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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wafflebob's Avatar
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    Choosing an Army

    So here's my situation.

    I've played Fantasy for about 9 years. I picked up a 40k rulebook a while back just to read and I've become really interested. 5 years ago or so I picked up a small Imperial Guard force but my case with it and some of my fantasy orcs and goblins was stolen before I could really even learn the game.

    So now I'm thinking of picking it up again, but I can't pick which army to play. I've read the rulebook over and over and have read through several of the army books at the local gaming store, but can't really decide. Plus I know that what looks good on paper always doesn't work out on the table.

    I know I don't want Chaos Daemons, Tau, Eldar or Dark Eldar.

    I'm leery of Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines because it seems like everybody plays them. Although I do like the models and the fluff.

    I absolutely LOVE the ork models, but I'm not sure if I would like the way they play. It's one of the books I haven't actually had access to read. If they are as unreliable as fantasy orcs I don't think I could go for them.

    I like the Tyranids fluff and the bigger models like the carnifex and ravener, hate the various 'gaunts.

    Imperial guard is another love/hate relationship. I love the tanks and vehicles, but I really dislike the flimsy hordes of regular units.

    I really don't know much of anything about necrons other than what is in the main rulebook.

    So I really need to know a little bit about how they actually play and what some plusses and minuses of the armies are. I tend to be a very aggressive player and like moving up quickly, I tend to think I'd probably be focused a lot on assaulting and close combat.
    I'm also a big fan of artillery and ordnance and like big weapons. For some reason I also like walkers, but I've been told they aren't that good.

    So if anyone could give me some suggestions and the like I would appreciate it!

    Tomb Scorpion Kill Counter: Gotrek Gurnisson, Empire Cannon Crew=3, Blood Knights=2, Saurus Cavalry=5, Saurus Warriors=3, Razordons=3, Skink warriors=7, Jezzails=8, Poison Wind Globadiers=10, Warp Lightning Cannon=1

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  3. #2
    LO's Resident Time Lord Canew's Avatar
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    Hokay, tall order here, but I'll take a stab at it. I've not played WITH all the armies you've mentioned, but between playing with and against, I can give you a 10,000-foot view:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wafflebob View Post
    I know I don't want Chaos Daemons, Tau, Eldar or Dark Eldar.
    Fair enough, as all of those are NOT for a beginning 40k player. Each one takes finesse to get good with, until which time you'll get spanked. A lot. Badly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wafflebob View Post
    I'm leery of Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines because it seems like everybody plays them. Although I do like the models and the fluff.
    I'm with you. You can't swing the proverbial dead cat without hitting a marine/chaos player, so if you're looking for something a little less mainstream marines are NOT the way to go.

    That said, I'm building a marine army, but I'm going a bit of an unusual route, with nothing but scouts and veterans. It's a tricky build that will be challenging to play, and hopefully stand out from the millions of other marines armies already out there. If you like the models and fluff, you could do this too, and distinguish yourself. It's your call, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wafflebob View Post
    I absolutely LOVE the ork models, but I'm not sure if I would like the way they play. It's one of the books I haven't actually had access to read. If they are as unreliable as fantasy orcs I don't think I could go for them.
    I'm just getting into these guys myself. The most common thing to do is run a horde of cheap, expendable infantry. By and large, you'll know what to do with them. The unreliability you refer to comes with the larger support crews. Units like the Shokk Attack Gun are really fun in fluff and modeling, but as a "tournament quality" competitive unit, yeah, a lot can go wrong with it. Ditto for things like looted wagons, weirdboys, etc.

    Having said that, you can avoid some of the more "questionable" units like that and still build a somewhat competitive army, just don't ever try to stray too far from the "green tide of death" list. The only exception is the so-called "biker nobs" list, which many players denounce as overpowered and unfair. Not telling you not to do it, but don't expect to win new friends among your fellow gamers with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wafflebob View Post
    I like the Tyranids fluff and the bigger models like the carnifex and ravener, hate the various 'gaunts.
    If you hate gaunts, you might not like the 'nids, then. Your lack of interest in "unreliable" ork units suggests you want to be competitive as well as have fun. I'm here to tell you, it can be hard, especially for the novice, to be competitive with a nid army that doesn't use gaunts. Like the orks, the most common nid build is a horde list that usually features lots of gaunts. They are cheap, soak up incoming fire, and work nicely as "speedbump" units.

