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Posted 10 May 2018 - 07:38 AM
Posted 10 May 2018 - 08:02 PM
I mostly faff about with AoS these days. What do you want to know?
Just how different armies play and if they're any good to collect. I hesr mostly anything is valid but having no experience I w8uld just like to hear about people's armies and their games.
Posted 12 May 2018 - 09:49 PM
Firstly, I'd suggest watching the "New AoSTM" (no, never letting that one go) closely to see what they do. I'm hoping they'll finally hone that incredibly lame arse core ruleset, but I suspect they're probably just going to escalate Magic like they did with WHFB. If they do that and not fix the rest of it, I wouldn't bother, because PAY TO WIN will go into full overdrive.
It's hard to really explain exactly what logical reasons I have for liking AoS and disliking 40k 8th Ed. I suppose it boils down to: simplified works for AoS mostly, and for 40k it just creates absolute tedium, brought on from the lack of skill requirement that itself is brought on from the ease of ranged attacks, which itself is where most of AoS' most bullshit army lists also originate (although not exclusively, because Priority [a.k.a. Combat Initiative] is the biggest load of bullshit ever added to any Wargame that wasn't Inquisitor's mere existence as a game). 40k has a few plusses that AoS could do with learning from, such as the ability to screen characters with infantry (Character interaction being even more crucial in AoS, meaning that some lists can brainlessly sweep off buff giving characters before they get to do anything whatsoever is one of the most frustrating and flawed aspects of this game), it also frequently results in players getting double turns, which typically means they win. The core system itself is even weaker than 40k, and that's a pretty amazing achievement.
I'm not selling it, am I? Well, it has some plusses. For one, it doesn't have an utterly ridiculous and ridicule worthy army generation system that a mere one year in needs patching, although a one year in to AoS (and a bit more) it didn't have fucking points. The points system is okay, although some of the numbers are pulled out of the Dev's Team's arse (a Dev Team made up of mostly Old Guard, hence why AoS is still pretty Pay To Win).
It's main benefit as a game is its inherent flexibility. You can make an army of almost any kind of theme (the model and rules range is CURRENTLY diverse enough to really reward that kind of extreme creativity). You can take anything you like, with no allegiance (so no army buffs) a Grand Alliance, so all units are from a shared Grand Faction (Order, Destruction, Chaos and Death), or a specific Faction (Moonclan Grots, Clans Pestilens, Grots etc) for in some cases even more specific Allegiance Bonuses (from the previous list, at least for Pestilens) or more honed synergies. Keywords work well (which is why they stole them for 40k) and make rules work more smoothly. Usually.
This flexibility opens the doors for much creativity. I'm currently working on a Snow Goblin themed force based around using a mixture of Destruction units from Moonclan, Grots and the various Ogre Kingdom units. As a Destruction army, it gains the Destruction Allegiance Perks (they're a bit meh, but much like most things with GW, it's better than nothing, and at least in this case, at least they nerfed Destruction hard, because free moves in a roll-off-to-win game with hardcore melee units (i.e. Ironjaws) was not fun).
So here's just a list of pros and cons, it'll hopefully help, and unlike some people on this forum I wont play down the negatives:
- Fixed hit and wound statlines are nice, straightforward, and instantly give a point to all unit types in the game. There was NEVER an edition of WHFB where a Goblin army was vaguely viable. In this, it's pretty decent.
- Synergies are smooth, plentiful and come with multiple usages. It's still stripped down like 40k is to levels of almost absurd simplicity, but generally works well and largely encourages theming and strategy (some of it helps power plays but not all)
- Mostly, every unit has its use and if balanced well internally, will fight well, usually, against other well balanced forces. There are some outright exploits and nonsense out there, but the game is closer than it has been. Personally, I still don't think this is good enough, and pricing of units does not help remotely with this, but the pros of army building and theming do currently outweigh this issue.
- AoS has managed to avoid making infantry too good, and giving everything, with the occasional exception of Artillery, with a good point to it.
- Monsters are generally very well balanced because of wounding mechanics.
- Terrain is the same as in 40k, but sort of works to some extent. As AoS really does have a actual point around movement, terrain is useful as obstacles and works somewhat for the game in that regard.
- Army lists are generally well balanced because of unit categorisation. There are some flaws that make theming outside of specific factions a major chore (because of what is and isn't Battleline, the primary minimum requirement - basically like troops), but overall it works.
- Unlike current 40k, I find Age of Sigmar not tedious to play. My tastes aren't universal, but in my opinion it handles its minimalistic ruleset better than 40k. Not that this actually takes much doing.
- Battleshock largely works, in that it basically helps end the game sooner. In many games where things go badly, this is bad design that is a blessing in disguise. Embrace it. You're not paid to faff. You're not paid at all actually, maybe you should be. But apparently we pay them. Some mysteries are meant to remain unsolved.
- Movement and positioning can actually matter in this game for way more than 40k. Again, not that it takes much, but it's something.
- Characters work well in this game, with one exception (see cons below)
- Theming, and army theme are very, very flexible and reasonably intuitive. Whilst there are still better armies, AoS is the first GW in a long time to avert untouchable syndrome, something it failed completely to avert with 40k, the game they insist they were listening with as writing.
- Combat Initiative/Priority/rolling off to see who goes first at the start of each turn - is just outright stupid. It ruins an otherwise functional game, and if they don't remove or alter this in the new edition I'm rethinking whether I support this game in the future. It's that bad.
- Whilst it aids in avoiding some ranged attack inequalities overall, the ranges of certain warmachines/artillery, character abilities and spells that are ranged in nature is utterly, utterly retarded. Longbows being range 20", the casket of souls 18", 24" for the warp lightning cannon, 18" to unbind (i.e. attempt to stop/dispel) spells with other wizards and so on. It encourages getting stuck in, but it also means that things that by logic should be able to sit in the back and not worry about range essentially have to be frontline from turn 1 to even remotely justify their cost.
