|Confusion by psychicLexa|
The difference is that this post will be directed at people who are completely new to wargaming and I'm going to be generic enough to try and help you pick an army for any system. Lets start with a clean slate. You've been researching game systems, watching people play it, maybe even gotten a few trial games in. You've found a system that seems pretty fun, your friends are interested and / or there's plenty of people in the area to get to know and play at your local shop.
Ultimately, just choose something that interests you. If you can, see if someone you know, or at the club minds you trying out their army. Maybe buy a rule book and play a few games using toy soldiers or models from a starter set as stand ins for the army you're looking at.
Over time, you'll get a feel for the army... what it's good at, what it's bad at, what YOU'RE good at and what you're bad at. If you like the army, start buying models. Get stuff that compliments what you enjoy and makes up for the areas you're not fond of.
If you don't dig the army, now's your chance to get out before spending hundreds of dollars. These models can stand in for others as you try out another army, and eventually just sell them. You won't get their whole worth back, (honestly, used minis sell around 1/4 or less of their original value) but it's better than grinding away at something you don't enjoy.
Recognize the difference between "don't enjoy" and "aren't winning." You're new... you're not going to win. Certain armies are more fragile than others, which is why you might even be losing to other new players. If you're enjoying losing, then stick with it and learn how to use the army.
Now on to the tricky part... choosing your army. Read the following styles to get an idea of some of the things that make people choose an army. Also be sure to get to know what options are available. Ideally, you'll find an army that plays and looks how you like, has a background that interests you, and that you can win with.
Every game system will have multiple armies to choose from. Typically, every army will play differently than another. There will usually be things they excel at, the trade-off being they'll be weaker at other things. (Or they won't have many down sides and be only good all around.) Try to figure out what sort of style you'd enjoy while avoiding negatives that don't appeal to you.
The following list goes into some of the ups and downs that armies FROM ANY GAME might have, but it's certainly not all of them. You're going to be attracted to an army for a reason, and these are some of them:
|Stronger troops||High point value (Smaller armies)|
|Low point values (Larger armies)||Weaker troops|
|Agile, hard to hit||Easy to kill when hit|
|Armour, difficult to kill||Slower, easier to hit|
|Extremely powerful weapons||Shorter range|
|Long Range Firepower||Perform poorly at close range|
|Excellent in close combat||Fewer shooting weapons|
|Lots of attacks / shots||Do less damage|
|Extremely useful model||Limited amount per army|
The top two items are the overall general guidelines for wargaming... the better your troops are, the more they points they're worth, the smaller your army is... the weaker your troops are, the less points they're worth, the larger your army is. Army books are usually comprised of a mix of high value powerful models, medium value balanced models (with strengths AND weaknesses) and weaker cheap models, leaving it up to the players to balance how many they want of each.
Next week I'll go into more detail about gaming styles as I talk about building a list.
As people tell you about armies and you read their backgrounds, you'll learn what they're all about. A good game system will create a story that pulls you in just as well as a deep book. Except in this tale, you get to side with one of the many factions of protagonists or antagonists then build the army that epitomizes some aspect of that back story.
Your army can have as much or as little fluff as you'd like. For some, it's as simple as choosing a faction within your army and painting your models the same colour. Other people take this further and purchase models to build lists that resemble those from stories within the rulebooks. (Such as a player fielding mostly vehicles for an army "known to be fast and prefer driving in to battle.") Don't forget that there's nothing stopping you from creating your own story or using fluff from something else.
If you're interested in gaming with the army, be open to certain concessions here and there. There's a term, "FAAC" (Fluffy At All Costs) whereby people put their fluff first before all other considerations. "Everything in moderation" as they say, so be open to making changes so that your army still stands a chance on the battlefield.
Showing that with enough work, even
models considered boring can have a
ton of artistic style.
I was a kid when I started playing... I knew nothing of what all the options were, and yes, I chose the army I thought looked cool. Technically, that's not a terrible plan. A game developer should ensure all their armies are good options, none being weaker than the others. (Not always the case) Because you're not choosing an army based on how it plays for you, I suggest not going all in and trying the game out for a bit before buying your whole army.
Artists might also want to choose an army based purely on what it looks like. We've gotta keep busy and painting up a force is one way to do that. It'll hone the skills, let you try something new and will look good sitting in a display case or pay the bills (maybe just it's cost) if you sell it.
People who approach the game competitively enjoy the sport of it. It means researching your army, reading strategies, building lists and play testing them against yourself, friends and strangers. You'll enjoy researching the capabilities of your opponents armies, what lists could be thrown at you, how to react and counter them. Terrain begins to take on a new meaning as you look upon the battlefield and line of sight jumps out at you, just as easily as you see the paths that each force will use to clash with their enemy.
Above, I talked about gaming style - choosing armies because you enjoy a certain aspect of how they play out. To a winner, that's a means to an end; they'll become good at whatever army they choose. Lets face it... certain armies face others better, because nothing's perfect. To some, This will even mean changing armies as new versions of the rules are released. The other reasons for choosing armies, background and appearance, can still create winning armies, but not necessarily competitive ones.
Once you adopt an "At All Costs" mindset, people may being to lose interest in playing with you. Consider what "at all costs" means... rules may become blurry... smaller details blown out of proportion... games get less friendly and more psychological...
- Read the rest of the Beginners Guides to Gaming: