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KrrNiGit

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  1. I like how you’ve restricted yourself without limiting the warscrolls available to you. I think it strikes a nice balance
  2. The more I think about it the idea of a multiplayer casual game mode resonates more with me than adding some personal restrictions to make the game harder... I’m not that good a player without giving myself extra handicaps 😛 Making a commander type rule set I think I’d do something like give everyone 1000 points for their army and 500 points for their commander. Any of the 500 you didn’t spend on your commanders warscroll you could buy enhancements with (also I might try scraping the rule limiting how many enhancements you can give to your commander). i also love the respawn your dead commander rule @Neil Arthur Hotep thought up. Maybe the first time it’s just a CP to bring them back, then 2, then 2 + your heroic action? finally I think you’d need to come up with some special battleplans... something to help force the players to interact more and not just turtle up somewhere... that or just use the fortnite one...
  3. Big fan of these changes and your design direction. I think returning heroes sounds like great fun.
  4. Thanks, I will look into it. Where can I find a copy of the Highlander rules?
  5. @Neil Arthur Hotep I can see where you are coming from with commander vs Nuzlocke. Commander does seem the better fit, I just don’t have the experience with it to use it as the basis of my thoughts. I’d be very interested in a Commander mod for AoS though. Sounds like a great time. If you did a version of Commander for AoS would you restrict it to one of each warscroll and no reenforcements (except battleline)? Maybe using the the Triumph and Treachery rules as a base?
  6. Yeah the last thing we need is making sentinels more powerful ... i think maybe with some additional list restrictions like Smorgan suggests in his YouTube video or maybe in something softer like a Path to Glory campaign this could really add some extra spice. It isn’t fair or balanced but hopefully it’s fun.
  7. In my previous brain dump I went over the importance of the 3 ways to play. When discussing Open Play a particular thought struck me and I have been mulling it over since. Open play begs us as players to take hold of our play experience and change it and make it our own. This feeling has been echoed in recent discussions around Commander/EDH on Warhammer Weekly (Vince Venturella on YouTube) and Smorgan’s AoS Nuzlocke idea (AoS List Labs on YouTube). EDH and Nuzlockes are different game modes for Magic the Gathering and Pokémon respectively, created by their respective communities that have taken off. Both change the rules to enhance the game experience for the players. Both create something new with the building blocks already available. Sounds a lot like our Open Play to me… I don’t really play magic so let’s look at what Nuzlocke does to Pokémon and see if there is anything we can learn from that for our game. A Nuzlocke run is a play through with additional player chosen restrictions that aim to do 3 things: increase player engagement, increase the stakes and increase the game’s difficulty. It increases player engagement by restricting the number of Pokémon you get (one per route) and making you give a nickname to each one you get. These two things work together to make each Pokémon feel more special and feel more yours. It increases the stakes (and therefore the emotional impact) by requiring players to get rid of any Pokémon that feints. When playing Nuzlocke, they haven’t just fainted they’ve DIED. Pokémon are already in short supply and now they can be lost from a single mistake. The simple interaction of fighting a random trainer on the trail now has real stakes. They could kill one of your Pokémon that you have named, trained and looked after all this time. Non-important filler content is made into potential tension filled emotionally engaging content. These changes work to increase the game’s difficulty. Players are challenged more, they need to adapt more and they need to play better to succeed. Players need to adapt on the fly, to deal with the random hand of Pokémon the game deals you. You can not just play the way you always have, you need to try new things to overcome old challenges. Hammering a nail is not particularly difficult, unless you have no hammers. Restricting and randomising your Pokémon creates new and interesting problems for you to overcome. Failure is also now an option. As you lose a Pokémon when they feint you can easily be left in a position where you don’t have enough Pokémon to continue or at the very least none that will help you progress in the game. Failure is really an option. Something that is harder to succeed at is more satisfying, succeeding at something with no real chance of failure is not. These 3 changes help in another important way. They bring the game play closer to the narrative of the Pokémon world. In Pokémon manga or cartoons, Ash Catchem cares about his Pokémon. They aren’t just battle monsters but beloved pets. By playing Nuzlocke you are encouraged to care for your Pokémon. You are encouraged to act and feel like a real Pokémon trainer in that world would act and feel. The game’s mechanics don’t enforce any of these, in fact it encourages you to do the