- On that note, Infantry is still largely better, point for point, than most units in the game. They're certainly superior to all forms of Artillery, specifically because like in 40k, they're all on small amounts of dice rolls that are consistently all or nothing. If anything they're worse, because they're usually one shot a piece. A cannon hits half of the time, and at BEST deals 6 wounds. For 100 points, a 10 man ranged unit can average that reliably and on similar unlikely odds, do more. Whilst Artillery is still useful and some of it can be better, Artillery will struggle (because of factors such as shitty range, all or nothing odds and restricted damage potential). Monsters and Characters are okay, because damage carries on to infantry, so D3 can remove D3 1-wound models.
- Character or useful unit sniping is brainlessly easy with the right load-outs. There is no such thing as screening with units (blocking LOS with terrain is the only way aside of deploying so far back as to avoid being targeted) and because of Priority, you need your turn to get your hero phase to trigger the synergies you'll need to support your army as its intended to be played. Many games end simply by your opponent easily, and with little skill involved, removing these from the table without you having to counter with shenanigans or gamesmanship to avoid it. Certainly trying to use any kind of logical or normal wargaming deployment styles have diminishing returns against some opponents that know how to exploit the system.
- And just in case you didn't get this: PRIORITY FUCKING SUCKS FUCKING DONKEY FUCKING BALLS.
- Some factions are over-developed many are horrendously underdeveloped. This Warhammerfest is the first instance of a Death release featuring more than one new model for the death range (that isn't a re-boxing or extrapolation from an existing kit) since AoS first came out, yet in the same fest, we're looking at the, what is it, 7th wave of Stormcast releases? I just don't get it, they've essentially purposefully replicated the same core range failing they have in 40k with a mirror image situation in AoS. Stormcast get more and more toys, Order have about 15+ factions to intermingle (many with their own specific faction allegiance bonuses), and Death and Destruction in particular are STILL waiting for even one bone to be thrown their way. Death get a core book at long last, and it hands out a swathe of nerfs to many of the factions already under-powered units (such as the Deathrattle characters).
- A lot of the core rules and faction rules are not consistently written, poorly communicated and requiring reams of FAQs. This is listed low, because this is basically GW in a nutshell. I'm still waiting for this company to hire talent. All we have right now are people with less than half a clue how you're supposed to not make things up as they go along, and some of AoS' rules come across as that.
- The AoS fluff/lore/background is astoundingly generic, amazingly tedious, and wrote in the most mind-numbingly piss poor, try-hard and cringe worthy prose I have ever read in my life. It makes the new shit about Papa Smurf flicking on all the floodlights into the grimdark in 40k into something resembling the works of Shakespeare. It reached a new low with Malign Portents and seems determined to plumb the depths of the true meaning of what literature is like when it goes WORSE THAN PULP. The fact that people like it is more astonishing than marvelling at all the people who voted for Trump.
- It still retains much of the core failings of WHFB, and GW in general. There's still blatant inequality, it still is at the very least partly by design, rules have no internal consistency or a consistent and noticeable house logic, and development seems to be more at random whims than by any kind of logical design, and even if it indulges impulsive creativity, still reads as by committee corporate fodder, which again, is par for the course with GW.
Overall, I think the aesthetic, whilst very acquired as a taste, is one of the best in the industry, at least in terms of most things that conform to any kind of Fantasy style in any loose way fits in nicely. Generally speaking it lends itself well to more aspects of the hobby, and it's managed to avoid the worst of WHFB design failures (largely). I enjoy it, and I can no longer say that for 40k. I've not given you a glowing endorsement, but GW still pretty much sucks at rules writing and prose at this point and they evidently don't need to seeing as all they really need to do, at least at this stage, is make astoundingly minor improvements and insist they're listening and trying to do well. That's apparently all it takes these days.
I'm not quite convinced, and I have to say AoS "Legends" with its paragraph copy and pasted from the patronising "we can't support old models indefinitely" Forge World FAQ, GW is sending the message that Open Play and "Narrative" play in both games are inferior experiences, which I suppose is true, as nobody plays them and thus they can kill old rules by relegating them to playstyles no one gives a fuck about.
I'd say AoS is worth bothering with if you like theming armies. If you don't, or the next edition makes it awkward, seriously, I'd not bother. It's an okay game, but its only virtue is the size of GW's playerbase, and the lootability of kits. Take those two features away and 10 year olds have written better systems.
- Skumdreg likes this
Posted 12 May 2018 - 10:42 PM
Posted 12 May 2018 - 11:23 PM
Oh and one more pro/con depending on your inclination: AoS kept Formations. Unlike 7th Edition, you do have to pay points to get these rules, but a Warscroll Battalion (i.e. a formation) can be deployed as a single unit. The player who deploys first, gets the choice of who goes first. If you come up against a tryhard powergaming dickhead with a Warscroll Battalion or two in their army, they are most likely going first, taking out your characters, or making a synergy combination so nasty you'll wish you were playing Inquisitor, and thus having Beakies throw bolters at people with more base damage than if they'd used to fire with them, and the kind of flair for writing that Gav Thorpe has, that's sort of like ripping your own cock off in writing form.
Those are other pretty big issues. Like I said, the Core is basically shit for this game. It'd be offensive if there was more than 4 pages of it. And I guess GW didn't get the memo that writing less rules requires MORE writing ability than writing more rules. But okay.
This game has a lot of issues. I'm hoping they'll address some. But the sensible parts of me doubt that considerably.