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Just a query: who here goes for the ultra competetive list, the power gamer? Who here goes for the more characterful list even though the units in it may not be the best to use? And who goes for the balance between both e.g. builds a list and then bends the character and fluff around it?
Just a passing question and would be nice to have a few replies.... basically how and why do you build your lists and what compels you to build your lists in that fashion....
Myself i went for the high elves becasue of their skill and elegence but reading the fluff about khaine i liked the dark side of the elven mind the idea of worshipping khaine for war but not otherwise so i got the whole red scheme (plus it's one of the only robe colours i can paint). Going from that i went for a reasonable elite list, elves who dedicated themselves to war and the worship of Khaine but were still mindful of the dangers of this (DPs and SMs with the 2 solid blocks of spears...... list tuning and reworking --> full credit to the LO high elf community) with a couple of mages thrown in for the competetive side of the game. So far i have only 5 elves fully compete but they're the best models i've ever painted, i'm proud of them and i'm looking forward to seeing the army grow.
back to the question: how did you build your armies?
Good question. I have several themed armies - Caledor, Chrace, Saphery and Ellyrion, as well as a "Defenders of Ulthuan" force.
My opinion is that fighting a battle is abhout getting yourself on the field, YOU are the general, and if you can empathise with Galladrion Stormweaver, Kithre Seablaze, Prince Tyrion, Imrik and Mentheus of Caledor and umpteen other personalities, then the battle is more triumphant or tragic (much like watching a football match where one of your friends/acquantances is playing, e.g. my wife was in the same class as Gary McSheffrey, so whenever I watch him play I feel more "personally attached")
I can empathise a lot more if I see my army as a "real" force, with a story, a background, a history, battle honours etc.=, I like the role-playing aspect. For me, it is important to know that Dragon Princes are very uncommon, they don;t go gallavanting around Ulthuan lending their aid willy-nilly, nor do they jump on every ship of the Sea Lords to go and bash some enemies of Ulthaun.
White Lions are a royal regiment, they are likely to be found either helping to guard something or someone precious to the Phoenix King, else they would be based at strategic locations or in Tor Achare itself.
Sword masters are the agents of the King, so may well be found on any battlefield anywhere, and are reflected as such.
My Caledor fore is based around dragons, obviously, with a few additional supporting units like Dragon Princes, spears, archers, chariots (from Tiranoc is the next kingdom along..) and bolt throwers. The leaders are Imrik on Minaithir, Mentheus riding a steed and Thaindal riding Kargos (using a spare older Tyrion model here), whilst the principal mage is Finreir who I have taken as being a Caledorian mage, and in my fluff, he was always a Caledorian "Dragon mage"....before Dragon Mages even existed in WHFB...
I have kept my army "real" by including characters that have existed in fluff and model form for many, many years - Mentheus leads the Dragon Princes in the battle for the Altar of Khaine, Finreir created the spell the "coruscation of Finreir" and is a Loremaster of the White Tower, and Thaindal and Kargos were teh first High Elf Dragonlord model released by marauder miniatures...
My Ellyrion force is typical of the horselords. Galladrion Stormweaver leads (from the back of a Great Pegasus, counts as a Griffon), whilst the principal army content is Silver Helms, Reavers and chariots (again).
My Chrace force is lots of Citizen soldier, White Lions, Silver Helms cavalry, and also includes Yvresse and Cothique elements (Sea Guard based on ships out of Cothique and Eltharion the Grim), and Shadow Warriors from Nagarythe. It is led by Khorian Ironglaive, Korhil, Eltharion the Grim and Kithre Seablaze (who in my fluff is the Lord Admiral of the Elven Home Fleetm which can operate as required from bases in Cothique)
My Saphery force is Teclis, lots of other magic and Sword masters galore, although again with a decent enough citizen soldiery content in the form of spears and archers, as well as noble Silver Helms. It also contains Phoenix Guards, given that the shrine of Asuryan is not too far away.
Finally, my Defenders of Ulthuan force led by Prince Tyrion contains a decent mixture of all kingdoms, as you would expect through rotation at one of the gates, or an expeditionary force against the Dark Elves or other foes.
I REALLY feel some degree of attachment to these lists, they have grown, mutated, changed as time has gone along (once upon a time I had a Saphery list with a few additions), and the characters have evolved as well as editions of the game have come and gone.
