Cobbling together a "good" army


Having not touched a miniature in, er, two decades, probably, I’ve recently dug some out of the attic and decided to take Kings of War for a spin.

I’ve reassembled “The Orchiectomisers”, my greenskin horde from back in the day, and ordered a couple of second hand units from ebay to replace those which were “borrowed” and subsequently emigrated to Texas (thanks, Paul!). The incoming ones look like they’ve been executed by paintball firing squad, but I have some Biostrip, so that’s fine. This is the last time the gang’ll be together, as apparently they now need to faction into orcs and goblins. Which is fine, I have hundreds of the things. So with a bit of padding, that’ll be two armies. Both quite large (the Orchiectomisers were a very large horde).

Thing is, I work in schools (sysadmin, not teacher), and I’m thinking about carting them off to the gaming club for the kids to try Kings of War. I’ll have to supply armies, and greenskin vs greenskin is a bit boring, so I’d like to cobble together an Army of Generic Good.

Given that I’ll be spending an amount to pad the two greenskin armies, I’d like to make the best use possible of the minis I have, whilst giving a good impression of the game. So this is where they question comes in: what can I do with the rabble listed below?

You’ll see a large slab of them are High Elves, including two largish units of the plastic spears and archers from WFB 4th Ed (left and right in the picture). I also have a smaller unit of swords (centre).

('scuse painting, they were relatively early on…)

Could I swing these as Basileans? I quite like the look of Basileans, and in any case, they seem to be the only faction that could use both available champions. Most of the minis don’t have obvious pointy ears, and I could always take a soldering iron to melt the tips of those that do. My concern is that this might just be too lame to consider, and is the first step down the road that ends with me shrugging my shoulders and declaring them “unusually tall dwarves”. One does need some authenticity…

Are there any other factions which would fit better? Sensible alliances? I’ve not seen anything from “Uncharted Empires”…

I don’t mind spending a bit to pad some or all of this into a sensible army, if possible.

Final question - anyone know what the unpainted fellow on the left of the picture is? I don’t recognise it at all. I swear he wasn’t in the box when I packed them all up…

Right, the list of available people:

High elves

40 spearmen (WFB 4th)
40 archers (WFB 4th)
20 archers
6 silverhelms with captain
Champion on dragon (quite a long model - two large bases - not sure if legal in KoW)
Small dragon (really tiny, almost embarrassing)
Champion on giant eagle (few flame decals and it’ll be a phoenix!)
Mage on unicorn (could just be a horse with a hat)


10 dwarves with axes (one flat on his *rse, probably intended for a diorama but he needs to make up numbers)
Dwarven organ gun


1 random plastic wizard, maybe from an Advanced Heroquest expansion
Whatever that guy is in the picture, to the left of the elves

From Battle Masters (plus expansions)
4 Lord Knights
12 Imperial Knights
2 Mighty Cannon
10 crossbowmen
20 archers
20 halberdiers
3 Ogres (were “Chaos” in Battle Masters, but I understand these can fight for Basileans…?)

(I also have all the Battle Masters “Chaos” stuff, including warriors, knights, and more beastmen than anyone ever needs to see.)

Also available: all models from Heroquest and Advanced Heroquest (quite a few men-at-arms, iirc)

Any thoughts?



I would have thought that Kingdoms of Men from the Uncharted Empires book would be a good fit. Your back story could be that following the War of the Abyss, the remnants of various kingdoms that had been thrown together in the fighting, rallied together and carved out a new realm - along the lines of the Northern Alliance. If you use the Men statistics for each unit I don’t imagine that there will be a problem. You could mix different races in the same unit to emphasise the interaction within the army or have distinct units for each race.

Most units will find a place in the Men army list. The dragons could represent a General on Winged Beast . Archers, spearmen, bowmen, knights, wizards , cannons all exist. Halberdiers could represent pikemen. The Dwarves could represent Fanatics. The wizard on unicorn could be a mounted wizard. The giant eagle and small dragon could be more Winged Berasts or heroes or wizards mounted on Pegasus.

The Ogres do not fit in the list but could be allied in as a regiment from the main Ogre list.

