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Beer & Pretzels Gamer

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  1. It is a small sample size admittedly but I was at a tournament that allowed the WD battalion during the peak of multiple keepers and there were at least 5 or 6 Slaanesh players running that list and regularly throwing 4+ on the table. (In my head-to-head I believe my opponent got 5 on table...). But for the most part what you saw was one or two GW KoS and then tons of proxies. Since that experience haven’t been convinced by the thesis that GW fully benefits when they create an OP situation like that as at those prices the incentives to look elsewhere get high. The exception that I’ve seen is BCR where the SC kit is such a bargain that the all Stonehorns all the time lists do seem to be fully GW.
  2. Gotta respect somebody who just loves what there doing. If you can put 300+ models you painted on the able you’ve earned those power gamer expressions and more. It is arguably the army I am least likely to ever play (barring a major bargain on eBay because I just can’t paint at that scale...) but damn I’m happy there are players like yourself out there doing it justice!
  3. Can’t wait to put out all the lists for our new tournament format to see if readers can identify the winner in advance and thus test the list vs player hypothesis. But as I wait thought I’d put out a few thoughts on the threads that I referenced in my last post. As I’ve discussed in previous posts I came to Age of Sigmar from historical war games and a lot of these thoughts fall into the dynamic of “Yes it’s is fantasy but...” I’d be the first to admit that much of this in the end is personal preference. But as somebody who grew up reading tens of thousands of pages of high and low fantasy, and watching hundreds of hours of fantasy movies but came to AoS not directly from this love of fantasy but indirectly as I was also reading a lot of history books and watching a ton of historical movies and tv shows and thus first sought out historical war gaming as a way to better understand history (only to eventually be turned off by all the hidden abstraction in the name of veracity indulged by certain historical war gamers...) I thought I might offer a slightly different perspective on these issues. And rather tha spread them out through a series of different threads, given the common link I thought it was useful to put it all together in one spot. There’s a Reason They Call Them Uniforms Lack of model diversity comes up in a lot of threads so over the last few weeks I’ve had a recurring vision of Eisenhower inspecting the troops before D-Day and turning to Bradley and saying “we’ve got to call it off.” Bradley is obviously confused and pushes Eisenhower on why and he just keeps mumbling something about it being too visually confusing. Bradley finally demands an explanation and Eisenhower tells him “Omar, they’re all in green uniforms. It’s just going to be too hard to tell them apart on the beach. How are we supposed to coordinate all the actions when we can’t easily tell the different units apart.” Thank goodness Eisenhower wasn’t an Age of Sigmar General so D-Day was allowed to move forward even though the Allied Armies “design aesthetics” didn’t clearly differentiate between different units. To be clear, there are definitely cases where armies are praised for having a common look and color scheme but there are definitely cases where, fair or not, an army gets targeted for being too uniform. Which again, just sounds strange if you’re coming to AoS from historical wargaming where so much focus is often paid to get the uniforms accurate and, yes, uniform across an army. So yes it is fantasy and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting your armies to look fantastical. I’m all for painters coming up with diverse and creative color schemes not just across an army but within it. Even the factions most associated with a particular uniform color scheme such as Ironjawz in yellow armor or Fyreslayers with the orange bodies and hair still always show multiple different color schemes in their battle tome so no one should feel restricted. But even the most standard of AoS units still typically provide plenty of other visual signifiers besides the “uniform” to distinguish them on the table so if a player wants to go with a more classical approach to their army design I don’t think this should be such a focal point for animus as it seems to be in so many threads. Allies Aren’t Easy There are very legitimate complaints to be made about how allies work (or don’t) in AoS. The only reason, for example, I can figure out that the KO wouldn’t let Gotrek in their flying boat is because he must get violently air sick and they’re just tired of having to clean up. But I accept it because I know enough about game design to know how difficult it is to write rules that work across literally millions of different potential combinations without breaking the game. The one complaint though I really struggle with is the complaint that allies don’t get all the faction buffs and benefits. Sticking with WW2 for a moment anyone looking at the dynamic between Patton and Montgomery would easily see how difficult it is to coordinate actions between allies even when there is a central authority issuing orders to both. Thus it was for very good reason that when the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy each country’s army units basically landed on their own front. So the US landed on Utah and Omaha, while the British landed on Gold and Sword and the Canadians on Juno. Yes, it’s fantasy so there is nothing wrong with wanting your shiny golden boy Stormcast to work with your tree folk Sylvaneth and your armor bound dwarves. And I’m thrilled that Cities of Sigmar has found a reasonable way to allow these combos to function a little smoother while also providing a good logic that said smoothness comes from regular interaction in the cities themselves. But even a basic read of the lore of AoS is still consistent with the concept that the issues that make coordination of allies irl would be just as prevalent, if not more in AoS. So even before we get into how game breaking certain combos would be if ally rules were looser I’m personally comfortable with the underlying logic to the ally limitations. They