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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone,

I wanted to ask a question. After the release of the GHB2019 there was a lot of talk about Meeting Engagements and what a cool new format this is for Age of Sigmar. Directly before and after the release there were a lot of posts and videos about Meeting Engagements.

I for myself am not a fan of huge 2000-3000 points battles and most of the time I have not enough space to fight a battle on such a huge table with my gaming group. This is why I really like the Meeting Engagements format and that GW decided to push smaller points games more.

But now, as some time has passed, I have the feeling that "Meeting Engagements" was just some initial hype. Some YouTube Channels have gone back to posting only about 2000 points games and also most of the posts in forums or on reddit have also gone back to 2000 point games. The last time something was posted in the "Meeting Engagements" - Thread on TGA was July 12. Normally if a format is relevant there are frequent posts about it.

Maybe this is just a personal feeling based on my limited perception and maybe my opinion is totally subjective, but this is why I wanted to post about this. 

Was "Meeting Engagements" just an initial hype and people will push 2000 points battles more and more or is this just my subjective opinion?

Me and my gaming group really like this format, because you don't need such a huge collection for Meeting Engagements and it helped me to pull some new people into the hobby, because the games were fast and there was not so much going on. I would find it sad if the rest of the community pushes this format aside and goes back to mainly 2000 points battles. 

Don't get me wrong. I also like to play 2000 point battles, but I find "Meeting Engagements" to be easier. I also had hopes that this might be new competitive format, which will be played often. But I have the feeling that the community was only interested initially and now starts to go back to 2000 point battles. I would be interested in more discussions and battle reports about Meeting Engagements online, because it is such an accessible format.

I think initially Age of Sigmar was more accessible and I often have the feeling that the existing community often pushes formats, which are very hard to get into for new players. Maybe because many people were collecting miniatures since Warhammer Fantasy and because of that many engaged players already possess 2000 - 3000 points armies. But everytime I search for some inspiration for my local group etc. I find that 2000 points-games dominate most of AoS discussions. This could be a reason why a format like "Meeting Engagements" is pushed aside.

But as I said before, this might just be totally subjective. This is why I wanted to ask you all about this. I wanted to discuss if my subjective feeling is indeed correct or if I am just imagining things and in the end "Meetings Engagement" will totally turn out to be a viable matched play format.

Edited by Infeston
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39 minutes ago, Infeston said:

The last time something was posted in the "Meeting Engagements" - Thread on TGA was July 12. Normally if a format is relevant there are frequent posts about it.

That's perhaps because people write about it in threads devoted to their armies - there was a post on army lists for ME in "skaventide" thread just yesterday for example. 

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Posted (edited)

The problem is that it isn't competitive.  Its about as unbalanced as1k pitched was before it, just in slightly different ways.  Its never going to be a go to tourney format for competitive players without significant changes.  I also suspect that warcry is cutting into its popularity/# of discussions about it right now.  As different as they are they fill the same "change of pace"/smaller/faster game void within the AoS hobby.  I suspect once warcry has been out a bit you will see more discussion around meeting engagement again.

Overall, I think its a fun mode of play, and great for a change of pace.  But I think 2k will continue to be the dominant form of the game, at least on discussion boards and competitively, with Meeting Engagement being the change of pace play option, rather then the other way around as it sounds like you would wish it.  I can understand why, but frankly the balance is pretty damn horrific, and now that I've played a decent number of games of it my enthusiasm for the format has dropped precipitously.

 

But it shouldn't matter, play the way you want to play, and I have no doubt there will be meeting engagement events around going forward, most especially at the local "1-day" event level, regardless of whether it is competitively lacking.

Edited by tripchimeras
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1 hour ago, Infeston said:

But now, as some time has passed, I have the feeling that "Meeting Engagements" was just some initial hype. Some YouTube Channels have gone back to posting only about 2000 points games and also most of the posts in forums or on reddit have also gone back to 2000 point games. The last time something was posted in the "Meeting Engagements" - Thread on TGA was July 12. Normally if a format is relevant there are frequent posts about it.

Maybe this is just a personal feeling based on my limited perception and maybe my opinion is totally subjective, but this is why I wanted to post about this. 

