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JustTony
07-01-2007, 23:29
Greetings all:

This is the first thread I've started so please let me know if I've screwed up somehow.

I have been a 40K player for several years now and have the following 40K armies: Tyranids, Tau, Dark Angels, Deamonhunters, IG, and Eldar.
In Fantasy (which I only got into because of my wife, it's a LONG story), I have an Orc & Goblin army. My brother plays Ogre Kingdoms and Dark Elves and my wife plays Wood Elves.

In an RTT style tourney yesterday, I had one game where the O&Gs were just useless, nothing but animosity and running from a Minotaur of Khorne army. I only killed 5 wolves and one unit of three minotaurs and was basically wiped out by turn 3. Admittedly, dice hate me and during this game my opponent (a friend of mine and regular opponent) noted that about 70% of my dice rolls were 1s or 2s (except for leadership based tests, which averaged 11s, it was that kind of game). No one can win when that happens.

However, now I want to expand my army choices with another army, one slightly more reliable than the O&Gs. I have a very few Bretonnians which I got in a deal off of eBay. Otherwise I have zip. I don't like Chaos in any form, so they are out. I don't have a problem with either close combat based armies or shooty armies. I'm an amateur military historian and a pretty good tactican, thanks to the US military. I normally paraphrase the old Star Fleet Battles quote "There are no dangerous ships, only dangerous Captains" into "There are only dangerous Commanders, regardless of the army". It's a concept that pretty much works in most wargame systems.

Armies I'm considering include the following:
Bretonnians
Tomb Kings
Empire
Lizardmen
High Elves
Kislev

Now I don't want to spend a fortune and therefore am avoiding the Skaven, not to mention the idea of painting 200+ rats. Night Gobbos are bad enough. Also I want to avoid duplicating the armies owned by others in my house, and my wife has enough wood elves for 3 people, so if I want to do wood elves I'll just swipe some of hers.

Well, there you have it. So please HELP ME! :D Seriously, I'd really like some advice. GW's stuff costs to damn much to just jump in blindly.

Thanks, Warseer
JustTony
Peace; through superior firepower.

Grunge
07-01-2007, 23:36
I'd go Chaos Dwarfs! You already have a part of the army :P

JustTony
07-01-2007, 23:43
Not to sound stupid, but UH, WHAT?!?
Far as I know there isn't an army book for the CDs, I REALLY don't like Chaos, and how do I "already have a part of the army"?

Move Fast Hit Low
08-01-2007, 02:36
there is a book for chaos dwarfs, its OOP though, you can still buy it

i say you go with HE just to counter your brothers DE

Angelwing
08-01-2007, 03:28
chaos dwarf army list is avalible to download from gw site. i run this army.
as for your choice, pick the army with the models you like best. if you like them all, pick an army you rarely see played/nobody plays. this is my policy!
have fun!

JustTony
08-01-2007, 05:26
Angelwing:
You make an excellent point, but please be aware that I am looking at this from the gaming point of view, not the modeling POV. I can enjoy building/modeling any army, it is the on the table aspect I'm looking at. I'm lookin for some way to at least slightly mitigate my horrible tendency to roll for crap with dice. With my 40K armies, I have either BS4 or 5 needing 3's or 2's to hit and/or lots of twin linked weapons or both. I hate dice, they constantly screw me. I'm looking for a Fantasy army to follow at least a similar pattern to my 40K armies with either 4s or 5s as stat lines or some way to get rerolls.
As far as what is played around here, Louisville, KY, USA, there are 3 Chaos players for one of anything else. The last 15 person Fantasy tourney had the following, 3 Wood Elves, 2 Tomb Kings, 2 O&Gs, 1 Empire, and 7 Chaos armies of different flavors. The ringer army (played by the store owner's wife) was Empire. Also I just don't like Chaos, period.
I don't know anyone who plays anything on the list I am considering except for Empire. Several people say they are building Impie armies, since the new list came out.
What do you think of Brets over either Tomb Kings or Lizards?
Thanks mucho for your reply.
JustTony
Peace;through superior firepower.

Maldred2
08-01-2007, 06:14
My guess is that as a military man you will enjoy manouverability, versatility and discipline.

I'd say go lizardmen. your opponents will never know what kind of army to expect, heavy magic, rock hard shocktroops, or skirmishing ranged firepower.

edit: saurus have space marine statlines too :)

As a general, there aren't much thing you can't do with a couple of lizards.

