View Full Version : Army Play styles

25-08-2010, 13:37
Hi all,

In the thread i made a few hours ago I was asking about horde army's and who would be the biggest/best.

So my question is this time is what is each races play styles and what do they excel at?

I have looked for topics on this but everyone i have seen is outdated.

The armies i'm most interested in our: wood elves, tome kings, lizardmen, skaven, bretonnia. but would still like a view of each race as i'm pretty clueless about there style of play.


25-08-2010, 15:40
Im a quiet new but ill try to help a little:

Bret: Strong cavalary!, weak but numerous infantery, and decent cheap bowmen.
Decent magic, and a verry good warmachine. (trebuchet)
--> play if you like cavalry, chivelary or the whole castle/damsel/knight scene.decent army to play, dont let anyone tell you otherwise. warning: can be difficult to paint. perhaps not verry versatile in play styles.

Lizardmen: Verry good alround army, strong magic.some might argue the slann is overpowerd.
They are versatile, fast units, dino's (monsters), flying units, scouts, rangd you name it.
Saurus are also nasty in close combat. but they have a verry low weapon skill and iniative.

Skaven: Horde Army, be prepared to paint a bazzilion rats. Strong army in this edition.
If you like lots of cheap, weak troops supported by hardhitting monsters and strange yet powerful warmachines this could be the race for you.

Woodelves: Have it hard this edition. but dont let that keep you from playing them if you want to.
The army looks verry pretty imo. Treeman and treekin and Dryads are good army choices support by lots of bow fire fromt he glade guard.
The army used to be a hit and run kinda army. but with the recent changed the ability to do that is almost brought down to 0. making the elf troops a lil weak. they are unarmored for the most part. and have a low toughness.
Soften them up with bowfire, stay close to forests and use your treekin.

Tomb Kings: cant say anything about this army sorry. altho i think they also have it rough this edition. ushabti is my favorite warhammer model ever tho :)

So all in all:

Brets if you like cavalry.
Lizards if you like allround strong army.
Skaven if you like hordes of rats and strange warmachines.
Tombkings --> cant say realy but i would suggest Vampire counts if you like undead. thats just personal prefference tho

25-08-2010, 17:13
I can chip in a bit about Tomb Kings.

Think Undead "elves" - while not physically pointy-eared as such, they do play as such. hear me out.

A Tomb Kings army is characterized by its reliability, your troops cannot break, they always move at a standard pace, your shooting always hit without any modifiers and your magic never fails and never miscasts.

Generally speaking, in this edition, our troops are overcosted compared to their equivalents, hence a smaller army size. Being undead, we're not exactly uber fighters, so any mistake can be costly. Our magic, while reliable, do not contain ZOMGICASTIWIN spells. Rather, they are tactical spells, like giving your troops an extra movement phase, or an additional close combat / shooting attack. Smart use of these is key to winning, like using magic to force a combined charge when least expected, or using an extra attack to kill of key enemy characters before combat starts. Tomb Kings troops are generally lightly armored, keeping in line with the Egyptian theme. Also, Tomb Kings are the only army able to field Chariots in units. :)

All in all, you have a very challenging and tactical army to play with, as any mistake will cost you dearly, what with fragile troops and small army size (hence, undead "elves"). However, Tomb Kings have the most unstoppable magic phase as of now, and clever positioning of troops and use of magic will ultimately win you the day.

25-08-2010, 18:00
Skaven are an army of attrition. They have nothign super hitty in unit form, only getting higher than s 4 on mons inf and mosnters (flails aside) its basically a game of having so many crappy attacks that a few get through. Youllalways want to keep steadfast and the ranks bonus for strength in numbers.

The best part of skeven for myself if the expendable rule on the slaves. You can actually target ranged attacks against somethin locked in combat with slaves. If you take out 10 slaves and one chaoswarrior with a cannon shot, ou are still up on points.

Your army will be huge, as a small skaven force had no ability to force attrition.

It is also very enjoyable to see the look on peoples faces when they fail two 2+ armor saves against slaves. 4 points well spent.

