Thursday 21 January 2016

How to Build a Goblin Army in AoMaS by Andy Jefcoate

Welcome to the first article for Age of Might and Steel by Andy Jefcoate a great fan of 15mm fantasy wargaming and a good guy all around.  Andy has more articles to come which will feature on our blog but in this article he talks and shows how to assemble a Goblin Army for use in the game. We hope you enjoy and all comments or emails are most welcome.  Follow the links in the text to visit our website for the rules and miniatures mentioned.  Thanks.  GBS

How to build a Goblin Force for AoMaS 
using figures from the ranges 

As a fan of fantasy wargaming my favourite scale is 15mm as it allows you to field impressive looking forces without taking up huge amounts of space and can also be achieved without considerable expense. Both of these things appeal to me! 

Over the last few years I've used the Age of Might and Steel (AoMaS) rules as they are quick to learn, fun to play and flexible enough to be used for games of a few units a side up to major battles of several hundred figures.  The rules are on the website as a paid for PDF download. The fantasy ranges at cover all the unit types available with many of the monsters being interchangeable between armies. Since reading the Lord of the Rings as a child I've always had a soft spot for goblin wolf riders (someone has to) so the first force I decided to build was goblins. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with the AoMaS rules, all the main units are made up of figure stands with a 40mm frontage. Infantry are based on 40mm x 20mm stands with 2 figures for light infantry or archers, and 3 for medium and heavy infantry. Cavalry are based on 40mm x 30mm stands with 2 figures for both light and heavy cavalry. Heroes are based on 25mm x 25mm stands although I generally use 25mm round stands to make them obvious and I like to use a bigger stand for the army general. Special stands such as war machines and monsters can be based as you like but I still use a 40mm frontage, with 30mm, 40mm and 60mm depth according to the size of the model.  Element Bases to use are HERE.

My Unit Choices 
It's no surprise that my first unit choice was wolf riders but they're a compulsory unit in any case. Using pack HOT5, you get 10 wolf riders in each pack which gives you 5 stands. 

I wanted a unit of 10 stands which would therefore need 2 packs. If you buy 3 identical packs you get a 10% discount (use the drop down menu on the product page and select three packs) which is excellent value, and in the end I bought 4 packs but more about that later. 

I then wanted some ordinary goblin warriors, which are medium infantry and the other compulsory unit choice. These are provided by pack HOT4 with 16 figures supplied per infantry pack. I wanted an 8 stand unit so 2 packs would give me the 24 figures I needed with a few left over. This gives you the units you must have (apart from heroes and magic users), so now you are free to choose units that match your playing style. 

I decided on some goblin archers to provide ranged attacks. These are supplied by pack HOT61, and as I wanted an 8 stand unit with archers based 2 to a stand I only needed 1 pack. As heavy infantry are a useful unit to have I wanted some goblin knights. These were supplied using pack HOT4A from the orc range. The more heavily armoured figures work nicely. I wanted a 9 stand unit to form an attack column so 2 packs supplied the 27 figures I needed with a few figures left over for unit leaders. 

For the final unit in my basic army I decided that I wanted some more wolf riders but this time I wanted mounted archers. Although there isn't a specific pack for these they are easily created using the regular wolf riders in pack HOT5 (I mentioned that I bought extra packs) with the riders clipped through at the waist and then another pack of goblin archers HOT61 also clipped through at the waist (but being careful to trim round the quiver). Please see the attached photo. Make sure that the 2 halves are trimmed to a flat edge and they glue together nicely. I wanted 6 stands so I still had some wolf riders left over for mounted characters. 

Choosing Special Stands 
In AoMaS you are allowed Special Stands in ratio to the number of units in your Army, and the ratio varies according to which Fantasy Race you are using. 

All armies must have a general. For my general I bought pack HOT3 which includes a goblin king with an axe along with bodyguards so job done! I put him on a 30mm x 30mm base to make him stand out. The kneeling warriors with spears were used as standard bearers for my units. I then based 3 wolf riders individually on 25mm round bases. 1 was painted as a magic user with the other 2 painted as heroes. 

To bolster the size of my archer unit and give some longer range shooting if I needed it I purchased a goblin bolt thrower pack HOT16. For my initial monster choices I bought 3 trolls using pack HOT3A. Trolls are supplied individually but again by buying 3 there was a 10% discount. Then I also bought a Manticore which are supplied singly in pack HOT28

Army Points 
The total APV of my goblin force is 430 which is a good size to start playing with. 

Tactical Lessons 
Heavy infantry are slow but solid in combat against all other units. They should anchor your line where needed. The medium infantry are faster and good at holding the line against other medium infantry or light troops. 

Archers provide ranged attacks but may not charge into combat so you need to be careful where you send them. They are useful for holding terrain features or objectives and move as light infantry so move quickly even in dense woods or rough terrain. Remember that war machines move as heavy infantry though so if you need your archers to move quickly don't attach a bolt thrower. 

As light cavalry the wolf riders are fast and can move around the flanks, but be wary of heavy cavalry. As a special rule wolf riders add +1 to their dice roles in combat but if you want to take on the heavies it wouldn't hurt to involve a hero in the combat as well. Of course if you can get in a sneaky flank charge that's even better. 

The wolf riders with bows cannot charge into combat due to being mounted archers but are useful to the flank or rear of the enemy. They can fire from a march column formation which can be particularly effective. 

The Trolls count as a stand each so can boost the size of units when attached, but the Manticore is the most effective when attached as it provides magical attacks giving you -1 on your base number. 

After playing some initial games, this is a good all round starting force, but may not work with all scenarios. I plan to add an additional unit of wolf riders, heavy infantry and medium infantry to my collection in the near future. This will give me more tactical options when selecting a force. I've enjoyed the whole process of building and painting this army and although it isn't the toughest it's fun to play with and when all's said and done that's the most important thing for me. 

Thank you for reading. 


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