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Death1942

Do Battalions Need A Rework?

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So I was digging through the book last night trying to decide between a Soulblight or Blood army and I was trying to see if I could fit any battalions in.  Aside from odd restrictions that need to be FAQ'd (No Crimson Keep in Soulblight or Blood from what I can see) it seems that our Battalions are far too restrictive and frankly the benefits are rubbish.


On a whole it seems like none of our battalions would ever seen competitive play and even if you do take one your benefits (outside of the CP) are very situational.  Do you think this was an oversight or a deliberate design decision for the death army?

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In short yes.  But I think they need reworking conceptually as well as at a faction level.  Some of them don't see the light of day under any play-style, let along matched play.

Currently in my eyes they're very points heavy due to the "benefits" that you get from them (+1 CP, +1 Artefact, one-drop).  I think changing some of these to make them less of a points investment would make them more viable.  I also think battalions have a lot of confusion surrounding them - the queries over Legion of Grief is a good example of where it's not clear what can and can't be done.  The weird way keywords work on them compounds this confusion.

The battalions within the Legions of Nagash battletome fell foul of GW trying to squeeze multiple allegiances into the one book, which meant that we didn't get quite the same range of battalions other battletomes do.  Hopefully at some point we may see this change, but I can't see this happening for a while if I'm honest.

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Posted (edited)

I think they shouldn't be the sole way of getting extra artefacts 

Edited by Walrustaco
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Besides the point that powerlevels of battalions vary, the real mess began with the rulechanges of 2.0 and the FAQ that should have been an Errata.

I mean, it should be clear from the beginning with 2.0 that this wasn't enough ruling for Battalions in the Allegiance:

Page 17

Quote

WARSCROLL BATTALIONS
A warscroll battalion can include
allies. They do not count against the
limit on the number of allied units
you can include in the army.

With that ruling you could basicly pack every battalion in the list ignoring ally rules completly.

I mean, we came from 1.0 with the ruling that units inside of Battalions either count to the Faction the Battalion has or ignore the Faction of the Battalion and use the Keyword all units inside share. Deathmarch and Castellans of the Crimson Keep was basicly created with this in mind, because in any other way, why choose Death as Battalion Keyword when Deathratte or Soulblight would have worked better, especially because they can get the Legion/Grandhost Keyword.

Then the real mess begans with the FAQ:

Quote

Q: The rules say that a warscroll battalion can include allies
and that they don’t count against the number of allies in the
army. Does this rule only apply to battalions that share the
same allegiance as the army, but that have units from two
different factions (a battalion in a Daughters of Khaine army
that has Daughters of Khaine and Stormcast Eternals units,
for example)?
A: Yes. The faction a warscroll battalion belongs to is
shown on its warscroll, above the title of the battalion.
In addition, the battalion is assumed to belong to the
Grand Alliance that its faction is a part of. Warscroll
battalions that share the same allegiance as an army
can always be taken as part of the army, and if they
include any allied units, these units do not count against
the limits on the number of allies the army can have
(or against the points limit that can be spent on allies
in a Pitched Battle). An army can include a warscroll
battalion of a different allegiance to the rest of the
army, but if it does so the units in it do count against the
limits on the number of allies the army can have (and
the points for the battalion and the units in it count
against the points limit that can be spent on allies in a
Pitched Battle).

Quote

Q: Some warscroll battalions included in battletomes do not
have a faction listed above their title. How do I determine which
faction they belong to for the purposes of allegiance abilities?
A: The battalion belongs to the battletome’s faction.
For example, the warscroll battalions in Battletome:
Stormcast Eternals are part of the Stormcast
Eternals faction.

So at this point they basicly crippled Everchosen Battalions (because you can't combine Chaos Warriors / Marauders with Varanguard in Everchosen Allegiance anymore like in 1.0 after they are still allies and so you need 2-3 Units of Varanguard to make the List legal) and Deathrattle and Soulblight basicly lost there only battaltion they had (Soulblight is actually the only one having Allegiance Abilities).

And it created this situation here with Beasts of Chaos:

Quote

Page 82 – Followers of the Brass Bull
Change to:
‘Units from this battalion gain the Khorne keyword. In
addition, this warscroll battalion is part of the Khorne
faction and the Beasts of Chaos faction.’

Page 83 – Covens of the Changer
Change to:
‘Units from this battalion gain the Tzeentch keyword.
In addition, this warscroll battalion is part of the
Tzeentch faction and the Beasts of Chaos faction.’

Page 84 – Vectors of the Plague God
Change to:
‘Units from this battalion gain the Nurgle keyword. In
addition, this warscroll battalion is part of the Nurgle
faction and the Beasts of Chaos faction.’

Page 85 – Marked by the Decadent Fiend
Change to:
‘Units from this battalion gain the Slaanesh keyword.
In addition, this warscroll battalion is part of the
Slaanesh faction and the Beasts of Chaos faction.’

Some times I have the feeling it would have been better if battalions had a Keywordline like Warscrolls have because at least the Rulebook FAQ and the Beasts of Chaos Errata would have been way shorter (after they wouldn't have needed to mention that the Battalion counts towards the Grand Alliance as well and in case of Beasts of Chaos the Battalions would look like this: Keywords: Chaos, Beasts of Chaos, Tzeentch instead of "this warscroll battalion is part of the
Tzeentch faction and the Beasts of Chaos faction.".)

And Keywordsharing like Legions of Nagash does would have been straight forward (still it would be partly a problem adding several Nighthaunt units, where basicly a keyword is missing so they had to add all warscrollnames that can be used inside the Legions/Grandhost).

