in a tournament environment…they give you the best chance for overall success. You can, if you wish, run a super specialized force and you might just win. If you dodge all the armies that are paper to your rock.

Which is what I am trying to have you avoid at all costs. Part of the reasoning behind this site is to give you, the average player, above-average tactics.

Part of that gift of tactics is the realization that spending 800 points on a super unit is a great way to get beaten up by a balanced force that can feed you 100 points in turns 3 and 4 while using 1800 points to smack down your other 1000 points, and then finally crush your 800 point super unit on turn 5 with the 1800 points (minus whatever they killed with their 1200 points). If you are still unsure about this, play a 1800 vs 1200 point game. Most of the time, the 1800 point army is going to win that matchup. Unbalanced is one way to go, but in standard 40k it’s not the way to victory.

Written by Stelek.