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S133arcanite

Why and If Age of Sigmar Is In A Great Spot Right Now

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I am loving it. Still waiting to join my first big tournament- only been to a couple of one day tournaments- so not up to speed on balance etc.

the lore is spot on. The game is great fun to play- the models are super.

My only issue is how good the new Battletome are, coupled with the great models are making it impossible to pick which army to build up next!

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This pic courtesy of AOS shorts tells a pretty positive story of the state of the game.IMG_20191029_084404.jpg.8d0d6649cf1540eaee0d9e69d0f4da27.jpg

So in October we have tournament wins for 8 different factions and 23 different factions getting a top 5 place. That's an image of a very healthy game despite the strength of Slaanesh and Skaven.

If gw can give a Slaanesh  and Skaven a little nudge downwards, and a slight boost to Nighthaunt, Nurgle , beasts and Stormcast in the next faq then we could be in a very good position going into 2020.

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I think the only caveat to the great variety we're seeing is that there are still a lot of negative play experiences. 
It's highly subjective of course, but I think most people don't enjoy being shot off the table turn 1 by skaven or tarpitted by 130 fyreslayers or destroyed by Slaanesh striking first all the time.  

I do agree that only slight tweaks would be required to bring those top 2-3 armies down.... bringing the bottom 4-5 up is harder imo. 

Sylvaneth, Nighthaunt, Nurgle, Seraphon, BoC really need help.
Sylvaneth has had an OK showing recently, but it's been 1 guy at 3 tournaments with pretty much the same list each time. 

Side note: I wish more tournaments would use Tabletop.TO and upload lists. 
So bloody hard to find lists for stuff that runs on BCP or pen/paper

If one of the big community blogs don't do a report, there's practically no way to find out what stuff is doing well....
Like how did that Ironjaws army win an 80 player event. 
What's in that 4th Sylvaneth list at Dragonfall
What's in that winning Order army at Michigan GT  
 

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2 hours ago, Inquisitorsz said:

Like how did that Ironjaws army win an 80 player event. 

For this one specifically, Leo appeared on an episode of THWG shortly before the event where he talks through his thoughts on the new book, which should help.

This event was also on TTO, so you can see the list, and two of Leo's games were on the stream, so you can watch him beat Slaanesh in Round 5 :D

Edited by PlasticCraic

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25 minutes ago, PlasticCraic said:

For this one specifically, Leo appeared on an episode of THWG shortly before the event where he talks through his thoughts on the new book, which should help.

This event was also on TTO, so you can see the list, and two of Leo's games were on the stream, so you can watch him beat Slaanesh in Round 5 :D

Cool, might check it out. That one was a bad example because it was actually on tabletop.TO. 
I was just looking at some of the traditionally weaker armies and that one popped up as an outlier. I didn't check the source properly lol. 
Maybe I should have used the Ironjaws example from Fantastica Fanatic lol. 

 

That being said... even a lot of the bigger Tabletop.TO events either don't have lists or don't have round results entered. 
Not sure why someone would bother using the platform and then not use it for round draws or enter in the data though.... 

Does anyone have a direct link to this spreadsheet? or is it an internal AoSShorts thing? 

 

Edited by Inquisitorsz
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The state of AoS is amazing - They have pumped out tons of battletomes recently and pretty much all of them have something decent to offer. GW has certainly come very far, but that is not to say they could still do tons better.

In the future I hope to see:

  • More often balancing than once a year, especially when something is obviously broken. We can't rely on new tomes to de-throne the current kings.
  • Less absurd mechanics introduced - I get that they have new ideas and want armies to be different, but when the normal activation order is thrown out the window for a few specific armies, it leaves the remaining armies that don't have similiar mechanics in the dirt.
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Honestly once Slaanesh gets its FAQ and if OBR aren't as strong as they seem on paper, we will be see a amanzingly diversa meta.

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I agree, that the international average meta is diverse, but that's just according EU West and US.
The other metas have the same leading lists over and over again, so there I'd disagree.

I'd also like to disagree, since we have an avergae win rate of 67,7% of Slaanesh, and following up factions with a significant higher winrate, than it should be in a balanced state.

I would like to argue, that the game is in the "best" state release wise ( although they're really just rushing out books that are not great ), but balance wise it is really not great.

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One thing I notice (and keeping in mind the main 40K forum I'm on is Dakka which tends to be a bit more negative) is that right now most AoS 2.0 armies are popular and good enough that when new people come and show interest in them they are encouraged to take up the army. Nighthaunt might be a bit of the exception, but in general we don't have loads of people lamenting "failing" 2.0 battletomes. 

