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Thoughts on Skirmish Tactics


arka0415

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Skirmish launched a while ago so I know I'm late to the party. I finished my warband this weekend and got my first game in, so I figured I'd post my thoughts here.

I tried a mixed Order list using a Freeguild General, a Greatsword, a Swordmaster, an Executioner, a Handgunner w/ Long Rifle, and three Dragon Blades. My opponent brought Stormcast with three Liberators, one Retribution, one Lord Relictor, and two Prosecutors.

The game was close-fought but my mixed Order came out victorious! Anyway, here's what stood out in the game:

  1. High-movement units are a must. Once I had taken out his Prosecutors, my cavalry got some great charges in that his army wasn't able to respond to.
  2. Things with 1 attack aren't really worth it... I think. My Long Rifle Handgunner is very accuracte, with a very high change to wound, and -1 Rend and 2 Damage. By all accounts, it should be very effective. However, rolling 1 die for hit, wound, and save (4/9 chance before armor saves) means that you're pretty likely to whiff.
  3. Mortal wounds. The stars of the game were the Executioner, the Retributor, and the Lord Relictor. Why? In small games, the more dice the better. If you have good mortal wound output, you're one step closer to winning.
  4. Damage over defense. His Liberators were durable units, but they just don't have the attack power they need. No liberator got a kill in this game, even though he brought three. On the flip side, high-damage units like my cavalry and Executioner were great even though they weren't durable.
  5. Finally, bring tons of champions/sergeants. So many units in AoS are so similar, you can get good efficiency for your Renown by taking a bunch of different champions and sergeants, and no 'ordinary' models. This is what I did and it worked great- way more attacks across the board!
  6. There's not much benefit with charging unless you have a charge bonus. On one turn, I got every model into combat with a bunch of successful charges. But since you alternate model by model, a few models were cut down before they got to attack. Taking multi-wound models could help here, but Order doesn't get many outside of Stormcast.

Anyway, these were my impressions! What do you think?

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1 - Yeah, high movement is almost mandatory: when you have so few models on the battlefield this allows you to control the board and gives you the possibility to easily protect your models by hiding them in cover.

2 - Having just 1 attack is not bad per se, the problem is having attacks with low probability to inflict damages: if your warband has, let's say, 5 models and one of them has almost not chances to hit anybody that model won't help your band offensively... But there are cases it could help defensively (serving as a meat shield, running towards objectives ignoring combat, increase the number of models of the warband to make it less vulnerable to Battleshock tests, etc...)

3 - I agree, Mortal Wounds are even deadlier in Skirmish than in AoS standard

4 - Not sure about that: I honestly think having more durable models can be a big plus... Can't say much about this, I still don't have a clear opinion or a preference for defence/damage

5 - Absolutely right. There's no point in taking a regular warrior if you can choose a champion instead! It also gives your model more personality and brings variety to the game

6 - Yes, and I love the fact that having not many models you must put lot of attention into choosing the right fight for the right character: you have to carefully choose which character must charge or be charged, or when it has to happen, cause loosing a single model may change completely the flow of a match!

 

I would also say this: magic, and mages in general, to me, are an invaluable asset. Being able to put out some mortal wounds, increase the Save role of your models, unbind an enemy spell or whatever is a precious resource in a AoS Skirmish battle.

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I have been playing the Shadespire campaign in the Skirmish book at my local GW and I have been fielding a Boodstoker, Khorgorath and 4 Bloodwarriors (1 being a champion).  I went with this combination for a few reasons. 

1. I only had the Starter set and a Valkia The Bloody model to go with.

2. I wanted as much hitting power per point as possible.

In return I get the whipped to fury ability giving me extra 3" on run or charge moves and re-rolling 1 on hit rolls.

Three ranged attacks from Khorgorath's Bone Tenticles.

Six attacks from the Bloodstoker three at 1" and three at 3" range, five attacks from the Khorgorath giving two wounds per hit with a -1 rend, three attacks from my Blood Warrior Champion and two attacks each for the other three Blood Warriors.

So overall I have a unit that can move fairly quickly and hit hard.

The only downside is that I have nothing that flies, so no 12" movement. Why has Valkia not got a point value? She was made for Skirmish.

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8 hours ago, BloodReign said:

The only downside is that I have nothing that flies, so no 12" movement. Why has Valkia not got a point value? She was made for Skirmish.

Because she's a finecast model. Only plastic kits were given points.

That being said, I don't think any of the special characters from Age of Sigmar regular game have a place in Skirmish anyway. They're all much too important to be running around with a few guys hunting treasure in a ruined city.

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I've found that a bunch of different tools (ranged, beef, speed, damage, magic, etc.) makes a huge difference (not to mention making it easier to field as many unit leaders as possible). I tried to go full Fyreslayers in my first run. That did not go well, haha. I have become okay with taking a motley crew.

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Mixed arms is deffinately the way to go we have found. 

