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How to not stomp on people in AOS?

Discussion in 'Soulblight Symposium' started by Alabaster427, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. Alabaster427

    Alabaster427 Minister of Thriftiness True Blood

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    I have watched a few battle reports for AoS including one four player match. None of these videos had an Undead player, but from playing Undead, I am farily confident that Undead is the most curb-stompy faction out there, despite the fluff. Of the few games I have played with other veteran players, I have won them all decidedly. So I have been talking with a veteran 40k friend that was building his skaven army during 8th but never actually played. He really likes AoS and he said that what they do in 40k to help new players never bring a model twice until you've used every single model in your army at least once while plying them. Now the new player won't really have to worry about this because they will likely have to max out equipment just to get to 500 or 1000 points. As for AoS, it would be a limit in number of warscrolls and/or wounds/models. Even with this rule, though, I think that I would have to actively inhibit my Undead army tactically, strategically, and in composition in order for ANY player (especially noobs) to have a chance at winning. There are also some 8th players that still haven't crossed over but are willing to try it out and I am worried that if I curbstomp them every game, then they will likely stop playing altogether. I am looking for some recommendations to be able to field a non-OP list that doesn't make it look like I am just letting them win, nor does it beat them senselessly into submisson. The only thing so far I can think of is to field non-synergic warscrolls, like a necromancer with ghouls.
     
  2. Seneschal

    Seneschal Liche True Blood

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    -use SDK comp. it's a start.
    -don't summon
    -play scenarios that make it difficult for you to win
    -stay away from synergies like you said
     
  3. Clewz

    Clewz Zombie

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    Don't overkill on monsters

    Don't do silly numbers in your units ie, 40+ zombies

    Imagine most of your force being standard rank and file rather than elites so choose the majority of the your force from warscrolls that resemble standard troops
     
  4. The Sun King

    The Sun King Imperator Staff Member True Blood

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    I play the way Seneschal says (except I do make synergies) and it seems to work fine. The real brokeness comes in with summoning and Nagash, otherwise I think they are fairly balanced.
     
  5. Demian

    Demian Vampire Count True Blood

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    Also! you could go with the "summon only as many wounds as of the models you slay" proposed by {VIPER} in the Good Comps for summoning thread. Adding fluff, challenge and no mindless summoning (also, you may want to consider what kind of slain models you got in order to summon, like: infantry = zombies, bigger stuff = Crypt horrors, Vargheists or so)

    I really like summoning, but I'm against over-using it as well.
     
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  6. Dragonet

    Dragonet Wight King

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    I can understand cutting out summoning to give a novice player an easy time, but the whole gimmick of Undead is the ability to resurrect stuff; without that in the game it's just another army.

    I understand that balance is not a design factor in AoS, but clearly a lot of players want it. Perhaps rather than cutting out the Raise spells, players could be encouraged to field less models at setup? Or you could nerf the number of models raised to say 1-3 core per casting? It's got to be hard pulling those guys out of the ground!
     
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  7. The Sun King

    The Sun King Imperator Staff Member True Blood

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    @Dragonet even without summoning the Death army still has a lot of resurrecting going on.
     
  8. Dragonet

    Dragonet Wight King

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    That's true, but in AoS I understand there to be less differentiation between the two. I'd suggest making all resurrection spells less effective as means of maintaining the mechanism without breaking the game.
     
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  9. The Sun King

    The Sun King Imperator Staff Member True Blood

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    Actually there is no real resurrection spells... all that is encompassed in banners and special abilities on the Warscrolls. The summoning doesn't really have anything to do with healing it is just bringing more troops to the table and the VC can do without that, even fluffwise as we do have resurrection in the army (quite a lot of it actually).
     
  10. Dragonet

    Dragonet Wight King

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    Of course, I forgot the other command effects etc... I think these are great, but I'd still like to see active casting to raise models as well; I feel that passive effects are less fun, without having to pass a dice roll or sacrifice other options your necromancers just aren't doing anything!
     
