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Dogmantra

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  1. This is unfortunately an ambiguity in the rules. I have sent this question to the FAQ team and would recommend anyone else who wants an official ruling does so too. In the mean time here is a copy paste of a post I made before on the subject: --- They [d3 and d6 damage attacks] either all count as 1, or you roll the damage before the saves and get to reroll saves for any non-1s. 22.2.4 Random Characteristics says: So the question is, is a save roll "other than when it is being used to make an attack" and I would say... probably? Because it's an odd break from the usual format to roll damage before the save when it explicitly works the other way around in the usual attack sequence. But I think there's an argument to be made that you very much are doing it at a time when it is being used to make an attack.
  2. To clarify, "competitive" can mean two things. The first is what you are describing your preferences for here, competitive meaning something along the lines of "appropriate for tournament play". The other meaning is more straightforward: a game where players act as each other's antagonist and winning is mutually exclusive. In the section of my post you quoted, I was using this latter definition, and AoS is unquestionably a competitive game by that definition, two players compete to find a single winner. The point of the opening sentence is that to be a good player, you just have to win consistently because that's the objective of the game. The rest of my post admittedly, does use competitive in the former sense and I agree that the current AoS competitive scene is not as strong as it could be, but I think most of the things you have pointed out that it is missing are surface level visual indicators of a strong competitive scene rather than the causes. I 100% agree with you, and I think your point about a holistic approach to balance is a very good one. I wish that I had made it in my original post!
  3. The lance is probably preferable, same potential damage output on a charge (or slightly better for the Prime) with -2 instead of -1 rend. Given the unit's role as a kind of alpha striker with the hero phase charge potential, it seems the ideal situation is to hero phase charge, delete a unit, then charge again in the charge phase and delete that unit, and you have a bit of a better chance with lances. The way the lance ability is worded though, is that it increases damage and rend if you made a charge "that turn", so getting a hero phase charge and not totally eliminating the target does mean you'll still be on the higher rend + damage for the fight phase. That said, since you're rolling fewer attacks the variance is a bit higher, and they are obviously quite a bit weaker if you get bogged down in a long combat. I think that's somewhat unlikely with decent target selection though. In addition, although points changes were confirmed already, there are also rumours of warscroll changes in the winter FAQ. If you can, it might be better to hold off on building them until then just to be sure (or magnetising if you like to do that).
  4. Re: what makes a good player... winning the game. It's a competitive game. The point is to find a winner. If you consistently take actions that enable you to win the game, you are by definition a good player. The fact is that army choice and list composition are a decision point that does contribute to your chances of winning. The unfortunate reality is that this is constrained by the substantial amount of money and time that it takes to create a new army, and I think most people agree (myself included) that having the time and money to switch armies to what's strong is not a desirable skill to test. Even if you are skilled in list-building and recognise that some model or combination will be particularly good, you then have the barrier of actually getting it and painting it. The reaction to this from a lot of people is I feel to focus on individual strong performers (morathi, sentinels, etc), and request they are nerfed. This is not to say that these models aren't too strong, but it's a sisyphean task, as soon as the top performer has been brought down, there will be another. In a game where creating an army is such a big investment, people who care about winning will often stick to what they know works. This creates a sort of feedback loop where the egregious outperformers that everyone knows about start to get way overrepresented. You clearly can win without using the hanful of top performing armies; as mentioned above, Nighthaunt have had some strong results recently despite being considered a weaker army. The other side effect I have noticed from the investment in an army is a sort of tribalism where the goal of balance passes is not necessarily to improve the game state for everyone but to put your army on top for a change, which is again, not a competitively healthy approach to game balance. So what can we do to fix this? We could continue to demand that Games Workshop continually balance tweaks models to attain a perfect (or good enough) state of balance. This would be nice, but it takes a lot of work to balance such a large game. Additionally, changing the rules too often doesn't allow time for the metagame to settle down. It can be surprising how with time and experimentation, options go in and out of favour without any mechanical changes. I was once part of a competitive community for a game called Puzzle Strike. The common wisdom was that there was a "big three" of characters who were generally considered the top tier. Over a period of a few months, a few of the top players spent time experimenting, and I witnessed in real time the general acceptance within the community of a fourth character who had previously been considered maybe mid-tier to join the big three. The game had received no balance changes at all, just further experimentation and understanding