List writing, probably the most important part of 40K. Without a list you simply can not play a game of 40K. Now I'm not going to talk about min maxing vs themed fluffly lists, I wanna talk about how you make a list, not what type.
Where do you create your lists? Are you the type that sits down and uses the old school pen and paper or are you the type that uses Armybuilder? I am the type that uses the basic text editor on my Mac. I just sit back, put on some tunes, light up a cig and get to work. I have contemplated getting Armybuilder but it's not available for Mac and I don't want to have to use my netbook all the time to make lists. I also wouldn't be able to use Armybuilder with home brew codexes.
Now that we have the setup out of the way, let's get to the main point of the article. In what order do you write your list? I mean specifically is there a specific order you write your list? For about 95% of my lists I always start out with my HQs. I think this might be a force of habit because I'm a Black Templar player and it's mandatory to have The Emperor's Champion in any list over 700 points. Even when I'm making an Eldar list I normally start with the HQ choice. I tend to use Eldrad a lot and when I do I center the whole list around him because he is such an effective HQ choice. Now if I go with an Autarch, I'll still put him in first because odds are if I'm running one, I'm playing the reserves game. If I'm running a Seer Council I'll put them in first because they are the primary focus of the list, everything else supports them. Even if I'm running multiple HQs, I still normally put them in first. I'll throw a Chaplain in a LRC with a squad of 10 Initiates and 5 Neophytes so that way the whole squad will be rerolling to hit on the charge (Neophytes don't benefit from the EC's preferred enemy vow). Depending on the situation, I'll split the Chaplain off from the squad when they disembark from the LRC in order to take something else out (Leman Russ Squadrons hate my Power Fist Chaplain).
I think the only time I don't base a list around my HQ choice is when I'm running a LRC full of Furious Charge BT Terminators with Twin Lightening Claws. They are such an effective hammer unit I have to be able to use them to their full potential, so everything else in the list supports them.
I don't think I have ever really made a list where I put down my troops first. I have heard of a lot of people doing so but I guess I'm just different in that regard. Maybe there is still a portion of 4th Edition inside of me that refuses to let go.
So share you thoughts or techniques with us. Do you write lists in the same manner as I do? Am I totally missing the boat by not starting out with troops? How do you get in the zone to write lists? Does anyone start out their list with Fast Attack or Heavy Support?