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Purchasing Your Supplies
The first hurdle to cross in starting any new hobby are your start-up costs. There will likely be initial expenditures that cause the hobby to appear more pricey than it really is. However, most of your initial supplies will last a long time and provide you with a constant source of enjoyment. Here are the starters:
The rulebook for the game and the army book for your faction. Most game systems have a core rulebook that explains how the game itself is played. It will likely include "fluff" or background to the setting, lots of pictures of the models, and guides to getting started. Beyond this, there will likely be an army book that details your individual force with in-depth rules and tactica for playing them. Some companies, like Privateer Press, include basic army rules in the core book. I love collecting army books and rulebooks since they look great on my shelf and provide many hours of reading enjoyment.
The paints come next. I recommend buying high guality paints and brushes. You don't want to spend a lot of money on your models only to ruin them with a bottle of nasty, grainy paint. Spend a few extra bucks and buy Games Workshop, Privateer Press Paint, Vallejo, or Reaper. They are worth it. Also invest in a good quality can of spray primer. Make sure it is formulated for miniatures and use it properly. Again, undercoating your models on a windy, rainy day will ruin the work you put into assembling them. For brushes, buy them long and pointy.
Hobby tools are also important. For working with plastic models you will need to purchase what are called "sprue cutters." They are metal clippers that help you remove the models from their frame in order to put them together. I also use a razor blade to remove any molding lines. The one I prefer is a simple box cutter with snap-off blades. An Exacto knife is useful for getting into hard to reach places. A set of small files is also handy, particularly for metal models. You will also need a nice halogen desk lamp to illuminate your painting area. I like the goose neck variety.
Finally, you are ready for the models themselves. This is where most people take a step back and go no further. The price tag can seem a bit daunting as these will be a lot more expensive than the toys you remember as a kid. The problem is that wargames miniatures are made of two of the most expensive and volatile commodities in the world: oil and metal. Further, each model was designed and sculpted by hand or over a three year process on a computer. These are not easy products to fashion. However, once you have them, they are yours forever. I keep my models in a display case in my living room and they give me great joy whenever I walk past them. The difference between these models and a movie ticket or other transitory entertainment experience is that you are left with something substantial- something real that you can hold on to or even sell for more than what you initially paid for. Go on ebay sometime and see what a pro-painted army can bring in.
How to Purchase
You have several options for purchasing your supplies:
The Friendly Local Game Store: This should be your first stop. A local store provides a place to play and meet other hobbyists. The owner can suggest which products you might need, and it is the best place to browse for that model you didn't know you wanted. You will likely pay full price here, but supporting the FLGS is worth it.
The Company Web Store: I only use this option when no other supplier has what I am looking for. Some websites have exclusives that can't be found anywhere else. The problem with this is that you are paying a premium and do little to support your local community
The Independent web store: There are many great companies that provide discounts on a wide variety of products. If you are on a tight budget, this is the place to go. You can usually find a 20% discount pretty easily in order to maximise your savings. Some websites also provide a "bits" service which means that they will sell you only the parts you need from a bigger kit. For instance, the $20 Commander kit from GW has a ton of options you don't really need. You can get a stripped down version without the options for a good deal less.
Ebay: For some super deals, this is the place to go. Buyer beware, however. I have purchased some items here that were not quite as advertised. For hard to find items or out of print stuff, this may be your only option.
Watch your budget! Chances are that you won't be able to paint more than about one unit a month anyway, so don't go crazy buying tons of models you don't need right away. I am currently working through my backlog and it will likely take me three months to do so. In the meantime I am on a purchasing embargo. Paint what you have first! Once you have your initial purchases out of the way you can budget about $50 a month for new stuff and still have plenty to work on.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
The Tyranids can be fielded in lots of different ways. They can be upgraded to have a lot of shooting or downgraded to function as a true swarm. They can field a large number of monstrous creatures creating the so-called "Nidzilla" list. They are all quick and tough, forcing the enemy to be on the ball from turn one.
