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Overwhelming Complexity or Just Old Dude?


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I don't think it's that much more complicated, really. It's about as complex as 40k.

But then again, I've played a lot of different systems over the years. I play 40k, I've picked up AOS again. I play Infinity on and off. I picked up Marvel Crisis Protocol but I got distracted by AOS3. I briefly dabbled in ASOIAF. I played like 5 years straight of Warmachine, including international travel for games.. and I grew up on M:TG, but haven't played in 10 years.

The reason I don't play much Infinity, is because you spend half the game checking the Infinity wiki for rule interactions. It has beautiful models, great rules, super thematic... I love the system. But it's too complex for someone to play and expect to do well if you don't play it regularily.

I'd really look into AOS reminders, if I were you.

I shelved my OBR after a single game and I'm playing a game with a borrowed army tonight. I'm then taking that borrowed army to a tournament on Saturday. =D

Edited by Obeisance
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I'm still trying to learn how to play modern 40k, and just not having the time/ brainpower to sit down and do it. I started reading some of the rules discussion for 3e and just went "nope, one thing at a time." I just wasn't enjoying trying to learn it.

As others have said, change is sometimes harder than something brand new would be. I play a lot of different games, some more frequently than others, so have a lot of rules systems floating around in my head. Its not that any one of them is, in and of itself, too hard to learn. However, you have to decide what you want to do with your limited time. 

i could spend hours reading and researching 3e AOS, and play lots of practice games to get up to speed. However doing so doesn't actually give me useful new capabilities. I can already play 2e just fine, and no one is going to force me to play the new edition (Getting a game is impossible round here so I tend to just play solo games). 

So the time I could spend to learn 3e is better spent playing 2e solo, or frostgrave or warcry with opponants. I could be writing DnD adventures which I'll get to share with others ( that is what I play the most). I could be painting, or writing, working on inumerable homebrew projects, building lego, or just reading more interesting things.

So I've decided I'll just skip this edition and maybe pick up 4e or the chaos dwarf tome if that actually happens. Until then I'm good, and don't need to waste my precious free time just because GW have given me home work so that they can sell more books.

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From my experience, both AoS and 40k got more and more complex since their last reset (Which was the Reset from WHFB to AoS and the 8th Ed release for 40k). While 40k feels really overwhelming with all the rules beeing also split between different releases and beeing overly complicated worded, AoS had really a hike in complexity with 3.0 release. 

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AoS 3 is definitely more complex and has higher mental load than AoS 2, but I find it difficult to judge whether it's too much yet. I think that there definitely is value in being mindful of complexity creep, and AoS 2 definitely benefitted from having fairly simple core rules.

I think AoS 3 still does a lot with comparatively minimal core mechanics. I have definitely played tabletop RPGs with more complicated rules than AoS for their combat systems that overall achieved less tactical complexity, had less interesting combat and less meaningful choice than what AoS delivers. Like some have noted, AoS 3 is definitely still less complex than some editions of Fantasy, and I would say it's also better stream lined in so far as less of the complexity just comes from having huge tables of customization options.

The biggest instance of added complexity from AoS 2 to 3 seems to be the addition of more decision you need to make in your opponent's turn. But I feel all those added bits of rules have a purpose and adress problems that people previously complained about (monsters don't feel important/threatening enough, double turns feel too non-interactive, predatory endless spells are just not worth taking...). So I would say while there is added complexity, it overall benefits the game. And I don't think we are at an unmanagable level yet (compared to other games out there). It's probably just that we all don't have any practice with the new rules yet.

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Problem with AoS 3.0 is that you added additional fiddling and tedium on top of a system that is already fiddly and tedious.

And it is not the new system confusion, I've played other games, most of us have. There is a difference between "new and unfamiliar" and "poorly designed".

AoS is a game with identity crisis that has been getting worse over the editions. It is stuck between a miniatures game and a card game, between a skirmish and a battle, between the desire to have simple rules and the huge amount of warscroll text. It shows a complete lack of vision or design philosophy, resulting in rules that are thematically at odds with each other and patches that frequently make things worse. No wonder it is hard to wrap your head around the game and that it feels like homework.

Not to mention that passive aggressiveness and contempt for the customer seems to be one of the core design guidelines of GW. Insistence that Open Play is the default and bestest game mode of them all that is most frequently played is nothing short of pure snark at the fact that AoS launch was met with entirely justified vitriol. This is recognized even by GW apologists as they always insist how everyone has to be super polite and practically beg the company if they want the product that they paid for to work.
 

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I actually quite like AoS, I liked 2.0 and like 3.0 even more. I have been active in the hobby of Warhammer 40/Fantasy and lately AoS for around 20 years by now, so learning new rules and experiencing change has been very much part of it.

I am in a lucky position where I care a lot about the rules and enjoy reading battletomes etc, so when I play tournaments I know a lot by heart, however I have a friend entering a tournament for the first time in a few weeks, and he is really nervous about it all, as he has been somewhat overwhelmed as well.

The most important thing is getting in games and also talk it out a bit more than might be the norm. AoS reminders is alright, but can be bloated, I find it to be a good foundation to create your own reminders, then remove all the non essential stuff. There are also nice overviews to be found to help with the core rules as well.

