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KoW player, getting interested in AoS, faction question


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I picked up TT again after a 10 year-hiatus two-and-a-half years ago. When checking on the current status of WHFB, my first impression of the then-relatively new AoS threw me off and I opted for Kings of War instead. Since then, AoS seems to have matured and stabilized both as a setting and as a rulesystem. I also like the newer, more down-to-earth models better than the gigantic statues of Archaon, Nagash and the like. In any case, AoS has generated enough interest in me to want to try it out. The two factions that interest me the most are two of the "classic", old-school ones: Slaves to Darkness and Free People. (I play their counterparts, Varangur and League of Rhordia, in KoW). 

However, following the development of AoS and its factions as a non-player, it is my understanding that it's still in the balance wether those two in particular will get full support by GW or eventually get the Bret treatment. 

Hence my question, is it smart to start collecting SoD or Free People in AoS now, or would it be better to wait another 6-8 months or so to see if or when those two factions will see a full release with proper battletomes? 

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Both Slaves to Darkness and Free Peoples have army pages in the Generals Handbook 2018 with artifacts, army abilities and Command traits. It's also fairly safe to say that Free Peoples should certainly get some kind of army treatment at some stage as GW has yet to add a single human faction (stormcast are not humans).

That said both lack a Battletome and thus are not fully fleshed out. They lack things like spell lores and any wider ranging abilities plus they haven't (esp for Free peoples) likely got their army composition firmly set in stone. Many are hoping for 2019 to be a big year for GW updating and adding Battletomes to get more armies functional and "fixed" in the setting. 


I would say that the core of both forces is pretty safe and, excluding the launch period, GW hasn't been ending lines since. In fact they've been consolidating and firming things up more than anything else. Beasts of Chaos got a big update and Battletome which mostly pulled together several previously separate subfactions into a single functional army. It's treatment I'd expect for Free Peoples. 


So I would say both are solid safe choices, but what will happen to them is hard to say until they get a Battletome. You could start collecting the core of either force and wait and see; its unlikely GW will replace any existing models that are already in plastic. Even building up to a decent force - just get the Generals Handbook 2018 and note that the warscrolls are on every store page for each model so you can print them off from there. 

Edited by Overread
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Ok, so bookwise, what are the must-haves to get into the game? The rule book of course, the Grand Alliance books (I take it those are comparable to the Index Imperium/Chaos/Xenos from 40k?), the respective faction's battletome, and the General's Handbook of the current year? 

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Actually you don't need Grand Alliance Books - they have only warscrolls (mostly outdated) and bits of lore. Core book is good if you want to play GA army or want to learn the lore, but most of rules are either free (core rules) or in General's Handbook.

Depending of your faction you should buy:

- General's Handbook 2018 (have all point values, all Matched Play battleplans etc.)

- Battletome (if exists, with exception of Fyreslayers, Ironjawz, Pestilens, Seraphon, Everchosen, Flesh-Eater Courts - only lore, no rules in them)

and later

- Malign Sorcery set (for Endless Spells and Realm rules, additionaly you should buy faction -specific Endless Spells)

- Core book  (for lore and GA allegiance rules).

Edited by michu
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The Grand Alliance books were some of the first printed for AoS and are pretty out of date now by and large in terms of rules. The game has evolved and solidified itself quite well in 2.0. So for must have books, based on your army choices mentioned above:

1) The Big Rule Book. Although the free rules document on the GW website will cover the rules, the book also has a lot of lore about the Realms as well as some Battleplans and specific rules for things like Matched Play (its not a huge amount, but has a few important bits such as only being able to take one of any named endless spell per army). 

2) The Generals Handbook 2018. This has both of your armies rules in them as well as up to date points for all the models as well as some more battleplans. It doesn't have warscrolls (ergo the rules for each model), however those are on the WB website store under each model (under the downloads tab). So you can get them for free and print them off. 

3) Maligan Sorcery boxed set. You get the book (which has realm spells and artifacts which are optionally used in games); The Endless spell models that are universal (any faction can use them) and the Endless spell Warscroll cards (which have the endless spell rules on them - note these are not included in the book). 

Whilst this latter item is optional it is fairly widely used today. Endless spells are very popular whilst realm artifacts and spells vary in who does and doesn't use them, but they are used more often than not. So its a worthwhile investment for a good bunch of spell models and rules and its less than a getting started boxed set. 


And that's really all you need to buy. There are FAQ and Errata updates for each of those three publications on the GW website as well, so they can be good to get hold of to answer a few common questions and to check on errata changes. Most often its small things or cleaning up rules changes - etc... rather than vast changes. 


Of course if the time comes that either of those armies gets a battletome then that becomes a required purchase and the Generals Handbook moves down a notch, but its likely a worthwhile investment for the now. 

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