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McFace
03-03-2014, 16:08
Hey all,

I am picking up WHFB and was just wondering what a good army size was to start?

I see a lot of 2,500 lists around, but figured that was standard tournament size (Kind of like 1,850 is in 40k). Probably waaaay too big to start with.

So what am I looking at? 1500? A bit more?

Thanks for any responses!

Minty
03-03-2014, 16:13
1'500 is a good choice. It's a solid army which lets you field at least one or two of the special toys that made you pick whatever army it is. It's easy to paint 1'500 points in a couple of months.

NemoSD
03-03-2014, 16:23
Well if you are creative, you can get 1000 points out of most Battalion boxes.

The trick is figuring out how to make a General out of them, some it is easier then others.

I recently acquired the Ogre box, and it was quite easy to make a Tyrant/Bruiser out of one of the Ironguts, and a Bruiser BSB with one of the extra standards from one of the Bulls. Plus if you have the extra bases sitting around, you can get a 20+ group of gnoblers as well.

High Elf, you can use the chariot as a lord/hero, and the silver helms, archers and spears will bring you up the rest of the way. (About 800, buy a single mage, and use it as an Archmage, this will get you the rest of the way.)

Bret Box: Using the Pegasus as a Noble, converting one of the KotR to Paladin with BSB, and you can build about 900 points out of that box.

I don't know the rest of the armies well enough to break it down, but around a 1000 is a good point to start in my opinion.

Ultimate Life Form
03-03-2014, 17:02
Yes, most Battalions equal around 1000 Points and that's a good starter size. Once you got a few games under your belt you'll soon see where you would like to expand from there. As NemoSD said, a General is usually not included. While I've seen some beginners play their first games without a General, technically he is required by the rules and you won't get far without one anyway. Usually most Character models are eligible as a General. Your army book will tell you the exact facts. So if you're not willing to invest into a Dragon, Carnosaur or Great Daemon yet (it's quite a commitment), just get one of the cheap characters on foot for now. They will sit safe in your Rank & File Units, confer their bonuses and fill the role quite nicely. And once you expand, you already have an extra Hero.

McFace
03-03-2014, 17:18
Thanks for the responses!

I think I will start with a battalion and go from there.

baransiege
03-03-2014, 18:01
1,000 points gives plenty of options for fun games, and you start reaching the enjoyable level at around 800 imo. There's no need to worry about those huge 2500 points lists for some time.

Charistoph
03-03-2014, 18:07
You could even try to get your local group to set up a escalation league/tournament series. First tournament is 500/1000 points and every week/month, you raise it by 250/500 points. This encourages you to build and paint, and encourages the others to either start a new army, or play with you at your army's level.

EvanM
03-03-2014, 18:45
Buy a battalion and a hero, theres 1000pts (pretty much any army). Play with it 2-3 times, then buy a special unit, aiming for about 200 to 250 pts, and whatever else you want to get you to 1500pts. Then play a few more times, then buy a rare unit plus some stuff to get to 2000

Lord Solar Plexus
03-03-2014, 19:05
Build-up / escalation campaigns here usually start at around 750 points. 1,000 is fine as well for a starter force, then you can aim for 1,500 over the next months or so, whatever your budget allows. 1,000 point games can be a lot of fun and allow for a couple of options. That's probably a Battalion box and a character blister or two, perhaps a cheap special or rare unit, depending on the faction.

McFace
03-03-2014, 22:40
Hey all!

Just posted my first list. It's based on the Lizardmen battalion:

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?390799-1000-pts-of-Lizards-1st-WHFB-list-ever!

GreaseMonkey
05-03-2014, 02:55
When me and my 4 friends started WHFB, all at the same time, we all bought a battallion of each of our army: Orcs, Chaos Warriors, Skaven and Ogres. We started at 1000pts and for me (Orcs) and the Skaven player it was very difficult, getting totally anihilated multiple times by both of the other players until we got up to 1500. Letting us select our good rare choices and add models in our special units. We all agreed that the game was
quite unbalanced when playing under 1500pts and right now we always play 2500 pts. It allows all armies to select just about everything you want from your book and build big enough units that are actually useable. I feel that armies with cheaper models get much better at higher point games.

NemoSD
05-03-2014, 03:11
At 1000 points, you can not let the models do all the work, and the traditional rock, paper, scissors/hammer and anvil tactics are not as viable at low point levels. At 1000 points, you don't have chaff, and you can not afford throw away re-directors. Skaven and other low LD armies have an uphill battle at low points, which means they need to relay on boosts to their morale, be it BSB, or stick a helm of command in there somewhere.

But yeah, 1500 you get more toys, but at around 1500 points you either have to all agree to go tourney or moderate. By that I mean, if even one player goes the min max route, it is going to ruin the times of others. It will either force them to min max (which is cool if you are into that.) or they will never win, and even the staunchest hobbyist who says he doesn't give a **** about losing, well they still want to win battles on occasion.

Greyshadow
05-03-2014, 03:24
Congratulations for taking the plunge - never been a better time to start in my opinion! I'd recommend 1250 pts. Once you have your army, instead of increasing your games beyond this points value*, use your new units to allow you to use different armies for each game. Another tip: ideally you should each be having a 1:1 win loss ratio within your group. If you are winning too much, change your list with a view to making each game a challenge again. It is much better to have exciting, nail biting games that you sometimes lose than to wreck peoples hobby all the time. (P.S. 1500 pts is great too).