    The most common "gaunt LITE" list for nids is the "nidzilla" list, which basically packs in as many monstrous creatures (carnifexes and hive tyrants) as it can, often using genestealers to fill in the other holes in the list. This is nice, but contrary to the prevailing opinion of 40k players, I think this list is overrated. Yes, it's tough against players who don't know how to handle monstrous creatures, but anyone with half a brain when it comes to long-range firepower, using deep-striking/infiltrating units effectively, and denial of objectives can force a "draw" game a lot more easily than the nidzilla fanatic might think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wafflebob View Post
    Imperial guard is another love/hate relationship. I love the tanks and vehicles, but I really dislike the flimsy hordes of regular units.
    Again, "flimsy" regular units are hard to get away from. Like the Orks and nids, traditional IG armies use large groups of expendable infantry, though unlike the nids and orks, these infantry prefer to stay OUT of close combat and peck the opponent to death with lasrifles.

    In truth, an army featuring nothing but tanks is a bit like a fantasy army with nothing but dragons. I'm sure SOMEWHERE one could come up with a list that can do that (or come close), but I'm betting a lot of seasoned vets will at best say you needs LOTS of experience to make it work on the tabletop, and at worst will tell that it's outright impossible to win with. EDIT: It's true that the current 40k rules encourage more people to take more vehicles, but I still say most 40k players and sub-forums here will tell you that hybrid lists (part vehicle, part infantry) still work very well, and are often preferable to "all-mech" lists with nothing but tanks and transports.

    Having said that, the guard (which just got a new codex, by the way) do massed vehicles better than most 40k races out there. If you fantasize about being George S. Patton, rolling through Europe with nothing but a lack of fuel to stop you, the IG might be for you. Those hordes of infantry can take transports, putting even MORE vehicles into your force.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wafflebob View Post
    I really don't know much of anything about necrons other than what is in the main rulebook.
    This is the army I know the most about. Basically, they used to be easier for a beginner to grasp than marines, but the latest 40k rules have made them a little more challenging. The basic troopline consists of ranks and ranks of metal skeletal bodies marching slowly up the battlefield, a la the future battle scenes from the "Terminator" movies. There are many high-speed units, and plenty of close-combat dedicated units, but by and large the Necron army, especially for a beginner like yourself, is at its best when it functions as a large massed firing line, keeping close together, with special rules overlapping so units support each other, only breaking from the herd to hold an objective, or do a lightning-fast dash off to knock out a sniper squad, artillery vehicle, etc. They only have one vehicle, but it's a doozy, the toughest one to bring down in the entire game. They are expensive (pointswise), but extremely resilient, most of which having the ability to get back up after being "killed."

    Quote Originally Posted by Wafflebob View Post
    So I really need to know a little bit about how they actually play and what some plusses and minuses of the armies are. I tend to be a very aggressive player and like moving up quickly, I tend to think I'd probably be focused a lot on assaulting and close combat.
    I'm also a big fan of artillery and ordnance and like big weapons. For some reason I also like walkers, but I've been told they aren't that good.
    Well, if you're a fast-moving, aggressive player who likes close combat, I'd say steer clear of Necrons. Again, outside of specialized builds in the hands of an experienced player, they simply don't do that. In truth, the Orks and nids both do this well, the nids slightly faster, especially if the orks are on foot. Both armies, however, typically rely on loads of cheap, expendable infantry (Boyz or gaunts, respectively). In truth, most 40k armies have a large number of troops in them, especially in the current ruleset, and an aggressive close-combat-oriented player simply would not want to go into battle without a LOT of bodies backing them up. You'll also want some heavy weapons in there somewhere, as more and more players are "going mech" and using vehicles these days.

    Artillery, ordinance and big guns are DEFINITELY the IG's cup of tea, and you won't find anyone doing these better, I think. The orks, it should be said, do have ordinance and big guns in looted wagons, battlewagons, and Big Gunz(no that 's not a joke) units, but you'll find they don't always work as well as you'd like. At the core, the Orks simply don't shoot as well as other armies do. Nids have "guns," and some of them are darned scary, but again, don't expect them to outshoot the IG, or really anyone else. Especially for beginners, the nids just aren't built for that per se.