Have a Cave Troll Some of the logic regarding allying in units from other factions carries over to interactions between units within the more diverse factions. As with the above my point isn’t that there aren’t legitimate complaints about how keywords work in AoS. Again, my tolerance is probably higher because it is easy for me to see how easily looser usage could lead to an even greater degree of power creep/OP combos. Here though I think I pretty clearly have fantasy on my side (particularly cinematic fantasy) as it is only slightly easier to coordinate vastly disparate types of units in live combat than it is to coordinate with allies. Since GW has LotR franchise as well thought I’d use a “Fellowship of the Ring” reference here and the scene in the Mines of Moria when they first encounter the orcs who, as Boromir is sure to note “have a Cave Troll.” In the battle that ensues the cave troll does as much or more damage to his orc “allies” as he does to the fellowship. Friendly fire incidents are unfortunately common irl but if anything in fantasy they are even more common. So absolutely yes, it is fantasy and it is super cool that it allows us to field trolls, sorry Troggoths, with our Grots or our Ogors, but given the prevalence of the friendly fire trope in fantasy arguably AoS isn’t penalizing such combinations nearly enough. Forget synergies, if we are to believe the fantasy we read in our books and see on our screens we should be seeing mismatched units dishing out a decent amount of friendly fire damage each turn. Now in this particular aspect I’m an NOT calling for AoS to implement a harsher friendly fire system. But versus truly penalizing you for taking mismatched units as fantasy source material pretty consistently does, not allowing you to cross buff seems pretty fair to me. The best historical comparison to the fantasy I would say was the novel use of War Elephants in the Mediterranean. Sure Hannibal made them famous with his relatively successful deployment but that wasn’t exactly the base case from the historical evidence. Don’t have the details in front of me but where they were a novel unit (if any one has a good source for areas where they were more common/standard, such as the Indian sub-continent I’d be fascinated to follow up on the differences) my recollection is that in about 1/3 of battles they were a decisive factor for the side deploying them. In another 1/3 they were basically non-factors (at least one opposing military leader realized they don’t exactly stop on a dime or turn around quickly and thus had his lines open to let them pass and then closed again to meet the charge of the foot units very successfully). And in ~1/3 of battles they ended up directly contributing to the loss of the side deploying them (another military leader realized you could panic them by harassing fire with missile weapons and get them to stampede through their own lines). So whether in fantasy or irl mix & match has been a difficult strategy to pull off. The Heart Wants What it Wants Again, my interest here has not been in arguing people are wrong for wanting what they want out of the game. I can’t and won’t argue with them about their preferences. Preferences don’t of course have to be consistent with real life or have properly noted sourcing from the fantasy literature and filmography. The quality of the game experience, also, isn’t perfectly correlated with fidelity to either. My confusion arises when these preferences though get rationalized by calls to fidelity to fantasy or realism. On that note I’ll end with the complaint about how battalions are often configured too narrowly. While I know of a few exceptions in general the real military definition of a battalion is a group of the SAME TYPE OF UNITS with a Headquarters unit (to coordinate them and improve their efficacy)and a support unit (I.e. to resupply them). While I’d be curious to play a version of AoS that forced you to manage your army’s logistics (if for no other reason than it gives an advantage to my FEC and Mawtribes armies whose rations are so conveniently delivered to them by their opponent...) leaving so direct a translation we are left with the basic concept of by bringing together a group of units with a common skill set, giving them enhanced leadership, and ensuring they are supported, you get a more effective force than you would have individually. Which to me pretty much sounds like most of the battalions people are complaining about because they reduce diversity. Hey, I love diversity and in another context could cite plenty of the literature that shows how increased diversity improves performance. And in AoS there are advantages to the additional tools diversity brings you. But as my old economics professor always said, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. In other words there is always a trade off. Specialization provides the benefit of improving the efficacy of a given solution, which is great except if that solution doesn’t work for the problem you are facing. Having more potential solutions then can be an advantage over the long run when you are likely to face multiple different problems (in this context say over a two day tournament). But the trade off is you might not have enough energy allocated to the solution to the specific problem you are facing (say in a specific match up in a tournament). Thats just how any complex system works. Yes, it is fantasy but without flattening the game space significantly you can’t avoid it. Nor, is specialization at all inconsistent with fantasy. In fact many fantasy worlds are built around racial, cultural or socioeconomic specialization. Which gets to what I guess is my final point. Yes, it is fantasy, but with a few rare exceptions in order to get us to relate to the characters and avoid breaking down our suspension of disbelief fantasy authors tend to base much of their material on examples from the real world. These examples of course may be exaggerated or twisted but when you look you can almost always see the through lines connecting these fantasy stories to the real world, whether the present or historical. Given this I am not surprised at the consistent through lines to real world combat I see in the ostensibly fantasy battle system that is AoS. Anyway, thanks for reading my ramblings as I eagerly await Zoom League list deadline.