I feel that I would not be able to enjoy the game anywhere nearly as much if I chose a dispassionate "cometitive" or "min-maxed" list unless I could think of a really good justification that an elite core of White Lions, Sword masters, Phoenix Guard and Dragon Princes are all stuck in an army supported by 10 archers (or 100 archers depending on which school of though you subscribe to)
A fantastic reply, real food for thougth, may i ask which list you started with, which army you prefer to use and how long it's taken to amass so many forces? (sorry if there are a few too many questions)
thanks again for the time spent on the reply
Erm, sorry - missed to add once I ONLy had a Saphery list - back in 4th edition when I thought Swordmasters were too cool for school, and I loved the backstory of the assault on the Altar of Khaine, where the Swordmasters are led by Ulthuan's greatest swordsman, Hallar.
The force is being finished off now and finally large swathes of my army will get a paint job, but overall, this force has been perhaps 18 years in teh making - certainly I have some models that are 18 yrs old, with average duration 8-9 years 9and can you believe it? i have stripped and repainted many models many times, some are sitting in a vat of Dettol atm pending the latest new paint job)
Whilst the models have gone through several rotations (I have very few of my original models left) I started out with around 80 citizen soliders, several command groups, a hero on Pegasus, Eltharion model representing a hero on Griffon, and Tyrion and teclis. The import of my listy was the predominance of Lvl4 mages in the list, some riding Unicorns, as well as the large (and single) block of Swordmasters (back when they were 0-1). I also had to bitz order loads of Dragons, which I regret a little now as I have far too many to field in a list (though once upon a tme I could field 25% of my army as unridden monsters).
The list mutated with the advent of 5th edition to include the fantastic metal Silver Helms, some crappy old Reavers, and a couple more chariots (as I preferred the two-crew chariots vs single chariots) and I suddenly had a nice High Elves force with a few squadrons of cavalr, so could proxy an Ellyrion list, and I also picked up some of the newer versions of the White Lions. I also bought a couple of boxes of the old dragon Princes which are in the process of being re-horsed onto new Dragon barded Elven Steeds (I worked at GW HQ for a few weeks on an audit and took great advantage of a bitz order at "staff" price!!!)
With 6th edition, i didn't really buy much apart from the newer plastics to replace my older ones and the bitz order above (where I also bought 12 Dragon princes), and new Swordmaster models, and this edition I've gone a little mad, and bought pretty much everything under the sun apart from the new plastic Dragon and chariot!
sorry about the saphery list thing, missed that bit, still thank for th reply again must be interesting to see the defferent forms of the models aswell as the various lists as the game has evolved.
please keep the infomation about previous lists and such coming, so far it's proved to be fascinating how different people have found their way into the game and built their armies (with staff discounts - nice one)
Always remember eBay as well! Got some fantastic deals like the old Imrik for £15, and Elven chariots for £7 each...
I've been playing High Elves for the last 10 years. They were my first army. I would have to admit that I've taken a more shady stand than Kithre.
Initially I wanted to build the 'standard' army, like you see in the books. However, I found that Silver Helms (core, until this edition) were incredibly powerful. I stopped buying infantry, leaving me with a regiment of LSG, 2 regiments of archers, and a regiment of Spears. From there I began flesh out a cavalry army with SHs and Chariots. Back in the day, DPs were actually the ones considered to be over-priced points-sinks. I only had a regiment of them, along with a regiment of Ellyrian Reavers and an RBT.
When the new book came out, and it became apparent that DPs were still great, I began to turn all of my 48 Silver Helms into Dragon Princes, along with buying a second box of actual DPs. I had already owned a dragon, now I bought one of the new models as well. However, unlike Kithre's Caledorian force, mine is less about dragons and more about real strength. I would feel very confident taking my list to a tournament. Sure, Teclis would probably never spend time in Caledor, nor would my other 2-3 mages. But it makes a good army.
I love fluff, but I play tournaments, and I am in a very competitive group of players. Even our friendly games are brutal. They don't care about fluff, and they don't like to roleplay. Sure, I could field my awesomely well themed "Irish" Empire army against them, but I can guarantee that I'd lose. And I really hate losing. It just takes the fun out of spending $300 on plastic toys, painting them all, and then spending 2 hours to play a game...
And therein lies the beuaty of this game - I love the background, the fluff and I am sure that Captain Sarathai does as well, however our implementations are very different. My focus is making nice models, even if they aren't particulalry battle-worthy. I like to use an army that appears to be a coherent force, and don;t care really if I win (ok, well not TOO much).
I haven't actually played a game for a good few months, babies tend to ruin your social life! However last couple of days I have spent reeking of Dettol awith prune-like fingers stripping down older (crappy) paint jobs on my own and old eBay models, ready to revamp them to my shiny new colour scheme where I will not be afraid to mix and match colours to match my new abilities as a painted (hell, even considering GD this year, I'm going along at any rate, so may as well enter).
