View Full Version : does fluff effect your army composition?

07-01-2010, 11:18
simple as the title suggests, just wondering if people tedn to go for the most competative setups when designing a list or do you look at what the stereotypical 'classical' army for that race should have in it. ie

skaven with assassins bells and dwheels

empire huge amounts of state troops and artillery

etc etc

Ultimate Life Form
07-01-2010, 11:33
Yes, it does heavily, though it shouldn't.

For example, I refuse taking any Skaven choices that don't belong to Clan Pestilens (though I contemplate a joint venture with Eshin) and my Vampire army usually doesn't contain too many troops that I find 'unfitting' for my Bloodline.

07-01-2010, 11:37
I go for the models I like the look of firstly and then the fluff.

My Beastman army is Tzeentch based with all the models in that colour scheme.
I don't use Bestigors or Chaos Trolls purely because I think they're ugly. I occasionally use a couple of chariots but I don't really think Beastmen should have them so I don't use many.
My homemade fluff for them states they're part of a horde led by a Chaos Lord who fled Nehekhara thousands of years earlier. Part of his fluff was that he had conquered an Ogre tribe, so there are chaos ogres in my army.
I am thinking of adding Chaos Trolls using appropriately painted and modelled Ushabti models as golems created for the army.

Anyway enough blithering from me, for me models and fluff then competitiveness.

07-01-2010, 11:37
The background of my force determines its every aspect.

As an example: I am (very slowly) building a Dark Elf raiding force in two halves - 4,000 points of foot infantry supported by Cold One knights, monsters, and so on, and 2,000 points of Dark Riders and skirmishers.

The idea behind this is simple: the smaller, faster force is the scouting element of the army, while the larger, slower force is the bulk of the army.

Or there's the Army of Solland Resurgent that I own, which is very much a Southern army, with lots of pike, spear and shot - a cross between the Estalian influence felt in the southern provinces and the Empire's own tactical ethos.

Or the Wood Spirit army, with nothing that isn't a spirit or an animal (or bird). This lot come from a large, ancient forest in the border principality of Tyrka. No Wood Elves because there aren't any in the Old Forest.

Or the High Elf force from Tor Sethain, an Elf outpost-city, again located in Tyrka. No White Lions, or Phoenix Guard, or anything like that, because they aren't garrisoned there or come from there: it's just High Elf militias with some Silver Helms and Knights of Sethain (count-as Dragon Knights).

And then there's my long-dreamt of Badlands Orcs - Savage Orcs and Forest Goblins ahoy! Nothing else bar a Giant and some Trolls. Why would there be? They're barbarians and savages even by Orc standards!

Hope that helps. :)

07-01-2010, 11:38
I like to vary my armies a bit and not field the "classical" list all the time as that would grow dull for me fairly quickly. The only constant is that I don't field anything with the Mark of Khorne or Nurgle, it's Tzeentch, Slaanesh or nothing.

Anyways, my army book says that I should let my impulse guide me, this being Chaos after all. :D

Hrogoff the Destructor
07-01-2010, 11:41
I usually try to follow a theme as closely as I can.

If I can't think of a fluff reason to have something (ie all Khorne knights with 2 Tzeentch wizards on discs as my heroes), I won't do it.

The only real exception to that is my Empire Army. They are supposed to be from Middenheim, but they have a considerable amount of guns, the White Wolves have lances, and every now and then there'll be a steam tank.

However, my wizards are all elves, and my engineers are all dwarves (due to there being a decent population of them within the city).

My army is basically a bunch of Middenheim converts who follow Valten (using Karl Franz's rules).

The army generally consists of Teutogen Guard, tons of swordsmen, a few squads of handgunners, and a bunch of warrior priests. I usually have at least one war machine, but never more than 3.

07-01-2010, 11:45
Yes, lots.

My Warriors of Chaos army is mono Slaanesh, because that's what I like. I also hate using character models to represent anyone other than the character I have decided they are in the army's fluff, and I have none of the default Tzeentchian disc riding sorcerors in my army. The army also contains lots of Warriors and Marauders, not like some WoC armies I've seen that have no Warriors at all (???).

