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Overwhelming Complexity or Just Old Dude?


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So, I'm now in my 3rd game of the new AoS, and I'm really struggling to come to grips with the overload of stuff to track. It's daunting just to build a list (thank you @warscrollBuilderfor your aid with that!), but at the table I'm just overwhelmed.

Now, in fairness, I'm old now. Just turned 50. The brain isn't as sharp as it once was. That said, I've been wargaming, with GW stuff in particular, since I was 14. Won tournaments, ran events, taught games. The whole shootin' match. These systems are not new concepts to me. I've learned to use quick reference sheets and other tricks, and that's always been enough.

I'm just finding all this start of, during, end of, but careful about timing conflicts, your hero phase vs the hero phase, buff but not all things as much as some things, etc. stuff so darn ... tedious.

Is anyone feeling this way, with this game in particular? If so, got any advice? 

Dunno. Maybe father time is catching up with me. Could be. 

Edited by Sleboda
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21 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

So, I'm now in my 3rd game of the new AoS, and I'm really struggling to come to grips with the overload of stuff to track. It's daunting just to build a list (thank you @warscrollBuilderfor your aid with that!), but at the table I'm just overwhelmed.

Now, in fairness, I'm old now. Just turned 50. The brain isn't as sharp as it once was. That said, I've been wargaming, with GW stuff in particular, since I was 14. Won tournaments, ran events, taught games. The whole shootin' match. These systems are not new concepts to me. I've learned to use quick reference sheets and other tricks, and that's always been enough.

I'm just finding all this start of, during, end of, but careful about timing conflicts, your hero phase vs the hero phase, buff but not all things as much as some things, etc. stuff so darn ... tedious.

Is anyone feeling this way, with this game in particular? If so, got any advice? 

Dunno. Maybe father time is catching up with me. Could be. 

How frequently were you playing during the last 1.5 years? I haven't been able to play many games and feel overwhelmed by all the new rules in 3rd edition plus having to relearn how to play my armies. 

I think it's a muscle memory thing.... should become second nature with enough experience.

What size games are you playing? I suggest starting with 750/1000 point games where there are less units and interactions to remember.

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Definitely the consequence of "less down time" is not as much breathing room to stand back and collect your thoughts in heated games. Reminds me of the complaint AoS:Skirmish had with it's own smaller and faster games meaning the more complicated one-model units were a challenge in themselves, probably why Warcry is super streamlined compared to it.

All I can really think of to suggest is smaller games to keep things simpler. That or maybe easier armies like Lumineth(the auto-hit stuff) or SoB's alongside your other straightforward Destruction armies.

Edited by Baron Klatz
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Same. For me, it's been hard to remember my army specific rules, when I'm trying to remember when/how to employ the new general 3.0 rules.  I think it'll just take time. And I'm going to start using many more tokens.  I need the visual reminder ON THE TABLE - not on a sheet I'll forget to look at in the literal heat of battle.

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Its just the "new edition overload". I felt the same way when first starting a space marine army in 40k 9th edition. The things to remember and options were daunting.

But after like 2-3 games it all sunk in.

Just play a few games vs opponents who don't mind reminding you of stuff. You will be good to go.

At the end of the day, AOS 3rd is only a fraction of the complexity of 8th edition fantasy. So the goal post has definitely moved closer. So if you are struggling, it might be the kickers fault if you know what I mean :P

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There's significantly more book-keeping and choices to make in AOS 3 than AOS 2. It makes for a better game overall, but it's undeniable there is a cost that comes with it in terms of complexity and mental load. 

I'm not sure it's great that the best solution for taming a game's complexity is to have a cheat sheet you just go through each phase to make sure you haven't missed anything, but that is the most practical way to deal with the issue. 

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I'm 51, had my first 3.0 game two days ago (which game was a total comedy of errors as each overlooked, forgot, misread, or flat out didn't know a rule or two for everyone we got right), and am largely in agreement with the first post here. 

