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kenshin620

Realistically, how many Battletomes do you think AoS can support?

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With the interesting developments with the 2 upcoming battletomes and some fans preferring more singular faction tomes (not a jab at them honest! Just observations), I am curious what the community thinks the "maximum" (or "optimum" if you prefer) amount of Battletomes the AoS game can support.

Wasn't one of the speculated reasons for the death of WFB was due to its number of Army Books? Not counting Forgeworld or the End Times expansions, at 8th edition there were 14 Army Books which was more as compared to 40k at the time if you dont count space marine variants (though ironically today 40k has far more codices with things like ad mech or genestealer cults)

As a thought experiment, under the assumption the 2 newest books didn't happen and everyone was still separate, here is what the map of battletomes would look like.

Order

  1. SCE
  2. Seraphon
  3. DoK
  4. IDK
  5. KO
  6. Fyreslayers
  7. Sylvaneth
  8. Free People
  9. United Dark Aelves (assumption NOT shadow aelves)
  10. United High Aelves (assumption NOT light aelves)
  11. Wanderers (since sylvaneth just updated, assumption not combined)
  12. Dispossessed

Chaos

  1. Undivided (under assumption its everchosen+slaves to darkness+darkoath)
  2. Khorne
  3. Tzeentch
  4. Slaanesh
  5. Nurgle
  6. Skaven
  7. Beasts of Chaos
  8. Legion of Azgorh (a man can hope right?)

Death

  1. Legions of Nagash
  2. Nighthaunt (assumption will not become Legion of Grief and inserted into LoN)
  3. FEC
  4. Soulblight (many do seem to want a separate SB army from LoB/nagash)

Destruction

  1. Ironjawz
  2. Bonesplitterz
  3. BCR
  4. Gutbusters (under assumption they are very separate from BCR)
  5. Gloomspite Gitz

So in total that would be a whopping 29 Battletomes (ok 28 if you take off chaos dwarfs)

And of course this doesn't include any speculative new armies like shadow aelves, brand new AoS Destruction armies, etc.

 

I am not saying "theres too many battletomes! Everyone needs to be Legion of Nagash'd!" But given how very wide GW has become, there surely is a limit on how many books they can reasonably support. Heck Bretonnia was the ugly duckling of their old process, and that was before where GW only had 3 game systems. Now they also have to support Adeptus Titanicus, Bloodbowl, Necromunda, Underworlds, and so on.

Do you think theres a limit on the number of tomes before the game buckles? Or maybe if GW just got off their lazy bums, they could easily give everyone a book? And finally I can have a Fimir book!

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As many as GW wants to.  

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They can put out all the books they want. Now keeping them up to date and balanced on the other hand is a whole other story...unless they can beef up their update cycles and writing schedules and such they will be in a never ending cycle of writing a new battletome once another is complete just due to the sheer amount of time it takes to write, format, balance, rewrite, rebalance, blah blah...Ogors wont be released till the end of the year. Then there is still aelves and whats left of the old books that need to be 2.0. So thats roughly next july give or take...by then i wouldnt be surprised if they came out with another stormcast book then the cycle would restart itself.

And thats just books. Its even worse as far as models go. 

Honestly GW needs more headcount to keep up with the monster they created

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Looking at the webstore I make it AOS 21 battletomes vs 40k 24 codices as it stands. That counts blood angels/dark angels/space wolves individually but not all the various white dwarf supplements etc.

I think consolidation like the new orks tome makes sense to reduce the number of books they need on shelves whilst opening new gameplay opportunities. But the reduction in books hides an increase in gameplay complexity. The amount of gameplay novelty for each new release will naturally trend downwards as you add more of them over time. As the novelty decreases that risks ever more temptation towards power creep and/or rules bloat in new releases to compensate.  

I love seeing new armies come out and I'm sure GW said to expect new AOS 2.0 tomes for everyone by the end of 2020 so I expect we'll continue on a roughly similar release trajectory for another 12-18 months or so. I don't know if GW market research people have figured out what the golden number of battletomes is, but it does seem like at some point the emphasis will have to switch from adding whole new armies to emphasising campaigns, updates, small numbers of new centrepiece models and releasing new ways to play with the same minis like apocalypse, kill team and now warcry for AOS.

 

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I think each GA could handle multiple expansions, especially now we have consolidated some factions. 

