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About Me

Found 8 results

  1. Version 1.0.0


    This is a one-stop-shop Narrative battleplan. It is designed using storytelling game concepts to play into the idea of gaming as conversation. I designed it for narrative/open play pickup games for when players don't have some great idea for a story; they can instead let the story flow over them with this battleplan. It uses a system of Objectives and Motivations to create thematic scenarios. It includes generic Objectives and Motivations along with Objectives and Motivations to accompany most battletomes.
  2. As title, played 1st game with my kids today, for a long time since AoS launched and think I made some basic errors. 1) Had a situation where a chariot moved along the tables edge, ending its move just under 3" away from an opposing unit in combat to the chariots rear. It had room to squeeze through, but its back end was about 2.5" from the back end of the enemy. This isn't legit is it? Ie: within 3". Even if intention is clearly to go past. I let it happen as my daughter intended to charge a bolt thrower at the end of the table, but another opponent could have attacked the rear of the unit already in combat. 2) Combat phase. Player whose turn it is chooses first combat, but after, it goes back and forth picking units, irrespective of charges and whose turn? Unless a special rule overrides? 3) If a unit is attacked by one unit and survives, then is attacked by a second unit and survives, does on both occasions it get to return melee? Eg: hydra attacks dragon. Doesn't kill dragon. Dragon returns. Drakespawn attacks dragon, does dragon get to fight again? 4) Resolving damage for multiple damage weapons. You roll to save vs wounds? Eg: 3 wounds suffered, you save two, other failed. Its a 2 wound weapon, so you take two wounds. Damage occurs after save? There may well have been other mistakes, but having watched a few bat reps I think I got the jist enough for open play!
  3. One thing I have discovered in my research into whether or not to get into Age of Sigmar is that most people don't seem to have any real concept of how to do Open Play in a way that works. I saw numerous forum and blog posts criticizing Age of Sigmar for launching with the approach. Including crazy ideas like it's about putting your entire collection on the table at once so whoever buys more wins (or I guess paints faster?). Ask yourself honestly, if you had to set up an Open Play game right now, could you? So this is going to be a "let's read" thread focused on a positive, practical take on Open Play. Starting on page 9 of the General's Handbook. We'll cover at least a page per day [Edited: Ha! Work got in the way of that for sure!] and can quote things and talk about them. Hopefully we can shed some light on this paradoxically most simple and most misunderstood way to play. I'll put quoted text in a different font rather than in quotes to make it easier for anyone who wants to respond in this thread. Feel free to read along and comment or present your own take. If you have negative things to say about Open Play feel free to express yourself but I would like to ask that things stay on topic. So anything negative should only be posted in the light of how we might go about making Open Play actually work. What is Open Play for? Page 10: "Brilliant ideas are sometimes the simplest, and open play games of Warhammer Age of Sigmar epitomise this. Open play is a style of gaming that allows you to take to the battlefield with any army, made up of any Citadel Miniatures from your collection – no restrictions. It’s as straightforward and streamlined as wargaming gets, and it’s a great way to begin, as you can be sure of exciting battles from day one." Open play is about getting to the actual game. It's about options. The word "streamlined" is a reference to vehicle design. A boat that cuts easily through the water or a car that doesn't drag in the wind. It's about reducing resistance so you can just get to where you are going. Why is Open Play "a great way to begin?" Imagine a couple of young teenagers or even pre-teens going to their local game or comic shop and seeing boxes of cool miniatures. They buy the ones they think are awesome and they also get a copy of the rules from the employee working there or possibly from GW's website. They build/paint their miniatures, pull out their warscrolls and maybe set up some books and other household items as a battlefield to fight over. And start playing. So how do you begin? The same way. Page 10: "All you need to play an open play game are your painted miniatures, their warscrolls, the Warhammer Age of Sigmar rules sheet, a set of dice, a tape measure, and a flat surface on which to play. Then, just set up your models and start having fun!" It isn't just about kids playing shallow games though. The Open Play section in the General's Handbook is 10 pages, not just a paragraph. As well, the other sections of the General's Handbook as well as other publications are often full of things you can use for Open Play. These include battle plans, time of war rules, creating your own scenarios, your own special rules, as well as a lot of the material that people normally associate with the other ways to play. The list of what you need at a minimum is really quite short. One thing I do like is the assumption that the miniatures will be painted. Even in the games described as being the most appropriate for beginners. Page 10: "This style of gaming is perfect for beginners, who may not yet own a complete collection of miniatures." The size of the collection? What an interesting thing to bring up. One thing I've found in my reading of various reviews, forum threads and blog posts about Age of Sigmar is that it generally supports a lower model count than either 40k or it's predecessor Warhammer Fantasy Battle. This makes it easier to get into for new players and Open Play is a far, far more reachable goal than building a matched play army of a particular points value, number of battle line units and so on. This also should provide a valuable clue as to where to get started. Smaller games. When Age of Sigmar launched I read about it and people expressed that they honestly believed that the game was meant to be played with as many miniatures as you can jam onto the table as possible. With the winner being the one who can outspend or outpaint their opponent. What exactly is a "complete" collection of miniatures? In many forms of collecting, that would mean one of everything. A complete set. So if you're into Stormcast Eternals it might mean one of every kit. Others might take a formation chart that shows how many Liberators there are in a given fictional force and see collecting all of