When you play in this way, M² acts as the sandbox to design your armies.
Step 1 – Select an Army Trait.
There are many army traits to select from. Each Trait comes with a cost, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. These are global effect on your army. Think of it in terms of the flavour that defines the army type.
Step 2 – Select General Characteristics.
This is an optional stage. Some characteristics are specific to General. An army may pick 1 for their army. All of this come at a points cost. The Army builder will reflect that cost.
Step 3 – Select Army Characteristics.
Once you have selected your Army Trait then you can select up to 10 characteristics from the list. This defines the characteristics that any unit in your army may take. Using the Army Builder, once you have selected the characteristics it will form the list of values from with you can pick.
Step 4 – Core Choices
We recommend that each army should have about 3-4 core units types. This really should be the backbone of your army, and using the Army Builder it will check that you have Core to Non-Core on a ratio of 3/2. As this is Open Play, then this is a recommendation rather than a rule. If you wish to exclude this check you can choose all your unit types to be mandatory. Units default to core.
Step 5 – Magic
If your army is going to have access to Magic, then at this point you select 4 spells from the list available. These 4 spells are available for your Wizards.
Step 6 – Building the List
Once you have gone through the first 5 steps then you ready to put your list together. Using the Army Builder then you add lines to the each command. The restrictions you have applied in the first 5 steps will all be applied, so your choices will be limited.
As a designer’s note, there is nothing really stopping you going “all out” on this sort of list building. However, it was really designed to build lists for a setting that currently isn’t covered or letting you flesh out your own fantasy setting. Monsters and Magic is a lite game, and I’d recommend that you don’t make lists that are too brutal, or if you do, make sure that you have a consensual opponent.