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Drazhoath

AoS Power Creep

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Hey guys.

I started with WFB 20 years ago and all the time I had fun with building models and terrain.

Then came AoS and I was so excited about new rules and a new lore. I love to build models and love to paint and collect them. Damn, two good painted armies look so good on the battle field. When AoS started I liked the simple rules and the strongest things unites could do were -2 rend or rerolling saves. Most of these games ended very close in round 5 and it was funny for both sides.

Now the most games ends in round 2 or 3 and just because of the double turn. Last month I played against lists with two Mawcrusher (fully buffed flying nightmares), Flamer spam or Nagash + Katakros stuff. I would like to play bigger units of infantry (like FEC Ghouls) but AoS became a game of small heavy hitting units. There a too many models which can burn whole units in one Phase so you must call the game in turn 2.

I must say that I am sick of this game. Again, I like the models (new Slaanesh😍) and I like to collect the armies but the power creep goes on and on and on.

Do you think too or do you know any possibility to stop this spiral? I mean its totaly worthless to buy a new army. After two or three other tomes and Handbooks your new army which is completed and painted is outdated and without chances against the new stuff.

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Well when i played fantasy there were single models that could kill most of my army with single undisspellable purple sun.

There is always armies with newer rules and strong stuff, it has been unfortunately a thing with GW for ages. It largely depends how your gaming group plays. I have had the luck of being part really casual aos group where one can take almost anything and have good time with it.

Try to seek more casual games. However if you play with tournament groups then strong meta lists are to be expected from your opponents.

Most important thing with this hobby is to find the thing you like and try to stick with it.

 

 

Edited by Nordrim
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Part of it is thematic and part mechanical; AoS is a game of sort of Bronze Age story aesthetic in a way. Legendary heroes fighting each other and terrible primordial monsters, units and the tactics of them arent really part of the background so much as chaff to show how powerful that demigod is(Hector, Cuchulain, Guan Yu like  heroes are very AoS in their type). this has reflected in a rule set and design to emphasize these powerhouses heroes and monsters.  Some power creep seemed definitely purposeful at the beginning of 2.0 to discourage folks using the free compendium armies and some secondhand armies which is good business sense on GWs part and some of this may be partially still in the design so you buy the new hotness but it's not as bad as it has been in the past(the era where some armies could inflict and shrug mortal wounds an others just had to suffer it comes to mind let alone points in 40k and WHFB history). in the end though it's a hobby you can try fun things with friends to fit your wants now and then(try low fantasy game where there is a minimum model count and max to spend on heroes for example). On top of that with Covid and all some of the cycle of the new hotness being a power house has been elongated as we are just playing less games

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59 minutes ago, Drazhoath said:

I must say that I am sick of this game. Again, I like the models (new Slaanesh😍

 

 

Do you think too or do you know any possibility to stop this spiral? I mean its totaly worthless to buy a new army. After two or three other tomes and Handbooks your new army which is completed and painted is outdated and without chances against the new stuff.

Remember the first Hedonites? How utterly broken they were? Look at them now (pre-relaunch), they’ve been needed four times and no longer in the top half of the table.

As much as we complain about how good the newest army is at launch, that merely makes it a target for the next nerfs, and thus it’s time in the sun is truly limited to maybe a year.

A worse case scenario is if the army wasn’t good enough to take the top tables on launch. Or if the army isn’t going to get looked at again for a while

The better case scenario is that it gets a relook and gets near the top.

The best case scenario is they make an effort to try and balance the game, but that they also rotate the armies they provide buffs to.

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Yeah right..............

StD are one of the newest armies and they are bootom feeder without hope.

So much for power creep

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Some degree of power creep is inevitable; in a given circumstance where option A is better than option B, a developer will favor buffing option B. Because then those players tend to feel like they are getting something, but players of A will tend not to feel like they are losing something. It is a basic optics thing in making the player base happy. Provided the balancing is done properly, A = B will occur regardless of the method used so why not go with the one that feels nicer for the players?

