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If you don't mind, I'd like to ask for opinions regarding playing AoS small... by which I mean playing the game in a smaller scale than the standard (I think?) 2000 pts of models on a 6x4 feet table. My questions are:

1. Can AoS be played on a 4x4 table? Specifically, can you play 2000 pts on a such an area, or would it offer not enough space? I ask, because I have a 4x4 table at home, but I certainly won't fit anything bigger in there...

2. Is playing with 1000 pts of models viable? The rulebook says it is, but I noticed that some people here say it's unbalanced in some way...

3. If you wanted to go with a true small-scale skirmish, would the skirmish rules from the January White Dwarf work? Or would you rather go straight to Warcry or Underworlds?

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A few thoughts

1) Smaller tables can work, the issue is that sometimes it will favour close combat armies over ranged ones because there's far less distance to cover before you reach close combat. Terrain can help break it up a lot so you can introduce more challenge that way, but by and large a bit more room helps.

2) The recent Generals Handbook 2019 has Meeting Engagement rules which modify the core rules a little for 1000 point games to make them a bit more interesting and viable. The regular works work well for 1K but the game isn't perfectly balanced around them, so the ME rules from the Generals Handbook aim to overcome that limitation and make things a lot more fun. From what I've heard they've done a good job of it too

3) Warcry might well be an ideal option for you to consider as it is a proper skirmish style game ideally suited to smaller game spaces. GW intends to support all factions in the game so it won't be too long (I'd expect) before they release a second wave of rule cards for the remaining AoS factions in the game. 

Underworlds is a little different; its smaller but also runs on a very different rules system and uses pre-designed character groups per army. Both are great options so it depends on your style; there's more variety and choice with Warcry in terms of models you can use; whilst Underworlds features a lot of hero style play with named character groups. 

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1) Yes. It will be a blood bath, but it's possible

2) Yes. There is an entire new 100pts only game mode in the General's Handbook 2019.

3) I would go for Warcry. The Skirmish rules don't produce satifying games.

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Posted (edited)

1) I'd say it's doable, of course, but will probably be a full on mass pub brawl from the off with much reduced scope for doing much more than just smashing into what's in front of you. You'd probably start to run into a few issues that need a light rules touch in regard to battleplans setups, objective and terrain setups.

2) New GHB has a whole new section to devoted to 1000pts 'Meeting Engagements' games played on smaller tables (30-36" x 40-48") plus other fun rules for close quarter battles and streets of death games set in cities which could be good for smaller table games.

As for viability frankly I'd take what a lot of people here, myself included, say with a large pinch of salt. If you're playing at home with friends that gives you so much more leeway and scope for experimentation and having fun than having to play in a shop with some random weirdo or at a tournament.

3) Jan WD Skirmish rules are ok, not a huge advance on the previous published ones. As ever with these things some bits work, some don't, but they're not a huge commitment so again if you're at home, playing with people you know you'll soon figure out what bits maybe don't work for you and can be fixed.

Underworlds is a great, tight game and I'd definitely recommend it (though wait a month or so for the new box), it's a very different game though so it's a nice side dish to AoS rather than a replacement. Warcry, I'm waiting for my set to arrive but by all accounts it's great and could potentially be more suited.

One thing if you're playing at home then two Warcry boards is pretty much the perfect size for a 1000pt game, grab the starter box and one of the ravaged lands box sets and you'll have a really lush setup covered in cool terrain to play on at home.

Edited by JPjr
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Smaller games are definitely viable. 

My local gaming group almost exclusively plays 1000p on a 4x4 table. We aren't too competitive, so its hard to make universal claims about balancing but Id say its a slightly different meta. Its harder to replicate hard hitting combinations seen in tournament lists due to the lack of points, which helps reining in some of the top lists (Witch Aelfs spam was never a problem for my group for example). 

TL;DR: 1000 points are fun with, or without Meeting Engagement rules. 

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My club has been doing a slowgrow after an influx of new AoS players and playing 500 points has been surprisingly fun. There are some balance issues but it only really matters in corner cases. I played a 12 model Fyreslayers list against a Khorne Mortals list and we had a blast. We limit summoning to 250pts, play on a 3x3.

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So, playing AoS at 500 pts is doable, too? Just as an experiment, I tried building a 500 pts list of SCE and ended up with...  four units or so? I wonder if such a game would last long enough to be interesting?

Anyway, I do aim to play 2000 pts someday... In truth, assembling such an army (at least with SCE) isn't that hard - I currently have about 1200 pts of SCE ready and I didn't even finish assembling the Soul Wars starter (although I added Astreia Solbright and the Cursebreakers from Nightvault into the mix). But I've been wondering whether it'd be possible to play with what I already have, hence my question about 1000 pts.

As for the table, I'd love to play on 6x4 and it's absolutely possible at the gaming shop I frequent. It's just that I also like the idea of playing at home :) And assembling a 6x4 gameboard at my apartment might be very tricky. Even 4x4 required a lot of space management... So, I wonder whether 4x4 might be enough.

As for Aos Skirmish vs Warcry vs Underworlds: I already have Nightvault, very eager to test it :) But I'd also like to play an AoS-themed skirmish game in the vein of Infinity... I'm considering Warcry, but it's a very new thing - what's the common opinion, is it good? Also, my problem with Warcry (based on what I've seen so far) is that it doesn't allow the full freedom of choosing troopers, like AoS does (I mean, so far the options for an SCE Warcry warband seem... limited?). So, I'm still not entirely sold?

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It's doable at 500 points, but its all about what you take.  That could be 20 liberators and a Lord Celestant on foot for 500.  Not a bad force and could be a lot of fun.  500 is not for competitive play but casual.

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Posted (edited)

If you want to stick with pure AoS mechanics, I suggest using the Hinterlands rules posted here on the boards.  I have personally been adding some of the tables from Skirmish to them (and I use Forgotten Heroes and the old renown system), and going with that, but it makes for lots of rules spread across several sources to flip between.

Now, if you are already fine about using non-AoS mechanics for small games (as Warcry uses pretty different mechanics) why not try Age of Fantasy or Age of Fantasy: Skirmish by One Page Rules?  It uses a completely different ruleset as a core (and is free), but is really cool in that it is meant to be used with GW models- so much so that every 40k and AoS army is represented, just with name changes to avoid copyright issues.  For example, a person with a Stormcast army would be able to use every one of their models (and in their intended roles) from AoS, other than special named characters, just by comparing them to the "Eternal Wardens" army list.

With Age of Fantasy: Skirmish, I tend to get the most mileage out of fielding larger skirmish warbands at about 300pts on a 3x4 table.  That way you get a pretty sizeable force for other armies than Stormcast, but everything is an individual, and plus the One Page rules games use an alternating activation system instead.

https://onepagerules.com/

 

Edited by Aegisgrimm
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