I'm sure people have already discussed this, but as there's no obviously active conversation going on about it now I thought I'd start a new thread rather than resurrect a dead conversation. So, the fan-made army project has been going for a while now, and it's been quite well embraced by my club with a fair few people collecting small armies using these lists so I thought I'd give my thoughts on some of these armies and see what other people think of them.
The website for this project is here - http://warhammerarmiesproject.blogspot.co.uk/
Here's the PDF for the Norse book on Scribd, you can read it in browser or download is here - http://www.scribd.com/doc/34396670/W...r-Armies-Norse
I've already play tested this list myself and it seems quite balanced but there are a few things that seem wrong about it. The most obvious omission is Marauder Horsemen, and this is something I genuinely don't understand them not having. It seems almost obvious to me that the Norse should have both Marauders and Marauder Horsemen.
So with that, and considering this list has no cavalry at all, this isn't too much of a problem as the Ulfwerenar can do the job of fast cavalry but from an aesthetic, a lack of cavalry looks odd. A big problem lacks of cavalry does is mean that the Norse lack a decent long distance charging unit, and it lacks a bunker unit for mounted characters which is a pity as the Sleipner is a really cool mount. This does leave the Marauder Horsemen models as possible base models for character conversions, but they'll probably be easily picked off. The second big issue this list has is a lack of war machines which means it'll, ironically, have a problem dealing with big high toughness monsters. Still over all this is a cool list that I really like and it's easy to model.
My suggestions for models easily converted for this army; along with my judgement on each unit are as follows:
Bondsmen - Empire Free Company (with Chaos Marauder shields)
Bondsmen w/ bows - Bretonnian Peasant Archers
- Good standard infantry unit, cheap S3 T3 unit that can do hordes or support marauders.
Marauders - Chaos Marauders (without shields)
- These are basically Chaos Marauders with great weapons, but they're a bit pricey points wise.
Reavers - Chaos Marauders (with shields & green stuff armour)
- If you include throwing axes, at 11 points per model they're expensive but shocking versatile.
Whalers - Chaos Marauders (conversion needed for javalins)
- It's a basically a standard S3 T3 skirmisher with javalins for 7 points. Very useful.
Giant Wolves - Goblin Wolf Riders without the Goblin
- Never much liked using animals be them Sabretusks, Chaos Hounds etc. but these do the same job well enough.
Huscarls - Chaos Warriors (perhaps with Bretonnian Men-At-Arms shields)
- Decent moderately powerful infantry at a decent points cost. Worth using but nothing overly special.
Ulfwerenar* - Vampire Counts Crypt Ghouls with some green stuff for fur etc.
- Fantastic unit, skirmishers, S4 T4 WS4 makes them hardy, regenerate makes them resiliant, and they're FAST I5, M9. Still at 17 points each they don't feel overpowered, they're just extremely useful.
Einherjar - Dark Eldar Mandrakes work beautifully here.
- WS5, Ld10, Unbreakable for 13 points each. These are nice, and extremely good for fluff and theme. They suit being the centrepiece of an army if needed as they make a great tar-pit.
Berserkers - Empire Flagellants with some conversion can work
- Generally not a fan, I can't find a use for these that Einherjar or Reavers can't do better or cheaper.
Shield Maidens - ...honestly no ideas, I'm open to (and eager for) suggestions here.
- These are basically slightly better Reavers, and they break up the army with a feminine unit. Only problem is I can't find anything to represent them, otherwise these make good basic rank and file units.
Norse Dwarves - Either Dwarf Longbeards or Dwarf Ironbreakers with Chaos Marauder shields.
- Again there's very little here that the Einherjar doesn't do better, still they're cheaper and add some variety in style to the army.
Norse Hunters - Wood Elf Waywatchers
- These are the skirmishers you want to use over the Whalers. The only reason to use Whalers over these is if you're keeping back your special points for something else or need more core.
Snow Trolls - LotR Half Trolls work well for variety but Orc & Goblin Trolls are good choices too. Perhaps you could even use your Ogres here...
- I really like trolls, even with Stupidity, and these are basically just Trolls with Frenzy, which is awesome. A bit unweildy and pricey at 50 points each but useful.
Valkyries - Dark Eldar Scourges work well
- THE reason to spend your rare points. WS5 Ethereal, Fear causing, Fliers, who are Immune To Psychology and are extremely heavily armoured infantry. They rock. The book doesn't state that they're monsterous infantry or basic infantry so I'm assuming basic infantry, either way they're extremely cool.
War Mammoth - Forgeword Mammoth
- A really nice excuse to use the Forgeword model. This is a nice monster, very powerful, good crew with bows, if anything might be slightly overpowered at only 275 points.
Frost Giant** - Bestmen Ghorgon/Cygor converted, Daemon Prince w/o wings, or (my fave) Be'Lakor w/o wings.
- Someone's been watching Thor... still, this is the first "giant" styled model that I genuinely like. Giants are far too random, this works beautifully. Unfortunately while it's a nice model and seems balanced, it's a cannon-fire and arrow magnet which means it rarely survives past turn 2.
Ice Drake - Forgeworld Carmine Dragon
- Strong, very tough, perfect for destroying warmachines. If you're playing a big game, this is exactly what you need to protect the Frost Giants, unfortunately at 2000 points, one Ice Drake and one Frost Giant uses almost your entire rare budget, so compromises need to be made to fit them in. Nicely balanced though.
