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SwampHeart

Shooting and the Meta

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Shooting is a tough nut to crack because if you allow strong shooting, it is a form of alpha strike.  You can reach out and do a lot of damage at range from the get-go.  

This can lead to a negative play experience.

But at the same time, alpha striking is pretty much the key for most strongly competitive players and armies, because the object IS to beat your opponent before they get to do anything.

So I don't think strong shooting CAN be balanced.  I think it needs to be looked at exactly like an alpha striking teleporting into combat on turn 1 army.  

The name of the game is to do as much damage as you possibly can to your opponent in turn 1 before they can respond.

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I think one possibility would be shorter ranges to shooting units, but making those units a bit tougher than they currently are.  If you decrease ranges, you can't have the units crumble like wet paper towels either.

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yeah lets face it, even discounting Aelven magic or Duardin smithing a properly trained and seasoned human longbowman would be brutal on the tabletop if they didn't nerf it into oblivion.

 

 

english__002fwelsh-longbowman.jpg

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I left 40k for AoS because I wanted to actually play my Khorne units and not place them on the table to be removed by shooting turn one. I wanted to play a horde of warriors and not Rhino Rush. I'm happy with the current state of AoS. I've played against heavy magic armies and I actually feel like I have a chance.

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I think @andysonic1 has abit of a point. This is the more melee oriented game. 

 

More over if you look at 40k games they are over by turn 1. Part of that is the none randomized initiative, but the other part is that your whole army can apply tradmendous force on every unit from your opponents army with little or no counter play if you go first. 

 

I think as another commenter above said. Shooting should be short ranged and impactful, but also tied to units that are also pretty decent melee fighters. 

 

Look at the games 3 pillars we can see:

 

Melee is straight up, a game of positioning and choices. He who strikes first and with single big units pravails. It usually can only kill what your opponent puts in front. As such the counter player is good positioning and chaffe. 

 

Magic is a gamble that is best at dropping enemy heros or key units, and also have a buffing aspect. Is a gamble as your magic can be turned off by your opponent bringing better magic users, and as such general only one player per game can use there till magical might. It's as a I said a gamble and had counter play in that you know your opponents effective range is very fixed, and you can being counter magic. 

 

Shooting, used to be the hero sniper, but that job is not firmly magic. Shoot should be high damage not based on any individual shooting attack, but because all of your army can target 1 unit and kill it till its dead. Unlike melee which cant get ever unit in melee with 1 enemy unit. Thankful with aos 2.0 they built counter shooting into the game, by letting melee units tie up thier shooting attacks. This is good because before shooting unit were really playing with you, and more just racing to kill all your stuff before they all died. 

 

Honestly, shooting fundamentally is in a good spot. I just thing shooting units as a whole are maybe almost all 20pts more than they should be. 

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They could just cap the number of duplicate units and lower the max number.  Then people couldn't just spam whatever.  Would make armies more diverse and remove the spam meta we see

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1 hour ago, JPjr said:

yeah lets face it, even discounting Aelven magic or Duardin smithing a properly trained and seasoned human longbowman would be brutal on the tabletop if they didn't nerf it into oblivion.

 

 

english__002fwelsh-longbowman.jpg

Love this warscroll!

It also got me thinking on the role of English Longbowmen in disrupting enemy formations and charges, as well as funneling enemy units in the direction of heavy foot infantry. Along these lines I wonder if you could have a rule where only half a charging units front line could fight after a successful charge, if a shooting unit had fired all of their shots at it (could base it on the number of hits achieved perhaps...). This could represent having to raise shields and losing sight of their squadmates and coherency, being knocked back by impacts, or having casualties fall out of a solid line of infantry.

Probably adds a needless layer of complication and book keeping, but could add some defensive power to ranged units.

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What if the shooting phase occurred once per battle round, but both players did their shooting simultaneously?

You and your opponent declare attacks on an I-go-you-go basis like in combat, but no casualties are removed until the end of the phase. That way all shooting attacks would take place, but there's still a form of alpha strike capability (send your strong shooting to the back lines to snipe out a hero, etc.) that isn't as likely to cause an overwhelmingly negative play experience.

Just spit-balling here.

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2 hours ago, rokapoke said:

What if the shooting phase occurred once per battle round, but both players did their shooting simultaneously?

You and your opponent declare attacks on an I-go-you-go basis like in combat, but no casualties are removed until the end of the phase. That way all shooting attacks would take place, but there's still a form of alpha strike capability (send your strong shooting to the back lines to snipe out a hero, etc.) that isn't as likely to cause an overwhelmingly negative play experience.

Just spit-balling here.

Not too shabby! It would give a feeling of actual meaningful interaction, and if you chose to opt out of shooting entirely, that'd be a -choice- as much as opting out of the magic phase, which is heck of a lot better than "Oh, my army got shot to pieces on turn one? Well, Uh, I guess you win?" :)  Not a bad thought at all.

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On 11/20/2018 at 12:42 PM, Nos said:

Total speculation but shooting in AOS is broadly damage over time, which isn't in favour at present because the meta revolves around instant decapitation at present. Also most of the current top armies have means of recovering from wounds in a prior round so DOT attacks are often a poor return.  

I think this is it to a T. I used to take two units of Judicators for battleline but more and more find myself leaving them off. Between deepkin trickery, wyldwoods owning the board with no way to counter them and most especially the healing that negates the 2 or 3 wounds I might get from shooting there is just no point. One of the things I liked about AoS for a long time was the grindy nature of the combat where you would hope to get an edge over two or three combats in one fight. Now it is very much either "this unit deletes other units(witch elves)" or "this unit cannot be killed (kurnoth hunters)."

