Monday, November 7, 2011

Onorevoli: retired

A week or so back, the Right and Honorable Referee Pitmann stopped in for an evening of entirely-too-rare gaming; we have not actually had such an opportunity to get to it since early summer, late spring. Scandalous.

 I often feel that we are continually shaking off the rust in our engagements, which has become our almost rote excuse for casting caution to the wind and simply throwing down in a grand, smash-mouth encounter. For this evening, we played 2300 points, mostly because we have the models and want to use them on the odd night that we have the chance to do so. We set up across our table, dense with terrain. The photos accompanying this post should illuminate some particular moments of that engagement.

Well, in the intervening months, it appears that Pitmann has been stockpiling his chaotic malevolence (waste not, want not).

He tabled me in four turns.

Which leads me to the real meat of this post: I learned that my beloved Onorevoli are not really my army, and I intend to retire them for good.

[a brief history of their place on this blog]

The Onorevoli were born from my desire to imagine SM boarding parties, scout/terminator heavy force, radical Librarians, and from my desire to shun 3+ marines. That part worked out great. Modeling the army was tremendous fun, and I am still quite enamored with their appearance (which may seem immodest, but is true nonetheless).

But I cannot play this army… not very well at least. 

Of course, this is not meant as a slight to Ref P’s abilities. He beat me because he is awesome at the game, not because of anything I do, did. Nevertheless, I feel that I am putting the cart before the horse with this army, and that should be fixed moving forward.

I have read with interest a broad spectrum of advice on the internet here (there is, admittedly, a glut of such), and each article about army selection always insists on two key elements when choosing the faction you want to play: personal appeal and play style. I have the personal appeal bit nailed, but I just cannot make the army do what I want it to do (and by this I don’t just mean win).

My Scouts always seem inches from where they might help, and are too fragile to survive those moments when they are not precisely where they should be. My Terminators cannot withstand my truly shocking ability to roll 1s, but also seem too blunt a club for my most common enemy –Berzerkers. I suck at Dreads. I love the aesthetics and the fluff, but I have no ideas what to do with them on the table: they aren’t really a vehicle and can’t be treated like infantry. I am at a loss. Don’t get me started about the Librarians. Love them, but I have the rather alarming habit of getting them killed in horrible, horrible ways.

Pitmann has clearly found his with his beloved Iron Warriors. He has played this army, and only this army, for over 10 years now. For a man whose codex is meant to be woefully out of date, he kicks me around the table well enough. Why shouldn’t I find such a comfortable niche?

So whither shall I wander?

I still have my Arrugginiti, of course, and I have no intention of consigning them to abandonment. They are, however, CSM and this would become a little tedious as Pitmann's Iron Warriors are my almost exclusive opponent.

Do I return to the Imperial Guard? I have a half-finished collection of Valhallans that might like to see the light of day. Do I embrace another elite force? I have been making slow but steady progress on my interpretation of the Grey Knights since the spring. Dark Eldar are always tempting, but I am concerned that this is a “pro’s” army, which clearly I am not. Still, they are sexy. Necrons-a-go-go? [scratches chin].

The simple and honest answer is that I haven’t the foggiest notion of where I will wander, only that the mighty Onorevoli have been shelved for the foreseeable future.

May the Emperor protect them.


Grizzled Gamer said...

I completely understand this...
...while I do not have the love and time painting invested in my armies, I to have found myself struggling to find an army that really "speaks to me."

I think I have found it in the Deathwing, but it took: CSM and Blood Angels before I found an army I really enjoyed.

I like Terminators and Dreadnoughts from Marine this army fits that niche....
...I also like big monstrous creatures...which I can not get in those books.

So maybe, for some people it takes more than one book to find "that" army.

Ben said...

Those Scouts are nice, but fewer power-armoured armies would be an improvement (says someone about to start Iron Warriors CSM). I'm not sure anything will survive your tendency to roll 1s for saves, but at least with IG a few deaths don't matter...

winterman said...

I can relate to this, played Salamanders in 3ed/4ed and my style doesn't mesh with the current rules, even as good as they are.

Its a bummer you hadn't started this army when Grey Knights came out. The general theme and unit selections could really shine using the GK rules (librarians, terminators, dreads and carapace henchman).

HOTpanda said...

All hail the gods of Chaos!!!
Finding an army that gels with your own personality is hard task indeed. For myself I have a defensive style of play that I just cannot shake off for the life of me. As such I need a durable army either in numbers or in terms of wounds/armour saves.
Looking forward to seeing what army you settle in on.

Porky said...

