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How do you start a new army?


Warden-Paints

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What steps do you take before starting a new army project?

 

Is it on a whim or do you do it at a particular time of year or the start of a new edition (as examples)?  

 

Do you write a list before you buy? Do you buy a combat patrol and start from there? 

 

How about choosing factions / colour schemes? 

 

I'm interested to see how people approach a big project / hobby investment. 

 

 

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I don't play the game anymore, but *IF* I was to pick it up again, I'd start with the Codex and Cards (I'd also consider a secondhand market Launch Box) and get an idea of the rules and potential ways to play the Faction. I would probably start with the Combat Patrol box.  Colour scheme I'm more likely to do a custom scheme vs. an established choice.

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I always start with a box set of sorts. I came back in 8th edition, quit at the end of 6th and got rid of most of my stuff (Tyranids and Tau). I started with Death Guard, bought 2 seperate halves of Dark Imperium for $45 each on ebay, new on sprue (I never buy used/assembled models). Slowly added at least one of each option from the codex baring the 20ish year old main codex port overs. I'm now up to about 5,000 points of Death Guard. I usually only play a few factions at a time, rather have a lot of one or two faction with all the choices from the codex than a bunch of factions.

 

When I started Nurgle Daemons in 8th I bought 3 of the start collectings from a 15% retailer (I only buy from discount retailers). Later bought the age of sigmar box that had 20 plaguebearers and the 2 other Nurgle characters. Added a great unclean one and a few beasts of Nurgle to round it to 2,000 points. Those start collectings were such a good value, specially the Nurgle Daemons one. Came with a character, 10 troops, 3 nurglings and 3 plague drones (so 4 kits) for less than $80 with the discount. Combat patrols are nice, but I felt the start collectings were a much better value.

 

I don't usually start with smaller goals of 500 or 1,000 points in mind because I don't play 500 or 1,000 point games. Only 2,000 points or more, unless I'm teaching someone how to play, which does not happen often and definitely not in 10th edition. As far as colors with DG and Nurgle, I picked "green" haha. Used a color primer spray to start with, Death Guard green. The DG green primer is amazing, the paint pot is terrible and would take multiple layers as a base paint.

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Sign up to Hatchete's partworks for Space Marines, get Death Guard, Necrons, Sisters, and Ad Mech (and a BUNCH of terrain)

I'll be signing up to the coming Combat Patrols Partworks too.

 

I don't play 40k anymore, but *IF* I was to jump back in, I would start with Codex, Cards, and Combat Patrol (might even try combo these if there's an applicable launch box, Deathwing, Votann etc).

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4 hours ago, Warden-Paints said:

What steps do you take before starting a new army project?

 

Is it on a whim or do you do it at a particular time of year or the start of a new edition (as examples)?  

 

Do you write a list before you buy? Do you buy a combat patrol and start from there? 

 

How about choosing factions / colour schemes? 

 

I'm interested to see how people approach a big project / hobby investment. 

 

 

 

I think you need to find out what motivated you the most.

Lore, Miniatures, painting, Game mechanics etc. a combination of them. Everyone has a different taste.

 

For myself for any game i get a bit into the Lore and the Miniatures first.

I think its important playing Miniatures you like to paint with a fitting Backstory.

If getting a warband, army, fleet, etc. ready for playing comes to you as a chore you probably wont have fun with that Project.

 

For buying / building i would recommend doing the "must-haves" first.

For example in Horus Heresy you need 2 compulsory Troops for any army list.

Doing 20-40 Bolter Marines sounds boring but a) after that you can expand in any direction and dont need to get back doing "must-haves" units to change your army list if you want to change and b) after that Miniatures you got experience with your colour sheme which will speed up painting the rest and any mistakes wont be noticed that much in a bunch of other Miniatures.

 

As for color shemes thats something personal too as it can be as simple or complicated as you like and heavily depends on the tools at your disposal. 

Even personal preference comes into the mix here.

 

For me, when I started a Horus Heresy Army a few years ago and after painting Black Templars over a few Editions of the Game i knew i didnt want to paint a Legion with Black or White as a main colour.

 

 

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For me it happens in one of three pretty similar ways.
 

