Tuesday, June 22, 2021

A new Age

 Hi gang,

Monkeyland has been quiet of late.  After a hiatus while the Cub was away (our region was in lockdown, so we kept him at his mom's), life has resumed with some degree of normality.  While I've been picking away at a number of projects, impetus to get up posts has been low.  On the plus side, that means I have a backlog of stuff I can photograph and get up.  Add in that GW, in their infinite wisdom, are launching the 3rd edition of Age of Sigmar, and I actually have some enthusiasm to natter about hobby stuff.

The two side face off.  Goats vs. Ogors, what could go wrong?

My initial impressions are that the game has added a bunch of elements that, while they have the potential to slow down play a bit, also make the game as a whole resolve faster.  It took my about two hours to play two turns, including set up and break-down of the table; given I've not played in around a year, and there are LOTS of changes to the rules (so I was constantly looking up both general and army rules), the game moved slowly.  However, by the end of turn two, the game had also more or less resolved, with the Ogors clearly in a winning position.

Still need to finish painting the Ironblaster, but getting awfully close to 1000 points of painted meat.

Some notable changes involve command points.  You now get more of them, to the point where, especially at the start of the game, I had 4-5 on my turn.  That said, there's a lot more you can do with them, now, and I always ended up wanting more.  I think the judicious application of CP is going to be critical in the new edition, even more than before.

Never enough goats.

Part of what moves the game along are the changes to points, unit sizes, and playing space.  Units generally got more expensive, while there are now more restrictions on unit size (you can have a small number of "big" units, but they're limited), and the table size is smaller.  I played on a 4x4 at 1000 points, which is about what the recommended size would be.  With two fast moving armies, I had contact turn one, and my sense is that this wouldn't be unusual.

More goats.  Still not enough.

The change to coherency is subtle, but will have ripple effects through the game.  Models in a unit need to stay within an inch of two other models - which means practically speaking you're looking at loosely ranked formations now, rather than long lines.  This also limits the frontage units have, hence the number of attacks they're throwing at the opponent, which means less dice, less time, etc.

Ogor gluttons.  AKA, the meat wall.

This also impacts the relative utility of troops.  Anything with a reach weapon, that can fight in multiple ranks, has a massive advantage.  Units that concentrated lots of attacks into small bases are also solid (looking at FEC ghouls here, thank you very much).  Ranged troops, especially ones with a GOOD ranged attack, will be dominating, I think - because the whole unit can "see" and shoot, you'll get maximized effect from that shooting.

Turn two.  Goats have ambushed, and are putting pressure on the objectives.

In terms of my relative experience of the two armies, my sense is that they were what they were before, but more so, if that makes sense.  Beasts of Chaos (or at least, the kind of goat + monster sort of list I tend to run) are still crazy fast (core units can easily move 16", charge up to 13", and then pile in 4"), but lack any kind of staying power (mediocre to poor saves, mostly single wound, low bravery), and are poor to mediocre in combat.  Some of the tweaks to command abilities help here (+1 to hit, re-rolling charges, etc.), but the opposition has then as well.  Beasts must choose the terms of engagement, must kill what they attack, and can't really afford either mistakes or bad luck.  Their summoning remains strong, but if games resolve in fewer turns, which I suspect will be the case, the advantage that brings is diminished - and summoning multiple units over a game was their main avenue for attrition play.  I definitely made mistakes in this game (as I'm super-rusty), but Goats remain what they've been for a while - hard mode AoS.

Some units definitely benefitted from the changes.  The ability to give monsters +1 to hit makes the Ghorgon way more reliable.

Ogors are also what they've always been.  Elite heavy infantry, with solid core warscrolls.  A unit of 12 gluttons (rendered immune to battleshock) stood off chump attacks from a large, buffed Gor unit, a Ghorgon, and a Beastlord, and were still swinging and dishing out damage 3-4 rounds of combat later.  Ogor Tyrants kill things.  Ironguts murder everything.  They're fast when they need to be, super hitty, and reliable.  They're also going to run fewer units and heroes than most armies, will need to put their limited number of units in the right spot, and once committed, will struggle to redeploy.  If I'd played my Beasts smarter, I could have picked off the smaller ogor units before they'd gotten in their hits, and been in a position to dominate the table.  Ah, well.

Herdstone.  Where you kill your own things, for a change of pace.

I think the learning curve in the new edition is shallow, but long.  The basic changes will be pretty simple to internalize within a few games, but the tactical implications of those changes will take much longer to figure out - and will vary considerably between armies.  Part of me is tempted to commit to the Beasts, as I think they'll take the most learning, and their basic mobility will be powerful in an objective-based game, but there's something to be said for taking a simpler army initially to learn the system a bit.

Ironguts, about to give some Ungors a really bad time.

I want to try out another test game with my FEC vs. Khorne.  Priests work a little differently this edition, and there's some new monster abilities that I didn't get to explore with this game (only applied in one turn, and I forgot ;) ).  It'll also be interesting to see how a magic-heavy vs. anti-magic force works.

Ungors, having just a terrible day.  

Next post, I'll likely get up shots of some 6mm napoleonics, and then we'll see what comes.  Summer is close upon us, so hopefully I'll be getting in some outside games of various kinds, along with some games with the Cub (who'll be with us for the summer in about a week).

Leadbelchers on an objective, having smugly seen off a pack of chaos hounds.


  1. Great looking figures and gaming!

  2. The pics look pretty but I must confess that I am unfamiliar with the game. It was hard for me to tell if you liked the changes in the new edition? 😃

    1. Still making up my mind, I think. I need to get used to them before I can really form an opinion.

  3. Great looking pair of armies! Do ugors ever have a good day?
    Best Iain

    1. Not really - but I occasionally have a good day with ungors ;)

  4. Well it LOOKS like an amazing game you played!

    So excited to try it out myself. Despite downloading and printing off and reading the pre-release pdf of the core rules weeks ago, I STILL haven't actually tried it out. I was planning to play this last weekend, but my friend I was setting the game up for ended up having to bail. Hopefully this week!

  5. I'd recommend it - even solo play. There's enough shift it's handy just to get the rhythm of the new edition.