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Age of Sigmar summoning, reinforcements etc

najo

Mortarch of the Dark Soul
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#1
Age of Sigmar is proving to be surpassingly deep and interesting coming back at Warhammer with a whole rebooting of balancing the armies and opening up all new tactics. But the area that is mostly escaping us is the summoning and reinforcements rules.

So, I want to isolate the summoning and reinforcements in Age of Sigmar issues. What are you finding is balanced, what seems broken. Let's discuss using these rules, countering them, pros and cons etc. What works and what doesn't in your opinions.
 

Quinten

Grave Guard
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Jul 17, 2014
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#2
Zombie summoning is very overpowered. With a great chance to summon twenty (especially with corpse cart and mortis engine) and the ability to join them together summoning lots of zombies gets pretty stupid pretty fast. Also summoning guys that can summon also can get out of control fast. Citation: pink horrors in 40K. However, summoning normal units of skeletons or dire wolves does not seem overwhelming especially considering they give up victory points (read model count things). Summoning more powerful stuff can get really bad for your opponent really fast (read blood knights). Haven't played with the reinforcement rules but they seem to be a little much especially in a game about total annihilation.
 
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#3
I found the more units initially in play, the less of a balance issue things like summoning are. Because in much larger games individual units start to matter less (which is one of the main reasons apocalypse in 40k could work without point values per side. Because the game was designed to be so large scale that even playing at a 1-3k disadvantage wasn't that big of a deal) Not only that but we replace our support magic with summoning if we over-summon. Because the spells all maintain low unit sizes a clever opponent can wipe out a number of the summoned units before they can attack or their attack power will be hampered due to their small size, making them easier to balance. Of course as I mentioned in small games these are massively unbalanced since they will tip the scales too far, but in truth it seems like every balance issue I encounter in AoS can be solves by just playing a bigger games or don't use it below xx warscrolls. Ultimately undead are still quite fragile with usually not better than a6+ save against anything with a rend value. Our durability is designed around getting back up, not our saves or wound characteristics so if opponents can eliminate our wizards then focus fire so our banners have no time to activate our army can crumble very rapidly, even without accounting for battleshock. Of course I can only compare our army to what I've seen in others but when elves get 5+ save with re-rolls of 1-2 in many circumstances on their basic guys and we get a 5+ on skeles against - rend but no save against any rend and zombies have no save. Orc Big Bosses, elf characters, etc tend to have a 4+ re-rollable save where our vamps have just a 4+ but can get a wound back, etc. This says to me that our army is designed around using summoning to replace our lesser durability. Of course this is just what I've seen, having not examined anything other than the death section and what my friends have fought me with I can't say for sure but this seems like a trend between all of their armies. (P.s. sorry for no paragraphs, I'm on my phone so hard to judge when a section is a bit meaty)
 

najo

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#4
Zombie summoning is very overpowered. With a great chance to summon twenty (especially with corpse cart and mortis engine) and the ability to join them together summoning lots of zombies gets pretty stupid pretty fast. Also summoning guys that can summon also can get out of control fast. Citation: pink horrors in 40K. However, summoning normal units of skeletons or dire wolves does not seem overwhelming especially considering they give up victory points (read model count things). Summoning more powerful stuff can get really bad for your opponent really fast (read blood knights). Haven't played with the reinforcement rules but they seem to be a little much especially in a game about total annihilation.
Except zombies are very soft. No save means they can't hold up to anything. They die easily and thus crumble quickly.

Wizards are limited to the number of spells they can cast, if you spend your summoning efforts on hard to cast models (i.e. ones that need 10+) you will waste your spells. Often, its better to cast a spell like mystic shield instead, so a unit holds out better.

The other part of summoning that self balances, is summoned units count against you for victory but not for you. So anything summoned killed counts toward the percentage of your starting wounds destroyed.

