View Full Version : Returning Fantasy Player Needs Advice

10-07-2011, 00:36
Hi guys, this looks like a decent enough Warhammer forum, and the link to Maelstrom Games is nice as I've used them in the past.

Anyways enough boot licking! I used to play 40K and Fantasy with mates back in college and in some cases throughout university. After university I eventually kicked the habit in to save some cash and concentrate on other things. That and playing with kids a lot at a local social club lost it's appeal.

However in Pompey we have a GW store that's quite popular and has an adult gamers evening after work. I've tried to resist the temptation to go back but I gave in and decided to see what was about. Since I last played, 40K hasn't changed, but Fantasy is now on 8th Edition which from first glance at the rules changes looks really decent and has sorted out a lot of balance and gaming issues. Shame the price is still the same!

However I enjoyed Fantasy more than 40K and so would like to get back into the hobby. However the hardest part is where to start from as it's been a while since I played.

I used to play Tomb Kings and Vampire Counts (old Tomb Kings and current VC) and enjoyed playing undead though I think I liked the fact the models were quicker to paint (those that I didn't buy off Ebay pre-painted that is) than most armies. I have limited desire to resume Undead again despite liking the new models that the revised Tomb Kings have (plus at least 1 gamer I saw in the store today plays them anyway and I always like fielding a unique army).

However there's a huge amount of choice and I don't know how 8th Edition has affected them. Also assuming I'm going to have buy and assemble and paint from scratch I need an army that doesn't go ape on the model details. The guy in store today was very helpful and took me through a timed paint session in which he gave me a Night Goblin spearman to paint from base coated stage. He showed me that in less than 10 minutes even I who is a complete noob at painting or art skills was able to paint a fairly nice looking model, obviously we didn't go into highlighting, but a quick drybrush, some normal painting and a final colour ink wash and even I thought the model would look good in a regiment. So a simple to paint army is a plus, and that's why armies like Orcs and Skaven are tempting, but armies like High/Dark/Wood Elves and Chaos/Dwarfs scare me as their basic infantry has a lot of details.

Anyways I ramble, basically I need some advice on how to kickstart my return to Fantasy. From what I've researched so far I should get the Island of Blood set, even if I don't want to be High Elves or Skaven, mainly because you get a rulebook and dice/templates which cost a bomb by themselves. Although the rulebook is a "lesser version", so is it still worth me getting the proper one?

The GW store has an evening where I can learn the game again and also paint up my models which I'm tempted to do as I'll concentrate more on the task when I'm in that sort of setting rather than at home.

In terms of playstyle.........well with Undead I went rather magic heavy which was alright but very unpredictable and a little too dependant on it in 7th Ed. I don't mind Magic, but I don't want it to be the bread and butter or "use it well or die horribly" aspect of an army. I don't tend to see any armies however (bar Dwarfs obviously) who don't use magic in some respect (i.e. take nothing but combat characters), is that still the case? I suppose I favour mobility, speed and ranged capability over bog standard melee, but to be honest I'm flexible considering the ability to paint the army (and also afford the army so the more plastics the better really) is a major concern.

At the moment, after a lot of random reading, the 3 most likely armies in my choices are:

Orcs & Gobbos
High Elves
Warriors of Chaos


New book, they look great and have a huge variety in terms of units. However it will be an expensive army to create and the huge variety is also an issue as it's impossible to decide what to take! I can see an "all spider/wolf" army being fun mostly because that giant Arachnarok thing is just........well.....amazing, and I'm normally arachnaphobic!! But no idea whether it's viable given that infantry is the king. Fielding a ton of orcs or gobbos or both will certainly be time consuming and pricey (i fear a lot of models are still metal or finecast). To cater for several kinds of army styles means more models and more cash required.

High Elves:

Less models mean less painting, though they have more detailed models to paint. High Elf magic is quite nice, their shooting is still good, but having to field more men per unit hurts them due to their massive point cost. Also variety is non-existant in a HE army, hell they only have 2 rare choices and from what I've heard, RBT's aren't worth it now so you basically have a couple of eagles............wow. So the danger is that I'll be stuck with the same HE army always.


