Hello! I am working to come back to the game after leaving sometime late in Mk2. I was a more casual player with a small group of friends and no major game store or large community. Since then I've graduated from college, all my buddies moved away and many of them either donated their forces to me or sold them to me at very low prices because I was known to be much more in to collecting and painting than my buddies who were more in to the gamey strategy end of things.
So now I'm sitting on my own Cygnar force which has a decent amount of models, but is definitely lacking in unit diversity. I also have a decent amount of Protectorate and enough models of Khador, Cryx, Trolls, Skorne and Minions to be able to field smaller forces and some secret aspirations to eventually own a Circle and a Grymkins force. While my current problem right now is too few models split among too many factions I have two major goals with my collection here.
1.) Get together a fun competitive Cygnar list that I can play at multiple point levels with people at the local game shop. Cygnar is what I have the most of and what I'm most familiar with so it just makes sense to go with them and work my way in to other factions once I get in to a groove. Like I said, I've only played among my own small group of friends so there will be a big transition to playing random pick up games at the shop.
2.) Take each faction that I have models for and make solid 35 and 50 point lists. I want these to be mostly beast heavy when possible and have some fairly balanced straight forward lists. This idea is because I still keep in contact with most of my buddies I used to play with. We constantly talk about having some weekends in the future where they come to visit, we do some war gaming and drink beers and play other games. To achieve this I would need to take the collection that I have and provide "house" armies so that they can just come here and play with what we already have. Though it sounds like a lot of work and buying some models for a couple factions I really look forward to the opportunity to get to paint models from all of these different factions and to be able to provide the tools necessary for us to have these planned wargaming weekends.
So I'm here to focus on Cygnar today. The goal is to start with a 35 point list and then expand that in to a 50 point list. That is the most important projects because my local store has Warmachine wednesdays every week and it might not be for a few months before I can have my buddies come and visit for a weekend.
I'm really interested in cygnar jack heavy lists. I heard our colossals are pretty good so maybe even interested in them in the future, but for right now I'm trying to build something up with only a couple new model purchases.
The casters I have right now are Stryker1, Stryker 2, Haley 2 and Caine 2. I don't think Caine really fits the theme I'm working on though I am interested in picking up Kraye. I've always loved his model and he gives a lot of mobility and support for a heavy jack list. Outside of that, I'm not really sure what to look at. I think Heavy Metals and Sons are both good lists for me. For my collection of models I have an Ironclad, Stormclad, Centurion, Hunter, Charger, Lancer and Thorn - Gun mages, black 13th and I think maybe a gun mage captain or add on of some kind, I've got storm blades and their standard bearer, storm smiths, mechaniks, journeyman, squire, and I THINK mage hunter Eiryss. I think my mercenary collecting buddy had her.
So that gives at least a foundation for smaller points games for either of those theme lists. If I'm looking at Kraye then I think a good plan is getting a Hammersmith/Centurion kit and magnetizing it for options because I've heard Kraye really enjoys running a couple centurions in his list. I'm really not sure what direction to go though since I haven't played in a long time. Any advice would be great.
The list I could run with the smallest amount of model purchases would be something like:
Cygnar Army - 35 / 35 points
[Theme] Heavy Metal
(Kraye 1) Captain Jeremiah Kraye [+28]
- Centurion 
- Ironclad 
- Stormclad 
- Squire [0(5)]
Journeyman Warcaster 
- Charger 
Field Mechaniks (min) 
That feels pretty thrown together there, because it is. So I'm hoping people can give me ideas on how to optimize this list for 35 point games and then expand off of it to make it a 50 point list. Any advice is totally appreciated even if it involves switching casters/themes/the whole lists/heck, even factions. I just want to have a fun solid core army to play with while I work on all the other factions in the down time.