[+][Warhammer] Age of Sigmar general discussion.

Crumbs

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I agree. I could complain that AoS is nothing more than a min-maxing dice fest with light strategy elements (and when I lose, I do!), but the good side is that there is a huge player base (for an expensive hobby) that means I never have to struggle to find a game, and that's pretty valuable.
Warhammer has always been a minmax dicefest with light strategy elements. The difference is now the strategy element is not how can I ram this unit into the flank of this other unit.
 

Ralls

Entering the Abyss
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Well I just got gifted a starter set of sigmarines stormcast eternals over xmas.

What do I need to know about them? How fair their gryph-chargers? Their dragons?

My 40k army that I've managed to poorhammer together is an adeptus custodes army. So that's the point-of-reference I'm coming from.
 

drkrash

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Warhammer has always been a minmax dicefest with light strategy elements. The difference is now the strategy element is not how can I ram this unit into the flank of this other unit.
Since I never played WH Fantasy, would you then say Sigmar is an improvement? Or just differently weak?
 

DDogwood

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Since I never played WH Fantasy, would you then say Sigmar is an improvement? Or just differently weak?
As someone who loved WFB (I started playing in 4th edition, back in the early 1990s), and who was initially unhappy about GW blowing up the old world and bringing out Age of Sigmar, I have to say it's an improvement overall. It's hard to compare directly, because AoS is more of a large-scale skirmish game instead of a rank-and-flank game, but I think it's a better gaming experience in general.

In terms of rules, the AoS rules are much more accessible and scale more effectively than the WFB rules did. I can play a fun game of AoS with just a handful of models, where WFB didn't come into its own with fewer than 5 or 6 blocks of troops. Armies are a bit more balanced (and getting better as GW learns how to tweak rules properly) and are FAR more flexible than WFB ever was, even with the proliferation of mini-factions in AoS. I like the fact that even tarpit units can actually dish out a few wounds and pose a threat to an opponent who's careless.

Funny thing is, I think the game is deeper, even though the rules are simpler. Because units take turns fighting, you have to think about more than just estimating charge ranges and hitting flanks (flanking still helps, btw, even without special rules for it). Hero models seem to have more abilities that focus on buffing your other units instead of just kicking butt in challenges or soaking up another hero's attacks.
 

Scutarii

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Conversely I find that the rules take away options ‘at the table’ by removing things like terrain impacts in movement or line of sight.

Instead a lot of the games engagement is in building your buff engines around your units and putting them on the table so they can remain in range. Then the more advanced play gets into very specific positioning of models to manipulate who gets to fight in any given round of combat, forcing models to ‘pile in’ in such a way that they can’t actually take part or trapping them out of buff range, etc.

It feels...more like playing a CCG with models than a game that has me making decisions a general or captain or lieutenant might make about where to put their men, how to use the terrain to obscure or defend their vulnerable units, when ir why to claim the high ground, etc.

It feels like more artificial strategy that exists because of the rules rather than what the rules are ‘meant’ to represent.

I find that, when playing, many of my decisions are not really affecting or being affected by what my opponent does. The list I have operates by having unit X within range of buff Y and then getting stuck into whatever unit of type Z is in range. My ‘best’ play is usually to keep doing what I designed the list to do and there’s few ways for the opponent to stymie that beyond feeding it fodder if the wrong type of unit or killing it first.

Basically I think it’s a different ‘kind’ of game to what I am looking for and instead is its own idiosyncratic set of rules that doesn’t so much mimic ‘large scale skirmish with fantasy monsters’ as it instead invents its own ‘thing’.

That a lot of the intricacy comes from vast arrays of units having its own special rules is, IMO a turn off. Only really being of benefit when playing in a gonzo ‘hand me my pretzels and I shall show you the meaning of pain!’ Style.

What I might do is look at ways of converting AoS models to use the Middle Earth rules. Not played that game yet but from a skim read it might provide an experience closer to what I am looking for.
 

drkrash

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I get what you're saying, Scutarii. For myself, I am not at all a minis wargamer; AoS is the only thing I play, and I much prefer board games and RPGs. So while I totally agree about the idiosyncrasies you describe, they don't bother me. Combine that with the fact that my regular club meeting is pretty "beer and pretzels" already, and the fact that just about everyone else is more into it than I am, and I can have a good time with the rules pretty easily.

(This probably also explains why I came in last place in the one Grand Tourney I entered at a con!)
 

Scutarii

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I get what you're saying, Scutarii. For myself, I am not at all a minis wargamer; AoS is the only thing I play, and I much prefer board games and RPGs. So while I totally agree about the idiosyncrasies you describe, they don't bother me. Combine that with the fact that my regular club meeting is pretty "beer and pretzels" already, and the fact that just about everyone else is more into it than I am, and I can have a good time with the rules pretty easily.

(This probably also explains why I came in last place in the one Grand Tourney I entered at a con!)
Sure, I simply don’t think the rules provide what I look for. If the models weren’t so pretty, didn’t cost so much and didn’t require so much effort to paint I likely wouldn’t play it. But they ARE that pretty, I own them, put in that effort and so want to use them.
 

Scutarii

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Well I just got gifted a starter set of sigmarines stormcast eternals over xmas.

What do I need to know about them? How fair their gryph-chargers? Their dragons?

My 40k army that I've managed to poorhammer together is an adeptus custodes army. So that's the point-of-reference I'm coming from.
Stormcast!