that changed the meta. The point of the story is that sometimes you have to give a game time without changes in order for players to find solutions to things, or ideas that will change how it's played. I'm not saying that this is specifically the case with current community bugbears in AoS, they could well be too strong. But if we constantly nerf them we'll never know if actually there was counterplay there, but no one had figured it out yet. We could also house rule our tournaments. Take matters into our own hands and change the rules to give weaker factions or models a leg up, and take the stronger ones down a peg. This is a somewhat popular approach in the AoS community, often known as "comping". Personally I strongly dislike it. I think it has the same issues as constant balance patches: by frequently changing the rules of the game, you make it difficult for the metagame to mature, but it also has its own issue which is that the game then becomes inconsistent. It becomes very difficult to be a "good player" when at the extreme end, each tournament may have its own set of house rules that tweak how things work, and you may have zero experience of playing in this environment because your local group may have their own house rules which differ. I also think that it can be easy to bring one's own preconceptions into the game when creating house rules, whereas having a single disinterested third party create the rules gives them a consistency in purpose. My actual solution to make Age of Sigmar a more competitive game where being a good player feels like it's about being a good player is pretty straightforward. We need to create a culture where proxying, unpainted models, cardboard standees, and sharing minis and books is 100% accepted within tournament play. Pooling resources is the most appealing way this could work, because I cannot deny that playing a game with fully painted models is more satisfying, so building "model libraries" that are available for players to freely borrow from during competitive events would be incredible. Unfortunately that's not feasible for your average tournament organiser, perhaps on a local community level it's something to try to develop. But the other options, blanket allowing proxies/standees/unpainted models, these also work to remove the barriers in army switching/selection and make that part of the game solely about the player's decision making, rather than a combination of their decision making, whether they have a well-paying job, and their ability to paint 30 of the same model in a weekend. This change in the culture would not 100% make all the balance issues better, not by a long shot. But it would open up the scope for players to experiment more, to change armies more freely if they feel that their current army is just too weak to compete, to experiment with composition within armies, and generally increase the freedom of players to try new things and see how they work. In addition, less adventurous competitive minded players can still compete by following trends at the top more easily (I don't think this is actually that much of an issue in terms of stagnation -- looking at other games, particularly esports, with a lot more data than AoS, you find that the top players are innovating quite frequently). It's fine to not like that suggestion. I expect a lot of people don't. I don't wholly like it myself either, I would much rather play games with fully painted beautiful miniatures. Sometimes there are compromises you make, and it's up to you to decide if you would rather have a game with a more mature metagame with fewer barriers to competition, or a game that looks and feels great on the table. That's not meant to be a pithy statement by the way, I'm not intending to make people who disagree with me sound superficial or shallow. I also think that people should run more games days as events, as opposed to tournaments. I think a lot of people would have a lot more fun if events were more clearly demarcated as for competitive play or not. These games days could be run almost exactly like tournaments, just without caring or maybe even keeping track of who wins at the end of the day*. Here you can reintroduce your painting requirements, your house rules, whatever you want, because the framing is no longer "this is a competitive setting where the aim is to win the tournament", it's "we're going to play some games, we're going to try to win but we also want to see lovely painting, or a variety of models, or try to make people play in unusual ways". I genuinely think a lot of people would be a lot happier if they went to events not as tournaments, but as games days. And maybe I'll be outvoted. Maybe no one will come to my utopian proxy-filled tournaments, and that would be a shame, but at the same time it'd be a case of the community making an informed decision on what it wants out of Age of Sigmar events, and voting that no, sometimes compromises against competitiveness are okay. *as an aside, writing this bit, I was reminded of my Malifaux and Guild Ball days. The local standard for Malifaux tournaments was that last place got a free ticket to the next event which I thought was a good way of encouraging weaker players to come back and have another go, and the standard for Guild Ball tournaments (at least those that I attended) was a raffle for the prize pack. Podium gets some sort of trophy or token to say "yeah you won", but the prizes like models, accessories, etc were always raffled off. It really helped to foster a nice atmosphere that catered for everyone without any real feelings of bitterness, everyone has a chance to play some games, have some fun, and win a prize. Decoupling the monetary value from the winners really avoided a feels bad situation where players who went more to play some games than to really compete at the top level felt like they were subsidising the top players' hobbies. I'm a firm believer that performance based prizes should be token only because of this.
