Best Starter Vanguard Lists?

I’m brand new to Vanguard (haven’t even gotten a game in yet!), but I’ve hit a minor hurdle in the form of creating my first warband. What makes a good warband? What makes a bad one? What items can and can’t be taken? (the rule book is slightly confusing on this one… or I just haven’t found the answer yet, like I said, less than 2 weeks in here)

I’m also trying to set up 2-3 different warbands to get friends and game store acquaintances into the game, so this problem is trebled. Anyone have some suggestions or advice for 200 point starter Elf, Dwarf, and Goblin warbands?

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For intro/demos, use smaller warbands - 100, 125, or 150 pts. A full 200 pt game takes a long time to play when learning and can feel a bit grindy, and it’s hard to keep track of all the model rules.

Equipment (pg 120)

  • BEASTS cannot take Equipment
  • GRUNTS can take one Common item
  • All others can take two (Common or Rare but not Unique) items of different types

There’s no formula for good/bad warbands. It varies dramatically by faction, build, playstyle, meta, and scenario.

But as a general guideline, try to organize a warband into 2-3 groups. The group composition varies - it might be a shooting group, a melee group, an objective group, etc. But have a plan for each group, and a role for each model within the group.


For our first VG game we took warbands at 150 points (just to learn the rules) and switched immediately to 200 after that. In my opinion, you may start immediately at 200 if you have someone around who is already experienced in VG and will teach you the rules while you play.

Unlike dwarfs and goblins, the elves have a limited pool of profiles as they did not get a full VG release so far. A good starting point for them can be 3 archers, 2 spears, citizen levy, prince, mage and guardian shambler. That’s 199 points, so just give a lucky charm to the prince or the mage. In the first few games I would prefer to play with almost no equipment just to concentrate on the rules. Later on, you may drop the citizen levy and play with equipping the above elven warband.

I am sorry I do not have experience with dwarves or goblins but would follow a similar trait. Just pick 3-4 warriors, 1-2 grunts (goblins are cheap, so may have more), add a command, spellcaster and large model (goblins may squeeze a support too), as few items as possible, and try it out. In my view the game is nice, though the rules are not laid out well in the book (sometimes quite confusing or hard to find what you look for). I hope your group will enjoy the game!