Tuesday, 26 July 2016

How Matched Play works

The General'a Handbook has been released for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and there are a lot of questions on Matched Play at the moment. With this post I aim to clear up the processes of writing your army list and rules changes. Everything here is extrapolated from the General's Handbook


BEFORE GAME

1.
Agree on any house rules. 
• Campaign System
• Base to base measuring. 
• Army selection. 
• Scenery. 

2.
Decide game type with opponent. 
• Vanguard 1000 points
• Battlehost 2000 points
• Warhost 2500 points
• Points-only Game

3.
Pick units for your army up to the game type limit, all must belong to the same Grand Alliance.
• Select Warscroll Battalions as desired. 
• Meet minimum Battleline and leader requirements. 
• Do not exceed Behemoth and Artillery limits. 
• Pay for multiples of the minimum size unit, below strength units are rounded up. 
• Decide reinforcement points and note any leftover points. 

4.
Determine Army Allegiance. You may choose a Grand Alliance Allegiance even if you have selected your army under a Faction Allegiance to unlock Battleline units. 
• Choose Army General. 
• Note Battle Trait. 
• Select Command Trait. 
• Select one Artefact (additional one per Warscroll Battalion) and assign max of one to each hero. 
• Note all details on army roster. 

5.
The Player with the most leftover points rolls for a Triumph. 

6.
Roll for Matched Play Battleplan. 

DURING GAME

7.
Use reinforcement points to add new units to the game. 
• Any new unit which is to be added must be paid for with reinforcement points. 
• If the spell or ability has a random number of models you roll to determine the maximum amount you can deploy before you spend the points. 
• You may deploy less than the amount rolled if desired or if you do not have enough reinforcement points. 
• Reinforcement Points costs are rounded up for units smaller than the minimum unit size. 

8.
Models added to existing units during the game via abilities or spell do not use reinforcement points however the unit cannot go above its original starting size. 

9.
Monsters do not get the save modifier from cover. 

10.
Three rules of one. 
• Each spell can only be attempted once per turn. 
• Rolls of one to hit/wound/save always fail. 
• Abilities generating extra attacks only do so once. 

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Summoning in Matched Play

With the new Matched Play rules for reinforcements there will be a meta change in how summoners are used. Unlike the mostly used SCGT where you get extra points if you summon, Matched Play uses a system where you hold points from your main list back to later deploy however you can, whether that's summoning or an ability that creates a new unit. 

Reinforcement points aren't assigned in the list building phase. What this means is that you can have an allegiance list of 1500 points to one faction and save 500 points to reinforce with new units from separate factions if desired. 

The main difference between the types is that summoning requires you to successfully cast a spell then you can deploy a new unit within range, abilities tend to require an easy roll or no roll at all and then units enter the game by some method (from a board edge or Realmgate).  

Both have their uses within the game, the ability based reinforcements are more reliable, but less tactical. Whereas the summoning based reinforcements are less reliable, but more versatile. 


Here are some alternate tactical uses for reinforcements rather than just getting more bodies on the ground:

• A Unit is protected from damage until deployed to the battlefield. Although if all your reinforcers are killed you lose the unspent points. 

• Use reinforcement points to react to the current tactical situation rather than playing all your cards early. You can deploy either an anvil unit or a hammer unit depending on what you need after a few turns. 

• Deploy a unit on to objective at critical moment. This can literally be he difference between a win or loss. Most Pitched Battleplans only require five models nearby to claim an objective. 

• Deploy a small unit to act as a blocker or chaff. Death excel at this with their availability of cheap units like zombies. 

• Deploy slow units at long range to get behind enemy lines quicker. Slow moving Fyreslayers can use Magmic Tunneling to get a unit behind the enemy lines. 


Using reinforcements has to be done carefully or you risk throwing away valuable points and putting yourself at a disadvantage. To ensure this doesn't happen use the following tips:

• Take at least one unit which reinforces with an ability easily or automatically, even if it's not as useful as the summon able ones, this is your back up if your spells don't succeed. 