Was "Meeting Engagements" just an initial hype and people will push 2000 points battles more and more or is this just my subjective opinion?

I feel like the caveat here is that it's only been a month since the GHB2 was released. I don't think much inference can be reasonably drawn from activity or inactivity of threads or channels over such a short time, particularly in the summer. It's also worth remembering that these avenues of discussion represent a pretty small proportion of the overall hobbyist population.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, tripchimeras said:

I can understand why, but frankly the balance is pretty damn horrific, and now that I've played a decent number of games of it my enthusiasm for the format has dropped precipitously.

But it shouldn't matter, play the way you want to play, and I have no doubt there will be meeting engagement events around going forward, most especially at the local "1-day" event level.

I have to disagree with the balance statement. Even though I haven't played many tournament matches etc. I would say that 2000 points battles also aren't that balanced. If they were, then most armies would be viable in some way. I would say "Meeting Engagements" have a different balance compared to big 2000 point battles. In this format different units become viable compared to 2000 points battles.

I think the community is just used to playing 2000 points games and so most people say that this is more balanced. But when I look at the points of some models I would also question if they really are balanced around 2000 points games. 

In "Meeting Engagements" some units are even more balanced or valuable compared to their point value. I don't think you can just say that "Meeting Engagements" aren't balanced in such a short time since the format was introduced. 

But I agree with your second statement. Everyone should play the way they want. I just fear that the mentality and playstyle of the community currently drives new players away, even when there are other fun options, where new players could also participate.

Edited by Infeston
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Just now, sandlemad said:

I feel like the caveat here is that it's only been a month since the GHB2 was released. I don't think much inference can be reasonably drawn from activity or inactivity of threads or channels over such a short time, particularly in the summer. It's also worth remembering that these avenues of discussion represent a pretty small proportion of the overall hobbyist population.

This is also a good point.  When talking about online wargaming discussion, you are mostly going to be covering the competitive/hardcore enthusiast crouds.  Groups much more likely not to take issue with spending 3 hours on a single game.  Its going to be a very skewed group proportional to the rest of the gaming pop I think.  I don't think you need worry about finding games at the very least.  Whether it catches on at tourneys, again, I think is less likely on the whole, but I am sure smaller local events and narrative/casual focused ones will definitely latch onto the format, particularly if people are showing up that might not normally be at the larger regional/national level ones.

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6 minutes ago, sandlemad said:

I feel like the caveat here is that it's only been a month since the GHB2 was released. I don't think much inference can be reasonably drawn from activity or inactivity of threads or channels over such a short time, particularly in the summer. It's also worth remembering that these avenues of discussion represent a pretty small proportion of the overall hobbyist population.

Maybe you are right. This is why I wanted to start a discussion about this. It would be great if "Meeting Engagements" become a regular format, which is played very often.

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I'm sure 2k will remain the main way we play AoS.

That said I think meeting engagements is a great idea and a lot of fun, I expect it will stick around. 

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Infeston said:

I have to disagree with the balance statement. Even though I haven't played many tournament matches etc. I would say that 2000 points battles also aren't that balanced.  I would say "Meeting Engagements" have a different balance compared to big 2000 point battles. In this format different units become viable compared to 2000 points battles.

I think the community is just used to playing 2000 points games and so most people say that this is more balanced. But when I look at the points of some models I would also question if they really are balanced around 2000 points games. 

In "Meeting Engagements" some units are even more balanced or valuable compared to their point value. I don't think you can just say that "Meeting Engagements" aren't balanced in such a short time since the format was introduced. 

But I agree with your second statement. Everyone should play the way they want. I just fear that the mentality and playstyle of the community currently drives new players away, even when there are other fun options, where new players could also participate.

I think this is an oversimplification.  Is 2k a particularly balanced format?  No.  But does it mean that because that is the case we should throw balance out the window and not care about it?  I mean if you care about the strategy/tactics/list building aspects of the game the answer here is again No. 

