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tactical advice to improve


peasant
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hi! Although Ive played 20 games or so Im being regularly smashed (t2 or t3, is my usual time to fall into pieces). The problem is clearly mine( Iplay nurgle ), i tend to play without thinking, charging as i see the chance ... 

mind you guys share some insight, tactical discoveries,etc. ?

 

thx in advance

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1 minute ago, peasant said:

hi! Although Ive played 20 games or so Im being regularly smashed (t2 or t3, is my usual time to fall into pieces). The problem is clearly mine( Iplay nurgle ), i tend to play without thinking, charging as i see the chance ... 

mind you guys share some insight, tactical discoveries,etc. ?

 

thx in advance

biggest tip is play objective scenarios and if you do, play the objectives not focussing on destroying your opponent. Especially as Nurgle. 

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Tactics is a dark art that often gets very under studied by gamers online. They get distracted with army lists and points and the fine areas of terrain deployment and army use and tactics gets significantly overlooked.

 

To my mind there are several potential areas that you can improve upon that should help you:

1) Understand probabilities. No I don't mean you've got to break out a huge book on maths theory, but you should at least go through the army you have and get a feeling for what is and isn't "really" powerful. Know that a unit with hit 3 and wound 3 is going to be a more reliable damage dealer than a hit 3 and wound 4 (at least assuming the same number of attacks). Note which units do mortal wounds and which do normal wounds; which ones have special abilities etc...

What you are doing here is studying how your army works, you're getting a feel for which units want to move fast into combat; which ones might have a high save and thus are tougher to kill. You can also look at internal synergies. This is where you've got a unit that might appear mostly weak in all areas, but has one powerful attribute; then you go looking for a spell, item or other unit that will give that unit a buff in its weaker areas. Taking a unit with a 6+ armour save and throwing a spell and aura on it which takes it to a +4 and lets it swing its magical axe with 3hit 3 wound 10 attacks is (if slightly extreme) an example of taking something that clearly can dish out a lot of damage and protecting it with support. 

These concepts start to give you a rough idea of a plan of how to use your army. Think about what kind of unit yours will be good against. That unit that dishes out mortal wounds is going to be great against an enemy unit that has a lot of armour; meanwhile those units that dish out a large volume of weaker attacks is going to be better against a lower armour, but perhaps larger number unit etc.... These give you a plan for how to use your army even before your opponent has put down a single model of their own. 

2) Look at the terrain. So you've studied your army, now its time to study the terrain on the board. Look for things like areas where the terrain protects you from ranged fire; areas of dangerous terrain to pass through; gaps and passages and generally get a feel for where the open dangerous areas are. You won't be able to protect everything and hide it up, but you should be able to at least see where you can hide a mage to protect it; or even a block of warriors. Where you might want to put flying units so that they can hide and then fly over and strike etc... Part of this also links into the quality of terrain and how its placed on the table. A good table will have a variety of terrains and aims to break up the open field, there should be line of sight blocking terrain; areas of harder mobility and even whole areas of denied access. 

3) Look at your opponents army. If you're newer there's no shame in asking to look at the warscrolls for your opponents units, though as all warscrolls are online on the GW storepages for the models, you can have a glance before a game if you know in advance what faction your opponent will take. Here you're studying it the same way you looked at your own army and then seeing what in your force could potentially counter your opponents. When your opponent starts to put down models you can start to try and counter their deployment. This doesn't mean putting what you will use directly opposite their models, things will move around on the board. But it is about getting an idea where you want to send your units and where you want to best land your attacks. 
 

4) Combined arms. Taking it a step further consider combined arms. Your weaker units might not take on the enemies thick block of heavily armed troops and win. But what they might well do is tackle them and hold them in combat for a turn and let you sweep in your elite units to really dish out damage. Sure your elite units are not as numerous, but they will have more reliable power and attacks to deal out damage. Now you're using combined arms, one unit to tangle the other to deal the real damage. 

