PDA

View Full Version : AoS Shooting Rules; Why did they write them this way?



Bede19025
18-08-2015, 21:14
This isn't intended to be a discussion of whether the AoS shooting rules are good or whether they suck. So if that's all you're going to add can you please just refrain?


What I'm wondering is what was the design goal they were trying to achieve in allowing a unit that is "in combat" to fire missile weapons and in allowing units to fire missile weapons at targets within 3" of a friendly?

It can't just be simplification, can it? How hard is it to say a unit can't fire missile weapons if the enemy is within 3" and can't fire missile weapons at a model that's within 3" of a friendly model?


The only thing I can think of is that they wanted to make a game that can be played in a small amount of space, so they needed to reduce ranges. But that would make missile troops weaker. So to compensate they allowed missile troops to shoot while in combat.

Any other explanations?

MarshalFaust
19-08-2015, 00:21
Honestly not trying to be flippant but I suspect your post gave more thought to the shooting rules than the rules writer did.

theunwantedbeing
19-08-2015, 00:50
Here are a few potentials, pick and mix the ones you like:

-Not being able to shoot into combat meant units were stuck hanging about waiting for combat to end and this was deemed too boring
-Short range without being able to shoot out of combat sucked too much
-Long range was too good
-It never came up in playtesting as they didn't playtest the shooting stuff
-It never came up in playtesting because the shooting stuff had it's line of sight blocked to enemies by models in combat whenever the opportunity arose
-It never came up in playtesting as the shooting stuff died after seeing combat
-It never came up in playtesting as nobody realised they could still shoot
-It was meant to be a rule but GW forgot to save it and everyone forgot to put it back in
-It was meant to be a rule and is, in a later version which wasn't published by mistake
-GW are idiots
-GW don't care
-GW smell bad (I never said these would be good options)

Could be any of those.
There might be others but I can't think of any more right now.

As an extra point...
If you look at the 8th ed Vamps list you'll see that both Banshees and Vargheists can scream at whatever they heck they want and completely ignore all shooting limitations everyone else has to follow, so the idea of just getting to shoot regardless is hardly a new one.
Very few spells were actually restricted from being cast while in combat, it was into that was the issue and these were never touched upon or clarified ever and making shooting work in a similar manner is a fairly sensible leap to make if you're simplifying the rules.
GW has a history of writing rules where there is an option that simply isn't touched upon either because it's rare or the player simply won't realise it is there if they are acting on the assumption of another rule working a certain way, so this could easily just be an extension of that rules writing problem. (one was frenzy for Khorne, which they errata'd to not work on the mounts....but they never errata'd it for the general rule so some people still got it, another was dark elf mounts getting the re-roll 1 ability despite the rule saying it doesn't work for the models mount so actually, they did get it following the wording of the rules even if the intention was clearly not but then why give the mount the rule as well?)

Age of Sigmar sucks! (allegedly)

Spiney Norman
19-08-2015, 01:18
I'd go with either
a.) simplification/abstraction - it's the only one that really makes sense if we assume that GW actually thought this issue through, the rules are not supposed to represent the nitty gritty of actually reloading your weapon, if you have a gun/bow/war machine you just imagine your little guy/girl pulling the trigger and that's as much a you need to know.

b.) oversight - they automatically played the game as units with shooting weapons didn't fire when they were in combat because that is the 'obvious' solution, they just didn't write it down anywhere because they thought it was so 'obvious' they didn't need to.

b.) appears to be somewhat unlikely in light of the the high elf archer warscroll (which gets a bonus to the to hit roll if there are no enemy within 3", which means there is an assumed state of shooting when there are enemies within 3".

So basically simplification/abstraction is the only real reason I can think of.

Dosiere
19-08-2015, 03:14
I think it was just 100% due to simplification of the rules.

75hastings69
19-08-2015, 13:37
Basically because the absolute bare minimum effort went into writing or testing these "rules", and as in so many other instances it is unresolved/unclear in the 4 pages of drivel that accompany this "game".

Or it could be that the shooting/summoning etc would have been explained in full on page 5.... sadly 5 pages being far too much for the target audience to be able to comprehend.

This "game" is utter tripe. These continual threads about how do we fix A, what happens when B does C, etc. etc. just show how much effort was involved here.

Bede19025
19-08-2015, 18:19
Basically because the absolute bare minimum effort went into writing or testing these "rules", and as in so many other instances it is unresolved/unclear in the 4 pages of drivel that accompany this "game".