So with that in mind, as subjective as this stuff is, I think that the gulf in balance between meeting engagement and 2k pitched is about a mile wide.  Its not about the community being "used" to it.   I think here what you are really talking about is meta, not balance.  Is the meta of meeting engagement different then that of 2k pitched?  Slightly, yes.  I think meeting engagement is very new player friendly and I would highly encourage it as an entry point to the game.  But that is not because its balanced, its because it provides the APPEARANCE of closeness, when games are really not very close.  It also allows you to take sub-optimal choices and see them survive play long enough to feel like you at least got to see them do something, in a way that can also be difficult in pitched battles, particularly against a stronger list.  None of this, again, has anything to do with balance.  It does have everything to do with learning curve. 

Ultimately I think the re-introduction of kill points as a significant objective component of meeting engagement alone is a balance killer.  You have instantly, just given significant deference to a very specific type of list, in combination with the tiered deployment forcing units to deploy all over the place and potentially late, you have unwittingly created a game that is extraordinarily heavily weighted towards hyper fast hammer units that can be taken as battleline.  There are a couple specific books that do this very well, and the benefits imparted on them by this dual mechanic FAR outweight any balancing the tiered deployment potentially could have imparted on the game to compensate for the inadequacies of 1k pitched.  This is not even bringing into the equation the fact that point values are weigted for 2k games, and many are out of sync at the smaller point levels. 

Again I completely agree with you that a hyper competitive culture, in which casual play is demonized is toxic to a game and its player base (see warmachine).  But it doesn't mean we shouldn't be honest about the balance/competitive state of the various modes of play.  I had a blast with meeting engagement at the start, and I enjoy being able to pick-up a game of it if my 2k game finishes earlier then my friends or whatever, but my enjoyment has significantly decreased the more loopy and abusable I notice the ruleset/scenarios are.

 

EDIT: Re-reading this post, it is more negative towards meeting engagement then I intended.  Can't say enough that it is a fun/good idea, and I am sure it will see plenty of play.  I just don't think it is a great tourney option, nor do I think it needs to be.  I know a lot of ppl prefer faster games, and this is a great option for that, I just don't think it is a tourney solution, unless you can engineer a lot of self policing of army lists in said tourney/are clear that it is a casual thing, or are willing to introduce comp.

Edited by tripchimeras

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, tripchimeras said:

This is not even bringing into the equation the fact that point values are weigted for 2k games, and many are out of sync at the smaller point levels. 

I still have to say that I disagree with this statement. I think Meeting Engagements isn't less balanced than 2k games. 

Where has GW ever stated that points are balanced around 2k games? Because I haven't read this anywhere. I take it back if you can show me where they said this. Because I can name a few models which seem to be reasonably balanced at 1k points and unbalanced at 2k points. There are a lot units which become more "balanced" in 1k games. Often Models and units which are overcoasted or not valuable in "normal" 2k games. I still think it is a matter of perspective. I have the feeling that GW doesn't balance models or units based on the format (1k, 2k or 3k), but more based on the individual stats (wounds, damage, abilities) or the "role" of the model. There are many models, which have certain roles (cavalry,battleline, monster) which have a similar cost to other units from other armies with a similar role, but outperform the other units with the same role. This is why I don't think GW balances according to the size of the battle, but instead depending on the role and stats of the model.  But this is just a subjective opinion. But I think it also a subjective opinion that GW balances the units based on 2k games. At least I have never seen an official statement about this.

You also have armies in 2k points games which outperform every other army. In Meeting Engagements you have different armies which become viable again. 

I also have to say that "meta" and "balance" are tied to each other. If you change the balance, the meta also changes. And if you change the meta, the balance changes. 

If 1k meeting engagements battles would become the norm, there would be a new "balance" and a new "meta".

Edited by Infeston

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It has no bearing to the tournament community, so for me it might as well not even exist.  It is just one of about a dozen AOS formats that have been put out over the past couple years that largely die on arrival.

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The rules weren’t exactly well written either and people found a lot of issues when it came out. Here is some take some of the issues I have heard with meeting engagement (Warhammer weekly and other show)

- favors mobile armies way more

- terrain placement and faction terrain problems

- deployment rules are a bit janky when your detachment comes in, a lot big monster would have problem fitting in the deployment zone

- hero behemoth coming in your main body and Morathi can be in Spearhead kind of fuel the imbalance that been in the regular 1000 pt games

- we still don’t know who goes first in the game

- less ways to play against the double turn then regular games 

It was a great concept just not well though out

 

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11 minutes ago, novakai said:

Morathi can be in Spearhead

That's not a problem with Meeting Engagements. That's a problem with Morathi warscroll.