My Vampire Counts army is Von Carstein, and always has been since the old, old Undead Book, when Necromancer Lords were combat nutters and Vampires were sideline characters. My Lord is a fighty Lord because he always has been. He is staunchly loyal to Vlad von Carstin's memory and is similar in character - proficient both as a spell caster and a warrior.

My Bretonnians include lots of peasants as well as Knights, because they are the retainers of the various Knightly Characters in the army. I personally don't see an all Knight army as being that fluffy.

My Dwarf Lord is a stauch believer in tradition, so that means a good old Dwarf shield wall, lots of stoic Dwarf Warriors and missile weapons just as support. How is a Dwarf meant to uphold his clans honour from 30 yards away, eh, manling!?

The Red Scourge
07-01-2010, 11:46
I just try to fill it with the models I like and to have a good variation.

I change my lists a lot - rarely run the same twice - often to incorporate units that aren't working for me in order to learn how to use them. Also when you find yourself reliant on a 'crutch' or something too dominant e.g. 'Infernal Gateway Prince', I go for something different.

I've never liked the idea of the 'classical army', or the army build according to fluff idea. There are so many options open to play with, even base your own fluff on, so going with a 'canon' idea seems blatantly wrong.

Variation is the spice of life.

07-01-2010, 11:58
Aye, fluff and themes matter a lot for the army I field, but even more importantly is the models, bad models won't hit my army lists :P

For instance when I started with Skaven, it was purely because of the new awesome Plague Monks, so I went Pestilens Theme :P

DoC? Daemons, love them, tho I'm fielding Slaanesh-Khorne only.

And then my newly started Witch Elves army (DE), I love the models, love the fluff and also the vicious nature of an army consisting af mutliple attacks, frenzied and poisonous attacks appeal to me :P


07-01-2010, 12:00
I always collect an army with a certain idea of its background in mind. There needs to be a strong theme to inspire me. So without background, I would not collect at all.

That said, I tend to bend it in a way that suits my taste. I want a good story, but I don't want it to restrict myself too much. Take my Ogres for example: they are meant to wander through the Empire, and I want to reflect that in the models. But I can do that with almost any model in the army book, so it is more of a theme for the models than a restriction.

Something different would be an O&G cavalry army. That is a project I want to do at some point in the future, and it would be quite a heavy restriction - no foot models at all!

If I ever get to do my Dwarfs, I'd hold it similar to Eternus: good, old-fashioned Dwarfs, thick shields, lots of beer in the back yard. :D

07-01-2010, 12:02
Very much so! In fact, my armies always contain a theme based on fluff:

High Elves are the Green Hunters of Chrace: -

- Has multiple Lion Chariots and units of White Lions. All my characters (except Mages) are modelled with White Lion Cloaks and Great Weapons. My Archers are WE Glade Guard models (fits the Woodsman background) and they have Lion Cloaks as well and a single unit of Dragon Princes have been modelled as Lion Princes.

Wood Elves are painted in Autumn colours and so: -

- No Treemen or Treekin (they're sleeping) and only one unit of Dryads and units of Eternal Guard

Upcoming Dark Elves army is going to be a Cult of Slaanesh and so: -

- Cauldron of Blood will be a Alter of Slaanesh. Characters will be Sorceress's and units such as Witch Elves and Executioners will be modelled as Daemonettes and Chaos Warriors respectivily. Hydra will be represented by a Slaaneshi themed Chaos Spawn.

Personally I would never dream of making a WAAC list. Theme and background and what drives the hobby and the models and game on the table support that, not the other way around.

07-01-2010, 12:10

my old empire army was based in the state of solanad, with lots of blocks of swordsmen, crossbows and regerments of the renound, along with volly guns and helblasters (invetions from over the hill in tilla)

my current woc army is baced compleatly on festus home town that he corupted, there everything is nurgle or nothing, no warriors (due to no greatswords being in the town, so no full plate to corupt, only swordsmen and a small unit of knights

the rest of the army is fesus experment- the giant, the dragon ogers

07-01-2010, 12:10
It depends against whom I'm playing.