  4. Yeah, the Huskard is the closest we’ve come to making Thudertusks work because the prayers have a role and in games with multiple objectives he can sometimes sit on one and shoot snowballs and hail. But for the points... ugh. Which is a shame because I loved Thundertusks in previous tome and have two non-Huskards now collecting dust. There’s just lose out to Frost Sabres ambushing with Icebrow as the faction that would let you use them better leans into those Thundertusks. But it’s a good example of how more doesn’t mean better if the extra WS aren’t going to be playable. The one to that end I’m most interested in at moment is KO, which just doesn’t work on Zoom (opponent really needs to be able to measure their own screens basically every turn with Fly High...). But a faction with a limited number of WS and initial impression is most work.
  5. I’m with @Nacnudllah with Flesh-Eater Courts as while it has a narrow list of WS it is the faction that I have gotten by far the smoothest variety of play styles out of. In the mood for a MONSTER mash than I roll out Gristelgore with my multiple Terrorgheists (of the mounted and solo variety). In the mood for some fast action and magic? Blisterskin with Crypt Flayers has come the closest to running a true cavalry army I’ve experienced. Heck, wanting to get my zombie apocalypse Horde thing going? Let’s go Morghaunt with the Chalice and drop some Crypt Ghoul mobs on the table as an anvil with a couple of courtiers and them maybe summon a few Crypt Horrors in behind my enemy to hammer them into it. I’ve seen the same thing with Nurgle which another player in our group runs but truly experienced it with Tzeentch and Khorne where I have a ton more options but find it much more difficult to move away from the faction’s default play style as so many of the WS are simply variations on the same theme as opposed to offering a truly different dynamic. Fortunately I enjoy both factions but my base case is I’ll settle into a couple lists for each that give me what I want and WS that don’t make it on those will be neglected in a way none of my FEC are. As regards @Kramer comment regarding combining the Ogors in Mawtribes, or for that matter Orruk in Warclans, after a lot of play I’ve actually come round to seeing the books as a fully functional ally system, in contrast to how the GA stuff ended up working or the 1 in 4 max 400 pts of 2K actually plays on the table. As a result almost all the WS (sorry Gorgers...) have made it on to our table. Dozens of games with each on the table in our little Zoom League and I really don’t feel like either BCR or Gutbusters have lost their distinctness as lists tend to be biased one way or another with a unit or two of the other side coming in to fulfill a specific role (e.g. a Frostlord Hammer for the Gutbuster Ironguts Anvil or a Butcher to buff the BCR Stonehorns and trigger the Mawpot when needed while providing a dispel here or there). So I’ve gone from mild disappointment at Mawtribes time to a much greater appreciation. In contrast my recent dip into Stormcast Eternals highlighted that more war scrolls doesn’t make for a better experience.
  6. TTS would be another great way to get around the taboos. I am incredibly curious how that knowledge actually plays out in the lists people build. If I can figure it out my hope is to post all the lists and then have a poll to see if the wisdom of the crowd can identify the winning list? Another great way to test the list vs player hypothesis.