Here is the Battleforce:
3 Tyranid Warriors
3 Ripper Swarms
This gives you a decent swarm for $110, but has fewer weapon options than buying the individual boxes. This will run you $130 but the model count will be lower.
- The first thing to get will likely be a Hive Tyrant and some Tyrant Guard. He is a brutal creature and teh guard will protect him from sniping.
- Carnifexes are your shock troopers and will ruin your opponent's day.
- Genestealers can be devastating. Even if only a handful get into the lines, there will be few troops who can go toe to toe with them. Even terminators quake in fear.
- Bulk out your basic troops. If it doesn't look like a swarm you may be doing it wrong.
This army can be tailored like no other to go against an enemy list. Unfortunately, all those upgrades cost points. When spending points on something, ask yourself if another unit of Genestealers or a hulking big Carnifex wouldn't be better.Keep your army together and give your enemy too much to shoot at.
The army boasts some deadly accurate shooting and some devious technology to keep the enemy wondering about what tricks might be hidden up their sleeves. They have a number of allies that can provide either anti-armor support or close combat expertise.
Here is the Battleforce
1 Tau Crisis XV8 Battlesuit with 2 Gun Drones
1 Tau Devilfish APC and 2 Gun Drones
3 Tau Crisis XV25 Stealth Suits and 1 Markerlight Drone
12 Tau Fire Warriors and 2 Gun Drones
This is a great deal at $110. It would run $152 if bought separately, but it would give you a few extra Kroot.
The standard paint scheme is done with various shades of brown, yellow, and tan. There are a lot of different color schemes out there, however. The army features lots of clean lines and plates on their army, so it is easy to paint up in blocks using your favorite color. The camo pattern shown above is also easy. All you need to do is draw some blobs on the armor in your favorite color and then fill it in with a simple highlight around the edge. Simple!
- The battlesuits are a great addition to the army right away. A few squads of these will provide a lot of firepower and mobility. Broadside suits are not as mobile, but their railguns are awesome.
- The Kroot can be fortified with a Krootox and Kroot Hounds, making them even better in close combat.
- The Hammerhead tank is a good choice early on, offering even more long range support.
- Get markerlights any way you can, either on battlesuits or with pathfinders. They make your whole army better!
Don't be too eager to get into combat, even with the Kroot. This army is better at shooting the enemy to pieces and only assaulting when they can be assured of victory. The battlesuits are great, but don't think of them as flying dreadnoughts- they are not nearly that tough. Learn to use the markerlights efficiently. They will focus your firepower and allow you to annihilate the enemy one unit at a time.
The army has access to lots of fast attack options and excels at getting in the face of the enemy as soon as possible. They can also field a very dangerous deathstar unit in the form of the Death Company.
Here is the Battleforce Box
10 Space Marines
5 Assault Marines
5 Death Company
This is a very effective force for $100, a savings of $36.25.
Fiery Orange (to highlight the red)
Space Wolves Gray
Trim Colors for squad designations.
- For an HQ, take something with a jump pack that can join the death company or assault squad. Blood Angel Heroes do their best in combat and a jump pack gets them there.
- The Baal Predator is a great tank for cutting down troops and light tanks. It is a good support vehicle for softening up the enemy before the troops get in.
- More Death Company is always a good choice. They are some of your best troops, why not have a bunch of them?
I sometimes get frustrated that my own marines are not super good in close combat. This is not true with this army. They have the ability to get into combat quickly and dish out lots of pain when they get there. Also, the Death Company gets "Feel no Pain," so they can take a lot of punishment. They also have some of the coolest models among all the Space Marines, hands down!
This is a unique army in that the same units can be fielded in both Warhammer and 40K. They consist of specialist troops that share the traits of being able to "just appear" on the battlefield, shake off grievous wounds with invulnerable saves, and wink out of existence as quickly as they came.
Here is the starter box for both games
10 Pink Horrors
The box is $105 or $140.75 if purchased separately. The box includes both round and square bases.
Khorne troops, like the bloodletters should be painted with Blood Red and Baal Red Wash.
Nurgle troops, like Plaguebearers, can be painted with Goblin Green, Thraka Green, and Bleached Bone.