Simple inattention isn't a very credible explanation. Anyone who has ever played a miniatures wargame of any stripe knows the standard rule is that a unit engaged in combat is not allowed to shoot and a unit is not allowed to shoot at an enemy target in close combat with a friendly.

I don't think avoiding complexity is convincing either. It would take exactly two sentences to implement the rule that normally applies in wargames: 1. No model may fire its missile weapons if an enemy model is within 3" of the firing model. 2. A model firing a missile weapon may not target an enemy model that is within 3" of a friendly model. And, as others have observed, these rules are rather intuitive.

So I have to conclude that there was another reason they did it this way.




Or it could be that the shooting/summoning etc would have been explained in full on page 5.... sadly 5 pages being far too much for the target audience to be able to comprehend.

This "game" is utter tripe. These continual threads about how do we fix A, what happens when B does C, etc. etc. just show how much effort was involved here.

Oh, and thanks for ignoring my polite request that people refrain form saying "it sucks" since that adds nothing to the conversation.

Spiney Norman
19-08-2015, 21:29
Simple inattention isn't a very credible explanation. Anyone who has ever played a miniatures wargame of any stripe knows the standard rule is that a unit engaged in combat is not allowed to shoot and a unit is not allowed to shoot at an enemy target in close combat with a friendly.

I don't think avoiding complexity is convincing either. It would take exactly two sentences to implement the rule that normally applies in wargames: 1. No model may fire its missile weapons if an enemy model is within 3" of the firing model. 2. A model firing a missile weapon may not target an enemy model that is within 3" of a friendly model. And, as others have observed, these rules are rather intuitive.

So I have to conclude that there was another reason they did it this way.





Oh, and thanks for ignoring my polite request that people refrain form saying "it sucks" since that adds nothing to the conversation.

When I say 'simplicity' I'm not talking about avoiding a few extra lines of rules text, I'm talking about abstraction of the game itself. Shooting is not regarded as a mechanical process of firing, reloading and firing again in AoS, it's just another attack that some warriors are capable of. AoS has taken a big step away from being a 'combat simulator' that wfb was much closer to and has become much more an abstract game, you might as well try and explain logically why a knight moves in an L-shape in chess, it's just how the game works.

If it makes you feel any better just say it's a high fantasy setting and all the shooting weapons magically reload themselves as soon as they fire, making them sort of like the medieval equivalent of automatic rifles.

Bede19025
20-08-2015, 12:57
Very good point Norman.

thesoundofmusica
20-08-2015, 19:08
I dont really mind the shooting rules (which is not to say I think they're the bestest ever!!). But I do mind the Hellcannon targetting anything on the board regardless of LoS. That is just dumb.

Spiney Norman
21-08-2015, 14:00
I dont really mind the shooting rules (which is not to say I think they're the bestest ever!!). But I do mind the Hellcannon targetting anything on the board regardless of LoS. That is just dumb.

Especially when the chaos army has a sudden death objective to assassinate the enemy general, two hell cannons each firing two shots a turn, hitting on a 3+ (no LoS required) and each dealing D6 mortal wounds. Somebody really didn't think that one through.

Grontik
21-08-2015, 20:49
Not to defend AOS per se but I never understood the strict never firing into combats rule anyways (excluding the Skaven slave rule). The things I like about AOS are where the chaotic nature of combat get represented more than has been done in the past like shooting into combats and the way charging now works. It was sometimes frustrating and unrealistic (yes I am aware that fantasy wargaming is by it's nature unrealistic) to have units not do anything because of the way they were positioned. I don't have any insight into whether this was the intent or not but given the minimalist ruleset I can see where they figured why not let missile troops fire into combats ... it may be the last thing they get to do before they get beat up and it allows for more dramatic battles. So in summary I think they want AOS to feel more cinematic and chaotic so letting missile troops matter for more than the one or two rounds before armies clashed meant allowing them to fire regardless. Just my take on it.

Spiney Norman
21-08-2015, 22:42
Not to defend AOS per se but I never understood the strict never firing into combats rule anyways (excluding the Skaven slave rule). The things I like about AOS are where the chaotic nature of combat get represented more than has been done in the past like shooting into combats and the way charging now works. It was sometimes frustrating and unrealistic (yes I am aware that fantasy wargaming is by it's nature unrealistic) to have units not do anything because of the way they were positioned. I don't have any insight into whether this was the intent or not but given the minimalist ruleset I can see where they figured why not let missile troops fire into combats ... it may be the last thing they get to do before they get beat up and it allows for more dramatic battles. So in summary I think they want AOS to feel more cinematic and chaotic so letting missile troops matter for more than the one or two rounds before armies clashed meant allowing them to fire regardless. Just my take on it.

