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swarmofseals
05-03-2009, 05:18
I know it's a classic -- I'm having some difficulty narrowing down what army to play if I should decide to start playing again. Do you pick an army based on the cost? The number of models painted? How much you like the models? The playstyle of the army? The power level (and if the power level, do you pick an underpowered army, an overpowered army, something in between?)

Basically, I'd like to play an army that I enjoy the look of, enjoy the playstyle, and can be built for either casual/friendly or power gaming/tournament level competition. Still though, I'm not entirely sure about my options. I figure I'll post my thoughts on the different factions and see if you all can't help me sort it out a bit.



I really appreciate any and all responses -- I know I'm typing a book and a half here. Feel free to skim and skip stuff that you don't have expertise in of course, and thank you all in advance for even reading it let alone responding!


TL;DR version: Overall it irritates me that the top 3 armies that I'd like to play are also the 3 most overpowered armies. I want a powerful force, but I also want to be able to tone it down for casual games. Ideally I'd be able to bring my stuff and a couple of lists and ask my opponents what level of competition they want, and whip something different out depending on the response.



Demons of Chaos - Like the visual appeal of the army a lot not to mention the variety. This would be one of my top two choices if it didn't have a rep for being obviously overpowered. Honestly, I don't know enough about their gameplay to know exactly why they are as OP as they are. I'm concerned that there isn't a way to build a demon army that isn't OP without actively making a concerted effort to build a weak army, and that said army wouldn't be fun to play even if you could do it. The price tag has positives and negatives. On the one hand, they run a relatively small number of models. On the other, I like some of the oop metals (daemonettes especially) better than the current models, which boosts the cost substantially.

Vampire Counts - Also like the visual appeal here. Some of the Gamezone models just make me drool -- their corpse cart and blood knight substitutes are just amazing. They have a lot of units that appeal to me, and it seems like you can build them a lot of ways. Other than daemons these guys would be an obvious choice to me. Again, the power level is a problem though -- I don't want to be stuck only being able to play power lists and making other players hate me for playing the army the way it's supposed to be played. I've heard that this isn't quite as problematic for VC as it is for Daemons, but still...

Orcs and Goblins - I like the look of O&G fairly well but they seem to be very hordeish, which I see as a downside as it tends to require a greater financial investment and is a more daunting task to paint. Also, the animosity rule seems like it would be really frustrating to play with. From what I hear this army is fairly gimped, so playing it on a competitive level may be a bad plan.

Ogre Kingdoms - Not a fan of the look of the army, and I've heard they are one of the most difficult armies to get to work properly.

High Elves - I don't know too much about these guys but they seem pretty split between stuff that is really weak and stuff that is overpowered. I see that as a downside because it makes the army less adaptable. While I don't find the look atrocious, they aren't high on my list in terms of aesthetic appeal either.

Wood Elves - I actually don't know much at all about these guys. They have some pretty sweet models and I know they have a skirmishy playstyle... I'm just not sure how this actually plays out on the table. There don't seem to be a whole lot of WE players, so I haven't gotten as good a feel for them yet.

Dark Elves - I like the look of the DE army a lot, and I know they can be very powerful. They are a bit of a finesse force from what I hear, which is appealing, as is the fact that they can make an impact in every phase. That said, much like the High Elves the army seems split between some really powerful/overpowered combos that people complain about and other stuff that is really weak... again making it difficult to balance competitive and casual play.

Skaven - I actually have a lot of skaven stuff from the last time I played, although none of it is painted. The problem I have here is that a melee horde army is unappealing to me, and people seem to hate skaven shooty armies. If I played skaven I'd want to go shooty, which apparently would lead to a lot of gripes. Also, they have a new army book coming out on the sooner side, which makes them a risk.

Dwarves - Same problem as Skaven really, although they have fewer models which is helpful. I used to hate the look of this army, but the newer plastics are a lot better than the old ones. I'm not a fan of slow melee forces though, and the idea of not having cavalry bothers me. I do like me some war machines though... but again, everybody hates gunlines it seems, and that's definitely how I would play dwarves. If you have to play reactively based on your slow movement speed, you have to be able to dictate the battle and force the enemy to come to you on your terms... so you pretty much have to have superior reach, which means a lot of guns.

Empire - See dwarves, only they do have some more variety at least. All plastics is a nice benefit, although I don't like a lot of the models. Still, they're harder to make competitive and I'd fall into the gunline trap here too.

Beasts of Chaos - These guys have almost no appeal to me at all beyond the chariots, which I've always thought looked cool.

