Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Unbound: Harder Than It Looks

I was asked a simple question today: "Have you thought about doing an unbound army at all?". In truth, I hadn't. I had dismissed it off hand as I, like many others, had decided against it as it was too open to abuse. But that question sparked off an internal debate, along with seeing what GW had bundled as examples on the website, what would I take from my shelf to run as an unbound army?

The challenge was to come up with a list that I would use, that doesn't resort to abuse and would be fun to play against and fun to play with. This is something I feel some players forget when building a non-tournament army, the game is more fun if both players come out at the end with a smile on their face, rather than just the victor.

The first thing that strikes me with unbound, is that you no longer need troops. You can do without if you so desire. But that is my first stumbling block, I love troops. Jetbikes are now super useful in 7th, Rangers are some of my favourite miniatures in the game and Guardians are pretty much a staple for my Ulthwé army. So removing troops from my list doesn't sit well with me, it kind of doesn't fit with my 'fun to play with' constraint.

One of the 'features' of the Eldar Codex is that the Heavy Support section is highly congested. Unbound would release that choice and I could just select as much as I want from there. My usual choice is a Wraithknight, 2 Wraithlords, a Fire Prism, a squad of Dark Reapers and now my freshly painted (and competition winning) Night Spinner. But with unbound I could select all of them whilst still maintaining a pretty standard force.

My other thought, which I couldn't field, would be an airborne strike force. Lots of Crimson Hunters, lots of Hemlocks (still haven't got a definite answer if it has Psychic Shriek or not) then topped off with Swooping Hawks and probably something else. It would be a difficult army to get on the board with the flyers starting in reserve, but it also could be pretty one sided if my opponent isn't prepared with some AA.

With my Necrons, I have lots of troops, I have 40 warriors and 40 Immortals. It can already be fielded in a battle forged army, but it could get pretty cheesy by min maxing them all for a selection of transports. But is sacrificing Objective Secured worth it for a couple of extra transports?

So there are my current thoughts on unbound. It's an option in the game but I am not sure if I will be taking it up any time soon with my current forces as they have always been collected with battle forged in mind. However, if I choose to start another force, I may pick up the units I want first and run them unbound before expanding it into a battle forged force with the requisite units.


  1. The very fact that unbound creates this internal debate makes it a terrible mechanic. People who were running campaigns and such were already doing what they liked with the FoC, so did we need this? No. They want to turn every game of 40k into APOC and it doesn't sit well with me, because the mechanics of the game being turn-based has always worked better at lower points levels. GW needs to revamp the entire turn system if they want to continue down this path.

    I love my troops too; Grey Knights being some of my favorite troop models and I rely on them a lot.

    1. I disagree with it being a terrible mechanic. It wasn't terrible when it was used before in campaign games, so it's not really that bad now.

      The main issue I have with it was that it was marketed as 'the new default way to play', I think it should have been an addition that you could use, but nothing more than that. Maybe once the stench of cheese has died down we'll start to see some interesting a fun armies?

      I also agree that GW should clean slate 40k. Each edition since 3rd has been pretty much "the previous ruleset plus extra" and now it is too bloated, look at how the rules section just gets bigger and bigger each time. I would love for 8th edition to be written by playing a game with no rules and then deciding how to do something as it comes up without referencing the previous editions.

  2. I've used unbound a couple of times simply because I wanted Thousand Sons allies for my Guard primary but didn't want to have to spend points on cultists/normal chaos marines I didn't want or need. Without objective secured though it was surprisingly hard near the end game to get some points.