We use these in our games, printed out and put on the table edge for references. The Generals Handbook is also in a nice format and contains the core rules, things are quick to look up in that. Using these things and customizing a reminder sheet divided into phases, including "start of" and "end of" phases should be helpful and just have a few games where you both agree to take it slow and focus on getting the rules right.

The individual armies add increasing complexity on top of this of course, some way more than others, so jumping into a techy Tzeentch list might be a lot to handle if you are still working out the basics. If you can try to play your most simple armies first to get to grips with the edition.

 

IMuqyDoU.jpegImagend 

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In the 3.0 battles I've played so far, I've found the coherency rules to be unnecessarily fiddly, and the constant interaction to be tiring.  The inability to check out for a few minutes while my opponent moves, etc. really takes a toll.  It's the same reason I've never really enjoyed Malifaux or Warmahordes.  I foresee more Warcry in my future.

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When I played my first game in 3.0, I made the mistake to want to inclure the great strategies and tactics in addition to a special scenario.

We were learning the new rules as well as playing after a long time because of the pandemics, and it wasn't the smartest move I did. We did end up forgetting a lot of things, unsurprisingly.

It's a fact that 3.0 has more things to remember than 2.0. Yet, it's still not the complexity level of current edition of 40k, but it's definitely a step towards it.

Just take your time and don't be afraid to gradually add things as you make games. A simple scenario with the winner being the side having more points on the table at the end of the battle is good, too. You don't need to add all the rules for equal games from the General Handbook (including the new formations / rules for Ghur Realm) right away. That's my advice.

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HAving worked at a GW and selling both game at different times. AoS being overly complex is bad for it's bottom line. An easy to understand set of rules helps get new customers and help retain them for longer. 

Aside from that i think i personally prefer a less complicated rule set that rewards players for playing the game and not lawyering up on the rules. Have played warhammer 40k 7th(??? the one with all the special rules and such), i've find it freeing to win based on smart tactics rather than smart application of section 7 article 3. paragraph 4 line 3. 

I think it's not as complicated as the one 40K edition or any of the old editions, but i'd say this is as complicated as i'd care for the game to be, and some areas it could be stream lined. 

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Well the 3.0 rules are definitely not fun to read and they're quite a lot more than before, that's a given...

So I totally get the argument that it's kinda going against AoS' strongpoint when it was launched.

Ah, we still have Warcry, I guess. :P

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I personally feel tired with everything going on and I just want to have a chill time playing with my mates but I have not found the motivation nor the time to open my brain to all these changes. I think that the new layers of complexity brought over by third edition came up at the wrong time for me as I look at the 4 pages rule book from 1st ed with nostalgia now 😆.

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Reading these comments was great! I had my first AoS 3 game today, and I felt overwhelmed with keeping track of all the rules, my own Lumineth rules (they have ao many...) And having idea about what my two opponents were up to (slaves to darkness and nighthaunt). Maybe it wasn't good to start with a 3 player game, and perhaps 1000 points each was to much too...

I like some complexity, but today my brain felt like a HDD loading a game instead of a SSD. 

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19 hours ago, Scurvydog said:

I actually quite like AoS, I liked 2.0 and like 3.0 even more. I have been active in the hobby of Warhammer 40/Fantasy and lately AoS for around 20 years by now, so learning new rules and experiencing change has been very much part of it.

I am in a lucky position where I care a lot about the rules and enjoy reading battletomes etc, so when I play tournaments I know a lot by heart, however I have a friend entering a tournament for the first time in a few weeks, and he is really nervous about it all, as he has been somewhat overwhelmed as well.

The most important thing is getting in games and also talk it out a bit more than might be the norm. AoS reminders is alright, but can be bloated, I find it to be a good foundation to create your own reminders, then remove all the non essential stuff. There are also nice overviews to be found to help with the core rules as well.

We use these in our games, printed out and put on the table edge for references. The Generals Handbook is also in a nice format and contains the core rules, things are quick to look up in that. Using these things and customizing a reminder sheet divided into phases, including "start of" and "end of" phases should be helpful and just have a few games where you both agree to take it slow and focus on getting the rules right.

The individual armies add increasing complexity on top of this of course, some way more than others, so jumping into a techy Tzeentch list might be a lot to handle if you are still working out the basics. If you can try to play your most simple armies first to get to grips with the edition.

 

IMuqyDoU.jpegImagend 

These look very nice, where can I get them? 

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On 7/23/2021 at 9:51 AM, Naem said:

These look very nice, where can I get them? 

I just googled "AoS 3 sheets" and all kinds of stuff like this pops up, you should be able to find something and put it on your phone or print it out as needed. I printed out these 2, as well as a the battle tactics from GHB21 to put on the new free space on the table (after they got smaller now), the GHB folds nicely to put there with the battle plan, and then place these papers as reference next to it. Speeds up games quite well, especially for those new to 3.0.

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On 7/23/2021 at 1:51 AM, Naem said:

These look very nice, where can I get them? 

These look like the ones that Joerpg on Twitter made. I first found them in AoS Coach’s discord channel.

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Try sticking to narrative play missions. The matched play scenarios are mostly designed with tournament players in mind, and they seem to quite enjoy the complexity. All three ways to play have their own, unique, play experiences as a matter of design. Don’t think of Matched Play with a seasonal campaign battle-pack as the default game mode. If anything, open play is the default game mode.

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