Blood Knights can't even be summoned. So, not sure what you're talking about there. Let's keep this constructive please.
 

najo

Mortarch of the Dark Soul
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#5
I found the more units initially in play, the less of a balance issue things like summoning are. Because in much larger games individual units start to matter less (which is one of the main reasons apocalypse in 40k could work without point values per side. Because the game was designed to be so large scale that even playing at a 1-3k disadvantage wasn't that big of a deal) Not only that but we replace our support magic with summoning if we over-summon. Because the spells all maintain low unit sizes a clever opponent can wipe out a number of the summoned units before they can attack or their attack power will be hampered due to their small size, making them easier to balance. Of course as I mentioned in small games these are massively unbalanced since they will tip the scales too far, but in truth it seems like every balance issue I encounter in AoS can be solves by just playing a bigger games or don't use it below xx warscrolls. Ultimately undead are still quite fragile with usually not better than a6+ save against anything with a rend value. Our durability is designed around getting back up, not our saves or wound characteristics so if opponents can eliminate our wizards then focus fire so our banners have no time to activate our army can crumble very rapidly, even without accounting for battleshock. Of course I can only compare our army to what I've seen in others but when elves get 5+ save with re-rolls of 1-2 in many circumstances on their basic guys and we get a 5+ on skeles against - rend but no save against any rend and zombies have no save. Orc Big Bosses, elf characters, etc tend to have a 4+ re-rollable save where our vamps have just a 4+ but can get a wound back, etc. This says to me that our army is designed around using summoning to replace our lesser durability. Of course this is just what I've seen, having not examined anything other than the death section and what my friends have fought me with I can't say for sure but this seems like a trend between all of their armies. (P.s. sorry for no paragraphs, I'm on my phone so hard to judge when a section is a bit meaty)
No problem. Yeah, It does seem like undead are fragile and require support through summoning, banners and characters. Makes sense. This is one of the reasons why summoning seems really self balancing for undead at least.
 

The Sun King

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#6
I like that many different wizards have access to summoning now. Creates interesting strategies. I'm unsure on how balanced being able to keep summoning scary things is. Case in point, the Slann can cast three spells in his hero phase. Let us say he casts Summon Warlord (summoning Kroq-gar) three times and on a low average gets it through every third time. This means that he will putting out Carnosaurs faster than anybody can kill them. Haven't tried this tactic yet, but it seems pretty strong.
 
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#7
I like that many different wizards have access to summoning now. Creates interesting strategies. I'm unsure on how balanced being able to keep summoning scary things is. Case in point, the Slann can cast three spells in his hero phase. Let us say he casts Summon Warlord (summoning Kroq-gar) three times and on a low average gets it through every third time. This means that he will putting out Carnosaurs faster than anybody can kill them. Haven't tried this tactic yet, but it seems pretty strong.
Except in rule pamphlet page 4 3rd and 4th lines under casting spells it states a wizard can only attempt to cast each spell once per turn
 

Demian

Vampire Count
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#8
The amount of casting bonuses tends to get silly, when no other system of balance is in place.

Having a bonus with Morghasts, a Corpse Cart and a Mortis Engine seem sufficient and costly enough to provide the limit of "balanced" summoning, however adding Scenery special rules just makes it ridiculous.

Although, Wizards are quite limited to the amount of spells they can cast (non-named Heroes at least) and the summoned units are somewhat weak, and not all units are elite units as well (plus with this system of AoS, you need to own those minis, so no proxying here, not even in casual games).

As your opponents close in, there is less and less room to summon stuff, and eventually you could get surrounded, unable to summon anything, and that can be done by turn 2, with a decen army composition and stolen turn initiative.
 

The Sun King

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#9
@Crystal True indeed, but let us say that he casts Summon Warlord, Summon Carnosaur and Summon Engine of the Gods... Almost the same effect.
 
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#10
The other major consideration, is if you are summoning units that get blasted off the table, unless you win via major victory, you can easily end up with over 100% of your starting force killed, preventing you from attaining a minor victory, so summoning really is a gamble, you either summon very conservatively, allowing you the option to gain a minor victory, or you go balls to the wall knowign your only hope is via a major victory.

I personally haven't tried summoning yet, since I am trying to get a feel for what the units can do first, because if I am going to summon it, the models being brought in need to offset the penalty to a minor victory they impose if they die, so that is a definite consideration to take into account.

One thing of note, Skeleton horse archers CAN move the turn they are summoned, they simply elect to shoot at something in the movement phase, and then in the shooting phase can move, giving you a very useful piece of chaff, placed anywhere in 18inches and then can run wherever they need to be.
 
