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I'm looking to jump back into 40k and I'm having trouble figuring out what army to start up. I'm considering, Daemons, CSM, Eldar, IG, and Nids. You guys have any suggestions or advice? Some pros and cons? Thanks in advance.
Each of the armies you've mentioned have their own styles and armies like Eldar for example have a higher learning curve than others.
If you want to have some insight in what each armie does, look at the sub forums dedicated to that army here on LO.
Personally, I'd advise you to just look at the kind of units you get in an army and the way they are to be used and choose the army that will fit your style best or appeals to you the most.
I may be able to help you with two of your choices as I play CSM and Daemons. CSM are just just different enough from Vanilla Marines to make them special. I found with CSM that they are more forgiving in making a competitive list than some other xeno armies. CSM have some unique builds that other Marine type armies do not have, however they do not have as many tanks as the regular Marines. Pros- Strong build combination, one of the nastiest psychic power in the game with Lash of Submission, strong close combat units, one strong HQ in the Daemon Prince who is relatively cheap and can be built strong. Cons- Many HQ choices are expensive and somewhat soft, some units expensive, relatively slow army who rely on rhinos for quick transport, some useless units like the Spawn. Daemons however are a different breed altogether. They rely on units from four different Chaos Gods who all have different attributes. Also, they deploy onto the table unlike any other army. They split their units into two (as equal as possible) forces and designate one to go first. Then they roll a d6. If the result is 3-6, your preferred wave comes in. On a 1-2, your non-preferred wave comes in. On top of this, all units enter play by Deep Striking. Pros- Strong builds, Strong assaulting units, invulnerable saves all around, fearless all around, immune to instant death all around, Deep Striking can give favorable deployment positioning, many Monstrous Creatures, some inexpensive but powerful units, sexy models. Cons- Deep Strike mishaps, some troops tend to get shot up before reaching combat, takes time to get a good competitive list together, also takes time to play Daemons right, troops are one somewhat one dimensional with only one type having a ranged attack, can have expensive units, some expensive units are not very practical to play. So play CSM if you want to jump right in and play in a relative traditional way. Play Daemons if you have patience to get better over time and you want to play something completely outside of the box.
My area of expertise is IG and Necrons, which I play, and Tau, which I frequently play against. Necrons are currently several editions behind everyone else, and suffered a major hit in power in the latest edition, due to revisions in some of their key abilities. IG are a very strong army right now, however, they have a major downside in that they are one of the more expensive armies to play. The greatest strength of the guard is mechanization, which means you're going to need to spring for a bunch of Chimeras, some tanks to back them up, and lots and lots of troops. If you're looking for an army on a budget, then IG are not for you. However, no army lets you field more men and tanks at a time than the Imperial Guard. I currently run, in a 2000 point list, 3 Leman Russ tanks, 2 Vendetta gunships, 1 Hellhound, and 4 chimeras, though I could fit two more in if I had the models.
Tau are also a bit behind in codexes, but not as badly as Necrons. Their greatest strengths are their battlesuits, specifically crisis suits and broadsides. They can cram a lot of weapons onto one suit, and with skilled use, can do a lot of damage out of proportion with their cost. However, Tau suck at close combat, as all you have are Kroot to use as speedbumps.
Have you played much Warhammer 40k before? If not, then I wouldn't use Chaos Daemons, as they're a difficult army to master. Tyranids are fine, but they may be a difficult army to model, since you often have to make a lot of conversions, unless you're experienced at it.
The other three armies are all good, either for beginners or experienced players coming back into the game.
All three will probably use a good deal of transports, but that's the same with most armies right now.
The Imperial Guard isn't that good in close combat, but they have the best shooting in the game, a lot of redundancy (since most of the units are very cheap), and some very powerful vehicles. Although it might be tempting to just sit and shoot, the best Imperial armies are ones that keep moving.
Chaos Marines are a great close combat army with a good amount of shooting, but they're very elite, meaning that the individual models cost a lot of points, so you'll most likely have a much smaller force than your opponent. The secret is to do the most with the units you have. Also, their fast attack choices are all pretty bad, and best avoided.
