Thursday, 9 July 2015

Age of Sigmar: Week One Observations.

Age of Sigmar has divided the community. With that statement I will probably be in contention for the stating the obvious award 2015. But, I think it is a good step forward for a stagnant Fantasy gaming system, put it this way, I have played 5 games of Age of Sigmar, I doubt I have ever played 5 games of Fantasy. With that, I feel I have discovered a few hidden depths of the game either by myself or by proxy that I am going to go through now.

  1. Take a Wizard. Only Wizards can dispel wizards, so you really need to have one, and with their basic spells either buffing your save roll or doing up to D3 mortal (unsavable) wounds they can be really useful in sniping targets or saving your own.
  2. Pay attention to scenery. Scenery is going to play a BIG part in the Age of Sigmar, and most people are skipping and ignoring the terrain feature table whilst playing. Look now at that table, see how it can help with how you play. Also, there is a Battlescroll compendium for scenery, read it. I've told you to take a Wizard, so look at Baleful Vortex. You can summon it, be immune to combat and double your casting range, how is that not useful? The two new scenery pieces that you will see on the demo table in your local GW will also come with rules that can help you in battle, sneak a peak if the box is there and get an idea of what is to come. Also, they haven't even let us know what the different realms will do, especially when you have to pick one before you fight.
  3. Unit Sizes. This one is open to personal interpretation, but here is how I see it. Most Battlescrolls give you a buff for taking units at a certain size. Corsairs get +1 to hit in combat if you have 20 or more models, but nothing after that. So you are getting the same benefit if you take 20 or 100 models. Also, you only have a fighting range of 1" (in the case of corsairs) so it will only usually be the front row of models that will fight, so any above that will just be dead weight. The other thing to note is you will lose the bonus if you drop below the stated number, so you need a buffer to allow you to get into combat and use it. With this in mind, I would say the ideal maximum model count for Corsairs is 25-30 and no more, three units of 30 are going to do more than one blob of 90. Have a look at the rules and just see what the best you can do with them is rather than thinking "more is better".
  4. Don't spread out too much. You know how you used to be able to set up charges in 8th to allow flank charges and the like? Well, it's still here. In the combat phase, any unit that has charged, or has units within 3"of an enemy unit can attack. So you have your tasty Corsairs luring in the enemy, they get charged, then when it's your turn to attack, you don't attack with your Corsairs, you instead pile in that Hydra that was lurking nearby and wreck that unit. The rules of war have changed, so make sure that you play to these rules.
  5. Battleshock is important. If you have a hero that can use an ability that will affect Battleshock, they are top tier. If you have one that will allow you to ignore the Battleshock phase, then you should be taking him at all costs. One bad dice roll can really ruin your game as any models lost will be taking this test, so ignoring it is a huge benefit and can keep you in the game.
  6. Cavalary and Shooting. These are the two best things in the game so far, if you can shoot far, you can whittle down your enemy before your combat troops hit them and the cavalry hit hard and hit fast. If you want to add to your existing army, look at cavalry and shooting.
As I play more, I am sure there will be more things that jump to my mind, and I will hope to share them with you as I feel this game is a lot more deep and tactical than a 4 page rulebook would suggest.

Just remember, all the rules are free and if you have an army, it will cost nothing to try it out, so at least give it a go before passing judgement.

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