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Opinions on the best way to play Skirmish?


Aegisgrimm
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So I have been having the urge lately to get into some AoS skirmish-level gaming, mostly for home games.  What are people's opinions on the best way to enjoy doing it?  Here's the options I have on the table that I have been thinking about:

-AoS: Warbands

-Hinterlands by itself

-Combining the rules from Hinterlands and the 2017 Skirmish booklet, so it's basically Hinterlands but with the Command Abilities, Artifacts of Power, Mysterious Terrain and Shadespire Campaign pages from the Skirmish booklet.  I'm still on the hedge about using Hinterlands-style points values, or using the Renown costs and the Forgotten Heroes fan supplement. 

I don't have the updated Skirmish stuff from Jan/Feb White Dwarf, but it seems like any of the three options above work better than the limited update the rules really got over 2017 (plus the effort to track down each of the copies of WD)

 

Opinions?

 

Edited by Aegisgrimm
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I totally agree with @NinthMusketeer regarding using the basic skirmish rules. I suppose it comes down to unit selection, but from my limited experience most of the profiles don’t really work as individual skirmishers. Lots of turns where nothing happens when lone warriors have to pass 3 rolls to just get one wound in, and minor heroes able to destroy other combattants very easily. Might work with tailored lists maybe?

I think you’re on the right track with the fan supplements, while I didn’t play any of them yet. What matters is that in spirit they aim for a narrative experience, which seems more functional at this scale.

Even without the supplements, if I had to play skirmish again I would go towards narrative / open play : a couple of heroes vs an infinite skeleton horde, a band of plucky goblins trying to take down a troggboss, etc. ****** balance and have fun :)

one thing I did try is a free system called Age of Fantasy skirmish, which has equivalents for most of AoS units and feels more fun to play imo.

And do let us know what you end up doing, right now I’m looking at warcry but I’m always interested!

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Moldek I definitely know about Age of Fantasy: Skirmish, it's been my usual skirmishing game when using GW minis (also Grimdark Future and GF: Skirmish).  Such an awesome ruleset for a free indie game!

But I was just thinking of delving into AoS Skirmishing for some mechanical variety (as other than the 10 dollar skirmish booklet it's basically free, too).  I do know that using Hinterlands for the core of the gameplay will make Heroes much more balanced, as two of the Rules of Three in Hinterlands are that a single model cannot affect more than three models with any attack or ability, and each player's warband can only inflict three Mortal Wounds in a turn (the rest are normal "1" damage attacks with "-" Rend)  So that there stops thinkgs like the Knight Incantor from killing an entire warband in one magic casting, lol.

I also remember there being a house rule put forth by players in the most recent WD Skirmish rules, where it was +5pts to upgrade a unit Champion to a Hero to lead the warband, so warbands felt more intimate, rather than having a full-on general or warlord leading 5 guys.  BUT...I always thought that taxed cheap models too much, though, so I was thinking that if I use Renown from Shirmish 2017, it will be double the Renown to upgrade a Champion to be a Hero (So you could have a Liberator Prime lead your warband and they would cost 8 Renown, instead of 4.  Then I would let them have a roll on both the Command Ability and Artifact tables from Skirmish.

 I'm not really interested in Warcry because it seems a bit bland for non-Chaos (as they are the focus).  Like for instance, Stormcast look like they will have a combination of Vanguard Hunters and Raptors, and Gryph-Hounds - that's it. 

Whereas in Skirmish or Hinterlands because it's just limited to Grand Alliance, you can have a warband that is a Liberator Prime with a faithful Gryph-Hound leading some Freeguild Guards.  A Namarti Reaver ends up with them after they set out (recruited a couple games into the campaign), but probably has her own shadowy agenda.

Edited by Aegisgrimm
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I see you’ve done your research! It does seem like hinterlands would be best suited for you. I’ve always wanted to try it, it’s just hard to find people to play with consistently.

I understand your concerns about the lack of variety in warcry, and I agree that it’s a bit too limited; although I guess that’s the price to pay for balance. My plan is to just use count-as anyways : you can easily put a picture of the miniature you’re using over the unit card. That way I can play with my storm strike stormcast and nighthaunts. Of course using freeguild soldiers as stormcast might break immersion lol.

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  • 3 months later...

Anymore thoughts on this from the OP or others?

I'm looking to go this way - Warcry isn't for me after much rumination.

I have Hinterlands 2.2.1 (was there a later one?), and the original skirmish rules...

If going with Hinterlands - does it have to be based off the original 4 page AoS rules - or can the updated core rules currently available be substituted without issue? Same regarding which General's Handbook - I don't have the 2019 flavour - I guess it doesn't matter too much which is used for this purpose?

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 months later...

About to start a skirmish campaign as well.  We're reading through Hinterlands now, to determine if that or "vanilla" skirmish is the way to go.  Harrocks had a question above I'd love input on; do the current AoS rules and Generals Handbook rules factor into Skirmish, or is it "balanced" around the original 4 page ruleset only?  Same question with hinterlands.

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  • 1 month later...

certainly the right direction for an rpg-lite vibe, which is what I've been after myself. Limiting wounds would be a start.

there are some files on this site where folk have combined skirmish with mordheim ('Shardsfall') too - which is quite a good approach I think.

feel that the sturm and drang, volume up to 11, of Warcry was the wrong direction - but it's what people want I guess.

Just feel that the original skirmish rules, then refined into things like 'Hinterland' (together with a seasoning of Mordheim), were really starting to get 'somewhere' in terms of skirmish / rpg-lite. Could have got to the point of 'scenarios' and campaign books being produced (i.e. finished commercial products).

Warcry is just too dumbed down in this respect, as things stand.

Edited by harrocks
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On 5/22/2020 at 7:56 PM, Shadevar said:

About to start a skirmish campaign as well.  We're reading through Hinterlands now, to determine if that or "vanilla" skirmish is the way to go.  Harrocks had a question above I'd love input on; do the current AoS rules and Generals Handbook rules factor into Skirmish, or is it "balanced" around the original 4 page ruleset only?  Same question with hinterlands.

It’s all pretty even if you use the generals handbook or the 4 page rule set. 
allegience abilities skew things a bit but with a few tries can work. 

having played both I would advice hinterlands if you want a bit more depth. And if you just want to start a game and go from there start with the white dwarf skirmish rules. 

but both require a bit of common sense. 

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