  5. That's one of the main ones but there are a few other effects in the game that care about models being generals. You gain a command point if you have a general on the field at the start of each hero phase, and Heroic Leadership is easier if a general has been slain. The Hedonites of Slaanesh FAQ says this: So having three generals makes it harder for your opponent to deny you a start of hero phase command point since they have to kill all three generals. The Slay the Warlord battle tactic relies on killing "the model chosen to be your opponent's general"*. The grand strategy Vendetta also relies on slaying your opponent's "model chosen to be their general" while stopping them from slaying your "model chosen to be your general". The reason this wording is used is because there are some named models that have an ability where they count as your general in addition to whoever you pick, but they're specifically excluded with this wording because you didn't choose them to be your general. You do choose all three of your generals in Invaders Host, and it's not addressed in the FAQ, so I would assume this means that it is easier for an opponent to slay a model chosen to be your general because you have three of them. There are also a few other little unit specific effects that care about generals, like Kurdross Valentinian of the Nighthaunt has a bonus when fighting enemy generals.
  6. In addition to this, from a competitive mindset, there's nothing you can do about your opponent having a strong army or flawless play. In order to ever improve and have a chance of winning next time, you gotta focus on what you can do differently. And yeah, maybe you were playing a skewed matchup and it would be an uphill fight, but there's always something you can do better.
  7. The app is pretty unreliable for rules. Arcane Tome is pretty specific about just letting you cast one extra spell if you're already a wizard. The only reason a non-wizard who takes Arcane Tome gets to pick a spell is because they are granted the WIZARD keyword, and all WIZARDS get one spell lore pick by default. Giving the tome to someone who is already a wizard means they have to either use the extra cast on arcane bolt/mystic shield/a warscroll spell, or you need to take an additional spell lore enhancement. So to clearly answer the question: the app is wrong. Arcane Tome on a Lord Arcanum won't give it an extra spell pick.
  8. Question about coherency. How do you typically arrange your elite fighting units with 1" reach like your Bladegheists and Dreadscythe Harridans? The safety of two ranks appeals to me but the idea of missing out on half of your fighting power in a unit feels really bad. But likewise it feels bad getting to use that fighting force then immediately losing half of it to a single wound.
  9. Dogmantra

    Stacking

    The sidebar next to 1.5.5 Dice Modifiers (on page 60 of the General's Handbook, I don't know the page number for the core rulebook) says: (emphasis mine) Thus you can stack as many +1s or -1s onto attack or wound rolls as you want, but ultimately you only care if they are a positive total in which case you get a +1; a negative total in which case you get a -1; or 0 in which case you just take the straight die roll. Your example of stacking +2 to hit and being affected by -1 to hit is correct, you would take a +1 to hit overall. Similarly if you somehow had +100 to hit and -50 to hit, you would end up taking a +1 to hit overall.
  10. You have to pick one. I am away from my book at the moment but the term to look up in the core rules is "triggered effects" and it essentiallu says that each die roll can only trigger a single effect like double hits or mws.