As for the other choices: I think bretts will be a little bit too singleminded for what you want.

Tomb kings could be a good choice too, so is empire. Both are disiplined and versatile armies, but I believe nothing can snap a victory from the jaws of defeat like a lizardmen army.

High elves are... well, elves. Men in tights. Very OLD men in tights. I'm sorry, elves are out for me. But that's just me :)

Hobgoblyn
08-01-2007, 06:33
Chaos Dwarves, as the others referred to, are in the Ravening Hordes list. It would allow you to use all your basic Goblins, Orcs & Black Orcs-- though the units then take up Special slots (but unless you were going to use Sneaky Gitz or a Bolt Thrower, you don't really need them). Then you fill your core units up with Dwarven Warriors and Dwarven Gunners, who while more reliable than the Orcs & Goblins are far more limited in number and don't hit quite as hard. But it would even out your army a bit.
They use an Earthshaker (basically a Catapult) for a rare slot if you have one-- otherwise your choice it a bull centaur or RoR.
Take a Dwarven Lord and Sorcerer and you have an army. The list is a bit dated, but not much worse than a lot of the lists you referred to. (Kislev for instance)

Now, if you didn't really care about incorporating what you bought and painted into your new army then we look back at your original choices.

I think first you need to reflect on what you'd really be able to get into.
The whole thematic approach to Tomb Kings, Lizardmen or High Elves is very different.
Are you really up for painting and making hordes of rotting Egyptian undead? You'd be painting lots of things in beige, bone white and dusky yellow.
Or do you like the tropical jungle style of the Lizardmen? Bright blues, greens mixed with hot reds and oranges. These are probably closest to the Orcs & Goblins in terms of both color and theme if not play style.
And then you have the golden-haired shiny empire with the High Elves. It would seeem strange to jump from brute Orcs to prissy High Elves, but it is entirely your choice...

Kislev and Brettonia are both humans, both primarilly calvary with some foot-slogging underlings. Both lack War Machines, both utilize flying riders... Really the difference there is fairly small except that Brettonia has more units and support. Empire has even more support and basically has nearly all the offerings of the former two along with a mess of powerful war machines. Really you may as well throw Dogs of War into the mix here too as far as generic human armies. You can pretty much build your human army around whatever kind of theme you want and choose any of these lists, the units are all fairly generic compared to some of the really outlandish things you'll find in the above army lists.

So first figure out what you'd like to get into primarilly. Look, even if the army sucks once it hits the board, the important thing is that it is something you really like and take pride in.

Oh, and no offense but I am seriously skeptical that being part of any modern military would introduce you to the kind of tactics you'd use in fantasy. Unless you are playing some weird army where all of your 2" models have guns that shoot people at 36", you work in squads of 5-10 people, you get basically impenetrable tanks, you never get to see where your opponet deploys or where they might be hiding and you handle the majority of the battle by dropping hundreds of cluster bombs and missles at the enemy's location WELL before sending anyone in...
In many ways that's superior, in others it's kind of inferior. But the point is that if you are trying to use the kind of tactics that you would use with M16s and tanks to sweep a city of far inferiorly armed and armored people hiding while you are in a situation where your people are primarilly dedicated spear units with some bow unit support and both you and your opponet have equivalent equipment and can see where everything is well... you aren't going to do too well.

You might be better off playing Space Marines in 40K.

Makarion
08-01-2007, 07:07
When it comes to orderly, there's not much that beats the Cold Blooded rule of the Lizardmen; they are almost impossible to break when deployed in sufficient numbers. Of course, they also cost a ton, so they are eternally outnumbered, if not in regiment size, then in number of regiments.

The other army listed by you with a strong regimental feel to it is Empire, and although it is what I play (so take it with some salt), they are pretty solid. Their heroes are mediocre though, and they win almost exclusively by static combat resolution (unless you turn them into faux Bretonnians or faux gunline dwarves), but that's regiments for you.

Lasty but not least I would suggest high elves. Although fighting wood elves a lot with them may be a bit odd, they seem to have the unit types you would enjoy, and the variety that makes collecting and composing them fun. Note, however, that they seem to have a reputation for having inefficient (because of unit cost versus unit strength) infantry and archery.