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2 minutes ago, novakai said:

The rules weren’t exactly well written either and people found a lot of issues when it came out. Here is some take some of the issues I have heard with meeting engagement (Warhammer weekly and other show)

- favors mobile armies way more

- terrain placement and faction terrain problems

- deployment rules are a bit janky when your detachment comes in, a lot big monster would have problem fitting in the deployment zone

- hero behemoth coming in your main body and Morathi can be in Spearhead kind of fuel the imbalance that been in the regular 1000 pt games

- we still don’t know who goes first in the game

- less ways to play against the double turn then regular games 

It was a great concept just not well though out

 

Yep, a lot of these speak to the problems with it in terms of balance.

 

36 minutes ago, Infeston said:

I still have to say that I disagree with this statement. I think Meeting Engagements isn't less balanced than 2k games. 

Where has GW ever stated that points are balanced around 2k games? Because I haven't read this anywhere. I take it back if you can show me where they said this. Because I can name a few models which seem to be reasonably balanced at 1k points and unbalanced at 2k points. There are a lot units which become more "balanced" in 1k games. Often Models and units which are overcoasted or not valuable in "normal" 2k games. I still think it is a matter of perspective. I have the feeling that GW doesn't balance models or units based on the format (1k, 2k or 3k), but more based on the individual stats (wounds, damage, abilities) or the "role" of the model. There are many models, which have certain roles (cavalry,battleline, monster) which have a similar cost to other units from other armies with a similar role, but outperform the other units with the same role. This is why I don't think GW balances according to the size of the battle, but instead depending on the role and stats of the model.  But this is just a subjective opinion. But I think it also a subjective opinion that GW balances the units based on 2k games. At least I have never seen an official statement about this.

You also have armies in 2k points games which outperform every other army. In Meeting Engagements you have different armies which become viable again. 

I also have to say that "meta" and "balance" are tied to each other. If you change the balance, the meta also changes. And if you change the meta, the balance changes. 

If 1k meeting engagements battles would become the norm, there would be a new "balance" and a new "meta".

I think the perfect example of what I am talking about is the double turn mechanic.  I know a lot of people give it a lot of grief, but it is a central strategic mechanism to the 2k tourney game, and actually encourages strategic play when people aren't too busy pretending it doesn't exist and just praying to the dice gods it goes their way.  However, one of the central mechanics used to control for double turns and mitigate risk is setting up screens.  However in a 1k point game, you have very few units and in most armies almost nothing to screen with, you throw in tiered deployment and it becomes even more difficult to make use of screens to mitigate risk in the turn mechanics of the game.  At 2k pretty much every single army (at least every army that is remotely competitive) has a means of mitigating/exploiting the risk in double turns.  At 1k this list dwindles significantly.  You now are left with an extremely swingy situation, where having higher move models then your opponent is the best way to mitigate double turn risk.  Often times you will find yourself reverting to the way many casual players treat double turns at 2k pt levels, this is not a good thing.  Similarly alpha strike/ high mobility fast movers can often be dealt with by means of successful screaning, unit sacrifice.  Again we run into an issue where very few armies can continue to do this at the reduced point level, and with tiered deployment that ability drops even lower.  Just because your alpha strike unit alpha strikes turn 2 now, instead of turn 1 does not really make a difference on the game, only this time there is nothing in place to protect that juicy general that just got dropped onto the board edge by your opponent, because his base took up the full deployment area and it was physically impossible to screen him.

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1 hour ago, Infeston said:

I have to disagree with the balance statement. Even though I haven't played many tournament matches etc. I would say that 2000 points battles also aren't that balanced. If they were, then most armies would be viable in some way. I would say "Meeting Engagements" have a different balance compared to big 2000 point battles. In this format different units become viable compared to 2000 points battles.

I think the community is just used to playing 2000 points games and so most people say that this is more balanced. But when I look at the points of some models I would also question if they really are balanced around 2000 points games. 

In "Meeting Engagements" some units are even more balanced or valuable compared to their point value. I don't think you can just say that "Meeting Engagements" aren't balanced in such a short time since the format was introduced. 