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#11
@Crystal True indeed, but let us say that he casts Summon Warlord, Summon Carnosaur and Summon Engine of the Gods... Almost the same effect.
That's true, I only took a brief glance at lizardmen to be honest. My point wasn't so much about the summoning rate for slann, it was more to point out that most times I see this topic people tend to forget the "one attempt per turn" restriction so while your point is very valid and I will take a look at the pdf to understand its difficulty better, it was more to make anyone reading aware of that rule. Sorry I wasn't really clear ^^"
 

Malisteen

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#12
The other major consideration, is if you are summoning units that get blasted off the table, unless you win via major victory, you can easily end up with over 100% of your starting force killed, preventing you from attaining a minor victory, so summoning really is a gamble, you either summon very conservatively, allowing you the option to gain a minor victory, or you go balls to the wall knowing your only hope is via a major victory.
At the same time, though, you can prevent your opponent from having much hope of achieving a major victory themselves, and you can completely subvert the sudden death victory game conditions by starting outnumbered, but outnumbering your opponent by the end of the first turn.

In my handful of games so far, I haven't played against anyone else pushing summoning, so I haven't had the experience of facing it down.

That said, I have played my own games without summoning, with some summoning, and with heavy summoning.

The 'some summoning' games were with one or two casters, no special characters - so if you try a summon you aren't casting anything else with that wizard - and with few casting bonuses - just a corpse cart in one, and just a randomly rolled terrain effect in the other, and thee seemed to work pretty ok for the most part, not too much different from non-summoning games (no wizards - a skeleton force led by Krell and a wight king BSB), or wizards that just don't summon (a ghoul list led by a ghoul king who spent his casts on his signature spell or armor buffing himself).

The heavy summoning games included either multi-cast special characters (Arkhan and Kemmler in particular, I haven't broken out Nagash yet) or 3+ casters and multiple stacking casting bonuses (Arkhan + morghasts; terrain + corpse cart + summoned morghasts), and those games all got out of hand quickly. Things that seemed like aggrevating factors:

* Multiple summoning attempts in the same round. Adding a unit every other turn is not the hugest deal. Adding two or more units every turn is. Likewise, some of the buffs are big deals (vanhels from our necros in particular). When summoning comes instead of buffing a key unit, that's a major trade off, but when you can do both? not so much.

* Casting bonuses making summoning too easy. Once success is automatic for regular units and monsters or double sized summons start appearing on average or even sub average rolls, things get out of hand quickly. Without +2 or more to cast, trying to summon a terrorgheist feels like a hail mary play that deserves to swing the game if you pull it off, because trying for it is far more likely to result in you simply wasting your wizard for a turn, and again, with spells like vanhels that you could have more easily cast instead, is no small cost.

* It is too easy to avoid dispelling altogether when summoning. Most spells, you need to be in range of enemy units, or of friendly units about to engage enemy units, in order to be relevant, bringing you into range for dispelling. Likewise, most non-summoning spells have line of sight requirements likely to bring you into line of sight of the enemy. Summoning breaks both of these, and summoning wizards can have huge impacts on the game from the back of their deployment zone and / or behind line of sight blocking terrain. Granted, if you're stacking huge casting bonuses dispel attempts aren't likely to be successful anyway, but still, it's a check on casting that summoning bypasses in a way that maybe it shouldn't.

* Summoned units that act on the turn they are summoned give opponents no way to respond, and this can result in games that are more frustrating than fun, and feel non-interactive. Harbingers are very likely to succeed on charges from 9.1 inches away, archers and terrorgheists that can fire the moment they are summoned can also just feel unfair. All the more so for summoned casters who can in turn summon more of themselves in the same hero phase, from what I've heard. For the record, this is also an issue for 'deep striking' sigmarites and ambushing units, so it isn't a problem exclusive to summoning.

* Victory conditions. As mentioned, summoning can interact poorly with sudden death, and it throws off the regular victory conditions as well, skewing the odds of total victory towards the summoner and minor victory towards their opponent.


There are some house rules I've been considering proposing:

- limits on number of summoned units a caster can control at a time, maybe restrict it to the number of spells they can cast in a single round. Once a necromancer has summoned a unit, or arkhan two, or Nagash eight, they can summon no further units until one of the units already summoned has been destroyed. If for some reason the number of spells a character can cast is reduced (relevant for nagash), then either more units must be destroyed before they can summon again or, alternatively, the summoner chooses units already in play to be destroyed until the summoned unit count is back down to the amount the character can now control (this in particular would have some interesting narrative / scenario type implications for games played against Nagash - who builds up an army quickly but as you damage him that army crumbles - but as I haven't actually played Nagash personally this is a pretty idle suggestion without any experience behind it).