5) As said above, look to the real way to win not just killing. If the mission is objectives to secure and you've a unit that is held in reserve (eg Khinerai) then you might hold them till the latter part of the game, ready to deploy right atop an objective that your opponent has overlooked. Giving you an easy way to secure it. Or you might drop them in to contest an objective that you've ignored (focusing on others) so that your opponent can't score from it. A lot of players get hooked on killing and forget to notice that instead of going for kills they can win by holding points, contesting them etc...

6) Don't rush. Take a few moments to think about your turn and ignore your opponent (they might well try to goad you into attacking certain units or focusing on things that they want you to). Think about where things are going to move, check warscrolls and consider the likelihood of how well your attack is going to go if you're going to make one. Maybe you've got a unit just within range to charge an enemy unit, but if they charge and attack you're not going to kill all that many - but wait your archers are within range too, you could fire them first then move your close combat units in against a weakened unit! Plus you already took a hero with a support spell for your troops who is in range of your combat troops so first up cast that spell on them; then fire the archers then charge. Now you've taken what was an impulsive idea to just charge and instead twisted the odds far more so in your favour. 

Of course on the real battlefield you might have multiple viable targets so you've got to spend a few moments choosing and deciding which are the real threats. Note that sometimes the real threat isn't always the strongest unit. The enemy might have that uber broken powerful superhero unit. But its only one model, you could ignore it and instead go for the bulk of their army; knock out those weak skeletons and take the objective rather than focusing everything on a powerful unit that will only distract and tie up a large portion of your army only on the off-chance of killing it. 

 

 

 

A lot of this comes easier with time and sometimes its good to play smaller games to start with so that the number of choices is, by design, far smaller. If you've only got 500 points to work with then the armies are much smaller and the choices a bit easier to come up with. 

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-as nurgle go for objectives

-support always melee heroes with a unit of blightkings at least, never charge with him alone or before that unit did (if u fail with kings don't even try) 

-play at least 1 caster to change the wheel where u want (your opponent will always rethink before moving or charging if u can add +2 more or +1 wound at will, same for hero mortal wound possibility) 

 

-rustfang is a must but never throw the hero into something just to debuff it, he don't need to die fast, he need to survive long and strike with it the best unit possible

-as nurgle u need to wait the other to engage and bait the strongest unit with a tarpit or a low point unit 

 

-nurgle units have many wounds, if u focus on objectives and on baiting the enemy unit that has the more damage output to kill it in 1 turn (focus it with mortal wounds and with units that counter it) you can win 50%

 

- units that do mortals wounds are a must, try few games with a sorcerer with plague squall or/and rotigus, or if u want to try a plague priest (for 80 points his hero phase abilities are strong) 

 

-try gutrot, he force your opponent to place key "weak" units more on defense

 

-never base all your plan on blades of putrefaction 

Edited by calcysimon
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#1 - know all the rules backward and forwards

#2 - know your army backwards and forwards

#3 - be at least closely familiar with all army books and what those armies can do and their statlines.  I recommend flash cards and drill yourself nightly until you have memorized most of the statlines.  Its really not as hard as it sounds.

#4 - know how to construct a list that is not handicapping you.  If you know your army backwards and forwards you will know what artefacts to consider, what items to absolutely avoid, what units can do a lot of damage (the more mortal wounds the better since your opponent cannot save those) and what units can take a lot of damage.   I try to make sure most of my units put out mortal wounds if possible.  Nurgle doesn't have a lot of that and are not an army that I'd use because of that, but they are still used quite a bit for their defensive abilities.  I'd still consider finding allies that do a lot of mortal wounds personally if you are in love with nurgle.

Avoid units that don't have a role or other units do that role better.

#5 - in game, play the objectives at all times.  If the goal is to take objectives, always be thinking about how you can secure your objectives and deny your opponent theirs.  If charging an enemy will result in you likely losing a unit (know how to do the math to figure out the average damage you will do vs the damage done back before you charge) and letting them cap an objective, do not charge.  

