Designing and building an army for Hordes of the Things (HOTT) is one of the more enjoyable aspects of this game system.
There are no compulsory army lists that you must follow and the composition of the army is entirely up to your own ideas. Although many ideas are listed in the rule book, there is plenty of scope for your own unique army.
You can base it on any genre, whether fantasy or historical, and shape the army according to your tactics and style of play.
The only conditions imposed are that the army must not exceed 24 Army Points (AP). To provide play balance, the maximum total of elements that each cost 3, 4 or 6 AP elements is a total of 12AP.
Once you have come up with an army list, it is time to think about miniature figures. Again there is no requirement to use the miniatures from a particular manufacturer. It is liberating to be able to mix and match different makes and models in putting your army together. It is usual for the figures to be the same scale e.g. 15mm or 25mm but it is not uncommon to see larger scale figures being used when Gods are included in a list or smaller figures if you are fielding a Lilliputian or pygmy army.
HOTT is a fantasy rule system. However, the generic system and broad definitions of the different troop types enables players to field Science fiction, historical or modern armies. Some common non fantasy type armies include Victorian Science Fiction, World War 2, Napoleonic, World War 1 and pirates.
The armies may be historically accurate or can take a historical period and add an element of the fantastic to the army e.g. Victoria Science fiction, British redcoats with ether flying airboats versus HG Wells inspired Martian Tripods.
The design and composition of an army is up to you. Of course the stereotypical goblin, dwarf, & elf armies make their appearance, but it is great to see someone take a theme and build an army around it. The unit types are many and varied to allow armies to take many forms and one person’s idea of a gnome army could be very different to another person’s gnome army.
Usually when designing and talking about army design in HOTT it is enjoyable to try and determine what would be a more appropriate element type. For example a Martian Tripod for HG Wells’ War of the Worlds could be classed as a Behemoth by one player or a Dragon by another.
In this example I think a dragon is a better description as they are more powerful, didn’t show up immediately after the cylinder landed and when damaged by British artillery retreated off the battlefield. However if you can argue the example above differently then so be it. As long as the basic rules of army design are obeyed it’s all okay.
HOTT armies can be raised fairly cheaply, for example if playing in 15mm scale a HOTT army will set you back about the same as for a DBA army around $50. At 25mm it is more expensive but you generally need only about 25 – 40 figures depending on troop type which puts the cost a little more than double that of 15mm.