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Author Topic: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?  (Read 2131 times)

Offline Kernschatten

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AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« on: July 04, 2015, 08:02:19 PM »
Some random thoughts, observations, and questions:

I've read through the rules, the Warscrolls, and the GW site. I don't see anything that limits what you can field in this game. In theory, you should be able to field Marauders alongside Silver Helms. (Yes/no?)

The GW site lists four Grand Alliances: Chaos, Death, Destruction, and Order. These correspond to the first keyword on each unit warscroll. I get the impression that GW intends for you to field your units based on these "alignments". So no Marauder/Silver Helm combo.
Did GW leave some rules out? Or is there more to come?

All Bret and Empire units share the same three keywords: Order, Human, Free People. The rumors suggested that GW was going to lump Brets and Empire together into something called Red Slayers (which we have not seen yet). But, it looks like you should be able to field a combined Bret/Empire "Army".

The Fay Enchantress has a special rule that allows you to pick one unit of Free People and add 1 to all hit rolls. So, if I'm using combined units, the Fay Enchantress could use this special ability on my Free Company. Kurt Helborg has a special rule for re-rolling charge distance for Free People units. So this would apply to a unit of Knights of the Realm.

There are other special rules that apply only to keywords such as Peasantry or State Regiment. Is there more subtlety in the keywords than what you see at first glance?

It gets really strange with the Lizardmen list. Looking at the list of Races that GW shows on the website, some of the Lizardmen units apply under three races: Daemon, Celestial, Seraphon.




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Offline knightofthelance

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2015, 08:19:00 PM »
It makes you think there is more to come, but if that's the case they weren't real honest about getting the rules for free. It would also be a rather strange move, because if there is more tons of people are going to be turned off by what we've got before they even see it.

Offline Darknight

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 08:25:59 PM »
Based on my chat with a GW manager today; this is basically "unbound" (but there is synergy between similar-keyword units, as described on the warscrolls) and the idea is (and I quote) "players talk and communicate before the game".

Also, when I mentioned "the tourney players aren't too pleased" he said "do you know how little GW cares about the tournament scene?" and I just laughed.

Nice guy. Reminds me of the guys I used to know working for the company back in the day. Spent a pleasant half-hour in his store.
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Offline knightofthelance

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2015, 08:35:12 PM »
Thing is I'm not a tourney player, not since the late 90s anyway. And I think the competitive scene was one of the worst things to happen to warhammer. And I still think this game is rubbish. So saying it's the tourney players that have the problem isn't really all that accurate.

Quote
but there is synergy between similar-keyword units, as described on the warscrolls

Right, but there are so many of the keywords that aren't used anywhere but the keyword line that about half of them are redundant. I've not seen one that references "Order" units for example. Maybe that's planned for the future, but they've had a whole lot of chances already and didn't do it once.

Offline Padre

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2015, 08:46:36 PM »
I love Warhammer. I hate tourney style play. I hate all that I've seen of AoS. I don't think any of those statements are mutually exclusive.
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Offline Kernschatten

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2015, 09:33:42 PM »
Quote
but there is synergy between similar-keyword units, as described on the warscrolls

Like in M:tG?
GW has not really given me enough to put an "army" together.


Quote
Right, but there are so many of the keywords that aren't used anywhere but the keyword line that about half of them are redundant. I've not seen one that references "Order" units for example. Maybe that's planned for the future, but they've had a whole lot of chances already and didn't do it once.

That bothers me too. I'm willing to give AoS a chance, but I don't know what I'm doing.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2015, 09:45:46 PM by Kernschatten »
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Offline Commander Bernhardt

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2015, 09:42:04 PM »
Thing is I'm not a tourney player, not since the late 90s anyway. And I think the competitive scene was one of the worst things to happen to warhammer. And I still think this game is rubbish. So saying it's the tourney players that have the problem isn't really all that accurate.

Quote
but there is synergy between similar-keyword units, as described on the warscrolls

Right, but there are so many of the keywords that aren't used anywhere but the keyword line that about half of them are redundant. I've not seen one that references "Order" units for example. Maybe that's planned for the future, but they've had a whole lot of chances already and didn't do it once.

maybe they are just trying to plan ahead. When they bring out a new unit and give it certain abilities (like a bonus for all 'order' units they want to have all units that share certain traits to have that keyword even though for the moment it is still irrelevant. Maybe they learned that much from constantly making new editions and new rulebooks.


I love Warhammer. I hate tourney style play. I hate all that I've seen of AoS. I don't think any of those statements are mutually exclusive.

I love warhammer, I hate toerney style play. I am intrigued by AoS, I like the new models, I don't think the new models are 'empire' or 'Warhammer', I will keep playing 8th edition and I will play (at least a few games of) AoS. None of these are mutually exclusive.