Tomb Kings - I don't know a whole lot about these guys but I have heard they are rather underpowered. The look of the army is moderately appealing, but again they may have trouble fielding a competitive list.

Warriors of Chaos - I used to play these fellows, so I have some painted stuff already. I see this as a benefit and a drawback. The benefit is that I already have some stuff to work with. The drawback is that they are going to clash visually with any newer models that I get, especially given that my painting technique and results will be different now. I don't want to go back and strip my old models. I do hear that you can build WoC in a lot of ways and they can be both fairly competitive and casual friendly, which is a plus.

Lizardmen - I like this army visually, especially the slann and cold one riders. I also like the good mix of magic and combat power. I'm not sure how competitive they are, but they at least seem to be decent and the army book just came out. Of course that also means they are going to be a bit overhyped and overplayed at the moment. One concern is that there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of variety in the army, and it seems like there is a real pull towards deathstaring with slann and temple guard. I know people get frustrated by this, and I'm not a huge fan of that tactic either... I know I wouldn't *have* to use it, but I also don't like to play in ways that are obviously gimped.

Brettonians - Decently appealing. I like the lance formation a lot. That said, I don't like the peasants much and I also don't necessarily like the idea of being pigeonholed into defensive magic only.

badgeraddict
05-03-2009, 08:36
Brettonians - Decently appealing. I like the lance formation a lot. That said, I don't like the peasants much and I also don't necessarily like the idea of being pigeonholed into defensive magic only.

Don't knock the peasants till you have tried them! Mine continue to surprise me with their strangely decent perfomance. Ask any of my gaming group if they fear my Knights or my peasants. :D

The Red Scourge
05-03-2009, 08:47
Wood Elves - I actually don't know much at all about these guys. They have some pretty sweet models and I know they have a skirmishy playstyle... I'm just not sure how this actually plays out on the table. There don't seem to be a whole lot of WE players, so I haven't gotten as good a feel for them yet.

They are super powerful. I got into WE, because I didn't believe that those expensive T3 no armor elves could do squat, and I've been massacring any opposition since.

They are in fact the toughest of the elven forces, because of the T4-6 forest spirits with a 5+ ward. And being the masters of movement, means that they are the most dependable fighting force out there – as there are no randomness to their strength. Also the army list has great internal balance it has some strong combinations, but nothing that is a real no-brainer.

But choose an army that makes you want to paint. You can always learn to use it effectively :)

ChaosVC
05-03-2009, 09:19
Dude, you can list down the entire 40k codex list too for all the world cares, but which army makes you want to dig out your wallet?

The thing is, warhammer is never cheap, once you start the army, its best you collect as much types of troops you can in that army so you can play with your list. Unless you are a no good evil proxier! :evilgrin:, in that case it doesn't matter.:cool:

Master Stark
05-03-2009, 09:52
[QUOTE=ChaosVC;3348532The thing is, warhammer is never cheap[/QUOTE]

Thats the bottom line really. No matter what army you choose, it's going to cost a bundle, so don't consider the cost, just pick the army that makes you drool.

And if it's a bit more expensive, just collect a bit more slowly.

selone
05-03-2009, 11:24
It seems you prefer the visual appeal of Vampire counts and daemons over dark elves and they are your top 3 so why not one of the first two? From what people say its easier to build a non massacre everybody VC army than a demon army as it appears you can just self moderate the number of power dice you have and still have an army that will win but not have your opponent watching as you roll bucketful of dice to raise up your units.

I do think you are right with
I'm concerned that there isn't a way to build a demon army that isn't OP without actively making a concerted effort to build a weak army, and that said army wouldn't be fun to play even if you could do it

I'd honestly suggest VC to you. I think the biggest problem with tournament level WAAC VC armies is the sheer number of powerdice and thats fairly easy to regulate for yourself without affecting your army unit choices.

Tae
05-03-2009, 12:03
Whilst I agree with the notion of picking an army you want to play with/paint, cost can indeed come into it.

Both my WoC (Villitch + sorc's) and DoC (mono-Slaanesh) armies cost under 150 (roughly). Now compare that to, say, Skaven or Goblins and 150 might get you about half your army.

So yes do ignore price to an extent, but also consider whether your army will be an elite or horde army, because by their very nature horde armies are going to cost more.

Plus, most mono-god DoC armies aren't terribly OP, though they do all have one or two dirty combinations. But even then they're fairly one trick ponies, which are easy to work around. Compared to multi-god DoC which is where the true cheesey-OP lies.