But I don't think it's just age (or brain "suppleness"), as others have said, it's a tremendous amount of information and options to take onboard and effectively execute. Neither am I really worried. I'm just going to concentrate on learning the Core Rules and how my Battletome and FAQ interacts with them and modifies them. I'll be lost for three or four games, yet, but eventually I'll have at least one list that I can manage well (I hope, anyway!). Of course, as a Seraphon player I really need two lists, one for the magicky guys and one for the fighty-fight guys, so I can't get away with just one list. Anyway, as somebody advised on here the other day, I am personally not planning on doing any tournaments or leagues or anything until I've played a given list at least ten times.

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I would suggest trying a simpler list, at least until you get more fluent with the system. In my first two games I played Beastclaws - my list only has four warscrolls and a very simple plan. I still forgot some stuff in the first game, but by the second I felt like I had a good handle on the new rules and it was all going smoothly.

Then I played my third game, using a "little bit of everything" Vampire army - fifteen different warscrolls, multiple casters with spells from the battletome and the core rules, lots of synergetic abilities to keep track of. I was completely overwhelmed and stressed out, and floundered through the whole game. Fortunately that army was just a grab-bag of stuff I had available, and I'll be able to make it more consistent and focused in future games.

Start simple, and build up as slowly as you need to.

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I feel that coming into AoS from 40k and I'm in my 30's... one thing is like others have said, memory of old rules that now conflict or some that remain the same can cause some cognitive dissonance.

Also rules scattered all around. Traits, mount traits, command abilities, faction and subfactions, warscroll passive abilities... I read people's lists and everyone is nodding OK at their use of even more unheard of terms/abilities...

I make game cheat sheets in excel divided by phase, and just list all possible effects at my disposal within each phase, organized by source ('bloodthirster' | passive, all-in 18" | does this effect)

Stick to what your army can do, don't worry about looking like an idiot for a few games or tell opponents you are just starting with 3.. I'm sure most people feel like you do, and want some games to practice.

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13 minutes ago, Kadeton said:

using a "little bit of everything" Vampire army

Can’t wait to get the first game with SBGL in… probably will be a disaster 🤣

as a strapping young lad of 41 of highest education 🥳 I also think the variety of rule sets that matter are tricky to grasp/remember. AoS started with the warscroll and 4 (four)! pages of rules… Now you have 44 pages of rules, your warscrolls, the Generals Handbook, your battletome and they all have FAQs and designers commentary, all of them not very concise in their wordings and mechanics 

and maybe 18 month of lockdown with a new edition is enough to secure a rough start 🤓 even for the streamers…

Slow and steady

🥃🥳👍

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I had the same issues and understanding rules and how to apply them is my job as an attorney so I usually find it easy to find into new rulesets. But AoS 3.0 just has a lot of stuff and no matter how well you understand the system and rules from reading, without applying them may times, you won't feel confident. I have 2 games in now and feel no where near being confident in the application of all the rules...so my advise would also be to just give it some more time. 

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18 hours ago, Cosmicsheep said:

Have you tried https://aosreminders.com/ ? As a 40 something player I find it invaluable 😁

I have. It's basically an automated version of the cheat sheets I've been making for years. I'll go back to making my own (I prefer my own format, though theirs is certainly helpful) soon.

18 hours ago, PJetski said:

How frequently were you playing during the last 1.5 years? 

What size games are you playing? I suggest starting with 750/1000 point games ...

We played one AoS game in the last 1.5 years up until the the three we've just done. It's been mostly Blood Bowl and Super Fantasy Brawl during lockdown.

17 hours ago, annarborhawk said:

 And I'm going to start using many more tokens.  I need the visual reminder ON THE TABLE - not on a sheet I'll forget to look at in the literal heat of battle.

For sure! I actually find that making tokens for my armies is one of my great hobby joys. See the picture below for what I did for spells in my old silent film vampire army. I'll definitely be making some for my Bonereapers.

17 hours ago, Landohammer said:

At the end of the day, AOS 3rd is only a fraction of the complexity of 8th edition fantasy.

I don't know why, but it really, really doesn't feel that way to me. WFB was second nature to me. AoS 3 feels like I've gone from being an NFL left tackle to a whatever it is that's nuts in cricket. :)

 

17 hours ago, NinthMusketeer said:

Not to go full hippy, but have you considered looking at your sleep schedule & nutrition to make sure the brain is physically in decent shape? I ask this because if you managed WHFB fine it was way more of an effort to keep up with.