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thank pals! what huge amount of inspiring ideas, I start to.see a pattern in my mistakes. Not caring about terrain pr enemy deploiment, urge to charge, in list tailoring Itend to overlook units for choosing always maximun offensive capabilities...

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I think a key mistake that I make (not sure if you do too) is not recognizing when your opponent has deployed something purely as a tar-pit (bunch of throw-away units that are intended to bog you down whilst they do something more important elsewhere).

If you can spot the tar-pit, do what you'd do in real life. Steer clear of it, nice and far, I think part of this is knowing enemy armies and what units can really bog you down as it's not always the high-model count unit.

Edited by Skasian
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I'll throw in some pointers that might come in handy. Knowing your army and the opponent's army is well and good, but I would say that the most important part there is to get a quick general idea of what a unit can do, and how it fares against specific enemy units.

Don't overthink it, but make a conclusion and trust yourself to have made the right one. With experience you will make more accurate mental matchups. The idea being to save brainpower/prevent mental exhaustion/stress by not -actively- considering everything constantly, but shifting through internal checkboxes and making conclusions.

(As a side note; increasing the opponent's mental stress by giving them difficult decisions to make/many things to deal with is an effective strategy (deepstriking onto an objective, charging two high-value targets, threatening a large portion of the map, having a scary looking monster, etc.) 

Anyway, onto the tidbits.

1. You don't need to kill the enemy to outscore them. If you identify key enemy units that are either capable of a) chewing through important units of yours/remove your objective grabbers, or b) outnumber and outlast you on an objective, then you know where to focus your offensive efforts. Heroes and such fall into this category if they can buff a harmless unit into an a) or b), or fulfill that role themselves.

In short; Remove the tools of your opponent. Reckognize what they need to destroy you (point wise), and play accordingly.

2. Only charge if you can hit them hard, gain a lasting positional advantage, or hinder their movement/shooting. Reckognize that charging usually means getting hit back, and charging twice or more always means one of your units are hit before they can attack.

If you never charge, and always retreat, there would only ever be 5 rounds of close combat, as opposed to 10. Find the balance of what your army can handle.

3. Accept losses. Okay, you lost a unit. Plan for it, even go as far as expect it prematurely. Unit losses are a big source of feeling like the game is lost. Staying above that means you can use that knowledge against your opponent, rather than becoming a victim of it yourself. 

4. Magic is unreliable. Damage is unreliable. Saves are unreliable. 

Movement is the only sure thing you have. Get good at it, and the rest will fall into place. Good positioning, bad rolls is always better than bad positioning, good rolls 

 

5. Strategy. Have a plan for the game. Play to your strengths, plan around your weaknesses. Being aware of the opponent's strengths takes precedence over their weakness. If you can only see one, make sure it is strength. 

6. Deployment. It is less important to have zero drops than it is to outposition the opponent. If you can't hit one or two drops, then instead having a much larger drop count than the opponent will enable you to position yourself according to their setup at your leisure.

Always expect to be given the first turn.

 

7. And the most important part; Have fun. Make a point of it. You play better when enjoying yourself, and will be more mentally relaxed. 

There is zero strategic gain in getting annoyed or frustrated. 

 

Hope any of the above proved useful :) Take whatever you feel is helpful, and disregard whatever does not apply. 

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2 hours ago, peasant said:

thank pals! what huge amount of inspiring ideas, I start to.see a pattern in my mistakes. Not caring about terrain pr enemy deploiment, urge to charge, in list tailoring Itend to overlook units for choosing always maximun offensive capabilities...

