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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings all,

Most of you are probably getting ready for Christmas and buying GW models for those special people who play the game. I have been an avid gamer for about 6 years and have a Pre-Vampire Counts Slyvania Empire Army, along with a Dark Elf army. Ever since i finished those two armies, i began work on another Empire and Dark Elf army. This time the Empire Army was based in Talabecland and had a druidic/nature approach. With my two new DE and Empire armies about done, I'm stuck on my next choice for an army. I was hoping to have a specific themed army, basically anything that would be unique and filled with odd or amazing conversions. Any ideas?

In addition, i was thinking about making a 40k army soon, either a Adeptus Custodes ( Grey Knights), Nephilim (Blood Angels), a unique/fluffy DIY chapter, a Pre-heresy Luna Wolves or Word Bearers (w/ conversions)army.

Has anyone ever do a pre-heresy SM army?

Let me know if anybody has ideas or have done a themed army. In addition, tell me what you think of my 40k ideas.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Well, I think that a lot of us have some kind of theme to our armies. Here are mine at least, although you may not like them, just because they're very similar to what you've already done:

Empire 'College Guard' Army - an army of Engineers. Not like a Nuln artillery battery. It was a bit of fluff that I was curious about - in 40k you have the Skitarii, who are basically a test-bed for AdMech technology, defend the Forges, and go out to recover lost/stolen/missing tech. Why shouldn't the Empire have the same? The Core is almost all Handgunners, and then my Special is Pistoliers and Outriders, with a bunch of special weapons of course, and then a Rare with 2 STanks. The whole army is converted out of Vostroyan models actually, and has a really nice steampunk vibe going. They're mediocre on the tabletop, mostly just because people have trouble dealing with a regiment of Knights and two STanks, plus all that shooting.

Empire/Nippon Samurai Army - started as a proxy for my Nippon armybook project, I went a full 180* from my College army and built an army based on a collection of counts-as Samurai. It's the more competitive of the two and loads of fun, but I'm still working on getting everything together. The Samurai models turn heads though.

High Elves - you can theme the hell out of these guys, because they're provincial like the Empire. In fact, even moreso, because every Special/Rare troop type hails from a different region. Right now I have a Caledor army with lots of Dragons (I can field ~3 in a 2500pt game, if I try hard and handicap myself) and Dragon Princes, and am considering work on a Chrace-themed army with lots of White Lions, White Lion Chariots, and maybe even -dare I say- White Lion Riders as counts-as cavalry. There's also a Nagarythe/Shadow-Warrior list lurking around somewhere in my cabinets, but they've taken a pretty big hit in 8th.

Warriors - easy to make a monogod themed army, and if you want crazy conversions they're the way to go. I went for a traditional list (but still have lots of conversions) but there are some really good monotheme armies out there that just look amazing. I've been working on fluff for Ashborn's 'GoreHunt' Khorne army, and they're pretty awesome looking, lots of good conversions. Good community here on LO as well, and they provide a big change in playstyle from what you're probably used to and tired of.

Vampire Counts - this one is tougher to convert, but you can get some cool themes by doing a mix'n'match with other model ranges. For instance, my friend has a pretty sweet High Elf Vampire army, based partly on the army of spirits who hold the Shrine of Khaine in Ulthuan. I have a Brettonian-themed army, themed even more on the fact that they're not from Mousillon, but instead from a crusading army in Araby, and are based heavily on the history of the Crusades in Jerusalem.

It really depends on how into the theme you want to get. If you want an army where theme is just a paintscheme and some conversions, then you can achieve that with almost anything. If you want one where the theme is immediately apparent in your unit selection, that's a little different, and you have to be willing to potentially handicap yourself to make your army work. For example, a lot of the guys going MonoKhorne in WoC are having trouble because they "can't" use wizards, but Khorne doesn't have the same magic-resistance bonus that it does for Daemons. Guys running Nurlge or Slaanesh are knowingly taking sub-par marks, and the guys who run Tzeentch are giving up a lot of hitting power.

