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  1. #1
    Keeper of Records and Ale King Ulrik Flamebeard's Avatar
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    Starting a Warhammer Fantasy Battle Army

    So dragons, magic and sword fights sound better and more fun the loud guns and tanks? Well done then my friend and welcome to the world of Warhammer Fantasy Battles.

    Now you face a tough decision, what army to choose? Well this is what this article should help you to decide, I will give you a basic idea of how to choose an army that you’ll find fun and entertaining to play.

    But this is not here to tell you what army to choose or which will guarantee a win or to slaughter your opponent, but to give you an idea of the choices and their strengths/weaknesses in an aim to make your choice easier.

    This game I find more tactical than 40k, you’ll need to think more as you can have large unwieldy blocks of troops and combat plays a much bigger part here. The games will range in any sizes from as small as 500pts – 10,000pts!! Of course these are extremes and most players will play at the size of 2000pts.

    If you plan to start with other people (ie friends) then I suggest you all try to start different armies, nothing is as boring as fighting a clone of your own force.

    In the following article you’ll find –


    Choosing An Army

    Are you an elf? Dwarf? Human? Orc? ……

    The next step is to decide an army that you will find –

    1.Enjoyable – Both painting and playing
    2.Like the look of – No good getting an army you hate the models of

    Now many people will say this will suit you or that will, ignore them. Only you can make that decision, so learn as much as possible on each army then choose the one that suits you the most. But in saying this talking to GW staff and veteran gamers will also help.

    So how do you choose? I suggest you take time to browse the GW site, each race has it’s own little section with details on it and the current range can be viewed in the online store. Also watching games and reading the army books in GW stores will also give you a good idea of what you want or what each is capable of. But all the while think of the ways of war that grab you the most, if the thundering charge of cavalry sounds your thing then a mostly infantry army won’t be the best one for you.

    Some ways of choosing an army, these may not be the way you want, but here’s the ways I know of –

    ·Models – Some players will look at the models and see which range they like the best, maybe for conversion possibilities or otherwise.

    ·Game play – Others test an army, doing this with another army (called “proxying?) gives them an idea of how it will perform.

    ·Background – Some consider the background of the army to be the best part, whether it be for their own expansion or just the official fluff grabs them

    ·History – Maybe some prefer to recreate a historic force, most races can be linked to a country or race (aka Bretonnians = French). Some like to attempt to recreate a force from their favourite period in time, who wouldn’t like to see Joan d’ Arc leading a lance of knights in to battle for the Lady?

    ·Fun – Or for fun. Many will look at an army and decide to play it on the principle of fun; you should enjoy your army. Most of these players don’t much care for winning (and are usually Greenskin players ), but are all for the enjoyment of the game.

    ·Winning – The last way is for competitive players, mainly ones who will enter a lot of tournaments and will master every aspect of their armies. Lots will choose the army with the best win rate; these can sometimes be called “power gamers?. But not all are.

    Any army that catches your eye I suggest you test them, ask at a GW or a friend if you can try them out. Much better than buying an army and discovering the army isn’t for you.

    Choices, choices, choices…

    As for the choice of armies, ask yourself these questions. They will give a basic idea of what army may be best suited for you.

    1.Thundering cavalry charge sound good?
    2.Or maybe raining arrows and cannonballs from afar?
    3.Mass troops more you thing?
    4.Guerrilla warfare?
    5.Maybe small fast elite units suit you sir?

    If you think question one would be answered yes, then the following armies may suit you -

    ·High Elves
    ·Dark Elves
    ·Empire (Knightly Orders)
    ·Tomb Kings (Chariot based)

    If you think question two would be answered yes, then the following armies may suit you -

    ·Wood Elves
    ·High Elves
    ·Dark Elves

    If you think question three would be answered yes, then the following armies may suit you -

    ·Orcs & Goblins
    ·Chaos – Mortal and Daemon
    ·Tomb Kings
    ·Vampire Counts

    If you think question four would be answered yes, then the following armies may suit you -

    ·Beasts Of Chaos
    ·Wood Elves

    If you think question five would be answered yes, then the following armies may suit you -

    ·Dark Elves
    ·High Elves
    ·Chaos – Mortal

    So who’s who?

    This section gives a basic outlook at each army as well as their main weaknesses and strengths, a small paragraph written about each will hopefully help.

