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What do you think of Grand Strategies and Battle Tactics?


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Now AoS 3 is around a year old, we've had the chance to get used to Battle Tactics (BT) and Grand Strategies (GS), as well as the unique faction BTs and GSs.

These are amongst the biggest changes in competitive AoS, and while they're not as controversial as coherency, they are something a lot of my opponents ask to ignore (BTs rather than GSs usually).

So I was wondering how the community at large feels about them:

- Do you often use BTs and GSs?

- Do you prefer one over the other or are they both equally as beneficial? 

- If you do use them, do you think they add to the experience?

- Do you think they make the games more tactical? 

- If you don't use them, or have stopped, why?

- How would you improve them/their implementation? 

- What do you think of faction specific BTs and GSs?

I think AoS 3e has made some big steps forward onto making AoS a more competitive game. While it's often easy to ask about new things to add to the system (something I'm guilty of), AoS has thrived off simplicity and perhaps these are a step too far for some.

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Total casual player, here.  So I'm not sure if they are good or bad for the tournament scene. 

But for me, I really like battle tactics.  It gives you something to do other than stand on an objective or kill the opponent.  Adding in those layers is fun.  And it also gets you thinking about future turns.  What battle tactic can I do now?  What will set me up for my next turn?  I like that. 

I'm less enthusiastic about grand strategies.  They are fine and all, but I feel like they too firmly lock me into a particular play style or objective before I've even seen my opponent.  I'd rather respond to the situation on the table (which is why I like tactics).  But Grand Strategies aren't terrible.  We still use them.  Maybe I'd like them better if you got to pick them after seeing your opponent's list?

As for improving their implementation, I would strongly limit the amount of battletome specific battle tactics you could use in each game.  Maybe one per game?  I like that the battle tactics in the new GHB are a little more difficult to achieve.  And some battletomes (DoK, I'm looking at you) have several that are basically completed during list building and are not responsive to the battlefield.  I think that's not as fun as those that require you to assess the current state of the battlefield and make a choice from there. 

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The first go of Grand Strategies was a total miss. They added nothing to the game because they were so passive to achieve. All they did was make skew lists and tabling your opponent better, the exact opposite of what a secondary objective should do. 0 out of 10, do not pass go, do not collect $200, Billy Madison quote, etc. Just a total failure. Sorry if that sounds harsh but it's how I feel. Something this undercooked should never have made it into the game, they should have just held it back until they had something that actually made the game better instead of worse. 

This time around they got better at creating GSes that aren't just "win more" or "take a skew list," but they're still not great, and on balance I still think they are more of a detriment than a bonus. Especially because the side effect of making them harder has made the imbalance between them much more apparent, with bad consequences for competitive play particularlry with regard to the ones that are book-specific. I would give the new GSes about a 4/10. I would give them a 6/10 without the book-specific ones.

Battle tactics are better, with the major problem being the imbalance stemming from the wildly differential levels of power of the book-specific ones. Maybe a 6/10 on these, which would go up to an 8/10 if there wasn't the book-specific balance problem. TBH I am still not 100% sold on the idea that BTs are the way to improve scoring in the game, but if they're going to use them, this is a better implementation than the first one, and on balance I think it's better than not having them - even if the best thing of all might be to have something totally different instead. 

Edited by yukishiro1
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They're a half-done mechanic. They've should have learned from 40k, specifically how you score and pick them, and allowed armies to use secondary objectives which suits different kinds of lists/factions. You'd see more list variety and armies which end up the mid/lower end of the meta can at least try their hand at playing the objective. AoS would also benefit a lot with a bigger general pool and scraping army specific ones entirely and/or rotate objectives with seasons to ensure the meta stays fresh.

Grand Strats would benefit from being a secret objective you reveal at the end of the battle, place a card face down visible to both players. Seems weird to broadcast your army's intent to the enemy. You would chose it before deployment instead of when list building. The aim here is to make it more of a mystery and have players trying to figure out what the opponent is trying to achieve during the course of the game. Plus, a bit of subterfuge and mind games is fun.

As you might pick out, this borrows from Malifaux since I think it is nice way of handling objective based play. It would work really well when combined with AoS/40k mechanics.

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I don’t love them. I mean i like the idea of secondaries, but these have turned into even more of a “have or have not” situation than warscroll battalions were (not that core battalions have been good either). Even the “neutral” BTs and GSs often skew toward certain factions in their general ease of scoring. Imo, balancing a game this complex is hard enough without adding in a rotating set of secondaries every year. 

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The last set of battle tactics I was tentatively happy with, on the assumption that they were testing a new system and didn't want to get too adventurous with the tactics. The new ones confirmed that suspicion and I think they're great, for the most part. My main critiques of the current crop are that some are very specific (kill a galletian vet holding a proving ground is quite tricky to even be eligible for).

Grand Strategies are fine, but as with artefacts/spells, the obvious easy always useful option is going to be the default for most lists. I would much prefer if these were able to be chosen at the start of the game after seeing your opponent's army, and perhaps make them a bit more niche so that there aren't any real no-brainers. Still, I like the current crop more than I did the previous crop.

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On 8/3/2022 at 2:54 PM, Enoby said:

Now AoS 3 is around a year old, we've had the chance to get used to Battle Tactics (BT) and Grand Strategies (GS), as well as the unique faction BTs and GSs.

These are amongst the biggest changes in competitive AoS, and while they're not as controversial as coherency, they are something a lot of my opponents ask to ignore (BTs rather than GSs usually).

So I was wondering how the community at large feels about them:

- Do you often use BTs and GSs?

- Do you prefer one over the other or are they both equally as beneficial? 

- If you do use them, do you think they add to the experience?

- Do you think they make the games more tactical? 

- If you don't use them, or have stopped, why?

- How would you improve them/their implementation? 

- What do you think of faction specific BTs and GSs?

I think AoS 3e has made some big steps forward onto making AoS a more competitive game. While it's often easy to ask about new things to add to the system (something I'm guilty of), AoS has thrived off simplicity and perhaps these are a step too far for some.

All games i use BTs & GSes.

I think the first is a good thing to think about through the game and makes you think about 5 turns not 1 (and maybe the double turn).  

They change what the focus of the game is.  Moving away from "let's just kill each other after we deploy against each other" is good for the game on the whole.  It makes it less the most broken unit wins (though that still creeps in obviously).  I still think it's valid for people to just open play kill each other.  if you aren't really into AoS or new, adding that much complexity is daunting.  But I'm always supporting extending the game with more options.  People need to stop breaking game modes or finding the one exception to the rule as to why something is bad (although those tend to be naysayers looking for an excuse instead of enjoyment).

I think GW is going in a good direction in some army-specific ones.  That can sometimes help weaker armies.

One thing 40k had to do was make the Nephalim missions more refined and less complex.  Granted 40k is a bit of a gong-show of rules kluges, etc.  Granted it's not hard to find 5 of 8 that will work in the game.

They are good, they can help weaker armies but they can also break OP armies as well do nothing.  Shrugs it's just more options.  i think more options to may choose to include is good.

I agree AoS has moved more towards a more complex game.  You can also choose to not use them granted that's not how the missions are set up.  A lot of casual competitive play relies on both people not being dicks.  Often that means not playing people you don't want to play and finding those you want.  

 

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