View Full Version : Building an Army; How do you go about it?

30-04-2007, 23:10
I'm not talking lists either.

Rather, I'm curious, do people typically buy all the units at once? Just one at a time? Even just a blister at a time?

Do you play a few games at 500 points, tweak your list a bit, buy some more and move it up a notch, going up gradually?

<. .> Just curious really; well, and I'm trying to find a strategy to get my own army rolling at long last. Mostly though, just curious.

30-04-2007, 23:16
I would never recommend getting all units at once. You will simply be overwhelmed, espicially with horde armies. I like to perfect my lists before starting to build. I would start up gradually. I have a black templar force that I am building right now. I have 500 points worth of them, and am slowly painting them right now.

Slaaneshi Slave
30-04-2007, 23:19
I generally buy them all at once, since I'm a weak, weak person. :p I don't recommend it, since I have around 15,000 points of various armies waiting to be painted, and its not a nice feeling... Especially when you keep buying more!

llama rider
30-04-2007, 23:20
first i get hooked on the models, then i think of a unique paint scheme and a theme or a background, then i get down to actually collecting. i usually build up from one squad, or even one battleforce.

30-04-2007, 23:21
I typically develop an army concept, write a list or two to decide which I prefer. Then I will start with one HQ and two Troops choices from the list, which I will be able to use in smaller games. I build them and paint them. Then try some games. Over time, I may alter the army list and continue to build and play until I have the full army. After that, I often add a few units for variety.

Sniper Kelly
30-04-2007, 23:33
I buy squads one at a time because I feel guilty about spending large amounts of money in one go. Of course, I still end up spending the same amount of money in the long run, but I find I'm able to concentrate on painting the stuff I already have before buying more squads.

01-05-2007, 00:35
Buying the units in stages is probably a wise practice, but I just do whatever the voices tell me to. They may be imaginary, but they've got some pretty good ideas.

01-05-2007, 00:48
firstly, i buy the codex. then i sit down and have a good read.
once i've gotten a feel for the army i draw up a 1000pt list
then I write two 500pt upgrade blocks to bring it up to 1500 and 2000pts.
then I go out and buy the core 1000pts then build and paint it.
then I buy the rest of the army in 500pt blocks.

01-05-2007, 00:58
As I said in another thread before: I buy giant heaps of miniatures and then need 10 years to paint all that stuff up. At least that happened to my Guard. My far larger Dogs of War army for WFB went a bit faster - I believe IŽve still got 2K of them to paint, but at least I see an end And then thereŽs the Dwarf army waiting in the closet....

IŽll give you good advice: buy 500 points, paint these and then buy something else. It can really depress you to look at the 400 models you still have to paint, and the heap grows nevertheless.

01-05-2007, 01:02
Number one rule to building an army: Never buy it all at once! You'll be simply overwhelmed with all the painting that has to be done, when you do paint you'll get sloppy and you'll eventually want to quit. Trust me, I made the same mistake with Space Marines when I was starting out.

I suggest getting a Codex and a box of troops of the army you want to try. Read through the codex and make an army list so you actually see whats in store for you.

01-05-2007, 01:15
For me, it usually goes something like this:

1, Think of a cool idea.
2, Relate that idea to the 40k universe and a specific Codex. Buy Codex and have a read through.
3, Pick out units that I want to go with my theme. Build an army list around those units.
4, Buy 500pts, paint and play.
5, Buy another 500pts, paint and play.
6, Repeat 4 and 5 ad finitum. :p

01-05-2007, 01:20
<. .> Just curious really; well, and I'm trying to find a strategy to get my own army rolling at long last. Mostly though, just curious.

