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Pegasus_Knight
21-10-2015, 13:55
Hey there I went down to my local GW and played a taster AOS match, i was surprised that it was actually alright. We played with about 3 units each. I was wondering how AOS works with equivalent of 2000 points old money and what thats like? it seemed to work ok on a small scale although by the end everything seemed to be piled into combat as everything was within range for pile in. This got me thinking that in a large scale battle it could just end up as a mass squish in the centre? Is AOS designed to be played with only a few units or does it work ok?

HelloKitty
21-10-2015, 14:25
it works fine.

Roughly 2000 pts is Azyr 40 pts or so - and we've had a couple games of that and it played about the same length of time.

In fact here is a battle report that they did over the weekend at 40 pts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51cgo22zhRw

Okuto
21-10-2015, 14:25
short answer....no

I tried this the first time with AoS and found it woefully unsuitable, just ended up turning into a messy jam in the center with buckets of dice throwing.....and shooting into combat

AoS works as intended imo with just a few models, mordheim/warband style so something like 500 pts worth if you want to use the old system as a measure.

Spiney Norman
21-10-2015, 14:31
short answer....no

I tried this the first time with AoS and found it woefully unsuitable, just ended up turning into a messy jam in the center with buckets of dice throwing.....and shooting into combat

AoS works as intended imo with just a few models, mordheim/warband style so something like 500 pts worth if you want to use the old system as a measure.

It definitely takes practice ;) it just so happens that every wargame on the market will turn into a 'messy jam in the centre' if all you do is both run your entire army into the middle of the board. My first few games of AoS took hours because we had to look up every single rule and we're basically learning how the game worked as we went along. Now we're much slicker at it and games take much less time than warhammer used to.

Okuto
21-10-2015, 14:50
It definitely takes practice ;) it just so happens that every wargame on the market will turn into a 'messy jam in the centre' if all you do is both run your entire army into the middle of the board.

I wasn't the one running my force, I play empire so I lit a campfire and waited:p

But when those chaos warriors got there it was more messy than usual;) guns and artillery rounds added on top(my guns of course), finally understood what playing skaven must of been like:eek:

But anywho, my first games of AoS didn't improve until we fielded smaller forces, results may vary from person to person but I felt AoS is optimal on a 4x4 table with warband sized forces. IMO there are better alternatives if you feel you want to recapture the older block on block action.

Katastrophe
21-10-2015, 14:57
In every game I have watched, particularly those with 60+ models per side, I have not seen where it worked well at all. Each game looked to be a race to the center and lots of pile in. The players appeared to be slightly frustrated by that and learned quickly that the only way to avoid that happening was to go out of their way to ensure that it did not end in a scrum. Sometimes they artificially spread out the units in unnatural ways to create smaller conflicts across the board, or made the board larger than normal or spread the objectives out in weird ways. If you go through enough trouble making the game work, you can, but if you are looking for a decent game using large numbers of models and varied units, it's unlikely this game will provide you with what you are looking for.

Nearly everyone that I know that has played the game claimed that the initial small skirmish was "fun" but after putting the game through a little "stress" concluded it was clearly not worth the effort and moved on to games designed to withstand some actual pick up games, casual gaming, structured gaming, competitive play, which none are the strength of GWs latest game.

MLP
21-10-2015, 15:09
I have not yet had a bad game of AoS, at any scale of battle, that wasn't solely due to lack of terrain.


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Vladyhell
21-10-2015, 15:16
game works great at any size,it really does.

As for the scrum in middle,just doesn't happen at least not in my games.

Like Hellokitty,I too played a fairly large game last week with a 60 model limit.It's worth checking out if you want to see the flow of battle and how dynamic the system can be.

Proper battle report with lots and lots of pics after each phase can be found over at Dakka,Tomb-Kings or the Empire forums.

Tomb-Kings forum:http://z4.invisionfree.com/Khemri/index.php?showtopic=15972&st=0&#last
Dakka: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/667422.page
Empire forum: http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php/topic,51169.0.html

Here is the link to the report here on Warseer but you can't add proper pictures so it looks kinda crap as just a wall of text with a few pics at the bottom: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?414354-AoS-Tomb-Kings-vs-Empire

HelloKitty
21-10-2015, 15:28
The retreat option not being used ever is largely a reason for the fabled scrum.

