Monday, 14 October 2013

Getting Started with 40K - 500pts of Fun!

Afternoon all, today I thought I'd take a look at putting together some basic lists for new players with the aim of allowing them to have short, hopefully fun games with small armies which will help to reinforce the main game rules, along with some of the quirky rules that come with specific forces. Now before we get going, I should also point out that these lists are designed to be as wallet friendly as possible to put together because, as we all know, this glorious hobby of ours isn't the cheapest! So, with that in mind, I've tried to make multiple units out of single boxes where possible to try and keep the start up costs down.

The Lists:


Spirit Seer

x3 Jetbikes
x3 Jetbikes
x5 Dire Avengers in a basic Wave Serpent w. Holofields

x5 Warp Spiders

x1 Support Platform armed with a Shadow Weaver

Army Total = 492pts

Eldar are an extremely elite army and are therefore quite expensive to get a sizable force going due to the small squad sizes you get in the boxes. However, as you can see from the above list, what you can do is put together quite an effective force at a relatively low points cost, especially with the new codex. This list gives the new player plenty to get to grips with, without overloading them with too many rules. 

Basic rules wise, they get a psyker, a tank (which is both fast and a skimmer), a deep striking jetpack unit, a jetbike unit with twin linked weaponry, turbo-boosting, Hammer of Wrath, jink saves and an artillery unit with a barrage weapon. Army specific rules wise, they get to play with battle focus, bladestorm, the serpent shield and holofields, eldar jetbike movement, the warp jump generator and the monofilament rule. The small model count and mixed unit types means multiple games can be played in a short amount of time enabling the new player to reinforce the basics and the Eldar specific rules.


Mastery Level 2 Librarian

x6 Tactical Marines armed with a plasmagun w. Veteran Sergeant upgrade armed with plasma pistol
x6 Tactical Marines armed with a plasmagun w. Veteran Sergeant upgrade armed with plasma pistol
x5 Scouts w. Veteran Sergeant

x5 Assault Marines w. x2 flamers

Army Total = 498pts

Marines are another elite army, but being the poster boys of 40K, they arrive in slightly more wallet friendly squads (although the new plastic librarian's £18 price tag is taking the mick a bit if you ask me, but that's a whole other conversation). They're also a fairly forgiving army for a beginner due to their decent BS, T & 3+ save.

The above list is a nicely rounded list which I feel gives a measure of tactical freedom while also helping to nail down the basics again quite nicely. Main rules wise we have a psyker, scouts, jump infantry, Hammer of Wrath, Gets Hot!, Template weapons, rapid fire and high AP weapons. Army specific rules gives you psychic hoods, "And They Shall Know No Fear" and then Chapter Tactics. The plasma weaponry in the list will give players something to help deal with any light armour that might pop up in this size list, and MEQ opponents. The jump pack flamers will help deal with any lightly armoured horde infantry. This would be a nice list to play on a 4'x4' table packed with plenty of cover, such as a cityfight board.


Archon w. Agoniser, Ghostplate Armour & Webway Portal

x5 Wyches w. Hekatrix upgrade & Phantasm Grenades in a Venom w. Night Shield
x10 Kabalite Warriors w. Splinter Cannon

x4 Kabalite Trueborn w. Shard Carbines in a Venom w. Night Shield

Army Total = 493pts

Ah, the Dark Eldar, the literal definition of a glass hammer. These guys are a fairly advanced army to play, more so even then their Craftworld cousins I'd say. The reason for this is they aren't as forgiving as the other armies. They have no psykers to help buff/de-buff units and they are extremely fragile but dear lord they don't half pack a punch. They are excellent at shooting but thrive off combat. They have the tools to deal with most enemies including big gribblies such as Wraithknights and Trygons etc due to the abundance of poison weaponry they possess. However, if your attack fails YOU WILL BE PUNISHED. SEVERELY! Dark Eldar armour is either non-existent or made of papier mache, depending on what type of units you're fielding. Having said that though, they are great fun to play and the codex offers an extremely wide range of army builds to play with.

This list exposes new players to the following main rules: invulnerable saves, fast skimmers, open-topped vehicles,jink saves, poison weapons, assault weaponry, reserves & fleet. Army specific rules really only include Power from Pain and some of the specific wargear rules. The basic tactic for this list is to get up the board as quickly as possible in the venoms, deploy the webway gate and get the warriors deployed from the webway and shooting at anything and everything!


Cadre Fireblade w. x2 Shield Drones

x7 Fire Warriors w. Shas'ui upgrade armed with Markerlight, Target Lock & x2 Shield Drones
x7 Fire Warriors

x4 Pathfinders w. Shas'ui upgrade & Blacksun Filter
x4 Pathfinders w. Shas'ui upgrade & Blacksun Filter

x2 Broadsides w. High-yield Missile Pods

Army Total = 499pts

The Tau are the epitome of All for One and One for All. Their units are designed to support one another and provide overlapping fire options. They're crap in combat, but with the amount of firepower they can lay down, you shouldn't be letting your opponent get into combat. The presence of markerlights and supporting fire means if your opponent does attempt a charge, they're unlikely to make it into combat without losing a few plastic dudesmen on the way in due to the increased BS for overwatch and the amount of rounds coming their way.

The above list allows players to get to grips with the following main rules: Jetpack infantry, ignores cover, invulnerable saves, mixed units, overwatch, split fire & rapid fire weapons. Army specific rules include markerlight effects & supporting fire. I think it's a fun little list with a low model count which should allow a few games to be played in short time frame. The only downside is the physical costs of the broadsides as they're 30 quid a pop from GW direct, but can be sourced cheaper from indies/online retailers.

So there we have it, my take on 4 starter lists for some of the more popular 40K armies (and to be honest, because they're the codices I have! :P). I know they aren't really competitive but that's really not the point. They're basic, solid backbones to base larger armies on, which will allow new players to get to grips with the main game mechanics while not breaking the bank. Of course, there are loads of other options that could be put into the lists, but that's for the newbies to decide as don't forget, a big part of the game is to devise your own lists and develop your own play style. Us vets can't do it all for them!

Any thoughts on the lists? Anything you'd change without getting too competitive and without give the new guys all the answers? Hit me up in the comments!

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