I don't think it's firing into combat that is the problem (I've played a number of games that allow it, most notably Lotr SBG), it's firing while you are in hand to hand combat that causes me the difficulty, and most wargames do have rules to prevent you shooting while you are engaged in melee because the idea of an archer/crossbowman/war machine operator reloading and firing while simultaneously fighting hand to hand just doesn't make any sense at all.

But as I said above, AoS seems designed to divorce the player from any kind of sense that AoS represents actual combat and raise the level of abstraction to a much higher level, ironically much closer to something like chess than wfb ever was.

theunwantedbeing
22-08-2015, 06:44
I don't think it's firing into combat that is the problem (I've played a number of games that allow it, most notably Lotr SBG), it's firing while you are in hand to hand combat that causes me the difficulty, and most wargames do have rules to prevent you shooting while you are engaged in melee because the idea of an archer/crossbowman/war machine operator reloading and firing while simultaneously fighting hand to hand just doesn't make any sense at all.

*cough* Legolas *cough*

See, shooting into combat, and while in combat and out of combat makes perfect sense :P

Spiney Norman
22-08-2015, 07:57
*cough* Legolas *cough*

See, shooting into combat, and while in combat and out of combat makes perfect sense :P

So every bretonnian peasant and empire mook with a crossbow has legolas-style ninja skills?

Kenshinzo 7
22-08-2015, 18:10
So every bretonnian peasant and empire mook with a crossbow has legolas-style ninja skills?

I guess it would depend on the level of fantasy your world is trying to represent.

T10
23-08-2015, 13:36
It can't just be simplification, can it? How hard is it to say a unit can't fire missile weapons if the enemy is within 3" and can't fire missile weapons at a model that's within 3" of a friendly model?


I think they just wanted to keep things simple. The legacy warscrolls for missile troops at least give these models fairly low close-combat ability.

One other effect this has is that missile troops cannot be entirely negated by close combat engagement. As far as keeping missile units viable goes, bear in mind that they only get to shoot in their turn, while close combat attacks happen in both players turns.

What I find surprising is that shooting and close combat still are two different phases of the game turn. Actually, the whole thing about phases is a bit unecessary: The rules allow for alternating activation in the close combat phase. It surprises me that they didn't just go for a straight-up alternating activation thing fromt the start.

Hm. I think I'll do something about this when I get around to writing my own 4-page rulebook :)

-T10

Rogue Star
23-08-2015, 20:47
So every bretonnian peasant and empire mook with a crossbow has legolas-style ninja skills?

it IS Warhammer/GW here. Giant Scorpions weren't enough for them. They needed to be skull-construct undead giant scorpions. With stingers that shoot. Skulls. That bite you. Also the skulls are poisonous. ;)

Heavygear
23-08-2015, 20:59
I tend to see a lot of similarities between AoS and Warmachine. In Warmachine many models with really good ranged attacks have mediocre melee attacks. To make some units/models more survivable and effective (so people will actually buy and use them) Privateer Press included rules (Gunfighter, Quick Work) for using ranged attacks in close combat. Melee happens fairly quickly in Warmachine. The rules developers didn't want anyone castling up with a gun line. Their motto has always been "Play like you gotta pair!".

So like Robot Chicken, Warmachine did it. To me AoS seems like a bit of a mash up between Kings of War and Warmachine.

I assume GW really does have a vision of how AoS should be played. They should probably make some sort of public statement to their customers about how they designed and developed these rules and why. It might help make the change a little easier to swallow. It is a much different game from WFB. It seems hard for many including myself to understand the though process with the new game.

DVeight
24-08-2015, 05:56
I think it was designed for the purpose of making ranged models viable and for you to be happy to part with your money knowing that unit of 20 Empire handgunners can make some holes.

hoggle76
24-08-2015, 10:54
maybe look at it like this- there's no stand and shoot as a widely available rule (there's a couple units that do something like it), so some of the shooting in combat replaces that. also have to think that models static positions on the table don't represent the swirling melee and engagement/disengagement every few seconds, during a turn that represents maybe a couple minutes of time in the game world, merely a snapshot of roughly where a fighter is. From personal experience in regular big larp battles of up to a couple thousand a side i can quite happily fight, shoot my longbow at a guy a couple yards away that my unit is in melee with, fight a bit and then shoot someone 50 yards away in a minute, sometimes less. and im just doing it for fun, imagine if your life depended on it. dont have to be legolas!

