View Full Version : Please help a really indecisive guy!!!

23-03-2010, 21:08
Hi guys, so I'm going to start WHFB after playing 40K for ages.

I have acquired copies of all the army books and had a basic scan through and I really like the look of Wood elves, Empire and Warriors of Chaos.

Can anyone give me any info that might help me decide on what army would be best to start with? Are any easier/harder for beginners? The empire detatchment system seems a bit complicated to me aalthough its only fiorst glance really.

Soooo, can any of you kind and helpfull people offer me any nuggets of wisdom that might sway me towards any of these armies???

Jack of Blades
23-03-2010, 21:20
You actually said army book instead of codex at the fantasy forum? The power of the dice is strong with this one, our chosen, you will lead us to glory and victory! the 40kers shall be PURGED! :evilgrin:

That aside, I wouldn't recommend starting an army based on its ease of play for a beginner but its long-term appeal. Don't really get why people prefer to spend money on stuff they might not necessarily like the most and throw away the chance of mastering something advanced while they're at it.

Now now, I would recommend you to start with whatever you feel the most inspiration for. A good reason, certainly when you have to invest a lot of time, money and effort into it.

According to popular opinion, Wood Elves are just about the closest to 40k that you can get in Fantasy. Their playstyle is based around avoidance, combined charges, fragility, pretty good shooting and some tough tree spirits to crunch things. I would say that they contend for the position of being as far away from the playstyle of WoC as one can be.

Next up is WoC. This army wants to get to grips with the enemy as soon as possible, they've got hard, expensive units of several variations and also have access to the usual ranked blocks in the form of Marauders. You might find their options a bit dull if your environment is very competitive but if it's more relaxed where people don't feel the need to win and you can create house rules etc. then I think you'll find this army very cool & you'll be able to create varied lists then.

Empire is what most people in this thread are going to recommend to you. They're the middlemen of Fantasy, what people point at when a new guy asks what's a good idea to start with. Nevertheless, they are also a rewarding army to master. I personally don't like them too much right now but they're okay and I'll probably like them when they get updated. Empire is supposed to be based around ranked blocks but they tend to do little other than get butchered, which is why people only ever take Swordsmen for their improved save & identical static combat resolution. They also have some of the potentially most devastating war machines in the game and good shooting. They can specialise in pretty much anything but they're generally less effective at it than the armies that dedicate themselves to it (for example a combat Empire list is probably not going to jump over the fence about facing WoC).

23-03-2010, 21:29
If you're prone to waffling around with army choices than empire is your best bet- as jack of all trades race you can build very different armies with empire without having to switch races.

Past that, go with the one that appeals most to you. You'll be a beginner for your first 4-5 games and then have the army for years.

23-03-2010, 21:42
I think Jack pretty much hit several nails on the head there.

Whilst wood elves are vaguely similar to 40K in play style, they're commonly thought of as very hard to master, so I suspect learning to play with them would be a steep and vicious learning curve. Also they're quite far removed from many of the core rules (eg they don't have many blocks of troops amongst other things) so maybe try a different army and then if you like the game you could develop into them.

WoC are quite cool and have some lovely hard infantry and cavalry, as well as cheapish infantry and cavalry, so they're good and flexible. However the lack of shooting does pretty much negate one phase of the game (however that's not necessarily a bad thing, I used to always forget the magic phase, so played dwarfs for quite a while, where magic takes the form of "my magic cannon ball hits you in the magic face").

As for Empire, they're supposedly a nice balanced army with the ability to focus on any aspect of the game, or take a bit of everything (think Jack of all trades, master of none). However many games end up with the Jack of all trades causing a bit of pain in each phase, and then the opponent (a master of one trade or another) laying the smack down in their phase of choice (eg empire against WoC will cause some pain in the shooting and maybe magic phases, but then when it comes to combat they might as well just turn round and bend over).

In summary, I think I'd suggest WoC for their cool appeal (in my humble opinion) and their reasonable success on the battlefield. However as Jack says, go for whatever you like/most appeals to you, and stick with it till you've got the hang of it (I made the mistake of jumping around armies when I was starting out, subsequently costing lots of money and not really learning how to play any of them successfully).

