Warhammer (fantasy) Army Selection
I recently picked up a rule book for Warhammer Fantasy. It looks interesting so far. One of my problems is that if I decide to invest in playing it as well as 40k then we are talking some big expense. Another problem is that the person I normally play 40k with doesn't play fantasy and may not be intersted. I could probably find an opponent through one of the gaming stores though. The other possiblity is me buying two armies so my normally opponent or someone else I know could play without the financial investment. I think I like option two the most so I'll look at, if I play I will be getting two different armies.
The first army that intersted me was the Vampire Counts army. The idea of a horde of undead lead buy a powerful vampire appeals to me. Looking into it more though there are some serious drawbacks that won't go well with my play style. The first is that I don't care for the vampire minis. I know that sounds crazy, but as the quality of the minis went up as I've taken this hobbie I've come to expect a quality minurature to make up for my lack of painting skill or creativity. Another problem I have with them is that the majority of their units are weak and easy to kill. Sure the count can summon more during the battle, but I like to have a few elite units that I can rely on when an enemy unit just turns into a meat grinder for my troops. The most powerful and best way to deal with a unit that is just smashing through your army is with the very powerful vampire count. The problem with that strategy is that if your army general dies, which is your vampire count, then your army starts turning to dust. I'm not sure if this means you lose right then and their like the necron phase out, or if your army just becomes significatly weaker with stats or something. Even if it is the latter, your army is already made up of very weak units before you lose the count, losing any stats from that they might as well phase out.
Another issue I have with the Vampire Counts army is the story lines. I have not read the backstory so this may not be a big issue, but most undead type stories are very similar. Some magic type user is worried about dying and curse themselves with undeath so they will never die. Then they either continue their quest for more power or realise it was a mistake and try to make everyone else around them suffer just like they are. I'm sure you could get a little more creative, but the theme of your army still isn't going to change much. The story/theme gamer in me is ok with Vampire Counts, but the power gamer in me isn't very happy with them.
These issues lead me to look at the other undead army currently available in Warhammer, Tomb Kings. Now the Tomb King army has more diverse choices and some really nice special units. They also suffer from the kill the leader and the battle is over rule as the vampire counts. Now it looks like you could hide your leader a little easier with Tomb Kings since you can have more than one of the type of unit that is your leader, but it idea still worries me. They also have similar problems with storyline, but you can be more creative with an army theme. I also like the idea of the egyptions rising again with all the neat minis and color. It also increases the need for the egyption models from Hirst Arts to make some egyption themed terrain to fight on. For this army the story/theme gamer in me is ok with Tomb Kings, and the power gamer in me is ok with them. Not especially one way or the other, but I think this would be an ok army for me.
Next I looked at Chaos. Chaos in Warhammer Fantasy is broken up into two different armies, The Beasts of Chaos and The Hordes of Chaos. The beasts are made up of Minitors, Beast Men, Ogres, and such. Neat, but the Hordes are made up of both Knights and men as well as Demons. This diffinatly puts me leaning towards the Hordes of Chaos army. I came across an article, I believe in Black Gobo, which talked about one hit unit killers. It listed the top five units capable of wipping out an entire enemy unit in one turn. The top of the list was Knights of Chaos. It was the only Chaos unit to make the top five, but they sounded very powerful. The power gamer in me was ready to choose right there. I looked more into them and you definatly have to use them right and protect them since so many people know how bad they can be, but they also rely on fear. Fear is something the undead don't have to worry about. Looking more into it, a lot of the Hordes of Chaos relied on fear to be their most effective. This made me think that getting a Hordes of Chaos army and a Tomb Kings army might be a good fit as some of the Tomb Kings units also used fear (including the one that made honorable mentions in the unit killer article). I thought this might be a good balance. Take away one of the big strengths of each army and let the fight it out without the psycology.
I decided to keep looking into the armies of Warhammer so I could make a better decision. Next I started looking at the Dwarves. GW just released a lot of new dwarf stuff and the models look good. They have good strengths without being over the top. Good warmachines, can absorb a lot of damage, and have really good melee stats. They don't however use mounts, they don't use magic like the other races, they use runes to embue their equipment to have magic effects. So, rather than send a lighting bolt at someone they have special runecarved armor for deflecting lighting bolts. Dwarves are definatly a strong contender. Lots of storyline possiblities for my theme gamer side and good stats and unit diversity for my power gamer side.
To be continued and editied later...