    <insert armies here>

    Getting Started

    Once your race is chosen, the next step is to build it. So if you don’t own the rulebook, get it&#33;&#33; Then buy your armies, army book. I suggest you start off small and go with a 500pt army, paint it play with it then expand it.

    But first to paint it you’ll need a few things –

    ·Brushes – Detail, Standard and Small Drybrush are the best basic ones. One spare for mixing

    ·Spray – Chaos Black and/or Skull White (depending on the model/army)

    ·Paint – Chaos Black and Skull White, used for covering missed spray areas and mixing for highlights

    Other colours will depend upon you; best bet is to pick three main colours. Maybe get the varying shades, but the starter paint set is a good start.

    You will also need tools to clean up flash and mould lines on the models, as well as to remove them from the sprue. Oh and glue is quite essential, as well as flock for the bases.

    ·Hobby Knife
    ·Glue – super, plastic and pva
    ·Basing Material – Flock, sand, gravel, static grass, pebbles etc

    So as you’ll see you do basically need a lot of stuff to start with, it can get expensive but if done well very worthwhile. I’ll show you an average cost in British pounds for your starting equipment, this is all GW stuff but you will find it cheaper elsewhere.

    All prices are based on the 2004 Catalogue

    Files - £6
    Clippers - £7
    Glue - £3 (For all types)
    Spray cans - £5
    Single Paints - £1.75
    Basing Material - £3
    Hobby Knife – not on the UK site but I think it’s about £5-7
    Hobby Starter Set - £15
    Paintbrush Set - £6

    Total = £51 (not including single paints or extra paint brushes etc)


    This will give you a basic cost of a character model and the current plastic boxed set units, a few of these boxed sets and you’ll easily have a 500pts army in no time. But as for small games unit champions can easily be substituted for a hero alternatively you can get a special unit champion and use them (ie for Dark Elves the Executioner model would look quite good as a hero).

    Mounted Hero £7
    Empire Soldiers £15
    Knightly Order £15

    Lord £6
    Warriors £15

    High Elves
    Mounted Lord £7
    Spearmen £15
    Archers £15
    Silver Helms £15

    Saurus OldBlood £7
    Skink Priest £4
    Saurus Warriors £15
    Skinks £15

    Wood Elves
    Mage £8 (2 per blister, one mounted)
    Mounted Lord £7
    Archers £5

    Dark Elves
    Sorceress £5
    Warriors £15

    Orcs & Goblins
    Warlord On Boar £7
    Shaman £5
    Orcs £15
    Goblins £15
    Night Goblins £15

    Tomb Kings
    Liche Priest £8
    Skeleton Warriors £15

    Vampire Counts
    Necromancer £8
    Zombies £15
    Skeletons £15

    Warlock Engineer £5
    Warlord £6
    Clanrats £15
    Night Runners £15

    Hordes Of Chaos – Mortal
    Chaos Lord £7
    Chaos Warriors £15
    Chaos Knights £25
    Marauders £15

    Beasts Of Chaos
    Beastlord £5
    Beast Herd £15

    Lord £7
    Battle Standard Bearer £6
    Knights Of The Realm £15
    Men At Arms £15
    Men at Arms Archers £15


    These are some terms you’ll find useful for viewing army lists and the such online; these are the usual army shorthand –

    Games Workshop
    WFB/WHFB - Warhammer Fantasy Battles
    GW - Games Workshop
    WD - White Dwarf
    WFRP - Warhammer Fantasy Role Play
    40K - [Warhammer] 40,000
    LOTR - Lord of the Rings
    GD - Games Day
    GT - Grand Tournament

    M# (# being a number) - Movement
    WS# - Weapon skill
    BS# - Ballistic/Bow skill
    S# - Strength
    T# - Toughness
    W# - Wounds
    I# - Initiative
    A# - Attacks
    Ld# - Leadership
    ASv - Armour save
    WSv - Ward Save

    hth - Hand to hand (combat)
    btb - Base to base (contact)
    TDARR - Templates, dices and Range Rulers
    WYSIWYG - What you see is what you get
    BRB - Big Red Book or Basic Rule Book

    The Races themselves
    (Slang names in Brackets afterwards)

    DE - Dark Elves (Or Druchii)
    HE - High Elves (Or Asur)
    WE - Wood Elves (Or Woodies)
    CD - Chaos Dwarves
    Brets - Bretonnians
    TK/TKoK - Tomb Kings/Tomb Kings of Khemri
    Dw - Dwarves (not common) (Or Stunties)
    O+G - Orcs and Goblins (Or Grobi)
    VC - Vampire Counts
    DoW/DOW - Dogs of War (Or Mercenaries)
    RoR - Regiment(s) of Renown.
    Emp - Empire (Or Humies)
    Lizardmen (Or Lizzies)