25-08-2010, 19:48
Thanks for the help so far.

in regards to skaven what is the average/normal points cost of a game and how many models would a skaven army roughly consist of?

Also whats the dwarfs play style like?

I take it one of the best armys for a first time player would be skaven seen as they are in the new box set?

Thanks for the help

25-08-2010, 19:58
From what I see in the army list forums, 2000 and 3000 are usual game sizes these days. Regarding your question about model count, I'd say Skaven is one of the armies that generally have to field the most models, due to low points cost.

Edit: Just as an example, a unit of 100 naked slaves with a musician costs 202 points.

25-08-2010, 21:37
A Dwarf army is a more elite one, given less but a bit more powerful troops all giving toughness 4. Slow but tough infantry that have high armor saves and decent weapons. No magic, but have a great magic defense in this edition. has some of the best warmachienes around, and good shooting. plays very defensively, generally waiting for your opponent to get to your lines to get more shoots in.

25-08-2010, 21:59
yes dwarfs infantry are very hard to kill, as are there lords and hero's,
you can go very shooty, but i prefer a mixture of shooting and infantry,
a dwarf gunline is very hard to play agains but also very dull (imo)
so a healty mix of infantry and shooting is the way to play dwarfs i think.
The models are pretty good, and there fluff is awesome.
It is a very character full army and fun to play imo

25-08-2010, 22:01
Empire, if you like being able to do everything. Probably one of the armies that can have the most balanced playstyle. You get good firepower, relatively cheap troops, decent magic..

Orcs & Goblins its like Empire but then no gunpowder, units sticking a finger up their noses at random and general mayhem. Probably a bit more focused on brute force.

Lizardmen (haha, only as I have seen it played). Try to fit in a slann and engine of the gods as soon as possible and start pwning the hell out of your opponent. Forfeit a 1500 point game as a spearchucka just sniped your priest of your engine of the gods in turn one.

25-08-2010, 22:26
I guess Ill comment on elves since thos are what I play....
First off Woodelves, These guys are fun to play but in 8th edition got hit hard. They are very fast! a very mobile army. Their characters are there for support not as a guy who really does a ton of damage. the forest spirits are there for that in the form of treemen, treekin, and dryads. these guys are also very shooty. almost every elf has a bow. they need to be re-done badly but can be fun to play.

High elves are an army of elites. all your guys are usually very squishy. They can be very powerful if used correctly. having a unit to counter any other unit in the game. high elf magic is powerful in a sense that it is versatile. you can have any lore you choose. High elves are focused on versatility. That is their real power despite being fragile.

Dark elves are all out destruction. they need to be used with a little finesse but not as much as the other two. they hit hard but tend to start losing battles of attrition. Their troops are relativly cheap. Spearmen and reaper crossbowmen are your core choices along with corsairs. all of which can deal big damage if used right. The hydra, blackguard and cold one knights all are what will do the most damage. even their magic is crazy destructive. without a limit on the number of dice you can cast with they can get any spell they want off. all of dark magic focuses on killing. if you like killy stabby and flat out destruction then dark elves are good.

The problem with all elves is that they are all toughness 3. but they all have good weapon skill and high initiative.

25-08-2010, 22:31
The armies you asked for comments about:

1: Wood elves
While not powerless, Wood elves are very different after the recent edition change. The army is all about mobility and surgical strikes, using skirmishers, fast cavalry, fliers and massed bowfire to target and take out select units, and weak, cheap sacrificial units to distract and delay the parts of the enemy army you do not wish to deal with immediately and a huge selection of units ideal for taking out enemy warmachines
Most of these aspects have become harder to make use of in 8th edition.
At the same time, a good portion of the Wood Elf army relies on hitting power to strike and break an enemy in one blow... With steadfast and the fact that the cheapest model Wood Elves can possiby field costs 12 points, that's going to be problematic against many armies.

