40k… Psychology Style

One of my favorite things to do is people watch and dissect the psychology behind why people do the things they do. (I always considered majoring in psychology, but aside from opening my own practice there isn’t a whole lot I can do with a psychology degree.)

Anyways, I’ve been mulling around the psychological reasoning for why people choose the 40k armies they choose. After sifting through some psychology theories, I think I’ve figured it out. It all comes down to conflict resolution. As much as I hate talking too much about my… personal thoughts… I’ll use myself as an example. It’s only fair, I suppose.

I hate conflict. Hate it. Knowing that I’m about to have an argument with someone or that someone is upset with me literally makes me physically nauseous. Back in high school I would constantly procrastinate dealing with conflict situations – to the point that I would flake out on friends instead of talking to them, which in turn always escalated the situation and made it worse when I finally was forced to deal with it. The solution I found was to hit these situations head on, even pre-emptively, to avoid as much of the conflict as possible. However, if it gets past that point of no return and becomes that argumentative-fighting-someone-is-mad-at-me situation I shy away and avoid it as long as possible – either until I’m forced to deal with it or I develop an ulcer. Healthy, I know.

Anyways … I’ve been playing Sisters to learn 40k and the army Jill loaned me is pretty extensive. What I love about this army is that the girls with their bolters can usually mow down the enemy before they’ve even spotted me. Close combat can go either way – sometimes the girls hold their own, sometimes the last girl standing goes running for the hills. However, the pre-emptive mow-down is what helps me relate to the Battle Sisters. That’s how I like to handle conflict, too. Mow down the situation before I’m faced with a potential enemy.

The Repentia Squad is a different story. I’m telling you – if I found myself drafted into a Sisters army in real life I would love to say I’m a bad bitch that would totally join the Repentia Squad. I do have a high tolerance for pain so I think I would get the 5+ Feel No Pain… but I am not Fearless.

Forrest and Jenny

I’ve learned a bit about all of the available armies since I’ve started playing to decide what I wanted to build, and I settled on the Tau. Why? Because from what I’ve read out of the new codex, the Tau can mow down enemies before they even get halfway across the board.

  • Drones – These babies are just plain awesome. They all have Supporting Fire, which means if some enemy does get close enough to assault one of my squads, the enemy will not only endure overwatch from that squad – the drones will descend upon them. I.e. – no close combat pour moi.
  • Broadside Team – These guys are as tough as they come. Strength 5, Toughness 4, and most importantly… Armor Save 2+. They have a BS of 3, but they also have twin-linked heavy rail rifles and (you may want to sit down for this) twin-linked smart missile systems. That’s right. Smart missiles will find you – and ignore any cover you have. And, of course, don’t forget about Supporting Fire. So to sum up: their armor is awesome, everything is twin linked, and they don’t even need line of sight to blow you up. Um, holler.
  • Riptide – I’m totally running two of these Jet Pack Monstrous Creatures. Five wounds and 2+ armor saves? Twin-linked smart missile systems? Not to mention you can upgrade Riptide to come with Shielded Missile Drones that will absorb incoming shots for Riptide. And of course, Riptide provides Supporting Fire.

This just scratches the surface of all the ways I can avoid getting anywhere near the enemy and can take them out from a distance. It’s not that I’m not confident, it’s just smart. I have a much better chance of wiping out an advancing enemy by firing 30 decent shots and homing missiles at them while hanging out in cover than by trying to fight hand to hand in my bulky armor. Call me a girl if you want – I am most certainly a woman and you’ll be crying like a little girl when my Tau have shot you right off the board before you could get a word in edgewise. As the Communist generous Tau say, “Join us, or die.”


4 thoughts on “40k… Psychology Style

  1. I certainly have some agreement with this. I am something of an amateur psychologist myself. 🙂 I also tend to avoid conflict with others myself, and I prefer to be the person in the long range/support role, or long range armies. I would much rather take my enemies out from a distance than get stuck in.. It feels safer that way. 🙂

    There is another thing though that I think influences army selection as much as psychology… An army’s style and theme. I love the Sisters because of their strong female theme and Gothic imagery as much as their ‘kill it with fire!’ shootiness. And the elegant, deadly beauty of the Eldar (in both Milk and Dark flavors) makes me love them so. On the other hands, by all rights I should love the Tau so much. they have all the shooty I could want in an army list, they have beautiful tech/anime inspired armor and battlesuits… but 40k to me is about the Gothic imagery, the savagery or the Orks and Chaos forces… Tau just seem jarringly out of place and that has kept me from putting together a force of them…. Still, I may bite the bullet (bolt shell?) this time and put together a Tau force. Perhaps Hello Kitty theme for ultimate slapping in the face of the 40k aesthetic? 🙂

    • Good point! I definitely love setting things on fire, and I LOVE that the Sisters are women.

      I’m planning a pink, black, and white color scheme for my Tau army and toying with the idea of messing with the bits to make some of my Tau more womanly… we’ll see how that goes though. 🙂 Hello Kitty sounds like an awesome idea though!

  2. I agree with you, totally, Beth!

    I tend to rush headlong into things without planning ahead for what’s going to happen. I just throw myself at everything and hope it works out for the best. Avoiding conflicts is super hard for me because I’m usually in way too deep by the time I realize there’s trouble 😛

    My army? Khorne. Blood fueled passions and headlong, heedless rush into close combat, overwatched be damned. Whoo!

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