Order 

  1. Stormcast
  2. Fyreslayers
  3. Sylvaneth 
  4. Seraphon 
  5. Kharadron Overlords 
  6. Daughters of Khaine 
  7. Cities of Sigmar 

Chaos 

  1. Blades of Khorne 
  2. Disciples of Tzeentch 
  3. Hedonites of Slaanesh 
  4. Maggotkin of Nurgle
  5. Skaven 
  6. Slaves to Darkness (assumed they’re combined) 

Death

  1. Legions of Nagash 
  2. Nighthaunt
  3. Flesheater Courts

Destruction 

  1. Orruk Warclans
  2. Gloomspite Gitz  
  3. Ogor Mawtribes (assumed they’re combined) 

Thats ties off all the existing ranges and leaves huge room for expansion. Even adding 5 factions still only equals the 40K codex range. 

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It's hard to tell where is the limit. They can always hire more people to write and balance rules. That's not expensive for a stock market company. Less popular armies can have updates in GHB like they do now. 

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I could see them trying to eventually get to eight factions per grand alliance. I think that would be the optimum number, since it is kind of what Chaos is headed towards are present.

You have the four God specific factions, plus Beastmen, Skaven, Legion of Azgorh (if it ever gets a book), and then finally Chaos Undivided. One army for each point on the Chaos Star. If you want you could add a ninth, completely new faction to be the eighth spike, and treat Chaos Undivided as being the whole things. What form that would take I'm not sure.

As far as Order goes we're almost at the same level. We presently have two "human" factions, in Stormcast and Cities, two dwarven factions in Fyreslayers and Overlords. Then three elven factions and Seraphon who are kind of their own thing. That means that there is space to add a third force of Dwarves to balance the scales, or more likely spin out further variations on Elves.

I'm not sure whether the other two alliances will ever have as many factions as order and Chaos, but at least the souping means that they aren't lagging as far behind as they once were!

It looks as though destruction will have three tomes split along racial lines with Gloomspite, Orruks and Mawtribes. I think there is definitely space to spin trolls off into their own thing, ala Nighthaunt after Legions of Nagash. Where they go from there is harder to predict, maybe more variations on a theme, or maybe it will just stay a small and condensed alliance.

Death has a lot of potential. We currently have Legions of Nagash, which is kind of the Everchosen of Death. Then Nighthaunt and Ghouls being able to be their own thing. The two obvious factions to spin off are clearly Skeletons (ala Tomb Kings), and Soulblight (ala the old Vampire Counts). some variant on those archetypes gets thrown about whenever death is discussed. However, seeing as the current factions consist of Ghoulies and Ghosties, I think that the next couple of Death factions should actually be Long Leggity Beasties, and Things that Go Bump in the Night respectively!

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, AthlorianStoners said:

 

Chaos 

  1. Blades of Khorne 
  2. Disciples of Tzeentch 
  3. Hedonites of Slaanesh 
  4. Maggotkin of Nurgle
  5. Skaven 
  6. Slaves to Darkness (assumed they’re combined) 

 

Only conceivable punishment for leaving out beastmen is an axe to the head I suppose. There is also a Fordgeworld Chaos Dwarfs army.

Edited by PaniuBraniu

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To the people saying “as many as GW wants!” - I disagree. There is happening a slow powecreep with every book being released. If there were 30 books, it would take ages for them to get around and update tomes according to the current meta. 

Playing an army that isnt up to par with the current “activation wars” sucks big time. Having 30 books also creates an insane pressure on GW to ensure proper internal and external balance for all the books.

As much as it sucks having your toys trashed (like Tomb Kings etc) I think it is ok to ensure a healthy amount of armies that GW can keep track of.

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Probably both one more and one less than they actually do. What I mean is that whatever the number is...

there will always be a cry for a new faction and they could do it.

There will also be a cry to tighten up the game. And the more factions, the harder it will be to do. 

 

 

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Its not even really power creep.  Its a seemingly random place on the power board.  Some books come out simply ok (most of chaos, the goblin book, etc) and some come out the gate roaring and pwning (skaven, FeC).

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What needs to be remembered are a few things.

With Warscrolls being freely available and on an app makes armies more manageable as coupled with a yearly Generals Handbook release (and associated FAQ) they can do wholesale changes to a book (Kharadrons in 2017, summoning in 2018 for some examples.)

The Free Cities also likely to be ‘get you by’ lists - much better than Grand Alliance, but perhaps not as in-depth as specific allegiances. I can see a Wanderers, Dispossessed, Darking Covens or Empire book further down the line. Cities of Sigmar seems to me to be a kick the can further down the road for me.

