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The trap of wanting to be unique


Wired4War
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Does anyone else have this issue? What I mean is wanting to have a unique army that others aren't playing? I started this game with stormcasts (and space marines in 40k) because of starter sets and then expanded from there. They have been great for learning to play and to paint but every other table at any store I play at has the same armies.

I want to start new armies and feel like I keep leaning toward factions not that I really enjoy the look or love of, but the fact I never see them. For example, I'll spend all week getting pumped about a particular faction, reading all the lore, planning a paint scheme, writing lists...then I get to to the store and someone is playing that faction...I completely lose interest.

What is wrong with me? I have the same issue in video games. If anyone else has this problem, how did you overcome it?

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Just never rush any decisions or go all in too quickly. I have suffered the problem for a while now, and after about 2 years might just be ready to dip into my next big project! I always find its the stuff you didn't think about that tends to stick the longest in the end, and that I have enjoyed the most. Much like a lot things gaming related try not to get overhyped about something, that has made me fail in the past, perhaps do the army selection more on a whim with it all there in front of you to just try?

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You are a JOHNNY.

When I played a bit of MtG back in the day, I was too. There’s an extra thrill that comes from being unique, and from winning in a unique way, and the Johnny in us chases that high. 

I was able to moderate my Johnnyness a bit by forcing myself to play some tier 2 decks and iterate within that structure. It allowed me to hang on to an element of Johnnyness, while also getting me to see the game a bit more as a Spike.  There was a reason that the T2 decks were almost always better than my homebrews, and there was a reason my Johnny changes to the T2 decks usually made them worse.  Starting to really learn that side of the game actually helped make me a better Johnny. 

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I'm quite lucky in that i'm such a slow painter and army builder, by the time i start getting stuff on the table everyone has moved on to newer stuff (i'm just finishing my blades of khorne and i'm gonna do my tzeentch next) You'll probably find the same mate - buy the stuff you like cos theres still room to do your own thing in every faction 

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10 minutes ago, Lemon Knuckles said:

You are a JOHNNY.

I'm a Timmy myself 🤩

 

Anyways I think it is a person by person case. Some people do feel bothered by following the crowd, being a statistic or stereotype. Other people aren't bothered by it at all, if not perhaps oblivious.

Thats not to bad mouth either side! As long as one's taste doesn't get projected onto others in a harsh manner.

 

Of course in an expensive hobby like Warhammer, you do have to be careful you don't decide to...I dont know spend $650.45 on Chaos Dwarfs. Sometimes you need to stop and smell the roses! I definitely know that if I didn't stop myself, I may have bought 1 of every Start Collecting set!

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It's not hard to have a unique army in AoS if you play grand alliance and not faction. This is specially true of order. There are so many combinations, all of which you can flavour through fluff customization, that it has never been easier to be unique.

So this are my merchant district of Excelsis renegades, a growing army that resents the harsh treatment of Knights Excelsiors, put together by a local Loremaster, a Cogsmith, a Battlemage and an Arkanaut Admiral, comprised mainly of Demigryph Knights, strong dispossesed infantry + some kharadrons, mixed artillery and some renegade devoted of sigmar!

Edited by Turgol
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1 hour ago, Lemon Knuckles said:

You are a JOHNNY.

When I played a bit of MtG back in the day, I was too. There’s an extra thrill that comes from being unique, and from winning in a unique way, and the Johnny in us chases that high. 

I was able to moderate my Johnnyness a bit by forcing myself to play some tier 2 decks and iterate within that structure. It allowed me to hang on to an element of Johnnyness, while also getting me to see the game a bit more as a Spike.  There was a reason that the T2 decks were almost always better than my homebrews, and there was a reason my Johnny changes to the T2 decks usually made them worse.  Starting to really learn that side of the game actually helped make me a better Johnny. 

Not being a MtG player I had never heard these terms, but they translate perfectly into warhammer. I'm definitely a Johnny.

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Conversions. Even a little bit helps you be a unique snowflake. 

For instance I'm currently working on two units, hexwraiths and Grimghast Reapers. 

