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  1. Finally laid the rest of the floor and it's looking great!  It really finishes of the 'Is this a shed or a sauna?' look.  

    Also got the electrics in the shed finished.  They just need to be hooked up to the house, which will be done while I'm away at Warhammer Fest.

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    coptig81
    Latest Entry

    So after 24 hours straight rain I managed to undercoat some Stormvermin.

    After staring at my paint collection for what seemed liked hours I finally came up with a colour scheme. 

    I think it works well but of course I know that there is much room for improvement.

    I went for a purple base to try and make a contrast between the base and the green, do you think it works?

    Please give me your C&C so I can improve my painting and I'll be back with more when I've finished the first 10.

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  2. 2000px-Pierre_ciseaux_feuille_lézard_spock_aligned.svg.pngLets preface with this: I don't know what I'm talking about. I never played a single game of AoS. I only read the rules, read some warscrolls, did some faulty math in my head. It's probably all just a pile of throggoth dung. On a rare chance it's not, it's probably been said by a million people before, but I haven't read it, so I'm claiming it genuine. I'm a troggoth, that's what I do. If by any weird occurrence of fate you misread my ramblings and somehow get any useful information from it, please remember that this is a discussion on a competitive level, and in your casual games you should let your opponent balance your now superior skill with a few extra Nagashes.

    If a wargame is to be any good, it has to have some rock-paper-scissors business going on. In the core of it, a unit has to be more effective against some enemies than others - that's what stimulates tactical play. Otherwise it's all just "throw your dice and see who wins". In a typical wargame, you would have something like "cavalry beats archers, archers beat infantry, infantry beats cavalry" or whatnot. You know, something that makes actual sense. Not in AoS.

    AoS came out, and what was immediately apparent, is that (Rend discarded), a unit's strength is not at all relative to the opponent - the hit and wound rolls are not affected by what you are targeting at all!!! Probably a huge part of why people think it's a simplistic game with no real thinking involved. I mean, if the point values of whatever comp you're using are proper, a unit can stand against any other unit of the same value and have roughly 50% chance of wiping them out before they get wiped out in turn. So let's pile up our models in the middle of the table, and let a hundred dice rolls decide who the superior commander is... Obviously, there are other stats that come into play (movement being the most evident one), but when push comes to shove, it's all about those combat rolls.

    So is AoS really a game deprived of any tactical thinking? Far from it. The rock-paper-scissors dance is just hidden on a different level. Let's have a look, but before that, let's establish some basic terms.
     

     

    Glossary:

    DPM - average damage per model. It's basically the number of attacks, times chance to hit, times chance to wound, times damage. Abilities like "reroll 1 to hit" also taken into account.
    DPP - average damage per point. In short, DPM divided by the point value of a model, in whatever comp you are using.
    WPD - average number of wounds taken by the unit per single damage point. Basically chance to save, with abilities like "reroll saves of 1" taken into account.
    EWPM - effective wounds per model. WPD times number of wounds.
    EWPU - effective wounds per unit. EWPM times number of models in unit.
    EWPP - effective wounds per point. EWPM divided by the point value of a model, in whatever comp you are using.

    The Scissors, or "I will hurt you plenty":

    Consider Bloodreavers (warscroll for reference). No save, 1 attack, DPM of around 0.25 depending on equipment. Those guys are so pathetic, their point value in your comp probably oscillates around zero. The only interesting thing here is the ability that gives them an extra attack when within 12" of a TOTEM. But now... since those guys are worth next to nothing in your comp, let's make an experiment and take lots of them. I mean like 3 units, 20 models each. And let's find that TOTEM. Since we want to be fluffy even when we're melting faces at a tournament, let's take the Bloodsecrator (sorry can't find warscroll links for the starter set models) dude. And behold - his special ability can give our Bloodreavers another attack - that's triple their original weak-****** DPM, and we're nowhere near done. Now let's look at batallions - there's one there that fits our 3 units of Bloodreavers nicely, and, with the Bloodpriest and Bloodstoker included, it will give our fellas another attack. Now let's add a general - Aspiring Champion for his command ability and another attack. It's 5 attacks per model at this point (500% of the original DPM), and we can still improve on this by getting a few Wrathmongers to stand behind our dudes and give them another +1 attack. Or, you can expand your army to the whole Grand Alliance: Chaos, and look for what other (now overpowered) buffs you can give them, but let's stop here for now.

    We've just created an army that has 3 units of very cheap (in your comp) models, that with proper positioning will get 5 attacks each. Since the models have relatively small bases (and bodies for those purists out there who actually measure model to model), you can get large amounts of them into their 1" range - if you get all 20 of them into range, you're getting around 25 damage from them (20 models times their now buffed to 1.25 DPM). That's enough to wipe out a unit of comparable EWPU in one turn of combat. In 2 turns of combat, they take down Nagash. And that's just one of the 3 cheap-****** units we got there, with plenty of points left for more exciting stuff.