Slaanesh troops, like the Daemonettes, can be painted with any selection of pinks and purples
Tzeentch troops might be painted in any color you want, since they are constantly changing their forms.
- Most of the best choices here are the named characters in the lists. They come with a wide variety of special abilities, so pick one that suits your play style.
- Juggernaughts are very tough and can deal out a ton of damage to the enemy
- Nurgle troops are very resilient and are great for holding the middle of your line and sitting on objectives.
- You won't get a lot of long range shooting in this list, so take a look at where it can be found, especially in psychic abilities and fast troops with their own ranged attacks.
The army has a lot of deep-striking ability which can be a blessing and a curse. The invulnerable saves are nice, but there is a risk that your deep strikers will get shot to pieces before they get in. Play smart and use your special abilities to keep the enemy on their back foot.
The army is still very new and I am not completely familiar with how it plays. There are a few themes that have carried over from the old list and I will try to cover them. Primarily, they are very fast. The standard transport is a fast skimmer and they have access to a lot of jetbikes. Any good Dark Eldar force will probably take advantage of their speed in some way.
Here is the Battleforce Box:
10 Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors
10 Dark Eldar Wyches
3 Reaver Jetbikes
1 Dark Eldar Raider
The box costs $95, a pretty good savings over buying them separately at $125.75.
There are many different color schemes possible, but mainly the army features dark purple, turquoise, or red.
For red, start with Scab Red and then highlight with Red Gore.
For purple, start with Lich Purple and highlight with Warlock Purple.
For turquoise, start with Hawk Turquoise and blend in some Space Wolves Grey for a Highlight
The black armor can be highlighted with Codex Grey and Fortress Grey
The Dark Eldar Flesh can be made with Elf Flesh washed with a Leviathan Purple Wash
Since I haven't painted these models before, take my advice with a grain of salt and try your own techniques.
- An Archon is the standard HQ choice. He can be tooled up with lots of equipment and some very interesting HQ choices
- Be sure to get plenty of troops mounted in Raiders. Use them to swoop in on objectives in the end game.
- The elite troops and fast attack choices look to be very powerful, with lots of abilities that will mess with your enemy's battle plans
- The Heavy Support choices include a jetfighter, a monster with a scorpion tail, and a ravager with mountings for tons of Dark Lances (that is good).
This army bears a little more research on my part, but this is a good time to get into it. Lots of people who bought the army when it first came out may be looking to get rid of it now (buyers remorse) so an army may be had on the cheap over at ebay. Keep your eyes open. It is currently a top tier list on the tournament circuit, so there will be a lot of tactica out on the interwebs.
The Eldar army is made up of specialists. Unlike an army like the Space Marines, each unit is really only good at one thing. Their close combat units are very good at that, but are usually unable to shoot much of anything. Likewise, their long range shooters are capable of pouring lots of highly accurate fire on the enemy, but fold as soon as they get caught in an assault. As a result, you need to support units with each other and play very tactically to get the most out of them.
Here is what comes in the Battleforce:
1 Eldar Dire Avengers Squad (5 models)
1 Eldar Guardian Squad (8 models)
1 Eldar War Walker
1 Eldar Wave Serpent
1 Eldar Heavy Weapon Team
This is one of the cheaper boxes at $95. Bought separately you can get the same force with a few more Dire Avengers for $146.75.
I will not attempt to tell you how to paint Eldar in this small space. The army will not necessarily have a unified color scheme since each unit comes from a different Aspect Shrine. As a result, each unit should be painted in its own scheme in order to differentiate them on the tabletop. For the best look, focus on keeping clean lines and bright highlights. It is OK for Imperial Guard and Orks to look sloppy, but not these guys.
- This all depends on what kind of force you want to start putting together. A Farseer with a Council is good as they are effective in combat and the farseer can boost the army with his psychic powers.
- Buy transports for your units when possible. If they are protected in a vehicle, that will go a long way to mitigating their low toughness.