My Hexwraiths are taken from the Dreadblade steeds with Reaper riders. 

My grimghasts will have the sweet helmeted skull from the Dreads (not a fan of the blindfolds) and I'll be swapping the scythes blades for Glaives from the glaivewraith stalkers. 

Simple but enough to stand out from the crowd a bit. 

Edited by Vasshpit
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Using the MtG thing, I'm definitely also a Johnny, but I've found my reasons for doing so to be more focused on not finding mirror matches fun and feeling like there are more combos available than the average tournament player notices because they require more synergy to pull off. I've also found by having an army that doesn't cling to the meta means I'm less bothered by how the game changes things over time (I ran basically the same Sisters army for like 8 years because it worked regardless how GW changed things and that left me less effected by nerfs to Immolators than some players were). 

Basically I don't gun for being the special snowflake, but because it makes the game more interesting when not everyone is exactly the same and it tends to get me more games since I'm not a die hard tournament player or someone who only enjoys driving my opponent before me and hearing the lamentations of their models.

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Totally agree with @Vasshpit. Conversions are definitely the way to keep your army unique. I play Stormcast and Khorne, both grown from the Starter set and Start Collecting boxes, but I made sure to do a little bit of kit bashing, head swaping, and green stuffing to make them my own. That plus a unique paint scheme and head canon lore goes a long way toward making a "generic" army into a personalized one.

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There is nothing wrong in wanting to have  unique army, however with only a handful of armies in the game (yes even if we add in ALL of the various tiny subfactions) in comparison to the number of players; then chances are you'll never be the "only" player of an army at a store or club (esp a healthy one with a good number of members). So there's a few ways you can learn to tackle this issue

 

1) Deal with it. Yeah those three nasty words, but on some level you might learn to have to deal with this and push through your desire to be unique. Even several of the options presented below are simply a take on this angle, just using a few tools and tricks to achieve it. 

2) Conversions. You can make your army unique by converting them. This doesn't have to be wholesale massive changes, even subtle things shifted here and there can make a difference. Eg you might put some swords or hip weapons from another kit on your models; swap their heads with something else; change the wing to feather or bat wings et c.... Be creative and don't feel any shame in putting a unit name and "coversions" into pintest or google and seeing what comes up. Pinch and borrow ideas from others and add your own flavour to your army. Even if all your conversion are copied from others, the fact that you've put them together into your army can make it very unique in theme and appearance.

3) Paint scheme. Yep a dead simple one, just use a different set of colours than standard. Also consider variation within the army too. Perhaps your stormcast are made up of the remains of several unique battalions and thus there are various shades of gold and colouration to the gold in your army.

4) Write lore. Yeah nothing on the models at all, but sometimes writing lore can make your army feel more like it has an identity that is beyond appearances. And its identity would be very unique. You can write a general background for your army, rename heroes to your own and even use your games as a backdrop for the history and change of your army. Much like how one might approach a gang in Necromunda, upscale it to your AoS Army. 

5) Consider alliances and drafting in other army units. Stormcast can pick form anywhere or you can go for general Grand Alliance Order. Of course its not totally unique, but it can add some flavour even if there's a few units you only ever break out for fun games. 

 

Heck look at this:

https://warminiatures.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/daughters-of-khaine-the-story/

My own lore/background to my own army. In there is some story on why there are griffhounds running around; why I've got khinari with feathered wings etc.... A few really small changes and yet they give what is otherwise just "another daughters" army some identity. Plus the bonus of this approach is it can't be taken away by someone else just turning up with the same army next week

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4 hours ago, Turgol said:

It's not hard to have a unique army in AoS if you play grand alliance and not faction. This is specially true of order. There are so many combinations, all of which you can flavour through fluff customization, that it has never been easier to be unique.

So this are my merchant district of Excelsis renegades, a growing army that resents the harsh treatment of Knights Excelsiors, put together by a local Loremaster, a Cogsmith, a Battlemage and an Arkanaut Admiral, comprised mainly of Demigryph Knights, strong dispossesed infantry + some kharadrons, mixed artillery and some renegade devoted of sigmar!