The first is I might already have an interest in the faction but there’s something holding me back, normally that the models don’t inspire me. A perfect example of this is World Eaters, I’ve thought they were a cool idea for a while but there was absolutely no way I was ever starting an army of them with the previous generation of terrible berzerker models. Then GW updates or expands the range and suddenly that barrier is gone and I’m ready to start the army. 
 

The second is that I like the models and the army already but the price barrier is too high, Mechanicum and Solar Auxilia for example were too pricey because they were resin armies. GW then release (or will soon release) them in plastic and they become more affordable so I can start the army.

 

The third is that I may have had no previous interest in a faction at all but then GW releases something cool that sparks my interest and I’ll look into them more seriously. 
 

Whichever one of those steps is first, the second step is for me to look at the rules for the army. This is mainly to see if they will play in a style I like.

 

The third step is to then write a list, starting with the models that drew me to the faction and working out where to go from there. What I buy to start the collection will depend on that list.

Edited by MARK0SIAN
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First I think up a cool colour scheme or conversion idea, then I do a basic infantry squad, and it all snowballs from there. Sometimes it's prompted by a new release or edition, but it's more often something my gaming group is doing. I've found Crusade to be a fantastic way to start a new army. Really helps put an identity into things, and keeps me on track. 

 

I tend to get the army lore done early, figure out what would make sense to include later. No point deciding this chapter doesn't have access to any ancient, valuable gear AFTER I've painted up some terminators for 'em, right? 

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I always go with an army and models I like the look of, and tabletop meta comes second. If I don’t like the model, I won’t get it no matter how strong it is because  the main reason I hobby is to collect, paint and display. Yes I will always write a list alongside the models, but these days that is secondary and I won’t plan my purchase around a list - rule of cool takes precedence.
 

I tend to go with smaller forces if I’m starting a totally new army, partly because of time/money but also because if I change my mind I’ve not made a huge investment.
 

An example of this is my t’au at only 1000 points. These guys started with a squad of pathfinders to create the colour scheme. Soon after I got the start collecting box. Later I added a Ghostkeel and finally a Stormsurge. At this point I had enough spare parts to kitbash a Fireblade as well. I love this army but I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting any more models for them because the colour scheme is so time consuming. I also don’t often get to play a game anyway, so the 1000 point level is a good level for me to work with.

 

Another fun way to start is to pick up a cheap joblot of models on eBay. Sometimes for very little money you can grab a treasure trove, as I’ve been able to do to kickstart my Horus Heresy journey this year. I bought a big pile of stuff for £60, knowing what some but not all of it would be, and I’ve ended up with well over 2000 points of Iron Warriors in one go. It’s like getting a grown-up version of one of those surprise goody bags!

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I recommend changing and playing Kill Team.

All the Lore we love, a much better game, no need to wait for months to be able to access minis, no switching rules and constant updates.

 

Wait for a better edition of the main game, 11th, 12th 13th maybe???,  and for GW to change their availability of products system. It sucks.

Planning a big 'investment' with GW in it's current state is a doomed idea. They'll let you down.

 

 

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Over the years, my approach has changed in how I collect an army and continues to do so. I am 95% a Space Marine player, having an army for each sub faction, I also have a small Imperial Guard army more points in vehicles and super heavies than men (I own 17 Baneblade/variants). I also have some Inquisitors and some Custodes and Sisters of Silence that need building. Years ago my approach was dominated by wanting to win, and in my group we all took part in arm's races. Lots of Death stars were bought, and my armies were built around that. Then my group grew tired of that, having lost sight a little on why we all played together, my club was born genuinely out of the love of Warhammer and a place for children/teens/adults to 'let their hair down'. Much has changed since the 90s.

Apocalypse game along and meeting some guys from a nearby city who played regularly meant changes to army planning. War machines (my first Warhound was purchased for my first apocalypse game), expanding the army and building up forces based around formations. Apocalypse was my favourite format to play 40k, huge tank battles, waves of infantry being smashed apart, what's not to love? I haven't played the newest rendition of it, I haven't played a game since 7th edition. 

The lore is a big factor for me, reading Imperial Armour books, especially the Badab series, will inspire me to create an army based around that campaign and thus the backlog is added to.

I have also in the past seen armies being sold and that has been a weakness of mine and ensuring that backlog is always growing.

