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New player, bit confused...


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Hello, new to these forums so apologies if this has been asked, but I'm looking for some info specific to myself...

I've played Warhammer 40k since it's inception, and recently took up the 8th edition, having had a break of about 8-10 years since playing it last, and I'd now like to get into Age of Sigmar.

Having tried 40k 8th I'm aware of matched, narrative and open play, and stuff like keywords, and points vs power etc. but I even so I have a couple of questions about starting to get into AoS -

1.  I'd like to play with an all "insert race here" army vs my gaming buddies all "insert race here" army.

So for example, an all Free People's (closest to the old Empire as I understand it), or an all Dwarf army.  Is that even possible now?  Can you play as each individual race, or are they just mashed up into one great alliance on either side?

2.  I don't like the Demigryph cavalry.  Can Free People's field any other melee cavalry?  I'm guessing not because GW don't have any such models on their website...

3.  What books do I need to buy to have everything I need to play as the basic races (Dwarf, Human, Orcs, Elves, Undead etc.)?

 

Thanks in advance for any help/tips/advice on this.

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Welcome to AoS!

1) The Grand Alliances are more political/lore based than they are gameplay based, especially Order. Each Grand Alliance represents a loose collection of peoples that will fight toward a common goal or who simply share a similar set of traits (eg Skaven are unlikely to ally with ANY of the other 4 chaos gods, but they are still a species influenced by the Warp of Chaos as the Great Horned One is now a Chaos God). 

So within Grand Alliance Order there are many sub-alliances. Very loosely speaking these follow the old army and race alliances; so the old high-elf based units can all ally together; the old dark elf ones etc.. but they can't cross ally if you're sticking with a specific faction. The only Order faction that can cross ally with almost anyone is Stormcast Eternals. 

So if you want to go all humans or aelve or dwarves then you 100% can without issues. In fact its often beneficial as you gain access to faction abilities and your wizards can use their faction spell lore not just the spells on their warscroll 

 

2) What you need varies a little:

a) The CORE rules. These are on the GW website for free or in the big rule book which also has lore, a selection of battleplans and also a few wider expansions of the rules for different forms of play

b) Not all factions currently have a unified Battletome for their army. If a faction has no Battletome then the first port of call is the Generals Handbook 2018. This will contain most of the details for those factions such as gear, spells, alliance groups, faction abilities etc... The Generals Handbook can also contain changes to factions who do have a Battletome that was released before the Generals Handbook so it can be worthwhile purchase for most armies. 

b) You need the Malign Sorcery boxed set (rules and endless spells) if you want to make use of endless spells, realm items and spell lores and the unique artifacts. The use of realm specific stuff varies game to game (some like it some hate it) whilst Endless Spells are quite universally accepted and as the whole kit is less than the cost of a getting started box its a very affordable and worthwhile purchase. Esp since the spells within it can be used by any faction

c) You might find that once you've got reference the Warscroll builder on the GW website can help you build armies up and see what choices are on offer (it can appear a little confusing at first until you've got a handle on how alliances work). 

3) Right now the human "free cities" group has no Battletome and thus might well change once GW gives it attention (most expect there to be some amalgamation of human factions into a free-cities style faction though it need not be called free cities). That said they can freely ally in the Stormcast cavalry units if you want. 

If you take allies there are limits on how many points you can take depending on game size (eg 200 at 1K points and 400 at 2K points)

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1. You can play both single race armies and Grand Alliance armies. Each army has allies - rules for adding allied units are in the free core rules.

2. Free peoples also have outriders and pistoliers with horses, but for hard hitting cavalry you have to ally Stormcast Eternals.

3. Not every army has it's own "Battletome", but for undead you need Legions of Nagash (if you want to play Vampire Counts-like army) or Nighthaunt army (if you want to play all-ghost army). Duardins (Dwarfs) have two battletomes: Fyreslayers and Kharadron Overlords, but Fyreslayers battletome is old and doesn't have allegiance abilities, battalions etc.(they are in the General's Handbook) and KO rules were updated in the FAQs and their battletome is a bit outdated (still have warscrolls, battalions and lore). Rules for humans (Free People) are in the General's Handbook, same for Ironjawz Orruks, Slaanesh etc.) Bonesplitterz Orruks have their own battletome, Beastmen and Dragon Ogors have new battletome, Daughters of Khaine, Idoneth Deepkin, Beastclaw Riders, Sylvaneth, Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch too. Most of Aelven factions, Skaven (barring Skryre and Pestilens), Grots (that should change soon) doesn't have their own battletomes and allegiance abilities.

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Even more simply (haha).

You can play the basic game 100% for free (not counting models of course), using the smartphone AoS app and the Warscroll Builder webapp on the Warhammer Community page.  This is literally all you need to play a barebones basic game. 

You get the core rules for the game and all of the unit warscrolls in the app (or download individual PDFs from the GW web store, but the app is so easy and free).  You get the matched play points for everything in the army builder.  You're done.

If you like it and want to go farther, you can look at spending some coin on some books (these days, I tend to buy my books digitally through the app, as they are easier to cart around, and screen-capture and print off the most critical references).  But you don't need any of 'em to give the game a go.

 

ETA:  It might be a bit daunting to use just these free things, as they are missing some of the friendly welcome text that usually accompanies printed rulebooks.  It helps if you have at least one other person around who is at least marginally familiar with some of the terms, such as "battleline" or "allegiance".  But even that is a step more complicated than you absolutely need to give it a go.  The game is far more loosely balanced than 40k is, and you can have a fun game between beginners with fairly unbalanced armies (it's only at a competitive level where tight balance, such as it is, becomes important).

Edited by amysrevenge
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Thanks guys.