Well last time it went like this:

1) Decided I wanted a change from Eldar.
2) Decided I didn't want marines (boring, everyone has them), Tau (anime, everyone has them), Chaos (boring, evil), Necrons (evil), Nids (evil), or Dark Eldar (Really evil - because they specifically chose to be). Remebered I always had a soft spot for Orks. Remembered it's fun sticking ork vehicles together and not caring if nothing matches. Settled on orks. Guard lost out for being too expensive to make and too neat in the painting.
3) Checked the codex to see if they were remotely playable in a fun way.
4) Went down the second hand shop and bought the codex, all the cheap gorkamorka orks, all the cheap and knackered vehicles, and all the random bits of vehicle I could find.
5) Assembled some vehicles. Built some dreadnoughts from bits and paint tubs.
6) Built a battlewagon out of sprues and bits.
7) Realised I needed some actual troops. Dug out all my old 2nd ed and space crusade models.
8) Started making lists and writing lists of special models I needed.
9) Bought or converted the special models (nobs, heavy weapons, etc.)
10) Started painting.

Stages 8 and onwards are not actually finished yet. I got distracted by a financial crises, a new Wood Elf army, and the new Eldar codex.

01-05-2007, 01:20
1) I buy the codex.

2) I give it a good read & look around on the internet for typical army builds & tactics.

3) I design a full force organization chart - my "dream army."

4) I pick the HQ & 2 Troops from the chart that I feel are the most likely to actually stay on my dream list after I've gotten some experience playing the army - other things on the list will probably be tweaked after I know the army better, so I delay buying them.

5) After one or two games with my minimal army, I jump straight to 1000 pts., again picking the units from the dream list that seem the most likely to be useful in the long-term. This step can be a little overwhelming, but it's simply too hard to find opponents for a fledgling list that is under 1000 points.

6) In theory, I'd wait till my 1000 points is painted before adding more units one at a time, but of course that never happens. :p

01-05-2007, 01:22
went through kind of a strange process for my dark angels.

I started with the army deal, the one with the codex. I constructed an army around the contents.

I stepped back and put it to my local friends, and they gave me feed back. the more I started to add and remove units, I ended up with almost 41marines with boots in the dirt, a dreadnought, and a predator, and I just liked the look of it and the challenge it provides me as a painter.

that's what I did.

01-05-2007, 02:34
i get the codex have good read through a couple of times then sit down and think

1. what theme can i inject into my army
2. work out a 1000 pt list to that theme
3. work out a kill team and combat patrol that will fit into the 1000 pt army
4. add 500 pts
5. add 500 pts
6. buy everything for the 1000 pt army then start playing and painting combat patrol and kill team followed by 1000pt battles
7. if i like the army it grows

01-05-2007, 07:50
<@.@> I think I'ma try to 500pt block thing then! Cause my first 500pts can't be too expensive (100pts of stormtroopers, a few GKTs and a Grand Master).

Hmm... >.> Now to see if Ebay has any deals on said GKTs...

01-05-2007, 08:07
for my dark angels, tyranids, tomb kings, high elves and wood elves I pretyt much just went out and bought as much as possible........but alot is slowly getting painted......very slowly

Gorbad Ironclaw
01-05-2007, 08:16
I'll draft up a list I want to play with(2k for warhammer and 1.5k for 40k), and then buys that. If I can't start playing with the army I don't really have any interest in it, and there is no way I'd paint just a single squad with the intention of getting more when it's done.

This way, I can actually have fun with the army right from the start. Buying 500 points or something just doesn't appeal. I don't play 500 point games, and the list would be very different from what I'd need at larger point values anyway.

Bjorn Stormwolf
01-05-2007, 09:12
I buy the codex first and put together a wish list of all the main things i want to include tactically and paint (with eldar this is becoming a problem as i like the look of everything.... ho hum.)

Next i buy 2 units. I build one and start painting, and during that time i'll build the other.

Only when i've finished painting one unit will i buy another. This ensures i have a bit of building and a bit of painting to do, whichever mood takes me at the time.

01-05-2007, 09:34
I get the codex read it come up with a couple lists I think I would like to play.
I go and order way to much of stuff, most of which wasn't on my list struggle for a year to get it all painted up and then buy some more. Yea I know it's a sickness.