Overtninja
24-08-2015, 11:15
It should also be noted that many models aren't actually going to be doing the shoot while engaged in combat thing anyway - you only get to shoot on your turn, before the charge phase. The likelihood of many ranged-specialized models being around after a round of combat with any enemy is fairly low given the relative fragility, and they'd have to survive at least one round of combat to shoot again, provided you won the roll-off for the next turn sequence. if you don't, your ranged unit has to fight in melee during your opponent's turn without getting any chance to shoot again, and will likely be dead.

The exceptions are the models that are both strong in melee and shooting, such as various Sigmarines. These guys happen to be throwing magic lightning foolishness all over the place, so the normal considerations of what's possible or impossible for people to do in melee should rightly be thrown out the window.

dral
24-08-2015, 11:34
It's also worth noting that there is no base to base (or model to model) engagement. All attacks have a range, it's simple system where all attacks are ranged, with 'melee' attacks being the short ranged, 'missile' the long ranged and all treated in the same way. I think it's quite a tidy system, but it is different to WFB. i have to keep stopping myself from dropping into the old routine.

Sephillion
24-08-2015, 17:31
I tend to see a lot of similarities between AoS and Warmachine. In Warmachine many models with really good ranged attacks have mediocre melee attacks. To make some units/models more survivable and effective (so people will actually buy and use them) Privateer Press included rules (Gunfighter, Quick Work) for using ranged attacks in close combat. Melee happens fairly quickly in Warmachine. The rules developers didn't want anyone castling up with a gun line. Their motto has always been "Play like you gotta pair!".

So like Robot Chicken, Warmachine did it. To me AoS seems like a bit of a mash up between Kings of War and Warmachine.

I assume GW really does have a vision of how AoS should be played. They should probably make some sort of public statement to their customers about how they designed and developed these rules and why. It might help make the change a little easier to swallow. It is a much different game from WFB. It seems hard for many including myself to understand the though process with the new game.

I don’t see similarities between AoS and Warmachine shooting. In WMH, you have a hefty penalty for shooting into melee with an ally (and if you miss you risk hitting your own guys), and only a select few can shoot while remaining engaged (Gunfighter, but only against the engaged enemy – only Weapon Platform allow a model to shoot at someone he’s not engaged with). And models that are both good with bows AND swords come at a high price (and are quite rare – Invictors, Nyss Hunters).

I think the rules in AoS are made to be simple – there are very few modifiers in general, it seems that was a design decision to keep modifiers and exceptions to a minimum. Which is fine, but you then end up with frail mortal archers (not Legolas types) shooting at enemies while being engaged as if they were all black belts in bow fu. The game could have dealt with a few modifiers or exceptions there. I feel, however, it wouldn’t have fit their design of extreme simplicity. It probably works better when you have Sigmarines doing the fighting, since they’re superhumans.

I agree that they should have made some statement as to the design philosophy behind AoS. It would have made the pill easier to swallow and made understanding some design decisions a lot easier. Even if it still wouldn’t have saved the game to my eyes, it wouldn’t have softened the blow.

Aezeal
30-08-2015, 08:21
No this isn't it I think.. some special rules DO have a limitation of not having enemies in 3"

Aezeal
30-08-2015, 08:28
Apart from the fact that some people don't like it from a fantasy/realism point of view (and the LARP answer above is a good reply to that) it's not OP either:

-range of archery has been lowered a lot and movement increased (cavalry but also other units cross it without getting shot at).
-no stand and shoot
-weak melee on most archers and the bravery test means combat whipes them out.

I think it's intentional and for simplification without unbalancing the game (my WE playing comp where archery is limited stand no chance)

Lordmonkey
30-08-2015, 12:17
It seemed alien to me when I first played it, but I think it works very well. I feel like i'm getting to "use" all my units every turn, rather than having bored units of archers sitting back all game with nothing to do.

This, for me, outweighs the realism.

Also remember that it's all true LoS. Shooting at a guy's spear tip over the backs of your allies' heads is a bit questionable, but shooting at the massive dragon they are staring up at makes total sense. Again, for me, it's worth the wierd spear-tip thing for the ability to shoot the dragon in combat which we couldn't do before.