Based on my chat with a GW manager today; this is basically "unbound" (but there is synergy between similar-keyword units, as described on the warscrolls) and the idea is (and I quote) "players talk and communicate before the game".

Also, when I mentioned "the tourney players aren't too pleased" he said "do you know how little GW cares about the tournament scene?" and I just laughed.

Nice guy. Reminds me of the guys I used to know working for the company back in the day. Spent a pleasant half-hour in his store.


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Offline ZeroTwentythree

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2015, 11:05:49 PM »
GW has not really given me enough to put an "army" together.

Sure they have,  just put whatever you want on the table. It literally couldn't be simpler.  :wink:

Offline Darknight

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2015, 01:23:30 AM »
No, you talk with your opponent and agree on what you think will be fun. It's not a game to be played with a "I win with everything!" attitude. It really isn't.

I get that a lot of people don't LIKE that - but there is a lot of "why is this such a terrible cat? Don't tell me it's a dog!"
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Offline ZeroTwentythree

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2015, 01:25:54 AM »
I'm sorry, but where does it say any of that in the rules?

Offline Darknight

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2015, 01:35:51 AM »
It doesn't - but it is presumed in the fact you are playing with a human being, I would have thought? And isn't that the impression other people get from the rules? Or is it just me that sees this as something utterly different from Warhammer and isn't trying to make it conform?

Heck, I never saw Warhammer in that way, I guess. Maybe I am the aberration - in that I was never all about the winning. Remember the whole "block that isn't a block" thing? When you got blocked by a unit you couldn't charge? You were blocked by something that you couldn't interact with. My reaction to that was "Okay, I just wouldn't play - because someone is playing a completely different game to me."

I think that point - talking to your opponent to find out WHY you are playing and WHAT sort of game you are playing - is essential in any game. That isn't written in the AoS rules because it is just common sense when dealing with stuff with human beings.

You have to talk with your opponent for WHFB - "2000pts pitched battle? Randomly generate terrain? I've got Empire - you want to see my list?" etc. - so why are we presuming AoS is going to be different?

If you turned up and said "Right, I am fielding every single one of my models in my army - roughly 1000 figures" I'd probably say "No, sorry - don't wanna play that - because it is CLEARLY ridiculous." Seriously, it is; just what would be proven? That the game can be made silly by abusing the system? That you can win with hundreds more figures that someone else?

A lot of these "I'll just field everything!" exclamations strike me as people pissed off at GW and wanting to reduce the game to absurdity by deliberately playing in a manner that, while technically speaking not forbidden, is clearly annoying to the opponent. It's as if people are so eager to see AoS fail they would deliberately play it abusively and unpleasantly. It's dog in the manger syndrome.

There are plenty of things one can do in Warhammer - in terms of army selection, deployment - which are annoying, unsportsmanlike, and spoil the game. People don't do them - because they respect the game of Warhammer. But it seems that, because people don't much like AoS (or, more likely, are bitter about GW axing Fantasy), AoS is fair game.
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Offline Siberius

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2015, 01:41:14 AM »
From what I've read there is a little balance provided by the sudden death rule in terms of playing against a vastly outnumbering opponent but I am yet to play so I don't know how well it works out.

I do agree somewhat with Darknight though, even WH as it was required a bit of organisation to play a decent game. And this isn't regular warhammer anyways. I see this game as a chance to play simple games, and even encourages more narrative games which is kinda cool on some level.
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Offline knightofthelance

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2015, 01:49:43 AM »
Quote
nd even encourages more narrative games which is kinda cool on some level.

I can't agree with that at all. Warhammer was always best played as a narrative game. GW forgot to effectively encourage that, and the competitive types started to dominate discussions about the game, but it was alway been a narrative game at heart. Loosing that helped contribute to the overall decline of the game I think.

Offline ZeroTwentythree

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2015, 01:54:18 AM »
It doesn't - but it is presumed in the fact you are playing with a human being, I would have thought? And isn't that the impression other people get from the rules?

No. Because it's not in the rules. In fact, the rules specifically say something different. Just like they say that you have to have a mustache or pretend to ride and talk to an imaginary horse in order to claim specific in-game bonuses. And prior to reading what you wrote above, I had just finished reading...



Okay, here we go..

Is it, or is it not, a rule in the game? If you want the benefit, you have to do certain things. Now, that is a generally presumed thing - you want to get 10 attacks, you need to have 5 models on the table with 2 attacks each. That is a rule, just as much as "pretend to ride an imaginary horse to get a reroll".

Remember Blood Bowl? And you had to move your turn marker and if you didn't the other player could say "Illegal Procedure!" and you lost a re-roll? And how that was one of the rules so many people just disregarded "because it was annoying" or whatever.

