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View Full Version : My experiences and dilemmas in trying to select an AoS army



Astraeos
15-12-2016, 23:54
Age of Sigmar is strange to me in a lot of ways. I still feel a little alienated by it and there're a lot of things I don't like about the fluff, particularly that the mortal realms are endless and there are very few famous landmarks and cities to, for want of a better description, care about.
Altdorf gets besieged and my jaw drops, I worry about it and the further repercussions but when some random city in Age of Sigmar gets sacked it doesn't get to me in the same way. So far, the fluff hasn't been doing a good job of making me feel immersed in the new worlds.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a hate thread, far from it. The game has grown greatly in popularity in one of the local clubs I frequent and I would like to get into it some more. But my problem is that my Warhammer armies were built for 8th edition and reflect that. I've only played AoS twice and this was long before the General's handbook so I tried playing my first game with 2000 points of Skaven picked from the 8th edition list. That was a strange experience as magic levels and magic items were inconsequential which for Skaven meant more points for troops. A lot more points and most of my first game was moving units of 40 Clanrats! Individually....

Second game against a different opponent was built up to 100 wounds, which wasn't enough for Skaven really. Chewed up and spat out by Ripperdactyls was pretty much how that game went.

So now one thing became obvious about the Skaven. In 8th edition 40 Clanrats was the sweet spot for a unit, but in AoS with their low bravery I realised that I'd need probably 60 to a unit. I love the Skaven a lot but two games was enough to highlight that a horde army in AoS would become a chore for me to manoeuvre. I didn't want that so I resolved to leave Clan Nezumi (the name of my Warlord clan) on their square bases and reserve them exclusively for whenever I play 5th or 8th edition.

Quick side note about why I play 5th, earlier this year a friend wanted to get back into Warhammer fantasy because he missed ranked battles and none of the alternatives appealed to him or other members of the club. However he couldn't afford the numbers money wise for an 8th edition army. His solution was to play 5th edition which doesn't need nearly as many models. A few purchases on eBay and he had the rulebook and a copy of Warhammer Battle Magic that was in an outstanding condition! Playing 5th was fun but my Empire army didn't fare well as I had never built them for that edition. They were a 7th/8th army and therefore relied on blocks of humans, not Dwarves, Ogres and crazy war machines!
But my Skaven were hell of a lot of fun in these games, especially that one time my friend convinced me to include a Vermin Lord in a 1500 points list!

Back on topic, I wanted an army but didn't want a huge one. I did assemble some Wood Elves I had for a while but a lot of the classic Warhammer armies now seem a bit, I dunno, out of place almost? I saw someone write somewhere on a blog that he felt that the older models were meant for a different game and didn't feel right in AoS.
And besides that I felt a bit concerned that I wouldn't enjoy the Wanderers play style too much. I'm a bit more used to durable troops like my Space Wolves and Dawnguard heavy Retribution of Scyrah lists.

AoS is indeed a new game so I decided it would be best to start a new army. I did strongly consider Stormcasts and Ironjawz, even bought some models for both factions but soon I saw some other people playing those armies. To some people it's not a problem but I'm one of the types that likes having an army no one else is using. I'm not trying to be special or unique, it's just that I enjoy seeing a variety of different armies being used. I have some other friends who feel the same way and in the other club I visit where Warmachine is more prevalent we all use different forces. I have Retribution of Scyrah as my main force but will be using my Trollbloods for a while to have a change.

So for now I'm just mulling over the options. I know I'd like a more elite force, something where the troops can look after themselves without too much help from other units. I would like to have a Tzeentch aligned army but there's not a lot for their Arcanites right now and don't fancy an all Daemon force.
I did recently consider the Beastclaw Raiders and maybe giving Stormcasts a second look but building that army in a different style in contrast to the more general force I've seen in the local gaming community. Maybe Dracoth cavalry heavy, backed up by Judicators? As a Welshman so many archers and dragons does resound well with me!

I hope this didn't come off too whiny but I've been needing to get this out for a while. What's everyone else's experiences with trying to find their place in Age of Sigmar?

theJ
16-12-2016, 05:48
Well, I've only played AoS once, but if my understanding of its design philosophy hits the mark, your easiest bet would be to simply leave your core choices at home and try playing using "just" the elite elements of your army; For skaven, that means rat-ogres and stormvermin as "troops", backed by the usual assortment of warmachines and monsters, along with your characters.

