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361 Celestant-Prime

About swarmofseals

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    Dracothian Guard
  1. new death battletome announced!

    Is there anything solid that suggests it'll release next month? It would be great to know the release date as I was just getting into painting up some gaps in my Death army and rebasing from squares. Not sure now if I should wait for the new book to do most of the work! And regarding summoning and MoN, as far as I have been able to find it looks like there's no mechanism there that explicitly removes or modifies the point cost for summoning. It's always possible that GW will clarify this after the fact. I really can't see summoning becoming more competitive unless there is some cost incentive to doing so.
  2. The Rumour Thread

    I suspect that they won't be. This is speculation to some degree, but up until now GW has generally kept special characters as relatively niche. Even the ones that see a good deal of competitive play (like Kairos) are far from mandatory and typically get taken in addition to a generic warscroll of the same type (IE: Kairos + LoC) as opposed to instead.
  3. The Rumour Thread

    Yeah, I sure hope so. In the past they have only changed warscrolls when a new kit was released (if I recall correctly) with the one exception of the Grundstok Thunderers "fix" in the GHB. This would be the first time (I think) that they might change warscrolls without a new kit accompanying the change.
  4. The Rumour Thread

    I just want to say that I am incredibly stoked for this book. I was afraid that the next Death release would be a new standalone death faction that didn't really work with the old models and that the old models would remain relatively unplayable. Even if this book features no new models, it's a huge boon to those of us who are already invested in Death. I'm really hoping that they will go back and change some warscrolls and not just tweak points. It would set a nice precedent if they were to do this. New spell lores will be nice but I think warscroll changes are likely needed to actually make death competitive.
  5. Is Competitive AoS Backing Itself into a Corner?

    The most basic form of this rule would be something like this: Linebreaker If this unit allocates all of its melee attacks to a single target unit and <CONDITION IS MET> then the targeted unit does not benefits from any bonuses due to its unit size until the end of the turn (this includes bonuses to bravery due to unit size during the battleshock phase as well as any bonuses that rely on unit size from the unit's warscroll or other sources) ____ This could certainly be written more clearly and succinctly, but the basic idea is there. In my imagination, the CONDITION referenced will usually be that the enemy unit is within 1" of another friendly (IE: your unit or your ally's unit) unit. Other conditions might be that the linebreaker unit successfully causes damage (this would represent very heavy units that are capable of disrupting enemy formations even when they are braced against it) or that the linebreaker completed a charge move this turn (representing lighter units that require the momentum of the charge to cause disruption). The reason why I like the "enemy unit is within 1" of another friendly unit" condition is that it represents the tactics of rank and flank gameplay without the need for anything cumbersome like unit facing. Basically the idea is that if the enemy is braced and able to focus on absorbing the attack then it can maintain cohesion and retain the advantage of size. If the enemy is distracted by another foe, however, then it can't maintain cohesion and loses whatever size bonuses that it has. Of course exceptional linebreakers could gain additional advantages such as "when an enemy unit is affected by the above rule and also suffers damage from the melee attacks of this unit, then it must test for battleshock during the battleshock phase regardless of any immunity. Additionally, the unit's controller cannot use any abilities that modify the battleshock roll in any way" or possibly "when the enemy units affected by the above rule and also suffers damage from the melee attacks of this unit, any bonuses to bravery that the unit would gain in the next battleshock phase are reversed and counted as penalties." This would represent the size of the unit acting against itself as troops crash into each other seeking to get out of the way of the marauding linebreakers, morale suddenly dropping as banners are dropped and leader's voices being overwhelmed by the thunderous sound of the attack. I'm sure there is plenty more design space to explore here. The basic concepts are threefold: The linebreaker unit should not necessarily cause all that much actual damage. They can be moderately offensively efficient but should never be efficient enough that they are desirable for their damage output alone The linebreaker unit should provide a counter to units that get bonuses from their unit size, although they may also have bonuses that work against other targets as well The majority of linebreakers should work mostly in conjunction with other units rather than being effective just on their own. There may be exceptional cases where particularly elite linebreakers can work on their own, but even then they should work even better in a combined arms attack. The main mechanism that this goal is accomplished by is the other two goals above: the linebreakers don't do that well on their own because they don't cause that much damage on their own and their linebreaking may not actually work unless you have another unit involved. The linebreaker softens the target substantially, making them very vulnerable to damage caused by other units that are more offensively efficient.
  6. Is Competitive AoS Backing Itself into a Corner?