The 'new units/armies are better old to sell them' does not hold up when releases are actually examined. It can just seem that way because the OP new stuff sees more table time than UP new stuff, so the 'strong' new options have far more visibility. Besides, at the time of me writing this Sons of Behemat are the newest army and they are sub-par.

As to helping the OP's circumstance: Before deployment roll off, the winner decides to either deploy their whole army first and get first turn, or deploy their whole army second and go second. Then keep that same order the whole game, cutting random initiative entirely. Like it or hate it, double turn is the single most consistent and most powerful means by which an AoS match can become one-sided.*

*Aside from army building, but that doesn't occur DURING the match so somewhat of a separate thing. Speaking of, what army and list(s) are you running?

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3 hours ago, NinthMusketeer said:

Some degree of power creep is inevitable; in a given circumstance where option A is better than option B, a developer will favor buffing option B. Because then those players tend to feel like they are getting something, but players of A will tend not to feel like they are losing something. It is a basic optics thing in making the player base happy. Provided the balancing is done properly, A = B will occur regardless of the method used so why not go with the one that feels nicer for the players?

The 'new units/armies are better old to sell them' does not hold up when releases are actually examined. It can just seem that way because the OP new stuff sees more table time than UP new stuff, so the 'strong' new options have far more visibility. Besides, at the time of me writing this Sons of Behemat are the newest army and they are sub-par.

As to helping the OP's circumstance: Before deployment roll off, the winner decides to either deploy their whole army first and get first turn, or deploy their whole army second and go second. Then keep that same order the whole game, cutting random initiative entirely. Like it or hate it, double turn is the single most consistent and most powerful means by which an AoS match can become one-sided.*

*Aside from army building, but that doesn't occur DURING the match so somewhat of a separate thing. Speaking of, what army and list(s) are you running?

Yeah, the double turn mechanic makes games unfun which are balanced until the moment of the roll of. You can play as tactical as you want but this ONE roll will break your game. But this is not the worse...in AoS1 it was ok because there were no power houses like in AoS2. There were no rend-3 Mawcrusher with the option of an alpha strike (just one example). The double turn makes op units more op.

My problem is just the big range of totally insane models/units. I mean, what the hell is the purpose of Gotrek. Will he makes the game more funny? The same with double Ironclad shooting lists...where is the fun? Player A looses the game in turn 2 without any chance to play his game and player B has maybe no match partners next time because no one wants to waste the time to play against op meta lists. In my city I must pack the army, walk an half hour to the place where we can play, prepare the table and the army just for playing maybe 20 minutes.

I play Idoneth, Slaanesh, SoB and Ogors but not the meta lists but the units I like because of sculpting and beauty 😊 And that’s the point: it should be able to play all the units of an tome useful.

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17 hours ago, Drazhoath said:

I would like to play bigger units of infantry (like FEC Ghouls) but AoS became a game of small heavy hitting units. There a too many models which can burn whole units in one Phase so you must call the game in turn 2.

Are we playing the same game? I still find big units of infantry to be some of the best stuff in AoS, if you have got a way to get them where you need them. I'd say (and I think this is the conventional wisdom) that GW is just in the beginning stages of making elite units and monsters good in AoS.

Edited by Neil Arthur Hotep
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3 hours ago, Drazhoath said:

I play Idoneth, Slaanesh, SoB and Ogors but not the meta lists but the units I like because of sculpting and beauty 😊 And that’s the point: it should be able to play all the units of an tome useful.

If this means: any list created with random models should be able to compete with an optimized "competitive" list, it seems just an impossible standard IMHO. I don't know a single game with list/deck building where this is true. So, communication between players to agree on a common approach for their game is key to (have the higest chance to) have fun.

Of course, this doesn't mean that internal and external balance in AoS is fine as it is.

