-By: Elliott (PG_E2lio2tR)

shutupandtakemymoneySo, you have been playing for a while. You know your faction inside and out… and then the bug hits you. You want to start something new. But where do you start when choosing this new faction? There are just as many choices as before (minus the one you already play). Today we will look at different ways to choose your second faction.

As an aside, there is nothing wrong with just sticking with your first faction. If none of the other ones are calling out to you, just look at your first faction and find new ways to play it. Pick up a new caster or unit and play around with them. Add a merc or two to the army and see how that changes things. There is nothing saying you MUST switch factions, but at some point the itch will hit you and you will want to. These are some ways to help you make that choice when you feel the need to.

The first thing you have to decide is if you want to stick to the same game system or switch over to the other. Making this choice will help cut out a lot of the different factions in one solid swoop. If you have been using Focus based armies for your first army, would a Fury based one help teach you about the other side of the game? Or vise versa? By switching systems, you can start learning how the other side works and can learn how to use that to your advantage later down the line. It will also help you understand what your opponent is doing as he goes through his turn. There is nothing wrong with sticking to one system. I for one like the Fury mechanic more right now so will be focusing on Hordes armies for a while. It is something that you will have to look at and decide on though.

Let’s say you have been playing Khador for the past year and you are ready to move on to the next army. The thing is, you like the armor that the Motherland brings to the game. If you want to continue with this focus in an army, but just want to switch factions, is there a way to do that? Why, yes there is. You can find armor focus throughout several factions. Skorne and Trollbloods each come with a way to bring the heavy armor to the board. Skorne have the Cataphract units as well as heavily armored warbeasts. Trollbloods have the stone that can spread a +2 ARM to everything on the  board that is in range and Tough on all of their troops. The trick here is that you want to find a style of army you enjoy ( in this case armor focus) and see if you can adapt a different faction to do something like it but with a different feel to it as a whole. If you like the spell casting style of Cryx, maybe a spell focused Cygnar army or Everblight army. For the range game, Cygnar or Ret could be good choices.

On the other side of that coin is that you may want to play something that is a complete departure from what you are use to. Using the Khador example again, let’s say you want something a bit more fragile and more hordes of models then the armor clad ones found in the North. Then Cryx may be the way to go. The idea here is to expand your play experience and try new tactics and styles of play. If you stick to what you always known then you will not grow as a player. Take a look at your current faction and how you play it. Then take a look at everything else that is out there. What faction embodies the opposite of what your current one plays.

Some people like to be different… I am one such person. Another way to pick a faction is to see what is NOT played in your group. If there are no Cyrx players and their style appeals to you, pick them up so that you can introduce something new to the group. By doing this, you do more than just help yourself grow as a player. You also help your meta learn something new that they will see in other areas and at tournaments that they would not normally be exposed to. This is usually how I pick my next faction honestly. I look at what other players are using and things that they have not seen before. I start something new and throw everyone for a loop. At the end of it all, everyone has learned something new and are now more ready for the wider meta than just our one store.

Another interesting way to pick up a new faction is to “expand” your first one. What do I mean by this? Well. if you have a bunch of Merc or Minion models that work for your primary faction, you could just pick up a caster and a few beasts/jacks from the mercenary/minion faction and have a new army quickly. If you do not have any models from these two lines because you were a “faction purest”, start picking up ones that work for your first faction. This way you are growing your first army at the same time you are working on your second.

Convergence and Cephalex are special cases. They run rules that are very different then the rest of the factions out there. You will not run into them very often, if at all. The thing with them is that you have to be comfortable with the main rules of the game. Once you have a solid grasp on the core rules, you can start to learn how these two factions break the rules and run in their own ways. They provide you with new challenges and a very different play style.

There is a simpler way to pick your next army. What looks good to you? Play that. If you have seen a friends Menoth army and though “ I would love to paint and play with those models”, then do it. If the look a swarm of undead models seem like an interesting challenge to you to paint up and see on the table, make it happen. Do you love dragons and evil elves? Pick up some Everblight. Find something that you like and dive in.

There are many ways to pick out your next faction. These are just some of them. If and when you are ready to move on to the next challenge, look around at what’s out there and decide for yourself what is calling to you. You can not make a wrong call. Start small and grow from there. Pick up a small battle box and a solo or unit & play a few games. See if they click with you. Have fun. It’s a game after all.