Monday, January 23, 2017

Age of Sigmar: First Matched Play

Am I behind the times or what? Saturday I drove over to the Warhammer store in Ann Arbor and got a 1k point pick up game, my first game since the Generals' Handbook was released and my second overall.  My opponent played Aelves and I had Gutbuster Ogres. I don't know all the Aelf units all that well, but it was a bolt thrower (long range, lots of damage 1 shots with -1 rend) with a Loremaster nearby to cast buffus extremis on it, a unit of archers, a unit of Phoenix Guard with an Anointed hero nearby, a unit of 5 cav (Silver Helms? Dragon Princes? I dunno), some spearmen or halberdiers or something and a general Lord Elfy on horsey. I had a tyrant, a butcher, 6 ironguts, 3 ogors and 3 ogors.

I got tabled at the end of turn 3, but he had very little left by then. The bolt thrower, 4 archers, 2 or 3 Phoenix guard and the loremaster. I probably could have won if I had played a few things differently, but it was definitely a learning game. Here are a few observations:
  1. Two saves are better than one - Anything that gets an armor save and then another save (even a 5+ save) has a lot more staying power than a single save model. Those Phoenix Guard with their 4+/4+ save were crazy resilient.
  2. Things to lower bravery aren't always useful - The Anointed in his army making the Phoenix guard immune to battleshock made it so that even when I kill a handful of them they weren't going to run away.
  3. Rerolls are king - the bolt thrower re-rolling hit and wound rolls was amazingly effective. Having to make 5 or 6 armor saves on anything is going to hurt. On normal ogors with 5+ saves rended to 6+, it's brutal.
  4. Kill the big guys when you have the chance - I opted to let him attack my tyrant with his cav general, thinking there is no way he could kill an 8 wound warlord with a 3+ save. He wasn't, but he did 6 wounds to me. Ouch. Battle brew did another and archers finished me off.
My opponent Thomas was a nice guy, and didn't have a tremendous amount of AoS experience either. We worked through the rules, looking things up when needed. It was nice to have such a limited number of pages that contained rules. No more "I know I read that somewhere...." syndrome. Our biggest problem was forgetting to use our skills/powers/artifacts.

I had a little internal laugh because Thomas was clearly a paint snob, making a point of how he only fielded painted models and was an excruciatingly slow painter. Don't get me wrong, he was a really, really nice guy and I would play against him again in a heartbeat. I just find paint-snobbery a little exasperating in a game that encourages constant buying of little plastic dudes. To each his own. I really like the look of two painted armies on the table too. I heard someone chat on Warhammer TV that their local club rule is that painted models have "preferred enemy: unpainted model" which cracks me up.