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17 minutes ago, Neil Arthur Hotep said:

Are we playing the same game? I still find big units of infantry to be some of the best stuff in AoS, if you have got a way to ge them where you need them. I'd say (and I think this is the conventional wisdom) that GW is just in the beginning stages of making elite units and monsters good in AoS.

I hope you are right. Imo, moving all that many models on the table is a bit teddious. I hope to see something like a maximum of 10-20 man units for the whole game with some exceptions for Horde units (30-40 as max, 60 is too much for me).

 

Edited by Beliman
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I don t believe the powercreep is that much different than during the warhammer fantasy battle years. What exacerbates it in AOS is the release schedule that is so much faster. During 7th ed, the Deamons of Chaos were dominating for years. Back then, you could play the same list for years and stay competitive. With AOS it s very rare to be able to keep one list on top just a single year. GW does not hesitate to errata the powercreep with 2 errata/faq rounds per year and the high number of battletomes being released means that new as/more powerful armies will appear on the tournament scene to beat the old top of the meta army quickly. It's also a lot less models on the table than 8th wfb had become which means that between the lower model count and the higher release schedule new armies are showing up on the table a lot sooner than during  the wfb era

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I agree with you that the powercreep is strongth.

But it is 100% the oposite with units,rigth now the more strongth are maxed units of 30 infantry.

Yes kharadrons alpha strike list gonna delete it,but vs other armys have a big maxed unit with buffs stacked on it is the best.

Trust me i play fyreslayers and my 20 hearthguard havent died never in any game,even my city dispossesed list with a block of 30 ironbreakers buffed never have died and usually wins me games.

I havent played against new giants but gotrek usually is 100% useless and tournaments tells the same because he hadnt been in any top10 list never since his launch.

Is so easy as if you know that you can kill him in one round then you kill him before he does anithing ans if you cant,then you kite him all the game or feed him with chaf units so he wont do nothing all the game.

Per example i allways kill him in my games in one shot with my 30 irondrakes when he get near to me and now oponents never bring him to games because they know gonna be useless

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10 hours ago, NinthMusketeer said:

Some degree of power creep is inevitable; in a given circumstance where option A is better than option B, a developer will favor buffing option B. Because then those players tend to feel like they are getting something, but players of A will tend not to feel like they are losing something. It is a basic optics thing in making the player base happy. Provided the balancing is done properly, A = B will occur regardless of the method used so why not go with the one that feels nicer for the players?

The 'new units/armies are better old to sell them' does not hold up when releases are actually examined. It can just seem that way because the OP new stuff sees more table time than UP new stuff, so the 'strong' new options have far more visibility. Besides, at the time of me writing this Sons of Behemat are the newest army and they are sub-par.

As to helping the OP's circumstance: Before deployment roll off, the winner decides to either deploy their whole army first and get first turn, or deploy their whole army second and go second. Then keep that same order the whole game, cutting random initiative entirely. Like it or hate it, double turn is the single most consistent and most powerful means by which an AoS match can become one-sided.*

*Aside from army building, but that doesn't occur DURING the match so somewhat of a separate thing. Speaking of, what army and list(s) are you running?

 

New units OP has never been a universal measure, but it HAS been mandated before for specific units, and likely still is. And we have to remember GW doesn't only sell new kits, they have incentive to cycle what is and is not OP to encouraged model turnover, for both new and old kits (though rarely super old). Combine this with GW rules writers not getting enough time or playtesting or just kinda being bad also weighing in to make surprises to them when a cascade of rules can make a unit that is fine in isolation completely ridiculous with a few buffs (Something that is super prevalent in 40k with strategems, but also exists in AoS, see KoS) 

 

But GW is neither a collection of innocent fools or malevolent hucksters when they write rules. They have elements of both that effect balance. And often the writers are doing their best to make good fun rules for a fun game. In a perfect spherical world, rules writers would have infinite time and resources and no profit motive to write and playtest rules. But they have none of this.