Dwarfs, er Dispossessed, er yeah, and Fyreslayers...

To be honest, as a long time GW hobby player, who played Warhammer Fantasy Battle once or twice back in the early to mid 90s, but never owned a copy of the game or any of it's models, has around that time also read many of the Bill King novels, and now owns a copy of the 1995 version of Warhammer Quest, and quite likes the Old World setting, I'm not too keen on how everything has been mashed up and rebranded in Age of Sigmar.

It is what is though and now seems like a good time to get into a Warhammer game other than 40k and start collecting an army.

 

Another question springs to mind - there aren't any human melee cavalry on horseback are there?  I'd have to buy some from evilbay and use the Empire warscrolls compendium wouldn't I?

I can put together a 1000pt Free Peoples/Ironweld Arsenal army (for a surprising cost of only £150ish), but it lacks melee cavalry (which would admittedly take it over 1000pts), and I like the look of the old Empire knights (Reiksguard, Knights of Order etc.).

Edited by Raven Morpheus
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Yea you'll have to use the old compendium rules for Free People Knights, and just be sure to have the warscrolls on handy since using the compendium is becoming rarer and rarer so people may forget the contents of it if playing random games.

Another idea could be to glue 2 knights onto a big oval base as a "count as" demigryph to keep it free people, or count as order draconis knights.

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18 hours ago, Raven Morpheus said:

Thanks guys.

Dwarfs, er Dispossessed, er yeah, and Fyreslayers...

To be honest, as a long time GW hobby player, who played Warhammer Fantasy Battle once or twice back in the early to mid 90s, but never owned a copy of the game or any of it's models, has around that time also read many of the Bill King novels, and now owns a copy of the 1995 version of Warhammer Quest, and quite likes the Old World setting, I'm not too keen on how everything has been mashed up and rebranded in Age of Sigmar.

It is what is though and now seems like a good time to get into a Warhammer game other than 40k and start collecting an army.

 

Another question springs to mind - there aren't any human melee cavalry on horseback are there?  I'd have to buy some from evilbay and use the Empire warscrolls compendium wouldn't I?

I can put together a 1000pt Free Peoples/Ironweld Arsenal army (for a surprising cost of only £150ish), but it lacks melee cavalry (which would admittedly take it over 1000pts), and I like the look of the old Empire knights (Reiksguard, Knights of Order etc.).

All the compenduin stuff, for better or for worse, has slowly been phased out. The warscrolls will always work (unless they radically change AoS, but not likely for years now) But more and more events will not want to use them. Fine for random games with friends, but their points won't get updated.

Look up Order Draconis rules. Despite being elves, they are the generic enough to be fine using old Empire Cavalry as their models. But good luck GETTING old Empire Cavalry models.

One thing I do want to add to is: As long as all your models are in one Grand Alliance, you are golden. All Dwarves, all Empire, all Stormcast, High Elves, Dark Elves, or mix and match to your hearts content. The only details that matter is the more specific you get, the more bonuses you can get. Pile on all the dwarves and mix and match as you please, but go all Fyreslayers and get their allegiance ability and bonus battleline options, as well as refining your synergies.

Either way, welcome to Age of Sigmar! It is a fun game with a lot of possibities. And lastly, look into the new lore when you get a chance, maybe borrow the big core rule book from someone and read through it. I know as a fan of the Old World the new stuff can seem too weird and daunting and filled with Space Marines. But the lore has really grown into something fantastic, and still has the true Warhammer feel of epic combats, valiant heroes and over the top villains. Good luck!

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2 hours ago, kenshin620 said:

As a count as Demigryph. Though I suppose that might look crowded.

 

Or keep them on normal cavalry bases but use them as count as order draconis knights. Then could use a grand master as a dragon noble.

I would suggest avoiding "counts as" in all circumstances anyway, but for a new player and his buddies this is especially true. No need to create visual confusion when not even the basics are grasped fully yet.

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Re: the Cavalry thing. You've a number of options for Order.

  1. Evocators on Dracolines
  2. Vanguard Palladors
  3. Akhelian Guard
  4. Dragon Blades
  5. Drakespawn Knight
  6. Reavers
  7. Doomfire Warlocks
  8. Saurus Knights
  9. Sisters of the Thorn
  10. Wild Riders
  11. Demigryph Knights
  12. Dark Riders

Personally I have an old Dark Elf force and a Daughters of Khaine army. I would still recommend the Evocators on Dracolines (wizards on melee cavalry). Whatever Order amy you have Stormcast are a lore-based ally and can be painted to easily match the theme of the rest of your force.

More so if you're using a mainly Freeguild army - Stormcast are the elite "human" troops.

If you want Aelves then the Akhelian guard are good, the Drakespawn knights are Ok and the Dragon Blades are good. If you or a friend own the Spire of Dawn then Ravers are ok too. Wild riders and Sisters of the Thorn are cool looking but I've never played with them. If you want an all cavalry Elf force then Order Draconis or Order Serpentis are options. Although the best Order Draconis armies are Dragons (plural) plus cavalry.

Saurus knights are good but I hate the models. Demigryph Knights are out for you but I also hate the models. Dark Riders are light cavalry probably not suited to what you want and likewise the Doomfire Warlocks are great in a Daughters of Khaine army but I've never used them outside of one.

Edited by zedatkinszed
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     Several people have already given you  some great lists of some of the books and supplements you could pick up but if you’re wanting to play Free Guild and Ironweld I’d also recommend the Season of War: Firestorm campaign supplement. The book in there adds free cities as an allegiance option giving you access to some faction bonuses you can use with a Freeguild and Ironweld army (or most mixed order armies) and can serve as a “mini-battletome” for those factions.

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