If you watch the video i posted there was no real scrum in the middle and most (but not all) of my games or games i watch in our group dont have that problem.


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MLP
21-10-2015, 15:33
Agreed. Any two generals in any real battle could have sent their men directly in to each other for a scrum in the middle(many often did), however the greatest generals are the ones who used the landscape to their advantage and reacted well to unexpected situations.

This is what AoS is about.


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HelloKitty
21-10-2015, 16:02
I'll also note that where I am for many years into 8th most of our games were nothing more than running into the middle of the table with giant horde to rub bellies with the other giant horde until someone rolled bad and fled and ended the game.

That ended toward the end as more medium sized blocks were being taken but for about 3.5 years out of 5 it was mostly the two giant bricks slamming into each other in the center of the table and a lot of dice being rolled as our primary 8th edition whfb experience (coupled with 6 dicing the power spells to try to knock out steadfast of the giant horde)

Spiney Norman
21-10-2015, 16:21
The retreat option not being used ever is largely a reason for the fabled scrum.

If you watch the video i posted there was no real scrum in the middle and most (but not all) of my games or games i watch in our group dont have that problem.


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Personally I've yet to encounter any in game situation which would make retreat a useful tactic other than a last turn dash for an objective. In almost every case all a retreat move will achieve is putting you in a position to get re-charged by your opponent in the following turn, you have to pull out some really special movement shenanigans to stop that from happening.


I have not yet had a bad game of AoS, at any scale of battle, that wasn't solely due to lack of terrain.


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That's an interesting point, a good way to prevent a 'scrum in the middle' is to drop a big-ass piece of scenery right in the middle of the table.

I'm currently painting up a few pieces of the dreadhold scenery, so hopefully that will become a feature of our games soon.

HelloKitty
21-10-2015, 16:36
Couple games ago middle of the game, had a unit of warriors retreat out of combat to make room for a unit of knights to slam in and get their charge bonuses.

Another notable reason to retreat that I have in recent memory was to pull the opponent's models closer to a piece of terrain that made him re-roll his saves. He had to charge or else would not be able to kill the unit that retreated so had to weigh that risk (in the end it didn't matter, he won anyway but it made things much more interesting during the combat)

Choombatta
21-10-2015, 17:41
We just finished the Watchtower scenario from the big book.
It was 50 models(Khorne) vs. 68 models(Stormcast/Free People).
Even with the objective, the Watchtower, dead center of the table, we never had the "large scrum" in the middle.
Of course, having those geysers in the Realm of Fire placed around the table helped.
We also have used the retreat ability in games, and it helps a lot if used correctly.

Deus_Vult
21-10-2015, 19:48
I've fought battles with hundreds of models on the table, in fact I fought one yesterday where about 70 WoC (Blightkings, Warriors, Knights, various stuff) faced off a large semi-hordish empire force (100+ models). There was no massive scrap in the middle, in fact movement, positioning was central to me eventually defeating him after fighting in every quadrant of the battlefield.

I've personally found 2000pts / 40pts-azyr battles to be very enjoyable and easier and quicker to pull off than equivalent 8th edition battles.

andnowsteve
21-10-2015, 22:49
Personally I've yet to encounter any in game situation which would make retreat a useful tactic other than a last turn dash for an objective. In almost every case all a retreat move will achieve is putting you in a position to get re-charged by your opponent in the following turn, you have to pull out some really special movement shenanigans to stop that from happening.

Or just have another unit in combat with the enemy unit? Get two of your units in, pull out the most vulnerable, and leave the other to hold the enemy in place.

Smithpod68
21-10-2015, 23:28
I have played AoS with roughly 2000pts "Old Money" and it worked just fine. We played Legendary Battle stlye with five objectives and it was great. One of the objectives turned out to be a rickety bridge and it was great fun. Plus the ability to retreat is a key ability that people need to look at more.

