Help a newblood rekindle his love of warhammer

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MrEso
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Help a newblood rekindle his love of warhammer

Post by MrEso » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:55 pm

Hello friends:

A quick TL:DR about me:
- Played GW games in my youth
- Recently changed careers (again), but would like to start collecting again
- Until loans are paid off, money will be tight

So here's where i'd like to pose a slew of questions to you all, to help get the ball rolling. In no particular order they are:

* Are there any online resources i could use to start army planning? Haven't purchased the boxed-set/rules just yet. Hoping to do some pre-reading first. Perhaps an army builder or some such? List of free PDF resources?
* In terms of army rules, will the official GW rulebook be sufficient, or are there specific army books as well (Reason being, I intend to play high elves with a smattering of other friendly friendlies - so i'd like to know how feasible, and what specific requirements need to be met to field an 'ally army' this is before i start collecting)
* Roster building will be a slow process - should i expect sweeping changes coming down the pipe that would make some of my purchases irrelevant?
* I'm going to assume that i will be dog-crap at painting. Music i can do, art, i'm like a lost puppy dog. Has anyone had any experience going from complete garbage to prolific painting behemoth? conversely - any anecdotes regarding painting services would be lovely. I'm a bit of a purist, so i couldn't fathom bringing an army to the table that didn't look pristine.
* Finally, just some general friendly tips for where/how to start the ball rolling. Things will have to begin piece-meal as I pay off my stinking loans and/or my governing-college, so i'd like to be some direction to my collection (heh...rhyme unintended)



********** The above is the important bit, below is just some general info on the direction i'd hoped to take and my thoughts on potential army choices ***********

* High elves - Love the 'elite' choices. White lions, swordmasters, phoenix guard would be among my first choices. Similarly, i'd want a solid centrepiece like Eltharion on Stormwing to give my army some punch. Seems quite a flexible army that suffers during prolonged melee engagements, and against 'heavy hitters'.

* Dark Elves - again, very slick - hit and run, screw you before you screw me kind of army. Obvious drawbacks of all elves apply here i presume - low toughness, expensive 'elite' models, the need for intelligent tactical decisions

* Wood elves - Less enamoured by these point-ears, but still have some solid options. Might be a good supplement to an existing elf army.

* Lizardmen - what needs to be said - dinosaurs and lizard-dudes. I recognize the power of the slaan but i don't love them in terms of fluff. Some bruising units to be sure. I imagine their drawbacks are associated with the inherent 'big blocks' of saurus, and the ease of which they can be flanked. Not sure how this translates to Age of Sigmar.

*Undead - Always enjoyed the spooky/scary undead. Would be a strong candidate for a main army if i didn't assume they'd involve a TON of painting. Also i'd like to play the good guys first for a change :D

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Koonitz
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Re: Help a newblood rekindle his love of warhammer

Post by Koonitz » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:38 am

Welcome back to the hobby. First and foremost I will assume that, since you posted this in the Age of Sigmar section, you are interested in starting back up by playing WarHammer: Age of Sigmar.

Second, Age of Sigmar is a DRAMATIC change of pace compared to the WarHammer Fantasy from your past. If you are not aware of this, I strongly urge you to read up on it (try to avoid the bias, as a lot of old-school Fantasy players have put up some very stinging criticism of Age of Sigmar because it did, essentially, destroy WarHammer Fantasy). In essence, in terms of playstyle, it is an entirely different game. Make sure it's what you want before you start collecting/re-collecting anything.

If you were not aware of the differences and educate yourself and choose NOT to want to play Age of Sigmar, nothing further is relevant to you. You may stop reading here. I suggest, instead, reposting your post in the WarHammer Fantasy section and not the Age of Sigmar subsection. There are quite a few people who hold onto the old style of playing WarHammer Fantasy, as well as multiple third party rulesets (Including Kings of War and WarHammer 9th Age). Indeed, Steve (and Josh? I'm not sure as I don't watch them, myself), here at MiniWargaming still does old school WarHammer 8th Edition games under the "Old World Wars" title.

If you are aware of the differences and wish to begin collecting again for Age of Sigmar, then welcome back. AoS is a rather enjoyable game.

MrEso wrote: * Are there any online resources i could use to start army planning? Haven't purchased the boxed-set/rules just yet. Hoping to do some pre-reading first. Perhaps an army builder or some such? List of free PDF resources?
The rules for Age of Sigmar are (nearly) completely free. You can find the main, core rules, as well as the basic unit rules for most available armies downloadable from Games Workshop's website, here. Note, this is the Canadian site. Change your location as necessary, but the rules do not change, so you can freely download from the provided link.

Any armies missing (ie: The new ones, such as Sylvaneth, Fyreslayers, Orruks, etc.) can have each unit's rules downloaded from their own section of the GW store. In addition, they will have available army books for purchase. The army books will contain additional rules (such as formations and the like), but are, strictly speaking, not required to begin playing.