    That's the scissors of AoS, stacking buffs that increase DPM on a unit until it can wipe virtually anything that stands in their path in one combat turn. To create a force like this, you're looking for abilities that increase number of attacks, chance to hit / wound, give rerolls, give extra damage etc, and you are looking for models that are either relatively small (size/base wise) and cheap in your comp, or for models that play especially well with your available buffs (like units that have 1 attack but good hit/wound rolls and more than 1 damage per attack - those play very well with the +attack buffs). 

    So, with a force like this, you've already won AoS. Or did you?

    The Rock, or "Give me everything you've got":

    Well... how do you counter a unit that can make 100+ attack rolls? It's quite simple really, you just make them meaningless. Consider Concussors (warscroll). 3+ save, and a reroll of 1's. Give them Arcane Shield, or the buff from Lord Castellant, and their WPD soars up to ("down to" actually, but you get my drift) 0.027(7). It means that only every 1 in 36 damage will actually cause a wound. It means that the 20 Bloodreaver scissor with their 5 attacks each will only score an average of 0,69 wounds per combat phase. That means they need like 6 combat phases to even kill 1 model (and remember they only need 2 to kill Nagash himself). Slap another +1 to save roll on them, an they become immune. Rock crushes scissors.

    Now this seems quite simple, as we only have one unit (quite expensive in your comp probably, but w/e), and one hero. We do, however, have to take into account the wildcard of Rend (even the Bloodreavers have a weapon option that will give them 1 point), and be aware that most armor buffs will target a specific unit, while DPM buffs often target multiple. So, preparing a solid rock, that can hold around 3 enemy scissor units might be a serious investment in points. But then... watching your enemy roll 100 dice not to score a single wound - priceless.

    For a solid rock setup, you're looking for warscrolls that have good save roll, and... well... Wizards. Be on a lookout for any battalions and heroes that can otherwise increase your armor save roll, or give rerolls. "Ward" saves (additional save rolls you can make apart from the normal one) also help. Remember, that here the number of models is not really important. If you manage to get in combat with the unit you want to block, and they cannot kill you, you've already eliminated them from the fight unless they can get 2 turns in a row (they need to retreat to disengage, and need another turn to charge something else, without you charging them again). Having the threat neutralized, it's a simple matter of scoring enough wounds to get them out of the game - in case of Bloodreavers, just breathe in their direction and they will topple by the score, in other cases you can pepper them with arrows,  or just choose rock units that have decent attack capability of their own.

    By now, you probably know where this is going...

    The Paper, or "Resistance is futile":

    Ok, I failed at that one. How do you kill that which cannot die? In AoS the answer is quite simple - mortal wounds. Now I admit, I didn't do much research here and I'm kinda guessing what can be done. You're looking for units that reliably deal mortal wounds, or units that have a certain chance of dealing mortal wounds that can be increased. One example I can give you is Retributors (warscroll) - they deal mortal wounds on a hit roll of 6+ - give them a buff or 2 to hit roll, like the one Lord-Celestant (warscroll) provides, and see the rock crumble. 5 Retributors with +1 to hit roll will, on average, deal  6.66 mortal wounds per combat phase - that's not even counting the Starsoul Mace and extra attack from Prime.

    Problem here is, warscrolls that can deal mortal wounds will be quite expensive in any comp, and while those mortal wounds are excellent against the 2+/reroll rock dudes, they are kinda worthless against the zerg rush of Bloodreavers - the "mortal" on the wounds is meaningless when there's no save to be bypassed. Thrus, scissors will cut through paper.

    So what's this all about really:

    In AoS, if the comp you're using is anywhere near balanced, units of similar value will be similar in power against each other, no matter the actual statline - this is a natural consequence of non-relative rolls that AoS introduced. To gain advantage at the list building stage, you need to consider how some battalions / units can reinforce others, and find the most effective combinations. For that, you need to consider what unit a particular buff will be most effective on. Just to give you a few examples:

    • +attack buffs are most effective on units that have good hit/wound rolls and high damage. On top of that, they are most effective on units that have low attack stat (+1 attack on a 1 attack unit will double it's combat effectiveness, while on a unit with 2 attacks - only increase it by 50%). Furthermore, units with multiple weapons will benefit more, as it's usually +1 attack to each weapon used.
    • +hit and + wound roll buffs are most effective on units with weak rolls - if a unit hits on 6+, giving them +1 to roll will double their damage potential, while on a unit that hits on 3+ - only increase it by 25%
    • "reroll 1's" buffs are most effective on units with good rolls (a unit with 2+ save will improve it's WPD from 0.16(6) to 0,027(7) - that's 600% improvement!).

    And so on, and so forth. On top of that, stacking buffs is usually more effective than spreading them over several units. 