Coram_Boy
05-03-2009, 13:26
I think that lizardmen are a good army to start out with, 'cos they've got a good range of troop types and let you try lots of combinations of lists. Their new book is probably 4th or 5th power wise, so it's not weak, but not strong enough to make casual games unenjoyable.

swarmofseals
05-03-2009, 14:23
Thanks for all the great replies! I want to follow up on a few things:

1. There are a lot of armies that make me want to dig out my wallet as you say based on the aesthetic appeal. DoC, VC, WoC, Dark Elves, and Lizardmen all do. Wood Elves and Tomb Kings do too, to a lesser extent.

2. My distaste for the peasants is more aesthetic than anything. I'm sure they can be plenty effective, esp. the archers.

3. Selone - I'm definitely going to seriously consider this. I'm curious -- how many power dice is too many? Is that the only real issue with VC?

4. Red Scourge - I'm going to read up more on the WE's =)

5. Tae - yeah, that's what I was concerned about. I figured you could go mono-god and be fairly casual, but that it would get boring quickly due to the one dimensional nature of the force.

6. Coram Boy - Any chance I could convince you to say a bit more about the lizard's variety? I heard that pretty much all skinks was the way to go with the old codex but that strategy was nerfed with the new one and that now you mostly take a deathstar unit with some steggie and infantry support. I'd love to hear about other viable ways of building lizzies.

garythewargamer
05-03-2009, 15:12
I normally would not have added my two cents but sense you wrote so much and I read it all I should. You have done a lot of research already which is more than most people probably do.
I think every army out there will look good with a decent paint job. My daughter's HE is painted in bright colors which are not citadel paints and she gets comments all the time. And I am not a great painter. No matter the army you chose you will spend say around 200 dollars. I thought I would get off cheaper with the Bretonnias but Grail knights and heros will eat you up. Okay my daughters army cost more than 200 dollars. You need to consider your playing style.
You think about how you want to play, magic, shooting or charging and pounding. Then compare that style with the models that you want to paint. Some armies or units can stand up to anyone and not break. This allows you to get supporting charges in to break or eliminate the bad guys. Units are designed with several things in mind but the are mainly designed with one thing in mind. Archers remove rank bonuses, chariots and heavy cav are designed to kill units on the charge, fast cav redirect, march block or kill war machines. These are just some examples. I know my statement about fast cav is different but they can only do one thing at a time.
I hope that does you some good and gives you much more to think about. Apparently you already have much to think about.
All the elves are more or less a finesse force. I have to disagree heavily about HE. Yes they are weak but with the always strike first they can hold their own sometimes. Yes they have some powerful characters but I do not think they are as strong as say a bloodthirster on par but not as strong. They have some elite infantry which fills in the middle area very good. They do not have to get the charge off with the always strike first rule. Sword masters armed with great weapons which do not have to get the charge off to be effective. Their warmachines or RBT have no chance of misfiring. Ask any cannon general how big of a deal this is. Dragon Princes while a little on the pricey side, point wise, get two attacks and are immune to fire. Of course if my Bretonnia knights could get immune to missile fire that would be a great thing. But oh well. HE lore is a very good in all areas bot offensive and defensive. I am not going to say it is the best as that would just start another argument. That has been done before and I do not want to sidetrack your thread.
Spell zero drain magic, adding points to the min. roll to cast spells. Now a vamp has to use two die vice one to raise dead, easy example. Even if they dispell it during their turn die is used. 1. a shield giving a unit a ward save, important on allowing sword masters to get into combat. 2. CofAA allowing you to hit enemies easier with shooting arrows or bolts. 3. gives you a better chance to not break in combat. Giving you a chance to get more units into the combat. 4. a fireball spell pretty much every lore has this. 5. a remain in play spell which just grows stronger. 6. A spell which would allow you to destroy any magical item. That can be a game changing spell.
Teclis is maybe the most powerful MU in the game. I said maybe do not get side tracked. He does not have to roll for spells as he will know all the spells of his choosen lore. He cast IR on a successful to cast roll with any doubles except 1s. He has a special one use dispell scroll which can remove the spell from the mind of the enemy caster. That can be game changing. He has a wonderful sword which is pretty much wasted on him with his other stats. It would be great to give that sword to a hero but alas.
This is just my opinion and I had to get it off my shoulders. The bottom line is that whatever army you have you must have fun playing them. I am not a win at all cost player I just want to have fun, not make mistakes and be competative.

selone
05-03-2009, 16:05
Thanks for all the great replies! I want to follow up on a few things:

1. There are a lot of armies that make me want to dig out my wallet as you say based on the aesthetic appeal. DoC, VC, WoC, Dark Elves, and Lizardmen all do. Wood Elves and Tomb Kings do too, to a lesser extent.

