I've been a 40k player for 14 years now, but I'm looking for some miniature games that can be played in just a few hours (since I basically only find time for 40k every other weekend). I therefore already started an Infinity force, and now a buddy of mine and I are looking into Warmachine/Hordes as an addition to our regularly played games.
I know that WarmaHordes prides itself on the fact, that there are no really “useless” models, but I still wanted to ask some of the more experienced players here for some advice about building up lists and the army. We are not super-competetive and probably won't attend tournaments, but we like to improve our lists and playstyles and if a distinct advantage presents itself, we won't say no (love for a model can only take you so far on the table...).
We already looked into the factions and read up on some stuff, watched BatReps etc.
Well, on the subject of internal balance what you generally find is that you'll start by choosing a warcaster and you'll find that certain units go better with certain warcasters or with certain setups - synergy is quite important in this game. An example for my faction is how the caster Vindictus loves some heavy infantry, as he can speed them up considerably and helps protect them, while Thyra (a different caster) really doesn't want the heavy infantry slowing down her fast advance. Or how High Executioner Reznik loves a few melee jacks, while High Exemplar Kreoss loves ranged jacks to help with assassination. There are lots and lots of combinations that work, that's the beauty of the game, but playing a list to it's strengths is good..
Also, while Balance between factions is pretty pitch perfect, internal balance between unit choices is generally quite good, however there some units that seem to fit a particular roll better or cheaper than another unit. Mainly it's because some models pay for niche abilities that are very worth it when they get used, but perhaps not so much most of the time. A good example might be Assault Kommandos for Khador - they're immune to fire and corrosion (which is great if your opponent is hitting you with flame throwers or acid), can see through clouds (brilliant if your opponent has a unit/caster that can set up a smoke screen), and get a lot of low POW attacks (wonderful against light infantry)... but they are expensive (in terms of points) because of it, so a lot of people choose cheaper options that don't rely on niche abilities, even though they're awesome in the right circumstance.
We have an idea, what we want to play, so here goes:
My friend is basically set on playing Khador. He is a great fan of the model for Orsus Zoktavir – The Butcher of Khardov. Are there any fun combos in regards to the army list, when taking him as your caster? Any Warjacks or units that can especially benefit from him?
The Butcher is really awesome, and a great caster all around. I'd definitely recommend picking up the battle box (or even just the Khador half of the two player battle box - it's great value), to start with, and start learning on that. Even with just a few models, there's a lot of tactics to learn, and it helps to set you up with the basics. Grabbing the Butcher, a unit of widowmakers and a unit of winterguard and their U/A (The officer and standard bearer) will then give him either a 25 or 35pt list to play around with for a while, and all those units are very easy to use with a lot of casters for when you expand.
For warjacks, one thing that people don't tend to realize is that Khador generally relies on it's infantry and often has a hard time running more than one or two jacks at a time. Think of the ww2 soviets with swarms of infantry and only a few hulking tanks. There are exceptions to this, and the butcher can run a few comfortably, so your friend might want to pick up one of the Khador Demolisher/Devestor/Spriggan kits to give some options with his starter jacks. I highly recommend looking up how to magnetize the arms, which will allow far more options without having to buy a whole bunch of kits (there are tutorials online for how to magnetize the kits).
I really like the look and feel of Cygnar. I especially like the design of the Cyclone and the Avenger Warjacks. Any nice/fun combinations with these guys you can recommend? Any Units and/or casters that work especially well with them?
Avenger is pretty cool, I've seen it do well - get some Rangers to help it hit it's target though. The Cyclone though... well, it runs into the problem that it's main targets are infantry, and Cygnar has a lot of very good options for removing infantry already, that don't need focus to be in peak form, and most people like their heavies to be able to dish out higher damage generally. If you get a Cygnar heavy kit though, you could magnetize it up and try it as a Cyclone for a while to see if it suits you - it's ability to lay down templates of covering fire (which will basically kill most light infantry crossing it) can really help with board control especially if you have something like the Black 13th or a stormwall to give you more covering fire and extend the infantry denial.
Also: What kind of playstyle is beneficial for Allister Caine? I rather like his models, especially the epic one... (btw, can someone explain, how these epic variants work? Are they just fancier for more points, or are there certain restrictions for using them?)
Epic models are just like normal casters, except you can't take them in the same army as another one of their forms (no using pCaine and eCaine together
). They represent a caster at a different point in his or her story, making use of different techniques and styles. Generally in most games you only have one caster who you get for free (in fact, they bring some Jack points with them, which you can put towards getting more or better jacks) - think of him/her as your general or king piece - and you only get a second or third in quite large games (and everyone always gets the same number of casters).
Both versions of Caine like shooting in general, and eCaine is pretty much the most powerful ranged model in the game under his feat. Get Reinholt and a Squire to use with him very very definitely to give him extra shots (these two models are good with a number of casters anyway). He'll also make good use of an Avenger I'd say. I wish I could give you better advice than that, but I'm afraid I'm not great with Cygnarian stuff.
One general piece of advice about Cygnar though is to be prepared to use Mercenaries. Cygnar, in fluff and in the game, really like to use mercs to plug some spots in their lineup, specifically as front line troops to take a charge. While some people don't like this aspect of them, others find it a great spring board into a second faction (a pure Mercenaries force).
I also had a look and the Hordes factions and like the look of Skorne and the Circle of Orboros. But I have not informed myself extremely well on them. What is their basic idea, and are they anymore “difficult” to play than Cygnar?
Circle is probably has the steepest learning curve of any of the factions in the game - they're a very tricksy faction that relies on pulling off tricks just right. It makes them a little daunting for a new player, but it's not that bad if you're learning among friends
Skorne is an interesting faction that can do a bit of everything, but generally known for beast support, massive damage output and melee potential. They're on par with cygnar in terms of finesse needed to play them generally, though tilted more towards melee than ranged, obviously.
Sorry for the long textwall, and thanks in advance to all the helpful people in this forum.
Keep on Gaming
Hope what I said helped a little, and appologies for my own wall of text