Chaos Warriors and to a degree even Maurauders took a nice boost. Variety isn't too great again as a lot of units are mediocre in the list (rarely see people give a monkeys about shaggoths and spawns), but at least there is more room for customizing with the marks, however once you've painted, you're stuck with it. However I know probably less about how to field a Chaos army than any of the others! Units being pricey though means less painting.

Other Considerations:

Undead and Empire I'm not keen on. I've done undead to death and personally I can't justify opting to enter a fantasy setting and then playing.......humies........just seems really boring and the typical artillery gunline will get stale after a while.

Dwarves were tempting, but not having a magic phase at all might take some of the fun out. Still they are a possibility to consider even if they love artillery so much.

Don't think any of the other armies appealed to me much. Ogres aren't my thing, Wood Elves have been nerfed to hell, I hate horse calvary and I've no idea how Dark Elves panned out.

Sorry the post is long, but I'm guessing the experts here need this kind of detail. Let me know if you need anything else. I look forward to getting back into a long dormant enjoyable girlfriend-negating hobby!

10-07-2011, 03:12
I would go with O&G if I were to start a new army.

You say you like magic? Mobility, speed and ranged capability. Well, both High elves and O&G have lots of fast units, WoC not so much. None of the armies have the ranged capabilities of the Empire, the Dwarfs or even Dark Elves or Bretonnia (!) IMO. But O&G can be built with lots of arrows, and warmachines. HE have only got the Bolt trower and archers, as you write.

Price wise, O&G are the most expensive. But, they have mostly plastic, you can get night goblins in packs of 20, for quite an OK price IMO. The fun stuff, and also, if you bring Orcs, will be more expensive, you will need many units to fill the points. WoC are the cheapest in this regard, two battalions and some characters and you are done for a 2000p list. HE are somewhere in between.

The great thing with O&G is that you can build a list of say 1000p to start with, and then add stuff to that, crazy warmachines, trolls, giants, spiders, other core or special infantry, squigs, pumpwagons. With the elite armies, I find that you have less choices. And all of the units in the O&G book are OK, and you can play them in any list as long as you have a solid core consisting of big units of orcs, goblins or both! You will have room for many different units, and the magic lores do not force you to use certain units, the way for example HE can do, Shadow or Life are good with different Special choices, so many build the list after this.

The same thing with an Empire army, you can just expand it forever =)

10-07-2011, 09:50
Cool beans.

I hear dark elves are still doing well but not sure why. For range don't they simply have magic and crossbows?

I forgot about lizardmen but I hate the idea of being forced to take a Slann to be viable as they are too cheesy. What are they like now?

10-07-2011, 14:20
Which army has the coolest models? I'd take a good look on that, you'll spend a fair while staring at them while painting.

10-07-2011, 15:12
Technically elves can look good but aren't as humorous as goblins. I need to now add lizardmen and dark elves to the list.

10-07-2011, 15:18
Well I'd vote for Orcs and Goblins. As stated the variety means that they can be collected forever, reasonably easy to paint as well. Plus on EBay you can get Orc units for a steal, and then retouch up the paint so you can make an army from them.

Most armies have limited builds in 8th, but the Orcs can go Gobbo heavy, orc heavy, or combo them. I like to take 2 Rock Lobbas and 2 Doom Divers in my army, and then blocks of Orcs, but if you look at people's lists, they all have some variation.

As stated though, find something you enjoy collecting and painting, as that is a huge part of the hobby, and if you have no passion for an army, it is someone's EBay find away.

Good Luck

10-07-2011, 21:35
What really puts me off Orcs though as well is the cost of buying that many figures. 20 goblins per box is nice, but then you need probably 40 per unit so that's 2 boxes for a low cost points wise.

Orcs however are now sold in boxes of 10..............seriously?? 10?? That's such a pitiful amount considering you should be running mobs of 30+ right?

Jack of Blades
10-07-2011, 21:52
Remember to Ebay your stuff, there should be no shortage of O&G players selling their stuff away. Then you can buy a few boxes of stuff that you really want to have ''originals'' of, like characters. while (re)painting and/or (re)basing the rest. Saves you a lot of money for a bit of bother.

