These days when a new Codex or Army Book is released within days of it's release (and sometimes before that) the Internet will have savaged its contents and decided what units are worthwhile and which are not.
Soon many armies look alike or are very similar to each other. To a certain degree this is fluid as FAQ and new rules change things up, but by and large "builds," dominate the landscape especially in tournaments.
How can we stop this and decide who are really good generals.
Well I have two stories to tell you to illustrate my point.
The first involves myself. We must go way back in time to 1997.
Are you with me? We didn't even know what Y2K was and had zero concept of what a "smart phone," was but we got by. Even then when the Internet was fresh and new (well broadband was anyway) we as players knew that some units weren't as worthwhile as others.
We were playing 5th edition Warhammer then. I was playing High Elves and I had one unit of (poorly) painted archers. They were my only fully painted unit and I was determined to use them even if they weren't the best.
Some background in case you are wondering: High Elf archers had the same stats and equipment options as they do now and Warhammer had the same modifiers.
My opponent and I decided to go get a burger and some 40k players volunteered to put out terrain for us. When we got back the battlefield was covered with a large amount of the terrain in the middle of the board.
My opponent and I decided to go with it. He played an Empire army, it was a 2000pt game.
I had very little expectation for my archers, but that game they did awesome.
Wanna know why?
My archers could move and shoot. I had to move them so I could get shots because of the terrain. My friend had units of crossbows and handgunners that couldn't do that.
With a large amount of terrain that we played on my archers, normally irrelevant, became very useful.
Units that are otherwise not seen as very good can be made better (or worse) based on terrain.
Now the next story:
Jump forward a few years to a third edition 40k tournament my gaming group hosted. Most of our players were WW 2 players who like a lot of terrain.
Our tables were packed with terrain. I'm talking dozens of pieces. In addition we used a lot of the book special rules for the tables (go find a 3rd edition rulebook for examples of what I mean)
That weekend the best tournament player in the state (by tournament results, there used to be a name for it, but I have long since forgotten it) came to show us country yokels wha'ts what.
He got to his first table and found out there was a blizzard on it. His response "Tournaments don't use these rules."
We must have missed that rule. Our tournament organizer told him to deal with it.
He lost the tournament.
The moral of this story:
USE LOTS AND LOTS OF TERRAIN!
Take what you normally use and triple it!
No, I take it back quadruple it!
When that happens is your super list so super?