    Re: walkers. The IG use sentinels, which are versatile vehicles which, in the new codex, have a lot more going for them, but they're still not a front-line unit. You'll find them more likely sniping things from the sidelines, or infiltrating/scouting behind the enemy to get the drop on that big tank in the rear of your opponent's lines. Very, very useful, but if you are looking for AT-AT or AT-ST vehicles rampaging through the enemy lines a la the Galactic Empire in The Battle of Hoth in "The Empire Strikes Back," the IG will disappoint you.

    The Orks use walkers, though the big ones, the Ork dreadnoughts, aren't as well-liked as the itty-bitty Killer Kans, which, when fielded in groups, are pretty cool. Beyond that, they don't do walkers, really.

    The nids, well, the carnifex is arguably one of the coolest and toughest walkers in the whole game, though it's technically classified as a "monstrous creature," not a walker, but I still feel it bears mentioning, especially if what you want is death in the form of a large model stomping across the battlefield.

    So that's my (lengthy) overview. Feel free to drop some questions in the various sub-forums to get more detailed info from players who have more experience than I do.

    Good luck, and happy gaming!
    Last edited by Canew; September 11th, 2009 at 15:16.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Wafflebob's Avatar
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    Wow! Thanks for the detailed response!

    Quote Originally Posted by Canew View Post
    I'm with you. You can't swing the proverbial dead cat without hitting a marine/chaos player, so if you're looking for something a little less mainstream marines are NOT the way to go.

    That said, I'm building a marine army, but I'm going a bit of an unusual route, with nothing but scouts and veterans. It's a tricky build that will be challenging to play, and hopefully stand out from the millions of other marines armies already out there. If you like the models and fluff, you could do this too, and distinguish yourself. It's your call, however.
    I've considered this as well, and if I decide that one of the space marines factions something to this effect is likely what I'll do. Even though they are really known for their basic marines and terminators they seem like it's an army that can really play almost any way you want


    Quote Originally Posted by Canew View Post
    I'm just getting into these guys myself. The most common thing to do is run a horde of cheap, expendable infantry. By and large, you'll know what to do with them. The unreliability you refer to comes with the larger support crews. Units like the Shokk Attack Gun are really fun in fluff and modeling, but as a "tournament quality" competitive unit, yeah, a lot can go wrong with it. Ditto for things like looted wagons, weirdboys, etc.

    Having said that, you can avoid some of the more "questionable" units like that and still build a somewhat competitive army, just don't ever try to stray too far from the "green tide of death" list. The only exception is the so-called "biker nobs" list, which many players denounce as overpowered and unfair. Not telling you not to do it, but don't expect to win new friends among your fellow gamers with it.

    Cheap and expendable is what I'm used to. My main fantasy army is skaven. I don't mind weapons that can fail provided they are sufficiently powerful, personally I think that is part of the fun. In fantasy however, nearly every orc unit has to take a test at the beginning of each turn, and if they fail there is a chance they will not be able to move or shoot at all that turn, so your entire army is unreliable. I can build an army around the fact that my tank might break down or my mek might blow himself to smithereens, but it's hard to avoid any unit in your army possibly shutting down for a turn at a crucial moment.




    Quote Originally Posted by Canew View Post
    If you hate gaunts, you might not like the 'nids, then. Your lack of interest in "unreliable" ork units suggests you want to be competitive as well as have fun. I'm here to tell you, it can be hard, especially for the novice, to be competitive with a nid army that doesn't use gaunts. Like the orks, the most common nid build is a horde list that usually features lots of gaunts. They are cheap, soak up incoming fire, and work nicely as "speedbump" units.