- After a few games, begin building up where the weaknesses lie. For shooting, get some Dark Reapers or a Heavy Weapon team. For durability, get some walkers or tanks. For close combat, get some Banshees or Striking scorpions. For mobility, get a unit of Swooping Hawks.
To be successful this army has to focus on what makes it good. They have good mobility, ballistic skill, and initiative. Ask yourself how to increase those attributes and avoid their weaknesses (low armor and toughness).Also, Harlequins are cool. Buy some and learn to paint them so they look like the picture on the box.
They are tough even by Space Marine standards and have access to some super-powered heroes and specialized equipment. They are particularly effective against daemon armies, but don't think that limits their effectiveness against other foes.
There is currently no Battleforce Box, but this will get you started:
Grey Knight Terminators(5 models)
Grey Knights (5 models)
This basic force will cost you $136.75
This army is as easy to paint as Necrons.
Try painting them Chainmail, washing with blue ink, and highlighting with Mithril Silver.
Finish the details and trim with whatever other colors look appropriate. A little Shining Gold and Scab Red should do the trick.
- There are several different HQ options, including Inquisitors and Grey Knight heroes. The Inquisitors have access to their own specialized retinues and equipment. The Grey Knight heroes are close combat monsters
- The grey Knight Marines are a good choice for your troops, but you may also field terminators in this slot for some extra durability.
- The Grey Knights have access to the Storm Raven, a new fast attack option that only a few armies have access to.
- Land Raiders and Dreadnoughts also fit well in this force.
I am told that this can be one of the smallest armies in the game due to the expensive cost of all the troops. They do cost more, but each model comes with improved stats and equipment, making the price worth it. This is supposed to look like a small, elite, hard-hitting task force. Follow the fluff and the army will be successful.
Friday, October 7, 2011
There are countless ways to theme your force. Some prefer to pick a single chapter and focus on a certain set of abilities, others like to combine strange, disparate elements into a loose warband, and others will field them like a traditional space marine armor with all the armor and firepower that is not that different from the loyalists.
Here is the Battleforce Box
15 Chaos Space Marines
5 Possessed Marines
8 Khorne Berserkers
1 Rhino Transport
This will cost $110, or you can purchase the units separately for $165.50 with 4 extra Berserkers
These rely largely on your choice of chapter and patron deity.
Khorne units favor red and brass
Nurgle Units favor green and brown
Slaanesh untis favor purple and pink
Tzeentch units favor blue and gold
Take a look at the models you like and try to match them closely. There is a reason why these colors are chosen for certain models.
- If you want to field a "power specific" force, start buying up the specific units that correspond to that power. Nurgle units are tough, Khorne units are hitty, Tzeentch units have lots of different abilities, and Slaanesh units have some ammazing shooting
- The HQ units in this army are devastating. They can shoot, hit, and cast psychic powers with the best of them. The plastic commander kit is a good option since it lets you make just about anything you want.
- Armor. Chaos Land Raiders, Predators, Rhinos, and the infamous Defiler are great in this army. They have more options than their Imperial counterparts and should be included right away.
- Elite units like Terminators and Obliterators are also a must have. They add even more shooting and combat skill to an army that already excels at it.
Your army will likely be smaller than a normal Space Marine force, but your units will have more abilities at their disposal. Take advantage of their special skills and maximize what they are good at.
The Necrons will soon be getting a reboot. Many people complain that the rules are overly complex and no unit does what it is supposed to. The army is very resilient but lacks a lot of common wargear and support units. Although there are several different types of warriors, the elite or fast versions are often not worth the cost.
Here is the Battleforce box:
28 Necron Warriors
3 Necron Destroyers
7 Scarab Swarms
The box is $105, or you can spend $130 for fewer models.
There is no easier army to paint.
- HQ choices are limited. The C'Tan can be devastating, but they are quite expensive. The normal Lord can be given some nice equipment as well as a Destroyer Body for a little more flexibility.
- Destroyers can offer a lot of shooting coupled with high speed. They can cause your opponent lots of problems, especially in great numbers
- The Monolith is a very tough tank with good shooting and also the ability to transport units around the board.