* it is great to get a few big games in occasionally though!

SpanielBear
05-03-2014, 04:19
All that said, while it is true the game really shines at 1500 and higher, it is far from unplayable at lower points values. If the goal is to be just starting, introducing people to the hobby on a budget, battalions are a good idea, and 750-1000 points works well.

I'd also agree with the suggestion of changing things up if someone starts winning constantly. Losing to the same list each session is not especially fun, and leads to a vicious cycle of list tailoring rather than taking models that inspire you. Besides, it's quite gun to have an army on the back-burner that's famed and feared amongst your gaming group, that can be bought out at grudge matches or for ultimate showdowns of ultimate destiny...

boli
05-03-2014, 11:47
I've played a lot of 1.5k games and it *is* highly playable... But often the result can end up in a single battle or even dice roll.

Its not like you intend to death star but balanced lists with smaller units tend to do much worse than if you emphasised one tactic (a single combat unit with a hero character can often approach 50% of your army without even trying).

I'm not saying 1.5k games are bad... Far from it, they are a great size to learn games from... But they do tend to skew power levels and results.

Lord Solar Plexus
05-03-2014, 13:59
But yeah, 1500 you get more toys, but at around 1500 points you either have to all agree to go tourney or moderate. By that I mean, if even one player goes the min max route, it is going to ruin the times of others.


That's no different from any other point size.


I've played a lot of 1.5k games and it *is* highly playable... But often the result can end up in a single battle or even dice roll.

Its not like you intend to death star but balanced lists with smaller units tend to do much worse than if you emphasised one tactic (a single combat unit with a hero character can often approach 50% of your army without even trying).


I think that is partly a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you only have one unit, of course losing it will end the game. That was the player's decision when he wrote his list. Also, when people say that at low points you cannot include cheap units (chaff), that mindset leads to these results - you decide you cannot afford to deflect a hard unit. Apart from this it is obviously a peculiar notion. It shouldn't be a problem to include an affordable Sabretusk, some archers, dogs or Skinks in low point games.

I've played a lot of games around the 1k mark lately and my experience is very different from yours. People who put all their eggs into one unit with little support ended up having problems when the opponent didn't run straight at it with his own main unit. On the other hand, when I triple charged those Chaos Warriors from three sides (front, rear, flank), even they keeled over. There simply wasn't anything to stop me from moving a unit around on both sides at whatever pace I liked.

boli
05-03-2014, 14:47
I think that is partly a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you only have one unit, of course losing it will end the game.

We did start out with a mixture of scaled down units although we found that full MSU unit play panic became a massive issue skewing in favour of gunlines and monster/chariot play; so naturally when we played with infantry it was of slightly larger units which in turn made gunlines less powerful.

Likewise with Magic with only a level 1 or a level 2 your opponent has it much easier to block spells; people talk about 6-dicing spells but at such low points it was more 6-dicing dispells... "so you have 2 spells, OK which one don't I want casting? - right I'll 5-6 dice dispel that and let the other through.... you want that one to go through you have to risk exploding and taking out your unit/mage.

When we used infantry again we had to raise the numbers of them; simply to avoid panic and auto-wins by chariots/monsters. (otherwise not worth bringing)

An example 1.5k skaven force I've used is:

Warlord w. Halbard and poisoned attacks

Chieftain BSB with Halbard
level 2 plague priest w. flail

50 skaven slaves w. musician
38 stomrvermin w. razor banner & PWM

5 jezzails
39 Plaguemonks w. plague banner FC

WLC
Doomwheel

583 points in SV
467 points in PM
102 points in tarpit
340 points in "toys"

It has the numbers to survive the shooting phase to get into combat; and big enough to break steadfast should it be needed. but (imho) not all eggs in one basket - although loosing any of these "groups" will be a serious blow which is hard to recover from.

Lord Solar Plexus
05-03-2014, 16:00
It's certainly true that every faction has to find its own answers to the usual problems. With Empire, I can more or less field an Ld 8-9 force, so panic is less of an issue compared to say, Skaven. Nevertheless, low-morale armies also have low budget characters and can field a BSB at 1k. Both the SoD and the Gleaming Pennant are very cheap, so panic doesn't have to be an issue (especially if you set up flee lanes correctly).

MSU actually helps a lot against gunlines. Moving up with Pistoliers followed by Knights makes Dwarf Handgunners sweat. Same with an archer screen, or dogs, bats, whatever. Again, not everyone can do it equally well but there are some tools.

The same applied to magic: At 750 points I only had a Warrior Priest which was just fine. In some more recent 1,250 point games, I had an L2, the WP and a Hurri's bound spell - plenty of stuff to chose from. It's not feasible for WoC I know but O&G and Skaven at least can do it, too, and a fortnight ago I've seen VC with three casters @1k. So, if you feel two spells are not enough, take a unit of Warlocks, or a Loremaster of Hoeth, or add the Ruby Ring or whatever bounds your AB provides - or just invest those points into a chariot, some Fast Cav or a warmachine.

That's a fine list btw! :)

Ramius4
06-03-2014, 13:18
Question: "Best size for a starting army?"

Answer: How much money do you have to spend on it? ;)

palm
17-03-2014, 20:53
When I started years ago (the first time round I played) we were playing 750pt games however I think 1500 is a good start.

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