Cities of Sigmar effectively replaces the Order Grand Alliance book. With Greenskinz going to Legends, Gitmob Grots being squatted, Ogres being merged. Destruction & Order Grand Alliance books get added to the Death book where it is completely outdated. With Furies being added to Slaves to Darkness - iirc only the Soulgrinder & Belakor are without a home once Slaves to Darkness gets its book (unless they are ported in to the book which is possible. Belakor leading/worshipped by Warriors of Chaos (assuming he doesn’t get dropped entirely) and a Soul Grinder a replacement for the Hellcannon of the old world.

So in summary, while the battletomes are effectively replacing the Grand Alliance Books; the app and yearly Errata with the GHB (as traditionally the mid cycle updates just apply minor changes) allows easy access to the rules and can apply changes to the Warscrolls and do point changes to keep (in theory) most things relatively balanced.

There is no real limit to the books that they can release, however I’d imagine they will want to keep them manageable if only for Stock Inventory & Logistics.

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I think part of the problem in the past was that GW used to support armies in a "BIG" way. They wouldn't just release a model here and there, they generally waited for a new Battletome/Codex and released a lot of models all in one big go. And it worked great, big sales, lots of attention, lots of promotion.... but then lots of waiting until another big release. For armies that weren't favourites of the sales/management/design team this could leave some sitting for year after year with nothing new on the table. 

Dwindling support leading to dwindling sales leading to less financial pressure to re-invest etc...

 

Now as of late we've seen that GW is far happier to release models far more ad-hock. Indeed instead of releasing 20 models to 1 army they've been happier to release 1 or 2 models to 10 armies. This spreads the load of the production side out and means that more individual factions see updates in a quicker span of time than in the past. They've also done expansions of models - heck Chaos got a mini-codex released only a few months ago for 40K. 

 

I think this gets around one of the issues with supporting more armies; GW can now support more because they are open and willing to approach production in a different way. To provide content at a faster rate for armies rather than just in big block releases. They still have them of course, but they don't rely on them only. 

 

The other aspect with the death of Fantasy was honestly conflicted interest - Lord of the Rings was the big attention grabber and because Old World was so similar in theme and because the movies for LotR got so many more casual customers in the door, it just led to Fantasy being side tracked over and over again. GW hasn't got that issue now, if anything the positions have reversed. Furthermore GW is enjoying good sales and is even building a new factory so I'd say they are in a better position to support more armies.

 

But yeah there is going to be a limit, we can see that there must be else GW would have kept all those dozens of small army groupings around. Just what that limit is is impossible to say or guess at. 

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Pretty sure GW said everything they are keeping is getting a new book in a year’s time. I think that means this year, but it could carry into next, which if I was a degenerate gambler, would probably bet everything gets a new book just in time for an AoS v3.0.

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4 hours ago, Kasper said:

To the people saying “as many as GW wants!” - I disagree. There is happening a slow powecreep with every book being released. If there were 30 books, it would take ages for them to get around and update tomes according to the current meta. 

Playing an army that isnt up to par with the current “activation wars” sucks big time. Having 30 books also creates an insane pressure on GW to ensure proper internal and external balance for all the books.

As much as it sucks having your toys trashed (like Tomb Kings etc) I think it is ok to ensure a healthy amount of armies that GW can keep track of.

Those who aren't playing competitively don't really care about this, though.

We don't know what % of their customers fall into this category.

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Based on the current state and some assumption, AOS have the following fractions:

Order 

  1. Stormcast
  2. Fyreslayers
  3. Sylvaneth 
  4. Seraphon 
  5. Kharadron Overlords 
  6. Daughters of Khaine 
  7. Cities of Sigmar 
  8. Hysh Aelf(assumption)
  9. Ulgu Aelf(assumption)

Chaos 

  1. Blades of Khorne 
  2. Disciples of Tzeentch 
  3. Hedonites of Slaanesh 
  4. Maggotkin of Nurgle
  5. Skaven 
  6. Beast of Chaos
  7. Slaves to Darkness &  the Everchosen (assumption)
  8. Chaos dwarf(although it is a FW thing, it is a complete army with allegiance ability)

Death

  1. Legions of Nagash 
  2. Nighthaunt
  3. Flesheater Courts
  4. Skeletons(assuptions)

Destruction 

  1. Orruk Warclans
  2. Gloomspite Gitz  
  3. Ogor Mawtribes (assumption)

Therefore, 23+1 fractions either already exist or will probably be released in the future.  Assuming, GW keeps the current update speed, 12 books per year, it still takes about two years to update everything.  Hence, I think 24 is somewhat close to the upper limit, more fractions might come out but I don't think there will be a bunch.  From my point of view, the total number should be somewhat below 30,  3 years update cycle is a bit too long. 