Granted we do have the issue with no 2.0 battletome forces (eg Slaves to Darkness); but that's understandable and a pattern that has remained solid through the 2.0 update. Plus each time a new Tome comes out that removes one army from that list.

 

 

There's a general positive swing in army uptake and potential and provided the next 4 Tomes are in-line with what GW has produced thus far AoS is going to be in a pretty nice position. Sure armies like Idoneth could do with one or two more competitive build choices; Slaanesh needs Depravity looking at and Nighthaunt need a bit of a nudge up. But on the whole we are looking at fairly easy to spot issues and steady adjustments. Rather than whole armies being basically invalid from the core up. 

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It would be nice if they did their playtesting before publishing the books though. Its quite frustrating to buy an expensive product, and have its rules change a few weeks to six months later, because the tournament scene have decided its a bit over powered. I'd much rather they released prototype rules six months ahead, let the tournaments work with them for a bit, balanced everything, and then released a battletome at the end of the process.

Open playtests are becoming more and more common across tabletop gaming, as companies are increasingly realising how big of a resource the fan community is. GW is half way there with their more frequent updates, but I'd actually be fine with a slower rate of releases, if I knew that at the end of it there would be a solid product, which was going to stand the test of time.

Ideally I would love them to break the cycle of constantly updating stuff. Get everything working, and then focus on producing new material which is balanced to what already exists. Once everything is up to a 2.0 standard then there really is no excuse for further power creep from one release to another, and they should be able to focus on diversification, expansion, or updates to the model lines, without adversely affecting the rules.

Its just not something that's achievable with their current rate of updates.

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11 minutes ago, EccentricCircle said:

It would be nice if they did their playtesting before publishing the books though. Its quite frustrating to buy an expensive product, and have its rules change a few weeks to six months later, because the tournament scene have decided its a bit over powered.

Similarely, it's frustrating to get a new army be dominating yours (Slaanesh, again, with about an 80% win rate in non mirror matches, though Skaven is behind that) to the point where it's simply no fun playing anymore.

The solution is the same, it's simply the other side of the table.

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20 minutes ago, zilberfrid said:

Similarely, it's frustrating to get a new army be dominating yours (Slaanesh, again, with about an 80% win rate in non mirror matches, though Skaven is behind that) to the point where it's simply no fun playing anymore.

The solution is the same, it's simply the other side of the table.

For sure! Its just a case of when they figure that out, and how many people have to buy the book before they do.

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Totally agree. It's gotten stronger and stronger as a setting, the models are great, and GW's decision to provide lots of accessible entry points seems to be paying off. While price rises sting a bit (though have to be understood in the context of 4-5 prior years without dramatic hikes), it's so much easier to get into fantasy Warhammer now than it used to be. I've got a couple of friends who have dipped their toes in the water with Underworlds (and now Warcry) and started building AoS armies from there. Easy-build models and (relatively) cheap starter sets are also much appreciated.

Honestly, my only real concerns at the moment are more about the tenor of the community than anything GW are doing. I think there's a danger - as there is with any gaming community - associated with treating matched play as either the only way to play, or the only way that really 'matters'. That leads to balance frustrations (which are inevitable in any continually-updated, asymmetrical game) and the potential for negative experiences when people with different attitudes to the game collide (either across the tabletop or on forums like this.) While the concerns of competitive players are often completely valid, negativity has a tendency to drown out other perspectives and can make the community as a whole seem hostile or offputting. 

GW seem to be working hard to combat this with the community site, and the  hobby/narrative/open play side of AoS is healthy and visible enough that it's not a critical issue yet, but I've definitely noticed a change in the 'feel' of the online AoS community since the competitive side of the game got really bedded in. That's not really a complaint - it's just another reason to be grateful for narrative event runners and everyone else who works to promote the variety of other things you can do with the ruleset.

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As GW have now proved new players to the hobby will be in for a long painful shock when their army is squatted into oblivilion just after they invested hundreds of pounds into it. Imagine a new player who took up high elves at the start of 2019. Those people will be long gone and won't be coming back. 

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57 minutes ago, Icegoat said:

As GW have now proved new players to the hobby will be in for a long painful shock when their army is squatted into oblivilion just after they invested hundreds of pounds into it. Imagine a new player who took up high elves at the start of 2019. Those people will be long gone and won't be coming back. 

