So you've heard the new edition of WarGods of Olympus is out, and you're thinking of putting a warband together? Let's give it a try…
Pick Your Demigod
You can't pick a warband without picking which Demigod you want to play, so let's talk Demigods first. The game is built around competitiveness between Demigods, the children created when the gods of Olympus procreate with mortals. In a sense, the Demigod is you as the player.
You can either create your own Demigod from scratch, or use the pre-built Demigod(s) that go which each army/city-state. (For example, if you have a Mycenaean army, King Agamemnon can be your Demigod.)
If you choose to create your own Demigod (and grow his or her abilities through a campaign), the parental options are:
Note that your choice may limit which city-state your Demigod can be from, as well as your Demigod's gender. For example, if your Demigod is a child of Artemis, your character must be female, and cannot be from Corinth or Sparta.
If you intend to use the official WarGods of Olympus figures, check their catalog to see if your Demigod is released yet and in stock.
Let's say that I pick to have a Demigod of Poseidon. The rules allow for male or female, but only the male Demigod of Poseidon has been released yet, so that will be my choice.
I must also choose if my Demigod will follow the path of Fame or Infamy (that is, is he a hero or a villain?). I'll choose Fame.
When I get to army creation, I must remember that a Demigod of Poseidon is required to have at least one unit of chariots in his force.
I need to give him a name and an epithet. In legend, Poseidon had a son named Belus, so I'll go with the similar Bilus! The rulebook says that Demigods of Poseidon seek retribution, so my epithet will be "the Unforgiving."
Pick Your City-State
The rules allow you to field armies from these city-states:
While not actually a city-state, Amazons are one more army possibility. They offer a non-hoplite alternative, with cavalry, warbands, warriors and war-witches.
It is also possible to field an army of Titans, but they are outside of the usual Demigod rivalry. (Titans oppose DemiGods when they go on certain quests.)
Since I've chose to have a male Demigod of Poseidon, that restricts my options: I can't have an Amazon army, they don't accept male Demigods.
As before, if you intend to use the official figures, check the catalog to make sure your army is available and in stock. Some armies have package deals, too.
In my case, a check of the catalog at the time I write this shows that chariots are only available for Sparta. A Demigod of Poseidon must command chariots. Thus, my army choice has to be Sparta (unless I want to use unofficial figures – but I'd rather use the lovely official figures).
As a starting-out, Fate Level 1 Demigod, Bilus the Unforgiving gets 1,200 points to build his warband. With a Command Level of 10, he can command up to ten units.
Of the 1,200 points, 50% (600 points) must be spent on 'hometown' standard troops (chiefly hoplites, but the Demigod's costs go here, as well as any chariots). No more than 25% (300 points) can be spent on peltasts and archers (unsportsmanlike warriors!).
A Spartan Demigod of Fate Level 1 costs 125 points. The figure is bare-chested, so I figure that counts as light armor (+2 points). The figure is carrying a trident one-handed; unfortunately, tridents aren't mentioned on the weapons list. I'll count it as a Hand Weapon (+1 point), as the rules for Spears or Javelins don't quite match up with tridents.
Taking two Honor Guards for the Demigod costs 30 points each.
To field that chariot, I need a character to crew it; and to get characters, I need to buy units. So let's look at hoplites. A hoplite unit has at least twelve figures, with no maximum limit. You can buy Spartan hoplites single, as part of a starter set (unit of twelve), or as unique units (again, sets of twelve). So let's pencil in a basic hoplite unit of 12, at 23 points each (they have helmets, so I assume +4 for medium armor), for 324 points.
That unit purchase allows me to add two Spartan characters to my warband. One will be a Spartan Hero for 79 points, to man the required chariot (+50 points), plus a driver (hoplite, +23 points), for a total of 152 points.
I've got 300 points I can spend on peltasts/archers/slingers. Looking at Spartan archers, they are sold in sets of 10, including a unit captain. You can't buy them singly, so a unit size of 10 seems best (it is also the minimum size). A Spartan archer costs 15 points, +1 for hand weapon (visible on the figures). The captain could be a Champion (29 points) or Hero (53 points), +4 (wearing medium armor on the figure) and +2 (double-handed weapon).
If I want to spend all my quota on a single unit of archers (since there's not enough points to buy two units): the Captain (Champion, 29 + 4 + 2 = 35 points) and 16 archers, for a total of 16 x 16 + 35 = 291 points. (I can buy two sets, with the goal of eventually fielding two units of 10.)
That leaves me with 245 points left, not enough to buy a new unit. But it's enough to add a second chariot (and use the other character slot I got from buying the hoplites).
That leaves 93 points, enough to add another column of hoplites to the existing unit: 1,188 points spent out of 1,200.
What Options Did I Disregard?
Instead of taking the second chariot, I could have opted for one of the Spartan special characters: the Strategos or Kryptes.
Instead of Spartan archers, I could have taken archers from an allied city-state. Same points cost, same abilities, but added variety. Or I could have taken Spartan peltasts. (Spartan slingers are not released as of the time I write this.)
Could I have mounted Bilus the Unforgiving in a chariot? Since I haven't seen the models in person to judge the fit, I decided to keep that as a future option.
Keeping it simple, I didn't field a Herald, standard bearers, or musicians.