2.0 version of Zoning & Area Denial
Age of Sigmar is a skirmish tabletop game. This means that movement and positioning is the most important aspect of the game. Preventing enemy movement is a great way to gain an advantage over your opponent.
The 3 "rule
In Age of Sigmar, no unit can do "normal movement" (designation for a movement that usually takes place in the movement phase) through the 3" range of enemy models. Flying models ignore this as long as they finish this movement outside of 3" to enemy models.
This means that even a model on 25mm base covers an area of about 7 "of the table through which enemy models can't move. I call this a fieldbubble. This bubble determines where your opponent can't move. Room denial is a great way to foil your opponent's plans and gain an advantage!
The size and shape of the base contributes to the size of the bubble. Daemonettenbases have a diameter of about 1". This creates a space bubble of 7" diameter. A Blood Knight Base (75x42mm or approximately 3 "x1.68") creates an oval bubble 9 "long and 7.68" wide. You can see how larger and longer bases can help deny larger space.
The best units for field control.
It is important to realize that units used for field control are very likely to be attacked by enemy units. The more resilient the unit is the longer your opponent will need to fight through. If this takes long enough, you could force him to retreat, making another round in which the retreating unit can not shoot or attack.
The best units for field control are units that can stop the opponent long enough to gain an advantage or are cheap enough to be worth 1 to 2 rounds to deny the room.
Examples of these are the tough Nurgle Plague Bearers, cheap Brimstone Horrors or Skinks that can retreat instead of piling in.
In Age of Sigmar, all models move one at a time as long as they keep their formation. That is, as long as each model in 1 "is to a different model of the unit and the whole unit is placed as a single group.
units against individual models
Because models in a unit must stand in 1 "to other models of the unit, there are many overlaps in the space bubble. This is different for single models as they can be placed more than 1 "apart. In this way, gaps of 6 "can be created through which no enemy units can move. This also applies to 2 separate units.
If the border areas of the field control zones of different units meet, they can cover the maximum of the field. Even if the units do not support each other, no unit can move through them with a normal movement
Field control against flying units
Flying units can move across opposing models as long as their movement ends outside 3" of enemy models. Denying the movement of flying units is a little more difficult, but not impossible.
After they can not begin or finish their movement in 3 ", a flying unit with 1" bases will need at least a 8" movement to move across a line of models with basesize 1" (so the entire base will end up outside 3" .
You can prevent enemy models from flying over your units by making the distance they have to cover to complete their movement outside of 3 "bigger than they can fly. If you want to prevent a unit from flying 12 "flies over your unit, you must cover at least 6" with your units, if the flying unit basesize 1". In case of Blocking a Stardrake (12" movement, basesize 6,8"x4,1" /170x105mm ) you could at least cover 1,9" to prevent the model landing sideways with its normal movement and about 7" if you want to prevent him using his movement including run entirely.
The formular in this case is basicly: <room the defending unit occupies>+(3" x 2)+<smallest basesize of flying unit>
Placing the green unit, the flying unit (red) can not fly over it to reach the marker. The red unit must decide whether to attack the green unit or fly a detour hopefully to reach the marker in the next round.
Risk factor more field control or stability
The main question is whether you want to play your unit more compact or more diversified.
A more spread unit can occupy a much larger space in the field and allows quite crazy formations and can thus be used e.g. also cover a larger area against flying units. However, this also has disadvantages
Since each model is in formation with a maximum of 2 other models, it is extremely important to remember that models must be removed at the edge of the unit so as not to break the formation (which would cause part of the unit to be removed after the combat shock phase) must to restore the formation). Also models like the Stardrake can deliberately take enemy models out of the unit (Cavernous Jaws), forcing a break in the formation.
It also makes the unit easier to get attacked, as the enemy can clash against few models and fight back fewer models or in the worst case, the unit can stop entirely from piling in.
Thanks to the changes of many buffs to be wholly within, it is less likely they benefit from buffs (see Buffs <placeholder>).
Because all the skeletons (green unit) are 1 "to another skeleton, the unit of 16 skeletons can cover both the marker (black) and the hero (blue).
A more compact formation is not so affected by the above-mentioned weaknesses, but in return also denies less territory.
The same unit as in the above example is more compact here, and thus cuts back on the refusal of the area around the marker as well as the hero, but is less vulnerable in the case of an attack
Field control against reserve / summoning / teleportation.
There are some units in Age of Sigmar that can be placed out of reserve outside the deployment zone or have teleportation abilities to take them off the field and re-position them elsewhere.
A placement is not a move and therefore ignores the 3" rule. That is, unless stated otherwise, the unit may be placed in base contact with enemy units. In most cases, however, either a friendly unit within reach is required and / or a minimum distance from the opponent is expected (usually 9").
To prevent the movement or placement of a reserve unit is very difficult but not impossible. Let's start with a look at the limitation
Place farther than x" away from enemy units.
If a unit needs to keep a minimum distance from enemy models, you'll be dealing with them the same way you would handle them in preventing them from moving, but you have more room to play with and your opponent can come from any direction.
If a model can be placed outside of 9 "of enemy units, a single model with a 25mm base will have a 19" diameter area bubble.
The formation of congaarms can reduce the overlap of the territorial bubbles of the individual models of the formation
By spreading out the two units, I practically doubled the space where my opponent could not place his reserve units. Even though the units are fairly distributed, they are still able to move if attacked. The more extensions that unit has, the larger the space it covers, but it will be harder for you to move if attacked.
Place within x" friendly models.
If the only limitation is that the unit must be placed within reach of a friendly model, denying it becomes significantly more difficult.
These units could be placed in base contact as long as they are within range of their target model.
In this respect it is also to be distinguished whether the unit must be placed only "within" the range of the model or "wholly within" the model
The difference is as follows.
If the unit is only to be placed "within" the range, it is sufficient if the base of a model touches this range. In this variant, it is hardly possible to prevent this, since the unit to be placed practically has the whole field with the restriction that a model must be within reach of the friendly model.
The picture actually shows an incantation which in addition to the friendly model still requires a minimum distance of 9 ", but clarifies what "within" in the sense of the rule means, since the orange ring represents the range of the orange model.
If the unit has to be placed "wholly within" the range, it will be a bit easier, because you can limit the area in which the unit can be placed by your own units.
The picture actually shows an incantation which in addition to the friendly model still requires a minimum distance of 9 ", but clarifies what" completely within "means in the sense of the rule, since the orange ring represents the range of the orange model.
Offensive magic and shooting
Room denial is usually driven by weak, wide-ranging units.
That is, when models die as a result of ranged attacks, gaps can appear in the bubble.
After the Hero Phase occurs before the Movement Phase, you should become aware of all of your opponent's damage spells.
Roughly roll over how much damage the opponent can cause before positioning. If he has a high damage output, make sure that the most important parts of the formation are still standing after suffering the damage.
If you want to prevent the attack of a particular unit, you must also be aware of the shooting your opponent possesses. If your opponent kills enough models to prevent the attack movement, they could still open a gap through which the attack can take place.