But I agree with your second statement. Everyone should play the way they want. I just fear that the mentality and playstyle of the community currently drives new players away, even when there are other fun options, where new players could also participate.

Meeting Engagement's rules are quite punishing for Freeguild, so I am not really eager to purchase stuff for it. 1k and 2k armies do not limit unit sizes, do not break up great companies, do not nerf allies, and the latter even allows the battallion.

Balanced they could be for Stormcast with a few dozen warscrolls, for others they are not.

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I've played a dozen games of it at this point, and while it has lots of ruling issues in particular I'm pretty dead set in it being the better competitive format. Shorter play time, less model and painting investment, in a tighter tactical framework.

What's my basis for this? It's pretty simple: I consider things for ME that I wouldn't even look at for 2k. (Also the fact that I've been beaten repeatedly in ME by players who I would regularly, effortlessly table in standard AoS.) 

Issues with behemoths and morathi being in the spearhead etc. are overblown. I'd be more wary of Tzeentch Enlightened, Idoneth Eels, Troggoths, and similiarly moblie/punchy units than I would be of morathi or a gristlegore list with a bat in it.  See: the one batrep where I beat a list consisting of Alarielle and 2 treelords with nothing but fanatics and squigs.
 

2 hours ago, Dead Scribe said:

It has no bearing to the tournament community


Only reason that's the way it is, is because GW hasn't flat out stated "this is the new way to play competitive AoS". People cling to what they know, because they have a vested amount of time and money's worth of models in that format.

And even if they DID point at ME and say "this is how you tryhard now", you'd still get detractors!

Consider the case of KT Arena. Arena is objectively, hilariously more tight and balanced a system. But unlike Meeting Engagements it was actually packaged as a bloody literal official *kit for running tournaments with*. But to this day people still cling to the 3D terrain of standard KT for competitive play, for some reason or other. Some think the Arena format doesn't suit their factions, others don't like the boardgame feel. But IMO the main reason is that people can't let go of the broken combos that let them reliably win in standard KT. It's the same reason you see fervent tourneyheads drop meta armies entirely once they're made more reasonable: some people don't want a good, tight game, they want to win.

I personally would LOVE a rewrite of the rules to be a bit more tight, especially when it comes to deployment, and especially with regards to the scary bogeyman units deploying in funny places and making people nervous. Biggest issue with the format so far is having a massive Main Body and trying to get it out in the Death Pass battleplan's MB deployment zone (12x3", good luck lol). The rules for reserve units will also typically need some more specifics, I've found those in particular required a bit of logic puzzling for certain deep-strike centric factions and units.

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18 minutes ago, soak314 said:

I've played a dozen games of it at this point, and while it has lots of ruling issues in particular I'm pretty dead set in it being the better competitive format. Shorter play time, less model and painting investment, in a tighter tactical framework.

What's my basis for this? It's pretty simple: I consider things for ME that I wouldn't even look at for 2k. (Also the fact that I've been beaten repeatedly in ME by players who I would regularly, effortlessly table in standard AoS.) 

This sums up what I think. But I haven't played that many games. Especially because different units matter in this format. There is also another tactical layer, because you have to consider which units to pick for which part. 

I think it is alsopretty early to dismiss Meeting Engagements, since nobody can have tested all armies and combinations in such a short amount of time. There are so many different tactical elements, especially because ME's are so restricted (which units do i use? which endless spell do i take? when do i use what unit? Do i put many units in the spearhead or in the other parts?). There are so many combinations that I think no one can already say that Meeting Engagements aren't competitive.

I have the feeling that the community tries to cling to what is already established instead of trying something that might spice things up. I would be sad if the competitive community or the Warhammer Community as a whole immediatly dismisses Meeting Engagements, because I think it has a lot of potential.

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16 minutes ago, soak314 said:

I've played a dozen games of it at this point, and while it has lots of ruling issues in particular I'm pretty dead set in it being the better competitive format. Shorter play time, less model and painting investment, in a tighter tactical framework.

What's my basis for this? It's pretty simple: I consider things for ME that I wouldn't even look at for 2k. (Also the fact that I've been beaten repeatedly in ME by players who I would regularly, effortlessly table in standard AoS.) 