2. My distaste for the peasants is more aesthetic than anything. I'm sure they can be plenty effective, esp. the archers.

3. Selone - I'm definitely going to seriously consider this. I'm curious -- how many power dice is too many? Is that the only real issue with VC?

4. Red Scourge - I'm going to read up more on the WE's =)

5. Tae - yeah, that's what I was concerned about. I figured you could go mono-god and be fairly casual, but that it would get boring quickly due to the one dimensional nature of the force.

6. Coram Boy - Any chance I could convince you to say a bit more about the lizard's variety? I heard that pretty much all skinks was the way to go with the old codex but that strategy was nerfed with the new one and that now you mostly take a deathstar unit with some steggie and infantry support. I'd love to hear about other viable ways of building lizzies.

I wouldn't say it was the only thing but it was the main thing. Their main decried issue is their spamming of their basic spell(s) a one die castable spell (so no miscast). Being as how you can very easily effect your power dice you have its very easy to fix yourself without taking dramatic measures and still giving you lots of scope to build your army.
As for how many power dice is too much, well thats a very subjective question. For me more than 10 is too much but you'll get lots of different answers and VC players will be able to give you a lot better idea, than I.

badgeraddict
05-03-2009, 17:08
Thanks for all the great replies! I want to follow up on a few things:

2. My distaste for the peasants is more aesthetic than anything. I'm sure they can be plenty effective, esp. the archers.

LOL. No one likes the look of a peasant. Plus they smell.

I actually like the models, so full of character. Perhaps use Empire militia models instead?

DarkMark
05-03-2009, 18:27
DE for the win. Hard as nails when you want or fluffy as rabbits, horde or elite, shooty or cc orientated, the list goes on. The AB is VERY flexible and ticks all the boxes IMO.

You may want to go even simpler and just decide if you want to be good guys or evil. After that decide which phase you like the most ie magic, cc, shooting, or movement. If the relevant AB ticks the right boxes, you have your choice.

Tae
06-03-2009, 00:42
5. Tae - yeah, that's what I was concerned about. I figured you could go mono-god and be fairly casual, but that it would get boring quickly due to the one dimensional nature of the force.


Well if you go mono-Tzeentch that's about as un-one dimensional as any of the mono armies are going to get. Sure you're going to be mainly focused on magic, but horrors are (irritatingly) surprisingly resiliant in combat, screamers provide you with some mobility/slashing fun and flamers are just, well, dirty good shooters.

Compared to Khorne (yawn) where you are entirely, and solely, comprised of hitting stuff, mono-Tzeentch is very varied indeed!

Conotor
06-03-2009, 01:09
Orcs and goblins are not expensive. skull pass costs 80$ and gives you 60? 80? goblins and 10 spider riders. 2 of thoes, a few fanatics and heroes, and you have a 1k army.

Bum
06-03-2009, 02:33
I normally would not have added my two cents but sense you wrote so much and I read it all I should. You have done a lot of research already which is more than most people probably do.
I think every army out there will look good with a decent paint job. My daughter's HE is painted in bright colors which are not citadel paints and she gets comments all the time. And I am not a great painter.

No matter the army you chose you will spend say around 200 dollars. I thought I would get off cheaper with the Bretonnias but Grail knights and heros will eat you up. Okay my daughters army cost more than 200 dollars.

You need to consider your playing style.
You think about how you want to play, magic, shooting or charging and pounding. Then compare that style with the models that you want to paint. Some armies or units can stand up to anyone and not break. This allows you to get supporting charges in to break or eliminate the bad guys. Units are designed with several things in mind but the are mainly designed with one thing in mind.

Archers remove rank bonuses, chariots and heavy cav are designed to kill units on the charge, fast cav redirect, march block or kill war machines. These are just some examples. I know my statement about fast cav is different but they can only do one thing at a time.

I hope that does you some good and gives you much more to think about. Apparently you already have much to think about.

All the elves are more or less a finesse force. I have to disagree heavily about HE. Yes they are weak but with the always strike first they can hold their own sometimes. Yes they have some powerful characters but I do not think they are as strong as say a bloodthirster on par but not as strong. They have some elite infantry which fills in the middle area very good. They do not have to get the charge off with the always strike first rule. Sword masters armed with great weapons which do not have to get the charge off to be effective. Their warmachines or RBT have no chance of misfiring. Ask any cannon general how big of a deal this is. Dragon Princes while a little on the pricey side, point wise, get two attacks and are immune to fire.

Of course if my Bretonnia knights could get immune to missile fire that would be a great thing. But oh well. HE lore is a very good in all areas bot offensive and defensive. I am not going to say it is the best as that would just start another argument. That has been done before and I do not want to sidetrack your thread.

