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What makes an AOS army good?

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As the title says, what makes an army good? Or, what is the most competetive? Or what is the meta? I have the impression it is all connected, obviously, but I am seriously wondering how people see if an army is good or bad. I have been playin this game for over a year now, but sometimes I still wonder over what is good, independend on the army you play. What are the most important things to take into consideration when building lists for tournaments? I realize it isnt easy to answer just wanted to see the general consensus, if there is any. Is speed important, melee vs shooting, MW output, damage reductions etc. Etc.

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Rock, papper and scissors is the name of the game. Jokes aside, these are hard questions. You win some, lose some. It's really hard to pinpoint exactly what makes or break an army at all times. I think it usually boils down to what you're playing against.

Current tournament lists is a great place to start if you're into that kind of thing. I'm not though so can't really help you there.

Edited by Horseburner
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2 hours ago, Fluxlord said:

I realize it isnt easy to answer just wanted

That's a bit of an understatement.

I would say there isn't really a hard and fast rule.  A lot of factors make an army good or bad.  As the other poster said there is an element of rock, paper scissors.

It's all connected. For example, some units are better against hordes, but if your local meta is people playing elite armies, your horde killer isn't going to appear as good.  If you plan on playing tournament, looking at tournament lists is a important.  You want to have as big a tool boxes as possible, but know what the most important tools is key.

Mortal wounds and mobility are never a bad thing to have.

Do you currrently have an amry, or are you looking at whats out there and trying to decide on one?

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The less interactive you are the stronger you are, such is the game.

Strike first = strong.  Strike more times than opponent = strong. Mortal wounds = strong, ranged mortal wounds = even stronger. Fly (ignore 2/3 of movement rules) = strong,  teleport (ignore about all the movement rules) = even stronger. Negate wound save (ignores rend/mw rules ) = strong. Pile-in 6" = strong. etc.

The more of those you have the stronger you are, say hello to ranged mw rat/hallowheart skews, heartguard skews, slaanesh combat phase abuse skew, etc.


That and also some rates are just mathematically broken. See Slaanesh summoning or rat point costs. You can't control those though, and those are usually first in line for nerfs.

Edited by Smooth criminal
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Speed, mortals, activation shenanigans, summons, re-rolls, screens.  A recipe for success.   When reading a new book or warscroll that is usually what you want to look for.  This is an objective game 1st and foremost, speed and mobility are the singularly most imporant thing to winning objectives.   People will say bodies and that is certainly partially true, but if you can't ever get those bodies from point A to point B. or you get trapped on your home objectives who cares about bodies?  This brings in screens. between double turns and objective protection everyone needs a couple of good screaning units to stuff up the enemy for a turn or two, and to protect your delicate/important units from unwanted double turn charges.  Mortals are essential due to the relative low occurance of ward saves, and the speed in which they can kill monsters and the like.  Activation shenanigans are perhaps the biggest deal of those here, because of how quickly combats resolve, going first (or outside of the normal combat activation) is a huge advantage.  So ASF/ASL super important to success.  Summons are obviously very strong in this game no matter the army, but obviously the easier and faster you can pile them up the better they are.  Lastly anything handing out re-rolls is going to be strong.  a 5+ ward is fine, but a 5+ rerollable is nearly as strong as a 3+ ward (which doesn't exist).  Similarly with attacks rerolls are very strong.  These are the types of abilities I would focus in on when looking at a book.

In summary:

1. How are you going to claim objectives

2. How are you going to hold objectives

3. What is going to allow you to succeed in a combat phase with so many units that can 1 hit most things.


This is obviously all super generalized, and there are exceptions and additional factors.  But focusing in on these factors I think should mostly differentiate the strong from the not as strong.


EDIT I should probably throw in reliability on this list.  The more reliably something occures the better.  That is why hallowheart has gotten so much hype for example.  There are plenty of strong spells in the game, and several lores that are better then Hallowheart's.  However they can essentially guarantee your spell casts, turning a portion of the game you can't count on normally into something that is almost guaranteed.  This is very important.  A high volume of attacks and low volume of attacks that result in the same average damage dealt may seem of equal value, but I will take the high volume every time (all other things being equal), because the variance is significantly less meaning I know what I am getting.  Being able to plan for something is so much better then hoping for luck in a strategy game.

Edited by tripchimeras
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You're asking for very specific things when the answer is much more simple and pretty unsatisfying. Literally anything can be good if it's undercosted. Mobility, huge damage output, durability and whatnot are all great things but even a unit of the weakest and slowest models would be good if it would cost only 1 point per model (or potentially even less considering back in WHFB the White Dwarf Gnoblar army had stuff costing half points already).

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