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AoS First game of AoS: A review

Discussion in 'Battle Reports' started by Mr Phat, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. Mr Phat
    Skink Chief

    Mr Phat 9th Age Army Support

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    Me and a friend tried AoS today, Lizzies VS Empire, and this review is based entirely on the experience of that game.
    To start out: Age of Sigmar is NOT Warhammer fantasy battle.

    It shares models
    It shares a few mechanics
    and it shares ideas.

    Therefor this review will focus on what Warhammer players might like and should not expect, as well as it will speak of the game on its own premises.

    Making the lists
    Me and my friend are both big fans of competitive warhammer, so not having points or any restrictions is really a big problem for us, as it ruins our angle on the game.

    We decided to try anyway,
    The way we approached it was that he put out a list he thought looked like something he would play with restrictions on it, and I then tried to "match it" with a list I thought seemed appropriate for it (I am not sure I succeeded).
    We also agreed (rather I said it out right) that I didnt want to use Summon.

    these where the lists

    Slann
    Scar Veteran on Carnosaur
    Oldblood (Saurus Host)
    Skink Priest
    20 Saurus (Saurus Host)
    20 Saurus (Saurus Host)
    20 Saurus (Saurus Host)
    12 Skinks
    12 Skinks
    6 Krox (2 Moonhammers)
    25 TG (Saurus Host)
    Engine of the Gods

    General on Imperial Griffon
    Warrior Priest
    Amber Wizard
    Master Engineer
    20 Greatswords
    10 Crossbowmen
    10 Reiksguard Knights
    4 Demigryph Knights
    Celestrial Hurricanum
    Helblaster Volly
    Gun Mortar
    Rocket Battery
    Steam Tank

    we agreed beforehand that "shooting into combat" was a no no, and that we would stick to the lists (so I wouldn't have to bring my entire collection for that problematic "just put it on the table" approach the current rules suggest (I expect and beg for this to change....get on it Tzeentch).

    As I had enough models for him to get a Sudden Death objective, he chose "Blunt" for us to have a game.
    I picked a block of saurus and placed it at the back....it didn't have any effect on the game. (I am not saying that it couldnt have.)

    Deployment
    It went as we know it:
    - "what can my general reach?"
    - "do my bubble cover what I want them to?"
    - "are my flanks covered ok?"

    I have no input here, its as we know it

    Movement
    This is the part were veterans will cringe.
    The finesse of typical warhammer movement is not to be found in this game.
    Forget double flees, forget redirecting and forget the eternal inch and angle measurements.
    "Can I see you?" "...there, I am out of your charge arc" are sentences you will not be able to utter again.
    (That said, you can STILL block a unit from moving forward by putting it in front of it)

    The game has went from stern hard-edged rules to almost liquid feeling to it, though
    I was very frustrated with having to move every single model alone.
    Movement trays are an option, but rules wise a very handicapping feature when it comes to combat and pile ins (will get to that) .
    As possibility however, is to get magnets and cut out small pieces of magnet sheets to move a couple models simultaneously, which is what I did with the skinks. That worked fine as it always has.

    After a few turns however I realized that it wasn't that big a time-drop as first expected, because in reality you only measure the front most models and then move the rest.
    I didn't have any units bigger that then TG's, but I do believe that a 40strong goblin....sorry...a 40 strong Grot horde would take its time (This I am not a fan of!)

    In all honesty, I liked the look of the table way more than in normal warhammer.
    The way the units were surging forward seemed a lot more lifelike, and it really felt as an actual army, time consuming as it was.

    Running and charging
    That "March" has been made into "running" was at first glance a big "...what?" but as I tried it, it actually turned out to have tactical importance.
    Where one Saurus block scored a 6 on the run and thundered out there, another might get a 1, and be 5'' behind the line.
    This meant that you actually had to keep in mind that you might outrun yourself, and hold back on the moves.