• Don't just rely on a single wizard to summon units as you can only attempt each spell once per turn. I would suggest a minimum of three separate reinforcers for redundancy. 

• Have a wide variety of summon able units, plenty of easy summons such as zombies and only one or two hard summons like Bloodthirsters. 

• Only use reinforcement points if you really need too. Don't do it just for the sake of it, have a plan. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Skirmish Play in Age of Sigmar

Games Workshop have released rules for skirmish play using the Warhammer: Age Of Sigmar rule set. This allows you to play with a small selection of individual model instead of units, somewhat reminiscent of Mordheim. 

All rules in this post are extracted from the official Warhammer World events pack which can be found here: http://warhammerworld.games-workshop.com/warhammer-age-of-sigmar-gaming-events/


SKIRMISH PLAY 
The rules we will use to select our Regiments and play the games on the day are a unique blend of Matched, Open and Narrative Play. To make things easier to understand, we will refer to it as Skirmish Play. 

There are a few changes to how the game works in Skirmish Play: 

The Rule of Lordship: In Skirmish Play neither side has a General, and therefore does not have any Command Abilities, nor do Command Abilities work. These mighty skills and magical talents have great use in the field of pitched battles and mighty wars, but are less useful and overly powerful in much smaller battles. 

The Rule of Heroism: In Skirmish Play, all models are treated as individual units (ie. They move around and fight by themselves). It’s all about the unlikely heroes rather than large groups. 

The Rule of Sorcery: Wizards are rarely willing to pitch around in the mud after a battle, or be sent scouting to 
find enemy fortresses. Spells of any kind have no effect in Skirmish Play. 

The Rule of Terrain: In Skirmish Play the Mysterious Scenery rules are not in use and all games are played on a 4x4 table. 

The Rule of Carnage: In Skirmish Play, where models can end up fighting one-on-one a lot, a modifed version of Battleshock is in use. A test is taken when a model loses a Wound. When taking a Battleshock test, count the number of Wounds lost rather than models slain when making Battleshock tests. 


In order to take part in Regiment of Renown, you will need to choose a band of unlikely heroes to send out on a series of deadly and daring tasks. These warriors can be selected using the rules below and will form your Regiment. Note that while the full rules for how to select your Regiment are listed here, but you will need the General’s Handbook for a full set of points values and Faction lists. 

• Your Regiment must be chosen from a single Faction. 


• You may field individual models from the available 
Warscrolls, rather than full units (see below). 


• Your Regiment has a points limit of 100. 


• You must have a minimum of three models in your Regiment. 


• You must have a maximum of 20 models in your Regiment. 


• Only one model in your Regiment may have three or more Wounds. 


• Models may take any options that are available to them, but normal restrictions still apply – for example you would still need to have ten Savage Orruks before a Big Stabba could be taken. 


• You may not take Leaders, Artillery or Behemoth models in your Regiment. 


• You may not take unit leaders (Bosses, Sergeants, Veterans and so on). 


• No model may have better than a 4+ Armour Save. 


THE REGIMENTAL CHAMPION
Every company, no matter if they are made of murderous cut-throats or honourable knights, has a Leader. The Champion knows the plan (or pretends to) and inspires his followers on to mightier deeds. You may choose any model from your Regiment to be your Champion. 

Your Champion gains the following Ability: 

With me! 
Destined to lead, your Champion plunges into the fray. Your Champion, and all friendly models within 3”, may re-roll their charge ranges. 

BATTLEPLANS 
Skirmish Play uses Pitched Battle battleplans. 

POINTS VALUES FOR INDIVIDUAL MODELS 
In order to work out how many points an individual model is for this event, simply divide the number of models in the minimum size of the unit by it’s given points value. 

For example, a unit of 10 Skaven Clanrats is worth 60 Points. 

This means 1 Clanrat is worth 6 Points.


If there is a remainder, then simply round down. 

