View Full Version : Which of the following is "Beginner Friendly"?

26-09-2011, 08:30
Before anyone says: "Oh no, not another which army should I pick poll", please take a few minutes of your time to read. Any input, suggestions, comments, concerns, complaints, etc would be greatly appreciated. :p

So I'm a relative beginner to both Fantasy and 40k. I've spent the last few months looking into both games fluff wise and decided for my first army ever, I want to delve into Fantasy. I've bought the 8th edition rulebook as well as a few army books of various armies i remotely felt interested in. That said, after deliberating amongst myself for weeks, I came down with the following armies that I absolutely can't pick. (Note: this is purely alphabetical order)

*Warriors of Chaos
*Vampire Counts

Now, I mainly decided to narrow the army field down those 4 for several reasons. The biggest reasons is based off of fluff (I have to say, I'm a sucker for evil armies, although I feel sympathetic for what the Empire has to put up with) as well as model design and playing style. That said, which of the four would you pick to be easy to learn and play for a beginning player who's really never played wargames before? (Note: in terms of how much money i'm willing to shell out, I have my birthday coming up in a few days, pulling in a few hundred dollars so money isn't too much of an issue, although i'd like to start around under 400 USD if possible)

If you have an army that I don't have listed, please feel free to give a suggestion and why I should take a second look at said army.

Thanks for helping me out :)

Dark Reaper
26-09-2011, 08:36
Warriors of Chaos is a great beginner's army IMO. Your units will most of the time beat any unit of your opponent one-on-one in CC and are not to reliant on managing to pull of multiple charges and/or flanking. They also have good toughness and armour save and won't simply die from a stone thrower hit like for example elves.

On the other hand you are reliant on your magic for taking out enemy flankers and fast cavalry due to having almost no shooting at all.

26-09-2011, 09:53
Vampires - too tricky for a newbie to use, they also ignore a lot of the main rules (no worrying about breaking from combat, immune to psychology tests, etc, so you won't learn much.

Empire - a great army but newbies might be daunted as they require a degree of skill to be effective in game play - and many a newbie has been put off the hobby by taking the Empire as their 1st army. However I love them!

Skaven - not bad, and the plus side is you get quite a few of them in the starter box set! Fairly easy army to master - and they can do well - but may be daunting to paint so many figures right off the bat!

Warriors of Chaos - pretty straightforward army, they hack and slash their way to glory and boast solid characters/magic - even a hell cannon to shoot at things! Bit dull after a while but a newbie might like them - and they are a good platform to launch a warhammer hobby from.

Another bonus is they are easy to collect thanks to their high points for their troops.

26-09-2011, 10:00
Depends on how much you want to learn at once.

Empire I would absolutely reccomend if you reeeealy want to learn all the rules with your first army, as they have such a great selection of every troop type. Pick a balanced army (or hodge-podge of units you like, like I do) and you won't miss out on learning war machines, heavy cavalry, fast cavalry, ranged weapons, heavy infantry, magic and weird units like flagellnts and so on. This could be overwhelming though!

Chaos I'd reccomend for the opposite. If you're happy to get going quickly, an army of heavy infantry and cavalry, expensive characters and a few trolls or other monsters will get you going and is quite forgiving.

Skaven I'd reccomend (just because I love them) but really because they are in the starter set, making it is so easy to find people who are selling the clanrats seperate, for example, or go halves with a mate. They do have some quirky rules and playing style, but not as game-changing as Vampire counts.

26-09-2011, 10:10
(Note: this is purely alphabetical order)

*Warriors of Chaos
*Vampire Counts

No, it's not. V comes before W.

Anyway, to get back on topic, Im going to give you a small tip. Before you commit to an army, buy atleast one box (for example the 3-man chaos warrior box) and try to paint them. If you're anything like me, this hobby is going to be 90 % painting, and 10 % gaming anyway. So you're really going to have to enjoy painting the army, to make it last out in the long run.

For instance, I once comtemplated starting an empire army, but after having painted a few state troops, I understood I did not like the "feel" of the minies, so I went back to my Chaos Warriors once again. Im very glad this was after buying a 12 pound box, instead of a 50ish pound battalion set.

26-09-2011, 10:19
Oh: And I voted other, I get pretty tired of "lack of choise" pretty quickly, so if this sounds anything like you, go O&G.

Skaven is pretty versitaile, but you're missing out on cavalery, and heavy infantry.
Empire has it all, except "real" monsters (not mounts), but they are somewhat booring to paint imo (100+ models in the same-ish looking uniform) and you've got no realy fighting characters.
WOC are fighty enough, and full of magic, but you wont get any real shooting, barring the Hellcannon (though this can be enough for most foes)
VC looks great! But according to the internett, there's only one viable build, and I dont like the look of those ghouls.

