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  1. There is no balance. War is chaos, and the dice gods rule supreme. Many people, like myself, desire a sense of balance. We want AoS to be like a game of chess, with both sides on equal footing where your decisions will win games. Of course, Warhammer is not chess, and it can never be chess. The smartest player in the world could roll 1s all day and lose. So what is the goal? why do we even bother? Why are we using points? The reason is that we want to get as close to balance as we can get, however unattainable. The real balance comes in the idea that either side has an equal chance to win. In order to achieve this, we need to strive for balance. CREATING BALANCE Games of AoS are balanced by deployment. With Open Play, what you are supposed to do is bring a bunch of fun stuff and show up at the store. Deployment is then balanced at the by the players and is done so with open communication. Before the game you tell your opponent you are bringing two Lords of Change and you explain what you are going to summon (summoning is just another form of deployment). In reaction, your opponent can deploy a much larger force in anticipation of what is going to be summoned, and build a game plan around how they are going to deal with this. The result is a certain level of balance. As I've mentioned in other topics, this promotes playing with friends, because you know each other, you have open communication, and you are familiar with their forces and what they can do. If your opponent is hiding what they plan to do and/or if you have no idea what your opponents forces can do, you have no idea how to properly balance deployment and the result is often an imbalanced, one-sided game. The most blatant forms of non-balance have been systems which limit deployment without limiting summoning (such as using "wound count"). These systems only luck into balance when both sides are summoning or not summoning. Most comp systems figured this out and limit summoning as a form of deployment, which has been adapted into Matched Play because it is a necessity for balanced games. With Matched Play, GW has pre-balanced deployment for us. Each unit has been given a points 'score' based on its usefulness on the battlefield. Playing standard 1000 or 2000 point games, certain factors like size and length of the game are predetermined, and no discussion is needed before the game. Deployment is also specifically limited in that, no summoning or bringing extra models is allowed. COMPOSITION RULES Matched Play also comes with specific composition rules. Some players prefer the game to be more like a sport, and as such like the idea of operating within a set of shared restrictions. All sports have rules (such as how many players can be playing against each other at once). The players themselves however can have varying degrees of skill and are only very loosely balanced, not unlike how the models are only loosely balanced. For this reason, it is the composition rules that mainly appeal to competitive players, and the composition aspects of the points, rather than the point values themselves. We understand that different models have different values and different strengths and weaknesses, and the points don't really matter so much as we are working to win within a specific set of rules. We want to create a "team" of models within the composition restrictions that will perform the best. You can then think to just take all of the "best" models but everything has some kind of counter, its never as simple as that. GAME (SYSTEM) BALANCE AoS is balanced in a somewhat of a rock-paper-scissors type of game. Shooting beats slow melee, melee beats low-armor units, Mortal Wounds (such as spells) beat heavily armored units, etc. With points being added there is now a lot of talk comparing AoS to 8th ed. or 40k. Despite that all these games have points, they are just incomparable. 8th ed. was a game built up by Army Books released decades apart by writers with all different ideas and vision for what the game should be. As a result, a rock-paper-scissors game was became a rock-paper-scissors-shotgun-grenade-missile-ICBM kind of game. GW decided to put an end to this arms race and blow up the world in order to rebuild it with a singular vision & with much better game balance. 40k has always been a much different dynamic given that 90% of the units have long range shooting, however it is also suffering greatly from an similar 'arms race'. Some armies have nothing but rifles and shotguns, while others have rapid firing super lasers that can disintegrate a tank. AoS is less than a year old, and is built in contrast to the mistakes of the past. They made a new game in order to make a more balanced game from the ground up. With or without points, AoS has the potential to have more balanced games than ever before, and being regularly supported on a level we have never seen before from GW. BUILDING A BALANCED LIST However much we may want to just take whatever we like and just enjoy our models, there is always going to be a disconnect between making a "fun" list and a "competitive" list. There is no escaping this reality. AoS is a war game and to win a war you have to be able to kill your opponent or force them to retreat. You might really like smacking your opponent in the face with wet-noodle holding infantry - and that's fine, but they are not often going to win you games by themselves. A real-life example is Ghengis Khan. Ghenghis Khan had some of the best calvary. Khan could have simply said "no I don't like calvary, they are not cool, I like my foot soldiers, so I am going to train more of those". If that was the case, Khan would have been wiped out in his early campaign, he would not have conquered most of Asia, the Great Wall of China never would have been built. Khan didn't just win because he had good cavalry though, lots of armies had calvary. He won because he used them in feigned retreats with horse archer attacks & he used siege warfare to cut off supply lines. He also made it a point to capture and learn from enemy generals to expand his tactics. How this translates to AoS is that you need to have units that can win you a game, and you have to have tactics in mind to win them. If you have weak units deployed in tactical formations, you can win