View Full Version : What Is The Best Army For A Samurai Theme?

21-07-2009, 23:05
Iím a 40k player and Iíve wanted to get into fantasy for several years now, Iíve had 2 attempts to get into the game both of which have had problems. The first was when Ogre Kingdoms came out and being a beginner I never won a single game so I gave up. The next was when Dwarfs were re-released but by then I had become interested in heavily converting armies and they did have much to offer in that regard.

But now Iím ready to get into the game and I have the perfect theme for my army: a Samurai based converted army. The question now is which army to use for the theme.

At first I thought of using Dark Elves due to the assassins but the cold ones put me off as I wanted to keep it as close as I could to the chosen theme and samurai donít ride lizards. There are only two armies that can successfully support the theme.

High Elves: Theyíre a small elite force and better yet they strike first a very samurai like trait. Conversion wise it would be easy to add the armour using green stuff to the archers and spearmen models, but only use the archer heads. I could also model a high elf dragon to look like a Japanese dragon.

Warriors Of Chaos: It was the fact that high elves have spears not swords and that these guys could carry one or two, plus I think the conversions would look quite good with the cloaks and it would be easier to model the armour. The marauders could also be easily converted to fit the theme.

Now Iíve only played fantasy one or two times so Iíd like to know what fantasy vets think is the best army for the theme, also take into account this will be my first fantasy army?

22-07-2009, 00:00
I don't see any one of those fitting very well. :(

Samurai aren't elves. They're human, with human movement and initiative.

They aren't mutated monsters either. S4 T4 Samurai? Gimme a break.

lilljonas have made a great looking Nippon army using Perry Miniatures and Empire rules, check it out in the Fantasy Painting Diary Forum.

22-07-2009, 00:20
Of those two choices, purely from a gaming perspective... WoC would probably be better suited to a "newb". Simply because their units are more durable...

However, as pointed out they are neither "elves" nor "super human".

You could use any "list" that you feel fits your theme really... you need not be restricted to those two lists, as long as there's a consistent theme throughout your army.

And if you really like the Dark Elf models (aside from riding lizards), you could easily still use that list... and either not use "cold ones" at all... or simply replace them with heavy "warhorses" of sorts...

22-07-2009, 00:51
Goblins! Just check out Rackham's: http://www.fantization.com/productimages/confronation_rackham/goblins/GBEL04_Aug06.jpg

Seriously, don't be afraid of replacing cold ones, or anything else, with what you want. Fantasy people seem more open to using counts as stuff than 40k. So long as you're consistent and everything's the right base size, it's all good. I've seen far crazier things than someone subbing in warhorses for cold ones.

Out of the two armies listed however, my pick is going to have to be the high elves. It's real close though.. and it probably will take a little more modeling work. I think either army could fit it well depending on what you take.

Lord 0
22-07-2009, 01:33
C: Empire.

22-07-2009, 02:30
I would say Bretonnians would be best over all, Empire is better at Chin than Nippon or Japan, but could be geared to work if you limited yourself.

A large part also has to be said for WHICH era of Samurai are you talking about.

Early Samurai were bow experts and it was quite a while before they were introduce to the sword by the Chinese.

So early Samurai, I would say High Elves, hight of Samurai culture Bretonnians (though Warriors could do this, there is a lot of demon lore), with Empire representing the Majee (sp?) era.

22-07-2009, 05:36
Having had to think about this for a while since I did start a project a while back, still uncompleted, it would depend on how realistic or cinematic you want to make them.

If cinematic, then go for High Elves.

It's not a one on one conversion, but:

1. Ellyrian Reavers allow you the Samurai horse bowman.

2. Dragon Princes are over the top, but Silver Helms allow the mounted spear armoured Samurai.

3. No chariots.

4. Shadow Warriors are your Ninjas.

5. Phoenix Guard can be Sohei.

6. White Lions and Sword Masters dismounted samurai, No-dachi and Katana respectively.

7. RBTs seem out of place, but they can represent cannon/arquebuses; Eagles are always useful, could be a pet.

8. Spearmen with three ranks represent pikes, archers as normal, and LSG, junior Samurai.

9. Tyrion certainly represents the pinnacle of bushido.

22-07-2009, 07:05
Guess depends on how you wanna depict Samurais. If you wanna field a super glorified/romanticized of crazy super-samurais constantly depicted in anime and folk-lore... I'd say High Elves with their Sword Masters and archers.

Otherwise, DoW or Empire.

22-07-2009, 07:08
Use some LOTR Khan models as chaos warriors.
You could paint little chaos symbols on their flags.

22-07-2009, 07:49
Id say Brettonnians because you have a range of units which work well as samurai. Horsemen units with armour (much like samurai wear), longbow units of archers (just like early samurai)

The Red Scourge
22-07-2009, 11:51
I'd use undead, as it is a samurais lot to serve his master even in death :)

22-07-2009, 12:45
Having had to think about this for a while since I did start a project a while back, still uncompleted, it would depend on how realistic or cinematic you want to make them.

If cinematic, then go for High Elves.

And it is a fantasy game, so I don't see why you wouldn't go for a more mythological/over dramatized version of samurai. My first thought was Empire, but your HE list seems reasonable too.

I would consider HE more fitting for an early samurai army, and Empire better for a later army. (In terms of similarities to the historical counterparts.)

7. RBTs seem out of place, but they can represent cannon/arquebuses; Eagles are always useful, could be a pet.

The RBT seems a really odd fit. The eagle seems good, though. It's been a while, but I remember reading some mythological stories of giant birds, as well as other giant sized animals.

22-07-2009, 12:45
Go for Empire or DoW. DoW pretty much covers any theme you can come up with.

22-07-2009, 12:52
Also, you should check out a couple of paint logs:



22-07-2009, 12:59
I can't speak from an incredibly informed perspective but...

...Wood Elves, man. Wood Elves. ;)

Wardancers = Samurai. Though they aren't armoured they have Talismantic Tattoos, with a 6+ Ward and MR you could just call it samurai armour and model it appropriately.

Glade Riders - excellent Samurai cavalry bowmen. No move and shoot penalty? Yes please.

Eternal Guard - I don't no much about samurai infantry, but EG have an exotic weapon with multiple attacks and armour. And with a BSB will demonstrate their commitment to their master.

Wild Riders - Samurai shock cav. Same as the Glade Riders but without bows.

Waywatcher - bow armed ninjas. KB at short range is pretty appropriate, and they have the best special deployment out there for scouts.

Dryads - I'm sure if you looked into Japanese mythology you could find a usable equivalent. And you wouldn't need too many units if you go the Wardancer horde route.

Massed Wardancers, Wardancer Lord, core EG with both MSU and a large block with BSB, Glade Riders and Guard, could all add up to a great looking and very effective Samurai war host.

22-07-2009, 13:36
Cinematic - you want ASF.

Or hatred.

Oversized lizards with bad breath can be called Gojira. Or Puchi.