Nurgle don't do combat- by that i mean they're not generally going to dish out massive damage in combat and remove a unit in one turn, except for specific combinations of spells/buffs on plague drones and a good match up with blightkings. Nurgle have great resilience which is really what you want to use to your advantage. So it's not so much Stay out of combat completely as Don't just charge into combat- combat for nurgle is generally what they use to stop enemy units from moving to objectives, not to destroy them! Getting 30 plaguebearers into combat with an enemy dragon will ****** them off mightily- it'll take at least 2 turns to churn through and their most powerful unit is being taken up with removing a battleline unit!

There's also a basic principle in any conflict - you and your opponent have 3 units each- a strength 1, strength 2 and strength 3 unit. How do you make it so you kill more of theirs? Or more precisely- how to you engage them to your advantage when on the surface you're both perfectly balanced with identical range of units? Engage you weakest strength 1 unit with their strength 3 unit- as i said above, 30 plaguebearers will generally hamstring any big dragon in the game! Then engage their strength 2 unit with your strength 3 unit and their strength 1 unit with your strength 2 unit. Your 3 beats their 2, your 2 beats their 1, and their strength 3 is just occupied with taking your weakest unit off the table. This is actually pretty difficult to work with in AoS because units may be strong at one thing and weak at another, but it's worth keeping in mind as a principle. Don't be afraid to chuck your battlelines and weaker units as chaff to die, but keep back your heavy hitters for taking out the enemy's middle strength units. Rushing a GUO or Glottkin into a combat turn 1 is the absolute worst thing you can do! But rushing 30 plagubearers into a dragon, or 5 blightkings into the enemy's battleline unit is an excellent thing to do!

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9 hours ago, Mayple said:

6. Deployment. It is less important to have zero drops than it is to outposition the opponent. If you can't hit one or two drops, then instead having a much larger drop count than the opponent will enable you to position yourself according to their setup at your leisure.

What does this mean exactly?

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I think Mayple is talking about when you are in the deployment phase and each "drop" being each unit you put on the table. I think the basic thrust is that if you have a lot more individual units on the table than your opponent then you can be more  tactical even at that stage of the game.

As  most battleplans alternate (I go, you go) the deployment step and as there are no restrictions on what must be deployed first; you can easily choose to put only your weaker units down first. Thus meaning when your opponent runs out of units (drops) you've still got several, and your more powerful/important, which you can then place down without risk of your opponent directly mirror countering them.

It's a risky gamble that will only work with some armies as ideally you don't want to spread all your units too thin else they'll lose out on endurance as they will have fewer bodies so fewer wounds. 

 

 

That said it is a very good point; choosing what you put down and when is very important since you can be crafty at that stage. Even if you know exactly where you will put things, you can still hold back on the better units so that there is less chance for your opponent to counter your positioning at the very early stage of the game. 

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@Overread pretty much nailed it ;)

To expand, I often gravitate towards having 2-3 units deployed "off the board"//As reinforcements (gutter runners, ogor gorgers, etc..) for that very reason. Often against opponents who try to go for the null deployment approach, that means by the time their whole army is on the board, I start putting down my first unit. 

(For the sake of clarity, that means; They go, I drop a unit in hiding, they go, I drop another unit in hiding, they go, I drop the last unit in hiding, they go, I start deploying stuff onto the actual battlefield. Essentially giving me free reign of where I want stuff to be at the measly cost of 2-3 tiny units that serve a purpose beyond the deployment, but make their points worth it by that feat alone) 

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31 minutes ago, Skasian said:

But don't most of the factions have a line saying 'for each unit deployed on the board you can put one in reserve?' so essentially you need to deploy on the board first before you can place on the off the board?

Not to my knowledge, no :) That's more of a 40k thing.

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"You can set up one reserve unit in the Celestial Realm
for each unit you have set up on the battlefield."

Stormcast Tome 2018

"You can set up one reserve unit in the ambush
for each BEASTS OF CHAOS unit you have set up on the battlefield."

Beast of Chaos Tome  2018

"You can set up one reserve unit in the underworlds
for each unit you have set up on the battlefield."

