Starting your own Army

It has now been over a year since I was properly introduced to the Warhammer world. I have looked through books, visited my boyfriend and his friends at tournaments and looked at/heard about endless army lists, all while trying to resist falling into the trap that would inevitably drag me into his life of obsessive purchasing and painting of toy soldiers. However, there is only so long you can just watch and last week I got bored and took a closer look at the “Orc and Goblin” army.

I’ve been told that this set of characters is quite well known to be a starter set because it’s colourful and a little bit silly. So I decided to settle down and see if I could write my own Army list (which basically meant writing down the models I really wanted to paint and how they’d fit together in an actual army) and show it to my boyfriend... who promptly grabbed a fresh piece of paper and helped me do it properly!

The actual idea is simple. You have a book (that puts you back about £15) which has a very well written and illustrated backstory for each army. This describes the main characters, the sort of ‘behaviour’ to expect from them and the main points in history. The language in the Orcs and Goblins book was a highlight of my reading, with items having aptly colloquial names such as the “Amulet of Protectyness” and the name of the main leadership power being the mighty “WAAAGH!”. Brilliance, in my humble opinion! It then goes into a list of the beasties you can use in your particular army, which again is quite detailed with a table of their general statistics for comparison. This is then followed by the numbery bit that you use to make up your army list.

Each unit uses a set amount of points depending on their usefulness, power etc. with “Heroes” and “Lords” being the highest and “Core” being the lowest. These points tend to add up to a seemingly small amount of points, I found. Since I know the hassle it takes to paint the damned things I didn’t really WANT lots of little Night Goblins sitting around making a nuisance of themselves which was a ‘mistake’ duly reconciled by my ‘redrafted’ list... sadly. However, it was necessary so that I had a fully functioning 2,000 point army, which is the size that I normal see being played with (I have since been reassured that I could cut it down to 1,000 if I get fed up with it).

Now once you have a suitable number of units you have the (highly recommended) option of added extras such as the previously mentioned “Amulet of Protectyness” or even just adding equipment such as extra weapons to Core units. The points cost and benefits of each item are listed in the same section.

With some units this part will involve referring to the Rule Book, a separate and rather pricey volume (the latest is coming out soon and will cost £50, hardback... which of course my boyfriend NEEDS or he couldn’t possibly play!) which, among other things, tells you how many points of which type of magic or item each kind of unit can carry or use. The easier option, of course, is to refer to your in-house Warhammer geek, who can guide you to the spells or items that would best suit each unit and let you decide which one you prefer the sound of. I found this much more preferable, despite the constant threat of internal sighing or groaning at my decision.

Once you’re happy, add up your points. When they come to a total WAY above your target (eg. 2,000) you will need to remove and update your list, an art-form in itself which my boyfriend has successfully mastered... aided by the fact that I’m pretty sure that he would actually give Carol Vorderman a run for her money when it comes to having a calculator for a brain.

At the end of this, you are then left with your final Army List, ready to be purchased. The next dangerous step in creating a Warhammer army of your very own.

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