*This is a brilliant excuse to use the Forgeworld Skin Wolves but they're only 1 would basic infantry so should be on 25mm bases. You could just play them on larger bases and not care, but larger bases means you have less models in base contact with the enemy. You could have them as "counts as" for two Ulfwerenar if you really want. Personally, I say ask whoever you're playing against if you can house rule them as having double attacks and wounds but them being monstrous infantry, unit size 3-10 and costing double. This makes them 2 wounds, 4 attacks and 34 points each, which seems just as balanced to me. Anyone willing to let you use a fan-made army anyway will likely be OK with this change especially as it means you get to use awesome Forgeworld models, but the Crypt Ghouls do make a good alternative (so you could always keep Skin Wolves as a Storm Of Magic Bound Scroll option).
**Don't ever use a Giant model of any kind for Frost Giants. They play nothing like normal Giants. They don't fall over, they don't do random attacks, they're actually extremely efficient and operate far more intelligently. They seem more like this lists equivalent of the Dragon Ogre Shaggoth from Warriors Of Chaos.
Overall, this is a good army, it's got a nice theme to it and I like it, but it's missing things making it feel somewhat one note, focusing too much on raiders marching forward supported by icy magics and monsters... sure it's a consistant theme but it's slightly limiting.
Here's the PDF for the Albion Book on Scribd, you can read it in browser or download it here - http://www.scribd.com/doc/11168361/Warhammer-FB-Albion
I'm currently play testing this army and it's working fairly well, it's got a very nice Grimm fairy tales feel to it and is does capture a "fae" feeling but it also seems too focused on Ireland/Scotland which makes it feel too much like a british isles nationalists power trip, (but that might just be how it seems from the eyes of a jaded Englishman). This is a nice army as it's the only army other than Tomb Kings that fields entire units of Chariots, something that sets it quite appart from other armies similar to it like for example the Norse or even Chaos.
My suggestions for models for this army, and my opinions on the units are as follows:
Warbands - Empire State Troops painted with Celtic/Mercia themes.
- Simple S3 T3 standard infantry. They work fine.
Woad Raiders - Meh...
- An extra 3 points per model for +1 WS, Frenzy and the Woad special rule. Overpowered and far too inspired by Braveheart honestly.
Skirmishers - Empire State Troops with the Skaven sling upgrade pack and some green stuff, with a Celtic/Mercia paint theme.
- Decent basic skirmishers... although surely they could have come up with a better name for the unit.
Hunting Dogs - More Meh...
- Honestly, I've never used these but I'd imagine they would be about as useful as any other dog/wolf unit.
Clansmen Cavalry - Chaos Marauder Horsemen or Wood Elf Wild Riders
- Same stats as Marauder Horsemen. Well balanced, decent unit. Versatile but not too expensive, but not so powerful that they feel overpowered.
Chariots - High Elf Chariots with green stuff, with Chaos Marauders, Bretonnian Men-at-Arms or even Wood Elf Eternal Guard driving works well.
- Well priced, decent cheap chariots designed to work in a unit. With characters who are also designed to be in chariots, these units will act as a solid centre unit for your army. With both Chariots and Cavalry as core, this can give this army a very fast movement.
Hearth Guard - Chaos Marauders or Bretonnian Men-at-Arms with Celtic/Mercia paint themes.
- These make a good hammer unit and work well, but I find they do tend to get left behind if using largely cavalry and chariots for core.
Swordmaidens - Wood Elf Eternal Guard perhaps.
- These make for another good hammer unit but as with the Hearth Guard only work well on a largely infantry army.
Druid Neophytes - Wood Elf Wardancers maybe but I'm not sure...
- These guys can be useful but again, they lack the speed to keep up with the main army. This army works well with speed.
Pixies - Heavily converted Dark Eldar Razorwings is the best I could come up with other than scratch building.
- These are nice and work well with the theme, as fliers they can keep up with the army, they're a cheap unit to worry the opponant and they can hit ethereal enemies.
Fenbeasts - The Storm Of Magic Fenbeast model isn't bad, but Crypt Horror conversions also work well.
- These are extremely powerful and useful, although somewhat slow monstrous infantry. I like them, they fit the aesthetic well, but they're probably not worth the points if I'm honest. Still they work well and when they are used properly they can be invaluable.
Sidhe - I like the LotR Mordor ringwraith special characters for these, they just work.
- I love these guys, so atmospheric and the reason for wanting to hold back and include more infantry. Ethereal, fear causing, and unbreakable these are useful in many situations. I want an excuse just to use these guys.
Stone Thrower - Mordor Stone Thrower and Marauder/Men-at-Arms/Eternal Guard as crew.
- It's a stone thrower, pretty standard, decent for the points.
Mastadon - War Mumak Of Harad from LotR, Ogre Kingdoms Stonehorn, or Lizardmen Stegadon with much green stuff and crew as above.
- Seems out of place for this army, but it works quite well. I'd rather spend my points on something else though.
Giant - NEXT (Giants bore me).
Well, that's the Albion army. Not quite as refined as the Norse army (and I've only tested it a few times), but interesting and fun to play with, giving plenty of options and far more freedom than the Norse but not quite as competitive I feel with some things a little overpowered and others feeling less useful than they should be. Still this gives us a good reason to mix and match models. Wood Elves, Chaos, Empire and Bretonnian models all together can make a great army, alternatively there's loads of options in the Lord Of The Rings models that could help set this army apart.
The next armies I intend to look into are Araby and The Fimir, will give my opinions on them soon. What does everyone else think? Have you played with these armies? Do you like or follow the fan-army project? Do you disagree with any of what I've said about the above armies or have any different opinions on what models work well for them? I'd love to hear more and I think this could make for a very interesting discussion.