  7. Oh Boy! After a few weeks off for the Holidays during which I probably spent way too much time reading threads about how bad things supposedly are in Age of Sigmar land (there’s not enough diversity, there’s too much power creep, it’s being neglected, etc.) I am grateful to be back playing and having fun. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of thoughtful posters on all sides of these issues but reading through them in bulk just makes me incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful gaming group. As @Kramer hit upon regularly in his posts on those threads when the social contract is strong you can have fun competitive games with a wide variety of lists. Tonight, for example I will be concierging a grudge match that came out of our last tournament which was a combination escalation league and round robin. It was Big Waaagh!!! vs. Gristelgore vs. Boulderhead vs. whatever the heck you want to call the crazy amalgamation of SCEs I put on the table trying to play the new “Morathi” rules with the random models my kids had picked out because they looked cool. Round 1 was 1.25K, Round 2 was 1.5K and Round 3 was 1.75K with the Championship/Consolation match at 2K. It was a fun series of matches (especially for everyone when they got to play me 😏) but the nature of the tournament meant that you might just catch a bad match where your point level was at a far more awkward state then your opponent’s when you went head-to-head. Some good natured trash talk along these lines is the basis of tonight’s match up where the 2K Boulderhead list that got stuck in the consolation match goes up against the 2K Gristelgore list from the championship because Boulderhead was frustrated that they’d beaten Gristelgore at 1.5K only to not make the championship on a Tie Breaker. Nothing for it but to settle it on the table. And if that wasn’t enough to make me grateful up next I get to try something that I’ve always wanted to try. As those threads I referenced earlier have shown in certain corners there is a strong belief that list building plays an outsized role in determining game outcomes. Having faced the White Dwarf multi-Keeper of Secrets Slaanesh list on a tournament table I’m not so naive as to say list building doesn’t matter but call me old fashioned I think you still need to play the games. More than that, beyond the mathhammer that so often only lasts until the dice are actually rolled I do believe that the player can truly drive the outcome by how the move those models around the table and what they choose to do with them. So from the aftermath of the first game of Age of Sigmar I ever played I’d thought the best way to suss out the list vs player was, once you’d played through the match one way, you switch sides and play through it all again. To me the ultimate bragging rights are if I can beat you with my list, then turnaround and beat my list with yours under the same conditions. Now beyond the obvious time constraints there are often other issues (i.e. the taboo of touching your opponents’s models) that have kept this theoretical... Until Now. Given I’m moving all the models anyway in our little Zoom League there are no taboos. Time constraints remain real but that’s solved by a little tweaking such that we will play through the round robin with each player playing the list they submitted against each of the other players over our normal period. When we’ve finished we’ll then reset and each player will play their opponent’s list in the same scenario. All lists will be 2K. Scoring in the first Round Robin will be 1 pt per a major victory. In the second Round Robin if the player who won the previous match wins with the list they beat they score 2 points. If the same list wins the second time the player scores 1 point. By the end think we’ll have a very clear idea of both the skills of the players and the strengths of the respective lists. I also have a strong suspicion that we’ll learn a lot playing against our own lists, something we rarely get to do. Can’t wait to get started! In the interim here are some of the highlights of the last tournament:
  8. Model selection is ridiculously hard given the difficulty of knowing what they have and what they need without a specific list. My simple suggestion for both easier to learn AND as reasonably budgeted as the hobby gets - Thematic Dice. If you can learn even one or two armies they like there’s a good chance you can find some themed dice for them and I’ve found it is a rare thing to have too many dice. Know I’ve loved the Ogor Mawtribes dice I was given as a gift for my Birthday and I’ve had good luck as the gifter as well. There are also a lot of really cool themed or stylized wound counters out there if dice aren’t your thing or you’re looking for a little extra. Finally, as cheesy as it sounds I’m absolutely loving my official Chaos themed Holiday Sweater. Way better quality than I expected.
