Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Email In: Picking A Fantasy Army Part 2

Feliks writes,

“Many thanks for the fast response Nike, and good job on the well written article.

I have given it a couple of reads over and what it seems to reflect to me is that High Elves really are a good army, with strong magic (like I wanted) but also with a lot of strong options to play the army. I think that Dark Elves would most likely be my second choice, but hearing the fact that High Elves usually beat them puts High Elves ahead for me. 
In terms of the other armies, it is good that Lizardmen are slightly worse than HE since they have become a little boring for me due to the large amount of them at my local gauntlet; and the Daemons build does indeed sound monotonous (plus I have a small-ish force of them for 40k so I'd like to start anew). And yeah, the Skaven doesn't seem to really appeal to me; the rat hordes just seem too similar to Zombie hordes in VC.

So, I think High Elves are a clear choice for me :) Although I have no idea where to start at the moment (tactics, or army building) so I await your advice on this,

Thanks a ton,


I really want to stress that you have to like the aesthetic of the army you’re going to be playing.  It gets ugly painting 200 models for an army you don’t like the look of, or the color scheme for.  Plus, if you don’t like the look of the force, it won’t even be as fun to play.

But I’ll assume you like high Elves.

So what to buy?  We’ll start with a 2k-ish list.  First things first, buy a Teclis model.  Even if you get sick of his cheesiness, you can play him as an ordinary Archmage, but when you want to play a tournament, you’ll have him.

Second, you need 500 points of core.  You will want to get the Island of Blood HE dudes, since they are dirt cheap and you can run them as Sea Guard.  Maybe pick up 30-40 of these guys to make up the bulk of your Core.

That leaves about 1,000 points to flesh out the list.  I would buy 30 of the new plastic Phoenix Guard to form a magic bunker.

Buy a Noble BSB with Greatsword.  Cheap and effective.

Two Great Eagles for warmachine/harassment duty.

Then you can either go with a big nasty unit of Sword Masters.  Or as many Lion Chariots as you can fit in.  Basically, anything that can be fairly killing in close combat.  Sword Masters from the IoB set would be the cheapest way to do it.

I’m not a super expert on High Elves, but this seems to be a good start.  Even if you explore other options in the future, this is a solid competitive base to start from or go back to.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Questions?


  1. I've been following your blog for some time now and I always enjoy reading what you have to say. You strike me as someone who is dishing out advice and help with the knowledge and experience to back it up and I respect that.

    Now, I've got a question that is relevant to WHFB but not necessarily relevant to picking a specific army. Local metagame aside, would you encourage someone who is interested in WHFB but has no real wargaming experience to get involved in WHFB? Why or why not?

    I ask because it seems to me that the general opinion is that WHFB is a dying breed. However, I find myself drawn to WHFB despite that general opinion. Thoughts?

    1. My thoughts are, if you have a local community with plenty of WHFB players to play against, go for it. If you're going to be the only guy with an army don't. So long as you have people to play with on a regular basis it doesn't matter if other people on the internet think the game is dying.

    2. I've got to agree with you Nike. I'm lucky enough to have a big local club with Fantasy/40k/PP/Malifaux players. That's made the transition from primarily playing 40k to fantasy easy. I would have liked to have played fantasy before, but nobody played locally.

      At itchy... there is a local group do it. Fantasy is a great game despite what most people say. Better models than 40k IMO and I've not seen a huge amount of the, "Magic is ruining the game... waaaggghhh" that people talk about. A few silly rules, but that's not only WFB.

      I think it's a reasonably easy game to ply to a basic level, so don't let the huge rulebook put you off.

  2. Thanks to you both. That's exactly what I had hoped you might say.

    I think there is actually a pretty decent club here that plays regularly. I don't own a single WHFB model yet but that won't keep me from reaching out and seeing what's what.

    P.S. High Elves look cool. So do Wood Elves.