This grand alliance thing works great. I had units left over from the old empire, dwarfs, and elves armies. I took 3 leaders from each faction plus a excelsior priest and put together a 1980 point army. Borrowed and put together some background fluff and the 1st Matoreon Matched Company was born. Probably will have it’s ****** handed to it in battle but I’ve always enjoyed fluff more than anything. No battalion strengths etc, but the grand alliance allows for a legal army. I will be doing a stormcast army inthe near future and they will be in the same colours so can swap out for some pinch if need be. 

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Play what you like for whatever reason. But let that be the reason-that it’s yours. 

The thing I’ve found with pretty much any hobby is that if you’re doing something to be “unique” or what have you then for me at least there’s an aspect in there which is about appealing to or impressing other people. And in a hobby as big and diverse as this there will always be more creative, individual or unique armies than your own belonging to other people, even if that’s just by virtue of the fact that you’re used to your own stuff and theirs seems fresher. So you’re simply never going to accomplish that. The more you set out to have a unique army/paint job for that reason specifically, the more disappointed you’ll be when it’s big selling factor, it’s unique identity, turns out to no longer be the case.

Wheras if you like something simply because it’s yours and you like it, the hobby won’t be diminished by a part of it which to me is a huge part of the enjoyment of it-namely appreciating the creativity of other gamers as well as your own. 

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7 hours ago, Wired4War said:

Does anyone else have this issue? What I mean is wanting to have a unique army that others aren't playing? I started this game with stormcasts (and space marines in 40k) because of starter sets and then expanded from there. They have been great for learning to play and to paint but every other table at any store I play at has the same armies.

I want to start new armies and feel like I keep leaning toward factions not that I really enjoy the look or love of, but the fact I never see them. For example, I'll spend all week getting pumped about a particular faction, reading all the lore, planning a paint scheme, writing lists...then I get to to the store and someone is playing that faction...I completely lose interest.

What is wrong with me? I have the same issue in video games. If anyone else has this problem, how did you overcome it?

woaaaaa, you are in my mind! thats my week!

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Well I don’t have the same issue as you,

but every time I start or at least try and start a new army, I only play them like ones, and for some reason loose my interest in that army,in  such a way that I go back to my old mixed skaven army.

there is something about those skaven that just gets me every time.

 

Edited by Skreech Verminking
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15 hours ago, Wired4War said:

I want to start new armies and feel like I keep leaning toward factions not that I really enjoy the look or love of, but the fact I never see them. For example, I'll spend all week getting pumped about a particular faction, reading all the lore, planning a paint scheme, writing lists...then I get to to the store and someone is playing that faction...I completely lose interest.

What is wrong with me? I have the same issue in video games. If anyone else has this problem, how did you overcome it?

I suffer from this odd version of special-snowflake-syndrome as well. I distinctly remember wanting to do a Genestealer Cult army at some point when it was still a very niche thing - had all the conversions planned out and was ready to go. Then GW released the new and official (and absolutely fantastic) Genestealer Cult, and I immediately lost all interest in the Genestealer Cult as a whole, because now it was a legitimate army you could just go out and buy. It's really dumb, but what can you do!

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There's nothing wrong with wanting to do something unique, you just don't want to end up in a position where you're always trying to have the least commonly played army because that's always going to be changing.

So find other ways to make your army unique. I'll second what others have said about Grand Alliances as these allow you to do something unique whilst giving you the flexibility to incorporate whatever cool new model has captured your imagination.

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All my armies are unique for the same reason, I love the loook of two very different armies clashing on the table top. If you’re a narrative gamer you can supplement conversions with custom warscroll for characters or unique units or go whole hog with your own personally Battletome like my Suneaters

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7 hours ago, Wraith01 said:

Well, I'm glad I don't have that issue at all. 

My problem is I want an army from every faction.

I know how you feel! There's very few factions I wouldn't want an army of, and of them chances are I could talk myself into it very easily if I tried ;)

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