Caot Sarathai's enjoyment (and lack of enjoyment) is about winning in a good game (not saying you are a WAAC player!) whilst for me, win, lose or draw, I shrug my shoulders firm in the belief that I have played a "simulation" against a heavy min-maxed power list, where the Loremasters have put the hardest possible army in front of mine as an illusion to test my generalship, or else if the army was a realistic force, I have either scored a proud victory in the annals of the Phoenix Kings, or else slightly hastened the decline of my people in ignomy, an affront which must be avenged. I DO sometimes take "competitive" lists, they are great for bashing opponents - hell High Elves are amongst the best at this.
But these lists where Kaelath and Hotek have lent out their prized items, wher the Reiksmarshall is leading a unit of knights with the steel standard accompanied by Ludwig Schwarzhelm or where ALL the vampires on the board are level 2+ spell gurus just don't let me suspend my disbelief enough.
They just don't ring particulalry true to me, I don't feel any resonance to them, they are "just" toy soliders, whilst i feel that well themed lists structured around established or player-written fluff are a living, breathing animal...
This is also the reason I am building my wife's VC army as a themed list, not an all-comers list with power combos. Its the list of a particulalry dark, menacing and martially proficient follower of Walach, with a very wide honourable streak, who has recruited the Black Grail to his side.
So black knights and Blood Knights and Grave Guard are the basis, whilst I will purchase NO zombies as I don;t believe that such pathetic creatures should be part of this force. Ghouls will naturally get attracted to teh carnage, but again, they are not particulalry brave or proficient, and the Vampire leading them will see them as a means to an end, rather than reflect on them akin to brothers in arms.
This is a meaningful discussion - so much of the stuff on forums in general seems to be focused around what I would call 'powergaming' - that is, competitive play, playing to win, rather than playing just to enjoy the game and the setting.
I enjoy the fluff element of warhammer - it's to my constant dismay that they don't really progress or enhance the fluff with each constant reiteration of the story. But I guess that would be too much trouble for them and contrary to their desire to sell old models for more money all the time...
Anyways, enough of that.
Personally, I picked up warhammer after getting into 40k - High Elves were a natural progression from Craftworld Eldar (back when they were still craftworld Eldar) - the finesse element required to use those expensive specials, the small army size, all very familiar.
In terms of what I tend to field, though - I don't try and build any particular theme in my army; but I do like variety, and I do keep units quite true to their purpose and description. Phoenix Guard and Caradryan feature in almost every army I field - Teclis usually finds himself paired up with Swordmasters (it's only a shame that blinded Eltharion isn't available anymore - otherwise I really would push for a saphery army).
I suppose my list is generic.
In the previous edition I used to regularly feature heavy cavalry, simply because with such a good core choice (SHs) it was advantageous, looked good, and used my models (the army I bought - talk about ebay jobs, features 20 Silver Helms which have now been relegated to the 'never use again' pile).
With the newer edition, I'm still shuffling things around to find my feet in terms of what I consider an effective, flavourful army - most of my games are friendly and so I like to have an army that could be explained in fluff, and isn't too min-maxed.
I suppose the fact that I use a bit of everything puts me in the 'defenders of Ulthuan' bracket - although Tyrion is still on my 'to buy' list.
I think all told I have (make out of this what you will ) with only Tyrion really remaining to be bought:-
Eltharion (the blind)
4 Mages (one mounted)
3 mounted nobles
BSBs mounted & on foot
4 nobles on foot
Dragon with archmage & prince
Mage on eagle
2 Tiranoc chariots
1 Lion chariot (with room for Korhil)
2x20 Spear men with full command
10 Maiden guard (now stripped for re-painting as LSG) with full command.
2x10 blocks of Shining Helms with full command
5 DPs with full command
3x5 Shadow Warriors with shadow walkers
22 Swordmasters, with full command
2x10 White Lions with full command (and old Korhil model as a spare)
20 Phoenix guard with full command
10 Reavers with full command
there are a couple of fundemenals here, i love the idea of fluff (at present i'm reading the horus herasy books and loving every page and plan to read the time of legend book for the high elves soon) but hate the idea of lossing. Hence the question of balance. I'm sure it's possible to build a fully competetive list with a strong background to it but in the very core of this solution lies the problem. Can an army built to win on a tabletop really be authentic and fulfill the desire to field a 'realistic' (hard in a world of fantasy) army as does the likes of an army that's been with a player for the duration of his gaming days.
By the way the inspiration for this thread came from an article on GW, it's an empire peice which is an interview with an empire player who's building an army with a simple twist.... worth a look: Games Workshop
Thank again to both of you for the replies, please keep the conversation flowing, it's been a great insight into the game beyond the two or three people i normally play against