Hope that helps

23-03-2010, 22:07
If you're not sure, than Empire might be the best bet, as both the others may commit you to tactics that on trying them out, you might not actually like.

However, you may want to try out various other armies to get an overall feel, before actually starting to purchase the models.

23-03-2010, 22:14
Do you know anyone who plays those armies? If you do you could watch a game with them see what you think. Maybe you could watch a game or two at the local games night in your area?

You're investing money and a lot of time when you build an army so get one you'll love. You want it to motivate you to paint it for example.

23-03-2010, 22:23
Wood elves are not really hard, only different. A lot of the conventional WHFB wisdom won't apply to them, which makes them a bit tricky to use. When playing WE you need to use their speed & mobility to stay out of harms way, soften up the enemy with shooting, and then stab them where it hurts with a well placed wild rider charge (note: does not have to be wild riders, it can be wardancers, dryads, treekin, treemen, eternal guards or some exotic DoW unit, heck even waywatchers can be used to deal a swift & decisive blow, although they are not nearly as good at it as the other units that I listed).

WoC is the army that you should play if you like heavy hitters. WoC is almost the polar opposite of WE. While WE is like a scalpel, WoC is like a sledgehammer, hitting the enemy hard, straight on, dealing massive damage. They are more forgiving to play, but I would not really say easier, as it's lack of shooting and those slow moving blocks presents their own challenge.

In the end, proxy some armies, play some games, get a feel for what you want to play, before you spend your hard earned money on an army. And try to watch a few games with those armies being played, preferably in the hands of some skilled players.

23-03-2010, 22:26
Out of the three I'd go with empire.

Lets you try all aspects of the game, is friendly to beginners, and has a lot of room for customization once you know what aspects you like.

23-03-2010, 22:32
i would start with empire too. i hate chaos armies (really ugly models), while the wood elves dont appeal to me.
my advice is go with your tastes. thats the best solution in my opinion.

23-03-2010, 22:32
My advice is don't worry about what's easy to play/paint/cheaper. Doing this leads to you spending more and putting in more in the long run when you get sick of your army. Focus on choosing which army you can see yourself enjoying making new lists for and painting up new models for.

Ultimate Life Form
24-03-2010, 04:39
Empire detachments really aren't that complicated. Generally Empire is considered a good starter race. Warriors of Chaos are considered a bit bland by some, but if you want to make sure you have the upper hand in close combat, these are for you. Wood Elves in contrast heavily rely on mobility and can't take a beating so as a result require some degree of mastery to win games.

24-03-2010, 04:48
It can also go down to a matter of playstyes - Empire is classic Renaissance, Woodies are guerrillas, and WoCs are gorillas/Wookies.

24-03-2010, 04:50
I say go for WOC, even if the army is boring and the chances of getting shot to pieces is high, you still die prettier.

24-03-2010, 05:04
Only Slaanesh dies pretty.

My advice to you is pick an army you think is cool, then start by playing them at 1000 points. If you don't like it, sell it. I got back into fantasy three months ago after a 5 year hiatus, and bought a whole bunch of Skaven because I liked the new models. Turned out I didn't like the army so much, though. I'm working on selling them now to try a new army.

You probably won't pick the army you love first time around, but you have to start somewhere. Good thing for you is you already made a list, and narrowed it down. I narrowed mine down to Tomb Kings/Lizardmen/Wood Elves/VC/Dark Elves/Dwarfs as far as armies I consider cool, but really only the Lizzies/Wood Elves/Dark Elves/TK seem interesting to play. So you're better off, since you've got a smaller list.

Take the three armies you have mentioned, but one, play it at 1000 points, and at the same time borrow the other two from friends, and play them against your own army and see where the differences lie, and weigh what you like about both. Trial and error is really the only sure method to figure out which army you'll end up sticking with ;)

24-03-2010, 06:59
Most everyone has good advice. I answer your question with more questions.

What was your favorite codex to play in 40K?

Do you want to start a new style of play, or ease into it with something more familiar?

What attracts you to the armies you want to choose from?

24-03-2010, 07:32
Excellent! I like these kind of threads!

On Wood Elves - of the 3 books this was the most pleasant to read, had excellent stories and backgrounds, some nice models, and overall they seemed to have flavour - which is tough for a pointy headed army!