- More Necrons. You must always be aware of the danger of phaseout. Have enough Necron warriors with you to survive the battle, even if it means keeping an entire unit hidden and out of sight of the enemy.
While you may be able to pick up a very cheap army, you may want to wait a few months. The new army book is supposed to be changing things radically, so your current army may be worthless in the new edition. If someone does give you an army, however, don't forget to make those "we'll be back" rolls and duck all the power swords out there!
The Sisters are currently in the middle of a reboot of the line. There are rumors that they will be getting a line of new plastic models soon, which is good because the old pewter ones are becoming prohibitively expensive. They also were recently issued a pared-down version of their codex in White Dwarf. The new list is easier to use, but some players felt that many of their favorite rules and abilities were lost.
There is currently no starter box, but a decent starting force might look like this:
10 Sisters of Battle with superior and two special weapons
5 Dominions with superior and two special weapons
This bare bones army will run you $150.85 retail. Don't pay this! Get online and find some sisters for a discount. Once you have a core force, go back to the store and buy the special weapons that you need to field some different kinds of troops. This will save you significant cash.
The army is generally depicted in Black, White, and Red. Pick a combo that you like and keep it consistent throughout the army. Paint the tanks the opposite of the troops by way of contrast. If you are painting lots of white, get a tutorial somewhere because it will drive you crazy without the right techniques!
- You will need an HQ. The Canoness will support your troops by increasing their ability to succeed at acts of faith. St. Celestine is very durable and pretty good as an assault force on her own. The Confessor and his warband can also do well as an assault force.
- Focus on getting more sisters mounted in Rhinos. The army can field a lot of 3+ armor saves and shoots as well as Space Marines. The basic troop choice is a solid value
- Do what you can to increase your long range firepower. Retributors can field four heavy bolters or multi-meltas and the Exorcist tank is a beast.
- The army has access to quite a few specialized close combat units. Take a look at them, particularly the Penitent Engine.
I believe that the Sisters of Battle are one of the most aesthetically pleasing armies out there. The models are very nice and the tanks can easily be modeled to look like rolling shrines. The army will benefit from a full codex and some new models, however. Since the army has a lot of specialist troops, they will need to rely on one another pretty heavily. Keep your shooty models shooting and get your close combat models in as soon as possible to protect the weaker sisters. Finally, don't forget the Acts of Faith!
The have several powerful units at their disposal and a focus on any of them will win you lots of battles. This is currently a popular army, and your foe may already know your tricks. Be a canny wolf and be prepared for whatever comes your way.
Here is the Battleforce Box
10 Grey Hunters
10 Blood Claws
5 Wolf Scouts
1 Drop Pod.
This gives you a nice selection of core troops for $100, a savings of $32.50.
Space Wolves Grey
- The first trick some people use is to field an enormous unit of Thunderwolf Cavalry. Equip each model differently so you can allocate wounds all around before removing models and get them where they can do the most damage right away. Look online fore third party producers of wolf models you can use.
- The second trick is to field Long Fangs with Missle Launchers. These elite devastators are excellent shots and can threaten your enemy at range with lots of firepower.
- Buy the Terminator box set and put some Lone Wolves in your list for extra troop support in the form of hard-hitting elites and HQ.
The plastic kits give you a dizzying array of options for your units, making the Space Wolves one of the most characterful armies on the tabletop. They reward aggressive play and when done right, can win tournaments handily. That being said, the army can be abused as well. If you start spamming too many of the toughest units, you may find that no one wants to play with you!
The Dark Angels can be fielded in several different ways. They have the ability to field a large number of Terminators and deep striking troops (the Deathwing) or an entire army of fast vehicles (the Ravenwing). They can also be fielded as a combined arms force with elements of each as well as normal space marines. They also have some very nice upgrade sprues in order to give your models a unique appearance.
These are the contents of the Ravenwing Battleforce:
1 Land Speeder
6 Space Marine Bikes
1 Attack Bike
The Battleforce is $105, buying the models separately would be $125.75
The Chapter Upgrade Sprue is only $16.50 and will be useful for making your Deathwing or standard army.
