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  1. One of the things I really like about Narrative Play is the ability to shake things up and play the game in many different ways. A point where this is especially true, is also one of the most contended and difficult points of Narrative Plays: How to decide on a way to build the Forces each player has available. So I thought it would be a cool thing for the community to collect a list of as many different ways to select Forces in Narrative Play as possible. To get this rolling, I thought I'd throw in the first five ideas I can think of, along with the pro and cons of each option: 1. Use some variant of Matched Play Points. Points are not the only thing that make a game Matched Play, by using Points, but ignoring all other restrictions of the mode, you get a flexible approach to building Narrative Play Armies. Pro: You know what to expect. If you have experience with Matched Play, you have a very good idea how armies build using Points measure up. Points can give you an easy guide on the size of battles You have a reasonable amount of balance. It is easy to vary the strength of Forces. Many battleplans are build for scenarios where one Army has a more powerful Force than the other. With points you can give a good guide on the amount of the power difference. Con: It is the same old. If you want a change from Matched Play, using points won't get you very far. Problems from Matched Play carry over to Narrative. A overcosted unit in Matched Play, is still undercosted and a painful tradeoff to include. Similarly, undercosted units and overpowered options remain so. Points wheren't designed for anything but Matched Play. A good example are Mages, who are costed taking the rule of one into account and get much stronger without it in effect. 2. Just use your entire collection and let the battleplan take care of things. A great number of Narrative Battleplans released so far, put limits on the forces that can be deployed. Also, the missions given in battleplans often serve to balance a weaker force against a stronger, making victory far easier for the underdog ,sometimes all you need to do is survive and in a few, not even that is necessary! Pro: It is fast and easy. No accounting of numbers, nothing to organize, no haggling. Just grab what seems appropiate and go. Con: The bigger collection has a clear advantage. 3. Have a third person select the armies according to the scenario and background. Pro: Depending on you "Pool" of people, you get a huge variance of games just from this mode of Army selection. A dedicated competitive player will get you very different selections from a background fanatic. Particularly interesting might be having someone who doesn't play select armies. The different Players do not even get the opportunity to attempt to get an advantage through army selection. Con: You need a third party that is willing to do this with either a cohesive knowledge of or direct access to the mini collections of all players. People unaware of Fluff or Rules might make rather wonky choices. This may be hard to pull of spontaniously. 4. Have each Player choose their Force freely but blind of each other, then send the list to a third person, who amends the lists for Fluff and Balance, by cutting units. Pro: You get to make your own choices. Depending on the judge, this may well be the most balanced option. The judge needs no knowledge of the players collection. This can be organized online! We could set up a thread where people volunteer to judge or put out a call for a judge, both players send in their lists per e-mail or pm, then the judge sends back the ammended list for game day. Con: This needs to be organized and preplanned. The players need to accept the judges decision. The judge needs to be dependable, would be a bummer for everyone involved if the judge fails to send in his ammendmends by game day. 5. Haggle about it. Both players select their armies as in 4. But instead of sending the lists to a judge, they negotiate any ammendmends with each other. Pro: This can be quite fast and doesn't need a large amount of preplanning. Possibly the most satisfactory and fluffy results for the involved players. Con: Only works if both players are of agreeable temperament and a particularly cooperative mindset. If sparks start flying, even the best of friends should step back from this variant. Just a last few comments: I'd hope this thread remains a listing of community ideas. This is not meant to find the one true way of building Narrative Armies, but provide a toolbox of various ideas that can be tried out, toyed with and mixed and matched. Nor is this meant to be a discussion of the merits of Narrative Play in general. So, with that said, lets get this rolling, if you have an idea, just put a number to it and post away!