- Similarly, if a summoner is destroyed, any units they've summoned are either destroyed, or become much easier to destroy (reduced to bravery zero and have to test bravery every round regardless of casualties, in emulation of our old crumbling rules, perhaps). This takes some of the skew off the major victory thing, as the opposition can assassinate the casters to get rid of excess summoned units, keeping major victory as a possibility. I like crumbling in particular as it has a cool narrative feel to it that seems fitting with the tone of Age of Sigmar.

- To attempt to unbind a spell, a wizard must be within range and line of sight of either the caster OR the effect (ie, the unit targeted, or the first model to be summoned, which would be placed as a marker before resolving unbinding attempts, and simply removed if the unbinding attempt is successful. Alternatively, range and line of sight are simply not required when attempting to unbind summoning spells. This, however, proves problematic when casters with bonuses to unbinding take the field, which could then hard counter any summoning attempted by caster that aren't cheezing out with stacking casting bonuses.

- Speaking of, maybe put a limit on stacking casting bonuses. Like, only from two sources for instance. Ie, if arkhan is next to some morghasts then he can stack their bonus with his staff, but if he's next to a corpse cart as well then he doesn't get that bonus on top of the two he already has. Or maybe limit it to a single bonus with no stacking at all, but while that might be more 'balanced', it seems counter to the narrative to prevent, say, Nagash from benefitting from morghasts, for instance. Or maybe simply cap total casting bonuses at +2, unless a single bonus is greater? Even that seems like a bit much when most summoning spells resolve on a 5 and thus could be nearly auto-cast at that value, plus again it seems counter-narrative to block Nagash from benefiting from morghasts.

- Perhaps outright bonuses to casting are a bit much to be thrown out willy-nilly. Maybe instead some bonuses should be 're-roll ones' or 'increased range' or 'd6 extra wounds worth of models' or the like. Maybe some of the current casting bonuses should do something else entirely - maybe morghasts could provide a bonus to bravery checks (analogous to their old crumble reduction), bolstering existing units instead of making it easier to bring new ones to the field; or the corpse cart's lodestone could add d6 extra zombies to any new unit of zombies summoned in its range instead of making all spells easier to summon, etc.

- Maybe re-institute auto-failure for casting rolls of 2 or 3, so at the very least these spells are never automatically successful, and/or an auto-pass for unbinding on double sixes. On that subject, instituting a 'one always fails' policy on to-hit, to-wound, and saves might also be a good call, but that's off topic.

- Maybe restrict summoned units from acting at all the turn their summoned, giving opponents the opportunity (or at least the chance of an opportunity, dependent on initiative roles) to respond in some way to the appearance of new units before they start inflicting damage. A terrorgheist appearing on the table is a momentum shift enough, a terrorgheist appearing and removing one of the enemy's key heroes at the same time before they can react in any way is maybe too much. Similar restrictions might be worth considering for other 'reserve' units. Or maybe not.
 
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#13
@Malisteen I have seen a few people mentioning summoning casters which summon more units, but I haven't seen any spells that summon other wizards. What spells are these out of curiosity? The only characters that can be summoned that I saw are Cairn Wraiths and Tomb Banshees. With Zombie Dragons and Terrorgheists I thought it was commonly accepted that the characters couldn't be summoned with them, leaving no actual characters to be summoned.
 

Malisteen

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#14
Not for us, daemons do that. I haven't played against it, but I've heard reports and read some of the scrolls.

Lord of change - command ability is +1 to cast and unbind for all nearby tzeentch wizards, including itself. Also automatically changes lowest die to equal highest die when casting or unbinding. Can cast two spells per turn, and you can summon it on a 9.

tzeentch herald - 1/game rolls 3 dice instead of two when casting. If it rolls a 9 or better on its first spell in any turn, then it can cast a second. Summonable on a 5.

tzeentch herald on disc, same 1/game 3 die cast, though it doesn't get a second cast for high rolls. Also summonable on a 5.

tzeentch herald on chariot, same 1/game 3 die cast, no second cast but actually dangerous in itself, summonable on a 7.

horrors: cast a spell as a wizard, gain +1 to cast if near tzeentch heralds, summon 10 on a 6 or 20 on an 11.

tzeentch daemon prince: semi-respectable light monster, also a wizard, summon on an 8.