    That you can now move and then charge also seemed absurd at first, but there more I think about it the more sense it makes.
    Its most certainly more correct than when a block of troops stops 2'' after a fail charge as it does in 8th.
    Here your troops actually get their movement worth even if they fail charge.
    This mean that the rules of playing Charge-Chicken is changed, what that means entirely I cant comment on before I have more games under my belt.

    Combat
    I am on the fence with this one.
    The "this unit always hits and wounds like this" has been misunderstood by the community.
    While a saurus warrior always hits on 4's and wounds on 3's, it is in reality the receiver of that attack decides the effectiveness of this.
    When you say "it is stupid that you can wound a skink and a bloodthirster on the same value"
    you are misunderstanding the new meaning of the values.
    Warhammer is and has always been an abstract, and the way "Toughness" is represented now is not by a value that represents that, but by the combination of Wounds and saves.

    So saying so is wrong, as a Skink dies if he doesn't make that 6+ save, and a bloodthirster has 14 wounds and a 4+.save.

    In other words
    A saurus celestite attack has a 50% to get a 66,66% chance to take 100% of a skinks health-bar if he doesnt make his 16.66% save.

    A saurus celestite attack has a 50% to get a 66,66% chance to take 7.142857142857142% of a Bloodthirsters health-bar if he doesnt make his 50% save.

    To explain the abstract: a saurus can cut or bite of the head of a skink, but probably do no more than remove a finger or give a semi deep fleshwound to a bloodthirster.
    THAT is how toughness is defined now, and it MUST be understood for anything of it to make sense.

    The problem in combat..
    The player whos turn it is goes first.

    My krox charged his greatswords, it was my only charge.
    I get into them, and because its my turn I of course decide that my guys swings.

    My kroxigors pulverized them all...literally, 20 great-swords disappeared into thin air.
    That was the result even when I forgot that they had RE-ROLLS on MUCH of their stuff
    (Moon hammers are ridiculously good).

    While I must admit I had a "....feel the lizardmen pain of going last!" thought in my mind, this simply just doesn't hold up, as well as it doesn't hold up when elves always gets to do it.

    I am not sure on how to fix it, I just know that 6 kroxigors will do the job on most things.

    Battleshock
    I like this so much more than break tests (except for the name :p)
    It feels so much more right that your units crumbles as the soldiers run, rather than "oh look, bob died.....GET OUT OF HERE GUYS!"

    All the fleeing, chasing and rallying might be gone, but you can still back away using a "retreat move" which will only buy you a turn of no combat, as he might opt to charge you and then literally run you down as it would happen on a real battlefield.

    BIG GUY VS BIG GUY

    Ever had a bad experience with your carno and oldblood getting killed by a greater demon, who then danced away afterwards without a scratch?
    That wont happen anymore.
    My carno and the griphon clashed, both at full health.
    He put 9 wounds on me......and then I realised...."hey....I get to hit back? "
    (*Spark of tactic in my mind*
    Which meant that since he used his attacks in that combat, I should opt to strike first in another combat as my carno was guaranteed his attacks)

    The massivly wound carno then put 6 wounds back on the Griphon (I am a BIG fan of the "You become less effective with more wounds on you" chart!)
    Which meant, even if he got me next turn the Carno still got to bite. This felt really nice, and I actually think that turn based attacks like this is a better way than ruling by initiative.


    Shooting and warmachines
    While I didnt get to throw a single javelin (was to busy enjoying my saurus wooping out slaps!)
    He got to fire a bit with everything.

    As we agreed that "No shooting into combat" is still a thing, the rifles and crossbows didnt get to do much.
    They do however now show a threat for characters and monsters! as they can windle down a couple of wounds more easy now than before (I think this makes sense as well).

    Warmachines are still lethal! While they might have a smaller chance taking something out 1 shot they are NOT to be underestimated.
    They still feel like they should, and seem like they pose a viable and strong threat to most things.

    I cant say anymore on the matter.


    Generals and leaders
    This is so ridiculously interesting.
    I really enjoy this mechanic, as it poses some very interesting ways to affect the game and adds a big tactical element.