Nighthaunt Tome 2018

etc...

The wording implies you have to have 1 unit setup on the battlefield before you can setup one in reserve. Am I misinterpreting?

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It's not universal though, Daughter's of Khaine have no such reserves deployment note that I can find, in their Battletome and yet they've got Khinerai which have a specific ability that lets them be deployed off-table. Then again some units like Khinerai or assassins are going to nearly always be deployed "off table" as that is the most advantageous place to put them, so most opponents will assume that that is where they will start the game - the only way to trick or confuse them would be to deploy them to the battlefield (which will either worry them that you've got a very specific strategy or that you're a novice who hasn't yet mastered the army)

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Also I'd like to bring this thread into focus 

 

Mathhammer is the core of how you can estimate the performance of your army. It's basic fractions and probabilities and on its surface is a simplistic way to measure how effective things are. Once you understand some of the rough maths underneath you can better evaluate and compare units on how damaging they can be with various abilities and attacks. You won't have to break out the maths every time, instead it more acts as a foundation for understanding. 

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9 hours ago, Skasian said:

"You can set up one reserve unit in the Celestial Realm
for each unit you have set up on the battlefield."

Stormcast Tome 2018

"You can set up one reserve unit in the ambush
for each BEASTS OF CHAOS unit you have set up on the battlefield."

Beast of Chaos Tome  2018

"You can set up one reserve unit in the underworlds
for each unit you have set up on the battlefield."

Nighthaunt Tome 2018

etc...

The wording implies you have to have 1 unit setup on the battlefield before you can setup one in reserve. Am I misinterpreting?

I don’t play any of those army’s (yet) but I think you are right. Interesting that they make that distinction in newer tomes. I would also understand interpreting it as a limitation in the list building stage, but I think you are right. 

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It's a solid concept for armies that have a lot of reserve capable units in order to stop them just deploying everything off-table or deploying the bulk of their units off-table. Otherwise they could legally leave most of their army out of the game until they need them; giving them a massively unfair advantage 

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Hi, I've just returned from a game against SCE and used part of your advices and was totally a blast! Instead of advancing and try to charge just stayed in my deploiment zone. SCE shot with its ballista and my wizards with rampant disease and plague squall by the third turn, the SCE were severely decimated and my army unscattered. He tried a desperate charge with mounted evocators but with no luck. I was very confident at that point as I gathered a lot of contagion points and had a lot of points from objectives. I'm in love with my army again! 

Thanks pals

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@Skasian I'm reffering to specific units that are able to deploy off the board, as @Overread noted. (I like where your head is at @Overread by the way. Solid grasp of the game. Kudos!)

In my example I mentioned Gutter Runners and Gorgers (Gutbusters) as type of units that can deploy "in hiding". Feel free to check them out :)

Your own examples involve faction-wide "free" off-board deployment. As a grand alliance player I've never had the luxury of those, but it makes sense that there'd be some trade of to it. That trade of is not universal however, and does not apply to other factions, or individual unit with special deployment rules unless specifically noted. Mind that it is also reffering to specific deployment rules, "Celestial Realm", "Ambush", "Underworld", when it notes the limitations. 

 

@Peasant happy to hear it worked out :)

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28 minutes ago, Skasian said:

Fair enough @Mayple, I'm still really new to the game and have seen limited units in action and I thought I just misinterpreted the rules myself. Thanks for clarifying.

You're doing good research, so I'm sure you'll reach a state of complete overview in no time :) As a potential helpful side note, there's a lot of small rules in Age of Sigmar that are easy to assume how they work, and being wrong about it without ever knowing. For instance, me and my gaming group played "re-rolls before modifiers" tied to "re-roll failed.." incorrectly for two years before realizing. So you're on the right track with questioning and seeking clarification, for sure ;) It is beneficial for everyone involved.

What army do you play, or plan to get involved with? Out of curiosity :)

Edited by Mayple
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