    The most common "gaunt LITE" list for nids is the "nidzilla" list, which basically packs in as many monstrous creatures (carnifexes and hive tyrants) as it can, often using genestealers to fill in the other holes in the list. This is nice, but contrary to the prevailing opinion of 40k players, I think this list is overrated. Yes, it's tough against players who don't know how to handle monstrous creatures, but anyone with half a brain when it comes to long-range firepower, using deep-striking/infiltrating units effectively, and denial of objectives can force a "draw" game a lot more easily than the nidzilla fanatic might think.
    It's mostly the models I hate. Thats the biggest problem I have with tyranids. I think the carnifexes, raveners and tyrands are amazing, but the guants, lictors and genestealers make me cringe. Aside from that I think I'd like either the horde or the nidzilla builds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canew View Post
    Again, "flimsy" regular units are hard to get away from. Like the Orks and nids, traditional IG armies use large groups of expendable infantry, though unlike the nids and orks, these infantry prefer to stay OUT of close combat and peck the opponent to death with lasrifles.
    Ah, I'm sorry on the lack of clarity. Again here my main problem is the way the models look. I'm just not a fan of the generic human models. The weediness here also bugs me a bit though. Orks and tyranids are flimsy as well, but they seem to be much more cc oriented, which is something I like.
    Quote Originally Posted by Canew View Post
    In truth, an army featuring nothing but tanks is a bit like a fantasy army with nothing but dragons. I'm sure SOMEWHERE one could come up with a list that can do that (or come close), but I'm betting a lot of seasoned vets will at best say you needs LOTS of experience to make it work on the tabletop, and at worst will tell that it's outright impossible to win with. EDIT: It's true that the current 40k rules encourage more people to take more vehicles, but I still say most 40k players and sub-forums here will tell you that hybrid lists (part vehicle, part infantry) still work very well, and are often preferable to "all-mech" lists with nothing but tanks and transports.

    Having said that, the guard (which just got a new codex, by the way) do massed vehicles better than most 40k races out there. If you fantasize about being George S. Patton, rolling through Europe with nothing but a lack of fuel to stop you, the IG might be for you. Those hordes of infantry can take transports, putting even MORE vehicles into your force.
    At first I wanted the massed armor, but as I've gotten more used to my own personal playstyle I've realized that I want some armor for support, but I'd rather have a fast attack army and need either overwhelming numbers or really elite units. I tend to prefer overwhelming numbers, I find that numbers is better protection against bad dice rolls compared to armor saves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canew View Post
    This is the army I know the most about. Basically, they used to be easier for a beginner to grasp than marines, but the latest 40k rules have made them a little more challenging. The basic troopline consists of ranks and ranks of metal skeletal bodies marching slowly up the battlefield, a la the future battle scenes from the "Terminator" movies. There are many high-speed units, and plenty of close-combat dedicated units, but by and large the Necron army, especially for a beginner like yourself, is at its best when it functions as a large massed firing line, keeping close together, with special rules overlapping so units support each other, only breaking from the herd to hold an objective, or do a lightning-fast dash off to knock out a sniper squad, artillery vehicle, etc. They only have one vehicle, but it's a doozy, the toughest one to bring down in the entire game. They are expensive (pointswise), but extremely resilient, most of which having the ability to get back up after being "killed."
    They seem like a pretty cool army, but I don't think I can handle the low movement speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canew View Post
    Artillery, ordinance and big guns are DEFINITELY the IG's cup of tea, and you won't find anyone doing these better, I think. The orks, it should be said, do have ordinance and big guns in looted wagons, battlewagons, and Big Gunz(no that 's not a joke) units, but you'll find they don't always work as well as you'd like. At the core, the Orks simply don't shoot as well as other armies do. Nids have "guns," and some of them are darned scary, but again, don't expect them to outshoot the IG, or really anyone else. Especially for beginners, the nids just aren't built for that per se.
    Again, I'm relatively new to actually playing 40k, so I don't know how big the emphasis on shooting is. My playstyle would be blisteringly fast movement by units that excel at CC, supported by ordnance. I don't know how viable that is in 40k however.
    Quote Originally Posted by Canew View Post
    Re: walkers. The IG use sentinels, which are versatile vehicles which, in the new codex, have a lot more going for them, but they're still not a front-line unit. You'll find them more likely sniping things from the sidelines, or infiltrating/scouting behind the enemy to get the drop on that big tank in the rear of your opponent's lines. Very, very useful, but if you are looking for AT-AT or AT-ST vehicles rampaging through the enemy lines a la the Galactic Empire in The Battle of Hoth in "The Empire Strikes Back," the IG will disappoint you.

    The Orks use walkers, though the big ones, the Ork dreadnoughts, aren't as well-liked as the itty-bitty Killer Kans, which, when fielded in groups, are pretty cool. Beyond that, they don't do walkers, really.