But being mercenaries, fluff is on my side, since anyone who can be bribed, persuaded, paid or blackmailed will come along for the fight.

07-01-2010, 16:45
For competative tournaments, like GTs, fluff has absolutely nothing to do with my lists. I want them to be nails so I place well.

For local tournaments and games with my clubmates, there is definitely a back story to each list.

07-01-2010, 18:15
Sometimes it depends. I used to have a very theme set army from Karak-Hirn and it was a traditionalist Dwarf army. With Quarrellers, Bolt Throwers, Grudge Throwers etc.

Nowadays I just don't care for it. :(

07-01-2010, 18:55
I tend to stick to "fluffy" armies. For example both my WoC and DoC armies are mono-slaanesh because I just like the fluff so much. I have started dabbling with non-marked sorcerors (just because I'm bored of taking only a scroll caddy against VC!) but other than that everything which can be marked always is and I will usually avoid using magic items/gifts which are blatantly khorne themed.

My TK force is basically a bit of everything - as I like the models so much.

I'm also about to start a Skaven army which isn't going to have any specific theme, but again will just be a collection of models I like, or conversions I fancy trying out.

07-01-2010, 18:57
I'd say for the most part I do.

07-01-2010, 19:40
I find my favorite part of the hobby is making fluff for an army then building a list to suit. Although how the models look does sometimes sway me to leave out some units... or encourages me to convert something different instead.

07-01-2010, 20:05
For me, absolutely.

If it doesn't make sense in my head, there's no way I'm putting it on paper.

07-01-2010, 20:13
My army construction is based mostly on the models and my want of a barbaric, non-demonic WoC army. If I don't like the model, like the Knights or the Chosen, I wont have that unit in my army unless I can find something to replace it. If I can find replacement models that I like, then I make up fluff around it. For example, I use an Ogre Kingdoms Yhetti for my Chaos Spawn, and then I explain with something like "Yeah the Chaos Gods really didn't like this guy, so they made him a Sasquatch."

07-01-2010, 21:05
Yeah. I'm playing a goblin army, with a common goblin general, so I have to at least take a couple regular goblin units (I mean goblin warriors, not wolves or artillery, that'd be too easy :p) or it'd make no sense.

Sometimes I regret it, though. I have that "it's going to be done some day" DE slaanesh army, CoK have no place in it, and it's a shame, the models are so sweet, but I can't justify dudes who forsake their sense of touch in a slaanesh army, right? Well I'm proxying them with mounted nettes, so the trade off isn't bad I guess :) (I love those minis, so dynamic, compared to the aweful plastic ones that are coming...)

07-01-2010, 22:54
To be honest, not really. First I build the army, then prehaps I make up some suitable fluff to motivate it.

It's not fluff that motivates my army composition. Trying new things, units or playing with units that are fun does.

For example, I'm a great fan of cavalry so usually, no matter which army I play, I tend to include alot of cavalry. But recently, because of that, in my latest games I've played completely without cavalry just to experiment, and see how well I can do without. Fluff doesn't really come in to it.

But... in my WoC army I usually dont mix marks, I go all-Khorne, or Khorne + Nurgle, and I never let a marked character join a unit with a different mark. It just feels wrong, I don't care if other people do it, but I won't do it because I don't like doing it.

I usually look for a theme in my armies, like an all Chaos warrior infantry army, with no marauders but warhounds, or a VC army consisting only of beasts (Dire wolves, bats, varghulf, ghouls) but thats not the same thing as a fluffy army. My goal when writing an army list is that it shall be fun to play with, and look good on the table. Also, I only play with assembled and painted models (although my opponents often field unpainted miniatures) because I think it's more fun to play with a painted army. If I have a unit of chaos warriors with red armour, I would only ever use them as Khornate warriors, even though giving them MoK might not be the best choice from a gaming perspective.

08-01-2010, 02:13
Depends on my mood really. But fluff is so cheapen now adays its almost offensive.

Agnar the Howler
08-01-2010, 02:24
It doesn't have any effect on my main army composition, but I do have fluffy lists written up in case I want to use them instead.