Tomb Kings I cannot comment upon, since I played against them once only, and that was when I bought my initial WH units back at university, several centuries ago (it seems, some days).

Outside of your list you could consider Vampire Counts. They are "evil", forsure, but they are definitely not Chaos in flavour (apart from the Khorne taint any very violent character carries with it), and although most people don't seem to play them as orderly armies doesn't mean they cannot march in blocks. They also seem to be absent in your gaming circle, which could lead to some pleasant surprises.

Good luck in your choices!

Highborn
08-01-2007, 07:11
He already does play Space Marines in 40k, as per his first post :D


From your choices, I would pick either High Elves or Lizardmen. They're reliable, strong in all phases of the game. High Elves suffer from being overcosted, but they have a new book coming. I prefer the unified look of a High Elf force, but it gets monotonous to paint (That's what my Wood Elves are for).

Yes, Empire are versatile as well, but I don't like them and I'm not recommending them to anyone. Period.

JustTony
08-01-2007, 07:31
Hobgoblyn
To comment last to first, I do play Space Marines in 40K, Dark Angels precisely. I also play Nids and Tau, and IG and Deamonhunters and Eldar, about as different as they get in execution and theme. And yes the tactics that go into modern military training don't really apply to games in general and 40K or WHFB in specific. I also either play or have played Warmachine, BattleTech (old school, not clik), Star Fleet Battles, Federation & Empire, StarFire, Titan, Advanced Civilization, Wooden Ships &Iron Men, and several different modern or WW2 systems including ASL, Tank Charts, and Close&Destroy modern rules. I have been wargaming and such for a very long time. However, please remember that modern military academies still study Sun Tzu. Good tactical ability and training are required whether you play 40K, WFB, or Risk. With appropriate training great tacticans like Patton, Rommel, Alexander, Charlemane, Caesar, Napoleon, or Hannibal will still be great tacticans. I think Alexander would have rapidly grasped the basics of modern tactics, just as Patton would have been a great commander for a Roman Legion. If the only thing that matters is how well the dice roll, (luck over tactics) then just go to Vegas and shoot craps, if you're lucky enough you could wind up rich. I'm not that lucky with dice.

On theme and appearance:
I am not nor will I ever be a Golden Deamon painter. I do a pretty good table top job and usually get my characters and, in 40K, my vehicles to look great. I am more interested in the gaming aspect, modeling and painting are just how you get there. I do well enough and I'm not concerned about integrating my current WFB army, O&G, into a new one. Painting color choices should be appropriate to the army at hand, as given in your examples. If, for example, I do TK, then I'll do everything in sand and bone and old tarnished gold. TKs would likely be the quickest and easiest to paint, lots of inks and drybrushing. Hell, I'm working on an Eylsian Drop Army with FW Vultures and Valkyies, now they are a pain to model and paint. I'm not too worried about what a new army will cost, Christ, I've got over 20,000 points of Nids alone, with several Forgeworld models. I just don't want to waste money on an army that I just won't care for.

Quoted:
"So first figure out what you'd like to get into primarilly. Look, even if the army sucks once it hits the board, the important thing is that it is something you really like and take pride in."

Here's the heart of the matter. If, as you say, the army sucks once it hits the board, then I will be sending it off to eBay or Bartertown fairly soon. I don't want to win every game, that would suck and be boring as hell. But I do want to be competitive and have a decent chance at scraping out a win even if the dice go to poop on me. When the new 'Nid codex came out, I reworked my bugs and proceded to win over 30 games in a row and 4 of 5 tourneys I entered during that period, I was second overall and top general in the fifth. That was boring and the 'Nids have gone on the shelf for now and will use a different list when they come down. I switched over to the DeamonHunters and have a blast with about a 50/50 win/loss ratio. I want a competitive army, one that isn't as likely to be absolutely caned by the damn dice.

Finally, everyone keeps telling me to play Chaos, whether it's my buddy Mike telling me how great his Iron Warriors are or the advice here to do Chaos Dwarves. I do NOT like Chaos. I simply find some of the imagery to be very disturbing. It just bugs me. I'm glad other people like it, variety is the spice of life. But I have seen just so many Chaos armies at tourneys and leagues and campaigns and such. Hey that's why I play Deamonhunters. They may kinda suck against Chaos Marines and Space Marines and IG, and Tau and such, but I just love potting Farseers and the like with Psycannons, the look on the owners' faces when things like Farseers and Deamons just vanish are priceless.

