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mikethefish

So, Meeting Engagements...anyone? Bueller?

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Posted (edited)

So when the new GHB dropped, all's anyone wanted to talk about was Meeting Engagements.

Fast forward to nowadays.  I see very few Battle Reports using their rules.  Very few discussions about tactics specific to Meeting Engagements (including on this website).  Very few tournaments using Meeting Engagements as an option.  All in all, the impact on the game seems to be a resounding "so what?"

What happened?  Is my perception of the situation incorrect?  Did the rules just fail to engage people somehow?  

Edited by mikethefish

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Posting as someone who does not participate in tournaments. The majority of my playtime is with an established group of friends and basement games.

I'd say I enjoy meeting engagements to the point that it is my preferred way to play 1000pt games. I've seen a lot of success with my gutbusters who have all been but shelved up until now. 

My favorite features:

  • I like the depth added with the layered deployment style
  • Limited unit sizes help keep everyone on a more level playing field.
  • Late deployment on behemoths keep them at high wound counts but keeps them from running rampant.
  • The four turn limit has felt like a sweet spot

Those have been my personal and biased experiences. I've won more games with my gutbusters since GH19 has dropped than I have in the last two years. This fills me with great joy. 

My dislikes are that the list-building gets ever more complicated in what is already (in my opinion) an overly complicated endeavor. I also dislike the 3" deployment rules. In practice it has felt clunky and I see potential for it to be abused. I have definitely played games where I nearly fill up my entire alloted deployment phase. Summoning feels no better in this game variant than it does in other low point games.

But no, you're perception is totally validated. I don't see much buzz about it either. Which is a shame as its quickly becoming one of my favorite game types. I encourage everyone to try it at least once.

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Ive played a couple of meeting engagement games. Didnt hate it, didnt love it. 

Its definitely got some flaws but is still viable to play and worth having a go for something a little different.

Perhaps the problem is that a regular 1000 point matched play game on a 4' x 4' table is perfectly viable without the funky rules. 

Also AOS itself is approaching the point of bloat where there are so many rules and books needed to play a regular game (rulebook, GHB, Army book, Malign Sorcery, FAQ's, Errata...), the addition of meeting engagement rules is too much and not necessary. 

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ME lends itself to the smaller, faster and more beginner types of games. These do not get battle reports as much as longer games.

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For every 2k points game, we play 5 or 6 Meeting engagements. 
Don't know why, but we really like the concept of ME: we even use a lot of the new rules for narrative or Open just to try new things: Objectives and twist tables, Hidden Agendas, Streets of Death, Arcane Objectives, Regiments of Renown, etc...

 

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Since the new GHB dropped we have only played ME.  It's faster then a 2k points game and more balanced than a  classical 1k points game.  I particularly like the fact that it is possible to score points both by taking objectives and by outkilling the opponent.

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There's been a steady flow of ME at my local store. In fact we're having a ME tournament this Sunday (Fun n Games, Blacksburg, VA; come on by! 😀).

I prefer smaller games as well and have really enjoyed the new Open Play rules and ME from the new General's Handbook.

I think you don't see it as much because the online community has decided that it expects Matched Play so that's what they talk about and that's what they tell content creators to make. It like self-reinforcing confirmation bias. But that doesn't mean no one's playing ME. We're just not loud and flashy about it! 😎

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Its not a standard format, and as such it will be like any non-standard game setup - it will be niche.  I wouldn't expect to hear much at all about it to be honest unless the majors start picking it up as a standard format to play.

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We will be playing our second ME tournament (friendly) in october.

 

Its super fun and fast, and we finally are able to play with (nearly) entirely painted armies :)

 

I also love collecting smaller armies, but more different ones so it's right down my ally.

 

 

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Well I still think that Meeting Engagements have lagged in popularity, compared to the buildup of hype that we saw prior to the GHB.  But, despite that, it's certainly nice to hear that people are getting some actual play out of those rules.  