BUT...they are a tough army to get your head around. Now you may quite enjoy the challange but heres the problem....once you finally do master the army they kind of become dull to play - they have a certain playstyle which becomes a wee bit boring not only to use, but for others to play against.

But that in itself wouldn't have stopped me doing them - afterall if the all out shooty army becomes dull i'll play an all infantary wood elve army instead - hey i wont win but who cares? no, my biggest reason for not doing wood elves is that they have no business fighting a lot of the races of warhammer - they love their bloody forest so much that you wont see them sailing off to lustria, or marching north to fight the chaos hordes, or ally with anyone - i dont like the inward nature of the race.


excellent themes to base an army around - 4 runious powers and chaos undivided.
excellent back stories galore
some really nice models (but also some damn ***** ones too)
hard hittign in close combat
some dirty magical attacks (gateway, shudder)
good selection of characters, magic items, to make for some down right dirty play
good value battalian box


there are not that many competitive builds other than all mounted, the models are really love hate, i personally love the maraders but not so keen on warriors, others are the other way around! and the biggest thing is again after a while your gameplay is similar - run forwards, smash things apart, run forwards again. lot of people like them though as they like the simple glory of the charge, followed by more charging.


oh no....here it comes....

YES!!!! Actually Im going to look through my posting history - i did a really good breakdown of why empire a few months badk - BRB!

The Red Scourge
24-03-2010, 08:22
I did WoC as my first army, and it was a lot of fun, you don't need much in the way of tactics, and they can really bring the pain.

I then did woodies, as I wanted something completely different that took a part in all the phases in the game, and boy was I rewarded. Having an army that relies solely on the movement phase to win, means having an army that relies solely on you the player to win, as the movement phase is the only phase not reliant on dice. Also woodies have no 'bad' unit choices in the book, all are very viable. And there really are a lot you can do with the army, its probably one of the best designed armies out there :)

Currently I'm selling off my WoC for dark elves, as I've found that I really like the elven playstyle. Its got variation, speed and is quite reliable. But the WoC was great for getting a taste for the game.

I love to play against the empire though. Its a fun and versatile army too with a great mishmash of religious fanatics and steampunk, and the only reason I'm not dot doing an empire army is that I'd make a gunline, and it wouldn't be fun for neither my opponents nor myself to play - but I'd really love to fire those cannons ;)

24-03-2010, 08:44
Wood Elves - they have the best book (most internally balanced) and great looking models.

I've played Empire since mid 5th edition, and I will admit that they have an insane amount of customization; I still find new ways to play them every few months. So if variety is what you are after then Empire is where its at.

Chaos is alright, if you like heavy elites (or played Space Marines in 40k) this might be the race for you.

24-03-2010, 08:59
As far as the armies go, another thing to consider is the presence of magic. For example, in WoC the best way to get what most people consider decent magic defense is to field wizards of your own. While this may not bother you, if you are looking for a way to really go magic light WoC might not be the army for you, with expensive scroll carriers.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you are looking to go magic heavy, I hear that Wood Elves are not so hot in that department. I only play them once in a blue moon however, so I'll let the more experienced generals chime in there.

As others have said, Empire is more of a middle ground, but if you are into one phase or the other, WoC or WE might be better for you.

Ultimate Life Form
24-03-2010, 09:03
Another thing to consider may be that Wood Elves will get a new Army Book... well, not soon but... eventually... -ish... I guess.

This is to say, not this year and maybe not even next, but it is probably scheduled earlier than Empire and Warriors of Chaos, meaning the army may change in ways that aren't favorable, a fate that has recently befallen Beastmen.

While this may sound far off, keep in mind that we also get 8th Edition soon, so you may want to wait just another few weeks and then start out with the new and (hopefully) improved rules. I figure it could be a tad confusing learning 7th now and then imediately shifting to 8th.

24-03-2010, 11:11
I'm assuming from your initial question that gaming is more important to you than the modelling and painting?

If that is the case it would tend to count against the Empire, as their big blocks of cheap infantry would be the highest model count.

Chaos will be more forgiving for a beginner, but given the model prices it's worth bearing in mind that you will be investing a lot, so best to think beyond the first half dozen games.

The main difference here is shooting. Chaos don't shoot much at all, so it really depends whether you want to concentrate on moving and charging, or if you want a more nuanced playstyle that involves shooting as well [and then charging in to finish them off].