 

That isn't to say they can't do better. They can, and indeed, they HAVE with other games in the GW collection.

 

 

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Not to be purposely disagreeable, but I find the complaint to be somewhat funny. 

Take this forum back, even a year, and you have people complaining about massive horde armies (which, by the way, are still more powerful competitively because of the way buff scaling works). 

But I just think this perspective is amusing, given so many people complained about big monsters not feeling impactful 

 

Personally, I love the shift to big model doms. I want a game where someone brings 30 stormcast or orruks, or brings 5-10 beast claw or giants, I dont want to see oceans of skeletons ever again 

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it depends on army. When Hedonites were the OP, it was all about their big monster. When daughters were OP, it was all about buff stacking daughters.

 

Some armies are focused on their monsters, some their hordes. Some neither. I mean Seraphon can go either way (plus Kroak) depending on on if you are going with skinks or bastilodons (plus Kroak). KO on the other hand are an elite army, where you do NOT go with hordes because KO hordes are just trash. But they aren't just about stacking everything on an ironclad to make it do the damage. It's about concentrating your entire army on one point using mobility and range

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What I hate is this return to the age of ultimate defense. 2+ and 3+ saves are becoming common (don't even get me started on the 1+ save fiasco). Add the rerolling 1's or all saves into the equation and it becomes a dull slog. Then there's the -1 hit stacking...There's becoming a reliance on having significant mortal wound output, but some factions just don't have that option. Rolling a whole bunch of die, only to do absolutely nothing, is not a fun time.

Stop giving +1 save bonuses like they're candy, and make -1 to hit non-stackable.

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4 minutes ago, Mutton said:

What I hate is this return to the age of ultimate defense. 2+ and 3+ saves are becoming common (don't even get me started on the 1+ save fiasco). Add the rerolling 1's or all saves into the equation and it becomes a dull slog. Then there's the -1 hit stacking...There's becoming a reliance on having significant mortal wound output, but some factions just don't have that option. Rolling a whole bunch of die, only to do absolutely nothing, is not a fun time.

Stop giving +1 save bonuses like they're candy, and make -1 to hit non-stackable.

I agree. Stacking buffs or debuffs can hit an army hard! To example my SoB...against armies with stacking -1 to hit with their normal 4+ can be devastating. 
And I don’t want to start with mortal wound spamming...

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20 hours ago, Drazhoath said:

Hey guys.

I started with WFB 20 years ago and all the time I had fun with building models and terrain.

Then came AoS and I was so excited about new rules and a new lore. I love to build models and love to paint and collect them. Damn, two good painted armies look so good on the battle field. When AoS started I liked the simple rules and the strongest things unites could do were -2 rend or rerolling saves. Most of these games ended very close in round 5 and it was funny for both sides.

Now the most games ends in round 2 or 3 and just because of the double turn. Last month I played against lists with two Mawcrusher (fully buffed flying nightmares), Flamer spam or Nagash + Katakros stuff. I would like to play bigger units of infantry (like FEC Ghouls) but AoS became a game of small heavy hitting units. There a too many models which can burn whole units in one Phase so you must call the game in turn 2.

I must say that I am sick of this game. Again, I like the models (new Slaanesh😍) and I like to collect the armies but the power creep goes on and on and on.

Do you think too or do you know any possibility to stop this spiral? I mean its totaly worthless to buy a new army. After two or three other tomes and Handbooks your new army which is completed and painted is outdated and without chances against the new stuff.

I play upwards of ten factions,  3 of these with competitive lists. Power creep is not a thing for me. Variety is. And its a fun game if you don't mind losing battles from time to time. I invest in AoS because mostly it is not ridiculously imbalanced and you can counter most factions. You just have to work at it.

I can see how frustrating it is for 1 faction players though. One day king of the hill - the next, a feather dusty. KO know this. Sylvaneth do too. And don't get me started with factions that have never been that competitive.