 

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I don't have any source for this, but I would predict that Adepticon will swap out the normal 1000 pt  singles events for ME events.  (A quick search didn't reveal to me if the 2020 schedule is out yet to confirm or refute my prediction.)

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I push heavily for it at my local. As I've said before, it's got a lot of flaws that need to be reworked but is otherwise a far more engaging ruleset to work competitive aos with, IMO.

People successful at 2k will tend to scoff at the new format, because it's something outside of their comfort zone. People with underperforming armies who suddenly have a very apparent edge in ME absolutely love it. People who prefer building for ability combos and winning with pure math will heavily dislike ME's randomized deployments and curbed unit sizes. People who prefer the game behave more like an actual combined arms wargame tend to enjoy ME.

Unfortunately tournaments dictate what the meta goes for where I am. Nobody's running ME because the big yearly tryhard event runs 2k, and most people want to practice for that constantly.
 

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It's my preferred way to play honestly. I was already enjoying ME game, but having played some Warcry recently, it's opened my eyes to the possibilities for what they could do with this format even more.

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I'm all for ME!!! Great rules, I even bought the special ed of the GH for the cards so I can set up games Warcry style.  

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Meeting Engagements reminds me a lot about how I felt about AoS on initial launch: You can see what the goal is, you can see where it's headed in the future, but it's currently a half-baked idea that needs a little more time in the oven.

I love that they incorporated force deployment as a number of smaller deployments. However, I'd like to see more options, such as a scenario where the armies have sent their Spearheads ahead to flank the enemy and a Turn 2 Spearhead deploys somewhere in enemy territory because they ran around them.

I'm undecided on how I truly feel about army construction. On the one hand, enforcing Spearhead/Main Body/Rearguard puts more emphasis on army building. On the other hand I'd almost prefer just a Speadhead/Main Body construction. Or even a few options where I can bring my 1000 point army as a Main Body, then deploy a unit or two in the Spearhead upon deployment and let the sparks fly.

There's the Overflow rule. If the plan was to discourage players from bringing larger models, just write it into the rules and double-check that you aren't allowing some models when others are banned (i.e. Banning Alarielle but allowing Nagash)

Looking at it harder, I think it should have been written into the Open Play/Narrative Section and pushed as a semi-Competititve format. There's some semblance of an unspoken rule here that if points are involved, it has to be written into Matched Play. If so, I don't understand it, because I use points to build armies almost every time I play a game just to keep the game from accidentally becoming a one-sided slaughter. And yes, I see this format played even if it was in the Open/Narrative section.

Also, in my experience, discussion about ME just kind of boils down to asking "Why don't we just play a game of AoS at the 1000 points level?"

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4 hours ago, Fairbanks said:

Also, in my experience, discussion about ME just kind of boils down to asking "Why don't we just play a game of AoS at the 1000 points level?"


Absolute opposite for me, bring ME up and everyone goes 'oh its so 1k isn't terrible to play at'.

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We play ME during our weeknight games sometimes - its great for my guys who can't get to the shop early enough to get a solid 2k game in. Plus we can get more use out of the available space during that time. That said our tournaments are and will continue to be 2k going forward. I personally dislike ME - it has some significant balance issues that are exploitable (also I'm not having this conversation again, if you disagree that's fine). I also far prefer playing with all my toys, I particularly like monsters/other big units and its rare to be able to effectively use one in ME so basically I don't get to play with the models that inspire me. Overall as a club organizer its a good format for getting new people involved, and as a tournament player personally its a format that does nothing to excite me. 

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Meeting Engagements has all but replaced 1000pt Piched Battles in my area. It's much more balanced for smaller games. There's currently a ME tournament and league on the books for the next few months.

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ME is amazing and I have listed many compelling reasons why in another ME thread before. In fact, ME is more balanced than Pitch Battle at 1000pts.

Honestly, I am fully expecting GW to adapt some aspects of ME into the Pitch Battles rules for GHB20.

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