View Full Version : Themed Armies

12-08-2014, 17:20
Themed armies are sooo cool... but rarely effective. What ideas do people have for themed armies, and how would you make them competitive?

12-08-2014, 17:32
For me, I have an idea for a "Holy Army" for the Empire. Lot's of Knights devoted to Sigma, warrior priests, Light Wizards and Flagellents. Heres the list. Does anyone think it could be relatively competitive?


L4 Wizard
Lore of Light
Dispell Scroll
Total - 225


L1 Wizard
Lore of Light
Total - 65

L1 Wizard
Lore of Fire
Total - 65

Warrior Priest 65 (runs with Flagellants)
Heavy Armour 2
Shield 2
Van Horstmann’s Speculum – 40
Total – 109

Warrior Priest 65 (runs with IC knights)
Heavy Armour 2
Shield 2
Mounted/ Barding 16
Total - 85


14 IC Knights 380
f/c 30
Steel Standard 35
Total – 290

6 Knights 133
f/c 30
Total – 168

6 Knights 133
f/c 30
Total – 168

6 Knights 133
f/c 30
Total – 168


3 Demigriph Knights
Total - 204

40 Flagellants (hoard formation)
Champion 10
Total – 490

Great Cannon
Total 120

Great Cannon
Total - 120


Celestial Hurricanum
Total - 120

I'd get 5 channeling dice, and an extra casting dice from the hurricanum. The Light mages will cast banishment in the early exchanges, and buffs once in combat. The L1 fire mage has four useful spells he could roll that would help out once in combat (fire cloak, sword of rhuin, burning head and flame cage). If he rolled buring head he could fire it diagonally from the corner of the flagelllant unit and score a fair few hits. Fire cloak could be brutal if the enemy doesnt dispell it. The smaller knight units would run in 3x2 formations and work as mini hammers, and the IC and Demis would fight for the flanks.

12-08-2014, 20:25
flagellants are unbreakable, cannot be joined by warrior priests. SO sorry, it really really blows.

the list is decent! I HATE chaff so i would combine 2 of the 6 man knight units to be 12, and just have one heavy chaff unit, but thats all

so change it to be 14 ICK, then 12 Knights with GW (hopefully) and FC , then 6 knights for chaff NO command, dont do that on such a small unit.

40 flaggies are fine, 10 wide is prob best but you could even go wider like 13 wide ish.

only issue is that Warrior priests cant join flaggies :(

12-08-2014, 20:27
Take the war altar is a great buy for your list. It fits and is actually quite useful.

12-08-2014, 21:19
Can wizards join the flagallants?

Here's a question for you... can you take 2 hurricanums and get +1 to hit, along with a further +1 to hit, as well as +2 casting dice?

12-08-2014, 21:47
To be fair, thinking about it, I'd rather swap the priest for a 2nd Hurricanum, sitting just behind the flagellant hoard, seen as their End is Nigh special rule is most likely to give them hatred anyway, and possible rerolls on wounds.

Man, imagine the carnage... In the first round of combat the flagellants will in most cases have 7 guys in base contact. Their franzy and supporting attacks, along with unit champ, will gift them a whopping 29 attacks. They'll almost certainly get re-rolls, and the 2 hurricanums mean they'll be hitting on 2s. That means, on average, 26 strength5 hits will be getting through! And thats without buffs. Imagine casting Birona's Timewarp on them. 36 attacks!!!! Thats then 34 S5 attacks getting through. And now imagine if 2 flagellants martyr themselves, you'd be getting re-rolls on wounds too. Holy christ! I wont even bother working out the bedlam if they went up against another hoard, with the whole front rank in base to base contact.

12-08-2014, 22:19
hurricanums are good but you only need one. the +1 Power dice DOES NOT stack and i am unsure about the +1 to hit, but the PD for sure does not.

ONLY UNBREAKABLE characters can join unbreakable units, so if you had a dwarf slayer he could join flagellants. empire has no unbreakable characters.

war altar would be good in this list and he can do light council at the same time since it gets banishment.