some games but sometimes get beat by superior units. If you have awesome units that you just plop down on the board with no tactics, you will lose a lot of games to better tactics. If you have a mix of units deployed and used with good tactics, you will win most of your games (or have really fun hard-fought games with similarly matched opponents) You can't think about the point values as one overall value and compare them all together. Units give your army value in different ways. Some units are expensive because they are extremely hard to kill - which is not going to help you much when you really need some offensive power. Some units have incredible melee potential but are not going to do anything if you are slowly walking into a gunline. You might have 2000 points of knives and your opponent has 2000 points of guns - obviously you are going to lose when you bring a knife to a gun fight. Secretly your army may have 800 points of medium power ranged attacks, 700 points of hardy defense, 500 points of powerful melee. This kind of varied list has more potential to do much better against something like 2000 points of melee or 2000 points of all shooting. STOP BLAMING POINTS Frankly, I see many people using their units wrong. People just drop units in separate blobs, don't try to use any formations or tactics, shoot at the wrong things. A great example of this are Judicators with bows. Some players land critical rending attacks across the board on to enemy wizards or War Machine Crew and totally break their opponents lists. Others people shoot them into hordes and kill a few models, like skeletons who are just going to regen. This is called Target Priority, and you need to be good at this to win games. You need to identify the biggest threats and prioritize them, you have to use your attacks in a way that will be most effective. If youre just bleeding points by using your models wrong, its easy to blame the points - but the real blame is on you. You also need to try out different units. Maybe those Spearmen just don't work with your game plan, maybe a war machine is going to counter some of what you are lacking and provide better tactics to win games. I have a regular opponent who lost every game of AoS with hordes of free peoples protecting a gun line of 3 artillery with an engineer. Why is he losing games? Who can say. Maybe target priority, maybe army composition. Its easy to blame the points though. Last week he decided to replace his artillery with some Bretonia Questing Knights, and won two games in one day. All he did was call his Empire Knights Questing Knights instead, and now he not only won, but won twice in a row. Is it because Questing Knights are better than Empire? Sure - but they also cost 40 points more. They are not particularly hardy they just hit harder on a charge, and he made sure to make his charges. Could you argue that 3 cannons with an engineer is bad? I don't think anybody would - but for him - his tactics and his list, the Knights just worked better. So don't blame points, pay attention to why you are losing games, try new things and become a better player. BATTLEPLANS & ADDITIONAL RULES Battleplans & Time of War rules take a huge weight off of balance in general, and should never be skipped. Objective based scenarios have gone a long way toward alleviating a lot of 40k balance, which is why they are now being established in competitive play for AoS. Playing Battle Plans only makes you a better player, and at almost every future event will feature Battleplans, so take a few minutes before your games to set one up. Additionally, custom scenery can greatly change the dynamic of a game and alleviate the strain of the points. The unit rules were designed to have varying usefulness; some units that might not look great on paper shine in specific scenarios or in working with certain terrain pieces. Keep your games fresh and take the time to add additional rules to your games. CONCLUSION You have to have a game plan - you need varied units, synergy, tactics. There is not really any unit you should "need" in your army, nothing completely optimal that you just HAVE to take. The point values don't mean anything other than to end up with a balanced deployment without having to figure it out on your own. If you are among the people arguing what you need to take - please just stop. It's nice to help an opponent by explaining the necessity of a major first turn threat, or suggesting maybe to add some fast units to go with their hardy slow defensive units, etc. If you are telling people that they "cant take" something they want to take, frankly you are way off base. (There are a lot of dead generals who thought they were smarter than everybody else). The points are a great entry place, but they are only needed as a way to balance deployment. Most players are going to be using them in order to keep the same footing as most people around the world - to learn to get better within the established comp system. As as a community we need to learn to make the most of them without over-stressing or over-emphasizing them.
  2. I am throwing together various lists for an upcoming 2000 point tournament. My question to you guys is where do you find the optimal percentage of points spent on leaders versus other areas? In my Chaos army I am looking at running the following: The Glottkin Lord of Change Daemon Prince 30 Plaguebearers 6 Plaguedrones That comes out to about 1640 points and fulfills my three battleline choices too. Do you feel that by adding another leader (Orghotts Daemonspew) is ill-advised when I could add something along the lines of Chaos Knights, Flamers of Tzeentch, or other various units I have.
  3. So, in the new Sylvaneth tome the Branchwraith still summons "only" 2d6 dryads. At first I thought that these were "free" summons, i.e. You don't need to pay points for them re: summoning rules. This made sense in my head as summoning 2d6 dryads isn't overly strong, and other armies (flesheaters) don't pay points when they re-summon into dead units (which is where the distinction lies) So the question is: do you pay the whole points cost for the unit of dryads, even if you're summoning, for instance, only 2? They're usually 120 pts for 10, so the possibility of having to pay 120 for 2 does not really outweigh the advantage of paying 120 for 12?
