Over on the FAQ page Sam asked about sample army builds. It’s a bit more fiddly than will fit in a 3rd tier comment, so let’s try here.
Armies are quite personal, so these are merely suggestions rather than an attempt to make the “best” force for a side. What’s best anyway? Most characterful? Most killy (and against whom)? Least models? Cheapest to buy? There are many reasons why we pick one force over another and we’re more likely to use some combination of them rather than purely one or another. It may also depend on which armies your friends already have and, importantly, which models you like the look of.
Then there’s how big you’re aiming at. 24 points is the smallest sized battle, but 36 or 48 is more of a full force size. Here I’ll focus on 24 point builds as that’s a great starting point.
So, with all that in mind, here’s a stab at a few. Sam said goblins, undead and free city humans.
I’m working on an Orc Warlords army, so that’s one example of a 24 point force. If you want only goblins rather than orcs then you’re tessellating 3 point goblin rabble (melee fighters), 3 point goblin pests (archers) and 5 point wolf riders. You could try:
- 3 x 8 model wolf rider units @ 5 each = 15 points
- 1 x 12 model goblin rabble unit @ 3 points
- 2 x 8 model goblin pest units @ 3 each = 6 points
That’s 24 exactly. Obviously the pests and rabble units are interchangeable in terms of points. I’ve just considered the wolf riders to be melee units too, so have taken more pests.
To add Command & Support to this, and keep within the theme, I’d be sorely tempted by 4 wolf chariots (6 points each) with goblin crews. That would be a horribly fluid army to fight against and has 10 activations – a huge number for 24 points. Alternatively, if you wanted a priest then that’s 17 points. You could either take a wolf chariot to go with them (what I’ve done in my army) or take a wolf rider hero at 7 points to add to the punch of one of those units.
Note that the Priest in this army can be either orc or goblin and has the same stat line.
I was fighting against Tinpotrevolutionary and his undead this morning. Tough lot.
If you want to minimise your model count then you could go for:
- 2 x 6 model undead knight units @ 12 each = 24 points
It does mean that you can’t take a necromancer though (because characters have to be in units and he can’t keep up with the cavalry). Not impossible, but I’d personally find a lack of necromancer to be a little out of character (and I like having a priest).
A more usual choice of builds would be either the one Tinpot tried this morning:
- 2 x 16 model undead horde units @ 5 each = 10 points
- 1 x 6 model undead knight units @ 12 points
A total of 22 points, but there’s nothing to take for 2. Note that the horde can be a real mish-mash of styles and types of models (including scarecrows if you like) because it’s a mass raising spell and can raise not only dogs, cats and vermin as well as humans, but even animate normally inanimate objects.
or a rather bigger force:
- 3 x 16 model undead horde units @ 5 each = 15 points
- 3 x 8 model ghoul unit @ 3 each = 9 points
For C&S I’d start with a necromancer, myself. In general GoB is very flexible in terms of what you can use for models, so if you like the witches then I’d pick your favourite as your necro. Of course, you could also use them as unit leaders for the hordes – imagine assistant and junior necros helping to steer the army. They won’t do anything in game terms other than be a clear leader model (an essential feature), but that’s not a reason to avoid a cool looking army!
Necromancers cost 14 points. The other 10 could be made of a Blacksoul (a fighty character to bolster the combat potential of a horde), or trinkets to make the necromancer tougher or give them more miracles to pick from during the battle. These last aren’t modelled unless you feel you need to.
The mercenary armies of the Free Cities are the main place you’ll find “civilised” humans, though their primary foes also use them. The core of the mercenary armies (in terms of background) are the Free Cities, though on the tabletop you could field an army made up entirely of non-humans. I’d not do this myself (there are plenty of other armies to do this with), but it’s there as a choice.
Assuming that you wanted to use the humans as a core, you could pick the ones you liked most (Polish Renaissance would do fine). I’ve written into the background that the finery of the Free City armies contrasts with that of the elf vassals, though that could easily be a bright colour scheme rather than a particular style of jacket. Anyway, you could build an army around the two core human units:
- 3 x 16 model Free City pike units @ 4 each = 12 points
- 4 x 12 model Free City gunner units @ 3 each = 12 points
It lacks really hard melee units and would struggle against enemy elites, but the shooting will probably hurt and may whittle them down sufficiently as they approach. It would hurt even more if your Command & Support was:
- 3 x Free City cannon @ 8 each = 24 points
That would be a bit naughty, but fits perfectly within the theme and makes up somewhat for the lack of melee punch. It’s also nicely thematic as the Mercenaries are the only ones to use black powder weapons.
This last version is a tricky army to use and most people would plump for some of the more exotic units like swashbuckler dwarfs, ogres or orcs. However, these are generally more costly, so adding their power reduces your number of activations. Overall the Mercenary army is one of the most flexible lists and has far more choice of unit types than all but the Thousand Tribes.
When you’re working out what models you need, don’t forget about standard bearers, musicians and marksmen. Whilst every unit must have a distinctive leader model, the other “command” characters are variable and a given unit may even change which is has from battle to battle. It works like this:
- Only units with the Shoot ability can have a marksman. Any unit can potentially have a musician or a standard bearer.
- Formed units get two of these. In other words, a non-shooting Formed unit will always have both standard and musician.
- A Loose unit may only have one of these. They must choose between the two or three possibilities and can take a different one for each battle if they like (though cannot change during a game).
The implication of this for collecting a force is that you may want to collect extra model(s) for a Loose unit or Formed shooting unit to allow you the flexibility.