Okay, sorry for the rant, and Hobgoblyn does make excellent points, but it's the performance of the army ON the table I'm interested in more than how it looks or any such.

JustTony
Peace; through superior firepower.

DarkLord Of Naggaroth
08-01-2007, 17:30
Usually Id' say DE cos they are great. but if you dont want them then I would say high elves cos they are pretty much the same but good and fluffy. I know that all DE hate HE which wouldn't be a good choice unless all HE hate DE too.
They would be a great choice because they have high movement which is good for tactics and are generally a tactical race because you have to think about what you are doing. Where as orcs or skaven you just send the mob forward.
Hope this helps

blahblahblah
09-01-2007, 09:46
I know it's not in the list of armies you are looking at, but did you consider maybe taking dwarves? they'd be relatively cheap if you find a goblin player and split on a box or two of BFSP. it's not a horde army, and though it often is, it doesn't have to be played like a gunline army. if you see the lack of movement as a challenge in tactics, this could be a good army to go with....just a thought :)

JustTony
09-01-2007, 14:45
Yes, I did consider the dwarves. However a really good friend and regular opponent already plays the Stunties. As a matter of fact, we did split a couple of BFSP boxes. I'm trying to avoid the armies my family and closer friends play (Wood Elves, Ogre Kingdoms, Dark Elves and Dwarves) since I've always found that fighting the same army is just too weird. When you eliminate the various flavors of Chaos that doesn't leave much. Therefore the choices I listed in the initial post.
Thanks
JustTony
Peace; through superior firepower.

JonnyTHM
09-01-2007, 15:01
I think that the army that will make you happiest is Tomb Kings. As far as an army that mitigates your "tendency to roll crap" I don't think there is a better one than the tomb kings. People suggest lizards as they pass most leadership even with poor rolls, but Tomb kings don't even take leadership tests. You can't miscast, you can't break from combat, you can't panic...

You can also construct either a maneuverable army with chariots, a static one with blocks, or even a shooty one.

This seems to meet your criteria the best.

DarkLord Of Naggaroth
09-01-2007, 17:45
please dont pick tomb kings. They are just rubbish and boring to paint. And wierd. HE is the thing for you

Weregerbil
09-01-2007, 19:26
chaos dwarf army list is avalible to download from gw site. i run this army.
as for your choice, pick the army with the models you like best. if you like them all, pick an army you rarely see played/nobody plays. this is my policy!
have fun!

Eh wereabouts on the site I can't find it.

Catferret
10-01-2007, 10:44
Eh wereabouts on the site I can't find it.

Here! http://uk.games-workshop.com/warhammer/chaos-dwarfs/1/

Glorfindel
10-01-2007, 11:18
If your a good tactician, high elves should be a good choice, there is much more tactic needed to make them work, but it pays off. However if you would go for high elves I'd suggest you wait just a little longer since the new high elves are due after empire and dark angels.

Crazy Harborc
10-01-2007, 21:16
www.thewarstore.com He has a mailorder/phone-in for GW products (GW caused it but that's another story;) ) You mentioned GW prices are a problem.

Since you split a couple of Skull Pass boxes already, you likely have enough gobbos. Do Orcs, buy Orcs and fatten up your greenskin's numbers:D

To save lots of money, I suggest checking around (E-bay)for some of the 6th Edition box set Orcs. It's possible to cut up thin pieces of cardboard into armor shapes. Turn those plastic, lightly armoured, two hand weapons users into heavyly armoured Black Orcs.....Stiffen the carboard armor with superglue or even regular Testors (for plastic polywhatever). Paint the cardboard armor black;)

Move Fast Hit Low
11-01-2007, 01:20
sorry to one up you Harborc but www.chaosorc.com is sooo much better since their discounts range from 25-50% off, you can buy 10 loose saurus warriors for just $5

SON OF LION
11-01-2007, 01:40
I say Tomb Kings.
The idea of a reliable force plus the lack of any undead mentioned in your friends/family list makes this attractive. High Elves are another flavour of elf and you seem to have two flavours already.

Duke of York
11-01-2007, 01:52
OK, first off High Elves are not something someone who has played space marines wishes to play, they are frail, weak, and underpowered. They can be fun with great tactics but there are so many other armies that would be so much more fun to play.

