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I've been out of Fantasy/40k for several years now, but I'm feeling the urge to come back, at least to Fantasy. However, I'm having difficulty choosing an army.
I'll be honest; much of my difficulty is self imposed. I love to play, but I paint more than I play, and I spend way too much time on my fluff. What I'm trying to say (badly, I suspect) is that when I play Warhammer, I'm actually trying to tell a story.
It's a particular kind of story, about particular kinds of people, and I'm having trouble picking the list that creates the best setting for this story. I thought, perhaps, that if I described the story to this forum, you all might be able to point me in the right direction.
1) This is a story about people, and the army needs to reflect that. I don't want an army that relies on monsters or machines to win. Of course, all lists contain monsters and machines, and that's fine; being in the list does not force me to take it. But some lists lean on these more than others, and I'd want to be able to avoid taking anything large or that requires industry to manufacture (so I'm not comfortable with cannons or catapults, but a bolt thrower is probably fine).
2) The list should support an infantry heavy army with a moderate to high model count. Part of the story's poignancy is the struggle of weaker individuals to achieve something as a group that they could not have done alone. While I would want an elite centerpiece unit, I'm not looking for an army of Ogres or the like.
3) There are two main characters in this story. The first character is a spell user who supports from the back line. The second character is a combat character, but not a killing machine. This second character should be able to survive on the front line, but contribute more than just an increased body count. Buffing their unit would be a good example of the "added value" this second character brings to the army. Spell casting might be another. These are not special characters from the rule books, and would be the only Lord level characters in the army.
4) The army (with the above restrictions) ought to be reasonably competitive - trying to win is part of the story, after all.
5) I'm actually fairly relaxed about the game fluff for the army; I'm quite happy to model a "counts as" army.
I used to play Bretonnians, who fit the above profile reasonably well (back then I was actually looking for a cavalry heavy story), but nearly a decade of no updates has left me wanting to try something different. And reading Gaunt's Ghosts and watching Band of Brothers have got me hooked on the infantry at the moment.
I've looked at Vampire Counts (because their Lord choices are so easy to customize, right down to supporting magic), but competitive lists seem to lean heavily on Etheral units and monsters. Equally, they seem to demand a super-killy-doom lord. There are many other lists that look like they might work, but it's difficult for an outsider to tell which units can be safely ignored, and which are essential. Warriors of Chaos might work, for example, but can they do without the Hellcannon and super-killy-doom lord?
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Since starting Bretonnians: 19 wins, no losses, no draws.
Elves (Dark and High) sound like this sort of army
Hmm. True. You might also try O&G or TK. I don't play greenskins, but tomb princes are the ultimate support characters, in that their primary function is to raise their units' WS to 5 (from 2), LPs are primarily support casters, blocks of 40-50 core skellies are primary building blocks, and you don't need sphinxes or giants (although ushabti make the best hammer unit with two ranks of S6 A3). If you want to stay away from even monstrous regiments, TG halberdiers make an acceptable substitute hammer.
Oh, and WoC fit the bill, a chaos lord is actually a poor choice, and you don't need a hellcannon. My own list is a marauder horde, a warrior bsb bus, a unit of trolls, and a unit of knights. The only thing is that a sorceror lord is killier than most armies' fighty lords, so he doesn't need to hang back.
Also, I get the impression that your non-mage support character at the front is to be your general? Then you'll need two of them, unless you play TK, since a BSB is absolutely essential to pretty much every army that isn't undead.
Last edited by Marnepup; February 23rd, 2012 at 00:37.
Go Brets again, but just go more peasant heavy!
Sounds like Empire to me....LOTS of cheap infantry choices with some of the best support rules in the game (Detachments) with a little magic and decent general/hero choices. The Elves and WoC may be a bit too elite for what you have described. In any case, have fun and like whatever army you choose - don't choose it just because we say so!!
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empire sounds like your best bet. the part that i love about them is that they ae just men, nothing more
5000 Pts of Undeath descend upon you....
Problem with empire is he doesn't want artillery, and that would be like playing wood elves with nothing but elves...
IG since 1999 __ DA since 2002 __ Tau since 2005 __ SoB since 2007
Brets 1997-1999 __ TK since 2009 __ Empire since 2010
Thanks everyone for the input! Some really cool suggestions, but I have some followup questions.
I've been taking a serious look at them, because in many ways they seem pretty perfect. In particular, I love the high (pointless) leadership on the undead units and the idea that they have retained some of their "identity" in undeath. Such an awesome concept! Even one of their warmachines, the Casket of Souls, is not very "war machine-ish".
However, there does seem to be a lot of negativity around the Tomb Kings on their dedicated forums. I know that not everyone is down on them, but it's pretty disheartening to log into their forums with ideas and questions, and see half a dozen threads with titles like "Do TK suck?" and "How to fix TK".
Equally, most of the people finding success seem to be advocating monster heavy armies. So while TK are certainly an option (and probably what I'll go with if I don't see anything more fitting), I thought that getting some other views would be helpful.
On that topic, though, is a "skeleton" based TK army likely to be workable, or will it simply get walked over by anyone with a decent list and a grasp of tactics?
I've looked at Empire, and it's certainly got potential. As Marnepup noted, though, they seem (to an outsider, at least) to lean heavily on artillery. I'm want to create a self-sufficent warband, so that sort of thing just doesn't fit. Of course, with a new book coming out soon, a "wait and see" attitude might be worth considering. A warrior-priest type character could be exactly what I'm looking for in my general.
It's very interesting to hear that caster lords are "in" for WoC. I'll spend some time loitering on the WoC forums and looking at their army book to see what jumps out at me. I kinda like the idea of the hounds, actually, as it would be very flavourful to have hunting beasts fighting alongside their masters.
I must admit that this suggestion surprised me. My (uninformed) impression was that they were a fairly elite crew, rather than scrappy underdogs. Perhaps they merit a closer look.
Thanks for this! I've not played any 8th edition yet (rulebook is in the post), but if a BSB is mandatory I'll incorporate that into my story. Presumably, a hero level BSB is fine?
Since starting Bretonnians: 19 wins, no losses, no draws.
I would second the suggestion for WoC. In the last couple of games I played before I took a break for a few months, I ran with mostly infantry type units. If you discount the bonus units from the Storm of Chaos match I played, the only units I fielded that weren't infantry were a Hellcannon and a Warshrine. And a Warshrine is more of a holy shrine on the back of a cart than a war machine. As for fitting your story, I could very much see a Sorcerer Lord backing up an Exalted Hero. As for Tomb Kings, I've played against a friend of mine who runs them a couple of times, and he's always done fairly well against me. Finally, as for the BSB questions- yes, a BSB is a must have, and yes, BSB's have to be Heroes. Hope this helped!
Count me in as a vote for Warriors of Chaos. Playing Empire without artillery is crazy talk, and there are ways to make the Chaos Lord work, though they mostly involve making him incredibly hard to kill and having him fly around on a Disc.
And yes, BSB's are close to mandatory on any non-Undead army. They can only be Heroes, so that doesn't impinge on your story restrictions.
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