Recommended Paints for the Ravenwing:
Dark Angels Green
Badab Black Wash
Recommended Paints for the Deathwing:
Dark Angels Green
Badab Black Wash
Dark Angels Green
Badab Black Wash
- For the Ravenwing, you will need to purchase the "Master of the Ravenwing" in order to field this force legally. Another battleforce box will give you a very fast, hard-hitting army.
- For the Deathwing, you will need to start buying Terminators, Land Raiders, Drop Pods, and Dreadnoughts. This should look like a highly specialized, elite force. You will also need to convert one of your Terminators into the "Master of the Deathwing."
The Dark Angels are an interesting army because with one book, you get three very different ways to play. Further, once you have your army put together, you can usually shoehorn it into a standard marine list as well, taking advantage of all the newest gear. Because of its elite nature, the more specialized list may not be one you wish to start out with as your first force. However, the Dark Angels have a consistently high win ratio and function well against a wide variety of opponents..
These marines will generally be painted in a white, red, and black paint scheme. They have an upgrade pack with bits for both vehicles and troopers. They have a unique elites choice, the Sword Brethren, and a few HQ choices- High Marshal Helbrecht, the Emperor's Champion and Chaplain Grimaldus. This army is intended to specialize in close combat and speedy transport vehicles.
There is only one upgrade pack for this army. It is a standard squad box with the addition of some extra bionic legs, heads, arms, and 10 chapter shoulder pads.
There is a wide variety of shoulder pads for other armies as well. In the bits section on the website, you will find them for most of the popular chapters including Imperial Fists, Salamanders, White Scars, and others. You can use these to customize your own army and they are an easy way to paint the heraldry, since the designs will be sculpted into the shoulder pad itself.
Here is what you get in the battalion box:
1 Command Squad (5 models)
3 Heavy Weapons Teams
1 Sentinel Walker
This box will run you $15 and you can pick from two different styles- Cadian and Catachan. If you buy these separately, the price is $151.75. This is one of the best deals we have seen so far, but there is some bad news (see below).
Ogryn Flesh Wash
The Guard can be painted in any camo pattern you like, so don't feel limited by these colors.
- Here is the bad news. Even with this box you are still a long ways from an effective starting force. You don't have enough weapon options to effectively field your troops as veterans and the Sentinel is not the heavy armor you need. Buying another battalion box is the answer if you want to field lots of troops. However, there is another way.
- Buy two command squad boxes or at least order the special weapon bits from an online supplier. Use what you have to equip your basic troopers with three special weapons per squad. Now you have two or three decent troop choices and the command squad for an HQ. Attach heavy weapons as needed.
- Buy as many tanks as you can afford. Don't worry about adding lots of options and upgrades for your first few. Focus on fielding the basic Leman Russ with one gun and only add the other stuff if you absolutely need to.
- After adding some armor, go back and add in a few basic platoons. Squeeze in as much shooting as possible since that is the only thing they will be good at.
I like the Imperial Guard because they seem to function the most like a real world army. They can be fielded in a number of different ways and have some of the nicest kits in the game. The are frustratingly weak, however, especially against close combat armies like the Tyranids and Orks. Get used to seeing your men dying in droves, but also relish the moments when you can drop five or six template attacks on the onrushing horde!
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Here is the starter box:
Warcaster Commander Coleman Stryker
Ironclad Heavy Warjack
Lancer Light Warjack
Charger Light Warjack
This box is $49.99. Bought separately, the models are about $78.
The P3 box set for Cygnar includes
Cygnar Blue Base
Cygnar Blue Highlight
I would also add in a flesh tone for Stryker's skin
- Some players like to swap out the two smaller jacks for another heavy jack. All of them are good and you have a choice between hitty, shooty, and both.
- Units are important and Cygnar has some good ones. The basic infantry can lay down a lot of fire and some of their close combat units have special attacks against 'jacks.
- The journeyman warcaster is a nice edition as it generates more focus, allowing you to effectively field more 'jacks.