    As much as I'd like writing for GW I am about 8 time zones away! I do appreciate the comment though!
  7. Is Competitive AoS Backing Itself into a Corner?

    Limited internet time at the moment so I haven't read through all the replies. This is really a response to the original post only. I do think you are on to something. While I can't really say if the pendulum has swung too far toward defense (I don't have nearly enough hard data), I think there is some reason to suspect that it might have. I think GW is in the early stages of taking competitive balance seriously, and I don't think they have backed themselves into a corner at all. The fact that the game has swung away rather dramatically from Alpha Strike builds demonstrates that GW does have the power to have a strong influence on competitive balance through releases like the GHB. I would expect some of the things that got buffed in GHB2 to get toned down in GHB3. I think that overall this is a tricky situation to balance correctly, however. There are several interests that aren't necessarily aligned: 1. Hobbyists - while I don't have any hard data on this or anything, my impression is that most hobbyists don't like painting massive horde armies. There are certainly some who do, and a well done horde is SUPER impressive on display, but I think it's safe to say that a lot of painters that buy into a horde army regret it at some point in the process. 2. Gameplay - I think that gameplay tuned too far towards the defensive or towards the offensive threatens to make the competitive environment stale and unfun. In a highly defensive metagame, the game will often boil down to who gets on the objectives first as neither player can realistically shift the other. If the defense in question requires hordes of cheap wounds, then the game is also very cumbersome to play. On the other hand, highly offensive games are often over very quickly and it can easily feel like an early double turn leaves one player without an opportunity to meaningfully participate in the game. It's also possible for too much offense to remove any semblance of tactical depth from the game. A middle ground is highly desirable as it leads to a multiplicity of viable strategies, deeper gameplay and a higher likelihood that both players will feel like they are participating for more of the game. Similarly, high model count needs to be good for certain things but it shouldn't be the primary method for playing any particular strategy. 3. Financial - GW has an incentive to sell a lot of models. I can't pretend to know if GW gets a better profit margin off of horde armies or elite ones, but it's conceivable to me that GW could have a simplistic profit motive in pushing one playstyle or the other. The problem though is if GW is shortsighted about it and ends up degrading the quality of gameplay in order to sell more models. That will be ruinous in the long run. A couple of things that I think would be really helpful for striking a better balance in AoS: Larger defensive units. Right now the best defensive units in the game are pretty much all hordes. It would be very good to have some monsters, monstrous infantry/cavalry or what not that are primarily defensive in nature. This would enable defensive strategies that relied less on horde mechanics. Linebreakers. Right now the main way to deal with defensively efficient hordes is to either optimize your damage output or be faster and get on the objectives first while also playing defense. Both of these are problematic. Encouraging the former risks tipping the raw offensive too high, resulting in unfun gameplay. Encouraging the latter leads to clunky games that are also unfun. We currently have "horde buster" warscrolls like Drycha and the Gaunt Summoner, but these are just point and click offensive solutions. What we need, I think, are linebreaker mechanics. Basically this would be a type of support unit that isn't super efficient in its own right but has the ability to negate horde bonuses. I'd mostly give these abilities to cavalry/monstrous infantry/monstrous cavalry and maybe the occasional behemoth. Vulkite Berserkers would be more manageable if you had a unit that could temporarily disable the bonuses they get from unit size (in this case increases in bravery and increases in their special save) by hitting them with a linebreaker type unit. Importantly the linebreaker unit itself needs to not be super efficient offensively, as then you could just spam linebreakers. Instead, you want it to be good enough so that it isn't a waste against non hordes, but not so good that it can just delete hordes on its own. Thus a successful strategy requires combined arms -- you need to support your linebreakers with an offensive unit to mop up, and your opponent needs to use support units to protect their massive regiments. I really like the linebreaker solution as it adds more tactical depth to the game, encourages "combined arms" lists instead of spammy lists and provides some relief against hordes without tuning up overall offense. It also provides a unique battlefield role for a unit type (cavalry) that currently doesn't really have one.
  8. Tzaangor Enlightened and Guided By the Past