opposite. You are encouraged to grind out your Pokémon, to catch 100s of the same one to ensure it has optimal stats and characteristics. Feinting is easily recovered from for free. Playing the game optimally doesn’t feel like a true Pokémon experience, or at best maybe a very watered down one. So what are some ways we can better align the narrative of our game with the experience of playing it? What player based restrictions can we add to make it a better experience for us as we play it. One idiom I have heard around the table is referring to the player as the general of their army. We often talk about this as a hypothetical, but what if we make it real? How can we make this true on the table? Other games do make it real. In Chess if the king is captured you lose. You could easily make this change in your AoS games. If your nominated general dies you lose (I would also restrict it so that they can’t be unique either – so no Archaon, Morathi or Nagashes). If they die you shake hands, you forfeit, you lose, no matter the score or what else is going on in the game. When playing that way would you willingly put your hero up front where they would be most effective but also most at risk? Would you think more when you move them each turn? Would them taking a few wounds here or there have more of an emotive effect on you as the player? By consciously aligning yourself with your general you will be more engaged with the game. You have an avatar on the table. This should help draw players in to the world of the game, more than just being people playing at the table. Making the death of the general an instant lose condition will also increase the stakes of your games. No matter how dominant you are most armies can kill a single hero if they try hard to. If you are careless with your general you could easily lose from any position. Each and every turn it gives the players something else to consider. In reverse if you do go all out to kill their general and fail, have you over extended yourself leaving yourself vulnerable to their counter attack? Playing this way would definitely impact how you build and play your army. Keeping your general safe becomes a priority. Now you need to balance the ability for them to be an impactful piece in the game with the risk of them dying and you losing. It is a new puzzle to be overcome. This constant tension and risk makes the games more challenging. There is a constant risk of losing it all. There are new issues to consider both in list construction and during the game. Generally the general is a central force multiplier. They give buffs and push their armies forward. Doing so puts them usually requires them to be upfront and central, putting them at risk however. Now you would also need to consider how safe to keep them. Do you go all out for defence or synergy? Or build a beat stick general and they might kill a lot but if they die after then you still lose. This risk poses new questions for list builders to consider. Finally, this also helps players follow the narrative of the game better. Narratively this is not a game about scoring points but rather about armies fighting battles. Mechanically however in the game the winner is decided by who scores the most. While some of these points are scored for doing narratively aligned things, some are really not (e.g. run 3 units). When you choose to identify yourself with a character on the battlefield you tend to play like that character would. Adding in an instant lose condition gives this choice real consequences, adds real tension and therefore should enhance the experience of the playing the game. That is the theory anyway. Would adding this change make you feel more engaged? Would it raise the stakes and tension in your games? Would it create new and interesting challenge? Maybe… guess we’ve got to play them and find out.
  8. Nice to know that my initial thoughts weren’t completely off base. It’s cool hearing all the rad stuff you all are doing with the game. I would love to see the rules you have set up for your little narrative adventures. Is there a place where people have shared their modules? I would love to see what tweaks people have made to the game to help tell their stories. While reading someone else’s narrative is fun, reading their module could inspire me (and others) to play in their world (or give me new ideas for how to play in my own). Anyone else interested in this? Or just me? I am also a bit surprised that the response to my post is pretty much 100% from “narrative players” (not that there is such a clean delineation between player types in reality). Maybe it is because there were too many words in it for competitive players? And not enough pictures for open ones :P? Either way there seems to be a silent “majority” (not really any way or point to proving which way to play has the most active players in my opinion) of narrative players in this hobby. Which to some extant makes sense, there are games with a lower barrier of entry (and less nerd stigma) if you want a solely competitive experience out there. There seems to be something about AoS that draws people who want to create and experience stories as they play it not just win a game. I guess my follow up question then is how do we help new people to the AoS community into narrative play? How do we show them the breadth of what’s possible? Or is this something people need to do on their own?