08-01-2010, 02:54
Absolutely, I rarely - if ever - take Dragon Princes as my Prince was common born and thus the Caledorians look down upon him and refuse to serve. I always take at least two units of Spearmen as Yvresse (where my force is from) is known for its highly skilled militia. So yeah, I always like to let the background have a significant standing on my army composition as I've found that it makes the games much more engaging.

When I hear about Great Unclean Ones leading armies of Bloodletters and Flamers my brow furrows to the extreme - its just so wrong.

08-01-2010, 03:17
It used to, now it doesn't. Used to play Empire without steam tank or flaggies due to fluff reasons, but now with so much fear causing stuff out there I've included a unit of each to add some stability to my line.

08-01-2010, 14:38
Yes, my WoC is all Tzeentch, that's including the maruaders and horsemen. The only unit without the mark are the pups and the hellcannon

08-01-2010, 15:08
It depends on the occasion

I have an army based around a formerly exiled High Elf Prince who has returned to Ulthuan after raiding Nagarroth. So the army has Sea Guard and Archers for Core, and small units of Silver Helms, Swordmasters and Shadow Warriors for Special. That's my fluffy list.

My competitive one is loaded with Phoenix Guard, Swordmasters and Dragon Princes for Special.

So it really depends on who and when I'm playing. Except for when my friend loads up on Chaos Warriors when I take my competitive list because I believe WoC are almost impossible to beat.

08-01-2010, 17:23
Yes it does, I collect an Middenland Empire army, so my IC knights are White Wolf.
As like 2 weeks ago I started reading alot about wood elf fluff, made me think alot and so I found myself buying a brand new wood elf army.

(It's also fun because I got bored with painting empire)

08-01-2010, 18:12
I often think about collecting an army with one specific theme in mind, but never do. I need more variety in my armies. I don't like fielding the same army again and again. When it comes to collecting I just like to own all the choices in the book, more than once.

Then whenever I want I can make a weird fluffy list or a harder list.

09-01-2010, 01:57
I used to be all about fluff, but now its just about theme. My Daemons, now in excess of 4K are all female, everything is converted except for the 'Nettes and Seekers, and all is painted in a single color pallet. My Warriors army is pretty much the same, though not all female. There is a uniformity to the bases, and a visual theme to the whole, though I did need to add some greens to an otherwise pink and purple scheme. My Empire army has always been painted with the red and blue of Altdorf, so anything goes as far as what I throw in it, but the theme is quite clear visually.

GW wanted to do away with fluffy armies, so why would I willingly handicap myself so terribly, just to fit the former fluff.

09-01-2010, 22:09
For me, theme and fluff is very important. I always field my all goblin army With my Goblin Chariot. Lots of chariots and mounted units in my unit. Then again if im playing in a tournament where everyone's list is competitive, then i adjust my goblin list. So i guess it differs who you play

09-01-2010, 22:31
GW wanted to do away with fluffy armies, so why would I willingly handicap myself so terribly, just to fit the former fluff.

Some of us continue to create armies around specific background because it's either more fun, for us, or because we're not slaves to the whim of the Evil Empire.

And besides, war is often unfair. Have you ever played a game where your small band of skirmishers must slow an army down by dying as slowly as possible?

Have you ever played a meeting engagement between vanguards of cavalry? Have you ever attacked a column of artillery with scouts and flyers? Ever played a game where one force is so massively unbalanced that it stands no chance of victory?

It's fun! Or can be, if you play against the right people...

10-01-2010, 00:35
As to your questions, yes I have played a fair few battles where I didn't stand a chance. I love them, playing both sides even. As far as war being unfair, I am fully aware of that, its what I do for a living. But in a tabletop game with 2000 points to a side, unless I am playing against a really good friend, and both of us agree to play a certain type of army, I am going to go with an army that stands a chance at winning. As a professional tactician, I am not going to make do with a certain unit that is just not as good as another if I have a choice between the two. Actually, I say that, but the reality is that I do seriously handicap myself. But I do so for appearance and theme, not because some book that is no longer valid says it should be so.

