Help getting started and picking armies

My two sons (10&8) and I are planning to get into KoW. One son wants the abyssal dwarfs (he likes ranged combat and engineering stuff), the other prefers undead (for theme). Any suggestions on what I should pick? I don’t care about the meta or global competitiveness but primarily want something easy to play and paint, and I’ll probably spend more time helping them with rules thank thinking on my own turn. Prefer a good guy army.

Pros and cons of Basilea, Elves, Northern Alliance, Brotherhood, Kingdoms of Men? I’ll probably need to be pretty aggressive as one son turtles and the other plays randomly.

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Good on you for getting your kids into wargaming!
Mine are 5 and 7 and they have mostly been painting with me, sprucing up their DnD characters.

Personally, I would choose something that has an aesthetic that appeals to you. The hobbying part is what dragged me back into wargaming and it’s damn hard to paint stuff your not excited about.

Are you looking for shining elite paragons of military precision or hordes of axes?

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i’d agree with Findol, on finding an army you connect with.
Also well done on starting your kids young. I bought mine Battle of Skull Pass when it came out, although as it turned out, he wanted Vampire counts, so i ended up with both Goblins and Dwarfs, but nearly twenty years on, he still games and paints, so i didn’t go far wrong i guess.
Personally, i love the models for Northern Alliance, and you can throw elves or dwarfs in there too, plus, they can be played as Varungar, or Kingdoms of Men ect. so are a flexible choice.
It’s a very adaptable, flexible army option, with hordes of Human clansmen, dwarfs, ect dashing boldly into the fray and can mix it up with any fighty army, or the Frostbound magic and the Ice Queen, half elf berserkers, ice kin hunters and bolt throwers, bolstered by ice elementals and Hrimm the Frost Giant, giving you a more missile and magic heavy army. Occassionally, i pit the two halves of my army against each other, just for fun. Together, i might give the Frostbound units one flank or the centre to hold, and the Human Clansmen the other.

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Thanks, guys. My sons are pretty experienced wargamers (Memoir '44, CCN, Root, Cataclysm, all the old Avalon Hill games). My youngest has more of an interest in fantasy. We tried Frostgrave and he liked it, but the older wasn’t as enthused–he likes more of an epic scale. We looked at AoS, but the cost to get something epic was pretty steep, hence the appeal to KoW. I’d love for them to get into the hobby side of it, but that may take a few more years before they have the manual dexterity to paint.

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As @Nav really - pick something that interests you.

Northern alliance has lots of variety of units/monsters etc, plus is a flexible army for spin-offs and expanding your force - ie get a few bits and go Varangur; if niaiads/elementals are your thing it can morph into a forces of nature one; get into the dwarf/elf vibe etc

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What’s the smallest army size that makes for a viable game? 1000 points? I’ll probably buy the mega armies to get us started, then have them customize from there.

I’ve never actually played a game below 1250pts, but think that 1000 is probably about as low as you can get and still have a sensible game?

Below that you can run into armies/lists that can just do a couple of alpha strike (ie fast & hard hitting) units/hero/monster style force that is very difficult to counter at lower points

1,000 points can be a fun game; it’s nice and quick. That said, I’d steer away from some units in this format; especially units of 220+ points (dragons, regiments of soul reaver cav, palace guard hordes) as they can be difficult to deal with in these small sizes.

I would not go below that. I’ve tried trial games of 800-ish points, and at that level there’s too little to actually use. 1,000 points grants (for instance) a horde of infantry, a regiment of cavalry, two troops of chaff, a character to two and one or two “fun” units. Also, don’t be a rules lawyer about unlocks (especially for troops) as 1,000 is hard for some armies in that department. (looking at you, ogres, for instance)

Vince

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Everything @Vince said.
I played several games at a thousand points. It’s a good start and you get a nice feel for the game. Once you know your units and rules 1000pt games are really quick as well and you might play two or more a night.

Thanks, all. We picked up the rulebook and picked armies (Northern Alliance, Abyssal Dwarves, and Undead). We’ll probably start slow with building out 1,000-pt lists to practice with and make sure they’re committed before diving in fully.

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On the suggestion of my 10yo, we cut out some cardboard “units”.-and gave this a go. They wanted to play three-player free-for-all, so we went Abyssal Dwarfs vs Northern Alliance vs Undead at 1,000 points each on a 3x5 table. As you can probably imagine, there wasn’t much room to maneuver, so the combat was fast and furious, with an ultimate victory to the Undead.

The small table negated the AD war engines, so we played round 2 on the floor: AD vs Elves vs Empire of Dust. My AD son once again turtled down, so the Elves and EoD fought it out, with the latter claiming the win. Playing on the floor gave us better spacing, but I think in the future we’ll do 1v2 with equal points to the sides rather than 1v1v1, which is just unwieldy. Playing time ran long, which we didn’t like, but I suspect we’ll try it again.

We’re on the fence. They’re avid boardgamers and are looking at what else we could buy with $500+ and whether we want to make the commitment to KoW. We’ll probably play some more cardboard games while we think it over.

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I fully understand that. Wargaming is a hobby with a steep time/money investment. One needs to enjoy both the gaming and the hobby part to get the most out of it.

That said, 1vs1vs1 isn’t the greatest format. I’d go for a 1,600 vs 800 + 800 try on a 4x4 or 4x6 feet table to really let the game shine. 3 is the worst number of players in a Kings of War environment.

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