  9. A tale of 3 ways to play The core book for Age of Sigmar (AoS) has 3 ways to play; narrative, open and competitive (in the core book competitive play takes 8 pages while narrative takes 33 and open 8 (this does not include the 222 pages of actual narrative in the core book)). I don’t think most of us take this split seriously. Most events and clubs seem to be competitively focussed, or at least the ones that put themselves out there/I could find easily are. The people I have met there play competitively so any discussion with them shares that focus. Talking about competitive play is easy; who won, what armies are doing well, what are the stats etc. We spend hours making cool lists that will crush our enemies, see their war dollies driven before us and hear the lamentation of their self-esteem. I find it much harder to talk about a narrative or an open play game. If I try to tell someone the story of my little army I get embarrassed; what will they think of me? It’s not like we are all nerds playing with tiny figurines or anything. There is no set language for talking about it either. Open and Narrative games have a context that exist solely for that game. A competitive tournament has a context that is already understood by the majority of AoS players. Competitive play is already universally understood, it has a language and focus that does not exist in Narrative or Open play. If you have played a competitive game you have a good idea of what any competitive game will be, if you have played one open play or narrative game you have played one open or narrative game. This imbalance is worth talking about. Should we care about all of the 3 ways? Should we bother to keep them? If one of the ways wasn’t worth the effort surely the others would benefit from getting the effort redirected to give them more attention. or What is GW saying by keeping these 3 ways to play consciously part of their core game? Wouldn’t they get a better return on their effort by focussing on the competitive community over other players? What does having a designated space for narrative and open play say about our game? By keeping the 3 ways to play GW are saying that the game can and should be played multiple ways. They want it to be enjoyed in a variety of ways by a variety of players. Have you ever felt bad that you were doing it wrong? Then don’t, Warhammer is for you! Makes sense for GW as a company, the more excuses people have to play the more people have excuses to buy GW. So for (what at times feels like) a minimal effort GW increases their customer base and therefore sells more models. What about us though? What does having open and narrative players in our wider AoS community mean for us? Our game is wider than we give it credit for. Look at a competitive tournament. While it focusses on competitive play, they tend not to be exclusive in their focus. Not only are there competitive games, but also painting awards and sports awards. A good tournament rewards all types of players and gives them all a place to hang out together. After a tournament some people talk about the cool armies, some about the winners and some about the cool moments in the games they played. All had a valid experience at the event and TOs should be looking at rewarding and welcoming them all. Because if giving more people an excuse to play works for GW it should also work for any TOs trying to build our community. While there is a separation of these “ways to play” in the core book, I think all 3 permeate the entire game to certain extents. Look at how GW writes rules: The rule has an evocative name, followed by flavour text and finally rules text explaining what it does. The rule is not just there to be a game interaction but to support an emotional experience for the players and tell us something about the characters who have them. Look at chess as a counter point. The pieces have thematic names (knight, rook, pawn, etc.) but the rules covering how they interact is not trying to create an evocative moment about the pieces (i.e. the knight charges over the silly pawn and wipes out the foolish bishop) but rather a game moment (this piece takes that piece creating this game state). These moments can be just as memorable but not from the story they tell in the world of the game but in the interaction between the players at the table. A good game of chess is played between two good players across a board, a good game of Warhammer can be the same, but it can also be played within the world of the game. They don’t have be nameless pieces but rather their own individual characters interacting in their own world. Good narrative play tries to push the players beyond the mechanics and into the world of the game itself. Narrative play: the play’s the thing So if the narrative is imbedded within every part of the game, why do we need a specific narrative way to play? Hopefully by looking closer at this section in the Core book we can find some answers. In the core book we are given a campaign mode (Path to Glory) and some narrative battle plans. The idea of a narrative battle plan should not be that unreasonable or unknown to most people. People in history have never fought over who has the most people standing within 3 circles on the battlefield. Instead there is always a reason for each armies objective, its only in the abstraction required for balanced matched play have we lost this. When we tell the story of an historic battle, it is who fought there and why, what did they want to achieve. In the story of the battle of Thermopylae, the Spartans held the pass to prevent the Persians from conquering all of Greece, not just them plonking their army on a spot and camping more points than their opponents before they were tabled. In our narrative battle plans we can recreate moments and retell them through our games. Most importantly the narrative helps give our games purpose. They help us build a context to our play rather than just scoring more points than our opponent. Even senseless violence can have justified reasons (even if they are not reasonable). Narrative battle plans try to bring this into how they work. We aren’t battling for a circle, instead we are battling for a single pass across a mountain range, or for a pile of gold or for (in certain sci-fi setting) the high ground. More over these battles imply consequences and stakes beyond one player winning and the other one losing. We held the pass and stopped the evil empire from conquering helpless Greece. Path to glory, our campaign type of narrative play builds out how these stakes go beyond the game itself. It is a campaign mode which is designed around creating and driving story hooks for your characters (see Warhammer weekly from the 13 Oct 2021 for a great deep dive of this mode). This is NOT your parent’s path to glory. Gone