  4. Hi all, with General's Handbook on the way, and having it in hand for longer than I could wish, question arose: Tournament - how to? Swiss format was OK for previous editions, it was much easier especially that you were scoring points based on what you were able to destroy in opponents army. With new scenarios and wins set up as minor victories or major victories question is how to give points to players, as 20-0 system is not a solution here. Any ideas how to deal with this? We plan to organize tournament but this seems like a ghost fence, holy ****** don't know how to pass through it. #DiscussionStart
  5. in the Fyreslayers Battle Tome that have a battalion that is made by combining the other 3 battalions. When working out the points cost do you pay the points for each of the original battalions plus the points for the combined battalion or do you pay for just the combined battalion?
  6. If you take a warscroll battalion, you are allowed to select another HERO to give an artefact to. Can this be an artefact of the same name? I can't see anything forbidding this on what I have seen, but I havn't seen the whole book. Cheers
  7. A focal point of Matched Play is the new concept of keyword allegiances. According to the Generals Handbook, all models have to be in the same Grand Alliance. Then you pick the models you like. Before the battle, you have to declare your Allegiance - the common background that all your troops share. In order to declare your Allegiance, all models in your army must share this keyword on their scroll. At first glance, I figured this was just a way so you cant cheat the system and have say, both Stormfiends and Plague Monks as Battleline units. You have to declare either SKYRE or PESTILENS as your Allegiance to get more powerful units as core, and skip out on fielding 60 Clanrats to fill up the 'Battleline Tax'. If you want to mix and match, pick the strongest units in your entire grand alliance, then you are stuck paying a 'Battleline Tax' which is really a bit of a pain. The Generals Handbook also brings in this exciting new concept of Allegiance Abilities: a Battle Trait & Command Traits for your general. But, these are tied to CHAOS, ORDER, DEATH and DESTRUCTION allegiance exclusively. What does this mean? We'll it means as soon as you declare your Death armys allegiance as Flesh-Eater Courts, you LOSE the ability to take the Death Battle trait or give your general a cool ability. For example I can make a Crypt Haunter Courtier my general and take 3 units of Crypt Horrors as core 'battleline' units, bypassing the need to make a horde army of Ghouls in order to pay my 'battleline tax'. Seems cool right? Except unfortunately this means that now I also forfeit my Battle Trait, and the ability to make my Courtier a respectable general by giving him a command trait. So who would anyone ever choose to give up all the cool new stuff just to get around some battleline issues? It really makes no sense, everyone will want to take all the awesome new rules and to make the most optimal lists - so throw in two Bastiladons with your Stormcast, or a Necrosphinx in with your Flesh-Eater Courts, or a Thundertusk with your Ironjaws. Why not? The new rules are promoting power play and just picking whatever is best, and then dealing with the battleline tax as efficiently as possible. Having limited armies and thematic lists is going to be for Narrative Play I guess.. The last line describing having to pick one allegiance only says: "These restrictions aside, you can use allegiance abilities whenever and wherever you play your games of Warhammer Age of Sigmar" But, if you chose a specific keyword allegiance, your army does not have any allegiance abilities? So you cannot use them? So - what does this line mean? It may be a mistake in the rules, perhaps they did not mean to take away these abilities if you choose a sub-faction as your allegiance. Another theory is that they will make specific abilities for each sub-faction, giving each faction more of its own identity. This would require lots and lots of more custom rules, but perhaps in recent fashion they will be available on the app for micro-transaction sales. In either case, until we know more, picking a sub faction to have different battleline options does not appear to an efficient way to build your army, and it certainly does not seem fun to skip out on all the new allegiance ability rules. So we are either going to be sticking in some filler unit of 10 models, or mass assembly line painting to keep our battleline units a respectable size. This is going to be a pretty harsh point of contention for new players. "I like that hellpit abomination, and that doomwheel, can I use them?" "Yes but now you have to buy 3 boxes of these clanrats or you cant play matched play" ....... Obviously this is the way it was in 8th and you have to have restrictions in your list building for fair play, but I find it very surprising that the framework is there to make battleline interesting and more manageable, yet they are pushing us all to ignore that framework or miss out on a bunch of exciting and cool new rules. The new ideas of allegiance traits and batteline seem to be at odds with each other. Other than this, I think the Generals Handbook is really exciting and I am excited to see what this means for AoS. They will probably release sub sets of allegiance traits and abilities so that this makes more sense, but we wont know anything until the generals handbook is released.
  8. Ben Johnson

    The Warlords

    until
  9. Event Title: The Warlords Event Author: Ben Johnson Calendar: Events UK Event Date: 09/10/2016 9:00 AM to 09/11/2016 8:00 PM The Warlords
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