I've been a weird sleeper all my life. And a drinker, too. Now I'm in retirement so it's even more easy to get into my natural flow. I tend to sleep from 8 a.m. to about 5 p.m., get up, have steak and tequila, grab a shower, and get hobbying. Sometimes that shifts around. It's like I'm on a 30 hour day clock instead of 24, so it cycles around oddly. Anyway, I take your point - more water! :)

 

9 hours ago, Kadeton said:

I would suggest trying a simpler list, at least until you get more fluent with the system. 

Then I played my third game, using a "little bit of everything" Vampire army - fifteen different warscrolls, multiple casters with spells from the battletome and the core rules, lots of synergetic abilities to keep track of. I was completely overwhelmed and stressed out, and floundered through the whole game. 

I did 1000 of Khorne at first. No wizards or priests. Four different warscrolls. Then 2000 of Ironjawz. Still only five or six scrolls. Last night was 2000 Bonereapers with about 10.

They all felt equally tough, which is, oddly enough, a good sign - If I can handle 10 like five, maybe I'm progressing.

 

Thanks for all the thoughts so far.

20210721_085008.jpg

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@Sleboda Are you suffering from Analysis Paralysis maybe? 

 

Just play a few games and try not to overthink it. I know it sounds simple but the solution is just to play more games. Play at least 1 game a week. In 2-3 weeks you will have 95% of it down I promise. 

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You are not alone. Went to my first AoS night at a new club and everyone was grousing about all the additional “bookkeeping” and how slow it makes the game. I’m sure that’ll change with time. It took me almost a year to get proficient with 2.0 and I’m 43

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Sometimes experience can be curse. Especially when there are small adjustments to the old ways as the brain likes to fill in old rules through force of habit. Which weirdly enough means that it is sometimes easier to learn an entirely new system.

At the end of the day, it is just about finding the new groove of things. I feel quite comfortable that in a little while the sequencing of phases of 3rd edition will just be how I think about AoS. That said, I always bring cheat sheets to remember the important stuff, for even when I don't end up "needing" them it allows me to be more in the present which is good for the game and present company.

So yeah, you're not alone!

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Since when is 50 old? yeash... If you think it's normal to have significant cognitive decline at that age you should really speak to a doctor and look at your lifestyle and diet. Seriously. 

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20 hours ago, Sleboda said:

Is anyone feeling this way, with this game in particular? If so, got any advice? 

It's both.  (I'm in the same boat; even tempted selling off armies to prune down to one).  I haven't bothered to play Warhammer 9th ed 40k because it added much more complexity and around End Times Fantasy I wanted to play casually and stopped competitive tournaments from getting so tired of cheaters and poor sports.  I think when we got into Warhammer Fantasy Battles, we spent more time reading over rules, practicing games, being immersed and didn't notice the game was pretty hard to get into.  Youth has drive that is unparalleled.  

I also think it's still waaaay easier to get into AoS than older versions.  I pretty much have no understanding how my friends and I played 1st ed RT 40k back in the day.  Even 2nd ed was pretty ugly.  A kid now can start with a few units, even one and get started really fast really easy.  

What we tend to do is standardize on tournament-style play as the defacto.  You can play this game stripped down, as mellow as complicated as you want.  When I play random pickup games 90% of them my opponent says "let's just try to kill each other without all the extra rules (like scenery, etc).  Even in a mission most people tend to not be strictly focussed on objectives as much as killing the enemy.  

I would say self-awareness and being up front what you want out of a game is key.  I'm going to play my first game soon (picking up BRB and GHB today) and have started trying to organize the game.  I was upfront I don't want to play competitive but casual pickup.  I don't expect to win and my opponent is proxying his ChDwarfs as,. Greywater fastness?  No clue actually.  And it doesn't matter.  I just want to chuck dice, figure as few things out and work on learning but also not getting so wound up about forgetting most of it.  I was playing some Total War Warhammer recently and thought "no game of Warhammer has ever had this much fluffy lore immersion.  It's always just come down to rolling dice and removing models".  I wish narrative and casual play had more effort so people like us could just ****** around with pitched battles with a forced narrative structure making the game more cinematic over math-like chess manoeuvres.  

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From the one solo game I experienced I don't like it as much as 2nd Edition, and I'm pretty sure the reason I really liked my game was how often the turns tabled in likely ending.