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Shooting is a tough balance. 

I think the LOS for small heroes has led to less shooting, which has in turn led to more Nagash, Arkan, Cauldrons of Blood and other large key units in lists.  

I think if an army brings enough output to drop Nagash, then that is also enough to do the damage vs other armies, but one bad realm/battleplan combo and its game over. 

 

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On 12/14/2018 at 1:07 PM, mmimzie said:

I think @andysonic1 has abit of a point. This is the more melee oriented game. 

 

More over if you look at 40k games they are over by turn 1. Part of that is the none randomized initiative, but the other part is that your whole army can apply tradmendous force on every unit from your opponents army with little or no counter play if you go first. 

 

I think as another commenter above said. Shooting should be short ranged and impactful, but also tied to units that are also pretty decent melee fighters. 

 

Look at the games 3 pillars we can see:

 

Melee is straight up, a game of positioning and choices. He who strikes first and with single big units pravails. It usually can only kill what your opponent puts in front. As such the counter player is good positioning and chaffe. 

 

Magic is a gamble that is best at dropping enemy heros or key units, and also have a buffing aspect. Is a gamble as your magic can be turned off by your opponent bringing better magic users, and as such general only one player per game can use there till magical might. It's as a I said a gamble and had counter play in that you know your opponents effective range is very fixed, and you can being counter magic. 

 

Shooting, used to be the hero sniper, but that job is not firmly magic. Shoot should be high damage not based on any individual shooting attack, but because all of your army can target 1 unit and kill it till its dead. Unlike melee which cant get ever unit in melee with 1 enemy unit. Thankful with aos 2.0 they built counter shooting into the game, by letting melee units tie up thier shooting attacks. This is good because before shooting unit were really playing with you, and more just racing to kill all your stuff before they all died. 

 

Honestly, shooting fundamentally is in a good spot. I just thing shooting units as a whole are maybe almost all 20pts more than they should be. 

 

40k games are over game 1 in the same sense being rushed by an alpha army in AoS ends the game turn 1.

 

Indeed, you are MORE LIKELY to lose turn 1 in AoS than you are in 40k since you can't build an army that crosses the board turn 1 or appears from where ever and beats your face in. If you have ever played against a gore fist for example. Witch elves can shenanigans a number of units into your lines. Rotbringers can poop ship and add something like 12 inches to the movement of their units. Et cetera et cetera.

 

And the do it for no risk.

 

So yeah. AoS suffers far more from what you think 40k does than 40k does since GW has consistently nerfed first turn alpha strikes.

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Shooting is great if used to soften or deleting support units. Taking of the final wounds to finish a monster or unit can be gamechanging. Don't brute force shooting. Also melee is effective twice per turn and shooting only once. I ve never been disappointed by shooting tbh. Just don't overly rely on it. 

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I have noticed that gw game players are super chauvinistic towards games they don't play and often have only the vaguest of ideas about HOW those games play and start pulling wild assumptions out of their butt about these games they don't play and maybe have glanced at the rules once, but they saw this one game a year ago and that is clearly representative of all the games.

 

as someone who plays pretty much every gw game barring shadespire (and now titanicus, though maybe in the future), it bothers me now to watch people slag off 40k on this board without pretty much any understanding of how the game works and no care to learn. If you're gonna dump on a game, there is plenty wrong to pick at, but for the love of God, make sure what you're saying makes any damn sense at all. The first turn alpha strike in 40k is mostly dead. All its tools got nerfed and the ways to defend against it got buffed. In the newest 40k missions, I'd rather go second now that you score at the end of the round. The only sorts of games decided by the first turn are those where two static gunlines line up to shoot each other, and that is a failing of list building and not game design.

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@stratigo 

A little out of the blue, no? What exactly are you reacting to here? No one has dumped on 40k, unless a post just before yours got deleted, which would add some sense to it. 

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8 minutes ago, Mayple said:

@stratigo 

A little out of the blue, no? What exactly are you reacting to here? No one has dumped on 40k, unless a post just before yours got deleted, which would add some sense to it. 

Yeah I see all of one post talking about 40k shooting alpha strikes - maybe someone just woke up cranky?

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On 12/26/2018 at 10:15 PM, stratigo said:

I have noticed that gw game players are super chauvinistic towards games they don't play and often have only the vaguest of ideas about HOW those games play and start pulling wild assumptions out of their butt about these games they don't play and maybe have glanced at the rules once, but they saw this one game a year ago and that is clearly representative of all the games.

 

as someone who plays pretty much every gw game barring shadespire (and now titanicus, though maybe in the future), it bothers me now to watch people slag off 40k on this board without pretty much any understanding of how the game works and no care to learn. If you're gonna dump on a game, there is plenty wrong to pick at, but for the love of God, make sure what you're saying makes any damn sense at all. The first turn alpha strike in 40k is mostly dead. All its tools got nerfed and the ways to defend against it got buffed. In the newest 40k missions, I'd rather go second now that you score at the end of the round. The only sorts of games decided by the first turn are those where two static gunlines line up to shoot each other, and that is a failing of list building and not game design.

You probably meant contemptuous. I do agree that a game should rated on its latest rules. I haven't tried it after the updates but also have no interest as it is too much shooting imo. Which is fine just not my type of game. 

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