How to Get into Warhammer: New Year, New Army

Carter Kachmarik
December 20, 2023


Getting into Warhammer for the first time is an exceptionally challenging exercise for those without a guide into the hobby.  With its extensive lore & expensive models, not to mention the rules itself, it’s understandable to be apprehensive as you delve into Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40k, or one of the many specialist games.  Given the effort it takes to assemble, paint, and learn ones’ army, very often tackling the hobby head-on feels insurmountable — luckily, there’s a great program that’s made to kickstart your adventures into the game.

New Year, New Army (NYNA) is a trend that’s started picking up steam since 2020 and the pandemic, urging players to use their New Year’s Resolution to engage with the hobby alongside their fellow players.  While it can certainly be a personal journey, in my opinion it’s best enjoyed with friends; your local Warhammer store likely even has swag like pins & paint kits available for those setting off on the challenge!  Beginning in 2024, I’ll be cataloging my return to 40k, by way of Adeptus Mechanicus, and I’d like to use this article as inspiration for others to join in.

As some background, I first got exposed to Warhammer in 2011, via a family friend, and was instantly hooked; Tyranids had recently gotten their first true plastic range refresh, but despite that my first ever model was a Metal Venomthrope!  The vaguely insectoid Tyranids were my army as a kid, though later on I abandoned them for Iron Warriors, playing them in local Chicagoland tournaments through 6th & 7th edition.  That said, I fell out of the hobby with the wide rules rewrites that came with 8th, moving entirely over to Age of Sigmar.

Now that I’ve moved east for work, my local scene is flourishing with predominantly 40k players, and given it’s been quite some time I thought it apt to leap back into the sci-fi side of things!  If you’ve seen my Beasts of Chaos, you’ll likely know I’m keen to convert & kitbash, and as I may have stated prior, I adore playing low-tier armies to the best of my abilities (having started BoC when they were the 2nd worst army in the game, on purpose).  That, of course, set me on a path to playing Admech in 10th, and doing a full conversion for the army.

Via u/MeridiusGaiusScipio on Reddit

When I saw this image in my searches, I knew instantly what I had to do — non-Tyranid bugs, by way of Ash Waste Nomads.  I have a soft spot for the obvious homage to Tusken Raiders, and I felt that a roving band of hermits that lifted the weapons & iconography of some long-lost Admech scouting expedition would be perfect.  Moreover, the new codex for Admech brought the Skitarii Hunter Cohort, which looked to play exactly like 2nd edition Beasts of Chaos, a horde-oriented harassment army I sorely missed.

When considering a full conversion, I recommend getting your options in order before committing (advice I wish I had better listened to, myself).  A spreadsheet of what it would take to readily convert a full unit allows you to examine cost, necessary bits/kits, and potential for Tournament Viability.  You need to be able to match base size, obviously, but height and loadout in a WYSIWYG world are also vital components.  Slowly but surely, I plotted much of this out: Ambulls would be Kastelans, Nomads your basic Skitarii, and Helamites both Raiders & Sulphurhounds.  That couldn’t be the entire army, however, but luckily Sylvaneth has a massive range of insects I could poach from, most notably with wingless Seekers as Ironstriders & Dragoons.

Next, like with any army, you want to get the basic scaffolding for your force purchased and prepped — buy only what you can afford, preferably enough to get it to a playable point (600 or 1000 points being a sweet spot).  I also like doing simple, roughshod Paint renders for what units could look like, as you can see below.  In terms of a color scheme, I knew I wanted to lean heavily into tones of blue & orange, essentially mimicking verdigris in my nonmetals.  I also got enough Helamites & Nomads to get started on a 1k, conserving bits wherever able to use for future pieces.

NYNA is, to some extent, meant to be a challenge; you have to keep a steady pace, and preferably take some risks!  In my case, those risks came in the form of resin miniatures in the Ash Wastes line, which I’d use to represent foot heroes like the Skitarii Marshal, by way of the Herder with a pistol, and my Kataphron Breachers, Arthromites with the appropriate mounted guns.  Even Belisarius Cawl would take the stage as a souped-up Wy’tari Stormcaller, affectionately ‘Belisarius Crawl’, though that was a purchase made with the full knowledge that Cawl is awful right now.

So, the guidelines are set, and the challenges are as follows — Work with resin & plastic together, learn to use Inks for the first time, and dedicate more time to basing than I ever had before.  Duncan Rhodes’ Ash Waste Base specifically was my main inspiration for the last challenge, as I’ve never used soil cover or nice diorama texturing in my miniatures before.

In terms of gameplay, NYNA is a way to get exposed to your army as you build it, as while you should likely consult some experts on the faction to understand your ‘must-have’ units, killer conversions or models you adore act as the primary objective.  For me, I fully intend to build & paint the conversions I have, as they pop into my mind, and worry about exact construction later.  I’ve been extremely successful at RTT-level tournaments with Beasts of Chaos, even managing to top a GT during Drogor format, so competition is less of an issue for me when it comes to 40k.  That may change, but setting an expectation for how competitive you want your army to be is an important aspect of NYNA, as you never want to set yourself up to be disappointed.  There’s 0 shame in pursuing thematics over competition!

Via Warhammer Community

Jumping back into 40k is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and Admech are an important army to me — they came out right when I was playing the game the most (as two separate armies, hah!) and their lore & gameplay is something I deeply enjoy.  Being able to showcase a truly unique look to the faction while keeping true to its tone & gameplay is going to be a treat, and I’ll still get my chitin-painting fix in the form of their non-Nid insectoid compatriots.

With that said, I’ll see you all in the new year!  It’s been amazing writing for Flipside, and I’m extremely excited to use this series as a means to chronicle my entry back into the first Warhammer game I’d played.  I’d love to hear about your plans for New Year, New Army, so go ahead and leave a comment below!


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