  2. The right of a King to rule over his people is a dual edged sword, for that right can just as easily be taken from him if he is not careful.- Friso Rathenau, Glymmsforge philosopher. Hello internet! let me just start off by saying that I love the Tomb Kings, it was this army that got me interested in fantasy, so I was devastated to learn the only way to get the original models was to hunt them down via eBay. So I figured I would work my converting muscles and try to fill in the gaps in my army, while I'm at it I might as well create an epic narrative to go with! Bear in mind that I'm also using player created stuff, such as the endless deserts rules by Tyler Mengele( @Mengel Miniatures), and the Suneater Tribes by Ricki Smith( @Melcavuk on this site), as well as my own creations. So I'll finish this first post by posting the Dramatis Personae The Monarchy Toyerse the Generous- High King of the city of Kertaten, and Patriarch of his dynasty. In life he was a kind and humble king, a quality that he carries on in undeath. His four prized horses where destroyed by a Wildfire Taurus known as "The Corrupting Flame", so he had his mortuary cult bind the spell to his will so that it may pull his chariot. Lately he has been showing signs of senility, a fact that is not unnoticed by both his allies and enemies........ Omar the Austere- One of Toyerse's twin sons, Omar was once known as the Kind, and was often scolded for being too lax with the punishment of his subjects. This was before his twin Khusef betrayed their dynasty by turning to the Usurper, becoming a Knight of Shrouds. Since then Omar has raised his city's armies in preparation for war, and to redeem himself in his father's eyes, as despite Toyerse saying nothing could be done, he believes that Khusef's betrayal was still his fault. Sinse the Blessed- When Morathi was revealed to have been tainted by her imprisonment in Slaanesh's gullet, she fled to hide herself in shame. Toyerse came upon the Serpent Queen while exploring Ulgu for signs of the Lost Pantheon returning. When he came upon Morathi, he bowed as he believed that she was Asaph, in an act of (rare) gratitude, Morathi gifted Toyerse with a Melusai to be his daughter, Since has become one of Toyerse's most beloved relatives and has made strong alliances with the Dreadfleet(custom faction I'm working on) as well as the Daughters of Khaine. (More to come later on....) The Mortuary Cult Hadibib the Scholar- The grand hierophant of Kertaten's Mortuary Cult, Hadibib is considered Toyerse's right hand. Though he now only appears at important ceremonies and whenever war threatens the city, as old age is beginning to takes its toll on the priest. Otherwise Hadibid can be found maintaining the cult's Casket of Souls and renewing the wards around Kertaten. It is said that Hadibib has made a deal with the Scarab Prince known as The Dagger of Usirian, though none have lived to discover if these rumors are true...... Khensu- Hadibib's second in command, and chosen successor for the position of grand hierophan, as well as Omar's closest and oldest friend. Khensu lost most of his body during the Malign Portents, leaving only his lungs, stomach, intestines, and liver which were in canonic jars, and his heart. Never the less his spirit preserved, and he had one of the city's Necrotects build him a new body to better contain the energies release during the tumultuous time. After the Necroquake Khensu became rather interested(some would say obsessed) with the phenomena of Endless Spells, and has begun to store certain spells away in special containers, so that he may study them later. Ephen the Penitent- Once a scholar of the Collegiate Arcane, Ephen's war party was destroyed by a rogue Khemric Titan. Ephen survived, only to driven mad by the scorching heat, when he was discovered by Toyerse's scouts he was muttering about "the great father" and had gouged his eyes out for he believed himself unworthy. Since being inducted into the Mortuary Cult Ephren has become one of Kertaten's brightest scholar's and has been blessed by the gods with Witch Sight. I'll post pictures as well as allies later on today, until then!
  3. Inspired by both all these talks about narrative gaming and 40k kill team, should GW take more steps to showcase the alternative ways to play AoS? I know there was that topic a while ago about new game system or tweaking the current systems within AoS, but this is purely from a marketing/packaging standpoint. Granted I do understand there is nothing stopping the Start Collecting or the smaller starter set boxes from being used for Path to Glory or Skirmish, but would it help those systems (as a bit flawed as they are from a balance standpoint) if GW specifically made a box with "Path To Glory/Skirmish" printed on them? I do realize the current smaller rules in AoS are nowhere near the Kill Team rules (they are far more Narrative in style), but maybe if more players saw specific items related to them then they would express more interest and in turn GW would flesh them out more. Especially since I have this nagging feeling in the back of my head that the majority of players who buy battletomes...skip the PTG section of the book. Or is the main reason for the lack of official support due to GW not wanting to compete with themselves on Shadespire? Kill Team vs Necromunda are 2 very different themes (outside of chaos cults and genestealer cults), however Skirmish vs Shadespire are very similar in theme. So if they tried to promote the smaller AoS games, then Shadespire popularity might slip. I do apologize if this topic has been discussed to death. I tried searching topic titles with PTG and haven't really seen any recent discussions in the past few months.