  9. Coming from historical wargaming I guess I truly struggle to see AoS as anti-diversity. In historical wargaming your options can be incredibly limited from the simplistic recreation of a battle where only the units that were in the actual battle are allowed to major restrictions on what type of weapons are allowed given year the battle is being fought to which armies can fight each other. In sharp contrast AoS currently has 24 armies I believe ranging from dwarves & goblins to giants & greater deamons (with more trademark able names of course) or from bare chested club wielding barbarians to steampunk powered riflemen. While there are rules that apply once I have chosen a given army on what else I can put into that list for matched play again, vs historical wargaming it is incredibly flexible. When the player in our group felt that his Legion of Azgorh Execution Herd needed something a little different the was able to throw in Skarbrand or Mazarall the Butcher as backup. If you want to combine your old school elves with your tree people and Stormcast you’ve got Living City. Combine Ironjawz & Bonesplitterz? Big Waaagh!!! (Cities of Sigmar is the type of flexibility in diversity you’d never see in Historical Wargames...) Again, you can’t do everything but you can do so much. You can, in fact, build an army list that combines Trogs and Grots. Now if your point is simply that not all combinations are equally competitive... Sure, I guess. But as @RuneBrush notes that may just be a more balance discussion in different clothing. I doubt AoS will ever be balanced but at least, with the steady release of new tomes and new rule sets it is also never stagnant. If your army or favorite flavor is out of fashion wait and in the next cycle it could be on top. I hate to use a tautology but when it comes to tournaments the top tier of competitors are going to build competitive lists and at any given time the scope of those competitive lists will be determined by the balance between point costs and current rules/WS/battletomes. Fortunately at any tournament of scale there are likely to be participants who aren’t there just to go 5-0 who increase the diversity of the lists you’ll see. Even more fortunate, though I do understand some people are more restricted to tournament play, there is incredible list diversity being played across AoS tables every day in less competitive settings. But to build on @Kramer’s point, as frustrating as KEYWORDS can be (I’ve been playing Stormcast lately and it is frustrating that all the named Hero buffs are restricted to Hammers of Sigmar, limiting my ability to play other sub-factions if I use them) I do think some of the use of KEYWORDS is truly for the good in creating a more immersive game. Sure it is possible to reduce the buffs given on WS to there simple effects but that little bit of text explaining why that buff is given absolutely can add to the experience AND improve the internal logic of a game. To look at a simple example using the Gloomspite Gitz I believe you’ve referenced let’s check out the Loonboss options. - Regular Loonboss has “I’m da Boss, Now Stab ‘EM Good”. Sure we can reduce this to a buff that grants 1 MW on unmodified 6s and say hey, that should be universal to Gloomspite instead of limited to the KEYWORD MOONCLAN but the text says this is about a Loonboss’s ability to get their minions to fight for them. Hard to picture those Grots up on an Arachnarok Spider as seeing that little guy on foot as their boss, but at least if they did you could argue that they at least have stabbing weapons. It is not only harder to picture this little guy bossing around a Troggoth but they’re also bashing weapons, not stabbing. Semantics? Sure, but this game is about Semantics otherwise why bother naming the weapons and other attacks? Sure we can reduce WS to melee weapons option #1 and melee weapon option #2 but are we really better off for it? - The Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig has Let’s Get Bouncing! Which adds 3” to the move characteristic of KEYWORD SQUIG units. Hey, I’m with you that I’d love an extra 3” for my slow moving Shootas and Stabbas. But what is the basis for this 60% increase in their movement? They don’t have anything to bounce on so to speak so where is it coming from? On the other hand the logic of a bunch of Boingrot Bounderz following their similarly Squig saddled leader into battle is there. Similarly I just don’t see Troggoths as that bouncy or being inspired to follow a small green git on a red mushroom with a mouth into a wild charge. - similarly the Loonboss on Mangler Squig’s CA is Bite Da Moon! requires the keyword SQUIG. I get that this one isn’t worded to only grant the +1 to Wound to the biting related attacks but again there is a logic to giving it to unit that do have one versus all units. Sure, any of these buffs would be great if more widely applicable but doing so would make the units more generic. The same logic applies to battalions in that they are supposed to represent something and the requirements and buffs should reflect that. Spider Rider Skitterswarm Battalion is meant to reflect the fast riding forward units of the Spiderfang so it makes sense they’d have 2” extra movement. What is the logic to grant this buff to other units? Maybe you could make it a more generic battalion by allowing any mounted unit and I’d be okay with that. But expanding it to include Shootas and Stabbas - that I just wouldn’t understand. (And yes I realize there isn’t a full internal logic to AoS - why can units that only move 4” charge up to 12”? - but there is clearly meant to be some logic to the WS and battalion buffs.) To quote my old economics professor there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. In other words there always will be trade-offs when building a list and those trade-offs will bias competitive list building in certain directions at certain time and thus at the tournament top there may be some lack of diversity (though I still see plenty of different armies wracking up tournament wins when they are being played). But the basic rules of AoS allow for plenty of diversity even if not all of it will be all that competitive. And even if you removed every KEYWORD players would still be optimizing for what remains, constraining diversity at the highest levels. But if you did you’d be losing a whole lot of the game’s immersive flavor.
