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Real Tactics in Age of Sigmar

Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
45
#2
Glad to see someone is still positive. My own views on the game has changed in a positive direction lately as well. I just feel most people just assume Age of Sigmar contains no advanced tactics with no real evidence. Though I did see a battle report using the starter said and what I saw there seem to suggest otherwise. This is in fact a very tactical game and movement and positioning might be as important as in 8th edition thanks to the 3 inch pile in.

I can safely say there are more to these rules than are apparent on the surface. Balancing is still an issue, but it seems less problematic with the new units, it is only really a problem with the warscrolls for the old armies. From what I see at least the starter set seems evenly matched.
 

Tawg

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
1,132
#3
Not bad. I enjoyed watching.

I feel like as soon as I played my first game the two points that Initiative was something I instantly recognized as compelling to the tactics. I had first and second turn initiative and the third turn, once we were basically within charge range, my opponent won initiative. I knew that moving to bait charges/not compromise your troops when you are not certain of what will happen on the following turn was something you'd have to think about. By the same token however, if you are playing at second Initiative it gives you the choice to move into a potentially risky play and take the chance that if you steal initiative back you could potentially pull off a strong counter-move. Granted since initiative is a roll off, it's far more risky than a normal "tactical" choice that we may have made previously. Plus the valuation of each unit is no longer as simple as it was before, when cheep 1/2 to 5 pts/model troops were for sure weaker than you, and you had to watch out for those hard hitting 15+ pts/model elite types, now everything can potentially inflict an amount of wounds, so you can't just treat any unit with complete disregard.

I also feel like the fact that you could jump around different "battles" on the back-and-forth during combat phase was elementary and obviously key to not playing poorly. Hitting back at what has not been hit already is always going to stem the losses you take, or making that last desperate attack with a unit/model on the edge of being eliminated. At the same time you can tempt your opponent into striking with units that are nearly about to die to eliminate your chance to attack if you don't attack with them, potentially saving other troops the moment to strike just before the opponent. But regardless, hitting units that are no longer going to attack that turn is almost never going to be the correct move, unless you have nothing else to attack with.

It's also important to note @najo, while you say you can "drag in" opponents into tricky melees with other units standing 3" close to the location they would be piling into, there is no requirement to pile in. That step states YOU MAY, and as soon (or hopefully people would realize) that you are going to get an advantage by them piling in, they should certainly hold their ground and simply retreat on the next turn. So you can't rely on that tactic always, sometimes you'll have to charge in. And I should hope that you never force anyone to pile-in move, because that is incorrect.

As for the other things, there are some cool thoughts to stir over. I haven't considered or tried to do the whole "build a unit" thing with multiple WarScrolls making phalanx around vulnerable shoot-y units or anything, or spear men and what have you. That does seem like an interesting option being brought about. Although you mentioned that you "can't run with them or at least you'd have to run the min-distance of all the units involved" but I think that wouldn't work correctly, because I wouldn't think you would be able to roll for run distance on each unit before moving any of them? I guess you could play that way, but I would assume you have to fully move the unit, including running or not, before selecting a new unit to move. Just something to consider.

Besides that, I look forward to a video for a battle report. It would be silly to do a full-play of the game, but if you have interesting formations for the units or interactions that would be cool, you have to keep the video rolling to cover them in real time with explanation. You have an interesting perspective on this, so picking your brain would be good for many of us who are still having a hard time seeing how the game could play (Or having a hard time playing the game as of yet).
 

najo

Mortarch of the Dark Soul
True Blood
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
2,047
#4
That's why I wanted to get these ideas out there. We need to start examining the tactical side of the rules, because they are there. Honestly the tactics in AoS may actually be more complex, as the potential of combined arms formations, movement blocking and combat priorities are very large in scope.
 

Emicrania

Wight King
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
486
#5
Edit* just watched the video.

All I can see is a very intelligent player trying to make sense of the most boring and unbalanced tabletop game out there.
Battle master is waaaay much funnier of Ao$ right now
 
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Macarian

Vampire Insomniac
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
114
#6
Great video!