    While it didnt come that much into play with my slann (wanted him out of range from those pesky machines...no Look out sir means problems!)
    The Skink priest made a lot of strong impacts on the table with his "re-roll saves" ability.

    The engine also offered some very nice effects, sadly I rolled "get another unit" twice, and as I we agreed on not using that this game it felt meh to have to re-roll.

    All in all I like this addition VERY much!

    Magic..........

    So, you cant unbind unless you are within 18'' of the enemy caster...hmm...okay.
    (SUMMON SUMMON SUMMON?)

    Magic is one of the things that makes me sure that we haven't seen all of AoS yet, as it CANT be it.
    There are 2 spells everyone knows, and then wizards have their own personal magic.
    While I like that you always know what you have, it also seems terribly ...insufficient.

    "Roll 2 dice to see if it goes off...hm, it did...there, D3 mortal wounds"
    "Roll 2 dice to see if it goes off...hm...didnt..."

    its just too blunt and unimaginative compared to what 8th magic was, and this is also a place where a veteran warhammer player will sigh and cry a tear.

    I didnt like it one bit, and I was seriously disappointed as the thrill of the phase was non existing.


    The overall game

    its not warhammer, but with a few fixes and a point system I can actually see myself ending up and liking it.

    The "measure from model to model" is plain stupid, as it indirectly puts an effect on conversions and problems with alternate models (not sure if on purpose).
    It didn't come up this game, but I am sure it would had if we were at a tournament or were ETC-matching.
    This is a flaw.

    It is absolutely vital that they put up a point system.
    People who likes to play with a "just bring something" attitude can still do this, but not having a comp-system invalidates the game for the Tournament and competitive part of the community.
    We simply dont know what to "do with it", and it will result in us doing nothing with it at all.

    This game we had for example: we didnt finish it.
    We got a feeling for what it was about, and my friend didnt like it one bit, which I get.
    There wasn't really a point to it all, as we had no idea if it was a balanced game or not, which means the result had no meaning whatsoever.

    PROS COMPARED TO WARHAMMER
    Its so much easier to play, and it seems a lot more forgiving.
    I for one like the from Edgy-hard to smooth-liquid feeling I get in Age of Sigmar, and I actually believe that it can turn into something really great if they fill in the gaps and obvious flaws.

    I really like that "everything can hurt anything" and that battles will last longer with more effect on both sides.


    CONS COMPARED TO WARHAMMER
    At no time during the game did I get the "WELL PLAYED!" feeling.
    It simply feels like a "pick up and throw dice" game.
    While you probably can get "good" at it, the ways to do so didn't really present itself during the first game. Veterans and competitive players will struggle to see the point, as its seems really limited in ways that you can actually outplay your opponent.
    This is a huge minus in my book, even without Warhammer 8th to live up to.

    The Verdict.
    To be honest, I am not sure.
    I have a feeling that it COULD be really great if something happens to its problems.
    I really want to like it as I think I understand the idea of it, but coming from 8th to this makes it hard to accept the "dumbing down" of the rules.

    I AM going to try it again (if I can find anyone who wants to), as it feels that there is still things to realize.
    My first hand impression however is: If this is it, then Warhammer Fantasy will die, and this saddens me.

    I must say I am positively surprised, but then again my expectations wasn't above the ground...
    For a game system, 8th is still preferable.

    Extra: SEPHARON REVIEW

    Holy mother of Sotek....never have lizardmen felt this much as lizardmen!

    While some of the things about their new rules is a little "...okay? ..:p .."
    the overall feeling is great.

    Saurus are awesome! and for once they feel as the warriors they are told to be.

    Kroxigors are massive!

    Carnos LIVE and is pretty fun when you woll for the "claws" to sink in its prey so it can bite!

    Slann and priests boost them the way we always wanted, it actually felt like the army that I read so much about.

    The rules seem like everything I wished for in 8th, and I am sad to see that NOW is when they show up,
    as when all comes to all ....


    my gut now tells me it is over.guys :/
     
  2. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    Thanks for that well written and insightful analysis. It's good to get some real insight into the game.
     