Lizardmen might look like they have variety on the outside but they really don't - their armies tend to look the same. Slann, TG, saurus, salamanders, chameleon skinks - all virtually guaranteed to make up the core of a Lizardmen army. You do have some more options but they are (though I'm no Lizardmen expert) quite sub-par, unlike say the options in O&G and Tomb Kings (that are notably the only 8th edition books yet which shows what a good trend it is). Although sub-par doesn't mean unuseable, it's still a weakness of the book.

Really you can't go wrong with O&G it's just a question of how much you're going to enjoy them.

10-07-2011, 21:58
Fair do's, looks like I'm left with O & G, High Elves and Dark Elves, however the cost nature of Darkies might put me off and to be honest the only main appeal of them compared to High Elves was having Hydras.

O & G, plenty of variety, funny to use, fun and fairly good magic phase, easy to paint despite lots of models required - might cost a fair bit to acquire, difficult to decide on army choices. Also a recent army book meaning they are more "current" than the Elves.

High Elves - cheaper to acquire as most models plastic and being an elite army you don't need many, solid magic capability, not as easy to paint though and the army list is very restrictive particularly in the rare department as people are saying that their bolt throwers are rubbish now (but people still love spear chukkas in O&G so I'm not quite sure what difference there is here apart from points costs I suppose). Not sure I'm a fan of Elvish fluff though.

Had a look at sample armies on GW website, granted they are huge armies which I'm not aiming for just yet, but I did like the look of the Savage Orc themed army (people used to just ignore Savage Orcs before, It's nice to see them actually be considered now) and Spider army, which is suprisingly as I'm usually arachnaphobic, but even I have to say the giant ones look AWESOME!

A goblin themed army isn't for me, that's just going too far in terms of number of models required to assemble and paint. I'm happy to mix and match while sticking to a "general" theme so I could do Savage Orcs with some gobbo side lines. Failing that a spider army is all gobbos anyway, but with calvary taking a bit of a hit, I'm not sure it would be particularly viable. I'm thinking I'd probably go for quite heavy artillery, but the giant spider and the giant itself are very tempting as well..............despite the flak that the Giant has lately.

10-07-2011, 22:14
take a savage orc/forest goblin army using boar boyz spider riders the anarak or whatever its called plus you can use cheap gobbo mages for the lolz and get bog standard gobbs put feathers on em paint em like zulus and whalla savage gobbos :p, but yeah bulk out with a large unit of savage orc big uns and a large uniot fo savage orcs plus 2 heros then add fun stuff to it

11-07-2011, 13:16
I think at the moment I'm mostly torn between High Elves and Dark Elves. The reason why O & G are failing is due to the sheer cost and number of models I need.

The battalions for O & G are not very good, especially compared to the Elf ones which IMO are far better (The DE not so much as you never want THAT many Corsairs, but the HE one is pretty decent if you prefer to run spearmen/archers over Lothern Sea Guard).

Rule wise, both Elvish armies look quite nice even in 8th Edition. Both can take monsters of some sort, both have access to Dragons, both are good at ranged power, both are good at magic, though I'd probably say High Elves have much better magic lores/bonuses than the Dark Elves but perhaps I'm missing something.

What's everyones opinions on those two armies given what I've said previously?

11-07-2011, 21:47
Well I run HE atm and have done O&G and DE, yes the Orc batt is crap but in a HE one the archers and spears are good the rest is not so, Both elven armies are really unforgiving and are no where as fun as Orcs even when a Orc army looks like it's lost sometimes gork and mork smile on you and you win, yes in a sense cost wise a Orc army seems pricey but work out a 30 man unit of savage big uns and then 30 savage Orcs plus 2 characters will be large points and yes elves get
Dragons but Orcs get giant spiders, trolls, giants and a boot full of fun **** :-)

11-07-2011, 22:32
True, but 60 savage orcs = 6 box sets of Savage Orcs, that's a little crazy and not even that many points really.

The HE and DE battalions aren't that bad. HE gives you plenty of spearmen and archers (assuming you're opting for them and not LSG) a chariot which is half decent and a bolt thrower. Granted bolt throwers aren't fantastic, but I find Eagles die very easily regardless.

The DE one, plenty of warriors/x-bow men , some corsairs and cold ones............nowt wrong with that.

The new Orc one.........15 orcs.............15?!!?!?

Ok granted we all know the best Battalion for money and useful ness is the Ogre Kingdoms one...........shame they're a dull army.