that as having a "complete" collection. However we end up defining complete, it's used here as a point of contrast. It's probably best to start with whatever you definitely would not call complete. Perhaps just a few kits worth of miniatures per person. Of course you can jam an enormous amount of miniatures on the table and have an epic battle, but if you are at all unsure about Open Play, it'd recommend taking the introductory advice to heart and use it like you're approaching the game fresh for the first time. But what about... If my opponent owns more models than me and can flood the table, so I don't stand a chance? But what about if a wizard just keep summoning daemons every turn? But what about if one player has an advantage? But what about... but what about... but what about. If you find those kinds of questions rising to mind, you may be overly concerned with theoretical problems that don't necessarily exist. Lots of them come from not trusting your fellow hobbyists. From seeing her or him as someone you need the rules to protect you from as if they were a threat to your fun. You may hold to the idea that a game is to be played against someone rather than with them. If that describes you at all, I invite you to join me in this "let's read" Open Play process. So the next post will finish up with the introduction to Open Play that continues onto page 11. It talks briefly about armies and crazy ideas you might try and then leads into the multiplayer section that follows.
  4. I found it rather interesting that allies don't work in Open Play because without points allowed for them, they take you out of your allegiance. It seemed rather stupid that in Matched Play you can have units that aren't in your allegiance, but in Open Play, where you are supposed to have complete freedom, you can't. I was just wondering what peoples thoughts were and if there are any official statements saying otherwise? I was thinking you could just say one in every 5 units can be chosen from the potential allies and keep allegiance, but of course that ends up being a house rule.
  5. I'm creating some battleplans aimed at addressing the supposed 'nightmare scenarios' that Open Play could generate - not just addressing them, but turning them on their head and making them outrageously good fun. I know there's some debate about how likely these situations are to occur, but my thinking is that it doesn't matter. If the battleplans are good then it might encourage more people to experiment with asymmetrical armies for the sheer fun of it, rather than because their opponent is trying to break the game. These are the 'nightmare scenarios' I have so far: Your opponent has a much larger army. Your opponent has a large number of wizards and summonable units. Your opponent has a large number of Behemoths. Your opponent wants to field more than one copy of the same named character. Can anyone think of any others? Be as outrageous and implausible as you like!
  6. Inspired by the excellent discussion @Kamose about narrative and matched play I decided to share my experiences with a narrative (but with matched play rules) campaign I'm running with a couple of friends. Also as i'm writing this up I would like to thank everybody on this forum that helped me design this campaign by giving feedback or just sharing their experiences. The total campaign can be found below. Honshu is a recently discovered island filled with untold riches and ripe for the plunder. Four greedy and ambitious pirate captains set sail but only one will succeed. One brave slayer pirate captain is looking for a glorious death or, failing that, riches. Supported by his former clan he sets sail to Honshu. From the Ogre Kingdoms comes a former Maneater who has always dreamt of becoming a Pirate King. With the discovery of Honshu, the promise of treasure is finally big enough to form his own Ogre crew. A Dark Elf Black Ark Fleetmaster is looking to make his name by plundering, raiding and razing every place of name or value. The island Honshu will be the first stepping stone to get a position in the court of Malekith. A particularly sneaky Skaven Warlock has convinced a warlord to embark on the pirate life. While the warlord thinks he is after the riches of Honshu, the warlock will be going after the relics of the Old Ones. And if the Warlord finds out... well it's the nature of a rat to abandon a sinking ship. The first campaign day saw all players decide where to make landfall. As ever welcoming host I managed to roll a 1 so I had no choice in the matter. On the north end of the island the dwarfs grabbed the initiative and decided to claim 4. Bamburgh Castle and the mine for the ability to bring an extra war machine. The Ogres had to make 6. Bone castle their temporary home, gaining the benefit of 3. shimmer-glass spire buffing their magic. On the South East end the Dark Elves (me) made landfall first. While my captain and most of the crew were busy on a supply run a small contingent was left behind to protect the ship. However late at night the always sneaky Skaven arrived. The Skaven Warlord had sent a small group of rats to steal the supplies of the Elves. While the Dark Elves were busy 'inspecting' the inside of various bars the sneaky Skaven managed to get the cargo of the ship. They decided to stick together and run quick-quick through the left flank. They had three pieces of essential cargo with them. If they managed to carry them out of town they would seize the initiative and seriously hamper the Dark Elf Captain. But on the third turn the Dark Elves emerged but would it prove to be in time. While the Rats raced down the left flank, the Elves moved to intercept them. When the forces clashed the Skaven resistance seemed futile as the first three rats died but the survivors were holding on. And then the Executioner strode into the fray. But the unexpected happened. One lowly Skaven Clanrat sensed his chance for glory and treasure. He managed to single handedly kill the Executioner, two corsairs and a Shade. Furthermore he tied up the last corsairs while the rest of the Skaven managed to get away. The Skaven won a minor victory meaning they could decide where to hole up. The Skaven Captain decided to skulk around the southern edge away from all the action in typical Skaven fashion. Next up: the sadistic Dark Elves managed to capture a dwarf maiden to sacrifice. Of course the Dwarfs could not suffer this indignation and sailed forth to save her. But will they be in time? I will write up the next battle later today. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I had playing this game. The fact that the result directly effects the campaign was very exiting. And I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for that pesky clanrat.