I myself play Bretonnia, and i highly suggest them. They are not very expencive money wise, a couple boxes of knights and you have finished a 1000pt army. You can get cheap infantry, elite cavalry, flying monsters, and the most chivalrous and proud heroes in the game. They can be as tactically difficult or easy as you want. They have some of the cheapest fast cavalry in the game, they have the best catapult like warmachine in the game (the trebuchet) and they have the blessing of the lady.

Theyve got everything you need: a cheap price tag (relatively), great powerfull knights, funny and weak peasants, flying monstrous pegasi, chivalrous and heroic characters, and great warmachines (the trebuchet), plus they have a goddess for the whole family to worship:D

FOR THE LADY!!!

Jester007
11-01-2007, 02:02
Let me first say hello and welcome to the fantasy world!! I've been playing for about 5 years and have 14k points in Vampire Counts, 7k points in Wood Elves, 10k in High Elves, 10k in O&G, 3k in Ogres, 6k in Lizardmen, 5k in Dwaves, and 4k in Empire. Let me tell you that I win most of my games with either Lizardmen and Orks.

The orks are relatively cheap point-wise and toughness 4. Which is pretty good in the fantasy world. Cause there are no T 8 wraithlords in this world. If you're toughness 5, you're almost godlike.

The Lizardmen are pretty rough in Hand to Hand cause each of the basic Saraus Warriors have 2 attacks a piece. They are S 4 and T 4. They are very slow though (I 1), but I find their armor and toughness will see them through a lot of fights. They are only WS 3, some in most cases they are hitting on 4s. But they dish out most attacks than the normal troop. The Saraus Oldblood is arguably one of the best characters that you can get for what you pay for in points. He's S 5 and T 5 with 5 attacks base. You can tool him up to make him have 8 attacks with an extra if he charges.

The Lizardmen also have some very powerful magic, if you want to go that route. They have some the only mages in the game that can't nuke themselves due to bad die rolling (miscasting bad!!). Lastly, they have some interesting units to support your army. Like a lumbering Triceratops (Steggadon), swift skinks (poison is anoying!), and many other units that I find useful (all but the Saraus Cavalry).

Orks are similar in nature. They have some pretty heavy hitting combat units, and they can go heavy magic if you want to. They only problem I find with Orks and Gobbos is choosing which units you like the most to play in the game. I wish I could have some more Special units, I'm just finding out how suprisingly powerful a horde of squig hoppers can be.

Wish I could talk some more on this, but don't want to take up too much space lol! Good luck with your decision. Trust me, it isn't easy (hence why I have so many armies!). Later! Got Squig?

Highborn
11-01-2007, 02:37
OK, first off High Elves are not something someone who has played space marines wishes to play, they are frail, weak, and underpowered. They can be fun with great tactics but there are so many other armies that would be so much more fun to play.


He's also played Eldar.

I think my last post got in lost in the rant aagainst Hobgoblyn, so I'll repost and expand my thoughts a bit.



Bretonnians - Will play like your nids. They are a clear top-tier army, with abusive builds like the RAF. They can be a good army to play, but I fear they're one trick ponies as well, with the real killing potential in their army being their knights.

Tomb Kings - Ok choice. I've steered away from TK in the past because of their reliance on the magic phase.

Empire - Versatile, strong without being overpowered. They have their abusive builds, but unlike Bretonnians they have their versatile builds as well. I personally don't like the look of their new models though.

Lizardmen - Highly recommended. Very versatile, interesting to paint. Can play effectively in all phases of the game. Definitely in the middle of the power spectrum unless you're doing skink swarm. They're a challenge to play, with and against.

High Elves - Rumours say a new book is coming out soon, so the army performance will be hard to judge. Painting is pretty easy - a lot of drybrushing for their scale armour, white cloth and faces. Not as easy as TK, but much easier than most others. At the moment, they're one of the poorer armies to play with - they have a great mix of troops that are good at what they do, but fragile.

Kislev - No idea.

Duke of York
11-01-2007, 02:41
Whether good or not the Lizardmen are a cheap carbon copy of chaos and are not something you should try.

Believe me they may be good, maybe even better than chaos(debatable), but they have this really kind of cheap substitute feel to them. They are like a generic brand, slightly cheaper, slightly less potent, more options.

