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New to Warlord, Need Faction Schticks


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While I'm not new to wargaming as a whole, I'd like to start with an army that excels at my preferred strategy, while I'm getting my footing.


Nowhere have I been able to find a simple pro & con breakdown of each army.


Rather than a dozen replies about how any army is flexible enough to accommodate any play style, I'd like to see what folks see as the core strength and weakness of each faction.


Examples would be something like, "Elves strive for magical superiority, but they tend to get squished in hand to hand” or “Necropolis favors the Mongolian Hordes Technique – throw enough bodies at the enemy, and you can wear him down, eventually”


Which one is "The Mario" – no true advantages of faults, for whom flexibility brings success?

Which army most favors long-range shooters?

Heavy infantry?

Flight or Burrow-based avoidance of the battlefield?

Which army can best deliver an overwhelming cavalry charge?

Best stand firm when charged, etc.

To which pitfalls and classic oversights does this army lend itself?


Finally, which faction would you recommend for a newbie, and why?

If you could advise against a given faction, which one, and why?

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There aren't breakdowns for every faction. However, some people have taken the time to break down several of the factions in the various faction threads. There is also some information to be found about some of the Savage North factions by visiting the reapergames.com website. Finally, you'll also find the datacard search tool and online army builder there as well; both of these can provide some insight on faction strengths and weakness by comparing various statistics from the cards.


Unfortunately, the answers to most of your questions are highly subjective, and yes, most factions *are* flexible enough to be played with almost any style. I could give you a set of point-by-point answers, but you could easily get a dozen replies with different answers, and none of them would be wrong. Over and over again, this question comes up, and my two default recommendations are this:


1. Pick out the factions you like best on appearance and/or fluff. Ultimately, no one wants to play an army that they think is ugly/uninteresting. I have no personal interest in the Reven, and never will. Just not my cuppa.

2. Since you say that you've got wargaming experience, I'll assume that means you have minis. Play some games as the factions you like the look of most with your existing figs first, even if they are on the wrong size/shape bases. Use the faction threads here to see if they match up with your play style, and ask specific questions about the factions in those threads.


If you can give us an idea of your playstyle, or more of what you are looking for in a faction, we can probably provide better advice without either a) writing a novel, or b) being too generic.



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Morning Besteger,


I know you didn't want to hear that each faction is fairly flexible but it mostly the truth. The neat thing about this game system is that when you look at the miniatures, their abilities and stats are pretty intuitive to the model. For example; Frost Giants hit hard and are tough, elves are shooty and magical while dwarves are slow and stalwart.


When I got into the game, I picked my first army on what models drew me in the most (frost giants). This faction also matched my wants (big models, low figure count, limited spell and shooting). To start, I would suggest looking at the different models and figuring out what looks best to you. After that, go to their faction section for the tips and advice on how to play them and see if does what you want.

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I'll put down your questions in regards to my Reven forces, and try to answer them. I know you don't want to hear how every army can be tweaked to do all things, but it should lend you insight to one force.


Which one is "The Mario" – no true advantages of faults, for whom flexibility brings success? Let's start with my Reven.


Which army most favors long-range shooters? If I bring my Gnoll archers with poison arrows, I've got this covered against any force, provided I play them well.


Heavy infantry? For this, I'd need to take Bugbears. In spades. They are one of the tougher choices in the Reven list, as the rest of the Orcs have lower defensive value. Reven as a whole don't have the armor. That's something I always need to take into account.


Flight or Burrow-based avoidance of the battlefield? I need to take Harpies to fly over terrain and troops to go after spellcasters. A band of these works wonders.


Which army can best deliver an overwhelming cavalry charge? Maybe not overwhelming, but my Goblin Wolfriders can deliver a decent charge.


Best stand firm when charged, etc. Reven are better at attacking to take advantage of Bloodlust. If I can get hits with my archers or spells, my Orcs gain that advantage. They still get it defending, but I think it's better on offense. The Overlords and Dwarves seem to be better at stand and deliver.


To which pitfalls and classic oversights does this army lend itself? The Reven are fun to play, but I haven't mastered them yet, by a long sight. I need to learn the right troops to throw as a horde, how to buff the troops with magic, and best use of support and maybe I'll win. I've never won with them, but like Charlie Brown and the football, I keep trying.


