How To Pick Your First Army in Age of Sigmar

The new edition of Age of Sigmar (AOS) launches at the end of this month, 30th June 2018 and with it we’ll see an influx of new players eager to fight battles in the Mortal Realms. If you’re one of these new players, then this article is for you. We’ll explore the different factions involved and offer some tips on how to pick that first army of yours.


A SMALL INTRO

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The Four Grand Alliances: Order, Chaos, Death and Destruction – (Image by Games Workshop)

There are 4 main groups vying for control of the Mortal Realms. These are known as the Grand Alliances (GA) and consist of Order, Death, Chaos and Destruction. Currently there are about 60 different factions split among the 4 GA to choose from. While this seems overwhelming, do take note that certain factions currently only consist of 1 or 2 units and are unplayable without taking forces from other factions. That said, let’s get to how to choose an army.
PICKING THE RIGHT ARMY

Here are the 3 biggest questions you should ask yourself when selecting a faction

1. HOW COOL DO THEY LOOK?

In my opinion, this should be the biggest factor for choosing your army. As a wargame, AOS players will collect lots of models, assemble them and finally paint them. A visually unappealing army will kill your motivation for all the hobby aspects of the game. After all, you can’t enjoy the game if you hate what you’re looking at.

So to start your journey, definitely start out by looking at the armies that look great to you.

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If you like big and mean green machines, check out the Ironjaws. – (Image courtesy of Eze)

2. DO I LIKE THE FACTION’S PLAYSTYLE?

Once you’ve picked a few armies you like the looks of, the second thing you should consider is the playstyles of the factions. Ask yourself some basic questions like if you prefer smashing your enemies faces in or shooting them from afar, overwhelming foes with deadly magic or taking out enemies stealthily. This should help narrow the choices down considerably.

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Tzeentch delights in magical mayhem – (Image courtesy of Kathir)

3. HOW INTERESTING IS THE BACKSTORY?

The third aspect that you would consider is the background of your armies faction. This often provides inspiration for the details of player armies such as paint schemes or during the narrative aspect of the game. Similar to the point about the attractiveness of the army, to some players a backstory that suits them provides motivation to continue.

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Nagash seeks to reclaim all the souls that have evaded his eternal grasp. – (Image courtesy of Yoga)

OKAY, BUT WHAT IF I JUST WANT TO PICK THE BEST ARMY?

There is actually no best army in AOS. Games Workshop is always looking at ways to balance all the factions and as such the effectiveness of your army may change with new FAQs or Codexes. Armies that were once easily beaten may suddenly get a huge boost in power and vice-versa.

This is the strongest argument for the 3 previous reasons for picking your army. At least while you wait for updates to your army, you will still be able to enjoy your games and the other aspects of the hobby.

SHOULD I JUST START WITH A BEGINNER ARMY?

I put in this question because I’ve heard a few new players ask this before. Honestly the best advice I can give is to start off with the army you want without bothering about whether it is a good beginner army or not. Reason being that if you get an easy-to-play army just to learn the game, you’re eventually going to have to relearn tactics when you start the army you really wanted. Worst case scenario is you don’t really get into games because you don’t like your first army.

That being said, the Stormcast are a good starting point if you really want a starter army. They’re well rounded in all aspects of the game, have solid stats and are easily available through the various AOS Starter Sets.

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Stormcasts are a pretty well rounded army. – (Image courtesy of Dex)

WHAT’S NEXT?

Once you’ve decided on an army, there’s a few things you can do.

I recommend first off getting a copy of the Generals Handbook. This contains all the rules, battleplans and army points you would need to play your games. It also gives you the keywords for all the units in the armies.

Check out the Starter Sets. If you’ve decided to start Stormcast or Khorne Bloodbound, these sets are good deals and you can share the box with someone you want to play with. Also with AOS 2.0 launching on 30th June, the new Soul Wars box comes with Stormcast and Nighthaunts.

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The new Soul Wars set contains the rules and enough miniatures to field a decent force. – (Image by Games Workshop)

If those two are not the factions you’ve picked, consider the Start Collecting boxes. Not only are they value for money, they contain a really good starting force for your collection. The current selection of forces are:

Order

  • Kharadon Overlords
  • Stormcast Eternals
  • Stormcast Vanguard
  • Seraphon
  • Fyreslayers
  • Sylvaneth

Chaos

  • Khorne Bloodbound
  • Skaven Pestilence
  • Slaves to Darkness
  • Daemons of Slaanesh
  • Daemons of Tzeentch
  • Daemons of Nurgle
  • Daemons of Khorne

Death

  • Flesh Eater Courts
  • Skeleton Hordes
  • Malignants

Destruction

  • Beastclaw Raiders
  • Greenskinz
  • Ironjaws

For all the other factions not listed, I’d recommend getting at least 1 Hero and 2 Battleline Troops to start off your collection as they are the basic units you need in most matches. To check if a unit is Battleline, either refer to the Generals Handbook or check the keywords in the app.

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

Visit your local game stores

Your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) is one of the best resources for getting into the hobby. If you don’t know anyone in the community, store employees are often a good choice to approach for help. They can demo the games for you and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you’re lucky, there’ll also be a few AOS games going on that you can observe to help you understand the game more. In my experience, the players would also be happy to answer questions you may have (just make sure they’re not in the middle of their turn).

I’d recommend Gamersaurus Rex or Warhammer Red House if you’re looking for places to visit.

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Give these models a nice home – (Image by Games Workshop)

Downloard the Age of Sigmar App

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AOS App Icon – (Image by Games Workshop)

One of the more essential tools you should have, the AOS app from GW contains the core rules of the game and Warscrolls for all the units in the game for FREE. You’ll be able to read up on the rules and check out the pictures and rules of units to help you decide on the army you want to play. You’ll also be able to pay to get points and battleplans for the game.

Online Communities and Websites

Online resources are a really good way to find out more about the game. Websites like GWs own Warhammer Community helps keep you updated on the latest news and updates for the game and their Youtube channel is a good place for painting tutorials.

Joining local community groups like the SG Warhammer Age of Sigmar Facebook page lets you keep up with local events and you can also get help for any questions you may have or finding players to game with.

Lastly, following blogs like ours (hit the Like button on our Facebook page) will help you on your journey with insights into the game, tutorials and other info on the game.

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Keep a lookout for more hobby tips

 

CONCLUSIONS

To summarise:

DO:

  • Pick an army on looks
  • Pick an army on how they play
  • Pick an army with stories that attract you

DON’T:

  • Pick an army based on the current best

I hope the information was helpful in helping you pick an army and hopefully one day you’ll be able to get a game with one of the LCG guys. Happy Hobbying!

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