Nothing prevents any of these from casting spells, including further summons, in the same hero phase in which they themselves are summoned, and they do have some ability to buff each others' casting values, though I don't believe they can stack those buffs up as high as we can.

Even so, a few lucky rolls can see a string of lords of change and tzeentch heralds summoning each other and still having spells left over to cast other buffs/attacks/more summons.
 
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#15
Not for us, daemons do that. I haven't played against it, but I've heard reports and read some of the scrolls.

Lord of change - command ability is +1 to cast and unbind for all nearby tzeentch wizards, including itself. Also automatically changes lowest die to equal highest die when casting or unbinding. Can cast two spells per turn, and you can summon it on a 9.

tzeentch herald - 1/game rolls 3 dice instead of two when casting. If it rolls a 9 or better on its first spell in any turn, then it can cast a second. Summonable on a 5.

tzeentch herald on disc, same 1/game 3 die cast, though it doesn't get a second cast for high rolls. Also summonable on a 5.

tzeentch herald on chariot, same 1/game 3 die cast, no second cast but actually dangerous in itself, summonable on a 7.

horrors: cast a spell as a wizard, gain +1 to cast if near tzeentch heralds, summon 10 on a 6 or 20 on an 11.

tzeentch daemon prince: semi-respectable light monster, also a wizard, summon on an 8.


Nothing prevents any of these from casting spells, including further summons, in the same hero phase in which they themselves are summoned, and they do have some ability to buff each others' casting values, though I don't believe they can stack those buffs up as high as we can.

Even so, a few lucky rolls can see a string of lords of change and tzeentch heralds summoning each other and still having spells left over to cast other buffs/attacks/more summons.
That's insane :\ At least they are all really weak so they would need a lot of numbers to cause damage in combat, having said that spamming spells to summon then damage spells is too easy for that :\
 
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#16
I feel like the massive summoning attempts falls under that category of gamer you don't want to be. Obviously summonign 2-4 units a turn will break the game, just like bringing Kairos+the screaming bell, or a handful of other things. But most people won't do it, most people will bring a touch of summoning to have fun, and not spam it. The only time I would bring such a mess of summoning is if I had already talked to my opponent and we agreed we were going to bring the filthiest possible lists we could. If age of sigmar ever sees a tournament scene such things will need to be figured out, but currently the old rule of don't be a jerk should work just fine.
 

Malisteen

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#17
Kairos and the bell doesn't actually work, since the bell specifies that the roll can't be modified in any way, and kairos' rule definitely qualifies as a 'modification'.

You would think things that 'obviously break the game' would have obviously been fixed before the game was released. Summoning is one of the themes of daemons and undead (and lizards, in this game). You should be able to build your army around one of the primary themes of your faction without breaking the game in half.

And even some summoning, even with lists built to theme rather than exploitation, can really be a problem in this game. 'Arkhan plus morghasts' is a natural thematic pairing that shouldn't have to be considered an unsportsmanly move. So is 'necromancers plus zombies plus corpse cart plus mortis engine'. I mean the mortis engine and corpse cart have necromancers standing right on them, and the corpse cart is pulled by zombies and tells you with its rules that it goes with zombies, and yet you put those things together the way they want to be put together and play them the way they want you to play them, and things get messed up. And if casting bonuses didn't stack so high, then these things might just be cool combos rather than game bending ones, plus there might actually be a point to the corpse cart's baleflame option if it didn't stack with other casting bonuses.

Same with daemons summoning daemons, and if the summoned daemons couldn't in turn summon even more daemons on the same turn, then it wouldn't even be a big problem, it would just be something cool they could do in a fun game.
 
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#18
Kairos and the bell doesn't actually work, since the bell specifies that the roll can't be modified in any way, and kairos' rule definitely qualifies as a 'modification'.
The bell says you can't apply a modifier, not that you can't modify the roll, the legality of it is unclear, and only an A-hole would use such a combo anyway with complete strangers.
 

Banat

Varghulf
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#19
I think summoning is fine at balances itself out on larger scales, but in smaller games it requires some sportmanship. E.g. today I could have summoned some Vargheists to charge across the table and tear up his Liberators, since speed needed to be a factor and time was of the essence. Instead I opted for dire wolves, and some turns didn't summon at all, instead opting for Mystic Shield on some of my wolf units that were in combat.
 
