Sometimes it is easier to play with paper pieces then to deploy entire army of miniatures. Before I move on I have to say that I don’t encourage people to stop collecting armies or to stop playing with miniatures, I just want to show you some advantages of using paper armies. Main reason for playing with paper units is to make everything simple as possible. Some armies require more 10+ minutes to be placed on the table, depending on your army size and the way you store your models. As a Skaven player I always have this problem. It takes forever to remove all my models from miniature case and to place them in units. That is because I have 200+ models in my army.
Some people don’t have that problem or enjoy unpacking their army and they don’t have this problem. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to leave my army out in the open or to store entire units, as I play Warhammer in our local gaming club. If I would be playing it at home I think I would store entire units and then it would take 3 minutes to deploy entire army on the table. Another reason for not leaving your army in the open is dust. In just a few weeks, no matter how often you play, your entire army will be covered in dust, and you don’t want that, unless you are playing with Tomb Kings and you are going for that dusty look.
That is why I like to use paper units from time to time. You don’t have to place every model into unit, you can start the deployment instantly. It is quite easy now days to make your units in different computer programs. All you need are squares or other model shapes with the right dimensions. Later you will cut that unit with scissors and you have your unit. During the game just use a pan to mark units that have been killed. In order to make it easier for myself and the opponent I use lord and hero models, so that there is no confusion where they are and how they are placed in the unit.
It might seem ugly and many people would rather spend more time to get their entire armies out of their cases, but it is also very effective for other things. When you are preparing for tournaments and you play a game every day there is a high chance that you will get bored unpacking your army every day. Another reason for using paper units is that you can try to play against every army when preparing for the tournament. It is likely that in your gaming community you have all armies but it is difficult to find people to play with you. Some people don’t feel comfortable giving their armies to others to play. When you think of it, would you give something to someone that is worth a lot of money? With paper models you can play against all the other armies and you can do it with just one player. Paper units are great for quick battles, trying new armies, new lists, and different tactics and so on.
Recently I decided to start collecting Warriors of Chaos. As I decided to take this one slow and to buy new models only when I finish painting those that I have bought, it will take some time before I have a fully assembled army. So in order to try this army and not just to wait for entire army to be ready I decided to try it with paper pieces. Although I believe that I will stop using paper once I have entire army ready as there are not so many units and models in the army in comparison to the Skaven army.
What I was actually looking for was the army that would be dedicated to the Chaos and have hard hitting units. Well, Warriors of Chaos have few of those and to tell you the truth I was quite surprised. It is never the same until you play with the army. I always knew that they were strong but I never paid any attention to them as when I was playing with the Skaven, Warriors of Chaos were the least of my problems. That is what I found out few days ago. I decided to play against a friend who plays with Warriors of Chaos, but instead he used my Skaven army and I used his Warriors of Chaos army. It quite unpleasant to be on the other side. He managed to kill almost everything I got, mainly using shooting and magic. My unit of Chosen of the Tzeentch never saw a combat, as they were removed entirely by the Skaven 13th spell. After that game I decided to play another one as I never had a chance to feel the strength of Chosen and Warrior units.
My next game was against Bretonnia. This time I decided to use the 8th edition horde rule. I made three units of 40 Marauders. Although they hit hard, they are quite squishy. If you manage to survive long enough to hit back, there is little chance that something will survive. It turned out to be a very interesting game, although Bretonnia lost losing every single unit.
What I wanted to try were Warshrines and their ability to boost one of your units. With two Warshrines and a unit of Chosen I managed to create deadliest unit I have ever played with. As the Chosen roll on the Eye of the Gods table at the beginning of the turn and both Warshrines can give them another boost from that table, I managed to create a unit with +1 attack, +1 strength and 3+ ward save that is stubborn. All I can say is that it killed both Grail Knights and Knights of the Realm packed with lords and heroes.
Best way to learn all the different things about Warhammer is to play as much as possible. Playing with different armies will definitely help you improve. Paper units are great for that so try to play with armies that you don’t have. I understand that it is not what real Warhammer player is looking for but it definitely helps sometimes.