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I'm somewhat new to AoS and I'm currently painting a Skaven army. I'm enjoying playing them, but handling the army physically is kind of a chore on the table and it's going to take a while to get done.

I'm thinking about picking up something with few models but I don't know the rest of the game.

What armies are..

Cheap, mid-low model count, somewhat competitive and also fun?

FEC is the obvious choice, but people don't seem to like them.

Ideas? What would you put in your suggested army?

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Beastclaw Raiders are super cheap to hit 2k points with (3 start collecting kits will do it I think) and typically don't have more than around 20 models in an army.  Plus, they might be included in the new Ogor book that is presumably coming out in the next few months (it's still up in the air if that will be both ogor factions or just Gutbusters, though both seems likely), so you could be getting a fresh set of rules with them soon.  

FEC aren't really what I would consider to be low model count since running lots of ghouls isn't totally uncommon.  That said, they CAN be low model count.  In one of their sub-factions, the big monsters can be battleline, and if you select the right general then your heavy troops (flayers and horrors) can be battleline as well.

There are a lot of armies out there that CAN be low model count if you select the units to do that, but I'm not sure if they'll all be competitive in that form.  (For example, Blight King based nurgle with big monsters and heroes wouldn't have to be more than 40 or so models).

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I agree that it depends a lot on your build. Because Ironjawz can be quite low model count as well for example. 

But most armies suffer a bit if you go very low model count. Then again, depending on who your playing and the experience everyone has that might not be a big issue. 

What factions and models do you like the look of?  

Maybe that way somebody can jump in and advice or an elite list in that faction has merit. :)  

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I thought about BCR and Eeels, but they both seem to be pretty common. I went to (but didn't play in) a tournament on the weekend. Most populous armies were Nurgle stuff and Eeels, plus lots of Empire. There was one Skaven player which was weird.

I'm basically looking to get a decent 2K list really cheap. Cheap, elite, easy to physically handle and reasonably competitive. But I don't really know what factions do outside of Skaven. I mean, I played WHFB back when Alessio Calvatore's book was a thing. What's that, 2005?

What armies do I like the look of?

FEC looks like it's 3x Start Collecting, a character and a couple Ghoul units. Looks like <500 AUD. Really they're the #1 candidate for me, because the Terrorgheist looks amazing. They however, seem to have a stigma attached to them. Easy painting project.

DOK look cool, I get the feeling that they're kind of Druchii with more of a Witch focus. Lots of bits and pieces I recognise. I don't know what an actual army is comprised of, though.

Nurgle. The giant flies, plastic plaguebearers and plastic GUO look awesome. Great project for contrast paints. Again, I don't know what models are used in an army.  What do general Nurgle lists look like? There's a lot of different allegiances right?

Khorne. Blades, right? A combination of mortals and daemons? It'd be an excuse to do red dudes on snow bases.

Slaanesh in general. I'm super turned off by the price tag of the Keeper of Secrets. They also have a stigma attached to them.

Gloomspite Gits. Squigs and stuff. Looks like goofy fun. But I suspect I'd be walking into another hoard army, except with green dudes instead of brown.

It's interesting that Skaven are apparently considered top tier, yet people actively enjoy playing against them.

 

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15 minutes ago, Obeisance said:

I thought about BCR and Eeels, but they both seem to be pretty common. I went to (but didn't play in) a tournament on the weekend. Most populous armies were Nurgle stuff and Eeels, plus lots of Empire. There was one Skaven player which was weird.

I'm basically looking to get a decent 2K list really cheap. Cheap, elite, easy to physically handle and reasonably competitive. But I don't really know what factions do outside of Skaven. I mean, I played WHFB back when Alessio Calvatore's book was a thing. What's that, 2005?

What armies do I like the look of?

FEC looks like it's 3x Start Collecting, a character and a couple Ghoul units. Looks like <500 AUD. Really they're the #1 candidate for me, because the Terrorgheist looks amazing. They however, seem to have a stigma attached to them. Easy painting project.

DOK look cool, I get the feeling that they're kind of Druchii with more of a Witch focus. Lots of bits and pieces I recognise. I don't know what an actual army is comprised of, though.

Nurgle. The giant flies, plastic plaguebearers and plastic GUO look awesome. Great project for contrast paints. Again, I don't know what models are used in an army.  What do general Nurgle lists look like? There's a lot of different allegiances right?

Khorne. Blades, right? A combination of mortals and daemons? It'd be an excuse to do red dudes on snow bases.

Slaanesh in general. I'm super turned off by the price tag of the Keeper of Secrets. They also have a stigma attached to them.

Gloomspite Gits. Squigs and stuff. Looks like goofy fun. But I suspect I'd be walking into another hoard army, except with green dudes instead of brown.

It's interesting that Skaven are apparently considered top tier, yet people actively enjoy playing against them.

 

I guess people feel bad about FEC because GWs had very little choice of how to make them good - so they gave them straight up damage buffs, it's really amazing how you can take Arch Regent + any unit and make it deal 4 times more damage. But they are really fun army to play and I personally love their lore and models.