Also, don't bother building your army around total wounds count - that is a stupid rule that should've never even been conceived. Consider the generals' compendium as your one, solitary, MANDATORY purchase, and build your army using the points system included within. It might be a bit tacked on and poorly implemented, but it's a vast improvement when compared with what came before it.

Oh, and if your army comes off feeling a touch... small.. after the removal of its old core, then that's a good thing. AoS might allow for large armies, but if you want it to shine, you keep it small and managable. Much like 40k, there are too many fiddly rules and individual movement to make armies in their hundreds truly enjoyable.

jtrowell
16-12-2016, 08:28
My advise if you like AoS enough to still play it is to use it for small battles (by moidel count), and continue using your square based models with other rule systems when you want a larger ranked battle.

My favorite is Kings of War, where in some ways Allessio Calvatore managed to bring all the good ideas and tactics of Warhammer 6th and 7th edition without the bad ones, and your skavens would be useable using the ratkin list, but if you and your friends really miss 8th edition then the 9th age might be another option.

In any case whichever game you use, remember than models, setting and rules are 3 separate elements that you are not forced to take from the same provider, one of my first KoW battles was between a Skaven force with warriors, slaves, shock vermins, jezzails, weapon teams, rat ogres, abomination, an assassin, a warlock and other fluffy units against my Tomb Kings.

Lost Egg
16-12-2016, 14:20
I know exactly what you mean. When I'm playing a game I want to be able to put myself in the shoes of my minis, a bit difficult when you can't care about any of them, the fluff lacks that anchor point. It's a shame as I want to like the game.

I haven't played yet but from what I've read small forces are the way to go. A bit of a grudge I have with the list building is a lot of the finesse has gone, it feels like your building a list with Duplo bricks instead of Lego. You can only buy units in blocks of minis, weird. Also, some units are 5+ minis on their war scroll but for some reason in matched play they have a min unit size of 10. From my 40k games units bigger than 10 can really slow things down, I once played a Tyranid guy who had one of those big beasties that poops gaunts, it wasn't long before he was pushing piles of unpainted gaunts round the board...hardly very cinematic.

At least with Tzeenech they should be getting a load of re-enforcements very soon, just check out the Tzangors box for 40k with all those AoS weapons.

Rogue Star
16-12-2016, 14:36
I would advise checking out the General's Handbook when putting together an army, even if only for a guideline for Narrative Play. The minimum requirement for an army, is a Leader and two "Battleline" units (core troops, which normally make up the bulk of the army by lore). In the Skaven's case, this can be a Warlord and two units of just ten Clanrats. Yes, I know, it feels very strange for the Skaven to not be a chattering horde, but it is a skirmish game, and the option to take nothing but mass infantry is there - it's just not a requirement.

I consider the contents of the re-released Island of Blood (now Spire of Dawn) a good example of a basic Skaven force, not too small, but not too large, for AoS. Infact, throw a Skaven Screaming Bell in there, the whole thing comes to exactly 1000pts using Matched Play points (the High Elves likewise, just need two Skycutters - built in either mode - to be a force equal in points). Not saying you have to pick the set up, but looking at models will give you a good idea that Skaven don't need to be a horde army anymore.

BlackJuju
17-12-2016, 06:35
Oh yes Skaven and the Horned Rat, I my self cant get pass the fact that Slaanesh is absent from AoS. Hoping we will see the return of Slaanesh pretty soon. I dont touch AoS till Slaanesh returns and please make Skaven a real army, they feel -at least fluff wise- like the cultist list for CSM in 40k, in other words make them strong again, not the sidekick of Chaos pantheon.

Astraeos
17-12-2016, 15:01
I neglected to mention that I do have the General's Handbook and I agree with Lost Egg about the points system. I miss the finesse of creating a list, equipping characters individually and all that! Annoyingly, I've seen a few 'pre-set' characters show up in 40K, the Genestealer Cult Primus for one. Stuck with a needle pistol all the time.

I did make a list for my Wanderers and found it came to 44 models which is a number I find to be manageable. I already have all the models for that list so it might do for now.

mot666
17-12-2016, 22:40
I neglected to mention that I do have the General's Handbook and I agree with Lost Egg about the points system. I miss the finesse of creating a list, equipping characters individually and all that! Annoyingly, I've seen a few 'pre-set' characters show up in 40K, the Genestealer Cult Primus for one. Stuck with a needle pistol all the time.