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7 minutes ago, HammerOfSigmar said:

Based on the current state and some assumption, AOS have the following fractions:

Order 

  1. Stormcast
  2. Fyreslayers
  3. Sylvaneth 
  4. Seraphon 
  5. Kharadron Overlords 
  6. Daughters of Khaine 
  7. Cities of Sigmar 
  8. Hysh Aelf(assumption)
  9. Ulgu Aelf(assumption)

Chaos 

  1. Blades of Khorne 
  2. Disciples of Tzeentch 
  3. Hedonites of Slaanesh 
  4. Maggotkin of Nurgle
  5. Skaven 
  6. Beast of Chaos
  7. Slaves to Darkness &  the Everchosen (assumption)
  8. Chaos dwarf(although it is a FW thing, it is a complete army with allegiance ability)

Death

  1. Legions of Nagash 
  2. Nighthaunt
  3. Flesheater Courts
  4. Skeletons(assuptions)

Destruction 

  1. Orruk Warclans
  2. Gloomspite Gitz  
  3. Ogor Mawtribes (assumption)

Therefore, 23+1 fractions either already exist or will probably be released in the future.  Assuming, GW keeps the current update speed, 12 books per year, it still takes about two years to update everything.  Hence, I think 24 is somewhat close to the upper limit, more fractions might come out but I don't think there will be a bunch.  From my point of view, the total number should be somewhat below 30,  3 years update cycle is a bit too long. 

You forgot Deepkin. 
And realistically, it looks like there will be some sort of wanderers  update soon which may well be separate from the High/Dark elf release.
I can also see Tirion/Malerion's elves combined into a single book with 2 different sides of the same coin... Kind of like doing mortal khorne/demon khorne stuff in one book. 
I do agree that death needs one more book, though I think it should be more vampire based than skeleton based which LoN already does. Or something new entirely... we'll see what this Tithe of Bones stuff ends up being. 
Destruction could use another book but I'm not sure what that would be. I think BCR should be combined back into Ogors in general. 

By that count, including 2 new elf books and 1 new death book (and not including FW dwarves), that would bring us up to 24. 
I think that's manageable. Perhaps  death and destruction could get another one or two each to bring them close to the chaos and order, but I wouldn't be adding any more other than those mentioned above. Anything over 26 is probably getting too much but also, probably just unnecessary. 

At the end of the day, it's going to come down to player numbers and sales figures. GW should know how much certain factions are selling (I'm assuming that's why stuff like orruks and cities if sigmar got combined). Complete speculation warning: It's probably better to aim for new players picking up existing factions (by lowering the barrier to entry or initiatives like contrast paints) than creating a new faction to generate sales.   
It's often a catch 22 though.... people don't buy empire troops because there's no empire and no book for them.... sales are low, they get combined into soup. 
Someone at some point did the analysis and decided that it's better to do that, then risk an empire style (free people) only book.   

Realistically the long term plan is likely to phase out all the old WFB miniatures, especially the generic humans and dwarves and elves etc.... and replace them with unique AOS style factions like deepkin, DOK, KO etc... That may well still take the better part of 5-10 years, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit. 
There will of course still be  dwarves, humans, elves and orcs in some form. But it will be a uniquely GW form. 

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2 hours ago, Kyriakin said:

Those who aren't playing competitively don't really care about this, though.

We don't know what % of their customers fall into this category.

Why would you care about an army being supported at all then? You dont have to go to the big tournaments to have an interest in a somewhat even playing field.

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2 hours ago, Inquisitorsz said:

Destruction could use another book but I'm not sure what that would be. I think BCR should be combined back into Ogors in general. 

Grot Skypirates would be the one imo.

I'd also like to see an army focussed on human worshippers of Gork and Mork, who daub themselves in green warpaint etc.  Although I'd also be happy for that to be a selection of units in the next Orruk Wartribes update (in say 2 or 3 years time) rather than a full army in its own right, since they'll probably be (over)due a new-models release rather than a book-only release in that cycle.

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2 minutes ago, PlasticCraic said:

Grot Skypirates would be the one imo.

I'd also like to see an army focussed on human worshippers of Gork and Mork, who daub themselves in green warpaint etc.  Although I'd also be happy for that to be a selection of units in the next Orruk Wartribes update (in say 2 or 3 years time) rather than a full army in its own right, since they'll probably be (over)due a new-models release rather than a book-only release in that cycle.