01-05-2007, 09:51
1. Buy the codex
2. Buy as much as I can
3. Buy more so I can take any option I want
4. Weep at the huge pile of work for me to do

01-05-2007, 09:57
I buy the codex first, to get a taste for the rules, and what units I want, then I build a 2k army list out of it. After I have a list, I look on EBay, to see if I can get the (preferably assembled) models for cheap. If I can't get it for cheap, I go to my local store, and buy most of the army, usually around 1500 points. I assemble them all, so I can at least play friendly games with them, and then work on painting them...

Of course, once my main army is done, then I slowly add units til I get more of an army than I'll ever need :p

01-05-2007, 10:04
I have being dogin this for about ten years...i use nothign that isn't painted and rarely proxy (only 1 game in 20 or so)

1. buy the codex. give it a read through and the then agian to make sure I caught everything.

2.Write a 2000 pt list, a 1500 pt list and a 1000pt list in that order.

3. realizing that i only have $25 a month to spend I set up a buying schedule(budget) to figure out when I need to save money for a month to buy an expensive squad (this wasn't so bad when a tac sqaud averaged only 20-25 USD)

4. hope for my birthday or Christmas money (same month) or aniverssary money (my wife and i generally split it) use this money to buy any battleforces that fit what I need.

5. keep a close eye on Ebay for any opportunties (once got an eldar warwalker for 3 USD) I will buy out of order if it saves me even 3 USD.

6. due to limited budget I paint everything before I get a more. usually I hae to wait a week or two for more money as I paint relatively quickly (read I am watching kids an d have nothing better to do than paint).

7. play games once I hit 1000 point level and amend my lists as needed. I may find a unit just doesn't work or that I need another one. or that I need something to help out another unit.

8. Around 2000pts I add in about another 500 pts more to allow for variation in my 2000pt lists.

9. A list is complete between 2500-3000 pts. It is also fully painted.

NOTE: My most recnet army is a Raven wing army that follows(ed) a slightly different arrangement. Saveed up christmas and birthday money as well as payment for a painting project. didn' buy anything for 3 months. got togehter with another guy and bought $650 worht of stuff in go at 30% off, free shipping, and no tax. (saved about 45% off regular price that way) this inlcuded 4 battle forces and 2 box sets in additon to filling out my other armies' needs. Then I painted one test model. Now I have to write a chapter in book two of my series before I allow myself to paint a model. I've aiming to have both my army and rough draft done in 3 months time. It might take 4. You can check book 1 out at www.choaradar.com

01-05-2007, 10:04
I write a list, then buy all the models on that list.

I don't often suffer from the 'but it's too much to paint!' problem. Just work on one unit at a time.

01-05-2007, 13:01
With my 2 most recent armies (High Elves and Imperial Guard) I got the codex first, then a battleforce/battalion box and a Character.

In the case of the Elves I found that missile troops weren't the way I wanted to go so stuck to regiment boxes after that.
With the Guard I've found that the battleforce gives me exactly what I need, so I bought another and would have bought a 3rd if I hadn't been tempted by the armoured fist squad box.

With my other armies, (Chaos Marines, Orks and Fantasy Chaos) the battleforce boxes don't give me what I want so I have to go with the normal boxes.

The Orks in particular have been assembled with no overall plan in mind but I get what I feel I need at the time.
At the other end of the spectrum are my IG which is mapped out 1000 points in advance with only marginal adjustments due to experience (Infantry squad heavy weapon initially Heavy bolter- changed to Autocannon, swap normal Sgt. for vet Sgt. with bolter and techpriest gun servitors replaced by tech servitors) this I find creates a sence of anticipation which is driving the purchases forward (ahead of my budget...:( ).

Commissar Rowe
01-05-2007, 16:57
Firstly I come up with the idea of my army, fluff, background, origin (Basic stuff to begin with) from this comes appearance, fighting preferences and tactical styles.