On your final tactic: use the deathrattle formation. Grave Guard up front, Skeletons with Spears in the middle. Black Knights as a picket line. Wight King with a banner in the main formation. Everything runs together at 4". Follow-up with Neferata and Blood Knights (with Dark Mist) for a flying countercharge drop-kick.

I think this is going to the basis for my AoS army :)
 

Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,117
#7
Finally had a chance to watch the video. Very nice, Najo. I look forward to those battle reports.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
45
#8
Maybe there will be a point to study actual formations now and apply those to the game. I do have a feeling real life tactics may actually work here. And people say formation are dead, what a joke.
 

najo

Mortarch of the Dark Soul
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Dec 23, 2012
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#9
Edit* just watched the video.

All I can see is a very intelligent player trying to make sense of the most boring and unbalanced tabletop game out there.
Battle master is waaaay much funnier of Ao$ right now
Thanks for the compliment, though I wouldn't be wasting my time with AoS if there wasn't a solid game there. Have you played it yet?
 

Emicrania

Wight King
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
486
#10
Thanks for the compliment, though I wouldn't be wasting my time with AoS if there wasn't a solid game there. Have you played it yet?
tomorrow ill play it,i was in vacation, I honestly think that you invested far too much time and energy in this game to give it up. But this is fall in the realm of personal opinions. I honestly think that if you give it a go to KoW or anything else,you might find it more interesting to say the least.
 

najo

Mortarch of the Dark Soul
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Dec 23, 2012
Messages
2,047
#11
tomorrow ill play it,i was in vacation, I honestly think that you invested far too much time and energy in this game to give it up. But this is fall in the realm of personal opinions. I honestly think that if you give it a go to KoW or anything else,you might find it more interesting to say the least.
Emicrania,

I can appreciate your honesty and directness, but making assumptions about how I spend my time and energy and judging me is rude. Although you're entitled to your opinions, considering you haven't played Age of Sigmar, you are not really in a position to judge it or people enjoying it.

Likewise, if Age of Sigmar was shit, I wouldn't waste my time on it. I've played GW games for 25 years because overall they make solid, interesting games and amazing miniatures. So, if they are going to take a 30-year old game like Warhammer Fantasy and replace it with Age of Sigmar, I'm going to investigate and understand Age of Sigmar before writing it off. So far, each time I play AoS or discuss tactics with other players, we keep discovering that the game has a huge depth of tactics for such a simple, streamlined set of rules. Less can be more, and that alone intrigues me. I would advise you to give AoS a fair shot, play half a dozen games at least. Just please do it with an open mind, you might be surprised what you discover.

Likewise, next time you want to make assumptions about someone, check yourself. You asking me if I'm to invested to give it up is a perfectly fine question. But you telling me that I am and discounting my own experience, knowledge and contributions to the community just makes you look foolish. You can't support your statement, and my reputation and efforts here actually point to the contrary.

Look, I hope you take this constructively. Initially I was put off by your comment and I waited to respond so I was objective and fair. As a moderator, everyone within our community is important to me and I rather we had good communication and clear up any bad feelings then have negativity fester. Please, see that is my intent and help encourage and grow the community and your relationships here positively.

Sincerely,

Najo
 

Emicrania

Wight King
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
486
#12
Emicrania,

I can appreciate your honesty and directness, but making assumptions about how I spend my time and energy and judging me is rude. Although you're entitled to your opinions, considering you haven't played Age of Sigmar, you are not really in a position to judge it or people enjoying it.

Likewise, if Age of Sigmar was shit, I wouldn't waste my time on it. I've played GW games for 25 years because overall they make solid, interesting games and amazing miniatures. So, if they are going to take a 30-year old game like Warhammer Fantasy and replace it with Age of Sigmar, I'm going to investigate and understand Age of Sigmar before writing it off. So far, each time I play AoS or discuss tactics with other players, we keep discovering that the game has a huge depth of tactics for such a simple, streamlined set of rules. Less can be more, and that alone intrigues me. I would advise you to give AoS a fair shot, play half a dozen games at least. Just please do it with an open mind, you might be surprised what you discover.

