See The Strengths and Weaknesses In Your Own Force Through New EyesConversely, when your army is across the board from you rather than on your end of it, you might notice some things you didn't before. It's one thing to understand that a tank you have is tough to bring down, but it's entirely another to find out just how tough it is as you try several times to lay it low. Maybe you never realized just how ineffective a certain unit was at assault - you knew they weren't that good of a choice but you kept them in because you liked the look or the fluff, but seeing your opponent fail to make a dent in your line with them might help drive home the point that you otherwise weren't seeing: Those models might belong on your shelf as a display piece or only included in fun lists. We often get stuck in patterns with our gaming when it comes to strategy or listbuilding, and swapping armies can help you to break from that pattern. Using your opponents army forces you to try something new, to be sure, but seeing how they choose to use your army can give you insight into ways to change your playstyle to be more effective. I knew a player who included a unit of Striking Scorpions in his army every time, regardless of points limit or mission because he always used them. It didn't matter that he wasn't being successful with them or was using them for purposes that they were less than ideal for - he had always used them and always would. If somebody else had taken a hold of his force and decided against using them, he might be able to envision different army lists than normal and it could benefit him overall. Additionally, if you tend to use a unit for a certain role, but your opponent decided to use it differently (say, backfield fire support vs forward objective camping), you might see the benefits of a change in strategies that you hadn't previously considered. At the very least, if your opponent falls flat with your force when they try to change things up, you can rest easy knowing you have figured out a decent way of using your models to their potential.
Explore Possibilities for a New Army or Allied ForceIn my Army Selection series of articles, I have been detailing the various forces in Warhammer 40,000 that one might consider starting as either a new army or an allied force to include in your games. Whatever reading you might do about why it is worth considering Army X or Detachment Y, you'll get a much more visceral experience and likely a better understanding of how the army works and why you might want them if you actually get your mitts on some and hit the table with them. I can wax on all day about why it is cool to play Orks, but until you actually try it yourself you won't know for sure how you feel about playing with them. Swapping armies with a friend who plays the army you are considering can help you decide whether you actually want to go forward with purchasing, building, and painting up the models to include in your collection, or whether you will decide to go without them. This also works well as a cost saving measure. If you are in fact considering adding a new army to your collection or a clutch of models to ally in, swapping armies can be a great way to 'try before you buy', and could prevent you from spending money on something you won't use or won't enjoy.
Defense Against Sore Losers
Have you ever swapped armies with a friend? How did it go? Share some stories with us in the comments.