You can run DoK as elite force with a lot of snake ladies, but normally it's hordes of witches, we are looking at 70 infantry models min I think.

Nurgle can be whatever, I know 3 types of lists - 3 GUO battalion, unkillable plaguebearer hordes and something that our local Nurgle player runs - Glottkin, 40 buffed to hell chaos marauders and some blightkings

Khorne can work as elite with a bunch of bloodthirsters or jaggernauts. but the later are so-so

Seems you have the right perspective of Slaanesh

For GSG 60 stabbaz are pretty much mandatory to be in any way competetive.

 

And of course there are Stormcast Eternals, they are very diverse with how they can approach the game so they are a perfect fit for fun games, not so much for competetive.

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I know little about chaos. 

Khorne can have more "elite" lists if you dont want hordes.

DoK is  horde army and pretty much the most expensive one, even if you use Snakes.

Not sure about Nurgle or Slaneesh.

Skaven have the clan Skyre and big monsters but you will need battlelines, and clan rats comes at 20s, i dont think it is what you want.

Grots are horde. Every model is cheap in points, but it is possible to run trolls, i just dont know how competitive it is.

 

If you wanna go outside the box you may wait the Cities of Sigmar book, since it will have a lot of variety and some elite variants.

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2 hours ago, Obeisance said:

Okay. I know nothing about how FEC work, but I love the Terrorgheist model.

How does the army work? What would you guys recommend for starter lists, preferably with big smashy monsters?

Shopping list for 2000pts?

Long story short - FEC smash things, than gain enemy objectives and win. To achive 1st part you use monsters, knights* and magic buffs, to achive 2nd - ghouls and summons. 

2-3 start collectings, mandatory Abhorrant Arch-Regent, you cannot go witout him, if possible get him with Carrion Empire if not - buy online from someone or convert. A Varghulf, Throne, Endless spells box (if you will plan on running Chalice), ghouls and knights* to round up your desired list, possible corpse cart ally if you feel like it.

*Knights are Flayers and Horrors

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You can also run Knights as battleline.  Blisterskin is flayers and Hollowmourne is horrors.  If you run Gristlegore, you can run terrorgeists and zombie dragons as battleline.  The only downside to starting FEC right now is you are not going to find a Carrion Empire box and the Archregent is way overpriced on eBay.  Someone on the painting thread did an awesome conversion, if you can find it.  You can pick up the horrors pretty cheap on eBay, plus the start collecting.

Other elite army options are Stormcast and Fyreslayers.  Although, Fyreslayers can be a bit horde and expensive because you will probably want 30 Hearthguard Berserkers.  If you went Gitz, you could run Troggoths.  However, I don’t think it’s super competitive.  It is fun to play against.

Also, can’t you run stormfiends as battleline in Skrye?  This instantly takes your existing army into something more elite.  Add in some jezzails, warp cannons, etc.  Low model count, lots of fire power, and keeps you from spreading out your dollars into multiple armies.

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Skryre can run Stormfiends as battleline, so you'd need a minimum of 9 models painted/3 units of 3 models  . Moulder can run Rat Ogres as battleline (so you'd need a minimum of 12 models painted, or 4 units of 3).

 

Skryre in particular can be run with relatively few models, throw in a couple warpire throwers/warplightning cannons/jezzails/ a screaming bell + grey seer as hq and you're good to go

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IMO the best fit for all your needs is Stormcast Eternals:

There is one particularly competetive game style which is based on a special hero that allows some deepstrike shenanigans. It´s either melee centric or heavy shooty. That style of army regularly ends under top 10 in large tournaments, though didn´t catch a tournament win right now.

Stormcast Eternals are an elite army from the very first start, ie they are somewhat balanced in that regard. Many other armies can be fielded as elite forces (ie low model count – Bestigor heavy forces for example), but they aren´t created to be run that way.

And last, Stormcast Eternals can be get really cheap. The base of current tournament armies is built out of models that can be found in the starter boxed sets or are available as easy to buil models.

 

Regarding Nurgle, because you asked...

The only list seen in large tournaments right now consists of 3 Great Unclean Ones, 2x 30 Plaguebearers and some other battleline. Blightking heavy armies can be done, but I have yet see someone constantly winning with them. Note that each and every Chaos army needs additional models for summoning!

 

Fyreslayers might be a good grab, though they aren´t really cheap. I´d say they are one of the most expensive armies out there, but one of the most successful elite armies.

 

Did anyone name Sylvaneth? You can run lots of monsters, expensive characters and Kounoth Hunters with the additional Battleline requirements. It´s rather elitish I think.

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Legions of Nagash with nagash as a general is pretty low model count. Same thing if you're going the Archaon way. 
Pretty challenging in terms of hobby, but it's pretty cool on the tabletop too. 

Slaanesh with a 3 Keeper of Secrets list.

I'm thinking also Beast of Chaos with a heavy focus on Bullgors or Dragon Ogors.
Ogors too.

There are several options really, but as you need battlelines, you can't really avoid painting at least minimum units of chaff (10ish), or even at least one big unit of 30 if you want to be competitive. Because you need this chaff to protect the important stuff anyways. 

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