  3. Qupakoco
    Skink Chief

    Qupakoco Keeper of the Dice Staff Member

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    Agreed, great write-up. It is unfortunate that you didn't get to finish the game though. I guess I'm going to start bringing Krox like crazy from now on, haha.

    I haven't read through the other armies war scrolls but I am also seeing that LM got a pretty significant boost in their abilities. Even jungle swarms got a boost somehow. The army seems very synergistic now, more so than before. I like that.
     
  4. Sleboda
    Troglodon

    Sleboda Active Member

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    Will finish reading the whole thing, but this is sticking in my head already so I wanted to ask -

    Since this was your first game, why were you already changing the rules? I would think you would want to play at least a few "normal" games first before adding house rules.
     
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  5. hdctambien
    Terradon

    hdctambien Active Member

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    Haha. @Sleboda being @Sleboda. But I completely agree. Especially for your first games, you can't really judge what parts of the rules are unblanaced or not until you actually try to play with them.

    By changing how shooting works you pretty drastically disadvantage armies that rely on shooting in a game that was designed to allow units to shoot at anything at any time. Your Saurus would probably have been a little less effective if your opponent was allowed to use all of his shooting attacks against them. Heck, that might have changed the entire out come of the game!

    Remember there is no more "stand and shoot" charge reaction. A shooting army needs some way to threaten a combat army ... espacially since combat armies can literally charge into combat on turn 1 now!

    How did you play the "pile in" rule? At my local store they guy running the demo was moving models that were already in b2b with an enemy out of the way to allow models from behind to pile into the empty spaces. Effectively surrounding his targets after a couple turns. But it seemed to me that the rules say you must move models towards the nearest enemy, and if you are b2b with an enemy, that is probably the nearest one and you shouldn't be moving 3" away from it so that another model can get into b2b... maybe its written differently in 40k and he was just assuming it was the same...
     
  6. Ixt
    Troglodon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    Well, yeah, changing the shooting rules kinda tipped that one... also, inexperience. I have to wonder how he deployed if he were totally unable to pick off some Krox prior to combat. How many wounds did each of you field?
     
  7. LTERALUS
    Skink

    LTERALUS New Member

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    What's the point of trying out AoS and not following the rules? What good is a Slann if it won't summon?
    Thanks for the detailed review though. Very insightful.
     
  8. Mr Phat
    Skink Chief

    Mr Phat 9th Age Army Support

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    @Sleboda Looking back I also think that was a mistake, we should have.
    It didnt change our feeling for the game though, as it mechanic was rather clear as it was.

    He did put 2 or 3 wounds on during his first turn, but that changed nothing of course.
    He shot after different targets, and thought that boosting his greatswords with magic and abilities would make them equal to the krox.


    Were we supposed to count that? I have no idea.


    Very good to be honest, he fights like a beast (looking on his stats) and with a range of 3'' He can stand in the middle of a TG unit and still attack.
    That aside, Light of the Heavens looks pretty good, his command ability is pretty useful and if you can get the 5-6 on Celestial Configuration he is INSANELY good.

    Summon is a joke to me, and I most certainly didn't need it to push my opponent.
     
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  9. Mr Phat
    Skink Chief

    Mr Phat 9th Age Army Support

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    @Qupakoco , why has this been moved to Battle Reports?

    Its a review really :p
     
  10. Qupakoco
    Skink Chief

    Qupakoco Keeper of the Dice Staff Member

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    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I didn't move it, bro. I would suspect that @Scalenex is flexing his moderation muscles. It kind of is a batrep though. I was thinking of moving it too.
     
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  11. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I concur. I suggest playing one or two normal games before adding house rules. Also, I also thought missile troops were a little weak. I don't think it's realistic but I do like the (potentially) game balancing aspect of shooting into melee.

    I did it. If it really bothers people we can move it back, but I think it's a battle report more than any other category, and I kind of wanted the forum to stop being blank.
     
