Expert List Builders on the Inspiration Behind Their Armies

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The arrival of Battle Forge in Warhammer 40,000: The App (and the news that you could win an army) has put army list-building very much in the spotlight of late. There are many different ways to go about crafting an army and countless sources of inspiration to draw upon. We checked in with a few hobbyists from around the community to find out what inspires them when they’re building their armies.

Tyler Mengel – Inspired by the Miniatures

Tyler: I approached my Necrons with the intent of creating a visually interesting army, as well as crafting my own narrative – this took precedence over how well it would play. As I collected them, I largely painted what I thought looked cool and only loosely considered how good each unit was in the game. 

Starting with the Indomitus boxed set gave me a solid core to my force. Going forward, this meant that I could add what caught my eye instead of worrying about filling in detachment requirements. I wanted my army to look like a microcosm of the Necron war machine as a whole, with a little bit of everything in it. This allows it to be more flexible on the tabletop as I can respond to threats with the right unit, and it also sets me up to further explore a more niche army list in the future if I want.

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Liam Dempsey – Inspired by the Narrative

Liam: When I talk Warhammer to people, I don’t tell them about dice rolls and meta changes. I tell them a story.

I tell of my warlord cutting through his enemies with a black mace and combi-melta. Of how I fought the Death Guard over seven battles to decide the champion of Chaos. Of the time a lone champion charged a gun line with nothing but a power fist and a determination to meet his skulls quota.

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My World Eaters army, The Eternal Slaughter, is soaked with that narrative (as well as a fair amount of blood). Berzerkers, armour blackened from Skalathrax, race forward to claim skulls for Khorne. They get shot up a lot, but when the melee starts not even Imperial Knights are safe from the carnage. As soon as the army is on the table, I start thinking like a Khorne devotee with extra-sharp Butcher’s Nails. 

I find the best way to play in the Warhammer 40,000 universe is to make yourself part of it, so the narrative is the most important thing to me.

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Paul Murphy – Inspired by the Competition

Paul: I’m constantly tinkering with army lists for matched play games – especially with Battle Forge making it easier than ever. What I choose to take changes quite frequently, but I try to keep a few core principles in mind.

Matched play missions involve taking and holding objectives. It’s not enough to simply remove an opponent from an objective for maximum points, you need to hold it yourself too. I tend to favour assault armies that let me close in on my opponent, gaining ground as I do. An assault works best when you have several fast-moving threats, so I like lots of units to push deep into contested territory. I prefer to run a little lean on wargear bells and whistles – instead, I rely on the base stats of the units to bring me victory. 

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I like to build some amount of disruption into my lists. I enjoy options that give me ways to manipulate deployment (mine or my opponent’s), and I try to never leave home without psychic defences. If your army includes units that do this without sacrificing other capabilities, you’ll definitely want to consider them for your next matched play game.

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The models, the story, the meta… what inspires your army lists? Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page – and remember to share your best list from Battle Forge on Instagram and Twitter using #40KBattleForge for a chance to win your army! We’re still looking for your feedback on the Battle Forge beta, so be sure to have your say by completing our online survey. Your comments and suggestions will shape the future of Battle Forge.

Meanwhile, if you’ve not tried the list-building tool yet, you can still get in on the free beta. Just download Warhammer 40,000: The App and sign up to My Warhammer to get started!



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