Yeah heres the thing about the flagellants,
1. they are expensive
2. end is night is a LOT worse then it used to be
3. they used to always get T4 and stuff
4. I dont think hurricanum hit bonuses stack
5. they have t3, no armor
6. warrior priests cannot join them
7. flails only give you +2 S in first turn.

because of all that, most people dont bother. if you dont play flaggies legally, then sure they seem awesome

12-08-2014, 22:39
You've just listed all the reasons why ive always stayed away from them. But surely, they're still killy enough in that first round of combat to kill most things, even with only 1 hurricanum. With the basic martyr and just 1 buff (timewarp) cast on them, they're scoring on average... like 30 S5 hits. Thats 20 - 25 wounds. Surely that makes them the hardest hitting tarpit unit out there, and worth a punt.

12-08-2014, 23:43
Yes, theres tons of reasons not to take them, but they are a cool unit and i love the models. i just wish they didnt nerf them so insanley hard in 8th ed empire. oh well. i mean unbreakable is barely worth anything now over stubborn

13-08-2014, 06:03
Themed armies can also be beardy as it can quickly become a spam list

Certain armies are also more suited than others. VC for instance have a lot of balanced choices and none too OP and as all the Core is garbage there's no nasty spam possible.

Mine are themed around Blood Dragons because I liked the concept of Blood Knighst (always field a unit)

Since I don't wanna field the same army in every game I just worked out a revised list for myself.

Lords: Vampire Lord
Heroes: Wraiths, Banshees, Wight Lords, Vampires, Nceromancers
Core: Skeletons, Dire Wolves (Zombies and ghouls are too poorly disciplined)
Special: Grave Guard, Black Knights, Fell bats, spirit hosts, Vargheists and Corpse Carts (I like to think of my army in military terms and it seems right to have a "logistics team")
Rare: Terrorgheists, 1+ Blood Knights, Varghulf, Wraiths

Not too restrictive, but it helps me remember who my general is

13-08-2014, 10:32
I've not got a "themed" army as such, but my Daemons all have a Nurgle element to them - my force started many years ago as mono-Nurgle, but I've since expanded into other gods (currently I have about 3,000 points Nurgle, about 1,500 Slaanesh, about 1,000 Khorne, and about 1,000 Tzeentch - about 6,500 all in), and they all have Nurgle coloured highlights to tie them into a unifying force.

I'm looking forward to reaching my aim of 2,500 of each god, fielded in one huge 10,000 point battle against a few forces of Order.

13-08-2014, 21:00
I always wondered if Doc players ever painted their armies to look mono-god even if they weren't mono god.

14-08-2014, 07:37
I always wondered if Doc players ever painted their armies to look mono-god even if they weren't mono god.

Some do, some don't. Same as pretty much any other collector! :p

I tend to keep to the main god colour schemes, but as Is ay, I'm using Nurgle colours as "spot colour" to tie the army together visually.

14-08-2014, 18:10
If it was me i'd paint all my daemons super dark with just glowing eyes and shiny claws, I want them to look like nightmares coming across the field.

15-08-2014, 03:54
I'm currently figuring out how to run a brilliantly themed Von Carstein vampires army and display board.

Vlad, Isabella, Mini-Mannfred and Konrad, a tonne of wolves, a Black Coach, Fell bats and Grave (Drakenhof) Guard. Add in some skeletons with Tower Shields.

The problem is that it's lots of points in characters and not many competitive units.

Also Wesser, I always thought a cool Chaos/Dark Elf chariot conversion would suit a Blood Dragon Black Coach, an idea I'd considered several times.

15-08-2014, 06:23
Warriors of Chaos have a reasonably strong theme army (Throgg troll/monster spam).

Vampire counts ghoul/crypt horror/terrorgheist/ghoul king is reasonably okay, but need necromancers/mortis engines to become super competitive.

Clan Skyre Skaven is pretty cool and super fun.

edit: you also need to remember that themed armies can be a lot more diverse in unit options that you might imagine. A clan Skyre skaven army can easily have rat ogres- just give them lots more mechanical parts. A hellpit abomination can easily fit with clan skyre, especially if you scratch build it to be a massive mechanical monster. The same goes for a lot of armies- religious empire can easily have state troops, just have them be lead by warrior priests and attach lots of purity seals to represent how devoted they are. A steam tank can be a plastered with religious texts and flowing purity seal type things, and etc etc.