IMHO I kind of like being able to create a list reasonable quickly using without having to use a calculator or worrying about adding up 5 or 10 points at a time. I think the traits and artifacts system still gives a degree of customisation and individuality.

However I remember reading a lot of people asking for individual points for models to come back on the AoS facebook so I guess you're far from alone in wanting more depth here.

Lost Egg
18-12-2016, 07:01
I think list building was one of those key points of playing fantasy for most players so it seems a shame to have dropped that aspect. It does seem strange that you can't spend your remaining points on a couple of extra minis to use them up, some how I feel cheated if I'm left with 20pts spare because I want a specific build.

Fair enough if you like the speedy option though.

Astraeos
18-12-2016, 10:57
There's nothing wrong in wanting list building to be fast. It's one of Warmachine's strongest points but I agree with Lost Egg that it's annoying having something like 20 points just not being used.

Abaraxas
19-12-2016, 12:19
Back when I got into Warhammer (early 90's) most every army/faction had several different miniature sculpts for their characters/personalities (troops even)- not just Space Marines.

Everybody having the same wizard, champion etc sort of takes the shine off it a bit.

I mean, I see that the Orcs (or whatever rubbish they are called now) have ONE wizard/spellacaster miniature, and that is one hell of a lousy miniature.
Even if you liked it, painting him a different colour only makes him SO different.

Lost Egg
19-12-2016, 12:44
I like him its the drummer I can't stand :D

I know what you mean, even the units look very samey with little difference between units. If you look at the Bloodbound and Stormcast options with regards to characters then I assume / hope thats where GW is going is terms of options. Still, at the moment it feels like they are the only 2 real AoS armies out there with anything more than basic options.

Astraeos
19-12-2016, 23:52
Back when I got into Warhammer (early 90's) most every army/faction had several different miniature sculpts for their characters/personalities (troops even)- not just Space Marines.

Everybody having the same wizard, champion etc sort of takes the shine off it a bit.

I mean, I see that the Orcs (or whatever rubbish they are called now) have ONE wizard/spellacaster miniature, and that is one hell of a lousy miniature.
Even if you liked it, painting him a different colour only makes him SO different.

That's another thing I find hard to swallow. They've almost practically removed the option to have individual load outs on your characters. It's one of the more off putting aspects for me as say I went forward with the Wanderer's list then my Nomad Prince will be exactly the same as any other Nomad Prince fielded by another player. I can give him a new name and colour scheme but I miss deciding for myself how he'll be equipped.

Folomo
30-12-2016, 18:37
Personally I would try other games before ditching my army, specially if you enjoy the horde-style of Skavens.
I can suggest playing Kings of Wars or The Ninth Age if you liked the rank-and-file style of fantasy.
I have really enjoyed games with T9A. The books are free and you can even see who else plays near your area in the map if you want a demo/gaming group.
http://www.the-ninth-age.com/index.php?simple-page/
http://www.the-ninth-age.com/index.php?user-map/

Astraeos
30-12-2016, 23:33
Thanks for the links. One of my games clubs plays 5th edition Warhammer so my Skaven get to wage war there.

Angelwing
31-12-2016, 22:56
Our group will be starting some AoS games in the new year. I don't need to buy any new forces as I own 4 fantasy armies. The only issue I have is that many of my minis are on the regimental bases for ease of set up in rank and file, so can't be used for AoS. Still, it means armies will be a bit smaller which is fine for skirmish.
I skipped 8th ed (not to my taste) so my armies aren't tooled for that game, so less massive blocks of troops. This may be an advantage in the switch to AoS.
I am tempted to finally buy that 4th ed high elf army I've wanted for 20 years. It won't be too expensive to track down as I can do a small force. I've had the heroes waiting for paint in a box for all that time! Just no troops to go with them.

Galadrin
01-01-2017, 03:18
Thanks for the links. One of my games clubs plays 5th edition Warhammer so my Skaven get to wage war there.

That is *********** awesome! Why can't I live near your club???

Astraeos
01-01-2017, 22:32
The club I sometimes play 5th edition at is in Weston-super-Mare if that helps?