On how it looks, I don't think it's immodest you see it like that and I can well believe it's true. They're beautiful of course. At least, as beautiful as any space marines can be..!

On the next army, for what my opinion's worth, if you expect to have only the one major opponent, or relaxed casual opponents, you might go for an unusual list, even a fan list. Maybe have a look at something like the genestealer cult, or all Kroot, and Lantz's AdMech could be a lot of fun of course.

If it's an army that has no one widely accepted list, you could always use the blog to get community feedback on an evolving development project of your own. Why not build a faction or fandex yourself from the ground up? You're no stranger to big creative projects. You could put up a proposal for rules based on a particular conversion, or begin big with concepts, structure and army-wide special rules. A little like sandwyrm is doing for the game as a whole with The M42 Project, but with more authorial control in your hands. It would go down a storm, that much we know.

Bix said...

Wise words all, I've been lucky with my choice of army (the Blood Drinkers) having found they appealed from the off back in the days of Rogue Trader. And the BA codex seems to suit my style (if indeed I have any) ;o)

Perhaps Porky is on to something, if you are struggling to find an army that suits your style of play perhaps creating one that will play to your style may be an option. Although it's a lot more work; either that or throw caution to the wind, dare to be different and perhaps discover the new you in an army you wouldn't usually dream of playing. Advisory note, this advice is coming from a guy who has played the same army for over 20 years!

The Dark Templar said...

Hey Brian,

I found this post a very interesting read. I think your topic struck a chord with quite a few people, myself included. I have found the 5th ed rules meant I couldn't play my main armies the way I wanted to so decided to move on entirely – the rumours I'm reading for 6th ed does not give me much hope, despite the early promise of a new Chaos codex.

Being a reader of A Gentleman's Ones since (almost) day one I think your the kind of gamer that will always choose an army that peaks your interest and will embrace it to its fruition. I get the impression you lean towards a more defensive style of play (with a counter strike in there for good measure) so a fast and fragile force like the DE might not be the right direction, despite the great models and abundance of coverting opportunities.

I would also have thought a move away from power armour might make a pleasant change, so I'm thinking IG – I'm positive you could conjure up some fantastically characterful models and vehicles.

Son of Dorn said...

Would you kindly post the list you were using for this game? I'd really like to see the whole thing.

sonsoftaurus said...

Good luck in your quest my friend!

I don't think that Chaos on Chaos needs to be boring. The two armies are pretty different, with different focuses and unit choices already. Perhaps with the next iteration of CSM they will be able to be even more so.

Skarvald the Troll-faced said...

I agree with Sonsoftaurus: If a power armor codex can produce two truly different armies, it is the Chaos Space Marines codex.

I'll just suggest the army I suggest to everyone else - Orkz.
You already know how awesome they are, you already have painted a bunch. What's stopping your WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH?

Brian said...

@ Mags. I definitely suffer from the "more than one book" syndrome. I hope only to pull myself back from "every single book" syndrome, which is tempting at times.

@ Ben. Those ones really are a curse, and I have been leaning toward the IG to mitigate that.

@ Winterman. I know. I know. I feel that I am often just behind each new codex by a matter of a year or so.

@ HOTPanda. Solidarity. I think my playstyle might be quite reactive and defense orientated as well. hmmm. More to think about.

@ Porky. Now there's a thought. You tempt me, sir.

@ Bix. 20 years! I thought Pitmann was one of a kind. How I envy you both.

@ Dark Templar. You have been here from Day One indeed. Hailed vs. Hated seems like a lifetime ago already. I am with you -not so much in my absence from 40K but in the increasing amounts of time that I have been finding for other game systems entirely. IG seems like an increasingly solid fit. I'd like to pick your brain on that matter, if I may.

@ Dorn. I will see what I can do in a future post. Basically, it was 2 Libbys; 2 Squads of Terminators (one w/5 TH/SS, one w/AC etc split into combat squads); Venerable Dread; 5 Tactical marines in drop pod; 4 Scout Squads (2 w/snipers, 2 w/HB and homing beacon). LR Crusader as shown. There may be something else that I can't find off the top of my head. It's not competitive, I know, but neither are the Onorevoli. Thoughts? Be gentle. ha.

@ Skarvald. How on earth did I forget the Orks? wow. I must be getting old.


Son of Dorn said...

I love playing fluffy games so I think it's great. I run Imperial Fists with the vanilla codex, much to my friends' disappointment and my detriment.

Thanks for posting the list. I thought I'd try testing something similar out. It seemed like a neat theme and I wanted to try my luck with something similar to it. :)

If you don't feel like doing a full post, feel free to throw a detailed list/lists on my blog's comments any time :)