    The nids, well, the carnifex is arguably one of the coolest and toughest walkers in the whole game, though it's technically classified as a "monstrous creature," not a walker, but I still feel it bears mentioning, especially if what you want is death in the form of a large model stomping across the battlefield.
    I'm not necessarily looking for something rampaging across the battle lines, I just like the look and feel of them. If I recall I think I had purchased 5 sentinels right off the bat when starting my IG army. Sentinels and killa kans are right at home with me, although I like things like the dreadnaughts and carnifexes as well. I had just been told by somebody I met at my hobby shop that walkers were not effective or popular.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canew View Post
    So that's my (lengthy) overview. Feel free to drop some questions in the various sub-forums to get more detailed info from players who have more experience than I do.

    Good luck, and happy gaming!
    Thanks again for the detailed response!
    Tomb Scorpion Kill Counter: Gotrek Gurnisson, Empire Cannon Crew=3, Blood Knights=2, Saurus Cavalry=5, Saurus Warriors=3, Razordons=3, Skink warriors=7, Jezzails=8, Poison Wind Globadiers=10, Warp Lightning Cannon=1

  5. #4
    Senior Member Glavas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wafflebob View Post
    So here's my situation.

    I've played Fantasy for about 9 years. I picked up a 40k rulebook a while back just to read and I've become really interested. 5 years ago or so I picked up a small Imperial Guard force but my case with it and some of my fantasy orcs and goblins was stolen before I could really even learn the game.

    So now I'm thinking of picking it up again, but I can't pick which army to play. I've read the rulebook over and over and have read through several of the army books at the local gaming store, but can't really decide. Plus I know that what looks good on paper always doesn't work out on the table.

    I know I don't want Chaos Daemons, Tau, Eldar or Dark Eldar.

    Fair enough. Chaos daemons get boring, very point and shoot. Tau, eldar and dark eldar require a lot of finesse.

    I'm leery of Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines because it seems like everybody plays them. Although I do like the models and the fluff.

    You can always do themed lists. All bike army? Competitive, fun to play, but not over the top like the similar ork lists.


    I absolutely LOVE the ork models, but I'm not sure if I would like the way they play. It's one of the books I haven't actually had access to read. If they are as unreliable as fantasy orcs I don't think I could go for them.

    Orkz are no where near as unreliable as Orcs are in fantasy. You have your novelty choices, but orkz can easily construct competitive lists. They have brilliant models too.

    I like the Tyranids fluff and the bigger models like the carnifex and ravener, hate the various 'gaunts.

    You could try a nidzilla list? Unfrtunately its not as competitive as it used to be due to our reliance on troops to capture objectives.


    Imperial guard is another love/hate relationship. I love the tanks and vehicles, but I really dislike the flimsy hordes of regular units.

    Take veterans? I believe they're troops and they're not that weak, T3 but 4+ armour. same as the average tau/eldar

    I really don't know much of anything about necrons other than what is in the main rulebook.

    So I really need to know a little bit about how they actually play and what some plusses and minuses of the armies are. I tend to be a very aggressive player and like moving up quickly, I tend to think I'd probably be focused a lot on assaulting and close combat.
    I'm also a big fan of artillery and ordnance and like big weapons. For some reason I also like walkers, but I've been told they aren't that good.

    Ultimately, I would suggest you try orkz. They are , IMO, the fastest CC army. Kult of speed lists amaze me.

    They can pack on the heavy weapons and shooting with vehicle upgrades + gitz and lootaz. Aswell as the fast moving deathkoptas.

    Ork dreads (walkers) are fairly reliable. They're cheap and have insane amounts of attacks. They also have a smaller weaker variant, called a killer kan, piloted by a grot.


    So if anyone could give me some suggestions and the like I would appreciate it!

    There ya go!

    Glavas


  6. #5
    Senior Member Wafflebob's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great suggestions! Between the responses I've gotten so far, and poking around in the various army forums it's looking like Orks are probably going to be the way to go for me. I picked up their codex this afternoon.
    Tomb Scorpion Kill Counter: Gotrek Gurnisson, Empire Cannon Crew=3, Blood Knights=2, Saurus Cavalry=5, Saurus Warriors=3, Razordons=3, Skink warriors=7, Jezzails=8, Poison Wind Globadiers=10, Warp Lightning Cannon=1

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