It's GW Rules Bloat 101 - Complicating, Unnecessary, and I'm spending more time in the rulebook making sure I didn't miss something than I am looking at the table.

I think AoS 1.0 with it's mantra of "All units function the same; Rules on Warscrolls Make the Difference", was less complex. Adding a small layer of customization before 2.0 didn't feel complex, and 2.0 expanded on it slightly and dragged it each army. The back half of 2.0 was complex in that everything was just spread out, putting little rules into different books which required gathering into one spot. 3.0 really dropped the "All units function the same" mantra. This was the biggest part of what I hated about 40K 3rd-7th Edition: Separate rules for BIkes, Jetpack, Jump Pack Infantry, Transports, Vehicles, Aircraft, etc. I'm disappointed that we now have the same thing for Monsters, Priests, Wizards, and Heroes (Would not surprise me if Elite and Cavalry had also been floated). Core Battalions are just another example. Command Points too, with six different points of the game they can be used in and each with restrictions on where/when they can be used.

 

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@Sleboda - For me as a more casual AoS player I think its less overwhelming complexity and more adjusting to the structure of the game. Most of the new abilities are simple its just now each one typically has a specific time to use it. As an example I like 2d fighting games, but there are matches when I first start playing a new entry in a franchise where I whiff because they changed how a move worked, or took it out of the game entirely lol. I notice those mistakes way more than the things that I'm doing right. I think you'll get into the rhythm of the game fairly quickly once you start playing it on a regular basis.

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23 hours ago, Sleboda said:

So, I'm now in my 3rd game of the new AoS, and I'm really struggling to come to grips with the overload of stuff to track. It's daunting just to build a list (thank you @warscrollBuilderfor your aid with that!), but at the table I'm just overwhelmed.

Now, in fairness, I'm old now. Just turned 50. The brain isn't as sharp as it once was. That said, I've been wargaming, with GW stuff in particular, since I was 14. Won tournaments, ran events, taught games. The whole shootin' match. These systems are not new concepts to me. I've learned to use quick reference sheets and other tricks, and that's always been enough.

I'm just finding all this start of, during, end of, but careful about timing conflicts, your hero phase vs the hero phase, buff but not all things as much as some things, etc. stuff so darn ... tedious.

Is anyone feeling this way, with this game in particular? If so, got any advice? 

Dunno. Maybe father time is catching up with me. Could be. 

Mainly a 40k player so maybe that's why but I feel AoS 3.0 is sometimes (in terms of games played) is sometimes more complicated. I just feel like there is so many things I am missing in my lists/rules that it is a feelbad moment for me :( but the models in AoS are better haha


I would hold GW fully responsible for not being able to give us a casual format with streamlined rules (an option for no double turns hmmmm?) 

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3 hours ago, Hollow said:

Since when is 50 old? yeash... If you think it's normal to have significant cognitive decline at that age you should really speak to a doctor and look at your lifestyle and diet. Seriously. 

Well, seeing people both in my family and not have significant health declines over 60, it's always been my plan to check out well before then, so I'm in my twilight years now. :)

 

It's the frog in the warming water thing. We don't think we are falling apart at 50 because we compare it to 49. 49 to 48. 48 to 47. And so on.

I take a longer view. In my 20's I was getting published in painting books, writing White Dwarf articles, winning tournaments and painting competitions, giving lectures on the hobby, having more, ahem, "quality time" with partners, and so on.

Now I'm 50. My painting is waaaay worse than 25. My ability to recall is waaay worse than 25. My typing speed is waaay down. My eyes are waaay worse than 25. My brain takes waaay longer to find the right words.

So, really, it's just perspective. Sure, some folks, the outliers, are still vital at 50. Most of us are not, at least not anywhere close to as vital as we were at 25 or 30. It's natural. I'm on my way out, just like most 50+ year olds. I'm really ok with that overall. Death comes to us all. Life is not precious or special. It's all good.

We now return to our regularly scheduled non-depressed thread. :)

 

 

 

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My wisdom is simple: You dont have to play with all the layers to have fun. I force myself to teach new players so that I trick myself into doing so. Ultimately I get better at the fundamentals because of it. The concept of competitive play is foreign to me hence the advice. To each their own. 

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