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  11. Demian

    Demian Vampire Count True Blood

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    having multiple Necromancers in AoS isn't mandatory anymore. Liche Priests, however, still are (they have their Dispel Scroll of DOOOOOOM)

    Also, it is very unlikely you'll need VDM on two units in the same combat phase (because... you're trying to put pressure on your opponent by forcing him to attack the VDM-buffed unit or he'll get butchered by it, thus easing on every other combat you might have) Having a second VDM doesn't hurt, just I'd prefer more, say a Spirit Blight from a Vampire to reduce even more the amount of attacks an elite enemy unit has.

    Plus VDM only affects "basic" undead, not Blood Knights and such D:

    Necromancers, unlike Liche Priests or other casters, can withstand a bit of punishment from enemies, since they can pass on unsaved wounds to other undead!

    I know it would seem like a waste having a Necromancer that does not raise the dead... but they are still support Heroes, and even without summoning, they can provide Shields and deathrays to enemy heroes!
     
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  12. The Sun King

    The Sun King Imperator Staff Member True Blood

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    I think Necros are great for Demians reasons. Also there is a lot of synergy with them, CCs and Zombies.
     
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  13. Dragonet

    Dragonet Wight King

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    It's good to go over some of the benefits of AoS, I do really feel that the essence of the Undead army has been captured well in the new game; hopefully we can achieve game balance through these measures as well; once that's done I can see it becoming a serious contender for best skirmish game.
     
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  14. The Sun King

    The Sun King Imperator Staff Member True Blood

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    I haven't played many skirmish games. Played some Void, Flames of War and 40k. And out of them I definitely think AoS is the most fun (even though I enjoy the others still).
     
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  15. Malisteen

    Malisteen Vampire Count True Blood

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    Vanilla AoS there's no limit to how many units/models/wounds/scrolls you can deploy at the start of the game. Anything you summon, you could have just deployed. Summoning is thus effectively nothing more than an alternate deployment option.

    If you're going to put any kind of limits on how many units/models/wounds/scrolls players can bring to the game, then that limit has to be applied to ALL ways models can be brought in - whether deployed normally, summoned by spells, called by chaos lord, added by model special rules like neferata's ability to make vamps, etc.

    Just put all the models for the game on the table, balance your sides / apply your comp / whatever, then take them all off and start deploying. Anything you don't deploy is in reserve. Anything in reserve can be summoned/called/whatever, but nothing else can be. That puts summoning back to what it is in vanilla - an alternate deployment method, nothing more.

    Without summoning, undead still have some crazy synergies that should probably be avoided in friendly games (and AoS really allows for nothing else), but beyond that, we're fine. Not overwhelming. Not unworkable. We only beak the game when you say your opponent is only allowed to deploy X dozen models, but you're allowed to deploy two or three times that via summoning.
     
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  16. Dragonet

    Dragonet Wight King

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    That sounds like a reasonable fix; I don't believe in-game summoning triggers Sudden Death? The act of summoning as a spell does pay off in surprise and advance deployment though.
     
  17. Malisteen

    Malisteen Vampire Count True Blood

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    I'm going to be honest - the sudden death rules are already borked. 20 dragons is not so overwhelmingly outnumbered by three units of 10 zombies that they need a 'win the game easy' button. It is a poor, ineffective balancing method haphazardly pasted over a game that wanted points values to provide at least some foundation for determining sides, but whatever. It is what it is. Hopefully 'AoS, second edition' will go back on that, and give us those points values. As for now...

    In informal games, bring armies that you and your opponent agree are balanced (or as unbalanced as you want your scenario to be). In formal games, an artificially imposed comp structure is needed, though I don't actually like any of the ones that currently exist, as they all try to change the game, not just provide a structural foundation for match set up.

    Either way, whether spit balling with your opponent or following some sort of comp, apply your chosen balance method to the entire 'collection' for the game, and then deploy your 'army' from that, with rules that pull models from reserve only having access to stuff from the agreed collections that hasn't been deployed. And don't let stuff that summons new units pull from the casualty pile (although that should be fair for healing effects like undead banners or the treekin spell).