You will note that none of the rules include points values, because originally, GW didn't intend for points to be a primary defining factor in army sizes. However, they did release points in a separate book called the "General's Handbook". Click there to go to GW's webstore where the book is available (Again, Canadian site). The Handbook is a steal at $30 CDN, as it includes the full rules of the game, as well as pages upon pages of details on different ways to play (including campaign play, narrative play, open play, and pitched battle, ie: points). It includes points for all units available at the time of publishing, so will include full points for anything in the High Elf army. In addition, it includes additional rules for battle traits, command traits and relics when you maintain an army of a consistent theme (ie: All Grande Alliance Order, or all Grande Alliance Death, etc.).
MrEso wrote: * In terms of army rules, will the official GW rulebook be sufficient, or are there specific army books as well (Reason being, I intend to play high elves with a smattering of other friendly friendlies - so i'd like to know how feasible, and what specific requirements need to be met to field an 'ally army' this is before i start collecting)
As detailed above, quite literally you do not have to purchase ANY rulebook whatsoever. If you wish to continue playing with points, then you will want to pick up the General's Handbook. As you express interest in High Elves, there are no books available that include rules for them. They are all available at the link I provided above and points are found in the General's Handbook. Depending on which allies you wish to include, you may want to purchase an army book (if available) for those units, however, again, the units, themselves have rules completely, freely available on GW's website.

As for army building, I'll detail that with the next question:
MrEso wrote: * Roster building will be a slow process - should i expect sweeping changes coming down the pipe that would make some of my purchases irrelevant?
No. Age of Sigmar is a new game, with a new Pitched Battle system for points play. Other than the possibility of the High Elves getting a new release and army book (Likely to be changed to "Aelves" for copywrite purposes) it is unlikely there will be changes to your army any time soon. Even if, the old High Elves will retain rules that you can then freely use instead of any new army book, models or rules. For instance, Fyreslayer Dwarves are a new army, however old fashioned dwarves still exist and can be used freely.

Building an army is easy. If you are not using Pitched Battle points, bring whatever you want. Period.

If you are using Pitched Battle points, the specific restrictions are detailed in the book, however you will be limited to a minimum number of battle line units (basic troops), and a maximum number of leaders, artillery and behemoth units. Other units are unrestricted beyond points.

You will note that I did not say what army you are restricted to bringing. Because there are no restrictions. You may include models from ANY army in your list, regardless of boundaries or alliances (ie: You may have High Elf swordmasters side by side with skeletons, if you wish). However, if you specialize your army and maintain a theme (ie: All models from Grande Alliance Order, if you remember my mention above), then you will get certain 'free' benefits and upgrades, which are battle/command traits and free relics (magic items) for your army. High Elves are part of the Order alliance, so can still freely ally with other Order armies, such as Dwarves, wood elves, Dark elves (yes, them), humans, Stormcast Eternals and Seraphon (Lizardmen), among others. You may include models from any of these armies and still maintain a Grande Alliance Order theme.

It's remarkably easy to make an army. I am currently unaware of any 'battlescribe' like program as I do not use them, not even for WarHammer 40k. Pen and Paper are really all you need.
MrEso wrote: * I'm going to assume that i will be dog-**** at painting. Music i can do, art, i'm like a lost puppy dog. Has anyone had any experience going from complete garbage to prolific painting behemoth? conversely - any anecdotes regarding painting services would be lovely. I'm a bit of a purist, so i couldn't fathom bringing an army to the table that didn't look pristine.
Practice, practice, practice. None of us here on this forum started out good at painting. Put brush to model and don't expect it to look good. In time, you'll get better. You'll pick up new techniques and improve, as with any other hobby or career. Just like with your music. I suspect you didn't start out as good as you are now.

Another tip would be to watch painting tip videos. Videos like the ones found here at MiniWargaming, and the ones found on the WarHammer TV youtube channel (An official GW channel). Quite recently, I've learned a few really neat, really easy tips from Duncan, over at WarHammer TV.

And another tip, don't be discouraged. No matter how bad your paintjob is now, most people won't care, as long as you're having fun. Many of us look fondly back to our first painted miniatures, laughing and smiling at how bad we were at the start. In fact, some still keep those miniatures around, instead of trying to strip the paint and try again (which can be done, by the way).
MrEso wrote: * Finally, just some general friendly tips for where/how to start the ball rolling. Things will have to begin piece-meal as I pay off my stinking loans and/or my governing-college, so i'd like to be some direction to my collection (heh...rhyme unintended)
Start by downloading the core rules and the High Elf rules from GW's website. Read them thoroughly (it won't take long). If you have no models right now, then start by picking a single unit you wish to start with and any necessary assembly/painting supplies to get started. I wouldn't even worry about the points system and whether the unit is a battleline or whatnot. Just start with one unit you like and get building. From there, I'd consider getting the General's Handbook. Depending on how much free time you have or how fast you are at assembling/painting, you may be still building that first unit when you can get the Handbook.