    Yeah, I thought there might be some solid utility here in that it gives your opponent a choice between not attacking with the target unit and giving your Enlightened a huge buff. That said, in order to actually shut down the target unit you also have to decline to attack with your Enlightened. So I can see this being particularly valuable when attacking a target that is more expensive than the Enlightened. This requires a bit of a specific scenario though as offensive units that are more expensive than Enlightened will probably be fine with striking first. So the ideal target is an expensive, defensively efficient unit that you can pin down and force to retreat or take a lot of damage. All that said, I'm a little bit wary of this because of my competitive Magic background. There is a notorious mechanic in Magic called the "punisher" mechanic that is one of the most commonly mis-evaluated mechanics by, uhh, less skilled players. Basically all of the cards with this mechanic feature two undercosted effects, of which your opponent chooses one. The classic example is the card Browbeat, which either deals 5 damage to your opponent or you draw three cards. Both effects would typically cost more than the card costs, but the card sees little play even in decks that are specifically designed to make both effects desirable for you. This is because giving your opponent the choice really reduces the effectiveness of the card. I'm not sure I follow your logic. What happens if your opponent just chooses to not activate the unit the Enlightened are fighting until after you activate the Enlightened? Basically one player and then the other choose to activate units until only the Enlightened and the unit it is fighting are left. At this point (depending on whose turn it is to activate) either you get to choose to activate your Enlightened without the benefit of Guided by the Past or choose to not activate it at all, which punts to your opponent who then gets to choose to either also skip their unit entirely or attack first and allow your Enlightened to hit back with the benefit of the ability. Alternately your opponent chooses first which ends up with a very similar set of possibilities.
  9. Tzaangor Enlightened and Guided By the Past

    Tzaangor Skyfires have gotten most of the attention for competitive play since the Disciples of Tzeentch book came out, but Enlightened have always piqued my interest. For those of you that have used them: how easy do you find it to use the Guided by the Past ability? Just based on efficiency Enlightened without Guided are only a bit more efficient in melee offense than Skyfires with Guided (of which their version is very easy to activate). With Guided by the Past active, however, their offensive efficiency basically doubles and they become a very legitimate melee threat. It seems though like it would be very easy for opponents to basically never allow the buff to be activated by refusing to activate whatever unit the Enlightened are engaged with until after you activate the Enlightened -- unless of course the unit that the Enlightened are engaged by is strong enough to cripple the Enlightened in one go.
  10. Legion Of Azgorh Mega-Thread

    Enlightened are an interesting choice for sure. Man I'd have a hard time turning down a gaunt summoner though!
  11. Legion Of Azgorh Mega-Thread

    If you are sticking strictly to loa then this is a tough question as basically every loa warscroll is reasonably decent and few if any stand out as particularly broken. A lot depends on play style as most of the warscrolls that are less efficient on paper fill a particular tactical role. Infernal guard form a very solid core with ironsworn providing efficient defense and fireglaives providing very efficient ranged offense. Both share the weakness of being slow. Meanwhile the dreadquake is less efficient but provides huge range and indirect fire. The deathshrieker is also less efficient but has good range, indirect fire and is small enough to hide easily. The magma cannon is all around solid but with shorter range. Draz is really inefficient but he flies and is fast, attributes that the army otherwise lacks. Bcr and both engines are fast-ish and hit hard but can be defensively less efficient. Kdaii are situationally great and situationally mediocre. The daemonsmith, castellan, and bsb are all excellent but share liabilities common to all support heroes. I think overall the LOA is a very interesting army precisely because it doesn't seem to feature an obviously best list and instead challenges us to really think about the roll each unit plays in our battleplan across many matchups.
  12. New Nurgle models

    One way to look at it is to compare with Tzaangor Skyfires/Enlightened. In that situation the hero version was boxed on its own but cost just as much as the full kit of 3. They could have easily done that here.
  13. Malign Portents

    Love the new gobbo! I think they are pushing the upper limits of detail over area in that model but it's still fantastic.
  14. Wanna Start Tomb Kings but how?!

    Your best bet is the secondary market. NIB stuff is still crazy expensive (and even more crazy expensive than it used to be), but if you are willing to buy loose/painted/stripped models you can get stuff for a pretty reasonable price still. Most of the basic stuff (skeletons, for example) you can get at or below retail prices without too much trouble while some of the rarer kits (like Necropolis Knights and Sphinx kits) are a bit over previous retail. I actually have a ton of Tomb Kings stuff that I'd be willing to sell, so feel free to PM me if you are interested.
  15. The Rumour Thread

    It's funny -- I hate Stormcasts and have been longing for some sort of Death release for a long time and yet I'm not bothered by the "Deathcast" idea as long as they aren't just Stormcasts with skulls on them (as others have said). If they look more like Stormcast sized morghasts I'll be pretty stoked.