    Race generic stuff
    BSB - Battle Standard Bearer
    Mu - Musician
    Std - Standard Bearer
    Ldr - Champion (or General if on Army List)
    Cmd - Full Command Group (Mu, Std, Ldr)
    add&#39;l - Additional hand weapon
    2H - Double handed weapon
    lt/LA - light armor
    hvy/HA - heavy armor
    (lt or hvy)/s - armor with shield
    Bd - Barded Warhorse
    MU1, MU2 etc. - 1st level spell caster, et al. (Magic User)
    BT - Bolt Thrower
    ST - Stone Thrower
    Scroll Caddy - Low level wizard, brought for their ability to carry dispel scrolls.

    HW - Hand Weapons
    GW - Great Weapon
    LBow - Long Bow
    SBow - Short Bow
    CB/XB/Xbow - Crossbow

    GK - Grail knights
    QK - Questing knights
    KOR/KotR - Knights of the Realm
    KE - Knights Errant
    M@A/MAA - Men at Arms
    LotL - Lady of the Lake (Not common)
    PK - Pegasus Knights
    PB - Peasant Bowmen
    Treb - Trebuchet
    Peg - (Royal) Pegasus (as in Lord w/Peg, 3 pegs would mean 3 pegasus knights. Not very satisfactory, but I&#39;m just reporting on usages I&#39;ve seen)
    BWH - Barded War Horse (as in Lord w/BWH)
    Pal - Paladin
    GV/QV - Grail/Questing Vow
    V. - Virtue (as in V.of the Ideal, sometimes just V. Ideal)

    Dark Elves
    RXB - Repeater Crossbow
    DR - Dark Riders
    COK - Cold One Knights
    COC - Cold One Chariot
    COB - Cauldron of Blood
    WE - Witch Elves
    Exe&#39;s - Executioners
    RBTs - Reaper Bolt Throwers
    BG - Black Guard

    GoP - Gauntlet of Power
    ToK - Temple of Khaine
    CoP - Cult of Pleasure

    WoP - Word of Pain

    High Elves
    SH - Silver Helms
    DP - Dragon Princes
    SW - Shadow Warriors
    WL - White Lions
    PG - Phoenix Guard
    SM - Sword Masters
    RBT - Repeater Bolt Thrower
    LSG - Lothern Sea Guard
    Reavers - Ellyrian Reavers

    AoG - armor of the gods
    VoD - vambraces of defense
    AoP - armor of protection
    BoH - book of hoeth
    GP - guardian phoenix
    RGH - radiant gem of hoeth
    BWD - banner of the world dragon
    BoS - banner of sorcery
    APF - amulet of the purifying flame
    SoH - Sword of Hoeth

    FotP - Flames of the Phoenix
    FoK - Fury of Khaine
    CoAA: Curse of Arrow Attraction (High Elf Spell)

    Wood Elves
    GGuard - Glade Guard
    GGian - Glade guardian
    GR - Glade Riders
    WHR - warhawk riders
    GE - great eagle
    WD - Wardancers
    WW - Waywatchers
    TM - Treeman
    BW - Blade weawer
    FD - Forest dragon
    HoDA - Hail of Doom arrow
    BOL - bow of loren
    HS - Hunting spear
    PoK - Potion of Knowledge
    AoA - Acorn of Ages

    Oak, Willow, Birch and Ash are all Dryad Aspects. Wardancer aspects are sometimes abbreviated, but mostly just referred to by their effect ("Wardancers go unbreakable," "Wardancers go +1 STR," "Wardancers go Killing Blow.") "Dodge" refers to a Wardancer&#39;s 6+ ward save.

    Chaos Dwarves
    BB- Blunder Buss

    Tomb Kings of Khemri
    LH - Light Horsemen
    HH - Heavy Horsemen
    LP - Liche Priest
    HLP - High Liche Priest

    IB - Iron Breaker
    LB - Longbeard
    Gyro - Gyrocopter
    Rof* - Rune of *
    MRof* - Master Rune of *
    GA - Gromril Armour
    FC - Flame Cannon
    DW - Dwarf Warriors
    OG - Organ Gun (never seen this one used before, but why not?)
    Grobi - Greenskins (more of a fluff term, but often used)

    Thane of Pain - Thane w/ Master Rune of Swiftness, Rune of Cleaving, Rune of Stone, Gromril Armour, Shield

    Orcs and Goblins
    BOs - Black Orcs
    NGs - Night Goblins
    SOs - Savage Orcs
    FoG - Foot of Gork (Not common) or Fists of Gork (Still not common.)