O&G has it all. Heavy fighty charachters, dirt cheap charachters, alot of magic (though only access to two lores, but they are imo two of the best lores avaliable). Monsters, monsterous infantry (3 different kinds of trolls!). Alot of really good (and cheap!) war machines. Heavy infantry by the bucketload, dirt cheap goblins, fun randomness, and large monsters. IMO, O&G are the "jack of all trades" of the warhammer world, so if this appeals to you, try them out.

26-09-2011, 13:29
I will be following this thread closely. Like it was said above, my first army has been Empire and I am absolutely terrible with them. I can't seem to grasp the balance between shooting, melee, flank charges, and magic. So I am lookiing for another army that is "easier", not overpowered but takes a little les finesse to win games with. I don't want to win every game; I'm OK with losing but losing every single game gets a bit tedious. Especially when you read online that Empire is one of the best armies.

26-09-2011, 16:56
First @Tayrod: I totally facepalmed when I realized that this morning with the alphabetical order. It was really late last night when I posted so when I saw that, I was like "D'oH!" xD

Otherwise, thanks to everyone for shooting out their thoughts! I can safely assume at this point, depending on the results so far that VC is out of the picture (and pretty much Skaven too). Looks like I'll probably end up up either with Empire (since apparently, they have all types of units i.e. calvary, magic, shooting, etc) or Warriors of Chaos.

If anyone has any other thoughts, by all means fire! :)

26-09-2011, 17:00
I was torn between picking Skaven and WoC.

Both are good armies, and both can be powerhouses. The Skaven do have a few quirky rules as was previously said, but you can adapt to those fairly quickly. WoC only requires you to adapt to two rules; the Will of Chaos and Eye of the Gods.

Ultimately it comes down to painting for me. Would you rather paint 100 models or 200+ ? If you pick the 100, then take WoC. If you like the 200+ run with Skaven.

Spiney Norman
26-09-2011, 17:13
If I were you I'd disregard tactical concerns and go with your gut. All the armies you've mentioned can compete on fairly good terms with most of the games other armies, but in every case you'll need to learn the tactical particulars of each army.

I would echo strongly what Tayrod said, pick the army that you find visually most appealing. I currently own 5 armies for WFBwhich I have collected over the last 10 yrs or so, only 3 of them have I fully painted, the other two I quickly ran out of steam because I couldn't get the painting done.

Of the armies that you've mentioned Warriors of Chaos are perhaps the most forgiving tactically, but theres no reason why you couldn't be just as competitive with any of the others if you are determined to stick with it. The other advantage of WoC is that they are high cost elite troops, so you will have far less models to buy and paint than if you pursued an Empire, Vampire or heaven forbid skaven force.

26-09-2011, 17:15
Empire is a good, generic army choice with lots of options. It's a great way to not only learn the basic rules, but also evolve into many different types of game play, so it gets my vote.

My second suggestion would be Orcs & Goblins - new book, great minis, a large and varied army choice that isn't full of too many wacky mechanics.

26-09-2011, 17:15
All of them.

However at this stage I'd go for the army you want to collect and paint the most. The playing and winning will come along no matter what army you use.

26-09-2011, 19:06
warriors of Chaos.....it's a single minded army that doesn't need much mirco management and it's quick to gather and paint nad your troops are dead 'ard

26-09-2011, 20:38
I voted Skaven as its hard to make a skaven army that wont do well in my experience. If painting is an issue, then Warriors of Chaos is the way to go as they are also a solid list.

26-09-2011, 21:15
There is no definative perfect starter army.
Which armies minis appeals to you the most? That's no.1 in my opinion, l'd rather lose 100 games with models I love than win 100 with models I hate.
If fluff is a factor, read some more fluff and pick a side.
Vamps maybe are difficult because they, as has been mentioned, skip plenty of core mechanics.
You'll win more with WOC.
You'll learn more with Empire.
You'll paint more with Skaven.

Good luck and enjoy!

26-09-2011, 21:46
l'd rather lose 100 games with models I love than win 100 with models I hate.

^ This.

But if it is only learning the game that you are interested in with your first army then I would go with Empire as they have a really good balanced list with a little bit of everything.

26-09-2011, 22:23
Definitely agree that you shouldn't pick an army based on whether it's a good starter, as it could just end up leaving you later on oggling the other army that you really love but thought would be hard to collect, paint or play.

If you just pick the army you like the best, then you'll sort out the game-play issues yourself by coming up with the combos and tactics you need to win, that's part of the fun; getting all the stuff you like, and then figuring out how to make it work for you. Unless you're a total masochist for underpowered units, then you can't go far wrong, as so long as you're playing against decent friendly opponents then it shouldn't really matter how optimal your lists are, and as you get a feel the army you can fill any gaps you find as you expand it.