  10. The most open ended battalions that I have real experience playing against/with is Beasts of Chaos. Yet to @Kramer’s point even with flexibility you’re still going to see the most efficient units picked within the battalion choices, particularly as relates to the sub-faction/great fray chosen. As @Dreddships noted narrative games offer an alternative and local gaming groups can of course set up their own conditions to increase the variety of units on the table. My Zoom League essentially requires lists to take a MONSTER or two. In a side escalation league against a Nurgle player who loves his PBKs I want to trial some Rockgut Trolls in my Mawtribes list as allies. I get the frustration with KEYWORDS though. At the same time though “universal” faction or alliance buffing could lead to some crazy combos that would only unbalance the game further. My first tournament army list was Braggoth’s Hammer from the 1.0 Beastclaw Raider Tome. That tome was incredibly flawed but I loved a battalion that allowed me to add diverse units like Gore Gruntas to my BCR list in a way that made sense In 2.0 I really feel a lot of that style has been lost and there are too many times where there aren’t battalions or buffs for units and thus they will almost lose out. This seems fixable as, to a certain extent, has been tried in White Dwarf with the Gitz.
  11. Yeah, that was why he’d sent them in instead of drawing off a Royal Terrorgheist. Also, I’d really hoped Featherfoe Torc, forcing rerolling of 6s on his flying units (basically everything but the Archregent), would help my general more but the reality is with our low Wounds for Heroes really only takes one or two going through and they evaporate.
  12. Going back a few weeks now (play one game a week in the league) but my memory is that if they had held out one more turn it would’ve forced my opponent to attack my Stood Fast Garrison to try and take the objective in my territory. With all the buffs I could put into that and what my opponent had left to throw at it I had decent chance of holding out for the W. Stormkeep seems at its best when you can force your opponent to come at you and hit the units you want it to.
  13. In a small, friendly Escalation League tried double Stormkeep Battalion lists at 1.5k, 1.75k and 2k using Wardens of the Stormkeep. And Stormtower Garrison. Went 1-2 with the only win coming at 1.75k when all my movement shenanigans paid off against Boulderhead in Total Commitment. There I was able to use a Lord-Arcanum on Gryph-Charger’s Ride the Winds Aetheric to steal the NE objective after my opponent had pushed forward most of their force into my Standing Fast Garrison. Neave rode in the wake and was able to stay on NE objective while the LA rode the winds again to the SW objective, taking it away from my opponent who had moved their models off it the prior turn, scoring me again some nice bonuses. I used the Knight-Vexillor’s teleport to reposition my defensively buffed Lord-Celestant on Dracoth (Drakescale Armor + Drake Kin + Hammers Command Trait) for a charge to finish off the FLoSH. When my Celestant-Prime came down in Round 3 and took back my objective from the remnants of my opponents first surge i was able to put the game away. Unsurprisingly other than that game the major issue was mobility. At 1.5K I did steal my Gristelgore opponent’s objective in Battle for the Pass by teleporting my Protectors onto with the KV but they couldn’t hold it against Crypt Flayers piling in twice. And once my opponent killed the Lord-Aquilor and Lord-Arcanum on Gryph-Charger I just didn’t have the mobility to contest objectives outside of my territory in the later rounds. Stand Fast, especially when in cover on terrain and/or further buffed by We Cannot Fail truly can make even an MSU of Liberators reasonably resilient. In the 1.25k game where I ran Stormkeep but not their battalions I had a unit hold out on terrain against an offensively buffed Mawcrusha for a full turn. The trade-off of course, above and beyond the lack of mobility, is that I felt obligated to go first every game to get the buff going. In the final 2K game this proved very costly as it allowed my opponent to snag a bunch of VP on their first turn while I remained turtled up, as well as allowing them to pick their targets. As I noted in my first post, playing an army largely “built” by my kids ideas on cool (i.e. I started out with a Stardrake, a Taurulon and Prime to choose from but zero battleline options...) I wasn’t exactly expecting to dominate so after filling in the pieces I figured why not the new hotness (hot mess?). Given the list building limitations and the MONSTER meta I play in not sure how much there is to take away broadly but given the discussion of the lost mobility from dropping Scions vs the Liberator buff gained thought I’d provide my general thoughts on the experience.