As for 40k, it depends if you want to go over to that game system. Personally, I've been flirting with the idea of going back for quite a while, but can't ever bring myself to do it. I don't like the crowd (on whole) or the rules, I'm not too fond of any of the armies, and while the fluff is awesome, too much of just seems unbalanced and broken as a result. That said, if I did go back, I think I'd go the same route that you are, and probably field a Pre-Heresy army. But here's the thing - FW is pretty much legal these days, and they've got a new series of IA style books on the Heresy. So if you want to spend as much on your armybook as most people spend on their whole army, and then have everyone expect you to use the "period-accurate" conversion kits from FW, all the power to you.
Otherwise, make a DIY SM Chapter and get lost in the throngs of people who have "super awesome unique blah-blah" chapters. I've taken the same route that you're going to with the Custodes, and field GKs in Exorcist chapter heraldry, and get nothing but grief for the fact that Exorcists don't have GK weaponry and that I'm only using the GK codex because "it's so good". The Blood Angels don't get quite the same treatment, but still, it's frustrating. Like I said - I'm just not a fan of the 40k crowd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I think that a lot of us have some kind of theme to our armies. Here are mine at least, although you may not like them, just because they're very similar to what you've already done:

Empire 'College Guard' Army - an army of Engineers. Not like a Nuln artillery battery. It was a bit of fluff that I was curious about - in 40k you have the Skitarii, who are basically a test-bed for AdMech technology, defend the Forges, and go out to recover lost/stolen/missing tech. Why shouldn't the Empire have the same? The Core is almost all Handgunners, and then my Special is Pistoliers and Outriders, with a bunch of special weapons of course, and then a Rare with 2 STanks. The whole army is converted out of Vostroyan models actually, and has a really nice steampunk vibe going. They're mediocre on the tabletop, mostly just because people have trouble dealing with a regiment of Knights and two STanks, plus all that shooting.

Empire/Nippon Samurai Army - started as a proxy for my Nippon armybook project, I went a full 180* from my College army and built an army based on a collection of counts-as Samurai. It's the more competitive of the two and loads of fun, but I'm still working on getting everything together. The Samurai models turn heads though.

High Elves - you can theme the hell out of these guys, because they're provincial like the Empire. In fact, even moreso, because every Special/Rare troop type hails from a different region. Right now I have a Caledor army with lots of Dragons (I can field ~3 in a 2500pt game, if I try hard and handicap myself) and Dragon Princes, and am considering work on a Chrace-themed army with lots of White Lions, White Lion Chariots, and maybe even -dare I say- White Lion Riders as counts-as cavalry. There's also a Nagarythe/Shadow-Warrior list lurking around somewhere in my cabinets, but they've taken a pretty big hit in 8th.

Vampire Counts - this one is tougher to convert, but you can get some cool themes by doing a mix'n'match with other model ranges. For instance, my friend has a pretty sweet High Elf Vampire army, based partly on the army of spirits who hold the Shrine of Khaine in Ulthuan. I have a Brettonian-themed army, themed even more on the fact that they're not from Mousillon, but instead from a crusading army in Araby, and are based heavily on the history of the Crusades in Jerusalem.
I like the idea of a Empire 'College Guard' Army idea. Too bad there is no Lord-level Engineer charactr you can use. Good idea overall, what does your army look like for it? Like i said beforem trying to finish up a Druidic/nature themed army of Talabecland with lots of conversions.
For your high elf army part - I love the idea of a Chrace-themed army with lots of White Lions and Lion riders. I was actually considering about doing a Chrace-themed army. Btw you can field three dragons in your Caledor list? That I gotta see.

Ever since I heard of the Nippon armybook and read the army list, I'm considering about doing a Nippon army now too. lol
How did you create the models for the samurai? as you said, "The samurai models turn heads" Do you have a any pictures of your models and your army list you use for a battle i could see? any tips on what i should start with if i decide to do this themed army? I love anything Japanese and Greek. But no greek style army.. Anyhow, I love everythign about Japan, i actually do Aikido too.

I used to love (and still do, but barely play it anymore) Warcraft. I was considering doing a Blood Elf or Scourge themed army. Have Death Knights, Arthas, Kel'thuzad but doubt i will do it. I think im gonna stick with my Druidic/nature empire army and fix-up my new Dark Elf army idea. Its basically the Cult of Khaine but instead of witch elves its gonna be all male cult called Brotherhood of Khaine (got some ideas for conversions).

But definately interested in a Nippon army and a Chrace-themed army. Probably hold off on 40k for now. Still deciding abotu them.. might do a Custodian Guard army, and a Preheresy army. who knows about my DIY chapters and the others.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Sadly, no pictures. My attempts at mini photography are incredibly poor - due to a combination of not having good lighting/box, no macro setting on camera, and no proficiency with editing software.

