Well, I played League of LEgends a Great deal and now a lot of World of Tanks as well, and the idea occured to me to try putting together a tier list of current armies. This could work well as there is very little idealistic balance right now. you cant pick up any army and go against someone doing the same and win if you get stuck with a Necron Army, or Tau army versus a Ig, or Space Wolf army. So here is my thoughts on the tier order:
The tier order will have 4 levels, and each level will divide itself up into a mini tier, the first army in Tier 1 listing bviously being the best. I will look at the following categories: List Options, Player Friendliness(ease of use), Skill Capacity, Model Count.
With these first few articles, I will lay out these categories for each army. I will say ahead of time that these can be subject to change. I am no master of each army, I have simply done a little research into all the armies so I know what I am fighting. If you have an opinion on the ideas I post, PLEASE voice yourself. Perhaps this can become a group effort. I am, afterall, only one man. The comprehensive Tier List will be posted at the end of these articles.
-Summary: This army is well known on the tournament circuit. Mech Ig, Leafblowers, Fireing Lines. We all know what they do, and they have often come in top 5. The Imperial Guard has a lot of great strengths, combined arms being one of them. They have have speed and durability if they want it, and they can bring enough tricks ot make a magician blush.
-List Options: This army is probably the most flexible available. In a single list they can combat hordes, or high toughness, well armored elite lists. They can have the numbers to take and hold objects, and the armored support to back it up, or simply have a great deal of armored support. With Straken, Rough Riders, and Ogryns they can face Close Combat Armies, and if going against line shooting armies, or dug in armies, can utilize Valkyries, and Creeds special rule. This can all be gotten at a cheap price, and will thus have numbers to back up their tricks as well.
-Player Friendliness(Ease of Use): The Imperial Guard are not the easiest to simply pick up and play. They are not by far the hardest, but they do have some modicum of difficulty. The rules on how orders work, along with platoon management add some difficulty. The ability to last through simple attrition though lets the player learn easily what he did and did not do correctly.
-Skill Capacity: The Imperial Guards skill cap is really not that high. Once you learn the order of orders, and what to shoot first, its fairly easy to continue on. The skill capacity of Imperial Guard come simply from the list built. IG armies to large to wield like a scalpel, and are called the Fist of the Emperor for a reason. You will simply move up, and destroy the enemy. Imperial Guard have very few suprises.
-Model Count: While an army that can get a huge model count, Tyranids and Orks will outnumber them. What they do poses though is a great deal of diverse models. You will be able to have large armored vehicles along with a multitude of infantry, and heavy weapons.
-Overall: Tier 1
-Summary: Space Wolves have become popular since their new codex, in no small part to their increase in power. They have a great deal of flexibility, and hitting power, along with great psychic defense, and power. Their drawback is the fact that they are somewhat pricey compared to Codex: Space Marines on a whole, and they usually wont be swarming the table.
-List Options: Their codex offers a great deal of diverse and interesting units that are also viable. Wolf units add a fairly cheap, fast, and hard hitting assualt unit, while Wolf Guard squads can bring a large array of different tools to the field. The HQ units also bring a lot of their own uniqueness to the field, and no one can deny the psychic ability of Rune Priests. Long Fangs are an amazing heavy support unit due to their ability to split fire into two seperate squads. They are slow though to cross the field and almost require razorbacks, rhinos and Land Raiders. Also the fact that only Long Fangs can carry heavy weapons, their long range abilities are capped somewhat.
-Player Friendliness(Ease of Use): Space Wolves are a fairly forgiving army due to their durability. They are after all, a space marine army at the core.They are easy to pick up, and start playing. They dont have many little tricks that need to be learned to win with them.
-Skill Capacity: Again, Space Wolves are a Space Marine army and tricks are not something they do. A space wolves strategy is almost predictable even from a veteran player. Their army requires them to do several things that they will always do. As such, their Skill Cap is not that high.
-Model Count: While many people talk about how cheap Grey Hunters are, an army is not made up of only Grey Hunters. Long Fangs, and Wolf Guard are very expensive, and both are required in ample amounts. Along with the HQ models points cost, a Space Wolf army will not be fielding a great deal of models. While they wont have a great deal of models, they will have plenty though. Their Model Count is nowhere near crippiling, but it is obvious.
-Overall: Tier 1
-Summary: The Blood Angels are undeniably strong. Extremely fast and ruthless on the board, they take a great many players by suprise. Good armor, and durability, fast vehicles, and deep striking land raiders, they take the idea of 'blitzkrieg' and inject some cocaine into. they have an obvious weakness though in the fact that they do not have a long range punch. The Descent of Angels is a strong advantage though in the hands of a veteran.
-List Options: Most Blood Angels armies will look fairly similar. there is not much diversity in a Blood Angels army, but the few options they bring are extremely strong. All of their lists have fast options, and its doubtfull that a Blood Angel Player will ever move anything less than 12" at a time. All of their choices are viable and deadly. Sanguinary Priests, and Death Company add a oddball into the army that people will have a very difficult time dealing with.
-Player Friendliness(Ease of Use): Blood Angels are not an army that can just be picked up and played. Due tot heir model count, and short range capabilities they rely on a modicum strategy, as such if one were to simply "Jump across the board" the army will be wiped out.
-Skill Capacity: Of the Space Marine armies, Blood Angels require some of the highest Skill Capacity. They will have a small model count, and target priority is a must. If a squad assualts the wrong target, they will be prone to being wiped out from the counter attack, even with their durability.
-Model Count: Blood Angels have the ability to have a cripplingly small amountof models, and require some thought, and ideas of point/model balancing to make sure this doesnt happen. They can have a wave of red though descending from the sky.
-Overall: Tier 1
-Summary: While Dark Angels suffer heavily from an ageing codex, their latest FAQ has helped to elevate them. What also helps is the fact that they are essentially three different armies in one. There is the Death Wing, Standard, and Raven Wing. All three of these options are fairly viable, but Deathwing tops the list due to its high durability and hitting power vs. its cost.
-List Options: Dark Angels have the standard list set and abilities of codex: Space Marines. While their special rules are fairly interesting, theirs not many special units available to them. Their main advantage comes when playing a Deathwing list and the ability to simply crush an opponent under terminators.
-Player Friendliness(Ease of Use): Dark Angels rank about the same as Space Marines in their Ease of Use. You can win games upon pickup, as they are fairly forgiving. While Death Wing and Ravenwing have a bit more difficulty associated to them, its not a great deal more.
-Skill Capacity: There is not much of any skill cap available to Dark Angels. Raven wing circle their enemy, and Deathwing march into the enemy, while standard dark angels function exactly the same as Codex: Space Marines.
-Model Count: Their model count is fairly good. They can have a great deal of units and models on the table, even using one of their specialist companies like Ravenwing and Deathwing. Its difficult to trap yourself into a list with a cripplingly low model count.
-Overall: Tier 2
Draft tier List: (Still under work)
Tier 1: Imperial Guard, Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Grey Knights, Dark Eldar
Tier 2: Space Marines, Dark Eldar, Tyranids, Orks
Tier 3: Eldar, Sisters of Battle, Tau, Black Templar
Tier 4: Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Deamons, Necrons