What a silly remark, as if the majority of new players in 2019 are solely getting into armies like High Elves. Sorry to say, but I'm pretty sure the number of players who started in 2019 by purchasing hundreds of pounds worth of high elves is dwarfed by the number of new players who are getting other armies. 

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59 minutes ago, Icegoat said:

As GW have now proved new players to the hobby will be in for a long painful shock when their army is squatted into oblivilion just after they invested hundreds of pounds into it. Imagine a new player who took up high elves at the start of 2019. Those people will be long gone and won't be coming back. 

Heey, I'm one of those people! Currently in process of rebuilding it into darkling/human equivalents. I actually love the huge unit choice Cities gave us, and the entire situation, after the initial disappointment, turned into a great customisation and kitbashing opportunity. ; )

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Yes. It is. Lots of viable armies, with several contenders at the top tables. Yes their are Atiers and C tier armies but very few S or F tiers. And all of them are balanced and fun and playable at a reasonable semicompetitive level

I've been looking forward to a post like this after all the doom and gloom here sometimes

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14 hours ago, EccentricCircle said:

For sure! Its just a case of when they figure that out, and how many people have to buy the book before they do.

That's the age old problem of playtesting.
How many games can you really effectively pull off with a somewhat limited pool of players. 
Some of the stats bouncing around the forum right now are collated from 7000+ games (over just a few months).
if each game is 2.5 hours, that's 17500 hours... or 730 days or about 2 year of man hours. 
There's no way an internal testing team or even 20-30 community members can come anywhere close to that. 

Of course with testing, you're mainly looking at broken combos or stuff that's too strong, but you still have to try and play different scenarios and against different opponents to get a good picture. 
video games have it easy because they can collect heaps of stats from millions of players every minute of the day. Then make adjustments base on that. 
Tabletop games don't have anywhere near that much data. At best we get a win/loss ratio. We don't really know much about which scenarios are better or worse for which lists, or what special rules certain player packs introduce etc... 
in a low round game like AoS (5-6 rounds at the largest events), it's quite possible for some armies to dodge bad match ups as well. In theory we have enough data that things like that should even out, but there's also local meta variation to consider.... maybe no one locally is playing an army that counters the top guys well, which futher skews results. 
GW might say "oh this is fine because nighthaunt and sylvaneth counter army X" (for example) except those armies have low popularity rates for various reasons, and thus don't work as the counter they're intended to be. 

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6 hours ago, Inquisitorsz said:

That's the age old problem of playtesting.
How many games can you really effectively pull off with a somewhat limited pool of players. 
Some of the stats bouncing around the forum right now are collated from 7000+ games (over just a few months).
if each game is 2.5 hours, that's 17500 hours... or 730 days or about 2 year of man hours. 
There's no way an internal testing team or even 20-30 community members can come anywhere close to that. 

Of course with testing, you're mainly looking at broken combos or stuff that's too strong, but you still have to try and play different scenarios and against different opponents to get a good picture. 
video games have it easy because they can collect heaps of stats from millions of players every minute of the day. Then make adjustments base on that. 
Tabletop games don't have anywhere near that much data. At best we get a win/loss ratio. We don't really know much about which scenarios are better or worse for which lists, or what special rules certain player packs introduce etc... 
in a low round game like AoS (5-6 rounds at the largest events), it's quite possible for some armies to dodge bad match ups as well. In theory we have enough data that things like that should even out, but there's also local meta variation to consider.... maybe no one locally is playing an army that counters the top guys well, which futher skews results. 
GW might say "oh this is fine because nighthaunt and sylvaneth counter army X" (for example) except those armies have low popularity rates for various reasons, and thus don't work as the counter they're intended to be. 

Yeah,precisely! That's why I'm advocating an open play test process, which is becoming standard practice in the rpg world but doesn't yet seem to have caught on for wargames. Companies like paizo and Wizards of the Coast put out playtest materials as much as s year ahead of the product being finalised, and actively solicit feedback from hundreds of thousands of people. 

Suppose GW were to contact all the major tourney organisers and give beta rules to everyone who was taking part. Or release a bi yearly pack with prototype rules for up coming products. They probably wouldn't get the same level of responses that the rpg companies do, but they would have a lot more data than their fairly limited playtest pools.

The downside is that they would have to be less secretive about their plans, which is why i unfortunately can't see it happening any time soon.

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1 hour ago, EccentricCircle said:

Yeah,precisely! That's why I'm advocating an open play test process, which is becoming standard practice in the rpg world but doesn't yet seem to have caught on for wargames. Companies like paizo and Wizards of the Coast put out playtest materials as much as s year ahead of the product being finalised, and actively solicit feedback from hundreds of thousands of people. 