Eldar have the best skimmers in the game, a lot of great shooting, very good psychic powers, and some deceptively powerful close combat units. Unfortunately, a lot of their units cost too much for what they do (guardians, dark reapers, wraithguard, pheonix lords, and all the fast attack choices) and are best avoided, limiting your choices when putting together an army.
"Any job worth doing, is worth doing with a powerklaw."
In terms of ease to use I'd rank them:
IG - so many good list combinations
CSM - solid and forgivable of mistakes
Tyranids - remember anti-tank and you won't go far wrong
Eldar - the units are very good at what they do but very weak outside their comfort zone
Necron - pretty solid, although very old now
Daemons - tricky to master, weird deployment, and very focused units
I think that I would have to recommend space marines as the most forgiving list for a new players. Their relatively high point cost keeps the cost of models down to a managable level. Their above average stat line makes them good at both shooting and close combat. They have a base 3+ armor save which keeps them alive under most conditions. The special chapters add on this with various special rules and tweak them in one direction or another.
After space marines, I'd have to go with the Imperial Guard.IG has the widest range of available models and allows the highest degree of customization. This has a couple of down sides to the new player. Their relative low point cost means you will buying a LOT of models (this will make your wallet cry for its mommy). The high degree of flexibility in list creation can be bewildering / confusing for a new player, and it is easy to make mistakes in force composition that will require a significant amount of money to correct.
In my experience, Necrons and Tau tend to get flattened by either of the above armies. Demons tend to get mauled by very shooty armies and Eldar are point inefficient at what they do. Eldar point inefficiencies lead them to very specific builds to be competitive, which may take some fun away from playing them.
I haven't played vs bugs very much so I can't offer a strong opinion there.
I hope this helps.
Praise the Emperor and pass the promethium!
IG (as has been stated) are one of the best armies now with a lot of shooting to be done. As the majority of players play SM or another version of them, the Lemon Russ is a nightmare for all SM's. Medusas, Bassilisks, Vendettas, Hellhounds. Lots of great tanks that tear through more or less anything. Low point cost troops and heavy weapon teams that give you good variation with weapons.
But ya its a money heavy army.
As for CSM and Necrons, ya they have their versatility and both are hard hitting and good survivability. They are low model count and are forgiving to play (necrons are albiet a bit harder to master)
Cant see why everyone is clanking down on Tau as being so piss poor. Their problem is that they have one viable list and that some units they hace are laughingly bad. But a competative Tau army is still "good"
A Plasma Rifle Missle Pod crisis suit heavy army in the right hands can go to town on any SM variation.
But im not here to discuss tacs or the "best army"
Ranked from easiest to play i would go
4: Eldar and Necrons (cant really separate them)
5: Deamons are last because of their messed up deployment that can mess up your entire game plan.
Hey thanks for all the replies so far. I've narrowed it down to Daemons, Nids, or IG. I would jump into IG without question but I want to get into playing 40k asap and yeah money isn't plentiful. I love the fluff behind daemons, and I like the models. And nids are awesome looking but they would be an expensive army too.
I can't advise you on Daemons or Nids, but I do know IG. Be warned, 40k is not a cheap hobby, and IG is at the top of the list of wallet-breakers. If you do decide to go that route, the first thing you'll need is a good assortment of troops. IG can field a lot of troops, so make sure you have plenty. Model some meltas, too. The next thing I'd recommend buying is some Chimeras, at least 3. After that, depending on your playstyle, I'd get either some Leman Russes (vanilla Russes with hull lascannon or Demolishers with hull heavy flamer, no sponsons) or Basilisks/Manticores. That will get you a solid core to your army. Next, start fluffing out your army a bit with some more exotic elements. Hellhounds are giant balls of burny death to troops, Sentinels are versatile walkers at low point levels, and Hydras are great if you're good at modeling. Avoid elite choices other than Storm Troopers (run as 5 man squads with meltas, these are metal only, but can be fairly easily customed), or possibly a Psyker Battle Squad (also expensive, since they don't have plastic models for these, harder to custom make). After that, if you've got the funds for it, Vendettas are just awesome and are universally hated by the enemies of the Imperium. Be warned, you'll have to buy the already-expensive Valkyrie model and then either get the conversion kit from Forgeworld ($$$) or make your own. I was lucky enough to have a rich friend give me mine for a Christmas and birthday present, I converted them using some ebay bits from heavy weapons teams.