Band of champions gets you more bang for your buck with extra attacks, +1 to hit etc. The wizard units are brilliant especially the sisters of the thorn who can shoot and are ok in combat too. 

The main thing for me is that you have to agree before hand how you are playing (casual, filth) even more so than AOS. 

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5 hours ago, Countmoore said:

The main thing for me is that you have to agree before hand how you are playing (casual, filth) even more so than AOS.

Fully agree with this. Skirmish seems to be made as a rough structure rather than set rules that are made for competitive play.

So if you want to try to break the game as much as possible check if your opponent feels the same. If you go full narrative also check with your opponent because he might feel different.  Both can be fun but make sure you're on the same page  

Dang, now gw is making us talk to our opppnents and try to act like decent people ? ?

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6 hours ago, Kramer said:

Fully agree with this. Skirmish seems to be made as a rough structure rather than set rules that are made for competitive play.

So if you want to try to break the game as much as possible check if your opponent feels the same. If you go full narrative also check with your opponent because he might feel different.  Both can be fun but make sure you're on the same page  

Dang, now gw is making us talk to our opppnents and try to act like decent people ? ?

We saw how that worked with pre-GHB AoS...

As a pure FEC player, I find them extremely weak in Skirmish.  There isn't enough hitting power in the army, the heroes are pretty expensive, the main schtick doesn't even work (i.e. replenishment) and ghouls while numerous die to a stiff breeze so it's trivially easy to kill them.  I've basically been crushed every game I've played with them, trying a bunch of ghouls or like 2 ghouls, a horror and a flayer (or two horrors) and a king, since I just can't kill enough stuff and if I go ghoul heavy the first basic mission (the one with random deployment) I can lose in one turn if I face an army with any sort of shooting, as they just kill a few ghouls and I'm below 50% immediately.

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16 hours ago, wayniac said:

We saw how that worked with pre-GHB AoS...

As a pure FEC player, I find them extremely weak in Skirmish.  There isn't enough hitting power in the army, the heroes are pretty expensive, the main schtick doesn't even work (i.e. replenishment) and ghouls while numerous die to a stiff breeze so it's trivially easy to kill them.  I've basically been crushed every game I've played with them, trying a bunch of ghouls or like 2 ghouls, a horror and a flayer (or two horrors) and a king, since I just can't kill enough stuff and if I go ghoul heavy the first basic mission (the one with random deployment) I can lose in one turn if I face an army with any sort of shooting, as they just kill a few ghouls and I'm below 50% immediately.

The possibility exists of using a grand alliance instead of a specific faction since there are no faction bonuses.

In fact I think that's what they are trying to do with Skirmis (which I applaud), is to think of your warband in the grand alliance fashion

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1 hour ago, chord said:

The possibility exists of using a grand alliance instead of a specific faction since there are no faction bonuses.

In fact I think that's what they are trying to do with Skirmis (which I applaud), is to think of your warband in the grand alliance fashion

This may be the way to go.  Also, it may also mean better LOS-blocking terrain is needed on the board - like the old Mordheim vibe.

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On 26-6-2017 at 9:59 PM, wayniac said:

We saw how that worked with pre-GHB AoS...

For me pretty amazing. We use points now but the same philosophy stuck

On 27-6-2017 at 3:41 PM, FractalRain said:

This may be the way to go.  Also, it may also mean better LOS-blocking terrain is needed on the board - like the old Mordheim vibe.

Yeah crowd the board with high terrain!! Made our games way more fun and tactical. 

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  • 5 months later...
On 6/27/2017 at 5:06 PM, Kramer said:

For me pretty amazing. We use points know but the same philosophy stuck

Yeah crowd the board with high terrain!! Made our games way more fun and tactical. 

Played my first game... Definitely feel a lot of the same things as you guys have posted. Took the Shadow War approach: the more terrain, the better.

I feel with individual models you need the chance to hide, fight in closer spaces, force all out brawls, and not have to cross too open a field or pay the consequences.

Played as ironjawz with some grots w/bows. Mega boss, 4 ardboys, and 6 grots. Grots were worthless for causing wounds, but for 1 point each, I think it's worth the lucky roll and great for holding on while the bigger models go fight. Mega boss destroyed everything it touched but was susceptible to mage fire balls doing mortal wounds! Ardboys were great. So many attacks with boss's command ability and 2 wounds for staying alive.

I think with everything there's balance needed. Offense, defense, wounds,cheap in points, etc.

Definitely modified the 'cover' rule to count as long as you were touching...or else what's the purpose of a fence!?

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Our local Skirmish campaign was dominated by the player who only brought Kurnoth Hunters with Greatbows. He shot everything else off the table before they got into melee.  30" range, 2x attacks, -1 rend, and D3 damage was tough to overcome. With 5 wounds, 3x  melee attacks, and Trample Underfoot (4+ mortal wound), they aren't slouches in melee either.

Agree that more terrain would have helped here. 

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