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What is the most difficult army to master?


Enoby
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I was just talking with a friend who had recently started Blades of Khorne. He was lamenting that they were very hard to win with as you needed to play with combos in mind, and plan ahead for protecting heroes.

It made me wonder what people consider to be the hardest army to master? By 'master', I don't necessarily mean at a tournament level, but rather get to a point where you can understand the army and play it to the best of its capabilities. If an army isn't very strong (and so loses a lot), but it's easy to use its main combos and play it as well as possible, it's not difficult to master. 

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I believe that Bretonnia and Tomb Kings are a very hard army’s to master.

as for army’s that Gw still seems to keep alive, we’ll army’s  with no  battletomes or any really greatly needed updates, are probably also rather difficult to master.

for example would be those faction which only have like hero options or 1battleline unit if you take their allegiance.

something like The masterclan, or firebellies will be a faction that cannot fight on their own or be the only faction used to make a legal army list.

 

Edited by Skreech Verminking
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While Firebelly's (and those types of factions) would be very difficult to play well, they're very easy to master. A peak firebelly list would be, well, made of one model with no combos to speak of (and would also be unplayable in matched play). Impossible to make good, but too restrictive to say they're difficult to master.   

 

A difficult to master army likely has many, many options and is very difficult to make combos out of, but is also rewarding when those combos are made. 

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I think glass cannon typ armies are the hardest too master as they can't take much punishment and will down quickly when not used right. 

There is a few such armies right now but its hard for me to determine which one needs the most skill.
The Daughters of Khaine are incredibly strong when used thanks to their allegiance abilities and numerous buffs. On the other hand, it feels like they would be at least a solid mid-level army even without these.

Another faction are the Kharadron Overlords. They lack the buffs and synergy the DoK can bring to their table but their terrible saves and slow movement mean that they have to be overly careful in the movement and shooting face or they will crumble quickly.

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I'd vote for Daughters of Khaine. They have some really great potential but it relies on careful management of buffs and synergies. Because they are universally fragile and also lack innate rend it would be easy to lose control of the game quite quickly. 

I also believe Deepkin are quite tricky, they can be very strong but again are fairly fragile and really heavily upon control of the battlefield to succeed. 

Lastly I would be tempted to suggest Stormcast, this might seem crazy but consider how many units they have. Some abilities are actually quite complicated to master as well, ride the winds a etheric, cycle of the storm and the Prime all require planning that can often go badly wrong. 

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There's a very good video by @heywoah_twitch that just came out.  He talks about pros and cons of all armies, including how difficult they are to master.

This video backs up your views on Khorne...they can be very technical, and there is a high degree of forward planning, concentration and finesse required to maximise their overlapping buffs...or to create a "Venn Diagram of Murder", as he puts it!

Well worth a watch I think.  The title undersells how useful and interesting this video is for experienced players too.

Edit: forgot the link, derp

 

Edited by PlasticCraic
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At this time I’m finding Legions of Nagash to be pretty difficult to master, so much so, in fact I needed to write down all of my rules in the hero phase and movement phase of when to use what as a priority system!

i play Blades of Khorne and Ironjawz too and never had such a long and intense hero and movement phase! Lots to keep track of, especially with the goofy lists I use.

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I think Stormcast are a classic case of easy to pick up, hard to master. They have a lot of overlapping rules and many of their non-obvious picks have the potential to be strong if used right (the Vanguard chamber in particular stands out as a hard army to master in my mind).

Slyvaneth are somewhat hard to master as they rely on tactical awareness and luring your opponent.

The new Beasts of Chaos seem pretty hard to master too though haven't seen much about them yet.

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From my limited experience I would say Idoneth Deepkin. Unless you do eel spam alpha strike; I don’t think that is too difficult to master, it’s more point and delete. But outside of that, it’s a glass hammer, fast army with a lot of buffs that say “wholly within” and powerful spells with limited range. Difficult to master painting them too!

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On 10/7/2018 at 11:25 PM, HollowHills said:

I'd vote for Daughters of Khaine. They have some really great potential but it relies on careful management of buffs and synergies. Because they are universally fragile and also lack innate rend it would be easy to lose control of the game quite quickly. 

I also believe Deepkin are quite tricky, they can be very strong but again are fairly fragile and really heavily upon control of the battlefield to succeed. 

Lastly I would be tempted to suggest Stormcast, this might seem crazy but consider how many units they have. Some abilities are actually quite complicated to master as well, ride the winds a etheric, cycle of the storm and the Prime all require planning that can often go badly wrong. 

I wouldn't put the most overpowered army as the "most difficult army to master"

Edited by ledha
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I would agree on Idoneth being the hardest to master, as their entire army is reliant on turn specific windows of opportunity, and if you miss these windows you're at a severe disadvantage, due to having glass hammer elite infantry without  protection; it's really easy for Namarti units to be caught in the open at the wrong time, and they're the ones who hold your objectives (talking a reasonable and well balanced list, not that 24 eel bs).

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1 hour ago, ledha said:

I would put the most overpowered army as the "most difficult army to master"

What do you mean? Personally I'd be arguing that Legions of Nagash is by far the most overpowered army at the moment, and yet because of their overall durability and access to incredibly efficient units are not particularly difficult to play. 

Which of the three armies I mentioned do you consider to be the most overpowered? 

Also its entirely possible for an army to be very strong at the top end of competitive play and still be difficult to play. 

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Khorne is tough because there are so many options.  Many of which look great on paper (cough.karanak) but don't work out too well on the table.  There are many many characters that have great stats and abilities,  but won't buff your units like an aspiring deathbringer will.  What's better? A guy that has an extra attack or a guy that gives 20 skullreapers extra attacks?

Also there is very limited synergy between daemons and mortals so even though you have a ton of powerful units to choose from only about half of them work with each other.  I started out with daemons and moved to mostly mortals.  But now with daemon summoning I have a lot of flexibility with my models.

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15 hours ago, Enoby said:

I was just talking with a friend who had recently started Blades of Khorne. He was lamenting that they were very hard to win with as you needed to play with combos in mind, and plan ahead for protecting heroes.

It made me wonder what people consider to be the hardest army to master? By 'master', I don't necessarily mean at a tournament level, but rather get to a point where you can understand the army and play it to the best of its capabilities. If an army isn't very strong (and so loses a lot), but it's easy to use its main combos and play it as well as possible, it's not difficult to master. 

Have you checked out HeyWhoa introduction to AoS? He rates all the factions based on difficulty across game play, list building and trap units that look cool but suck. 

That's the best info on gameplay difficulty I've seen. Btw BoK are rated as relativly difficult to play and have lots of trap units that don't really do much.

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