The tactics of lore

I am lucky enough to win more than my fair share of games. Friends and other gamers often ask me for advice on how I have such a great track record in wargaming.

My answer is always the same, learn the lore of your chosen army, it doesn’t matter what army or what system you play.

Before I build an army my first step is to learn as much about the background of the chosen army as possible. Read short stories in the army books, available novels and articles written by other players. Find the heart or core of what the army is about.

Ever since the birth of Warhammer Fantasy Battles I have played night goblins, my purple Waaaaagh! I read everything I could find about night goblins, which were always described as an endless horde, so that’s exactly how I played them.

Whenever I sat down to write an army list, I would start with a Night Goblin Warboss and a couple of Big Bosses, equip them with minimal wargear, then spend 90% of the remaining points on hordes of night goblins. Scatter in a few squigs or trolls for a splash of colour, and the army would be ready for war.

I always had a grin on my face as I placed a couple of hundred Night Goblins on the table, to the look of horror on the opposing players face, who was more than likely fielding a Warriors of Chaos army (He isn’t lying! I still have traumatic flashbacks. – Carl).

Those little gobbos, as useless as they were on their own would band together and rush head on into battle, dying in droves, but they would eventually swarm over their enemies and destroy them.


The tactics of lore works just as well with other systems. In the Horus Heresy I play the Death Guard legion. The Death Guard love their chemical warfare, the lore mentions how even their brothers from other legions would give them a wide berth due the huge amounts of chemical and rad weapons the Death Guard would carry into battle.

So, when I come to write a Death Guard list, the army contains as many destroyers, veterans with combi-flamers, chem-flamers and chem-heavy flamers as I can fit.

I forgo all the fancy lascannons, my Death Guard just walk across the board steadily burning and irradiating everything as they go.

My opponents scoff at a strength 4 flamer when their terminators have a 2+ armour save, until they have to make 50 2+ saves… TOASTY!

But what if your opponent has tanks and walkers? That’s what krak grenades and melta bombs are for.

I can give many other examples, but we would be sat here all day. So, my advice on tactics for your chosen army is simple, build and play to the lore of your army.