Attacking AOS – AOS on the Cheap?

I know a lot of people that have been getting into AOS. As a longitme GW player, I have tried my hands at some Fantasy here and there, getting a big ork and gobilin army together at one point, Bretonnians at another, but the game didn’t stick with me. The bound movement trays pivoting and turning were lost on me and I went back to 40k.

That being said, I enjoy Fantasy themed things and the buzz that is brewing about AOS is interesting. The simplicity and mechanics are getting high praise from tournament players like Dr. Insanatron, The French Overlod, and Ben Captain America Mohlie.DSC_0254

Coupled with that was a set of models that I had been collecting for some time now and have been wanting to use. A long time ago, before 40k, I got into Mage Knight, a fantasy steam punk collectible miniatures game that had some pretty cool sculpts. Their tree themed pieces were pretty cool and some of my favorites. Too bad they sucked in the game and they collected a lot of dust. When I got into 40k I looked at how I could reuse a lot of these minis and turned a bunch of them into zombies and Daemons, but held onto all of my tree themed minis. I even started a Syvlaneth army back when Fantasy was still a thing. I would find little lots of my tree themed guys and pick up some here and there, but it eventually sat in a tub like many of our hobby projects.

Recently, I broke them out, fooled around with Battlescribe and figured out I was actually pretty close to a 2k army with what I had. I picked up a little bit more and now have a full 2k Syvaneth force to use and start some adventuring into AOS. I’m pretty happy with what I have and what I’ve been able to do so far. Lets take a look at what I have and how you might be able to do something similar.

The Models

I’ve ended up with only a handful of models, which limits what I can do for the army, but I don’t really care about that. The models I have to work with and their obvious counterpart (at least to me) are as follows:

D&D Treant – Treelord and Treelord AncientDSC_0260

These large lumbering trees look to be perfect for the Treelords. I envision them covered foliage and lumbering across the battlefieldDSC_0256

Mage Knight Living Elemental – Dryads

This is by far my favorite MK mini. It is a ton of character and looks great, like a living writhing tree. These will be my Dryads.DSC_0259

Mage Knight Wood Golem – Kurnoth Hunters

Large and bulky, these seem to fit the Kurnoth to a tree (wakka wakka wakka). I’ll have them all be the same type to limit confusion.DSC_0257

GW Branchwraith – GW Branchwraith

I picked this up a while ago and it will be exactly what it is.DSC_0258


Originally all of my models were on square bases, so the thought of purchasing bases for all those models was daunting, but I found a great resource for regulation sized bases in Green Stuff World. This Spanish company has a bevy of laser cut mdf bases on eBay and through their site. I was able to pick up 60 32mm bases, 2 Large oval bases, and 20 50 mm bases for $28 bucks shipped. They come from Spain, but only still took about a week. Overall it was a great value and I’ve also used them for my Ratsturrection 1st string bases. Check these guys out for some cheap round bases that work greatDSC_0247


I’m still a bit unsure, but I think I’m going to do a fall theme. Again, from Green Stuff World, they sell a hole puncher that punches out little leaves in all sorts of shapes. They also sell leaf tubs with precut leaves. I purchased a hole punch and plan on doing fall colors for the bases and branches to give that warm orange glow. I think with a good prime spray paint, some airbrushing, drybrushing, and washes will make short work and I should have a fully painted army with minimal effort. Something I am hunting for right now.


On the Cheap

Cheapness is something I often suffer from, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I mean, I can’t take this army to the LVO, as they aren’t GW models. I also can’t go to a GW store for the same reason. Somewhat limiting, but I don’t care. As long as you can get past that you too can get an army together on the cheap.

Most players have armies or models from other systesm already, and fantasy models are pretty easy to come by. You will usually have to miss out on the aesthetics of the new GW models, but I really liked what I had already. You might also know a friend or find a good deal for older used Fantasy models that could port over to the many branches of AOS. One of the great things about AOS is the groupings or factions are much broader and can be combined to make up the force you want. Many used model sellers (hint hint) carry a bunch of older figures that you can mix and match to your delight.

Another great thing about AOS is their great starter boxes from GW. You can build a similar army with starter boxes similar to mind and more competitive for under $200. Hit up FLG for up to 25% off to make that deal even better. You can really make a competitive AOS army for very little cash right now. It’s great. But you could probably do it even cheaper if you hunt for used deals. Lots of options!DSC_0251


I haven’t even played one game yet and I’m still excited about the project. This has been a long time coming so seeing it all start to form together in one mass of trees is neat. Look around, you might just have the start of an AOS army on your shelves right now or even a complete force that could be put on the table today. Let’s attack AOS!

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!


About CaptainA

Aaron is a longtime gamer of many systems. He is an avid community builder of 40k and after running many 40k events in Portland, Oregon, has recently moved to Boise, Idaho and continues to host and run leagues and events. He has also recently expanded his repertoire and entered the second hand Warhammer business. Check out his website at to see how he can help you get rid off your old and unused models.

6 Responses to “Attacking AOS – AOS on the Cheap?”

  1. Dbiesto January 28, 2017 1:47 pm #

    Definitely a good idea cutting costs where it is needed. Plus now you have a tree army if you ever do a DnD campaign like my friends are doing currently! (Neutral Chaotic Good lol). After hearing Magnus is now a playable character I didn’t read the $ cost, got to my FLGS and my jaw dropped when what I thought would cost $50 was $130. Sadly, too expensive for me, but the models they have been releasing are truly beautiful lately. With that said, lots of DnD figures are really a good deal and a lot fit perfect in AOS, especially with some practice sculpting if you search online. The new LOC and Fateweaver went from $40 to $115 in just 2 years 😓

    • WestRider January 28, 2017 5:33 pm #

      The new Greater Daemons are more expensive because they’re much, much larger Models. Absolutely fantastic kits, and totally worth the cost if you’ve got the cash.

      • Dbiesto January 28, 2017 10:34 pm #

        That is both a good thing and bad thing for the game. So what can I do with my plastic Lord of Change since he’s no longer to scale? Also, think I should set aside $ since they might remake Belakor as a larger figure also? Not looking forward to paying $115-140 but am loving the new detail work especially since eventually it seems I will have to throw down to keep using the models.

        • WestRider January 29, 2017 5:15 pm #

          It is definitely a mixed blessing. To me, it’s worth it to have to save up a while longer for Models that are that much cooler.

          Well, except when it comes to transporting them. Finding a case that will fit a 2K Army and is easy to bring on the bus is getting harder and harder.

  2. Beau January 28, 2017 5:12 pm #

    If you are OK with some conversion work I think the start collecting box for sylvaneth is pretty sweet value. There is many extra arms and heads, so I just heated some sprue and twisted it into a vine body. 32 dryads, a tree Lord, and branch wraiths per each box ain’t bad.

    • CaptainA January 30, 2017 7:23 am #

      The start collecting box is where it is at for new models for sure!

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