Suppose GW were to contact all the major tourney organisers and give beta rules to everyone who was taking part. Or release a bi yearly pack with prototype rules for up coming products. They probably wouldn't get the same level of responses that the rpg companies do, but they would have a lot more data than their fairly limited playtest pools.

The downside is that they would have to be less secretive about their plans, which is why i unfortunately can't see it happening any time soon.

Yeah, unfortunately that also conflicts with their quick hype releases, and being so expensive, people are likely to hold back on purchases if they know what's coming. 

That being said. GW did kind of do that for sisters of battle. Put out a beta codex like a year before the new model range. But that's probably a special case. 

I think a happy medium is just doing quicker and more frequent balance tweaks. Little changes is often what's needed... Not drastic rewrites. 

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59 minutes ago, Inquisitorsz said:

Yeah, unfortunately that also conflicts with their quick hype releases, and being so expensive, people are likely to hold back on purchases if they know what's coming. 

That being said. GW did kind of do that for sisters of battle. Put out a beta codex like a year before the new model range. But that's probably a special case. 

I think a happy medium is just doing quicker and more frequent balance tweaks. Little changes is often what's needed... Not drastic rewrites. 

I'd not realised that they'd done that with Sisters, that is interesting! You're probably right that that is a special case, rather than a sign of things to come, and as you say their whole marketing strategy is very built around a repetitive hype cycle. I've never thought that that was the healthiest system, but it certainly seems to be working for them.

I guess the thing is that as a narrative player, I don't actually want to be constantly checking for updates, FAQs, six monthly points rebalancing etc. I'd far rather buy a book, and have it be all I need, for however long I choose to play the game. I can't be the only person who feels that way,

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14 minutes ago, EccentricCircle said:

I'd not realised that they'd done that with Sisters, that is interesting! You're probably right that that is a special case, rather than a sign of things to come, and as you say their whole marketing strategy is very built around a repetitive hype cycle. I've never thought that that was the healthiest system, but it certainly seems to be working for them.

I guess the thing is that as a narrative player, I don't actually want to be constantly checking for updates, FAQs, six monthly points rebalancing etc. I'd far rather buy a book, and have it be all I need, for however long I choose to play the game. I can't be the only person who feels that way,

Yeah that's fair. 

But as a narrative player you simply don't need to be up to date right? Who cares if you're using the latest FAQ. 

Just agree whatever with your opponent. 

Ultimately we're talking and small point updates more than anything. Which are easily handled by the online app too. 

 

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1 minute ago, Inquisitorsz said:

Yeah that's fair. 

But as a narrative player you simply don't need to be up to date right? Who cares if you're using the latest FAQ. 

Just agree whatever with your opponent. 

Ultimately we're talking and small point updates more than anything. Which are easily handled by the online app too. 

 

That is my feeling yes, but finding opponents who agree to disregard the FAQs, (even if they'll agree to play narrative games in the first place), can be quite challenging. Mind you finding AoS opponents at all is proving quite challenging at the moment, so that might be exacerbating the situation!

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I would like to say AoS is in a good place right now...But it feels more like it's on a slippery downward slope, with already present codex creep, as if the whole thing is just being rolled into a mess so they can transition to AoSv3.
I think the developing lore is great it actually feels like the world is going somewhere and things are happening, it's a great way to introduce new armies and redefine old ones, the models themselves are great too, even the ones I don't like, but the balance is so shot that house rules simply do a better job than the official rules, in which case why bother buying army books in the first place? There seems to be so many mistakes with design space: stacking, massive movement bonuses, activation wars, 6" or more pile ins, immunity to bravery checks etc are all taking things out of the game rather than adding to it.
So I'm being really put off AoS now, rather than being excited for the next new hotness on the hype train, because the next new hotness will only make the armies I have spent so much time (and money) on become more obsolete. Then again I got in with the cheap armies (Stormcast and Khorne) and they really got sucker punched this time around, I knew I should have gone for Daughters of Khaine.

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"Battletome Creep" where Daughters of Khaine (one of the first ) is still very powerful. 

Honestly the only real creep major we've seen is Slaanesh with Depravity. Ossiarchs we've yet to actually see, on paper they seem really tough and hard to kill. However they've no allies; no screen chaff units; limited range; limited mobility and a lot of reliance on army abilities and resource management. So they might take a careful hand to actually work .

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