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Army in a weekend – Forces of Nature part 1

When Rob Phaneuf (and yes I had to look up his name to copy/paste it), of Counter-Charge Podcast fame, mentioned an “Army in a weekend” challenge I was instantly intrigued. Paint a 1000 point Kings of War army over a single weekend? I’m in!

Well that takes place this weekend, and what I didn’t realise until after signing up is that I’m actually going to a 1000 point tournament this Sunday too – Clocks of War II. Some might say this is fate aligning, while I just see one less day to paint 1000 points!

Choosing the army

So which army do I go with? Well one of my dream projects was an all Vanguarding army so this seemed like a perfect opportunity. Forces of Nature it is – though all of the units in my 1000 point list are also available in the Elf army list too. After umming and ahhing over several potential army builds, this is what I settled on:

  • Forest Shambler Horde
  • Forest Shambler Horde
  • Forest Shambler Regiment
  • Tree Herder with Blade of Slashing
  • The Green Lady

Only a single 5 point artefact to bring it up to 1000 points. You’ll notice that there’s one model that breaks the all-Vanguarding aspect, the Green Lady, but I’d actually made several 2000 point army lists to aspire towards. While Vanguarding is a very powerful ability, I actually found that I was ending up with fewer units and strategies than I would prefer. In the end I’ve decided that while Vanguarding will be a focus of the (eventual) full army, it won’t consist purely of Vanguard units. I don’t feel too bad at having a single model in the army that doesn’t have Vanguard.

Now the tactics of this army are very simple. Get up close and personal right from the very start. Vanguard straight into the enemies face, take a charge (or make one if they move towards me), hold and then smash back with the full fury of the forest. Both the Tree Herder and Green Lady are extremely tough propositions with their Defence of 6, high nerve and the Green Lady’s (who I’m just going to refer to as TGL from now on) Heal(8) spell, while the Forest Shamblers are no slouches either with a Defence of 5 and Nerve of -/14 and -/17. Any enemy force will struggle to break that before getting slammed back. I can choose to place TGL and the Tree Herder in the path of any flanking units to protect my Shamblers, knowing that they’ll shrug off anything but the heaviest of charges.

One of the factors that went into this particular army list was the tournament I’m attending. The Clocks of War format pits you against the clock with 5 games, each with a decreasing amount of time on the clock. The last game of the day gives you just 15 minutes to complete your half of the game! Now I’m not too scared of running out of time, having once played a 1000 point game with Ratkin and 13 minutes on the clock, but going with fewer, more elite units gives you a slight advantage in terms of time. Taking tarpit units, especially roadblocks like the Tree Herder and TGL, also helps since my opponent will (hopefully) spend a lot of their time just grinding against my units, eating into their time.

TGL also gives me a huge advantage in the Dominate and Invade scenarios, where she can earn me a good 200 victory points quite easily. In other scenarios she can act as a roadblock to prevent my opponent from grabbing objectives too.

Finding the models

The models were pretty easy. Mantic makes some fantastic Forest Shamblers, and while a bit pricy at £20 for 3 (understandable given they’re metal), they’re absolutely perfect for the job. Two hordes and a regiment = 5 boxes. The Green Lady is also available from Mantic so that’s another plus.

The Tree Herder was a little trickier since Mantic don’t make a model yet. After searching for a while, I settled on two potential candidates; the Otherworld Games Treeant and the Games Workshop Ent. Both fit in well visually with the Mantic Forest Shamblers and I was very happy with their visual appeal. In the end I got both. I’m planning on having two Tree Herders in my 2000 point army, so I might as well grab them both now. I ended up deciding to use the Otherworld Games Treeant, but there wasn’t any particularly overwhelming reason why. They’re both perfect for the job.

So in terms of the army cost:

  • 5 x Mantic Forest Shamblers boxes = £100
  • 1 x Mantic Green Lady = £10
  • 1 x Otherworld Games Treeant = £18
  • Total: £128

I did get a lovely 10% discount from my LGS, on account of my stunning beauty I’m sure, which was nice but I always make sure to show prices in actual RRP. £128 is a fairly big chunk of change for a 1000 point Kings of War army, but still cheaper than it would have cost to get going in WHFB. Which is nice.

In addition to the figures themselves, I wanted to go all-out on the basing so picked up some extra supplies:

  • Scibor Forest Basing kit
  • Brass etched bracken fonds
  • Reaper bones familiars


Luckily we were allowed to build and even prime our armies before the weekend, so I’ve been assembling this week everything in preparation for today. I even decided to go the whole hog and make an army display base, using a cork board for the basic frame.

So this brings me to this morning. Friday 26th Feb, where I’m allowed to start painting. And I’m sat here writing a blog post instead of actually starting the painting.

I’d best get a move on.