I don't actually have many of the Samurai built, I'm using Empire proxies. I've run into some legal/financial trouble in the past few months, so I'm cutting my losses and not buying any more minis for a while. Still working on getting my Warriors painted up too. The models that I do have (a regiment of Arquebusiers, Naginata Riders, and Samurai) get a lot of attention. I bought the models from Wargames Factory, as their pricing is great and their quality is fantastic. A lot of people think that they're some test-model for GW or something, it's funny.
It's hard to make Samurai with the existing GW line, so if you're someone who plays in official tournaments and stores, you might have a hard time with this army. Otherwise though, it's meant to be interchangeable with Empire, so if you collect a Samurai army and nobody will let you use the rules, you should have a pretty close count for an Empire army, provided you aren't using too many Yokai. Everything else is almost a 1:1 with something in the Empire. Samurai are priced as Greatswords but can be used as Swordsmen, and the Ashigaru are all of your State Troops. Uzabushii are Flagellants, etc.
I'll try to post up a list. I'm not sure that I have the Special Characters or Magic Itmes in the thread yet, so that might cause some trouble, because I run a mixed-clan list for the Izeguri and Takata (Uesugi and Takeda) and that requires Special Characters.
If you're going to start the army, the best thing to do is decide how you want to run it. It's very similar to a Warmachines army, where you get a bonus for using certain troops types. You don't choose your Clan - the types of regiments that you take will determine which clan your army hails from, and this will give certain troops a different Kei power that is more beneficial for their role. Each Clan also has a special character based on a historical figure, who will grant even more bonuses to the units of their Clan, but many of them also have prerequisites or restrictions on what other units you can take. For example, Odai Nasunaga can take Arquebusiers as Troops, but Samurai count as Special.


The College Guard army looks pretty good, altogether. I have an Imperial Guard army, so I raided a few bits from there when working on the models. For example, rather than the traditional Engineer hanging out of the top hatch of my STank, I have a model with a Commissar's double-button greatcoat on, and then a headswap to one of the Vostroyan "beef-eater" fur hats. My Handgunners are all Vostroyan models with the bayonets and catridges carefully removed from their lasguns. I left all of the tubes and hoses on, because they're wearing brass gas-masks, how much cooler can you get? I thought about having a regiment with fixed bayonets, but a guy at my local built an Oliver Cromwell army and uses fixed bayonets to signify that they regiment has spears, so I didn't want the confusion. My Sergeants all have Repeater Handguns, which I modeled using autocannon barrels on the Vostroyan Heavy-bolter crews and stuck on a 40x40 base in the middle of the regiment.
I can share up a list for them in the Empire forums if you'd like. They're not particularly competitive, aside from having a LOT of shooting, but to prevent getting called a cheese-master, I rank my Handguns up in 7x3 squares and actually move them forward into combat.

I misspoke - Dragon Mages are 350 bare. I can get 2 of them in a 2500. It was SoM where I was running 3 at 2500pts, but at 2850-3k games I'll sometimes run the Prince on a Dragon and then 2 Dragon Mages. I'm waiting for the next book - I have a feeling that we might either lose Dragon Mages, or they might become awesome. I've got 5 dragon models that I collected over the years (Old HE Imrik model, Wood Elf Dragon, Zombie Dragon, finecast Galrauch, new HE Dragons) so fielding them is always lots of fun. The Wood Elf dragon pulls double-duty in my HE army.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The College Guard army looks pretty good, altogether. I have an Imperial Guard army, so I raided a few bits from there when working on the models. For example, rather than the traditional Engineer hanging out of the top hatch of my STank, I have a model with a Commissar's double-button greatcoat on, and then a headswap to one of the Vostroyan "beef-eater" fur hats. My Handgunners are all Vostroyan models with the bayonets and catridges carefully removed from their lasguns. I left all of the tubes and hoses on, because they're wearing brass gas-masks, how much cooler can you get? I thought about having a regiment with fixed bayonets, but a guy at my local built an Oliver Cromwell army and uses fixed bayonets to signify that they regiment has spears, so I didn't want the confusion. My Sergeants all have Repeater Handguns, which I modeled using autocannon barrels on the Vostroyan Heavy-bolter crews and stuck on a 40x40 base in the middle of the regiment.
I can share up a list for them in the Empire forums if you'd like. They're not particularly competitive, aside from having a LOT of shooting, but to prevent getting called a cheese-master, I rank my Handguns up in 7x3 squares and actually move them forward into combat.
Yeah, I would love to see a list of your Empire "engineer college" army. Just out of curiosity, what color did you use to papaint your models? Did you display them as Nuln or Altdorf?