  11. For every list I make, I write up a quick cheat sheet of what happens in each phase. It really saves lookup time and helps not to forget abilities. For example, in the hero phase I list everything that happens at the start, then each model that can cast spells or pray with a quick summary of what their spells are. In the shooting phase I copy the shooting profiles of any units onto the cheat sheet, as well as any abilities they have that might be relevant (mws on 6s to hit for example). And so on for each phase. I also find it useful to have a separate section at the end which I call "defensive stuff" which is any special ability that would only apply in my oppinent's turn. I find this useful because it puts all your decisions on a single page and breaks them down by phase rather than model, so you're only looking at what's relevant right now and can think more about tactics than remembering what you can do. The act of writing up the cheat sheet is also helpful because you're essentially taking notes on what your army can do which helps you remember it even without the cheat sheet.
  12. I'd be so tempted to bring Astreia in that list but I totally get why you'd go for the generic LA. I've recently been trying Astreia in Hammers with Evos on Dracs and the +1 save and 6+ ward go a long way to help them not die to a stiff breeze. It's a shame to lose out on the one extra claw attack for each evocator, but I think overall it seems worth it so far. Of course, this trying Astreia has been in 2000 point games where I have another hero to put a mount trait on.
  13. Okay, so this is just pure conjecture on my part, but I feel like 6 longstrikes in a 1000 point game is going to be very rocket tag. By which I mean a maxed unit of longstrikes is half your army at that scale and it's only 12 wounds on a 4+ save, so yes you will likely be able to annihilate something good turn 1 with a Thunderstrike Volley, but that's predicated on you getting to act first. My instinct is that if you don't get to take out a good chunk of your opponent's army before they have a chance to really act, the Longstrikes won't be able to hold an objective particularly well when challenged (unless you get particularly lucky with an Unleash Hell). Then you're left with ~250 points of battleline, ~150 points for a general, and somewhere around 100-200 points to either add one small unit or bulk up your other choices. You'd need to be able to really push against enemy objectives with that remaining 500 points. On the other hand, I think Annihilators or Fulminators feel a lot safer as a choice. They're much tankier, they're melee, they can be up the board quickly, and they're also both conditional battleline which gives you a lot more freedom with your list building. As I said though, conjecture for my part. It could well be that you can reliably get the longstrikes to eradicate enough of your enemy that it's worth the downsides.
  14. Thanks for the in-depth post. I think your reasoning as laid out here is compelling, and it works well as an analysis of the numbers you posted earlier. The issue I raised with your methodology in the original post was that your hypothesis was that specifically rend was required to break through strong saves, and your numbers did not necessarily demonstrate that because rend was not the only variable. The section of your new post that I have quoted is, I think, a better thesis statement than the one you originally made. For what it's worth, I strongly suspect that rend is the largest contributer to overcoming strong saves, but the influence of something like 3+/3+ compared to 4+/4+ is not to be underestimated. It may seem nitpicky but I think that some conversation around overcoming strong saves has been focused entirely on rend as if it were the only option, rather than a specifically strong option out of a few, and while you're absolutely correct that high rend is often correlated with otherwise strong attack profiles, I think it's more helpful to directly compare each variable. I'm working on compiling some simulations to compare different bonuses directly, but one interesting thing to point out immediately is that a 3+/3+/-1/1 profile has about the same average damage output vs a 2+ save as a 3+/3+/-/2 profile.
  15. I appreciate you bringing some maths into this and showing your working, but I think your methodology is flawed and makes a lack of rend look worse than it is. Your only example of attacks without rend are 4+/4+, which is an average wound rate of 25%. A 3+/3+ is an average wound rate of about 45%. I'm not saying this is the only thing making the elite and brute attacks look better than chaff, the rend is no doubt helping (a 2+ save becoming a 3+ doubles the damage that gets through after all), but when your rend attacks are already getting almost twice as many attacks to the point at which the save is rolled, it does feel a little like your thumb is on the scale here. If the discussion is specifically about rend, then I think it's only fair to keep everything else the same.
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