I think, to be honest, I *would* be the guy who says "C'mon - you can't just say 'I get the re-roll' without doing what it says. That is part of the rules". And CERTAINLY if someone was calling me a douche for doing it, or threatening to hit people, and just generally being dour, I would "insist" on it.

If someone was just "absolutely not" then I'd probably just say "Okay - I guess we came here to play completely different games. I came to play the game as written, with agreements between us over and above that".

I'd play the game to have fun - and while talking to an imaginary horse isn't the ONLY way to have fun, nor does one need to talk to the horse to have fun, someone refusing to do it when that is the game ISN'T fun.

That's the game. You don't like? Don't play it. Play 8th ed. Play Kings of War. Play whatever you want. But, yeah - I would presume there needs to be some good-faith effort to play the game as written.


...and the two are pretty much at odds with each other.

You expect people to perform juvenile roleplaying acts in order to play the game, because that's what's written, but then you also expect them to come to some outside agreement about what they can put on the table because you don't like the way the rules are written?

 :engel:


Offline Darknight

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2015, 01:58:45 AM »
I don't see anything in the rules that say "Take everything you have". Rather, I see rules that say "You may have as many models in your army as you wish". Following from that, they talk about how long it might take to play a game where both sides have the same specific number of models.

If the rules said "You must field all your models" then we'd have a different discussion, but they don't say that. They say there is no upper limit to the size of army.

To my mind, that implies one should discuss with your opponent beforehand what sort of game you want to play.
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Offline Siberius

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2015, 02:03:40 AM »
Quote
nd even encourages more narrative games which is kinda cool on some level.

I can't agree with that at all. Warhammer was always best played as a narrative game. GW forgot to effectively encourage that, and the competitive types started to dominate discussions about the game, but it was alway been a narrative game at heart. Loosing that helped contribute to the overall decline of the game I think.

That's true. It should be a narrative game and I have played it as such for a while now, just finished running a campaign and we've had a couple of fun T&T themed games. But being the one that organised both of those, whilst I enjoy the in depth nature of organising them, it can take quite a lot of time to try and make it balanced to everyone's satisfaction etc. Can be a lot of work.

I feel like AoS rules being a bit simpler makes that a bit easier and looser. And you don't feel the same need to measure balance so much. Just my initial impressions. I'll be interested to see how it actually develops though.
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Offline Deuce

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Re: AoS: Keywords, Units, and "Army" Composition?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2015, 02:26:10 AM »
From what I've read there is a little balance provided by the sudden death rule in terms of playing against a vastly outnumbering opponent but I am yet to play so I don't know how well it works out.

I do agree somewhat with Darknight though, even WH as it was required a bit of organisation to play a decent game. And this isn't regular warhammer anyways. I see this game as a chance to play simple games, and even encourages more narrative games which is kinda cool on some level.

The problem with Sudden Death is that while it purports to offer an easier alternative for victory I don't think it really does a lot for balance. Most obviously, with two of the options in Sudden Death you're reliant on your opponent to pick your target, and there's not really any point in their picking anything other than their toughest character/unit. Depending on the armies in question, Endure could easily be unbalanced in favour of the outnumbered player (an army of elite troops against a horde of goblins, for instance). Seize Ground is probably the least inherently flawed but it also runs into the problem of being rather difficult to defend against, since you only need to get a model to the right place with no consideration for how many troops your enemy has there, and with units being able to move potentially extremely quickly in any direction.

With quite a lot of the rules I feel like there's a good idea fighting to get out, but implemented poorly. Sudden Death is one of those. Really the Sudden Death conditions are budget scenarios, but without any of the other features that make scenarios really interesting or balanced. In common with much of the rest of the document it feels like a concept draft rather than a finished product.

More generally, while in any game you have to have a discussion with your player beforehand in order for the game to work, I feel like AoS requires much more cooperation between players in the pregame stage in order to be functional at all. In previous editions of Warhammer all you really had to agree on was points values and the game did the rest of the work for you, even if it could be improved by further discussion and agreement about composition, scenario, etc. AoS doesn't really do any of that, which is one of the reasons I think people are saying it's not really a game. I guess it is a game in the way that, say, poker is a game, and the bare bones and the winning hands remain consistent across each variant, but the rest of it is all down to agreement between players before the game starts. But even there there are established variants: maybe AoS will later have some published for it, but at the moment it really doesn't look like a finished product.

I'm inclined to agree that "narrative gaming" is preferable to "competitive gaming" (though nobody likes to lose and I respect that) and Warhammer was always a better fit with the former than the latter. But I feel that by making balanced competitive gaming virtually impossible by RAW, AoS has thrown the baby out with the bathwater - especially since they've also destroyed the background that previously made narrative gaming worthwhile and replaced it with a barebones setting in which nobody has any investment. Sure, people can build their own backgrounds, but if players are going to be expected to a large extent to build both rules and settings themselves, why should they pay to play your game rather than someone else's?