Likewise, next time you want to make assumptions about someone, check yourself. You asking me if I'm to invested to give it up is a perfectly fine question. But you telling me that I am and discounting my own experience, knowledge and contributions to the community just makes you look foolish. You can't support your statement, and my reputation and efforts here actually point to the contrary.

Look, I hope you take this constructively. Initially I was put off by your comment and I waited to respond so I was objective and fair. As a moderator, everyone within our community is important to me and I rather we had good communication and clear up any bad feelings then have negativity fester. Please, see that is my intent and help encourage and grow the community and your relationships here positively.

Sincerely,

Najo

Najo, I sincerely have no problem at all with what other people outside us can think or see. None.
However I talk to you personally,because in the past I received a lot of help from you, which kind of allow me to say my opinion,and mark it as such. Between say "you are like that" and say "I think you do that" there is a world of difference, the difference between honesty and arrogance.
Now, is kind of obvious that you are advocating to keep people playing and testing as much you have a positive and encouraging attitude towards this new system.
I am negative because in the last many years all I have seen is a huge decline in quality of fluff,irony,richness and simple model quality. Also the price/quality is worst. Finecast is the easy boy to pick on,but the Ratogre and the new dark elves/eldar gives a pretty clear direction of where ae are going.
I would be sad if I would realize that is me getting older,but honestly, is the game moving towards MtG direction, where everything that is dark,becomes grey (old cards with pentagrams anyone?) and everything that was rich becomes simpler and simpler (nice free compendium, but hej,what is a difference in fluff between a skeleton a zombie and a TG ???)
Slaneesh,what happened to you!?
Now for the ruleset. I am going to play and play, but 4 pages ruleset is simple to say the least. If you would pick any new game with 4 page rulest,you wouldnt even consider to spend XXX$ on it. ever.
Sometimes less is more,sometimes nothing is better.
D&D players and any GDR player around the world would be enraged if they would give em a 4 pages new ruleset.
So if this is a TOY company,than ok,be it, but pretending to be a tabletop company making no effort at all to make something with any sense,is just ridiculous.
I am not sold and any video won't change my mind,not because I am mind closed,but because i would not play ANY game that have such a poor BG and rulespan.
And this is not only me and is not only because of the fluff. Is just a fucking boring game and I don't like it and I will keep on complain as long as I feel for. I played for 12 years? I think i will complain for the next 6.
As a constructive discussion, after I ll play the game I will give more technicality, but as far at it goes, trowing pile of models back and forth,or V shape em,or ignore all my painting work for the sake of an extra attack,is nothing that makes me engage that half day off to play a kid game.
All in all,if is still ok to disagree and not like something you guys might like.
Otherwise, The Hive Mind might protect us all.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
56
#13
Hey Najo, nice video! I really appreciate you putting the game under a little more actual criticism and scrutiny. There seems to be so much knee-jerk nay saying at the moment. The tactics of AoS do seem deeper than first thought. To be honest I was massively put off Age of Sigmar but, like it or not, I think I'm beginning to see the merit it might have. I will approach with cautious optimism. It seems like all those skeletons I put together with spears instead of hand weapons might actually have a point now. Heh. I like the freedom individual models have to make larger formations. It opens up so many options for our different troops. I can definitely see necromancers taking advantage of that. No more front rank shenanigans for those guys. They really can hide behind 7000 skeletons.

I am interested to see the direction in which the undead go from here as well. What kind of new models and rules we might get, whether the focus will be on numbers or elite soldiers, and what kind of aesthetic style they might take. I can imagine perhaps a fusion of Vampire counts and Tomb Kings, but I'm not massively keen on the style of Nagash and the Archai in the End Times. If it does come to that it's always possible to just convert units from other forces.

I am curious as to whether you think there's more merit in a defensive or offensive style of gameplay for vampire counts/undead now though. Of course both in equal measure have advantages, but I gather that in 8th we were very much in need of offensive and fast tactics in order to gain any advantage and make full use of synergy and abilities, but now perhaps it's not so vital. I could see a slow, implacable march with plenty of 3'' proximity support and the combined arms you talked about.
 

Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,117
#14
All in all,if is still ok to disagree and not like something you guys might like.
Otherwise, The Hive Mind might protect us all.
That's all fine and good, but this is not the thread for it. There are threads in bloodlines discussing age of sigmar generally, with reactions to the game positive or negative. This is a thread for discussing Najo's tactics video/videos for Age of Sigmar. If somebody posts a thread discussing tactics in checkers, that is not the place to post about how much you dislike checkers or how much better chess is. Likewise, if I think Warmachine is a game with more strategic depth than warhammer 8th edition that's fine, but Sunny & Najo's Vamp Counts Handbook is the wrong thread to express that opinion in.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
213
#15
To me its never been about the lack of tactics, its everything else about it, after playing it even the tactical side of things seemed a bit naff, planning to do one thing, oh wait its not my turn because I rolled bad...

Was good to watch from the pov of someone positive, but wasn't enough to convince me the game has any long term merit. I'll keep an eye on your psts, see if you can take AoS somewhere :)
 

Emicrania

Wight King
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
486
#16
That's all fine and good, but this is not the thread for it. There are threads in bloodlines discussing age of sigmar generally, with reactions to the game positive or negative. This is a thread for discussing Najo's tactics video/videos for Age of Sigmar. If somebody posts a thread discussing tactics in checkers, that is not the place to post about how much you dislike checkers or how much better chess is. Likewise, if I think Warmachine is a game with more strategic depth than warhammer 8th edition that's fine, but Sunny & Najo's Vamp Counts Handbook is the wrong thread to express that opinion in.
I will his tactics now nothless,which is why I posted.
If my opinion is OT I apologize, so is the answer anyway.
 

najo

Mortarch of the Dark Soul
True Blood
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
2,047
#18
Get him to agree to a more balanced game, or tie up as many of his units upon his own forces and divide and conqueror. I actually have a really good idea on balancing armies, but I need to write it up for the blog first.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
281
#19
Get him to agree to a more balanced game, or tie up as many of his units upon his own forces and divide and conqueror. I actually have a really good idea on balancing armies, but I need to write it up for the blog first.
I'd like to see that. Currently I've been using minimum sized units as a base for warscroll size e.g. agree a number of warscrolls per side, then characters are 1, grave guard are 5 minimum so every 5 grave guard in a unit is1 scroll so 25 would be 5 scrolls and play like that, with no named characters below xx scrolls (not used them yet so unsure) which has worked to balance the games really well meaning tactics have decided everything rather than army size. The only exception is the sigmar box since it says any number of models (varghulfs say this but are strong enough to be 1 per scroll) but for the liberators did 5, prosecutors and retributors as 3
 

Demian

Vampire Count
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
1,248
#21
Bottleneck their units.

Not everyone can fight all crumped up, but you can replenish cheap infantry models with a 4+ spell. It would be hilarious for you to just sit in a corner, form a line of zombies that keeps growing (to a moderate size) and tie up stuff, bottleneck it and grind it with... hmmm I don't see Archai there... well, problem fixed! Summon some!

Sit them behind zombies, and just swing at whatever comes your way, 1 by 1.

It's not a balanced match for sure, but you can take advantage of so many unnecesary enemy models and just make them wait in the line to be butchered by a solid shock troop wall, with support behind, and if you get lucky, a Terrorgheist to get cheap shots.

EDIT: Banshees make for a much better summon, if your casting bonuses are low. The gals will do the trick anyways, since most units have bravery below 7 now.

EDIT 2: lol najo I just noticed, our armies are painted in the same colors... although yours are much better detailed and finished .o.
 
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najo

Mortarch of the Dark Soul
True Blood
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
2,047
#24
I've gotten in some more games and notice that things the naysayers criticize actually are the solutions. It is interesting that bottle-necking is as effective as it is in this game with proper movement and first strikes, you might be able to fight that horde. Mix with the initiative, proper charges and fight priority and using combo tactics, and you can fight uneven battles and wipe units out quickly. I plan to do another tactics video asap to get into this further.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
24
#25
Sudden Death rules will take care of that situation. I brought way too much but we played any way. He was too fast and got to the building he choose before I could get to him. It changed the whole game but was fun. We thought we were going to play a battleline style game and ended up in cat n mouse.
 
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