    As for sudden death, use them as suggestions for victory conditions in homebrew scenarios, not as a way to balance mismatched sides when there's no good way to judge that mismatch to begin with.

    For instance, in games that my opponent and I agree feel 'even', what we like to do is both pick a single victory condition from the sudden death list. Major victory is achieving your objective and preventing the opponent from achieving theirs. If both or neither are achieved, then minor victory goes to the biggest kill pile, counted in wounds. You can shake it up with multiple objectives per side in larger games, or each player choosing their opponent's objective, or rolling them randomly (though that can lead to more lopsided games), or keeping them secret until the end, etc, or one player having more routs to victory if they're outmatched (but determine that by consensus, not by model or even wound count), etc. Treat them as scenario suggestions, not a balancing mechanic.
     
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  18. Hmmmokaythen

    Hmmmokaythen Zombie

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    Yeah, the "as written" rules are stoopid.

    In general though, Death is not that much better than the rest. Have you seen the Stardrake Character rules for stormcasts? (in one game I played it ate Kemmler and Krell before it even started attacking!) And Khorne Bloodbound lists have so much synergy they can rapidly become almost unstoppable blenders.

    With unlimited summoning, they are a pain to deal with, but even then, Seraphon can ruin you by summoning salamanders in your backline and melting your heroes faces off.

    The bottom line is this. Before the game look at your list. Look at the opponent's list. If they look like a bad matchup, then maybe swap out some strong stuff or even just take a few bits out. You could even have a selection of "Themed" armies that suit different levels of opponent and just pick the one that best matches.
     
  19. KillerK

    KillerK Zombie

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    Stop playing AoS
     
  20. Dragonet

    Dragonet Wight King

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    Valid option in my opinion ;)
     
  21. Oppenheimer

    Oppenheimer Crypt Horror

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    The new points rules in the summer should help you if you want a balanced play experience.
     
  22. EternallyUndying

    EternallyUndying Black Knight

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    I have the same problem. My undead win every single game. But I have never summoned a single model I haven't "paid" for. With summoning its just totally broken, hence the limitations in the GH. You can still win games without summoning.

    But nothing is unbeatable. Have a changeling turn into Nagash and then kill Nagash with his own spell on turn 1, then try to win a game.
     
  23. Malisteen

    Malisteen Vampire Count True Blood

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    Honestly, if anything, the new generals handbook may make things worse. I haven't played with it yet, so I may be blowing things out of proportion, but Ruler of the Night just looks insane. A 5++ save? Against all wounds? For effectively the entire army if you manage your heroes reasonably? Yikes.
     
  24. Eyeless

    Eyeless Wight King

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    @Malisteen don't forget the wight king BSB gives us a 6++ every time 1 model is slain, which stacks with ruler of the night. And don't forget the new GK on Terrorgheist spell that gives a flesheater unit a 5++ on each wound or mortal, which also stacks with the rest. haha i would like to see that on a unit of crypt horrors, 5+ save, 5++ ruler of the night, 5+++ on GK spell and if it dies a further 6++++ of the BSB. it's insane really.
     
  25. Malisteen

    Malisteen Vampire Count True Blood

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    You think the wight king's bad, try the tomb herald, combined with, say, a 5 wound deathrattle unit with a model per turn recursion banner. Tomb heralds even stack. Take 2 heralds for up to 15 wounds restored per unit per turn, no casting values to hit or unbindings to risk. 15 wounds that then have to be chewed through again, through a 4+/5++ save. Throw another 5 wounds onto one of those units if needed via a healing spell every turn. And they're no slouches when it comes to killing things, either, with similar point-for-point damage output to charging blood knights, and that's before you hit them up with deathrattle-keyed command abilities and buff spells.

    I know I won't shut up about this unit lately, but every time I see them, they've mutated into a new, even more horrifying form.
     
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