My recent daliance with Ex-Illis has once again raised a question which I often find troubling – especially when you are dealing with games that use armies that are points based.
How do you choose your army?
I must admit, my overriding factor in choosing an army is theme. As one of the only players I know who has a fully playable Deathwing army for 40K (as well as a Ravenwing army I can build), I know full well that themed armies can have their drawbacks, and can actuall be pretty poor on the battlefield.
This looks to be happening again in Ex-Illis. One of my great loves of Medieval games are Mounted Knights. As I’ve collected the models for Ex-Illis, my overall favourites are without doubt the Archangels, so I wanted to build armies that reflect both of these preferences.
So, I’ve looked through the factions and selected those with best fit with my required themes…
- Broken Wing – this faction allows me to field both Evoctai and Nephalim in the same army…so a small and elite army, with some beautiful figures on the table.
- Avignon – Angels & Knights together in this Papal Army
- Arth Byddin – King Arthur’s personal troops, Knights of the Round Table – enough said, really.
- English Crown – The archetypal medieval army. No magic, no monsters…
Now, the trouble I am facing is that my regular opponent is Dave Luff, who has chosen the Artois faction for his army…mainly because this allows you field all units with the exception of English Troops and Papal units with a 10% points discount. So very much an army based on maximising your units/points ratio, rather than a particular theme (IMO, anyway)
The trouble is, I’ve yet to beat him.
My wonderfully themed armies seem to be outnumbered and overpowered by Dave’s generic army – And I find it somewhat discouraging…
Why should this be? Are themed armies inherently more difficult to play, do you think? Or is it a failing in the game system which seems to allow one army to be superior to all others? Or is it simply the fact that I’m just not very good at this game?
I very much have a love/hate releationship with points systems – and the one down-side of Ex-Illis for me – at least for the moment – is that my love of building themed armies rather than generic ‘points’ armies once again comes out second best.