I do not own a Cygnar army, but they are on my list. their shooting had some amazingly long range and gives you the opportunity to take the enemy out before they get into combat. They are also quite good at melee, even if they are not as big and tough as the Khador 'jacks. Soften up the enemy at range and then move in for the kill!
Here is what you get in Perdita's starter box:
Get a good selection of Brown shades since there is a lot of leather and wood
To work on the coats and hair you will need black and gray
There are a few splashes of color on the models, pick one you like and use it sparingly throughout the crew.
Use bright metallics on the guns, such as Chainmail and Mithril for a nice highlight.
- The army plays well as it is. The models all have the "family" rule so they can all choose to activate at the same time by companioning with each other. Buying more family members can keep this synergy going.
- The Executioner is where a lot of people go next. He can cause a ton of damage when he gets in, so many other models will try to avoid him.
- The Guild Austringer is another common choice. I have not played with him, but I understand that his bird is very effective. The model is pretty cool as well.
This is a good recommendation for a starter army since you will do well with simply shooting all your guns. The special abilities, like Perdita shooting around corners, are just icing on the cake. Also, don't worry about taking wounds. Santiago actually gets better once he has taken a few!
Here is what come in the Battalion Box:
20 Goblin Warriors
15 Orc Boyz
10 Goblin Spider Riders
5 Orc Boar Boyz
All these units come with command options and will run you $105. This is a savings of $18.75, not the greatest deal but you end up with a good sized force.
Dark Angels Green
- Your first HQ option is of course the Warboss kit. I like these since they let you build two characters. However, another interesting option is to field a number of cheap Goblin heroes instead of heading right to the Orcs. They are super cheap and can be tooled up to offer a surprise to the opponent, especially when you put three of them in the same unit.
- This force is already fairly mobile, but chariots and wolf riders are good as well. Your boyz become particularly effective when helped out with a flanking attack on the enemy.
- Artillery is important as well. The list has access to lots of cheap bolt throwers and stone throwers. With the increased number of hordes being seen in Warhammer, these have a good chance of paying for themselves
- Black Orks are very tough combatants and have the ability to quell animosity of units around them. This will help your army function more effectively in the long run.
This army has been fun to play over the years and has given me equal wins and losses The losses often came about because the units began squabbling or magic went disastrously wrong. When I did win, however, it was often decisive. The kits are easy to put together and you don't need to be a master painter to get them looking good. Overall this is a very good starting force.
Here is what you get in the battleforce box:
20 Ork Boyz
3 Ork Bikerz
1 Ork Trukk
The box is $100, saving you $32.25 over buying them separately
Dark Angels Green
- You should pick out an HQ. The Warboss is a good pick, but the Big Mek can be taken with a force field to give the boyz and nearby vehicles a nice cover save.
- Consider getting some Killa Kans. Their shooting is more effective than the standard ork and they are dead hitty in combat. Combined with the force field they have pretty decent survivability.
- Buy another battleforce. You can never have enough boyz and trukks, and the bikerz, when taken as Nobs, can be a "deathstar" unit.
Orks play best according to their fluff. In the stories they are depicted as hordes of boyz slogging across a battlefield using their mates as cover. Don't worry about taking lots of casualties, since you only need a few to survive to ruin your opponent's day. Orks are also addicted to speed. The orks that can afford to do so will mount up in a trukk and plow straight into the enemy's lines. Once in a while they will crash into their own lines, but hopefully you have enough boys left over when the smoke clears. Focus on overwhelming numbers and speed- you won't go wrong.
Here is what comes in the standard starter box:
Warcaster Kommander Sorscha
Destroyer Heavy Warjack
Juggernaut Heavy Warjack
The models are all plastic and the box set costs $49.99. Purchased separately, this will run you closer to $78, but the 'jack kits can each be assembled into four different models. again, they all come with the relevant stat cards.
Recommended Paint Options:
Privateer Press has some nice, faction specific kits. The Khador kit has the following-
Khador Red Base
Khador Red Highlight
I would then add some Red Ink and Armor Wash.
- Don't automatically buy more warjacks. Sorscha only has so many focus points to go around.