15-08-2014, 07:35
I'm building a themed Empire army at the moment (also a plog (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?394334-Rex-Fidelis-Acephale-s-Empire-plog) that is seriously lagging behind, going to update it as soon as I get my phone and computer to like each other).

The idea is that a mad Nordland count goes on a doomed crusade against all "heretics" - i.e. the rest of the world. He deems magic use to be heretical too, so there are no wizards in my army.

So far I've been running blocks of swordsmen, halberdiers + some handgunners, a bunch of GS, a cannon (and sometimes a hellblaster) and knights. BSB, a Captain, sometimes an Engineer. Got the Lietpold the Black model (using Marius Leitdorf's stats) representing the Mad Count himself - he's not been in the regular games as of yet though, only in a special event thing where 10 characters fought it out, order vs destruction. He was the first to die btw, against an unkillable WoC. :p

I'm building the army for an escalation league thing so it's been steadily growing from 500p. Next match will be at 1250p and then I'll throw in a WP I think. In the future there will be a Landship in there as well, probably counting as a Steamtank most of the time.

As for competetive, I don't know. My last match, a 2vs2 with me and another Empire guy (who uses the same colour scheme and no wizards either, funnily enough) against Lizardmen + TK, ended up a very close draw after us dominating round 1-4. Most matches before that saw my brave troops getting slaughtered and routed, and I've had some seriously bad luck with the artillery - my cannon has a 3 out of 4 self-destruction record. But the whole project is done for fun and not for competetive play so I don't mind that at all.

15-08-2014, 16:15
Orcs and goblins can do a really fun and also competetive themed army, i've created a night army with Night Orc biguns (orcs with black robes and hoods, and a troll carrying a huge moon as standard), night goblins with (lots) of fanatics, big squig herd, medium sized troll unit, squig hoppers with hoppa boss, 2 manglers, 1 pump wagon, 2 doom divers, 2 rock lobbas, (crew and snotlings witch black hats and black cloths) 1 hooded black orc on wyvern, NG shamans (possibly a Night orc shaman), lots of little NG bosses with Great weapons. :)

15-08-2014, 18:20
Empire without magic is a good theme, it's just super hard to play as. Magic is so powerful if left unchecked.
You do have war machines though, so that's good. If you want a suggestion mine would be replace magic with artillery, get 2 great cannons and a helblaster in 2k games. You have to wreck their good units with artillery

15-08-2014, 21:09
The trouble with themed armies is, like someone has said, they can get pretty beardy under the guise of being fluffy. Lots of demis, hey it's a theme, but not fun to play against.

It's actually very hard to determine a 'themed' Empire list without straying into the realms of spam. Empire has so much utility and synergy that any guild or theme will pretty much work.

15-08-2014, 21:42
Any guild should work, but the empire book needs some tweaks to really fix the issues. Not gonna list them, but the ideal army list allows you not only to actually take themed lists but be able to be competitive with them

16-08-2014, 07:57
Empire without magic is a good theme, it's just super hard to play as. Magic is so powerful if left unchecked.
You do have war machines though, so that's good. If you want a suggestion mine would be replace magic with artillery, get 2 great cannons and a helblaster in 2k games. You have to wreck their good units with artillery

I started out very artillery-heavy, problem was that several miscasts later all those points were wasted and I had little else available to turn things around. I'll probably go for a more balanced approach in the future, with focused artillery fire and a wizard-assasination strategy on the side - a WH on an arabyan carpet perhaps. So while they're busy trying to avoid the obvious sniping cannons I'll fly in my suicide bomber guy from the flank and take out that juicy lvl 4 caster... : )

16-08-2014, 08:26
One of my favorite themed armies is the night goblin army... And maxing out in fanatics (i have 15 fanatic models but i have yet to see all 15 on the field).
Although not super effective, i sometimes just like to frustrate my opponents.

16-08-2014, 08:29
I am also in the process of converting my wood elf army to a Christmas themed army (this of course has little to do with the army list and more to do with concersions).
One such idea i've had is taking a high elf tironic chariot and replacing the horses with stags/reindeer. Yes, Santa rides in to battle with wild riders!

16-08-2014, 21:46
I'd love a have a bunch of tiranoc chariots for my elves