They used to be the ultimate scalpel of warhammer; to some extent they still are, but in order to restore that play style to full functionality, a new army book would be needed. Old Codex Blues and all.

Also, on a personal note, I think the army is far and away the prettiest in WHFB - even considering that Treekin and the Treeman are horrible sculpts (for the treeman, though, there are many alternatives, from GW or otherwise). Sadly, some of the most beautiful models aren't that viable nowadays (Eternal Guard, Wild Riders, Wardancers).

2: Tomb kings:
Honestly? Never seen them in play outside of demonstration games (where the store clerk cheated to play up the viability of the army), so I would not know.

3: Lizardmen.
Lizardmen has a lot of thing going for them with the new edition; they have some of the most dangerous regular infantry (temple guard, saurus warriors), they have skinks with poisoned ranged weapons, flying skirmish units to harass the enemy with and monsters en masse if they wish (stegadons).
Last but not least, they're able to field what must be the most scary mage outside special characters: The Slaan. Costly in terms of points, but very, very powerful.

The main reason I do not play this army myself is that I do not like the models much.

4: skaven
Horde! Skaven is the army able to, hands down, field the most models in any given game, while keeping the army competitive.
They win but combining cheap disposable troops with hard-hitting monsters (or monstrous infantry).
Skaven armies, however, tends to break all at once or not at all. Once you manage to get the swarm of rats under control, the entire army tends to fall apart; the cheap troops just don't do much on their own (though they take some time to get through), so it's all about protecting the "hitters" until they make it into combat.

5: bretonnia
You absolutely need to be playing heroic metal music when playing this army. I recommend some of the early Hammerfall!
... On a more serious note, this army is all about the knights and their (hopefully) glorious charge into battle. Nowadays, because ranked infantry is becoming much more important, peasants (men-at-arms) are becoming rather important and the trebuchet has become monstrously effective with the new rules... But if you really want to focus on those aspects of an army with humans, play empire.

Again, Bretonnians are a bit under the weather and suffer from old codex blues nowadays.
As opposed to Wood Elves, though, their playstyle hasn't changed that much, so much of the "feel" of the army remains intact.

As far as I'm concerned, a boring army. Very static, with resilient but slow troops, very powerful (but immobile) war machines, no magic phase (but good ability to shut down the opponent's magic phase, too) and very, very few things in the army with a decent movement value.
This makes the army very passive, forcing the opponent to bring the fight to the dwarves.
Quite powerful because of the new edition and its boost to war machines, and because getting the charge is no longer as important.

Bloody Nunchucks
25-08-2010, 22:59
i play HE so can comment on them.

they are a very elite army, and when i say elite i mean it. they will be hitting most of the enemy on a 3+ with a reroll if you miss. our special infantry is secons to none, with maybe chaos and dwarfs being on par with us. our core is great against other core, althouhg they lack power. the magic phase has the ability to be dominated and with 8th it usually is since the dragon list is not possible any more.

in order to win, the HE player must get the right matchups and play to his stregnths, all elves are very very easy to kill so you must only attack when you know you have a favorable outcome, losing a whole unit in a turn due to a mistake is usually a game losing move.

26-08-2010, 04:18
As for the size of a skaven army, around 160-200 sounds pretty good, for instance I am currently running 180 (2x 50 slaves, 25 slaves, 25 cr, 30 sv) plus warmachines, monsters, characters etc.

I have played manytimes against lizzies and can say they are a difficult matchup for both HE and Skaven, able to shrug off pincer attacks and overwhelm in magic (cold blooded bastards) Salamanders may be sliced bread #3, as super mobile flamethrowers pown. I should strap a warpfire thrower to one of those things...

Dwarves are also very difficult to defeat, as they all seem to be packing great weapons and expensive cannons that NEVER FAIL. The rune of slowness may be the most obnoxious item in the game. Rangers with great weapons keep popping up in the wrose spaces, followed by miners. Everyone else has crappy scouts, not the dwarves, we get ranks and GW!!!! there always seems to be some new rune that i cant remember that pops up, lots of army posibiliteis.