  14. In reading this thread realized how deep I’d actually gotten into FW. It started with a Chaos Dwarfs project I did for a friend which was a nightmare to get the two handed weapons aligned and reminded me how much I struggle painting at that small of a scale. My most recent is a Mournghul kitbashed into a Varghulf Courtier. In between I ran an Execution Herd (fully painted originals luckily acquired at a discount) w/Artillery and have managed to pick up some other pieces here & there. My basic issue with the rules vs models gets right to the heart of the disconnect I see between FW and GW and it can be seen in with Sons of Behemat and the Bonegrinder even though they actually pretty quickly got a new WS out for it. Given that WS’s limitations in interacting with rest of tome though I would most likely want to run it as an alternate Gatebreaker a majority of the time. The problem is that the Bonegrinder is on a 120mm base vs rest of the Megan’s on 130mm. Okay, so not too big a kitbash issue there but while Nurgle’s Exalted uses the same base size as its closest proxy in a GUO the Tzeentch is on a larger base than a regular LoC, the Slaanesh Exalted isn’t even on the same shape base and simply put the Khorne Bloodthirster on FW will never be a potential proxy for the rest. I’m actually mostly fine with the latter Khorne example as it is FW trying to truly do something different but to be so close but no cigar so often is just frustrating given the rules gap. With Guild of Summoners it would be nice to be able to easily distinguish between your extra LoCs be proxying in an Exalted. Assume the same is true for the multiple Keepers option for Slaanesh. Making this a simpler option I would think would go along way to creating some goodwill to offset other FW frustrations. When there is a rules “gap” let me still put this awesome model on the table. And I’ve intentionally focused here mainly on Chaos Daemons models that play in both AoS and 40k because honestly I think that’s the most likely way we are to see new AoS FW models (though as another poster mentioned I’m still waiting for a WS for those awesome HH Khorne Daemons...)
  15. YES!!! I came to AoS as salvation from complete burnout from the illogical puzzle dynamic of historical war gaming. My breaking point wasn’t the geometry per se but an incident where I spent three hours out of a five hour Gettysburg game getting my cannons in position and properly getting then limbered from the horses only to be told that (despite this replicating their positioning in the actual battle perfectly) that my cannons couldn’t shoot at their target because a small corner (talking a few CM) of a cornfield “obstructed” their vision and there was nothing I could do about this so the opposing soldiers could march right up without ever taking any grape shot... I’d accepted plenty of “silly” geometry rules up till that point “in the name of historical accuracy” as the guy who ran the games always insisted but after that I was done. Haven’t played a rank & file historical war game since. It took a big adjustment to go from that to AoS. The idea, for example that if one model is in range the entire unit was in range made me cringe the first half dozen times I played. Or that all a failed charge meant was that you stood still, not got stuck out in no man’s land as happened in some of the historical games I’d played. But one aspect I liked from the very beginning was the more “natural/realistic” movement. Units could flow with the terrain. Once battle was engaged battle lines stretch and deform. I LOVED this aspect. To the extent that it leads to gamey moves I think that has less to do with “Skirmish” rules than being an objectives based game as until we switched from narrative games to match play games in prep for a fun local tournament simply put we never really saw any obvious “weirdness” in the way armies moved, charged, or piled in. Similarly as soon as we go back to narrative games they disappear again. And while I’m not a big fan of solving mechanics issues with more mechanics issues the increase in “pick a model” and things like he Allopexes no pile in I think do just enough to discourage overly aggressive “gaminess”. So are AoS rules perfect? No. And in the Zoom-based meta I’m currently playing in we really work to avoid big blobs for other reasons. But I think a virtue of the AoS rules is that they are flexible to accommodate both big blobs and more elite builds in what, from my perspective over last ~18 months, is a very rapidly evolving grand meta.
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