Mostly now I am focusing on the Horus Heresy and my approach there has been, pick a legion I like the lore of, create a force based around a theme; my Iron warriors are a force of Terminator and \dreadnoughts, and I have Perturabo and his gang. My next force is either going to be an Imperial Fists force based on the Siege of Terra or Ultramarines vengeance force.. or Raven Guard as I picked up Corax in a trade.

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When it deals on how I have started armies in the past there are no definitive and answer or motivaation. Even if, giving it a careful though, there is eventually a patron: organic growth.

 

I started as a pure SW player in 2nd Ed. Even if I had some mini for 1st Ed SM, I really started with the space puppies. Then I grew them up and decided to try out some other tactical approaches. I stayed SM but went into BA, UM,... every time painted in Fenrisian grey livery and adding units or models to my existing squads so I could change game play without getting a complete new collection. I got this inspiration from an article from the french wrahammer studio in white dwarf decades ago. getting 15 models in a tactical squad allow swapping from a pure Grey hunter to a standard codex tactical squad. ANd you can do the same for CSM from SW.

The same logic applied to 40k to HH worked well too for SM, SW and CSM customizable squads. Eevrytime I looked for tactical changes without redoing the whole purchase process.

 

Then my organic growth scheme went through allies. adding some small detachments from imperial agents or imperial guard for example. Depending on how reeditions introduce or cancel the concept of allies, these contingents became small independant forces. For example my Leman russes allied to SW (why field a predator with plasma cannon if you can have a squad LR doing the same?) becomes slowly a fully operationnal AM force.

 

Only oddballs to these scheem were Eldars and AdMech.

I bough ELdars in the early 2000´s because they were cool. But built and painted them last year.

I started AdMech as a challenge for a NewYear new army while trying to come back into the oplaying aspect of the hobby in 2023. I did not want to get a blobbing SM Primaris force in addition to my 18 kpts SW... I distrusted the GW scheme for range refresh so I decided to go to a minor army less subject to inetnse miniature range turn over... Yet in AdMech case it is a selection based on rule of cool only. I like the models.

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Only two things:

 

1. Implementing a new hobby technique.

2. Using a different painting scheme than before.

 

Example:

I have been collecting hobby materials for creating an ice-themed board (mat and terrain) and models for a R&F game for a couple of months now. Once my IH project and Rust Bot project is completed this one will be started. The new hobby technique will involve creating ice bases with resin. There are different tutorials on Youtube to accomplish this and they look amazing. For further information I will be creating a Frostling army inspired by the Age of Wonders video game. As showing those models on this forum is prohibited I will only show the work of my ice bases.

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50 minutes ago, calgar101 said:

Or your worst enemy! I have a few ebay purchases, bought with the intention of stripping, etc. Sat in boxes, years later still.


By rule, I don’t buy painted minis for just this reason.  Over the years I’ve bought cheap minis to strip that must have been powder coated rather than painted.  I also don’t buy anything assembled I have the intention of disassembling.  Some folks apparently use industrial grade adhesives to hobby with.  Maybe they work at a plant and get it for free.  Idk.  All that to say, I know where you’re coming from.

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8 minutes ago, crimsondave said:


By rule, I don’t buy painted minis for just this reason.  Over the years I’ve bought cheap minis to strip that must have been powder coated rather than painted.  I also don’t buy anything assembled I have the intention of disassembling.  Some folks apparently use industrial grade adhesives to hobby with.  Maybe they work at a plant and get it for free.  Idk.  All that to say, I know where you’re coming from.

Yeah, my rules for 2nd hand purchasing has always been primed at most, I will buy built models, but I look at photos etc (most of my 2nd hand purchasing has been off trade groups), only been bitten once and that was my fault.

It is still far easier to buy these lots than actually finish the projects, mind, I am glad I am not the only one.

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6 hours ago, Emperor Ming said:

I don't even know how people even get into the hobby these days:ermm:

 

A 2k army with the price increases is beyond £500 now:ohmy:

 

 

Don’t have a 2k army be the be and end all of gaming. Start with Combat patrol. Then add units to the nearest 500 point mark, and add 500 points onto that. Slowly. 

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2 minutes ago, Redcomet said:

Don’t have a 2k army be the be and end all of gaming. Start with Combat patrol. Then add units to the nearest 500 point mark, and add 500 points onto that. Slowly. 

A bit like how the Tale of 4 gamers did things all them moons ago. Or how Fat Bloke built his Chaos fantasy army up in WD 275 and issues close to it.