    Does that mean that for your army to be relevant, you have to fall into one of the above categories? No. It can be only part of your army. Or you can ignore it altogether, and instead focus on thwarting your enemy's setup. Remember that you are committing points to one of those schemes. Your enemy spends those same points on either his own scheme, or just extra bodies. If your scheme is countered, the extra commitment in points is wasted (minus what the enemy spent on his counter) - immediately putting you at a disadvantage.

    The advantage that can be gained by combining buffs is so significant, however, that I can imagine highly competitive games revolving entirely around creating and countering those combinations. A successful list will be able to shift from one scheme to another, and effectively counter enemy's scheme - by putting rocks in the way of scissors, eliminating relevant heroes early on, etc. The more I look into it, the more I see there's actually a game under all those pretzels. Took me long enough...  

    What's to take from this:

    1. You create advantage, when put buffs on units that benefit from them in a significant way. I gave examples of how Scissors, Rock and Paper combinations can be created, but it's likely there's also a Lizard and a Spock somewhere in there - I just can't see it yet.

    2. An army that will exploit the first point will almost uniformly be stronger than an army that doesn't.

    3. Different areas of buffing will counter each other.

    4. There are other ways to counter buffs, but that's a topic for another post entirely. I'll leave you with "hunter-seeker units".

     

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    So I thought that I would open this blog by sharing my recently-rebased Tomb Kings. I have not purchased any models directly for Age of Sigmar yet, instead doc using on rebasing my existing collections. With the new Grand Alliance books, I'm feeling keen on the idea of adding selected units from other factions to my 8th ed armies in order to make a cosmopolitan force for the new game. 

     

    The pictures (hopefully they show up correctly) represent about two thirds of my total collection for Death. I still have to rebase my Scorpion, Bone Giant, and some ninety infantry of various kinds, but this lot is more than enough to be getting on with I think!

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  3. Tuesday I did some painting of the maw crusha and brutes since I knew I'd be busy in a few days so I'd have to work on them during the week.  Tried the yellow over white primer, four coats in I really don't like the coverage of yriel yellow. 

    Wednesday small d1 (for my flgs) trials of ironjawz.  Well I thought the fyreslayers were hurt in wound based keyword restricted games, well ironjawz are almost unplayable.  Severely disappointed in that. Megaboss needs six units of ironjawz for his waagh bonus which puts you in so many wounds that I'd use maw crusha over him. That's an issue. Second issue is no shooting with only having average saves. 

    So when I got home I played against my fyreslayer and then against my seraphon d1 list.  Fyreslayers were handed an easy victory due to all the shooting attacks they have. I even gave ironjawz sudden death.  I think the game lasted 2 or 2.5 rounds. 

    Against seraphon it wasn't even a game. They didn't even live to see a combat round ouch. Overall I have to say they were more than disappointing. I will need to look for other destruction units to see if I missed any buffs. Otherwise table then and hope match play fixes them

  4. I've only managed to get three Liberators and a squad of 5 Retributors done so far but slow and steady wins the race, right?

    1 Liberator and 1 Retributor finished.jpg

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    Paul Buckler
    Latest Entry

    Ok so many moons ago, there were some awesome dwarf models called doomseekers.  Longbeards will remember them fondly I am sure. Well they had been sat gathering dust on my shelf for far too long, and when I saw the Hearthguard bezerkers, I thought maybe I had found a use for them.  So my project began. 

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    I kit bashed some Vulkite Bezerkers along with the spares from my Auric Hearthguard to fill out the unit into 10 models.  They actually fitted in pretty well, no noticeable scale issues.

    I wanted a leader for my army and the Magmadroth is such a nice model I couldn't help myself, so a Runefather joined their ranks.  The kit is really good as I was also able to make a Rinesmiter and Runeson as well.

    Magmadroth (1).jpg   Magmadroth (2).JPG

    Slowly I built up a reasonable force adding 2 units of Vulkite Bezerkers, and 1 of each of the remaining characters, Grimwrath Bezerker, Runemaster and Battlesmith.  The quality and detail in these kits is amazing and i would recommend them to anyone.  Finally I wanted some variety so I added some converted prosecutors.  Simple head and weapon swaps made them easy to blend in, plus I had loads from various starter set swaps I had done when AOS was released.

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    My army was really taking shape now, I just needed soem bases, and as you can see from the pictures, I chose an ice theme to contrast the orange slayers.  I got these from darkarts, they are actually lava bases, but painted with an ice effect they work pretty well I think

    .Fireslayer Army (3).jpgFireslayer Army (2).jpgFireslayer Army (4).jpgFireslayer Army (1).jpgFireslayer Army (5).jpg

    So thats my Fyreslayers, they kept me busy for 3 months, around 100 SCGT pool choices.  How have they done on the battlefield? Well in true slayer fashion they have died with honour!  Sometimes in victory, sometimes in defeat, I will pop back and write a batrep for a game soon so you can see them in action

    Paul

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  7. My Blog

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