The mixed units probably fit better in a Kingdomns of Men list than in a ‘pure’ Basilean list but I am sure that no-one would complain if you wanted to go down the Basilean route.

Good luck with your enterprise!


Looks like an old Empire Battle Wizard, more specifically a mounted Amber Wizard

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From looking at your collection, I think your best bet would be a Kingdom of Men, and An Elf force. The Elf force is elite so has a different play style to that of Goblins and Orcs, the Kingdom of Men are mid range so again different to Goblins and Orcs. Allowing those who are new to the system to try different styles and forces is the best way to get people into the system. Good luck!

Edit, just worked out your Elves.
Dragon Lord, 315
Lord on Drakkon, 170
Mounted mage, 85
Horde of spearmen, 230
Horde of archers, 210
Regiment of archers, 120
Troop of Knights, 140

990pts, enough to add a 10 point magic item and you have a decent 1,000pts force there.

Edit 2. Just done your Kingdom of Men.
Mounted General, 120
Regiment of pole arms 105
Regiment of archers 175
Regiment of Knights 195
Troop of crossbow 85
2 cannons 200
Comes to 780, so a bit short for 1,000pts. But a solid base to work with.


Stonehorse hit the nail on the head. Just make 2 forces out of the “good guys”; 1,000 points make for a good starter army.

As for the elves; having a horde AND a regiment of archers is maybe a bit too much shooting for fun on the battlefield. (not to mention that it’s not too effective) Besides, a horde of spearmen and a troop of cavalry as the sole melee troops might be limiting in the tactical aspect of the game.

At the very least, I’d skip either archer unit. Your 6 silver helms can theoretically be upgraded to a regiment by including 4 bases of scenic basing. Another option is to mix&match the horde of spearmen and the horde of archers into 2 hordes of sea guard. These DO shoot AND fight melee, so that’s both venues tackled.

As for the humans, both ogres and dwarves can safely be allied to a human force. (actually: anything can be allied to a human force…) and a regiment of ogres is 120 points of butthurt that is a good addition to a Kingdoms of Men force. If you can find one or two more (the hero quest game?), you can multibase it to a horde for 200 points of pure awesomeness.

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Note that you can’t take both cannons under 1001 points. But I do think Men + Ogres is the answer for the Battle Master stuff:

Army: Kingdoms of Men + Ogres
Points: 1000
Unit Count: 9
Unit Strength: 12

195, Knight Regiment
105, Pole-Arms Block Regiment
100, Bowman Regiment
125, Knight Troop
85, Crossbow Block Troop
100, Cannon
120, General
– Horse
50, Wizard
– Lightning Bolt (3) to replace Fireball
120, Ogre Warrior Regiment

Stonehorse’s Elf list is spot on, and fairly brutal at low points!

Northern Alliance maybe as they field Elves, Dwarfs and Humans. Frostfang Cav is the main challenge but the knights may do . Basilea is possible but they don’t generally have lots of archers and you would definitely need something so stand-in as the ogre palace guards, but it looks like you have that covered.

Thanks all, that’s really helpful information. And the prerolled armies will certainly save me some time!

Following on from what Vince said about too many “shooty” elves being a bit boring - does anyone have any thoughts on what the funnest possible way to go about this for an after-school gaming club?

I assume -smallish point values (1500?). What about spltting it to allow more players - say, 750 points each of orcs and goblins vs 750 points each of men and elves. Is that over-complicating it? I’ll obviously be preselecting the troops, as there won’t be time for list building - what’s the best way to put the emphasis on a fun, fast game rather than getting the best possible “bang for buck”?

I’ve been watching some battle reports for ideas, but entertaining as they are, they don’t explain a lot. Nevertheless, I’m getting quite enthused by all this. I can’t remember why I stopped playing WFB now. Unless it was meeting a) the missus, and b) beer. Which it probably was.

Playing 2 versus 2 is a good way to start with new players, as is 1 Vs 1. (in case of a 3 player turnup, a 2 vs 1 might also work, but is a lot of work for the single player, especially if he/she is also the one teaching the game). I wouldn’t start with a larger group, in such a case, you might want to break up the game.

