WFB: Why I Play Bad Armies
So when describing the discrepancy of power between army books, my friend's wife asked which armies were the "bad" armies. His response was "anything Adam plays." At first, I thought this was a jab at my playing capabilities, but I thought about it and realized it really is true, I love bad armies. My collection includes Beastmen, Ogres, Tomb Kings and now Wood Elves, as well as my Lizardmen. Now, you might say that Lizardmen aren't a bad army by any means and are quite competitive with those nasty Slaan and whatnot. I would agree, but I should also point out that I basically only use them when I forget one of my normal armies, as I leave the lizards at the shop. I have also enjoyed the power which has been added to my Ogres with the new book, but I've been rocking them since the larders were born and I've got my limited edition bruiser to back me up on it!
So in response to his statement, I thought I'd talk about why I generally pick less competitive armies, and it may surprise you a bit...
The first and most obvious reason for playing one of these underdogs is the element of surprise. Everyone knows how to fight Skaven and Orcs, but how many people really know the weaknesses of Beastmen? Because of this unique situation it is easy for the enemy to underestimate your forces, or to overestimate them as well.
A lot of people don't expect my Beastmen to be a good magic army, but once I fight a round of combat with my Level 4 with Jagged Dagger and Brass Cleaver (and hopefully Savage Beast), suddenly I have a pile of power dice that will last me quite some time! Similarly, they think of Gors as S3 Orcs and don't realize the potency of Primal Fury combined with a casting of Miasma and/or Enfeebling Foe, suddenly those silly looking goat men are stamping and defecating all over their forces.
Whenever I start a new army like this, as expected, I get slapped around the board. Instead of letting this make me depressed with my decision to play something like Wood Elves, I take that frustration and experiment with more and more ideas. Eventually, after playing for a while, my experience will temper me, force me to adapt and ultimately become a better player in the process.
When you play a power gaming army, with the latest net list, it is easy to fall into the trap of letting the list do all the work. Think of it as resistance training for athletes, they make it harder to compete so that they're better and stronger when the real competition comes. When the latest and greatest army comes out, the player who relies on the list that the internet made for him will likely be worse off than the player who truly understands how to use their list to the fullest.
I can't count the number of nicely painted Skaven, Daemons or High Elves that I've seen at tournaments, but I can definitely remember every single nicely painted Wood Elf army I've seen. Being unique makes you stand out from the crowd, and if you have a beautifully painted army, that is seen less often, people are going to remember it.
Overall, I'm quite happy with my "bad" armies, especially when they crush someone with a "competitive" army.