    Vampire Counts
    BKs - Black Knights
    BDs - Blood Dragons
    GG - Grave Guard
    VonC - Von Carsteins
    IoN - Invocation of Nehek
    The Library - Book of Arkhan and the Cursed Book
    BoB - Banner of the Barrows
    BC - Black Coach

    Dogs of War
    None Currently

    VHS - Van Horstmann&#39;s Speculum
    EC - Elector Count
    WP - Warrior Priest
    STank - Steam Tank
    GM - Grandmaster
    WL - Wizard Lord
    GS - Greatswords
    IC - Inner Circle (Knights)
    HB - Helblaster
    FC - Free Company

    FSoD - Flying Skink of Doom (Skink Chief w/Cloak of Feathers)
    JSoD - Jaguar Saurus of Doom (Saurus Scar-Vet/Old Blood with Charm of the Jaguar Warrior)
    BoRT - Blade of Revered Tzunki
    TGs - Temple Guard

    WLC - Warp Lightning Cannon
    GR - Gutter Runners
    GRT - Gutter Runner Tunelers
    SAD - Shooty Army of Death

    SoC - Staff of Change, not to be confused with Storm of Chaos
    Lore of Life:
    MoM - Mistress of the Marsh
    FoT - Father of Thorn
    HW - Howler Wind
    MoS - Master of Stone
    MoW - Master of Wood

    Those things Unique to and things that fit no-where else
    DD - Deeply Disturbed
    Loremaster - the administrators
    AoD - Arena of Death
    Anarcist - A particularly irritating Loremaster adept at pointing out everyone&#39;s little foibles.
    MSU - multiple small units, a tactic devised
    MSE - Multiple Small Elites. Similair tactic to MSU but relies more heavy on elite units.

    SoC - Storm of Chaos (The &#39;04 Summer campaign)
    CoL - Conclave of Light
    CoD - Conclave of Darkness
    CLA - Conclave of the Light Alliance (
    WoC - Worlds of Chaos ( (Host for the CoD)
    BG - Black Gobbo (On-line US magazine)

    These are links to the major armies and the biggest forums for them –

    <Insert links here>

    Also these are tacticas or guides written by members of Warhammer Palace on a number of armies –

    Vampire Counts
    Tomb Kings
    Dark Elves
    High Elves
    Orcs & Goblins

    <each will have a link the tacticas in the final edit>


    So that&#39;s the article as it stands, but as you can see I still need a paragraph on each army as well as the major weaknesses and strengths.

    I&#39;d be very thankful for members to give me this section, as how I really say what they are when I don&#39;t play them?

    Also any feedback on the article as a whole is welcome.


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  3. #2
    Member GooseOfMercy's Avatar
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    Hmm, add in for magic heavy army too (as a question then answer with army ideas).

    I&#39;ll think of some other stuff in a sec...
    <a href='' target='_blank'><img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' /></a>
    We get orgasms cause thats 30 whole seconds god doesn&#39;t have to listen to us bitch.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Zephyro's Avatar
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    When are the paragraphs coming??

    I know some people who could really use it.
    And it will be good for all new players.

    Maybe I can make a tactica :blink:
    ( maybe a bit hard if you only have 750 points of Tomb kings and played not even your first 500 points.) ^_^

    But maybe something you have made, but about each army a paragraph and a more detailed manner of how to start.( I know one)

    Yeah, that&#39;s a good idea.
    If you have good ideas or texts, send them to me.

    <img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

  5. #4
    Keeper of Records and Ale King Ulrik Flamebeard's Avatar
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    1372 (x8)

    As I said people who play those armies would be better at writing a short paragraph on them, simply because I don&#39;t play them and may view them completely different.

    I do have VC and LM paragraphs, I&#39;ve just not edited them in yet.


  6. #5
    Senior Member Zephyro's Avatar
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    Is it ok that I&#39;ll PM a short graph about the tomb kings to you??

    I&#39;ll just tell what&#39;s the playing style, weaknesses,strenghts and such.

    <img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

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