Me personally, i always bought the coca cola, as apposed to the supermaket brand...

Highborn
11-01-2007, 02:56
... um ... huh? What is the link between lizards and chaos, because you've lost me.

Jester007
11-01-2007, 03:01
Well, the Lizards did fight against Chaos in the Chaos Wars, maybe some of them changed like the 13th Company in 40k LOL! J/K

Got Squig?

Mike3791
11-01-2007, 04:06
lizards and chaos have similiar stats, both have hard core shock troops and very good magic. Limited shooting as well.

Highborn
11-01-2007, 04:43
Huh?

I can see the link between Saurus and Chaos Warriors.

They both have good magic, but in completely different ways. Chaos mages are rock hard in a fight, while skink priests drop dead when they hear a kroxigor sneeze. Slann are a powerhouse caster far beyond anything Tzeentch could manage. As far as shooting goes, lizards have far more options with core skinks as a poisoned skirmishing screen, either close or mid ranged and with salamanders as a short ranged war machine and the stegadon's bow for long ranged. Apart from Saurus and Warriors, I really can't see any other substantial link. There's certainly armies that are more similar (HE/DE for one).

gorenut
11-01-2007, 08:07
Yea, seriously.. I can barely see the relation of Lizardmen and Chaos but no where near calling them carbon copies. I can see comparisons in the Saurus category, but that's about it.

If anything.. it'd be something along the lines of selective mixtures of Chaos, Orcs, Wood Elfs, and maybe something else... see what I'm getting at? It's like saying Dwarf and Empire = Carbon copies.

SeaCaptain
11-01-2007, 09:34
Build High Elves, your wife plays the Wood Elves, and your brother plays Dark Elves. It's the natural choice. I think their even coming out with new high elf models during the next year.

King Rat
11-01-2007, 13:48
Hey, I'm kinda in the same position, but this'll be my first army. Personally I'm leaning towards Tomb Kings but there have been some good posts which are seriously making me doubt my instinct.

I think TK would be good for you too, combination of tests you don't need to take (psych, casting) plus a wide variety of formations (shooty, hard hitting, mob) and also the fact that they are easy to paint and so would be rather quick to build up.

just my thoughts...but chaos is looking better and better (please don't hate me for that :p )

DarkLord Of Naggaroth
11-01-2007, 18:31
High elves
They are good for tactics and aren't frail, they are good fighters.

Duke of York
11-01-2007, 23:01
Dark Lord: When i read your post i almost had a heart attack i laughed so hard!!
"High elves . . . aren't frail":eek:

What are you talking about? That is their single biggest weakness!!! THey are expencive and frail. This is what puts them in the bottom rung of warhammer armies.

Not frail???? The only army in the game whos best lord has a T of 3!!!

Jester007
11-01-2007, 23:42
I have to agree with Duke of York about Elves being frail. I have 8 different armies, two of which are elves. Answer me this, what high elf normal infantry can get a 3+ armor save in hand to hand?

That's right, there are none! Anything that is S4 really hurts High Elves. Cause that reduces most of High Elf armor saves to 6+ and needing a 3 or better to wound.

That's one reason why High Elves are tough to play. You really can't march accross the field into someone's face and expect to win most of the time. Their movement of 5 was meant to give you the ability to out manuver your opponent and possible put his units in a bad position so that you may capitalize.

But I will agree with you DarkLord that the High elves are good fighters. Their WS4 is a subtle perk. Cause yeah, the average human is WS3, but the way people pick their armies, there's a lot of WS4 out there. So this will prevent your opponent from hitting you on 3s.

That's about all I have to post for right now. The High Elves new army book will be coming out relatively soon. Hopefully they fix some of the problems with the point system. Cause I can tell you that I have never used Reavers in my HE army. A fast cav unit that dies just as easy as gobbo wolf riders and costs twice as much! It's a little crazy to me. Catch you guys later.

Got Squig?

Crazy Harborc
12-01-2007, 00:51
sorry to one up you Harborc but www.chaosorc.com is sooo much better since their discounts range from 25-50% off, you can buy 10 loose saurus warriors for just $5

Good/lower GW prices. Most of the photoed blisters and boxes were old photos. Where were the regimental boxes? I don't recall seeing many/any. I tried to find out actual shipping rates. Are they based on weight OR a percentage of the amount spent.....Maybe a flat rate??