Tuesday, July 17, 2018
The Joy of Selection
One of the great pleasures of Wargaming is the initial planning stage. At this point you and your friends have decided to take the plunge into a new period or genre. So now comes the time to decide which force to raise for your tabletop battles. But how do you decide? What are your likes and dislikes? You certainly want to put a little thought into it before spending the $$$ and time.
Here are some points to ponder as you thumb through your potential armies. I've picked all these over the years.
A: Size of army.
Do you like them big or small? DO you giggle with joy as you swarm over your enemy with wave after wave of fighting troops. Examples: Zulus, Orcs, Russians. Big armies can be quite fun though the downside for some can be the time and $ investment.
Or is your style commanding only the very best elite force. Small Elite armies on the other hand usually take less time and $. Unless you're trying to paint Harlequins, Shessh! But with so many fewer troops you have to play cautiously, one wrong step and you can loose a quarter or your army. Examples, Zulu War British, Israelis, US Vietnam.
B:" I want whatever is Bob's Nemisis"
This is where you have a fun rival and choose to raise a force that will always tangle with him/her.
My brother and I would always raise opposing forces, Really just an excuse to taunt your enemy. Easily leads to campaigns.
C: Jack of all Trades or Specialist.
A Jack of all Trades army is pretty good at everything but not great at anything. A good army for beginners,
Romans and Space Marines come to mind, you can take a beating and keep ticking A Specialist army often requires a bit of handling because it tends to only be good, but very good, at one or two things. If you don't yet have the feel for the army you can easily be derailed in one or two turns. Eldar, Byzantines, Turks. I once ran a Turkish army at a convention tournament and did quite well in the first games constantly maneuvering and harassing, But by late that evening, I was a bit fatigued and started to forget some key movements, and soon loss the tourney as a result.
D: Painting dificulty
Well this is pretty self-explanatory. If painting can be a chore then you may want to pick a pretty easy army to paint. Space Marines, Russians. If you love painting and the challenge then may I suggest Harlequins, Samurai, and anything with Camouflage!
E: What's Missing
Sometimes you look at all the armies being raised or played and you
ask 'what's missing' and then raise it. This gives you something different and also
fills in a vacuum. Sometimes you may find yourself the only player willing to take on the
chore of raising a certain army that is viewed as weak in play. For me it was Ottomans in the Napoleonic Wars. Or perhaps an all Goblin army in Warhammer. Always fun to play an army that no one expects to win, because if you do, oh the joy of tweaking your opponents!
F: Love the History or the Fluff.
If you really are into the Fluff or History of a particular army then by all means
raise it! Nothing gets you through a dryspell of painting like a good read.