EXAMPLE REGIMENTS OF RENOWN 

SYLVANETH 
Spite Revenant 20
Tree Revenant 20
5 Dryads 60

STORMCAST ETERNALS
Decimator 40
Judicator 32
Liberator 20

FLESH-EATER COURTS
Crypt Horror 46
5 Crypt Ghouls 50

BONESPLITTAZ 
Savage Boarboy 24
3 Savage Orruks Morboyz 36
2 Savage Orruks 20
2 Savage Orruks Arrowboys 20

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Unit size benefits in Age of Sigmar

In Age of Sigmar you have a great mix of Warscrolls which can be almost any size you desire, in Matched Play this is somewhat limited but large thirty to sixty man units are still available for some factions. On the other end of the scale most units are three to ten models for a minimum. In this post I'm going to list the pros and cons of small and large model count units, for the sake of this exercise imagine a unit of thirty models vs three units of ten models. 


Multiple Small Units

• If you split a unit up you now have a leader per unit which in our example is three compared to one. As leaders of units always have a small buff this can amount to a noticeable effect over a whole army. 

• In the same light as leaders, small units also have access to more Banners or Icons, which in general won't make much difference to being in one large unit except in the case where they have a unique ability such as the Hellstriders of Slaanesh Enrapturing Banner. 

• When charging multiple small units you have more chances to succeed with at least one or more of your units when compared to one. This is an affect of dice variance. Essentially you have a more reliable chance of getting models in to combat however it may not be all that you want, compare to charging a single large unit which either makes the charge or does not. 

• Multiple small units really limit the maximum amount of models that can be killed by any one unit. A war machine shooting with 2d6 mortal wounds is much more effective against a unit of ten or more compared to a unit of five for example. 

• Depending on the scenario objective you may need a larger amount of capturing units. If you only have one large unit you can only capture one objective where three smaller ones can obviously capture three, if available. 

• You can be more disposable with multiple units as they aren't worth as much. Using a small unit of five as roadblocks is much better than losing a larger unit. 


Single Large Units. 

• Units gain a bonus to their Bravery for every ten models, which can be quite important for the survivability of weaker units. Remember though, this bonus is only in the Battleshock Phase so won't protect you against abilities used in other phases(Thank Bravery One for that one). 

• Most of the weaker units have a bonus the more multiples of ten they have, often a to hit, to wound or attack bonus which can make these seemingly weak units very dangerous, especially when combined with other buffs. 

• An obvious benefit or the larger unit is their resilience in numbers, more wounds need to be taken before that signs unit is wiped out which can be useful for holding enemy units in place. 

• The area of control of larger units can be useful as you can stretch out in a thin line formation to ensure contact with the enemy and then pile in around them. Multiple smaller units could easily be destroyed and moved through in one round of combat. 

In summary there are uses for many different unit sizes and likely many more than what I've suggested, you just have to figure out the role your unit is going to play in the battle and adjust its size to optimise. 

Friday, 8 July 2016

Age of Sigmar Matched Play

With the General's Handbook soon to be released I have put some points together on Matched Play an the associated army building rules.  I won't go too much in to detail about the exact rules as most people have either seen the leaks or have access to a shop copy. 

Rule additions:

• Rules of one. These essentially serve as a limiter, they restrict the army builds that can capitalise on spell spamming, hit/wound/save buffs and infinite attack loop exploit. 

• Behemoth cover. Monsters can no longer benefit from cover saves, which certainly helps against the more powerful Heroes (although most didn't fit in to cover anyway) but weakens the smaller behemoth models that don't have much protection anyway. 

• Reinforcements. As part of your deployment you may now choose to hold back an amount of points during deployment to later reinforce your army. This is by any means such as, summoning or abilities which bring on extra units. Abilities which add models to a unit do not come under this rule. 


List building:

Possibly the biggest shake up to the game so far, this drastically alters how you select your army. Having played around with this it seems to be fairly unrestricted unless you you want to stick to a certain faction and seems to generate some good armies which should be balanced for the most part. 

