4 Dec 2012

How do you build an army?

I spend a lot of my hobby time pouring over army books planning my next all conquering force and I am sure I am not alone. But what is it that makes you choose the army that you do? In this post I am going to take you through thing reasons I pick the armies that I play.

1.       Models. To me it’s the most important thing, after all it’s the main reason we play right? It’s being able to play with toys disguised as a “hobby”. The main reason I pick an army to start with is because I love the models, I won’t play it if I don’t like it. You could give me the most powerful army in the game, but if I don’t like the models then I won’t really enjoy playing it. I also love to put a good converted model on the table, there is nothing more satisfying than pushing round a really cool conversation which just looks awesome. For a Lost and the Dammed army I once converted a Ork Squigoth from Forge World to represent a Leman Russ tank. At a tournament everyone that I played loved the model and thought the army was awesome, it didn’t win much but all my opponents loved playing against the army as the game looked cool and added to the fun.

2.       Theme. I love a good theme and for me it makes the game a lot more enjoyable. I tend to build all my armies to a theme, sometimes it will be straight out of the book, other times it will be something I made up in my head. My Ultramarines for example, at the moment they are a Marine army with some Grey Knight allies, I need to take an Ultramarine HQ to comply with the force org chart but I modelled him up as an Inquisitor Lord, the theme being that he is leading the Marines on some mission for the Inquisition. I also need to take a HQ for the Grey Knight section so I built another Inquisitor to lead them; the story is that she is the apprentice of the Inquisitor Lord. It’s not a deep in-depth theme but adds something to the army and looks awesome on the table. Going back to point 1 it allows me to create some unique models to put down on the table and makes the army more personal to me.  

My Orks are Speed Freaks; they are all mounted in some form of vehicle with some Dakka jets, again not mind boggling in terms of depth but it makes the army coherent and looks good on the table. We could all take the best units in any given book but the army would just look like a jumbled disorganised force.

It doesn’t matter if they are not the most efficient in game terms, of course I also try to make something competitive but the most important thing for me is the visual aspect of the game.

3.       Challenge. Sometimes I like to take stuff just to see if I can win with it. In Bloodbowl I used to run a pure Goblin team. They we never the greatest but when you did pull off a win it made the winning all the sweeter and the process of learning how to play it, tweaking the roster, making little changes each game and seeing it develop into a winning team  was really good fun and added to my hobby even when not at the table.

So that’s how I go about building my armies. Remember it’s not all about crushing face, some of the best games I have ever had I lost. But pushing around my army that I have created over time with a little theme and some unique conversions made the games enjoyable despite the result and over time they will develop into game winners and that’s more satisfying than crushing someone first time. So next time you sit down in front of Army Builder think about what you want to get out of your hobby and what you want to bring to the table and make it awesome.


1 comment:

  1. Nice article Gareth, it should be of use to the younger players in particular!