As a chaos player, I railed against the separation of Beasts, Daemons and Warriors; but I was told by my fellow Warseers to shut up and quit whining. I complained loudly that two decades of the fluff I was dedicated to were being thrown away, and that my army, (all 12000 points of it, lovingly convergted and painted to a single fluff) would no longer be valid in the way I wanted it to be. Again I was told to quit crying and embrace the new way. Guess what, When the Daemons book came out, as soon as I got home from war, I built up my somewhat disfunctional daemonic units into a cohesive force, only to find the very same people who called me a whiner for saying that the Daemon experiment would not work were now whining because the Daemons were too over-powered because the fluff had been eradicated. Well, too bad, is what I countered, Mini-True had said that the fluff that I believed to have existed for years and years didn't actually exist, and believing otherwise was thought crime. We are at war with East Asia, we have always been at war with East Asia.

When the Warriors book came out, I carefully unpacked my warriors only to find that by playing them as I had for a decade, I couldn't win a game with them because again, I was too limited in my fluffy view that a champion of Slaanesh would not carry an eye of Tzeentch or wear a collar of Khorne. My Slaanesh magic was also useless against 1/3 of the armies I was facing on a regular basis, so again I had to rethink how I wanted the army to behave, what I could do to have a chance at winning a few games, and threw the fluff out the window in favor of theme and counts as.

10-01-2010, 00:40
For me it depends on the army.

Dwarfs I have something of most things, so I can play in a variety of themes.

Skaven however are pestilens themed. Seeing as I've only just started I am thinking of changing this to skryre that has turned to pestilens... Just figuring out how to do my first techno plague monk!

O&G is only a tiny force, but as many black orcs as I can fit into the list (I plan to make some black orc boar boyz when the new boar boyz come out).

10-01-2010, 08:35
Whenever i design an army I tend not to do it around a background but I make sure that the Core units I take are big as they are the bulk of the army or so the background goes.

10-01-2010, 08:43
aye, fluff affects my troop choices :)

10-01-2010, 08:48
We are at war with East Asia, we have always been at war with East Asia.

Goldfarb lives! :shifty:

I see your point, and would recommend simply playing previous editions of WFB. I've stuck with 6th Edition. :D

10-01-2010, 09:51
Once I get an idea of what I want in an army (such as which army, background, fluff, etc...) I stick with it religiously. I have such a limited budget for wargaming that I really can't afford to buy things that don't fit in with my fluff, so I couldn't make an ultra competitive army even if I wanted to. Right now my army is a WoC Tzeentch list with led by a DP. Should be fun.

10-01-2010, 14:11
Hmmm ... too much for my own good, I'd say.

I cannot write an army list without some fluff and theme in it, and believe me I tried to make some "WAAC" lists ... those feel so wrong, I cannot warp my brain around it.

BUT ! Fluffy/themed doesn't mean weak ... of course, I shoot myself in the foot with my Night Goblins only army, but it's fun, themed, fluffy, and I even came close to win some games with it !

10-01-2010, 14:18
I never really think of it like that, i don't like restricting what i can take although fluff-related armies usually look better as people tend to take more time with them :) I like to use whatever i can and give everything a try, but to be honest i don't know much of the dark elves fluff

10-01-2010, 17:04
Most definately....My Chaos Warriors are mono-Slaanesh. My High Elves are Caledorian themed. My Daemons are mono-Tzeentch....You get the idea.

May not be overly competitive to limit myself like this, but I like the thematic feel to my armies.

10-01-2010, 17:20

I agree with absolutely everything you've said.

I just took a different path at the very end and decided I'd stick to the ancient fluff and blocks to GW and it's shabby writing.!

If you're a blood drenched ravening lord of khorne you don't wear that delicately scented pomander of Slaanesh! You hack off the wearers head and smash it into ruin!

I don't care how the game goes as long as everyone has fun, if I lose 90% the 10% I win are that much sweeter!