Then I buy and read the appropriate codex, finalise the army's details as per canon fluff and army requirements and draw three lists.

A 500 pt. a 1,500 pt. and an uber dream-list (That stays just as that - a dream)

I then sit down with the price-guide and work out the cheapest, most effective way to populate the list, say I want to do a sentinel-heavy IG army, then I will look at buying at least 3 "Catachan Battleforce" sets.

This way, I have 6x sentinels, 9x Heavy Weapons teams and 75 troops to work with, plus plenty of bitz.

While I am spending the time assembling/converting/painting this lot, I can then plan (and save) for my next purchase. And while I am setting up the second aquisition, I already have a core force I can use in smaller battles to try out the tactics and feel of the army.

Count de Monet
01-05-2007, 17:41
What I try to do is the "get/read codex, write reasonable-sized (1500-2000pts) all-comers list, get figures for that list" approach. Doesn't always work out that way, and some pretty figures like the new Carnifex may be purchased without any specific army build in mind.

01-05-2007, 20:43
I generally buy them all at once, since I'm a weak, weak person. :p I don't recommend it, since I have around 15,000 points of various armies waiting to be painted, and its not a nice feeling... Especially when you keep buying more!

Sounds familiar :cries: Do as Slaaneshi Slave and I say, not as we do :p

I have two DA armies (regular and Ravenwing), an Eldar army, a Dark Eldar Army, and an Ork army plus 6 Destroyers to finish my Necrons awaiting me once I finish my Space Wolves. And I have a few spare marines I might work into Blood Angels if I like the update.

01-05-2007, 20:59
I'm not talking lists either.

Rather, I'm curious, do people typically buy all the units at once? Just one at a time? Even just a blister at a time?

Do you play a few games at 500 points, tweak your list a bit, buy some more and move it up a notch, going up gradually?

<. .> Just curious really; well, and I'm trying to find a strategy to get my own army rolling at long last. Mostly though, just curious.

I haven't built a new army in a long time, but...

My first Space Marine army started with the Tac Squad and Land Speeder from the 3rd edition boxed set. Then I picked up a Chaplain to be my HQ (so I could play a very small, basic game). Then I got a Battleforce to fill out a second Tac Squad and a few other goodies (I actually sold the bikes to a White Scars player so I could buy more Terminators). After that, I picked things up piecemeal as they appealed to me (or were on sale :) ).

My 'Nid army started from the 2nd/3rd Ed Boxed Army (it was an army deal that came out at Christmas and didn't sell, so the game store marked it down to about half price). Again, I continued to pick up additional models here and there to fill things out (and I did get one of the 3rd Edition boxed armies when the Codex finally came out).

My second Marine army came about because I was tired of the static gunline that my original Marines were (that's just how I ended up playing them). I had enough models that I had acquired in order to start a fairly decent force, but again much of it came through piecemeal purchases.

I think if I were to start another army it would probably start with a Battle Force purchase and expand from there. I like to start small and then expand as I decide I need things.

01-05-2007, 21:10
I buy the codex for the army first. If I've decided on my HQ and compulsory troops, I might buy those as well. If not, I read through the codex for a few days or maybe a week. I plan out my first 750-1000 pts and start with those. The latest thing I started was my Angels of Absolution 1st Co. That was easy to start: Codex: DA, 2 boxes of Termies, a Dread, and a Terminator Captain. I already had a Land Raider that needed an army to belong to, so it's finally found it's place.

01-05-2007, 21:57
Buy a codex. Read it.
Build a 500pt CP list.
Buy items for your 500pt CP list.
Assemble and paint troops.
Play 500 CP's to get a feel for the army.
Proceed from there to 1000pt, 1500pt, and 2000pt.

I followed this for my Necrons and currently my Eldar. I started doing this with my Black Templars, but when I found out the BT squads were a splash release to be replaced by a Chapter Upgrade box, I began to horde BT squads, thus breaking my plan.