My advice is; pick the army you like best, and start small. Don't try to go for a huge army from day one, get the book, get some basics, and then work to build up enough models for a 1,000 point army with stuff to spare (so you can change the list as you learn). This way you can get a feel for the army at that level, before you start to invest really heavily on it.

27-09-2011, 03:32
If it's a coin toss between Empire and Warriors..

It's all simple - whichever army has the most number of nice models (in your mind) and go for that one.

As for gaming - I'd go Empire each and every time - start with a nice 1000 point army which has

10-15 missile troops (I prefer a mix of Crossbows/Handguns)
1-2 units of state troops - at least 40 strong, maybe with a detachment each (around 15-20 strong)
1-2 warmachines (I would go 1 cannon, 1 mortar)

And then take extra stuff to make up the 1000 points. 2 characters - Warrior priest is boss as he adds magic defense and makes a unit combat ready by giving them hatred!

As for which state troopers:


Second character should be a BSB with a 4+ ward save - to keep him alive - and then that's it! Depending on your model collection you may end up buying a 3rd character just to make up points.

I also find a unit of 5 Out Riders is amazing - they can vangaurd at start of game so you'll get the enemy into range of their mighty repeater rifles!

As for balance between shooting/combat...At the end of the day combat is king - shooting only goes so far:

10 Crossbows
10 Handgunners
10 Huntsmen
5 Out Riders

Is normally MORE than enough for my 2000 point army - let alone 1000pts - and I like to have 2-3 solid combat blocks. The Empire doesn't win combat by themselves - they all need boosts.

Warrior Priest = essential as he bestows hatred on the unit - rerolling to hit is huge!
Engineer = amazing if you have any warmachines as the rerolls are HUGE! Hellblaster volley gun is just amazing now - a really good defensive weapon (As it has a short range you'll typically find it good for scaring people into rushing towards your battleline, be sure to protect it from units that can charge it)
BSB - essential to the Empire cause - never leave home without one
Wizard - while a wizard is considered an essential buy for all other armies, the fact you have access to Arch Lectors/Warrior Priests means the Empire is one of the few armies that can do it!

27-09-2011, 06:13
Wow, I'd never expect so many votes and ideas to give a beginner some guidance. Thank you all very much. :)

I think for now, even though Jind nearly managed to convince me to rethink my options, I'm most likely going to go and start collecting a WoC army. Would it just sensible to start out with one/two battalion boxes as well as a Chaos Sorcerer, or should I focus on other options?

Thanks again everyone.

27-09-2011, 08:47
Just as many of the other guys I say "start the army with the coolest figures". Otherwise you'll just start that army anyway in a few years when you realise they were your true love after all.

The WoC battalion seems like a good buy, get one and then figure out if you want an infantry focus on your army or not. If you're not sold on the marauder figures (I'm not) you can either use alternatives like gors or flagellants, or buy a box of marauder horsemen since that includes a load of extra heads and cool bits.

27-09-2011, 10:37
I started with Empire and I got crushed in the first games. If you have pation to learn it, its a good army.

Oogie boogie boss
27-09-2011, 10:43
To be honest (and i'm a long time Skaven player, so it doesn't happen often) i think Empire would be the best choice. I know the argument for WoC is that they're a straight forward (literally) hack'n'slash army, but with Empire you get to experience every aspect of the game.
They've got the options for big infantry blocks, heavy and light cavalry, artillery, magic, you can go for a gun line, a horde infantry army, a Knightly force, a wizard driven army, whatever.
Sure, they may require a bit more finessing before they become effective, but i think that's a good way to learn, and they have enough versatility to adapt and play around with.
If you start with WoC, you'll miss out on learning how to use firepower, and there'll be less incentive to learn more intricate maneouvring styles.

But good luck with whatever you choose.

27-09-2011, 16:11
Oogie boogie boss said it.

WoC are cheap to collect, but you're only experiencing a small portion of the game. Empire offer everything. Also, WoC in the hands of an inexperienced general will go woefully bad. Yes, your army is made up of uber elite troops, but those uber elite troops die just fine to cannons and the like. With WoC, you don't often have a unit you can sacrifice if needed, and you will feel each model that dies.

27-09-2011, 22:35
ha! it was 60% on WoC when I voted.

$42 for a box of warriors that have armour, high stats, good weapons options and the ability to extend themselves with marks,.. oh and this is core ;)

27-09-2011, 22:54
Just as Mrtn suggested acouple of posts ago pick your heart's army because you will end up picking it anyway at the end...
If empire, WoC are among your choices and cant make up your mind

Empire : more all around gaming experience,many miniatures you will get the army feel. Will allow you to learn the basic rules easier and faster because of their flexibility.
WoC : like empire but smaller armies though, cheaper to collect, nc looking in the table.