Issues with behemoths and morathi being in the spearhead etc. are overblown. I'd be more wary of Tzeentch Enlightened, Idoneth Eels, Troggoths, and similiarly moblie/punchy units than I would be of morathi or a gristlegore list with a bat in it.  See: the one batrep where I beat a list consisting of Alarielle and 2 treelords with nothing but fanatics and squigs.
 


Only reason that's the way it is, is because GW hasn't flat out stated "this is the new way to play competitive AoS". People cling to what they know, because they have a vested amount of time and money's worth of models in that format.

And even if they DID point at ME and say "this is how you tryhard now", you'd still get detractors!

Consider the case of KT Arena. Arena is objectively, hilariously more tight and balanced a system. But unlike Meeting Engagements it was actually packaged as a bloody literal official *kit for running tournaments with*. But to this day people still cling to the 3D terrain of standard KT for competitive play, for some reason or other. Some think the Arena format doesn't suit their factions, others don't like the boardgame feel. But IMO the main reason is that people can't let go of the broken combos that let them reliably win in standard KT. It's the same reason you see fervent tourneyheads drop meta armies entirely once they're made more reasonable: some people don't want a good, tight game, they want to win.

I personally would LOVE a rewrite of the rules to be a bit more tight, especially when it comes to deployment, and especially with regards to the scary bogeyman units deploying in funny places and making people nervous. Biggest issue with the format so far is having a massive Main Body and trying to get it out in the Death Pass battleplan's MB deployment zone (12x3", good luck lol). The rules for reserve units will also typically need some more specifics, I've found those in particular required a bit of logic puzzling for certain deep-strike centric factions and units.

For factions with limited warscrolls, or factions needing larger stacks of units, Meeting Engagements is a non-starter. I think it's a mistake to start it at this point, and GW should have waited until they made a battletome for every army.

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I recently ran a Meeting Engagement Tourney here in Vancouver. We were able to do a painting vote, 3 games, one hour lunch break and winners results in the span of 11am - 7:30 pm. I think it is fantastic and every single player said they want to do it again.

I think a big driver is determining if there's an interesting meta at 1k engagement ratios. Thus far I feel like there are some exploitable builds that are problematic. Gristlegore and Slann Factory for example.

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4 hours ago, Dead Scribe said:

It is just one of about a dozen AOS formats that have been put out over the past couple years that largely die on arrival.

Can you tell me which one's have died?  As far as I'm aware there are plenty of people playing other formats beside 2000 points matched play; just because some people do not play them does not mean they are not popular.

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I'm sure there are some people playing meeting engagements too, but you have to dig down in your area to find them.

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Posted (edited)

To be a little fair, this forum isn't a 1 to 1 match of AoS as a whole.

 

For example our Seraphon topic here sometimes has no one posting in it for like weeks, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of seraphon players. (In fact the last post was July 11th, a full 8 days ago)

Edited by kenshin620
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8 hours ago, zilberfrid said:

For factions with limited warscrolls, or factions needing larger stacks of units, Meeting Engagements is a non-starter. I think it's a mistake to start it at this point, and GW should have waited until they made a battletome for every army.

To me is kinda the oposite. Been fielding Eldritch Council to fight my wifes DoKs and it has been fun.

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8 hours ago, zilberfrid said:

For factions with limited warscrolls, or factions needing larger stacks of units, Meeting Engagements is a non-starter. I think it's a mistake to start it at this point, and GW should have waited until they made a battletome for every army.

Could you elaborate? Because surely if I play, just for an example I actually have, scourge privateers I’m better of at 1k with my limited roster than 2K? Or do you mean that it makes lists more difficult because you can’t keep adding the best ones? 

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16 minutes ago, Kramer said:

Could you elaborate? Because surely if I play, just for an example I actually have, scourge privateers I’m better of at 1k with my limited roster than 2K? Or do you mean that it makes lists more difficult because you can’t keep adding the best ones? 

wouldn't the ME unit restriction make it kind of hard to make a solid list for Scourge privateer? only having 2 unit of not full size Corsair would be difficult to play then fitting in two squads of max size corsairs in 1K. in fact with the two unit limitation and one ally limitation in ME, you would have a hard time even filling out a 1K  list of Privateers since their units are rather cheap point wise.

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