Pro Tip: Do NOT start with the big, shiny, centerpiece model as your first purchase. As cool as it is, the idea of painting it will be VERY intimidating, and you do not want to practice painting on a single $50-100+ model. Start with something small, preferably with a large number of models (such as basic troops). That way, if you ruin one or two with bad paint jobs (or by trying out multiple different paint jobs until you find one you like), you won't hate yourself.

At this point, you should have a decent grasp of the core rules and your army rules (if not in practice, then from reading them). From there, you can begin building basic lists to get a feel for what you might like to field. You can then begin guiding your purchases. For instance, you may now know which battleline units you want to include in your list, so you may want to purchase a box of them. Slowly build up your army.

If you get impatient and want to get a game or two in despite your inability to purchase everything you need, I encourage you to talk to your local gaming group. I wouldn't be surprised if there are others who would be happy to help, either by letting you play a game with their models, or give you some random models you can use to proxy as your army. Getting some games in will definitely help you decide on which models you would like to purchase each time you can afford to.
MrEso wrote: ********** The above is the important bit, below is just some general info on the direction i'd hoped to take and my thoughts on potential army choices ***********

* High elves - Love the 'elite' choices. White lions, swordmasters, phoenix guard would be among my first choices. Similarly, i'd want a solid centrepiece like Eltharion on Stormwing to give my army some punch. Seems quite a flexible army that suffers during prolonged melee engagements, and against 'heavy hitters'.

* Dark Elves - again, very slick - hit and run, screw you before you screw me kind of army. Obvious drawbacks of all elves apply here i presume - low toughness, expensive 'elite' models, the need for intelligent tactical decisions

* Wood elves - Less enamoured by these point-ears, but still have some solid options. Might be a good supplement to an existing elf army.

* Lizardmen - what needs to be said - dinosaurs and lizard-dudes. I recognize the power of the slaan but i don't love them in terms of fluff. Some bruising units to be sure. I imagine their drawbacks are associated with the inherent 'big blocks' of saurus, and the ease of which they can be flanked. Not sure how this translates to Age of Sigmar.

*Undead - Always enjoyed the spooky/scary undead. Would be a strong candidate for a main army if i didn't assume they'd involve a TON of painting. Also i'd like to play the good guys first for a change :D
Other than the undead, every army list you mentioned falls under "Grande Alliance Order". You can freely include models from any of these armies to build your list (ie: You may want some Lizardmen core troops as your battleline, because they're a bit tougher, supported by the elite elves, which may include a mixture of both high and dark elf units. All of this may be supported by a Wood Elf archer unit or two or something else that suits your fancy). Or, you may stick to only High Elves, to keep to a core theme. Whatever you wish.

You may include the Undead in your army (as I mentioned above), though at that time, you are no longer a "Grande Alliance Order" army and lose any benefits that would grant you. But it might make for some pretty cool narrative games if you do. Besides, I know of no WarHammer table top gamer or D&D style pen-and-paper role-player who wouldn't want to have a few extra skeletons and zombies lying around.

----

I hope this information helped you.

TL;DR: You don't have to buy any rules except the General's Handbook. From there, buy what you want and learn your army and what models you want to field.
Armies:
40k: Knights Cynosure Iron Hands successor chapter, House Terryn Questor Imperialis, Thousand Sons/Tzeentch Daemons
30k: Thousand Sons
Age of Sigmar: Sylvaneth, Disciples of Tzeentch

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Re: Help a newblood rekindle his love of warhammer

Post by Guildenstern » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:03 am

can't really add a lot to that excellent rundown except go for it :D and welcome!

Painting can indeed get easier as you learn more and practice makes perfect (or at least better!)

Another good source of painting tutorials I thoroughly enjoy is Miniwargamer Jay's (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftYnum9 ... 71C3B38CAC) and of course a lot of the tutorials here as well!

Good luck!
Dez: "PAINT FOR THE PAINT GODS, SPRUES FOR THE SPRUE THRONE!!"
Guildy's WIP thread (mostly Skaven)
Guildy's weeklypaint thread! (everything mostly not Skaven!)

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MrEso
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Re: Help a newblood rekindle his love of warhammer

Post by MrEso » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:22 pm

+1 for the amazing reply by Koonitz. Cheers bud!

By way of reply i'll K.I.S.S (keep it simple, stupid).

* Indeed i intend to play AoS - i've watched innumerable battle reports, and am quite content with the rule set. I spent very little time playing the original fantasy rules, so it's hardly a departure for me.

* I will most definitely be looking up those PDFs in my spare time. Luckily i work primarily night shifts, so pending an emergent situation or a particularly acute set of patients, I often have an hour or so to read during down time. Perfecto!

* Thanks for the easy to read clarification regarding roster creation - beats having to slog through a bunch of rules i'm just barely coming to understand, only to find I planned 'incorrectly'.

* An interesting, but important (and absolutely correct in your assumption) point regarding my initial purchase(s). I definitely would be prone to buying that "big centerpiece" model, building around it, and, knowing myself, have it sit there with a base-coat for ages - as i'd be too afraid to mess up the paintjob.

That's about it. I'll definitely be getting my read on asap.

Cheers from Ontario

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