Selecting an Army

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There are two main times you'll need to select an army: when you're deciding which armies to buy, and when you're deciding what army to bring to a specific event. There are a lot of good reasons to choose one army over another.

Choosing which armies to buy

We all secretly know that the DBA army list is actually a checklist, and that we'll want to colleect them all eventually. But which ones should you buy first?

Here are some considerations you may want to take into account when choosing which armies to buy.

Personal Interest

Some people come to DBA because they're interested in history; others become interested in history as a result of playing DBA. In either case, it's generally a good idea to choose armies you like or are interested in.

  • You like the look of the army
  • You like the look of figures available for the army
  • You know and like the history of the army
  • You want to research learn about the historical time period
  • You want to paint the army

This is a great, important reason to choose an army.

It fits your collection

Some armies fit better than others into your collection.

  • It's a historical enemy of an army you (or a regular opponent) already own
    • this helps build matched pairs
  • It's a historical ally of an army you (or your regular partner) already own
    • this helps build BBDBA armies
  • It helps fill out your collections from a historical period you're interested in
  • It is a representative sample of a historical period your collection doesn't cover yet

Gameplay considerations

As interesting as an army might be, if it always loses even against historical opponents, you may not use it very much. Here are some things you may want to consider about actually playing DBA with the army, before you buy it.

  • It has a composition you don't already have
    • "Do you really need another nearly identical Hoplite army?"
  • It has a composition you know you will enjoy playing
    • "Why yes, I do!"
  • It has a composition that you believe you can win with in an open tounament
  • It has a composition that you believe you can win with in a limited historical theme

There are plenty of "killer armies" out there, but unfortunately not everyone agrees on what they are. This is because different players play the game differently and use different tactics. An army that works well for one player won't necessarily work well for anyone else.

The most important aspect of choosing an army for performance in a specific tournament is knowing what kind of player you are, and what kind of armies you tend to do well with. This is a lot more important than "playing the metagame" and trying to find a Rock army to take to a Scissor themed event, or choosing the armies that have done best in major events in past years.

Over time, the better players win more often, independent of their army. You get to be a better player by playing a lot, with as many different armies as possible, against as many players who are better than you as possible.

Event considerations

Once your collection is large enough, each new army adds only a small amount of new options to your collection. Eventually you may get to a point where the only new armies you need are for themed events you don't own an army for.

Choosing an army to bring to an event

Many of the same considerations above apply here as well:

  • Choose an army that is legal in the event you're entering
  • Choose an army you like, for whatever reason
  • Choose an army you'll enjoy playing
  • Choose an army you think you might win with