- Consider getting some Man-O-War units. They function like light 'jacks but don't need to be given focus to be effective
- Standard winterguard units may seem a little dull, but Sorscha has some abilities to boost them up
- Increase your ranged threat with some widowmakers or greylords.
- Purchase Sorscha's epic card to try out some different abilities.
- Buy a new caster. for just a few bucks you can completely change how the army works.
Right out of the box you have a solid force that other battle boxes will have a tough time dealing with. Rely on your armor to get into the fight and don't hold back. One solid charge by either 'jack should seriously disable any other on the board. Use Sorscha's abilities to make sure they get there at the right time.
Here is what comes in her starter box:
3x Ice Gamin
Recommended paint options;
Space Wolves Gray
- The December Acolyte offers some ranged attacks as well as the ability to heal himself.
- A familiar for Rasputina will increase her already formidable spellcasting abilities.
- Any model with "Frozen Heart" works well in this band
Rasputina has a good mix of offensive and defensive spells. She does not have a ton of triggers to memorize so plays in a pretty straightforward manner. Her ability to cast spells through friendly models helps keep her safe. She can also slow down the enemy advance by freezing the terrain they are in or creating her own walls! The Ice Gamin are pretty cheap and can be a threat, particularly in numbers. They can hit and shoot, and if they die they explode, dealing damage to all models around them. Since they have armor, they can absorb a lot of punishment as well. The Golem takes this to an even further extent. He is a great beatstick up close or far away. He is heavily armored and his explosion damage is even better than the Gamin's. I have had a lot of success with this basic force.
Here is what comes in the Battalion Box:
20 State Troops
Bought Separately, this would run you $150.50. As a set, it costs $115.
Recommended Paint Options (around $4 apiece):
Blood Red or Scab Red
- You will need to purchase a General. The plastic kit is the best value for $26.50 since you will get enough pieces to create two characters, one mounted and one on foot
- You should look at long range support. This can take the form of fast cavalry units, artillery pieces, or wizards. All are good options but reward different playing styles
- Bulk out the army with another Battalion Box. This will give you the option to use the horde rule and take advantage of attachments as well.
The Empire is not as tough, fast, or hitty as other armies. It focuses on teamwork and tactics over brute force. I have found that the army works best with lots of different units supporting one another on the field. If you get too specialized, chances are that another opponent will out-specialize you and your efforts will be wasted. Also, invest in a good army transport for your figures. This army has a lot of little, fragile pieces that do not respond well to rough handling. Also, buy some regiment bases and movement trays so that you can model the troops standing together. As the army grows in size it will be more difficult to move them around the table if they are all on individual bases.
Here is what you get in a Battleforce Box.
1 Space Marine Tactical Squad with 10 models.
1 Space Marine Combat Squad with 5 models.
1 Space Marine Scout Squad with 5 models.
1 Space Marine Assault Squad with 5 models.
1 Space marine Rhino Transport Vehicle.
If purchased separately from the web store, these models would cost $153.25. The Boxed set is $110. This is a pretty good deal, saving you enough money to buy the army book (around $30) and some paint.
Space Marines can be painted in almost any color, as each chapter has its own livery. In order to paint the models as shown on the website, you should start with these paints:
Each pot will run you about $4, but they last forever and are of very good quality.
From here you will want to start looking at how to flesh out the army.
- The most glaring lack is that this force does not have a leader. There are a wide range of models that can be purchased ranging from $15-$20. The plastic Commander sprue is the best deal as it will also give you some more weapon options for your basic squads.
- Secondly, there are no elite units. A box of Terminators ($50) will add a lot of punch
- Finally, there is no heavy armor. A Land Raider ($66) will provide transport for the terminators and also some anti-tank firepower of your own.
It will be very hard to put together a bad Space Marine army. The models look great and the army has a lot of built-in toughness and redundancy. There are a plethora of options to personalize your own force and no two armies need look the same. The only drawback is that everyone else plays Space Marines, too. If you want a little variety or a more challenging army, I would look elsewhere.