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  12. Carados
    Skink

    Carados New Member

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    I've just got back from a game against High Elves.

    I took:
    Skink Chief
    Skink Patrol (Priest, 2x12 Skinks, 3 Ripperdactlys)
    3 Kroxigors

    My opponent took something like:
    Prince
    Wizard
    20 Archers
    3 Great Eagles
    2 Reaper Bolt Throwers

    We played the rules as presented in the rules document.

    It got off to an interesting start with the Ripperdactyls dropping in and causing some 30 wounds to the archers. All of them died. The rest of the game was basically the reaper bolt throwers shooting everything down with their 12 shots each. Javelins I don't think are particularly good because of their poor 8" range. The 16" range of the blowpipes would have allowed me to take out some wounds from the bolt throwers and potentially neutralise them. The prince, eagles and bolt thrower combined to take out the Ripperdactyls over two turns. The chief charged the prince and died. The priest was quite resilient with its cloak of feathers, but I feel the Celestial Rites would have been better used to buff my army.

    By the end, there was only one crew with his bolt thrower, the prince, wizard and a wounded great eagle. Everything else was very much dead. Shooting into combat was a pain, but in hindsight I think is very important. As other people have mentioned in the thread, it allows for shooting armies to deal with combat armies. Without it, I think I would have steamrolled that game, which wouldn't have been so fun.

    And just to clarify, ripperdactyls really are murderous :p
     
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  13. Ixt
    Troglodon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    Overall impressions?
     
  14. Carados
    Skink

    Carados New Member

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    Weird.

    But I think I like it. There are a lot of buffs that you need to remember, and some of them are quite crucial. Someone brought up synergy in the summoning thread, and I think this is key. My Skink Priest was off doing his own thing, but if I took the one that could use Celestial Rites on all Seraphon units in range then I would have better been able to tank all the shooting that was coming my way. It certainly isn't as simple as I thought it might be.

    I should mention that we played with a minimum of 10 models, maximum of 50 wounds.
     
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  15. Hyperborean
    Ripperdactil

    Hyperborean Well-Known Member

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    Alright well, this makes me feel a little bit better about AoS, I just really wished I was able to field an army with one of the older editions before this came out. But it soothes the scaly soul to see Lizardmen getting their proper due! That and having the Saurus actually work!
     
  16. Kcibrihp-Esurc
    Razordon

    Kcibrihp-Esurc Well-Known Member

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    I had a game of this against my dad, we used the 8th ed points system, the same army building stuffs and things.

    Salamanders and Razordons ROCK against knights, seriously, OUCH! You summon the units and WHAM, 5 dead knights in one turn! However, Bretonnians have some nasty toyz now, you can watch as skinks and Saurus go poof! But the points worked, we are currently working on making it Tournament worthy, and working on house rules for making it tournament worthy.
     
  17. StegadonSheperd
    Skink

    StegadonSheperd Member

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    thanks guys for those reviews...seems AoS could be playable and enjoyable with a few tweeks here and there...
     
  18. Ratlizardelfguy
    Skink

    Ratlizardelfguy Member

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    I've had three games of AoS so far 1 with lizardmen and 2 using Wood Elves. I think there is a lot more to it than the 4 page pamphlet indicates. if you take away shooting into and out of combat then it makes the more shooting armies severely handicapped. Until I've had 10 games I won't be able to make an informed judgement I feel.
     
  19. borkbork
    Ripperdactil

    borkbork Active Member

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    I still have to play my first game of AOS, but eventhough the initial shock and rants are largely behind us, and people are starting to point out good things about AOS, what you mention here still seems to pop up a lot in many reviews even from people who liked the game. That winning and losing seems to be meaningless....and indeed the "well played" feeling is a rare thing.
     
  20. Sleboda
    Troglodon

    Sleboda Active Member

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    I agree. Winning and losing is pretty meaningless in AoS. That's part of the beauty of it. I've said it other places, I'll say it here, and I'm sure I'll say it again:

    Warhammer was For The Win.
    Age of Sigmar is For The Models.
     

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