For starting point costs, somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 points (edit: per army/player) for 2 vs 2 is a good start. In a 1 versus 1, the armies can be a bit bigger, but there is no need to do so. Games of 1,000 points on a side can be played in roughly an hour and a half (if new players) and less than an hour for more experienced players. Games of 3,000 points on a side (1,500 points for 2 players) will probably take between two and three hours, maybe slightly more if three new players are on the table.

I wouldn’t go below 1,000 points for a player. In this case, the armies will become quite small and a single unit (in particular if it’s a powerful one like a dragon or a horde of earth elementals) might be too much too handle for the entire enemy army.

If I can add my two cents worth: I just started wargaming after a few decades away against my wife who’s never played any war game before. Our first game with 1200 point armies took around 4 hours :flushed:, and that was with forces that were picked for simplicity and without magic or artefacts. Since then, we’ve played more battles using the same factions, increased to 1400 points and incorporated both magic and artefacts and got the duration down to 2 hours.
Now we may be the slowest players on earth, and while I love the rules, I don’t think the book is very well set up and could definitely benefit from some quick reference cards. It can take a significant time to track down answers to situations that crop up during the game and this is where the time is lost. So I think you need to play a few games without the kids first so you are really au fait with the rules or you could be in for a marathon session and some disgruntled children!

For showing the game I like one 500 point game to get the mechanics down before moving on to a bigger game. Two new players with me as a GM if possible.
Select the armies and deploy for them,

I thought it was one Duplication per 1,000pts? Oh well. Model one cannon differently and class it as a seige engine.

It’s true that you definately want some referrences to avoid flipping through the book as you play. I use two:

  1. a one page reference of the general game rules (turnsequence, movement order options, what to roll when). I made one myself (it;s in Dutch, sorry, but still shown below to give you an idea how it looksl ike)
  2. an army list per player listing all the units, their stats, special rules and point costs. Easyarmy does it
    automated these days.

Without these 2 references, the game is going to last a lotlonger

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You and I think alike Vince. Here is my english cheatsheet (handwritten) as another example:

Definitely recommend making one for helping play when starting out.

In addition to the printed out list, I’ve been musing myself on making cards for units. There are lots of online card making software that I’ve used for RPGs spells. Or if you are more a handwritten kind of guy (or too lazy to figure out printing the stuff properly like I am) and index cards with stats that you can keep near the unit in question while learning.

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I’ll definitely be making cue cards! The rule book - whilst really nice - is a bit all over the place.

In respect of hte elves - I found a couple of 1988 Blood Bowl trolls masquerading as regular trolls in my Greenskin box, and a handful of orc players (no idea why, I’ve never even seen a game of Blood Bowl). They’ve been redeployed to eBay.

Probable funds are being reinvested. First order of business was some goblin sniff,s but I’ve also ordered some Silverbreeze cavalry (5), and plan to bulk the silverhelms out to 10. I reckon the trolls’ll cover another unit. What would be the best option to balance out the elves a bit?

I wish I’d had something like that!

I think it’s CRAZY that Mantic don’t make one.

Hi Remy,

It isn’t that hard to make. Just copy @Morofang’s handwriten one or translate mine. (hope your dutch is good enough). Still, I might do so one time (just crazy busy atm, so it’ll have to wait at least after ascension day). It’s one of these thing the community is good for!

@MediumDave: You can go into a few directions:

One is investing in a unit of palace guard (elites using 2-handed weapons. ) which are really good and they are equally good in regiments as they are in hordes. (25 attacks hitting on 3’s + elite ANd crushing. Brrr…) Then load up bane chant on your mage for even more power.

The other direction that I realy like is going forest spirits. Combine a horde (or a few regiments) edit: of forest shamblers with a druid using surge or a tree herder gives a new direction. Not particulary suited for new players, but these are really fun.

The final option is going for speed and mobility. a 2nd regiment of stormwind (they are really good) and/or a regiment of drakons.
@Swordmaster uses a MSU (Multiple Small Units) elf army to great effects. (though somewhat lesser now in 3rd edition, but still darned effective for an army keeping away from hordes). His endeavours can be found here.