Stormcast are the poster boys of AoS, kind of like Space Marines are in 40k but to a much lesser extent. There's more diversity in what armies and factions get played in AoS in my experience compared to 40k. As such they have a hugely larger array of models and options than most any other faction. In general Stormcast are a solidly B-tier faction, they're unlikely to win the biggest most competitive tournaments or super competitive environments but in any other environment from fluffy pretzels and beers to 'we follow the meta and try to be competitive, but we're not hardcore about it' environments they should hold their own and give a good game.

As for playstyle. They're kind of sort of like Custodes or a Deathwing style 40k army in that they're among the most elite factions out there, each individual is tough and you get smaller units and no options for horde play and essentially no benefits for trying to build a horde. Almost across the board they have 2+ wounds per model and a 4+ or better save. Unlike 40k saves aren't routinely cancelled out by AP mods so that 4+ will be rolled frequently, rarely worse than a 5+. Similarly to Custodes the army is generally vulnerable to mortal wounds and horde style armies that can pile on the attacks can hurt them a lot.

However, unlike some of the elite forces of 40k Stormcast have a great variety of units specialised in general killiness, horde busting, heavy busting or monster slaying so you should be able to take units that can deal with anything your opponent has.

Broadly the traits your army has are: slower than the opponent, better armoured than the opponent, multiple wounds on every model, average damage output (with a few exceptions), reliable special abilities that are straightforward to use, fairly built in synergies and...everything can deepstrike. Everything. You generally lack volume - of attacks, of bodies, etc. with some exceptions.

Now you do have access to flyers and plenty of cavalry units so that slow speed can be readily mitigated. Deepstriking up to 50% of your army means you can be real close real fast (or wait to be in a vulneable space a bit later). You've got a lot of good shooting units so you still have threat early on.

Your core units are normally Sequitors (the best option most of the time), Liberators (the worst option most of the time), Judicators (usually worth bringing one unit along in most lists) and Vanguard Hunters (mobile, tough, average damage output, generally only taken in specific builds).

You have a lot of hero options so can tailor the buffs and synergies to your preference or units of choice. I like the Castellant for +1 save on a friendly unit...big block of Sequitors with a Castellant have a 3+ rerollable save and heal a wound everytime you roll a natural 6 to save. The Heraldor is fun too for the mortal wound spamming they can do...a pair of them side by side mitigates your armies slow speed (run and charge on a friendly unit) and then dishing out 2d3 mortal wounds to every unit within 3 inches of any terrain piece. If you're really mean 3 Heraldor make it so most enemy heroes can't get within 3 inches of any terrain piece.

Of the units you specifically asked about, the Vanguard Palladors (gryphon-horse cavalry) generally take the javelins in my experience. They are fast and have good damage output and are decently tough, coming in units of 3 they're 15 wounds to chew through. Their ideal targets are either small objective holding units or smaller enemy units in general OR anything with a good armour save (the mounts get -2 rend and can cause mortal wounds to bypass armour entirely). They have a movement shenanigan ability that lets them bypass enemy units/screens/etc. or can be used to escape dangerous situations.

The Dragons are called Stardrakes...they've got several but normally they're used as the core of an army and you build around exploiting them. I feel their damage output is too low for the investment but haven't used one so can't confirm. They also have smaller dragon cavalry that are pretty good at damage, including dishing out mortal wounds in good quantity, but they are awkward to get all of them into a fight due to their sheer size and cost a lot. They rarely disappoint but also rarely amaze.

Other stand out units are the Evocators, able to cause huge damage to hordes, elites, heavy armour, light armour, monsters and heroes alike, if you can deliver them to the enemy they can do a huge amount of damage. Unfortunately they're a bit too good and obsolete a lot of the other specialist infantry in the faction. The other unit I really like is Vanguard-Raptors with longstrike crossbows (basically sniper crossbows), especially if you play the Anvils of the Heldenhammer chapter. This unit focuses on killing enemy buff heroes even if they try to hide amongst friendly units. Because the game is pretty buff dependent being able to pick a hero and essentially delete them at 30 inches away is big, and even if the opponent has a big juicy monster mounted hero who might be tough the unit can deal out a lot of wounds.

Broadly when playing I use a few line holding/objective holding units and a few shooting units and then have one or two big hitters and then a scattering of heroes. The shooting tries to cripple enemy buffs rather than outright kill units - kill heroes, take units below buff thresholds (e.g.: if unit X has 20+ models it gets +1 to hit) or take monsters into wounded brackets - then once things get engaged move your heavy hitter(s) in on your terms to remove the threats to your army (massive hordes, multi-wounding monsters or elite enemy troopers). Your basic troops can probably deal with anything else even if it takes time.
 

CrazyIvan

C. different
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Instead a lot of the games engagement is in building your buff engines around your units and putting them on the table so they can remain in range. Then the more advanced play gets into very specific positioning of models to manipulate who gets to fight in any given round of combat, forcing models to ‘pile in’ in such a way that they can’t actually take part or trapping them out of buff range, etc.

It feels...more like playing a CCG with models than a game that has me making decisions a general or captain or lieutenant might make about where to put their men, how to use the terrain to obscure or defend their vulnerable units, when ir why to claim the high ground, etc.
The term my club has used for both it and 40K a lot is "Deck Building"
 
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