In this article I want to give you some advice for starting a new army for both new players out there to 40K, and my fellow long time players who have been playing the same army over and over again for years. Both of you are in the same spot- there is a learning curve for your new army regardless of past experience!
I’m going to pick a number that has been working for me- the first twenty or so games with your new army really don’t “count”. Treat them entirely as a learning experience rather than a win/loss situation. Of course you should be thinking of every game as this…
Twenty games over various missions gives you some idea of what is going to work, and how your army works together. Just learning and remembering the abilities of each unit is so important. Be a bit forgiving with yourself- how can you plan on a tactical level when part of your mind is distracting trying to remember ballistics skills, psychic powers, and armor saves?
Make up an army sheet for each unit listing their stats/abilities, and put it at the edge of the table. Make any notes of stuff you have to do in a certain order- like casting Eldar powers at the start of your movement phase, or if your hive tyrant gets a shot at regenerating a wound.
As you become more proficient with your army and what it can do on the table over paper then you can move on to worrying about winning and losing games. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and remember- the first twenty games don’t count!