  4. This post is about HOW people post on TGA. Its a meta-post if you will; a post about posting and a couple of polite suggestions (why do I feel like I'm about to get raked over the coals after saying that ). Just prior to the release of the General's Handbook back in July, there was some worry that introducing points would lead to Matched Play taking center stage and pushing all talk of Narrative and Open play back into the shadows. Its not an unreasonable fear since for years the reigning assumption on most forums has been something like, "Competitive play is more important because it needs tight, unambiguous rulesets and narrative play just means throwing all your toys on the table and doing whatever you want, no rules required." I hope a year and a half of AoS (matched, narrative, and open) has put that kind of dismissive mindset to rest. Now months later it is clear that this prediction has come true to some extent. To TGA's credit there are still lively discussions about Narrative and Open Play! However there have been examples of Matched Play trying to muscle out other play styles. Some examples taken from the recent FAQ post: 1. "I understand the AOS is like 2 games smashed into 1 (pre and post GHB) but when they do this FAQ they need to take its effects on matched play most serious" 2. "It's also a terrible position to be in when events are more and more likely to ban Compendium Units. The Battalions are already officially dead (which is more of a blow to Destruction I'll admit). " 3. "That's really stupid lol!! Ring became usless for no reason" To be clear I am in no way impugning on the value and enjoyment other's receive from Matched Play. My point is that the language used is absolutist. Its implies that the statement is a fundamental and undeniable truth. The poster in #3 does not truly believe that the Ring of Immortality is literally useless. They simply mean it is "less useful than previously in the style of Death list I choose to play in Matched Play." Unfortunately online forum posts (like texting) lack all context and are read and understood literally as a result. My concern is not that veteran Matched Play folks will get confused by this language; its quite common. My concern is that players new to the hobby (or new to Narrative and Open play) will take such confident assertions as truth and limit how they play before exploring all their options. For example, #1 strongly implies that Matched Play is more important Narrative and Open Play. This is the assumption I fear newer players will take away from such statements. To a new player, a statement like "The Battalions are already officially dead," implicitly forbids their use unless they are willing to break 'the official rules'. One of the fundamental ideas of game design is that new players will follow 'the official rules' even to the detriment of their own enjoyment. If they follow "the official rules" and do not enjoy themselves, they consider the game unenjoyable and will not play again. What statement #2 actually means is, "In Matched Play, the battalions are already officially dead." However that little clause is rarely stated and assumed to be universally understood. It is not and I believe that assumption harms the community, specifically Narrative and Open Play and new members. The reality is that none of the people posting truly believe that their position is God-sent, unassailable truth. However because big blocks of text (like this one) lack context, care is required to prevent sending unintentional messages to your audience. I do have a couple of polite suggestions for the community. First, make use of tags; that little box underneath "Title". If you are discussing Matched Play, tag it as Matched Play. The same goes for Narrative and Open Play. Secondly, a suggestion for the TGA site as a whole. Three sections dedicated to Matched, Narrative, and Open Play respectively might be a good idea. I know there are great ideas for scenarios and narrative campaigns but these are getting harder and harder to find in forums flooded with Matched Play discussion. TLDR; choose your words carefully when posting, please use tags, and Matched, Narrative, and Open forums would be appreciated.
  5. While sending out feelers on sponsorships/partnerships for Realms at War: Legends 2016, a thunderbolt of an idea struck me. The international AoS community is full of talented people, churning out unofficial supplements, rulesets, campaigns, etc, all in the name of Narrative play. Yet the majority of events being held worldwide are still focused on Matched play. I'd like to see this changed, with more events focusing on the story/hobby aspects such as Holy Wars, Realm Hoppers, and campaigns like the Season of War. So my immediate idea is this, to form an international affiliation with the following ethos: Inspire players to embrace the Narrative Host and promote Narrative play events Produce a collective fountain of knowledge & resources To be a supportive network of Narrative Heroes! Current Members (or at least those who've agreed to listen to me): HobbyHammer The Holy Wars Mengel Miniatures The Mortal Realms Podcast Realms at War Given this is all in an infancy stage, any thoughts, ideas, potential names for the group, functional aspects such as where do we host it, etc, are all free to be discussed here! Only with your help can we make this a thing. Thanks for your time and support!
  6. With Narrative Play on the way I'm wondering what this will entail. I started writing campaign rules a while back but stopped when news of the General's Handbook dropped. Here's what I'd love to see in there: Rules that allowed for the use of a Might Empires style hex map. I want to be able to capture the map and get bonuses for collecting hexes. Maybe even special bonuses for capturing certain strategic hexes. I'd also like to see heroes/generals grow in power over the campaign. Maybe they get new weapons or maybe even new abilities! It would be great if we saw rules that accounted for the movement of troops across the hex map, as long as it didn't get to messy and complex. If a battle takes place in a given location, you can't use Unit X because they're elsewhere on the map, or they're on the other side of the mountains. There's loads of other cool stuff that could go in there but those are the ones I keep coming back to. What do you want to see?
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