Dosiere
22-10-2015, 04:16
Like other games it CAN take forever. the difference is that the rules are more simple so it doesn't take as long to get it down. I would say if people know the rules, it takes about the same as 8th, despite the rules being more simple The reason for this is movement. If you are actually following the rules and measuring everything, AoS at this level takes a while to get through the movement and pile in steps. Pile ins in particular can be a bit messy. Most people just kind of shove their models around to speed it up, but I really hate that. Sometimes an inch or two can make a big difference either way.

Units being pulled into melee is a real thing, which is why the scrums happen. If an opponent wants to pull extra units into a fight it takes some careful positioning to keep them from doing so. Especislly if the players are a bit new it's shocking how easy it is to have a good portion of your army sucked into a giant melee in the middle. Depends a lot on the armies being used though. If they're both melee oriented, and playing on a smaller board it's hard to prevent. I don't really see why it's so bad anyway, sometimes it actually looks pretty cool.

You NEED terrain to create some separation and block LoS, just like 40k. At this level an army can easily dominate with shooting if they can just move wherever they want and see everything. Especially since it's impossible to check, since you can shoot into and out of combat, Los gives people options to keep it interesting even if one or both players brought out the big guns.

lastly, don't just play with no objectives. I borrowed heavily from 40k scenarios and also a bit from old WFB ones when we played. For small little skirmishes, whatever. But if you are going to go through this kind of effort to play a big game, take the extra step to agree on a good scenario that makes it more than just smashing your miniatures together.

An easy alternative is to use the sudden death objectives as just regular objectives, worth a certain number of models in victory points at the end. That way you have both players trying to achieve multiple objectives, which makes it interesting. Trying to achieve one of them is rather easy and also boring, but trying to get at least a few and also preventing your opponent from doing the same and all of a sudden you've got yourself a game.

Definitely make sure you've got the rules down though, otherwise it takes too long. Ramp up to it and it'll go more smoothly.

Rolsheen
22-10-2015, 05:25
I played my 35 model Vampire Counts against a 150+ model Goblin army, we ended up with more of a line of little battles than one big scrum in the center. There was a lot of outflanking and assassination charges going on, not a lot of shooting in the game but charges being blocked by Fanatics and units being tied up in combat because of Ethereal models really altered the simple slugfest into a more fluid game.

Pegasus_Knight
23-10-2015, 12:10
Thanks for your replies guys, interesting to know all your different experiences. Also interesting to know that terrain is more of a feature. Do you often play objective driven games then? So i'm more from the old 5-6th edition era, what are people's experiences of multipul (i guess not ranked any more but grouped) regiments. Is a game with say 2 units of 8 KOTR, 1 unit of 8 KE, 2 units of 20 Men at arms, 1 unit of 16 bowmen, one unit of 6 mounted squires and assorted other units still quite feasible or does it take too long/occupy too much space.

Katastrophe
23-10-2015, 12:32
Thanks for your replies guys, interesting to know all your different experiences. Also interesting to know that terrain is more of a feature. Do you often play objective driven games then? So i'm more from the old 5-6th edition era, what are people's experiences of multipul (i guess not ranked any more but grouped) regiments. Is a game with say 2 units of 8 KOTR, 1 unit of 8 KE, 2 units of 20 Men at arms, 1 unit of 16 bowmen, one unit of 6 mounted squires and assorted other units still quite feasible or does it take too long/occupy too much space.

It sounds like you want to play a game with several regiments operating like and army with a battle line and such. AoS is the wrong game for that. You may want to play a game where that would be more conducive to that style of game play. You may want to play something like KoW or older versions of Warhammer including the newly modified 8th (9th Age).

Your questions suggest that you're going to be trying to place the square peg in a round hole.

HelloKitty
23-10-2015, 12:40
Thanks for your replies guys, interesting to know all your different experiences. Also interesting to know that terrain is more of a feature. Do you often play objective driven games then? So i'm more from the old 5-6th edition era, what are people's experiences of multipul (i guess not ranked any more but grouped) regiments. Is a game with say 2 units of 8 KOTR, 1 unit of 8 KE, 2 units of 20 Men at arms, 1 unit of 16 bowmen, one unit of 6 mounted squires and assorted other units still quite feasible or does it take too long/occupy too much space.