(the exception being cookiecutter Daemon lists, (why do people do this!?) which offend me so badly I might walk away). :confused:

10-01-2010, 17:34
I only play a few games a year; most of my time is spent painting, 'cause I like doing that. And all of my games are against one or more of my buddies. So all of my games are fluffy in some way, trying out different combinations of parts of my Kult of Speed. One of these days I want to use all of it at once (6600 points) and see what happens. If the annual OrkFest gets scheduled on the right weekend this year, i may get to. :D

10-01-2010, 17:35
As a chaos player, I railed against the separation of Beasts, Daemons and Warriors; but I was told by my fellow Warseers to shut up and quit whining. I complained loudly that two decades of the fluff I was dedicated to were being thrown away, and that my army, (all 12000 points of it, lovingly convergted and painted to a single fluff) would no longer be valid in the way I wanted it to be. Again I was told to quit crying and embrace the new way. Guess what, When the Daemons book came out, as soon as I got home from war, I built up my somewhat disfunctional daemonic units into a cohesive force, only to find the very same people who called me a whiner for saying that the Daemon experiment would not work were now whining because the Daemons were too over-powered because the fluff had been eradicated. Simple answer here mate, stop listening to people who are trying to control your hobby. My toys, my hobby, my rules about what my army is all about and why I love playing tthem.

In answer to the OP yes - even at the expense of winning.

10-01-2010, 17:41
My army composition is all fluff.

See, it's easy if you're just making an army with all the options, the fun is giving yourself a fluff handicap, limit your choices and come up with a themed army that still works.

Hence I play all-orcs on foot.

11-01-2010, 08:08
To a reasonable degree.

Warriors of Chaos
My army is nearly all Tzeentch, the only exceptions being a single Exalted of Khorne and his single unit of Warriors and single Spawn. The leader of my army when I started them was a Sorcerer of Tzeentch, who in larger games is taken as a Daemon Prince instead who allows an Exalted of Tzeentch to lead the army in tactical decisions while he leads by interpreting the will of Tzeentch. As such, the Khornates are included because manipulating them into taking the brunt of the enemy's firepower is child's play for a manifestation of Tzeentch's will.

This one is a Clan Moulder army, and as such includes Giant Rats, Rat Ogres and the Abomination, along with lots of Clanrats (Hell Pit is the most over populated stronghold in the Under-Empire). From time to time a small unit or specialist weapon or character will grace the army with their presence, since the Master Moulder that is always in the army could be assumed to afford their services by selling off a few of his creations. I'll probably add in some Dark Elf warriors as slaves, since a regular opponent uses them (in the old Hell Pit army list, it says that they can use any models to represent slaves).

Nephilim of Sin
11-01-2010, 09:26
100% fluff.

My Orc army is mainly a low fantasy, infantry heavy-army. My Night Gobbos have spears instead of hand weapons, because it looks cooler, not because of the bonuses.

If I don't have fluff, then why would I play the game?

11-01-2010, 09:33
Well...fluff can be subjective and easily cheapen. How about an army of caledor? 2 x 10 archers and 6 x 5 dragon princes with a dragon lord, dragon mage and 4 giant eagles... a little exaggerated? Maybe, maybe not.

Personnally, I am a chaos fan and had always wanted to see seperated chaos army books but with an option to combine the 3...to those who got screwed by GW, you have my sympathy.

Nephilim of Sin
11-01-2010, 09:38
Well...fluff can be subjective and easily cheapen.

This is true, and something I always think about when I read 'But why weaken your army?' posts. Fluff goes both ways, and with the right 'fluff', can make a right deadly army.

11-01-2010, 11:08
While I respect the amount of effort that would have gone into creating the sculpts I've found most of them to be good, but not great - however I really am reserving my final judgement till I see them in person. As the Minotaur sprue looks really impressive whereas the picture on the site looks just okay.

11-01-2010, 11:24
Well...fluff can be subjective and easily cheapen. How about an army of caledor? 2 x 10 archers and 6 x 5 dragon princes with a dragon lord, dragon mage and 4 giant eagles... a little exaggerated? Maybe, maybe not.

Aye, ideally that army would be slightly weaker than a truly balanced 'bit of everything' army.

My mate has a stegadon army, I love the theme, my orcs however, don't.

11-01-2010, 11:29
My mate has a stegadon army, I love the theme, my orcs however, don't.
Try motivating them with a bottle of ketchup as an Idol of Gork and the promise of a huge barbie if they win:D