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Usually I build up from a Kill Team.

 

All of my play is Campaign based, so in KT, I'm running spec ops and growing the roster. Eventually, I'll add an HQ Unit and shift to 40k, where I'm Crusading and thus still growing a roster. I connect as much of the growth of my armies as I can to gains from requisitions, but each requisition has to fit the narrative as well. Usually my campaigns have narrative triggers for requisition expenditure- for example my GSC and Chaos Cults recruit by defeating suitable converts in hand to hand, or through various other means, so I can't spend points to raise my supply limit until they've defeated enough enemies or stolen an Imperial tank.

 

Sometimes I'll create a full roster for the sake of asset management. I had to do that with my Fiery Heart Sisters for the Iron Gauntlet challenge- I had to lay out territories for the entire planet to figure out how many territories Sisters had, and then I had to generate small forces to inhabit each of those territories. My supply limit is FAR too low to include even a fraction of the Sisters available on each continent, or in some cases even in a single Settlement.

 

Either way, my armies always develop according to the story. 

 

 

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So If I discount my one off purchases (A Herald of Khorne here, a Warcry warband there, a squad of Sisters of Silence, etc) and only think about my main armies of interest, I have typically started my collections with a big box purchase. My Tzeentch renegade army started life as the Thousand Sons, Tzeentch Daemons, and Beastmen start collecting boxes. The Beastmen were converted up for 40k, just fyi. With those boxes as a basis, I expanded with various TS, CSM, and Daemon purchases. Since I don't play anything besides Warcry or KT, I just purchase units I like, typically with a nice base to start.

 

My sister's started similarly. I got the big launch army box, then just expanded over time with an Immolater, Dominions, characters, etc 

 

My Necrons were a bit different, in that I originally started them because I bought the 9th edition starter box that came with Terrain so I could start KT. I didn't really plan on a Necron army, I just painted the warriors up for some custom solo KT games. But then I fell in love with painting Necrons, and I read Infinite and Divine+ Twice Dead King. I then expanded my one off Necron collection into a decent collection through the old Combat Patrol and eBay purchases when Necrons were cheap

 

So if it is a faction I like in general, and not a one-off purchase of coll stuff, then I normally start with a box. I don't play that much, so liking the army on the tabletop doesn't matter much to me.

 

When it comes to color schemes, I mostly paint DIY factions. How I pick those varies. My favorite colors are purple and turquoise, so that was a natural fit for my Sisters. I also liked using that for my sister's because those aren't typical SoB colors, so it helps distinguish as a homebrew army.

 

My Tzeentch renegades are blue because of theme, but when I started them I was first getting used to contrast paints. I started with Tallassar Blue, then after finding it too bright for what I wanted I used Basilicanum Grey for inside the trim to break it up a bit. Ever since then, my Astartes have shared that paint scheme because of those painting experiments. I includes red as an accent since I love Blue and red combos

 

The only canon army I really have would be my Necrons. I just think Trazyn is so cool, and since Nihilakh used turquoise it was a natural fit

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Personally, the process goes something like this;

 

  • Read a black library book about a faction
  • Buy a troops unit and an HQ of that faction. Maybe a Start Collecting box, a Combat Patrol box, or if I time it right, an Army box - in addition to the original troops unit and HQ.
  • Wonder how I’ve got 5000 points of that faction.
  • Try to find time to paint the 10,000 points of the faction.
  • Buy the codex

But that’s just me, surely?

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4 hours ago, Sky Potato said:

Personally, the process goes something like this;

 

  • Read a black library book about a faction
  • Buy a troops unit and an HQ of that faction. Maybe a Start Collecting box, a Combat Patrol box, or if I time it right, an Army box - in addition to the original troops unit and HQ.
  • Wonder how I’ve got 5000 points of that faction.
  • Try to find time to paint the 10,000 points of the faction.
  • Buy the codex

But that’s just me, surely?

Reminds me of how I got my Black Legion army by accident.  I started Iron Warriors about time you could get the start collecting and combat patrol.  Then the balefleet box and boarding patrol came out.  Then I decided I wanted HH mk 3 marines for my CSMs.  I was going to hit ebay and realized I had enough stuff I didn't want for my Iron Warriors for a decent army.  So, yeah.  I feel your pain.

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