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The whole implementation is a mess, and I'd rather see it completely changed.  Make artifacts separately purchasable & give them their own points costs, take cp and artefacts out of batalions, make non-faction units in battalions count towards allies and faction units not, dramatically reduce price of all of them.

Beyond those general complaints, my only complaints about legion battalions specifically is that there just arent enough of them.

Well, that and I dont think deathmarch should need three whole skeleton units.  Aesthetically, two skittle blocks flanking one gg block would look better, imo.

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6 hours ago, Sception said:

The whole implementation is a mess, and I'd rather see it completely changed.  Make artifacts separately purchasable & give them their own points costs, take cp and artefacts out of batalions, make non-faction units in battalions count towards allies and faction units not, dramatically reduce price of all of them.

Beyond those general complaints, my only complaints about legion battalions specifically is that there just arent enough of them.

Well, that and I dont think deathmarch should need three whole skeleton units.  Aesthetically, two skittle blocks flanking one gg block would look better, imo.

That last point was my feelings on a lot of these.  I really really want to run 2 units of blood knights and Vhordrai but 3 is too much of a stretch and it becomes basically my entire army at that stage.  I think they need to be careful (or rework the benefits of a battalion) to avoid the mess that is the 40k detachment spam and allies.  Making the battalions easier to run is good in the long run but we need to avoid opening up any for abuse (or auto includes).

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Now Blood Knights got a drop it's not as bad, but still a gamble of a large chunk of your force off the board turn one. 

The Battalions are all just quite weird and often not worth the extra cost:

Lords of Sacrament: OKAY but very expensive and doesn't stop weakness to MW.

Nightfall Pack: Extra attack on vsrgheists is okay, but you can take an extra unit of vsrgheists instead for the cost. CP and artefact not included though.

Court of Nulmina: so expensive for little gain.

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18 hours ago, Sception said:

make non-faction units in battalions count towards allies and faction units not, dramatically reduce price of all of them.

The problem here is it would basicly kill of most of the Mixbattalions, that don't make nonfaction units to faction units, because of the 1/4 Rule and partly because of the points. The Everchosen Godbattalions would still be completly useless (because 100% of the units haven't the Everchosen Keyword)

And it would kill the following Battalions as well.

  • Braggoth's Beast Hammer (Try to get 6 units of Beastclaw raiders into an army that contains a Frostlord on Stonehorn, 2 packs of Mournfangs and 2 units of Ironjaw Gore-Gruntas, you are basicly forced to play msu to make this possible)
  • Alliance of Wood and Sea (you would need 12 Units of Idoneth Deepkin for the 4 Units of Sylvaneth + the Sylvanethpart of the Battalion is at least 580 Points.
  • Aetherstrike Force (the army would need 12 Units of Kharadron Overlords for the 4 units of Stormcast Eternals )
  • Guardians of Alarielle* (the army would need 12 Units of Sylvaneth for the 4 units of Stormcast Eternals + Stormcast Eternals part of the Battalion is at least 480 Points)

*in case of Guardians of Alarielle I don't even know if this Battalion still exists in the new Sylvaneth Battletome.

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I'm inclined to agree with @EMMachine that the handful of battalions that allow inclusion of outside faction allies are actually quite cool and I've not seen any actively exploited.  However I do agree that it adds another complexity into the way battalions work.

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They're very much something that has changed since AoS came out but haven't really had any proper rules attention from the Dev team. Hopefully the round of FAQs we are due soon will clean it all up 

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I'm inclined to say that if specific battalions need exceptions from the allies rules to work, those battalions can include those exceptions within their rules explicitly, but in general that is the change I'm least personally invested in/committed to. 

Another more important change I'd like to see that I didn't mention earlier is that I'd preferr if battalion units still deployed individually.  The AoS turn system is annoying enough, but one drop armies ramp that annoyance up to nigh intolerability.

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On 7/5/2019 at 10:30 AM, Sception said:

but one drop armies ramp that annoyance up to nigh intolerability.

Yea, no offense to anyone on this forum but I kind of hate it when someone mentions that either their army is a one drop or their army can't fit into a one drop.

 

I'm looking at you pre 2.0 book sylvaneth topic!

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Posted (edited)

I didn't like the LoN:B battalions since their releasing. 

I understand that they wanted to promote the Mortarchs, but 6 battalions and only one free of Named Characters... moreover DeathMarch  has been crippled and messed by FAQs and Commentary.

I like the general warscroll battalions mechanic and I like also the idea about a Bg behind it,but LoN:B ones are too few (the least amount known almost) and they are all quite points expensive  either you consider the units points needed either you take not about their respective cost in buying the warscroll battalions.

Edited by deynon
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Trouble is they are so expensive, you can take another hero to provide a DM bubble for less points than most of them. Generally I would say that 6+ save trumps most benefits a battalion can give.

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On 7/4/2019 at 3:53 AM, Walrustaco said:

I think they shouldn't be the sole way of getting extra artefacts 

This. A billion times this.

I hate so much that artifacts are tied to battalions. 

Artifacts should just get matched play profiles and cost points. Not only would that mean every army has equal access to them but it also gives purpose to all the weaker ones because they will be cheaper. As it stands 95% of all the artifacts are "never take" because we are incentivized to only take the strongest ones.  

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On 7/6/2019 at 12:44 PM, kenshin620 said:

Yea, no offense to anyone on this forum but I kind of hate it when someone mentions that either their army is a one drop or their army can't fit into a one drop.

 

I'm looking at you pre 2.0 book sylvaneth topic!

A simple solution there is:

1. Don't let battalions be a source of 1 drop. (Why were they ever? It makes no sense)
2. Finishing first should give you +1 to a roll to go first, not guarantee go first. Being able to deploy knowing whether you are going first or second while your opponent doesn't is a ridiculous advantage. 

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