So for your samurai army, you used empire proxies? What is considered a proxy?
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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For the Engineer's College, I actually painted them in a really dark red, similar to Altdorf but also to 40k AdMech. The way I see it, the Colleges of Magic are also in Altdorf, and they don't necessarily wear Altdorf livery. They aren't from Nuln - everyone makes the common mistake of thinking that Nuln has all the guns. They do not. They actually don't have anything special, aside from having more conventional black powder weapons than the other states. They still field Spears and Halberds just like anyone else though.

The most recent list for a 2500pt game with the 'College':
Lords: 609/625
Arch Engineer Franz Leitzig (Karl Franz)
on Barded Steed
- 364
"Ironmancer" Horus Stahlman (Wizard Lord)
L4, Talisman of Preservation, Lore of Metal
- 245

Heroes: 229/625
Guard-Captain Reicher Krieg (Empire Captain)
BSB, Armor of Destiny, Greatweapon, Handgun
- 147
Gunnery Sergeant Obediah Caine (Warrior Priest)
Heavy Armor, Spell Shield
- 82

Core: 824/625
28 Handgunners
Full Command, Repeater Handgun
14 Handgunners
14 Handgunners
- 544

14 Knights of the Cog
Full Command, Inner Circle
- 280

Special: 338/1250
5 Outriders
Musician
- 115
5 Outriders
Musician
-115

6 Pistoliers
Musician
- 108

Rare: ---/625
Conqueror (Steam Tank)
Invincible (Steam Tank)

Total:
It's about as competitive as it gets, aside from a few little extra tidbits like the 40pts worth of Command on my Handgunners, and the Handgun on my BSB. However, it's still a terrifying armylist. I always Vanguard my Outriders forward into cover, and then take T1 whenever I can so that I can unload an early fusillade of 30 shots into an enemy regiment. The Knights are supported by the STanks, with Pistoliers to run screening. Meanwhile, my Handgunners are laying down 59 shots per turn while they're in formation. Once they rank up to accept a Charge, the enemy is getting hit with 38 S&S shots from the Detachments and Parent combined, and with Hatred, 2 Characters, and HtL the gunners themselves are no waifs.
The real damage though, comes from being able to blanket the field with 107 handgun and pistol shots per turn before smashing you with a FranzBus and 2 STanks.

As for the list of "Counts As" between my Nippon book and my Empire Army:
Daimyo - Captains and Generals
Ryujin - The Imperial Dragon (rider modeled separately)
Uzatto Priests - Wizards
Kabuzei - Warrior Priests (also, you can use Perry Miniatures' unamored Samurai, which I use as Legendary Warriors of Kenjutsu in the Nippon book)
Roninja - Witch Hunters
Ashigaru and Arquebsuiers - State Troops with Halberds, Spears, Bows, Handguns (Naginata, Yari, Bow, and Arquebus respectively)
Sotei - Halberdiers
Samurai - Swordsmen
Kensai - Greatswordsmen (denoted by their Sashimono, although mine also have every member wielding his Samurai Sword with 2 hands)
Naginata Riders - Knights, with Lances or Greatweapons, or Reiksguard (determined by either Swords or Naginata, and Inner Circle or Reiksguard by Sashimono)
Hatamoto - Demigryph Knights
Uzabushii - Flagellants
War Drums with Onii Bearers - Hurricanum or Luminark

It's not perfect, but it's close - I haven't had any trouble with players being able to differentiate between units, provided I did not do something like field Reiksguard and Inner Circle in the same army, or use both Sotei and Ashigaru as Halberdiers. I also have models of smaller Japanese-style artillery with appropriate crews, although as of yet they have no counterpart in the Nippon armybook, just like the Onii and Tengu do not have monstrous equivalents in the Empire book.
I use non-GW models for my Samurai army. Therefore, I can't use the army in any GW buildings or events. That's not really a problem in my area, as the entire state of PA is devoid of any official GW stores, and I don't play in 'Ard Boyz.
For playtesting, I proxied almost everything based on the weapon that it carried. I had Swordmasters standing in as Kensai, Flagellants standing in as Uzabushii, High Elf Spearmen for Yari Ashigaru, Empire Handgunners behind Bretonnian Archer Stakes representing Arquebusiers behind screens, Eagles for Tengu, High Elf Dragons for Ryujin, it was crazy. There are still some non-Japanese proxies in the army until I can finish all of my Samurai models, but it's coming along.
 
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