Hope that helps.

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The goblin riders are some of my favorite cavalry in the game personally. They have some of the best bang for the buck I think as they are less than half the cost of the "big" cavalry out there but they still have the same speed and can team up while not breaking the bank on a flank of them. Toss in a bless and a battle totem and they become extremely effective. Then to top it off, their swift attack is an extreme advantage during scenario games where they can run in and hit their opponent and still get going towards the objective. Lead them with Gronkelfibbets


I also love the beastmen woodcutters. Cheap but fast and affective diversions. Able to get in the face of the enemy quickly. Again, with bless and battle totems, they can be hitting at 8s on a raged charge. For only 12 points, that is some good hitting. And if they die, well at 12 points, its not much loss.


The key model to an effective Reven build is the little 30 point non-unique Gonda. You will fall in love with Gonda for bless and divine Vigor. And with Gonda being non-unique you will want one in every troop. Sometimes that is a smart move, sometimes its not. Thats the balancing act that takes time to figure out as each build will be different on what is effective. But, when it comes to Reven, at least for me, Gonda is a never leave home without her type of model.

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The neat thing about this game system is that when you look at the miniatures, their abilities and stats are pretty intuitive to the model.


Regrettably, most of my wargaming experience comes in either the form of hex-paper maps with stacks of cardboard counters, or some other game that takes place 38,000 years in the future.

I’ll have to buy new minis to break into Warlord, in any case.

OTOH, I am scheduled to get a goodly number of skeletons & orcs over the next year…


Here’s my logic, and you guys can explain to me where I haven’t thought it through correctly:

Until I have a good knowledge of the various troop types & how the special abilities interact, I’m probably going to point a big pile of points of mine at a big pile of points of his, let them duke it out for a round, and then hope to shatter his force against some kind of fast attack reserve.

In other words, a Hammer & Anvil.


If I can take that quote above as Gospel, then I should probably be playing Overlords.

I can take a robust unit of heavy cavalry led by a cptn. or sgt. type for my hammer.

They have good defense & mobility, such that I can recover from bad initial placement, and the points aren’t all tied up in one model, so unlucky bad roll won’t lock the whole investment up in a roots spell, or something.

As my anvil: an even bigger force of heavy infantry.

I’ll need to decorate this unit with a Captain, elites, a standard etc., since I expect it to get chewed up by missile-fire on the way to midfield, and charge a big important-looking mass of my opponent’s troops once I get there.

I should probably get a missile or artillery piece of some sort, to harass enemy troops content to stay still, or to fly out of cavalry reach.


I don't yet have the feel for the magic system, and that' gonna bite me in the tender bits.


Basted on these criteria, Overlord seems to fit the bill nicely.


Their heavy cav looks like it has some punch, and if I get snookered enough that I have to let my hammer become my anvil, I might survive the mistake.

They have about the heaviest infantry I’ve seen that can still hide behind 1-story houses, rather than step on them (Armor with sword & board, backed by armor & spear).

The crossbowmen look really expensive, but those pavise might help me last a turn when I should have retreated.

I can not surrender that magic game entirely to my opponent, so I should probably get a mage, and stick it in the middle of the infantry. Overlords are second only to the Crusaders for warcasters in heavy armor.


Speaking of Crusaders, why not just choose them?

I may be wrong, but my cursory glance suggests that they depend a lot on summoned creatures, angels, and a whole lot of buffing magics.

The magic system of any game is fraught with pitfalls for the newbie. I want troops that can hold their own even when I forget for the umpteenth time that you can only cast a given spell once, or there’s not enough mana in the pool for me to pay up-keep on all the creatures, or I can counter-spell my opponent’s mayhem if I want to cast this turn, or whatever.

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O'lords and Crusaders are both pretty nice choices when it comes to cavalry speed and heavily armored infantry. If you want the slighlty better defense, go O'lords and play Onyx Legion. Bring some Phalanx; unless you are facing models with Sharpshooter, when you rank them up, they will be DV14 vs. Ranged attacks (DV 11 normal, Lock Shields +1, Deflect/1, and an additonal +1 on Deflect for the Wall of Steel FA). Crossbows get the same bonuses, but end up DV 13. Bring Matisse and some Spies for deck control, and they become a very formidable force.



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