Spell zero drain magic, adding points to the min. roll to cast spells. Now a vamp has to use two die vice one to raise dead, easy example. Even if they dispell it during their turn die is used. 1. a shield giving a unit a ward save, important on allowing sword masters to get into combat. 2. CofAA allowing you to hit enemies easier with shooting arrows or bolts. 3. gives you a better chance to not break in combat. Giving you a chance to get more units into the combat. 4. a fireball spell pretty much every lore has this. 5. a remain in play spell which just grows stronger. 6. A spell which would allow you to destroy any magical item. That can be a game changing spell.
Teclis is maybe the most powerful MU in the game.

I said maybe do not get side tracked. He does not have to roll for spells as he will know all the spells of his choosen lore. He cast IR on a successful to cast roll with any doubles except 1s. He has a special one use dispell scroll which can remove the spell from the mind of the enemy caster. That can be game changing. He has a wonderful sword which is pretty much wasted on him with his other stats. It would be great to give that sword to a hero but alas.

This is just my opinion and I had to get it off my shoulders. The bottom line is that whatever army you have you must have fun playing them. I am not a win at all cost player I just want to have fun, not make mistakes and be competative.

There, giant wall of text broken up into more managable paragraphs. He raises good points so I'd be helpful to read.

Tae
06-03-2009, 11:43
Spell zero drain magic, adding points to the min. roll to cast spells. Now a vamp has to use two die vice one to raise dead, easy example. Even if they dispell it during their turn die is used.

Drain Magic isn't, afaik, a remains in play spell and therefore cannot be dispelled in the enemey's magic phase. It simply lasts until the HE players next turn. So the Vamp can't chuck any dice at it to dispel it.

Unless, that is, I have been cheated in the past few games *shakes fist angrily*

But apart from that, agree with pretty much everything else you wrote.

garythewargamer
06-03-2009, 12:22
Wait a minute, I have had the vamps use dispell magic during their phase to dispell it. They have to wait until they are done casting magic to do this. I believe that is the way it works. Like I stated I have had them try to dispell it before they cast spells but that is not the way the magic phase is written. Am I wrong?

Tae
06-03-2009, 15:25
Wait a minute, I have had the vamps use dispell magic during their phase to dispell it. They have to wait until they are done casting magic to do this. I believe that is the way it works. Like I stated I have had them try to dispell it before they cast spells but that is not the way the magic phase is written. Am I wrong?

I have just re-checked the Army Book and my previous notion was indeed correct.

Drain Magic is NOT a remains in play spell. This means that your opponent can only dispell the spell at the point of it being cast (either by dispell dice or scrolls). If this attempt is failed (or no attempt is made) then the +3 to casting values will remain until the start of the HE's next magic phase.

swarmofseals
06-03-2009, 20:20
Well if you go mono-Tzeentch that's about as un-one dimensional as any of the mono armies are going to get. Sure you're going to be mainly focused on magic, but horrors are (irritatingly) surprisingly resiliant in combat, screamers provide you with some mobility/slashing fun and flamers are just, well, dirty good shooters.

Compared to Khorne (yawn) where you are entirely, and solely, comprised of hitting stuff, mono-Tzeentch is very varied indeed!

I think I would feel dirty taking flamers. I have no idea what the guy who wrote that book was thinking. They are like mini-ogres and mini-bolt throwers rolled up into one at only 35 points! You could reduce their S and T to 3 and A to 1 and they'd STILL be good.

ScalySkin
06-03-2009, 20:56
Lizardmen - I like this army visually, especially the slann and cold one riders. I also like the good mix of magic and combat power. I'm not sure how competitive they are, but they at least seem to be decent and the army book just came out. Of course that also means they are going to be a bit overhyped and overplayed at the moment. One concern is that there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of variety in the army, and it seems like there is a real pull towards deathstaring with slann and temple guard. I know people get frustrated by this, and I'm not a huge fan of that tactic either... I know I wouldn't *have* to use it, but I also don't like to play in ways that are obviously gimped.



The deathstar slann option is the one that most people take to tournaments, there are heaps of other powerful options. The lizardmen have a good variation of powerful lists, so you can pretty much build what ever you like and if your tactics are good, it will be competitive. You can go for a magic heavy army, a combat heavy army or a skirmish army and have powerful build for all of them. Lizardmen can definitely meet all your requirements for play style, the only thing that they don't do is long range shooting (great bow on stegadon being the only exception). While I think DE would also be a good choice, their less powerful list would be a bit weak. I think that WoC would also be a good option for you.