Oh yeah that's a good idea. They are mentioned in the lore and would be unique enough I guess.... Though I dunno if we need another goblin/grot army.
I guess if it's heavily focused on vehicles and grots in wood/metal robot suits that could be awesome. 

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Posted (edited)

So what's missing so far (battletomes for existing factions/very likely factions in the future)

 

Order

  • Seraphon 2.0
  • KO (maybe included in cities of sigmar)

Chaos

  • Chaos undiv.
  • Tzeentch & Nurgle 2.0 (unlikely)

Death

I don't think Soulblight gonna be a thing although it would be cool to get an entire vampire themed army with vamp infantrie (imagine deathguard from TW:WH as your heavy armoured battleline :x), bloodknights 2.0 etc.

Destruction

Here too, I don't know if they include BCR in the ogre battletome, if they do so, destrucion is finished as death is.

 

If I'm not missing anything, there is not much work left for GW. So if they keep up pumping out the missing battletomes untill next spring, they can bring up all existing AoS armies to 2.0 level.

From that time on, they can release as many new factions as the want - Light aelves for example.

IAs long as GW is preparing well for AoS 3.0 so they can update all then existing battletomes in a short time, I don't see much of a problem in having at least as much BT as 40k has. Imho they did a good job now in souping severeal subfactions in one battletome and they seem to end that process with Ogors, cities of Sigmar and the Orc BT.

Time for some brand new armies for Death and Destrucion ;)

Edited by Dolinarius

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1 hour ago, Dolinarius said:

So what's missing so far (battletomes for existing factions/very likely factions in the future)

 

Order

  • Seraphon 2.0
  • KO (maybe included in cities of sigmar)

Chaos

  • Chaos undiv.
  • Tzeentch & Nurgle 2.0 (unlikely)

Death

I don't think Soulblight gonna be a thing although it would be cool to get an entire vampire themed army with vamp infantrie (imagine deathguard from TW:WH as your heavy armoured battleline :x), bloodknights 2.0 etc.

Destruction

Here too, I don't know if they include BCR in the ogre battletome, if they do so, destrucion is finished as death is.

 

If I'm not missing anything, there is not much work left for GW. So if they keep up pumping out the missing battletomes untill next spring, they can bring up all existing AoS armies to 2.0 level.

From that time on, they can release as many new factions as the want - Light aelves for example.

IAs long as GW is preparing well for AoS 3.0 so they can update all then existing battletomes in a short time, I don't see much of a problem in having at least as much BT as 40k has. Imho they did a good job now in souping severeal subfactions in one battletome and they seem to end that process with Ogors, cities of Sigmar and the Orc BT.

Time for some brand new armies for Death and Destrucion ;)

"Stormcast Eternals into their main force, while Tempest’s Eye and The Living City can draw on aid from the Kharadron Overlords and Sylvaneth, respectively, as full members of your army that share your allegiance abilities."

So KO won't be included in cities of sigmar.

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I don't think there needs to be a limit.

They just have to find ways of keeping them all slightly different and interesting to play. 

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On 7/20/2019 at 8:12 PM, kenshin620 said:

Now they also have to support Adeptus Titanicus, Bloodbowl, Necromunda, Underworlds, and so on.

These are supported by their own studios in house (its actually what FW does now). Just wanted to point that out because its relevant to understanding how many projects they're actually juggling vs. what people think they are. 

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I think about 8 for order and Chaos, and 6 for Death and Destruction.

Order

  • Seraphon (they do not seem too keen on working together, so need to be apart)
  • Khaine and Deepkin (as definately different aelves from the rest, they now are both their own)
  • Fyreslayers
  • Free Peoples (with Disposessed, Ironweld, Devoted, College)
  • Aelves (too many to toss in with the Free Peoples)
  • Kharadron Overlords
  • Sylvaneth
  • Stormcast

Chaos (now missing chaos elves)

  • Slaves to Darkness
  • Tzeench
  • Slaanesh
  • Khorne
  • Beasts of Chaos
  • Skaven
  • Nurgle
  • Chaos dwarves

Death

  • Nighthaunt (so ghosts)
  • FEC (so Ghouls)
  • Something skeleton (Nagash now does this)
  • Vampires (Nagash now does this)
  • ? Maybe mummies?
  • ? Maybe another recognisable death aspect, like constructs?

Destruction

  • Armoured orcs
  • Savage orcs
  • Beastraider Ogres
  • Other Ogors 
  • Gitz
  • Humans or Aelves that somehow ended up in this faction (there is mention of it in the lore, and I could see Ghur humans and/or Aelves doing this)

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