But that's the game. Play another if you wish, but go into this with your eyes as wide open as your wallets or risk being disappointed.

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A big issue in my eyes is how the "good stuff" makes the worse units obsolete. This lack of internal balance is even amplified when concidering the balance between the books. While GW adjusts stuff, the mainframe still is so distorted that things ain´t funny.

Let´s take the Leviadon-Buff as example:

  • From Deepkin Perspective, the buff was necessary and a good step to make the Leviadon worth concidering again, as it was always the worse choice compared to eels. This buff also improved other units like Reavers or Thralls and so improved internal balance of the faction.
  • Looking from another factions perspective that is already lower tier than IDK one can only wonder what gw was thinking by buffing even more units in a faction that could be already oppressive as hell. As Mortal Khorne player, I really ask myself what the ****** justifies buffing that hell-turtle, especially as the eel-riders were already better and more point efficient than any available unit in my faction and thus from this perspective should rather be nerfed hard.

New releases follow a similar sheme:

  1. Good/Broken units and combos of the book will be identified quickly
  2. "Bad" units don´t see much play and get dropped
  3.  Factions and armies which are already suboptiomal feel even worse now as there is another faction that one can barely compete against.

In my opinion that leaves the sorrow taste of power creep, even if the new stuff may be not much worse than anything that is already out there. The worst part about it is that a broad part of the community has the feeling that this lack of balance is by design and tied to selling kits. By frustrating players who use one product, they create salvation by selling another "better" product. Due to the constant change in rules the better product becomes the frustration one at another point of the products life cycle. This became a strategy that can be also observed in trading card games like MTG and that none can expect to go away on it´s own, as GW, WotC and many others have to use any tool available to maximize profit (that´s the rules).

A simple way out is playing mixed lists, not focusing on "good" or "bad" units but taking a happy mix. But this in the end will only work in a non-competetive environment and will also suffer to the basic rules of games theory (like people taking more good units to improve their odds in the game and thus restoring the status quo)

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I have a very different memory of AoS 1.0:

  • Kunnin Rukk and even double Kunnin Rukk builds
  • Thundertusk spam
  • Mixed Order shooting lists
  • Shootcast
  • Tomb Kings (lol) Settra lists with like 12+ Necropolis Knights
  • Sayl + Bloodletter bomb
  • Grimghast Reaper spam
  • Skyfire Spam

I'm probably forgetting some bugaboos but all of the lists I mentioned above were capable of tabling opponents in the early turns just as much as current lists are.

There were some aspects of the game then that were arguably more powerful than current mechanics. For example, the Settra and letterbomb lists were triggering mortal wounds on like 4+ instead of 6+ because all of the stacking hit bonuses also worked on the mortal wound trigger.

The double turn is a polarizing mechanic for sure, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. But the double turn has been there since the beginning, and there have been armies that can take advantage of it just as much as current ones can.

I'll readily acknowledge that your experience of the game may be different now than it was in 1.0. Maybe your opponents are more likely to play high powered lists now, but during 1.0 you managed to avoid opponents bringing the kinds of things that I mentioned above.

Regardless, if you want to play massed infantry now there are several armies that can pull it off. Daughters of Khaine, Cities if Sigmar, Orruk Warclans, Fyreslayers, OBR, Maggotkin, LRL, and Seraphon all have competitive lists that use large blocks of infantry and that's just off the top of my head. But no matter what you do you are going to have some bad matchups. That's the nature of the game -- if you don't have any opponents who give you problems, then your list is probably the broken one that needs to be fixed.

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I must say i share the feeling the OP expresses.

At least for me double turn is not the culpit. It is indeed clear powercreep and the actual army Design (shooty and first Strike) . 

Double turns give one player the Initiative, but (as long as you play the "old" way, eg big melee clashes all over the board) it actually matters less than you think. Alternating activations save the day!