Play on a 6x4 or 8x4 table and that should be fine. A lot of games I've played in or watched have been similar, they play just fine. My game last weekend was a unit of 30 spearmen, a unit of 10 cavalry, a unit of 5 light cavalry, a unit of 20 infantry, 2 units of 10 infantry, a cannon, and a monster and it took about 3 hours to do.

Jind_Singh
23-10-2015, 14:35
We played a game using around 3,000pts and the battle plan is the one with a realm gate in the centre with the attackers army deployed in a bubble around it

It was AMAZING!!!

I took (roughly)

2 generals
2 warrior priests
2 Wizards
Mounted BSB
2 Engineers

50 Swordsmen
25 Halberdiers
15 Flagellants
16 Archers
10 Hand Gunners
12 Milita
12 Reiksguard
10 Pistoleers
2 cannons
2 hell blaster volley guns

Vs his Dark Elf army

Not only did the game work well it was a truly memorable game

Seeing that my army started in the centre, the battle wasn't fought in the centre! One side of the realm gate I held the line and waited for him to approach, the other side I advanced and took the fight to him!

Took advantage of the retreat rule to fall back and send in a fresh wave of defenders forward to keep the elves pinned back

BUT late game my line started to shrink and he was able to dart in with a small unit of Executioners through a tiny gap - and engaged the realm gate

He rapidly inflicted enough wounds to destroy it in two turns - great game

Philhelm
24-10-2015, 18:41
It definitely takes practice ;) it just so happens that every wargame on the market will turn into a 'messy jam in the centre' if all you do is both run your entire army into the middle of the board. My first few games of AoS took hours because we had to look up every single rule and we're basically learning how the game worked as we went along. Now we're much slicker at it and games take much less time than warhammer used to.

It's not so messy when playing a rank-and-file game like, say, Warhammer Fantasy. Kings of War is even better in this respect since unit casualties aren't even removed. Other than the points issue, the thing that I most dislike about AOS is the movement rules, particularly that a unit can move three times in one turn when engaging into combat.

An attacking unit can move toward the target, up to 3" away, which is fiddly from the outset. Then you charge, and then you get a 3" pile-in move. With, say, 50 spearmen, this is much more time consuming and annoying than it needs to be. I would have to move the same 50 spearmen three times in one turn. I understand the need for the 3" pile-in in subsequent rounds of combat, but they could have streamlined the movement rules for when a unit wishes to charge by combining some of that crap.

Captain Marius
24-10-2015, 19:16
My group has had trouble with big units for exactly that reason. Weve tried a house rule where you get +1 to hit if you forsake your pile in move, but that seemed to be more rules for the sake of it. Weve found capping units at 30 wounds keeps the game flowing a bit more, negates the impact of buffing avsingle massive unit into a deathstar, and somewhat diffuses the situation where you just haveca big scrum in the middle of the board. Im in the process of adding extra command models to my big elite units like borcs and witch elves so they are 3 units of 10 instead of a block of 30 - this also helps them fit in a battalion for some tasty special rules!

Spiney Norman
24-10-2015, 21:01
It's not so messy when playing a rank-and-file game like, say, Warhammer Fantasy. Kings of War is even better in this respect since unit casualties aren't even removed. Other than the points issue, the thing that I most dislike about AOS is the movement rules, particularly that a unit can move three times in one turn when engaging into combat.

An attacking unit can move toward the target, up to 3" away, which is fiddly from the outset. Then you charge, and then you get a 3" pile-in move. With, say, 50 spearmen, this is much more time consuming and annoying than it needs to be. I would have to move the same 50 spearmen three times in one turn. I understand the need for the 3" pile-in in subsequent rounds of combat, but they could have streamlined the movement rules for when a unit wishes to charge by combining some of that crap.

I'm not sure why that's a problem at all, combat is messy, while I understand the historical importance of neat ordered rows for marching around in units, when you actually get to the melee, pushing forward to pile in is a much better representation of the chaos of combat than two blocks of warriors politely standing nose to nose and taking it in turns to hit each other.