are the random tables and limited options. Instead the focus is on the campaign mechanics. There are restrictions and bonuses, balancing factors and risks. It very much is about creating a way to play out a story with twists and turns, about getting you involved with the world your little figures inhabit, getting you invested before the game pulls a red wedding and kill all your heroes. This is not cobbled together junk to keep those narrative fan boys happy, this is a serious attempt to create a way to play focussed on your engagement with the world of your models. Narrative play then is about building out the world our miniatures inhabit. It gives us a context and purpose for our games, it gives us stakes to play for. Having a narrative enriches our play, it gets us invested not just in the game but in the world GW has created. By playing a narrative game you are not only playing the game across the table, but you are playing in the world your models inhabit. What about open play? Open play: where the rules are made up and the points don’t matter. This section of the core book seems to get derided the most. It’s just “baby mode” where you push toys around and make mouth noises while yelling WAAAAGH for no reason. But is that really the case? If it were this section may as well be a kid’s colouring play mat or removed entirely. Instead there are a lot of pages dedicated to it. The Open Play section contains different deployments, objectives etc. and a way to generate your own unique missions. To use an analogy it is taking the hood off the car and letting you tinker with the engine. Want to play uneven battles? Well, here is what you need to tinker with to get that. Want to play a game with random objectives each turn? Well here’s a table you can roll on. Whatever you want to do, open play is for you. It is full of options and examples of how you could play differently. Open play opens the heart of the game to the players so they can turn it into something great. This space is the modders section of AoS and personally I am waiting for someone to come along and craft the DOTA of AoS and revolutionise our war game. In D&D and other TRRPGs the idea of house rules, or modifying the game engine to suit what the players want out of it, is common and accepted. Their game is about having a shared experience between players and they understand that the rules are there to give them a framework to have that experience within. Their rules are not sacrosanct. The Open Play section can do a similar thing for us AoS players. It demonstrates how we can modify and change our game to have a better shared experience between the players. Having an Open Play section tells us players that the rules are there to help us reach our desired outcome of playing, not that the rules out of the box are the only way. Open play gives us the option to ask our opponent ‘how do you want to do this?’ and the tools to make it happen (or at least it should). Some of my earliest experiences playing Warhammer games were in the late 90s. A Warhammer store (a Games Workshop store at the time) had just opened at the local mall and me as a young 10ish year old fell in love. As you can imagine back then I was more the kids play mat type of player making mouth noises at my friends. Any sort of matched play game would have gone way over my head, my attention span and my budget. However every Friday night at the store they played a big multiplayer game. Everyone brought in a squad that they had painted and plopped it on the one table. The red shirt (GW staff at the time wore red shirts) would then split the units into two rough teams and we had one big battle. Looking back on it, it was dumb and not at all correct, but it was hilarious fun and something I remember fondly many many many years later. Playing in games like these helped me feel included and part of the store’s community even if I was too young to 100% grasp what was going on. For me this was an example of the Open Play mindset. The red shirt took the rigid game ruleset and bent it to create a fun shared experience which helped build his store’s community. Having this section in our core book codifies this approach and mindset as part of our hobby. Our ruleset is not some holy relic we must follow (or you aren’t playing pure AoS) but rather they’re more like guidelines. We are the boss and it is up to us to shape the game to help us get what we want out of it. TL:DR Looking at the 3 ways to play has helped me see our game differently. It has invigorated my curiosity and got me enthused for trying out the different game modes on offer. I even have some ideas for potential mods I’d like to build. Do you consider yourself a balanced player? Do you think it is worth giving some of the other ways to play a try? If you could change anything about AoS what would it be? Why don’t you give it a try and see how it goes?
  10. My thinking behind the mournfang were as screens more than having them kill anything. And having a unit of 4 will give look out sir to my squishy wizards. Plus they don’t give up extra VP for being monsters to kill. Over battalions and drops I’m not really sold on the anti-monster one yet. I don’t really care if they’re killing my units as I will be spending those commands on the Frosties anyway. So I thought going a 4 drop doesn’t really cost me anything and will give me a chance at deciding turn order occasionally.
  11. I’m calling it the invincible frostlord list... healing from the pot healing from heroic recovery healing from lifeswarm... what does everyone think?
  12. Yeah I was thinking about the amulet of destiny, it is probably better than just an extra negative to hit... i ran out of reinforcement points to lump up the boingrots. I plan on using them as screens for my big blobs anyway. Which seems kind of backwards but we don’t have a lot of fast screen options anymore.
  13. How silly is this list? I call it suicide squigs. Now that we can get some real big squig herds I want to see how often can I throw them at my opponent, let them blow up and do mortal wounds as what’s left run away. If you’re not concerned about getting them to stick around they don’t need much support with free run and charge rerolls built in. The clammy hand lets you attempt to bring them back from the shrine twice at the START of your turn. So you can both double dip attempts both at the end and start of your turn. If you get them at the start you get to use them as normal too!
  14. Hey Stormbros and broettes, what do you think of my conversion idea
  15. How are you planning on killing stuff? If you are going bounders I’d try and fit in some sneaky snufflers to buff them. If you are going to try with them stabbas then they either snufflers or sporesplatta fanatics.
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