  7. 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.
  8. The GH introduces 3 ways of play, but the foundation of the game is now built on whether or not you choose to use their new point system. Most of us are divided into one of two opinions: A. The points are bad & going to cause problems. The game is at its best when you put down whatever you want and manually balance with your opponent. The values are arbitrary and are only going to lead to 'net lists', powergamers and an overall cap on fun. B. The points are awesome & finally make AoS playable. They are very well done and create an easy way to create a 'balanced game' which was nearly impossible before. Points take AoS to the next level and finally fill in the missing pieces that were keeping AoS from being a good game. First lets talk about group A. Many people fall into this category. Jervis Johnson who is likely the head of AoS design is very obviously in this category. In the latest Heelanhammer podcast (ep 155) there is a lengthy discussion of why open play is good and why matched play can be very bad. A Positives: Most of these people have been playing AoS from launch. They feel the lack of points brings freedom. Many people who would have never been interested in Warhammer Fantasy are interested for the first time. Many players who have been away from Warhammer for a long time find themselves pulled back into it. Now you can just buy any models you want, put them down and just have fun. You can finally buy that model you always wanted but could never justify in a game. This makes the 'fluffy' list player who got beaten down time and again by the power-gamers finally have their day - just put down more models than your opponent in the spirit of fairness to combat an opponents power list. Open play can be better as a painter and modeler - you don't have to spend time making things you don't want to paint. A Negatives: Open play tends to be very exclusive. With such freedom, you simply can't trust people to play the way that you would like to play. Sure, its easy to put down models and eye it out when you are playing with someone you completely trust. You either have to trust that your opponent is being fair, or have such a vast knowledge of how every unit works in AoS that you can tell what is going to be more balanced. When AoS came out, there were many people talking about things such as showing up at GW with 6 Hellpit Abominations to blow out a game to 'prove how broken AoS is'. To be fair, I think most of us have a fear of these 'rude powergamer' types more than people actually see them - there are many reports of groups embracing open play and everything has been fine. Unfortunately there is a fine line - in almost all cases, even if playing with a close friend, you may disagree on the value of a model. You might say that 6 Stormfiends are equal to a Ghorgon. If your opponent is really good with the Ghorgon and always doing very nasty things with it, this makes sense. Most people, especially those experienced with these units would say that these two units are nowhere near equal, but people think what they think. In 8th ed I often bumped heads over my Terrorgheist - I felt it was balanced as its the only shooting in my army and can get easily taken down by any shooting, but opponents often thought its ability was broken and unfair. There is simply no way to properly value units, so this can become a point of contention even among good-natured friends. Nothing leads to more contention or frustration than the open summoning. People are night and day on this topic and therefore summoning is only going to be possible in a game where both players feel the same way. Unfortunately if you are on the side that does not like summoning, your opponent may strongly disagree. This point has been probably the biggest problem where many people who don't like the idea of summoning simply dismiss AoS altogether and have long since quit the hobby. Lastly, Open play tends to favor larger models and often leads to a monster-mash kind of game play. There's nothing wrong with this, but some people simply prefer the battlefield to be filled with rank troops rather than large models. A Summary: Open play can be very fun and fulfilling & it promotes more modeling and painting. The lack of restrictions is a double edged sword; while it gives you the freedom to play how you want with your friends, it also means that it is most often played exclusively (and often privately) among friends only. This trend can inhibit going out and trying to make new friends, sharing the hobby with more people and the overall growth of a community. In areas where there are already communities, this is not really an issue. For all the areas with no communities (or communities that fell apart in the AoS rage-quit) it has been very difficult to grow a new community while so many people are afraid or not interested in playing socially. Now lets talk about Group B - the point-lovers. This group is mostly people who have always had points and are turned off by the concept of playing a tabletop game without points. B Positives: Everyone now has the same footing. The community has been largely split worldwide with Azyr comp, wound count, 9th age, KoW, Pool/SCGT, etc. With GW-backed point system, all these people who want points can finally come together. Each of the groups with a few members can now combine into one large Matched-Play group. Many people who refused to play a game with no rules for army comp now are now interested in AoS for the first time. In many areas, it is like a great wall has been torn down and empty communities are now bustling with excited players. The new point values are of a singular vision. They are all released at the same time, in the same book - a stark contrast to 8th which was a combination of different peoples ideas in books released decades apart. GW is more responsive than ever before, releasing