But double turn against a full ranged Army Like Khaladon or Tzeentch? Oof.

When i got into AoS there was hardly any powerfull ranged combat. A few warmachines. So what?

Even the feared Skyfires were more scary in CC than their OP ranged attack.

That changed. Now everyone needs to be scary at range.  And this also means there is a bigger chance for a game decided by a double turn ( or even who went first!)

The feared Slaanesh lists? Actually just Keepers, because they were, at the time, the ultimative Alpha strike. Their Alpha strike capabilities were nerfed and lo: no more complaints.

Dont get me wrong: the AoS Meta is quite diverse, most factions can pull some mean "OP" tricks and win with them. 40k is clearly worse off.

But i feel it does move into the wrong direction. And REALLY , it is not just about some abstract/statistical balance: Alpha strike just feels bad for the receiving Player. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Koala said:

But i feel it does move into the wrong direction. And REALLY , it is not just about some abstract/statistical balance: Alpha strike just feels bad for the receiving Player.

Being shot off the board, or alpha deleted, two of the worse feel bad moments the game can provide.

40k seemed to realize that and they "nerfed" shooting galleries. Alpha strike can be weathered a bit better if you can screen in terrain heavy tables.

AoS seems a bit behind in this.

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11 minutes ago, Greybeard86 said:

Being shot off the board, or alpha deleted, two of the worse feel bad moments the game can provide.

40k seemed to realize that and they "nerfed" shooting galleries. Alpha strike can be weathered a bit better if you can screen in terrain heavy tables.

AoS seems a bit behind in this.

Alpha strike could be avoided by better terrain rules. The current rules (+1 bravery, mortal wounds on 6s and so on) have zero impact. There are too many fast flying nuke bombs.

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18 minutes ago, Greybeard86 said:

AoS seems a bit behind in this.

Someone could say that we need a new edition...soon!!

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21 minutes ago, Koala said:

I must say i share the feeling the OP expresses.

At least for me double turn is not the culpit. It is indeed clear powercreep and the actual army Design (shooty and first Strike) . 

Double turns give one player the Initiative, but (as long as you play the "old" way, eg big melee clashes all over the board) it actually matters less than you think. Alternating activations save the day!

But double turn against a full ranged Army Like Khaladon or Tzeentch? Oof.

When i got into AoS there was hardly any powerfull ranged combat. A few warmachines. So what?

Even the feared Skyfires were more scary in CC than their OP ranged attack.

That changed. Now everyone needs to be scary at range.  And this also means there is a bigger chance for a game decided by a double turn ( or even who went first!)

The feared Slaanesh lists? Actually just Keepers, because they were, at the time, the ultimative Alpha strike. Their Alpha strike capabilities were nerfed and lo: no more complaints.

Dont get me wrong: the AoS Meta is quite diverse, most factions can pull some mean "OP" tricks and win with them. 40k is clearly worse off.

But i feel it does move into the wrong direction. And REALLY , it is not just about some abstract/statistical balance: Alpha strike just feels bad for the receiving Player. 

 

40k is only really ever worse in the imaginings of those AoS players who need something to be worse to not feel as bad. The actual balance flipflops between the two depending on releases. Right now, I'd say 40k has managed a place where the game is in a better place than AoS. 

 

I can tell you, there's no competitive army in 40k that is focused on just tabling the opponent to win, and armies that try inevitably lose with the new matched play objective system. Something I'd like to see AoS 3.0 replicate, but I fear that GW is afraid to add too many rules to the base ruleset of AoS.

 

9 minutes ago, Drazhoath said:

Alpha strike could be avoided by better terrain rules. The current rules (+1 bravery, mortal wounds on 6s and so on) have zero impact. There are too many fast flying nuke bombs.

 

You'd also have to slow things down. All the strong armies in AoS are so fast they cross the board and deliver their full damage in a max of 2 turns. Even the slow ones. And this I just don't ever see GW doing. 

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