• Leaders. There is a minimum of one per army and a maximum depending on size. These are the main units which can change the character of your army as you now have Command Traits, Battle Traits and multiple types of Artefacts for different Heroes. Some of which can really synergise with your army. Special characters however may not take any of these abilities but may use the faction spell lore if available, which seems fitting. Another important point to note is that you may take an additional Artefact for a hero for each Battalion Warscroll in your army list, this makes the cheaper Battalions quite viable just to get an extra Artefact. 

• Battleline. You must have an amount of Battleline units in your army depending on the size of the game, certain units may be unlocked to become Battleline if your army list meets certain conditions. This will be the main choice for your army selection as it's essentially a decision between better Battleline units and unique faction abilities or wider variety of units and alliance abilities. And then another choice of taking minimum sized Battleline units to meet the criteria or instead building your army around them. 

• Behemoth/Artillery. Both have a maximum depending on the size of the battle although this is not too restrictive for the most part. 


Tournament wise this will eventually lead to mostly armies themed to one faction to get the better Battleline units and unique faction abilities. However the good thing is it doesn't limit anyone from taking a multi faction list if they desire and get their own abilities to use. 

With tournaments the list submission will dictate how these rules play out. If you have to submit a whole 2000 point list then your units which may be summoned are restricted to what is in that list. What if someone wants to have a different amount of reinforcement points each game? Do they need to submit a list for each? It may even come to a point where list submission is no longer required.

Importantly with these rules, the units you bring on as reinforcements don't have to conform to your list building restrictions, so you may summon units from outside of your faction if able to do so, such as Nurgle Rotbringers summoning Plague Drones for example. Or you may summon another Behemoth even if your original list was at its maximum. This increases the options in list building quite substantially and is a good thing in my opinion. 

One great thing for both casual and tournament Matched play is that people with a small amount of models can play someone with a larger force without having to limit the size of both armies. So if the tournament is 2000 points and you have only 1200 ready, you can still turn up and then summon your dead units back from your reinforcement points. This can be great for those who only wish to test the water with a small force or are very slow at painting! 

These are my initial thoughts on Matched Play, I'm sure I'll have a lot more in the future especially on the list building side of things. I

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Flying stands in Age Of Sigmar

As it seems to be a hot topic at the moment I thought a I'd do a quick blog post about flying stands. I'm of the opinion that it always part of the design to make certain models unreachable within the Age of Sigmar rules set, remembering that bases aren't part of the the model unless house ruled. 

Essentially any model on a flying stand can potentially be protected by the fact that a model cannot come within 1/2" to complete a charge. Or if it does end up in combat it is out of weapon range. 

The reasoning behind this is directly from the main rules (bases and charging) and also confirmed by the Terradon Rider's swooping dive rule, which otherwise is useless. 

When bases are house ruled in, this doesn't work and actually changes how effective a unit may be and whether it's worth using for its points as it may have been pointed with the fact that it's not chargeable in mind(although I doubt this would make much difference in reality). 


So considering this I have come up with a few areas where these units can be effective: 

• They can be used to attack large monsters without being bothered by smaller units within the same combat. For example, your Terradon Riders attacking a Gargant but immune to the attacks of nearby Grots. 

• They can be used to block movement of units without being able to be charged. You can place your flying unit in a way so units have to move around you as they could not come within 3" during movement unless they charged, which isn't possible. 

• Hold objectives without being charged. Fairly self explanatory, although worth double checking the wording of the scenario to make sure. 

• They can attack units on higher terrain pieces that may have no more room for troops. If for example a unit is fully occupying all levels of a Dreadstone Blight there's only a small gap for foot troops to attack, however your flying units can attack those models on the higher levels without entering the scenery itself. 

I hope this post has opened your eyes to how to use your units on flying stands more effectively in casual games. Just remember that they're still susceptible to to ranged attacks and magic so they're not invulnerable!