official statements on Facebook (often within hours of asking a question) which are now being organized into official FAQs. This means that if issues come about, GW can quickly put the kibosh on them (not having to deal with them for years like 8th edition). Horrific imbalances like cannons and spells are specifically limited with a greater overall sense of balance. Summoning is now restricted. Most comp systems have already been doing it, but many people need to see something official in writing. This meas many people who refused to play due to summoning are now excited to return to the hobby. Above I mention people bumping heads over unit values. Now that we are told their values, there can be no disagreement in matched play. For example, if your opponent brings Skarbrand, no matter where you are in the world - you know they have paid 400 points for him. For the first time, you can comfortably play a pick-up game with a random person. -Playing with new people means making new friends. -Making new friends means the growth of a new club. -The growth of clubs worldwide means more organized local events. -Support for organized events means events will continually get bigger and better. -Large events and groups lead to many more people hearing about the hobby and more people getting into it. -More people playing means more models, more community feedback, more support for the hobby. -More support for the hobby means better stocked stores, better terrain at local stores, more support from GW. -More support from GW means even more model releases, even more organized events and campaigns, faster and better releases. B Negatives: People who like summoning can't do it anymore. You might disagree on GW given point values, and some of your favorite models might get 'overcosted'. Battleline will often lead to having to buy models you don't want and having to assembly-line paint hordes of models you don't even like. Some units *may* end up severely under-costed, leading to people taking them in droves, This means the return of 'Net Lists' and clubs with the same power lists being played over and over. People may gravitate to the same basic terrain setup, just playing simple "march forward and kill" games ignoring battleplans, Time of War, unique terrain and other special rules. B Summary: While there are many new limitations that can be frustrating, points can bring people together and grow a community much better than we have seen with Open Play. Everyone now has common ground to stand on, whether you like the ground or not. In conclusion, it seems like there are a lot more people who refuse to play due to a lack of points (or open summoning) then people who refuse to play because they don't like the idea of points. Most people who like Open are grudgingly willing to accept trying points, whereas people who want points are almost completely unwilling to play a game without them. Of course, if the hobby turns into nothing but power-list slugfests, it will go the other way; many people who have really been enjoying Open will probably quit. We will have to shape a middle ground where we benefit from all the positives and avoid most of the negatives. I think that the best direction of the hobby is for us all to embrace both styles of play. Matched Play can draw people in who have severe reservations regarding open play. Matched Play points, along with exciting new Allegiance rules can draw people in and get people to go out and try games with new people, make friends and grow a local community over time. Once a community is established, and you are more familiar with the people you play with (ideally having made some new friends) you can start to gravitate away from strict play. For example, if someone likes to play a fluffy list that loses hard every game, you are likely going to start to feel bad blowing them out every game. You'll want to give them some extra points or take less points to give yourself a kind of handicap and make the games more fair. (After all, taking less points is no different than having a bad first turn in matched play, and trying to use good tactics to come back. This can only make you a better player overall.) I think it is important as a worldwide community to avoid playing just "march forward" style games. Even in 8th edition, most events had specific scenarios so there has never really been a reason to play such bland games. At least take the time to pick one of the 6 battleplans, and roll for a few pieces of terrain. These simple things greatly change the dynamic of the game, making them more interesting and making you have to learn to be a better player to win. As players get used to the basic battleplans, many players will want to start branching out - trying other battleplans, incorporating Time of War rules, then even trying narrative battleplans and adding unique terrain pieces. Matched Play is essential to grow a club, but properly managed clubs can easily evolve to play more diverse games, and many people completely against Open Play may eventually migrate to play some Open Play games. Hey - maybe even some of these people will find they even prefer Open Play! When you combine the club growing power of Matched Play, with the freedom and fun of playing Open and Narrative, there is no limit to the future of Warhammer. I think we will see the hobby grow to heights we never dreamed of being possible. Imagine 1000 player tournaments in major venus. Imagine the wealth of tactical knowledge available when there are hundreds of thousands of people all over the world trying interesting tactics and reporting them online. Imagine every cool model painted a thousand different ways, all the amazing modeling and painting that will come about when there are flourishing communities in every major city around the world. AoS may very well be the golden age of Warhammer Fantasy.
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