Or maybe that's just me, but AoS feels much more visceral and 'combatty' than warhammer fantasy ever did.

Col. Tartleton
25-10-2015, 03:52
When you get into combat staying in an orderly formation is even more important.

Kherith
25-10-2015, 11:22
Personally I've found that the success or not of the game in large army sizes and with multiple regimented units is significantly influenced by the experience and/or playtime of the participants.

I think Khorne players in particular can find it tough to avoid the scrum as they have no magic or shooting to speak of to assist in punching holes in a battlefield. They have to rely on punching through which generally means throwing as much as possible at a single point.

My dark elves are definitely more successful when trying to keep their distance and being selective about what units they engage in combat. If it gets to the point where it's a scrum in the middle I'm almost certainly in the deaththroes of a defeat or a truly brutal draw.

Players in my area are also now developing and relying on loose multi unit formations designed to destroy units in a single combat to prevent getting bogged down and pulled toward a meatgrinder in the middle.

As has been pointed out with practice the game works fine at large scale. Bigger boards and more terrain can definitely help but also remember piling in is not compulsory and also keep in mind weapon range. If you have a two inch range don't be afraid to use it to keep your distance as opposed to just cramming in as many attacks as possible.

HelloKitty
25-10-2015, 15:56
When you get into combat staying in an orderly formation is even more important.

In a shieldwall yes.

I like playing total war games, and when combat ensues there, the neat ranks of soldiers quickly dissolve into a chaotic mess. Thats how in my mind it would be and AoS shows that.

Aezeal
25-10-2015, 16:07
I found that against strong shooters it is a bit hard to outflank the enemy and charge the warmachines. Unless the opponent has move for 23 turns towards you most of his units can probably turn around and charge you right away.

Dosiere
26-10-2015, 05:58
I'm not sure why that's a problem at all, combat is messy, while I understand the historical importance of neat ordered rows for marching around in units, when you actually get to the melee, pushing forward to pile in is a much better representation of the chaos of combat than two blocks of warriors politely standing nose to nose and taking it in turns to hit each other.

Or maybe that's just me, but AoS feels much more visceral and 'combatty' than warhammer fantasy ever did.

I think the point was more about the game mechanics than a representation of reality. It's not the way it looks that's a problem, it's the incredibly fiddly movement rules where you have to individually move every single model in a unit 3 times a turn. Surely twice is more than enough, and once would be even better. Combined with measuring from all the spear tips and outstretched hands of the forty guys in the back ranks to see what they can hit... no thanks!

The positive you are describing is a benefit of any skirmish game compared to a type of rank n file system. It is physically and visually less abstract since you are moving individual models yes, but the price is that you do have to move and measure from every single model. It's fine for small to medium sized battles, but at some point it just becomes time prohibitive to move and measure from models individually. The point was that in AoS this obvious problem with skirmish tabletop games is exacerbated in AoS due to the multiple moves a turn a unit often has to make and also the measuring from models rather than bases is just odd.

Philhelm
27-10-2015, 02:55
I think the point was more about the game mechanics than a representation of reality. It's not the way it looks that's a problem, it's the incredibly fiddly movement rules where you have to individually move every single model in a unit 3 times a turn. Surely twice is more than enough, and once would be even better. Combined with measuring from all the spear tips and outstretched hands of the forty guys in the back ranks to see what they can hit... no thanks!

Precisely.

I've actually played several games of AOS, a few with my Empire army and several games using the core set and scenarios. The scenarios weren't bad since there was at least some balance, and I only had few models on large round bases to move. The large battles with my Empire army were just a mess.

To be fair to AOS, part of the problem was that the Empire troops, particularly the spearmen, had outstretched spears and were mounted on 20mm square bases, and were therefore suited for ranked movement rather than skirmish (as was intended). I discussed this with a hobby store employee once, who had nothing but praise for AOS and insisted that smaller square bases doesn't make the movement phase more fiddly. He didn't seem to understand that a square base doesn't have an even diameter when it's spun. Entering combat was like a game of Tetris. If the spearmen had their spears raised and were on 25mm round bases, it would have admittedly been a lot better. Regardless, moving so many models three times in one turn is a bit extreme.