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#20
Do you folks play with that you can summon anything, or that you need to deploy it in the start of the game to be able to summon it?
 

Malisteen

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#22
I work with 'collections' rather than 'armies'. Like, say me and my opponent get together for a X model or Y wound game, or even just informally spitball forces at the start of the game, we're looking at 'collections' rather than 'armies' there. Then at the start of the game, we deploy from that roughly-balanced 'collection', and anything we opt not to deploy is in 'reserve'. All summoning (as well as any other effect that brings new models or units onto the table) is done from those reserved models.

Slain models are put in a casualty pile and not put back in reserve - you can pull them back for effects that heal wounds or restore dead models, but not for effects that conjure entirely new units. Ie, the undead banners can restore models from the casualty pile, but if the opponent has slain 10 zombies, I can't summon them back as a new unit of 10. Other effects - like zombies adding models from kills - are a grey area, but this whole game is a grey area, so whatevs.

This puts summoning back into its vanilla AoS context - where, yeah, you can summon unlimited units, but since there's no actual limit on number of units deployed, any of those units could have simply started on the table instead. Summoning is essentially an alternative deployment option, nothing more, and only becomes a problem when people start placing arbitrary restrictions on how many models you can deploy but not how many you can summon, and just fyi, restricting summoning to units already on the table does not fix that at all.


So anyway, as an example of How I do things, maybe my opponent and I are feeling a slightly larger game with some monster and named character action, and I'd like to do an Arkhan-themed list. So I grab the black. Morghasts seem on theme thematically and aesthetically, so I take four, a pair of each type, plus a few spirit host bases, because lets face it, our end times releases were just the best, model-wise. That's cool and all, but doesn't look much like an army, so we'll add mixed deathrattle block- say 30 spearletons behind a defensive line of 18 grave guard with shields, plus a wight king BSB right in the middle. That's a decent block formation, now I'd like to add some ranged support, as well as some TK feel - Arkhan is a liche after all - so maybe 20 skeleton archers, a pair of Liche Priests, a casket of souls. And, just for kicks, let's throw on a necrosphynx.

Not the best undead army around, I'm not capitalizing on all our crazy combo shenans, but it's a decent fluffy pile of corpses, clocking in at 80 models and... well, a fair bit more wounds than that. I'm not counting, because this is just hypothetical. But it's a nice mix of models, a few wizards, a bit of ranged support, a solid infantry formation to hold things down, and some strong flying monsters to swing out from hiding and apply the hurt once the opponent's bigger units are tied down in combat so they can't all gang up on them. Best of all, it's a bone-heavy mix of vamp counts and tomb kings models that feels very true to my thematic goal of an Arkhan-themed army.

Now that's my entire "collection" for this game, and my opponent will have a "collection" that is, to our rough guestimations, spitballed to be about the balanced with that (assuming we're playing a default or balancedish scenario to start). Or if we're being formal about things we might count models or wounds, but that's generally more structure than this game wants.

The point is, though, that it's not our "army", in the sense that it's not what we'll deploy on the table. We will instead take turns deploying from our collection until we're both happy, and then count deployed models (we actually count wounds) for outnumbering - though we don't add sudden death conditions, we just adjust sides till we're happy. Typically we'll each pick a 'sudden death' condition - achieve yours and prevent your opponent from achieving theirs is a major victory, if both or neither are achieved minor victory goes to the bigger kill count (in wounds slain).

So I'm setting out units from my collection, and I decide to hold the spirit hosts and morghast harbingers in reserve to summon during the game, and deploy everything else. Any of my three death wizards can summon the reserved units, but once both units have been summoned, I'm out of reserves, and can't summon any more. No big deal, they can also all heal wounds off the sphynx (making it quite hard to put down if not killed in a single turn, and keeping its attacks as deadly as possible), plus the priests can buff my three deathrattle units, Arkhan can cast curse of years (potentially devastating to large mobs, if it gets down to 1+ it wipes the entire unit), and all three have the default spells (arcane shield can really swing close fights).

My opponent might be playing a chaos list with a lord able to call on more units and daemons to summon, and so might field a fair bit less than me to start, with the intention of bringing more on during the game, but again, that's just alternative deployment options. All of those units will come from his 'collection', all are things he could have just deployed at the start and still had a game we considered fair. Neither he nor I get to start with a fair game and then add an extra army or two worth of models to the table after the fact.
 
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