Oh, personally, there's also the narrative aspect to consider - are you a good guy or a bad guy? - and the flora and fauna of the people you are likely to be playing against.

24-03-2010, 11:37
I think in the first instance, Jack got it all spot on. These threads are awesome as you get a great amount of feedback and hopefully some insight from other gamers.

From personal experience, I would say that the best advice is what appeals to you most? Which army can you most identify with? I started out with Lizardmen because they looked cool :) I found I really enjoyed painting them and they were great for playing with, so start at that point and go from there.

I don't really like Empire, because I'm not a fan of painting THAT much flesh lol. That said, they are EXCEPTIONALLY flexible. Wood Elves...can be very very hard to beat if the list is worked well and the models are gorgeous. Warriors of Chaos..hard as nails, but quite a small force as they are big on points. Again, relatively good all round but lacking in variety of shooting.

Empire has it all, magic, combat and shooting, with enough variety to keep you entertained for years. Never thought I'd say this, but I would go with Empire in your position.

And well done for saying Army Book and not codex :) I don't have to send Deathmaster Snikch after you now

24-03-2010, 13:25
I would say that you should choose the army that is most visually appealing and has the background you love!

That is why I chose Gobbos, because they are visually awesome to look at and add a touch of the comedic to the game!!!

I also chose Wood Elves because of their visual appeal and their role in the Warhammer World.

Empire is another one of my choices, why? Because the story of the Empire and their constant struggle. Visually they are pretty nice to look at, but with my Gobbo-Empire conversions, I enjoy them even more!

I would say pick two of the armies you like out of the 3 based on the two above mentioned reasons, and then make or proxy two 500-1000 points worth of them and use them. This could appeal to your tactical side. You may like the way one plays moreso than the other. Who knows, you could like both! Then you could work on building them both at the same time!!!

Sons of Blight
24-03-2010, 13:42
For Sigmar!

24-03-2010, 16:22
Yes! For Sigmar!!! Or in my case, Green-Sigmar!!!

24-03-2010, 16:48
can't find it:(

but do Empire for many, many reaosons

1) Their entire model range is available
2) Their entire core, special, and rare is 100% plastic
3) A good number of theur characters are also plastic, and furthermore VERY easy to make plastic characters as you get so many darn leftover bitz from each box you buy
4) You have more army builds than you know what to do with
- Gunline
- infantary horde
- mounted
- mix
5) The army is still very competivive, at our local store the empire is either 1st or 2nd in local tournaments, and they do it WITHOUT using double steam tank and war alter combo
6) background and fluff - just oddles of it - very nice stories and themes which in turn allow for very themed armies - let your imagination run wild with them. for e.g the borderprinces have a lot of rouge nobleman from the empire, so if you liked the army but not were they were set, move them to the borderlands!
7) conversions and kitbashing, like mentioned before, very easy to make your army look unique and cool

so yeah,do the empire!

25-03-2010, 00:52
It can be really tough to find the army that fits you. The important thing (IMO) is not which one looks the best or which one you have more fun playing, but a good mix if the two. I started fantasy with vampire counts because I love undead and thought the models were amazing, but their playstyle bored me to death and it wasn't long until I started looking at other armies i had previously glanced over. Fast forward awhile and I will never play anything other than ogres and wood elves again. I was never initially impressed with their entire model range, though admittedly I always thought they looked OK, but I did love their fluff, and after playing them as armies I absolutely fell in love with them, and even love the models (and collect them) now since they've grown on me. They are just too fun to play with.

I'm presuming you like the look of empire, WE, and WoC since you listed them. Out of those, I'd say go with the fluff and playstyle you think you'll have the most fun with. I personally find Wood elves as varied as empire. I can go combat heavy dragon lord eternal guard wardancers bsb, sethayla shooting heavy waywatchers warhawks glade guard, magic heavy spellsingers treemen, or a mix of them all, and no matter what my movement phase is always top notch.

Ultimate Life Form
25-03-2010, 05:40
That's right; playstyle is important, too, not only models. The armies you listed play very differently, so you might want to take that into consideration.

25-03-2010, 11:05
damn you condottiere! now they will forever be wookies of chaos!:eek: