Monday, September 5, 2011

A Brief Argument for Theme

Sooo how many tourney games have you rocked to only to discover that your opponents idea of fluff is that their army is from the lascannon/ plasma gun manufacturing forge world. I know that fluff is obsolete in some regions of the world and in some games. I included a few bonus theme points in the Book of Grudges tournament and I was shocked at what people were claiming. Shocking.

Now, in order to make theme work in my mind, you need to come from two angles... Appearance and list.

Appearance: I like a cohesive looking army that would look like it is all from the same place. I find that cohesive basing REALLY helps in this regard.

More to the point, your fluff should be backed up by the painting and modeling of the figs in your army. If you are going for the plasma factory fluff (WEAK!) for example (and you really wanted to sell it) I think you should have models with burns and missing limbs and/or possessing extra padding to accommodate for instability of the weapons the models are using. A trench fighting army should not look like their vehicles have just been detailed. Etc etc…

Theme is huge for me because it guides my modeling and painting when I build and army. I would be bored to tears as a hobbyist if I did not have a direction to follow. Theme helps me to focus where I am going when I paint. It really helps.

The List: This is where most of my gripe lies. Army lists should reflect the fluff of an army if you really are going for the idea of a themed army. Going back to the plasma factory list: this would actually work for me as far as a themed list goes. The list contains lots of plasma weapons in lieu of other choices. It just so happens that that theme is VERY effective in lots of circumstances. I suppose in the modern metagame the meltagun factory list is more appropriate but you get where I am going from.

If you are really going for a proper themed list to match your army you should limit your list selections to those that actually fit your theme EVEN IF THIS WEAKENS YOUR ARMY. I have played two different Khorne marine armies in the last year for example and BOTH were lead by a nurgle daemon prince with warptime! Ok I get it they got rid of the a lot of the fluff from the CSM book BUT that is just silly (when everything else in the army is CC armed and has the mark of khorne).

I know that people’s hobby is their own and they are free to pursue their hobby as they like BUT common sense should prevail. Even if fluff is “dead” where you are I highly recommend your challenge yourself and give it a go. It is a good challenge for you competitive players and it is good for the hobby AND your soul.


  1. Hey, my list at BoG was themed. No infantry in sight! Pity about the watchtower, but hey.

    I also had precisely 0 plasma weapons. So there...

  2. LOL!!! You did have a themed cav army (EXCEPT FOR THE STEAM TANK!)...

    But bonus points for no plasma! :)


  3. I thought the steam tank fitted the theme pretty well. It was my mobile artillery. Closest thing you can get, given Galloper Guns are no longer an option.

    I even used the cannon. Once.

  4. I'm a huge fan of theme, to the point where entire armies are based around a narrative. I just find it leads to a much more enjoyable game if you've breathed some life and uniqueness into the force. As to choosing fitting units that weaken the force, you should meet my chaos dwarf kolossus. Fundamental to the story of the army, fairly rubbish in the game, but ALWAYS entertaining.

  5. Sounds the like the MASSIVE houseboat/ battle wagon my swamp orks had. too big a target to ever be used and expect to do anything constructive and yet I used it all the time.