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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:02 am 

Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 11:49 am
Posts: 344
Shining a light on the path to the Unicorn Gate.


Age of Sigmar is a treachorous mountain path of rules. Not hard to understand, just hard to find. So I will try and illuminate the path for my fellow commanders, I might not be 100% right, this is the game as far as I have come in it.

Army building

Ok here I need to explain a few things.

Each army has an allegiance, this is the keyword it functions under.

There are four alliances in the game, death chaos order destruction, these also have the same base allegiance within all the factions.

Within an alliance there are different factions. These have their own allegiance keyword on top of the base alliance keyword.

Example, the chaos alliance have the subfactions beasts of chaos and slaves of darkness who have their own keywords. And in the Order alliance you have dispossessed and order draconis.

Having the same keyword in an army gives you access to certain Allegiance Abilities (like commander trait, artefact of power and such).

Each of the Alliances have one set of these.

SOME of the alliance subfactions have their own. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Taking a breather on a rock overlooking a stream cascading down a gorge.

So when building a high elf army there is something you need to know.

No high elf faction has its own allegiance ability, they are ALL just of the allegiance Order.

This means you can pick and chose any other order unit for your army.

You are free to mix any of the high elf factions when building your army you do not need to use the ally system to add any unit from the Order alliance.

With one caveat, some units are only battleline if you chose that factions allegiance keyword, the drawback is that you now can only ally units from other factions, and you still only get the allegiance abilities from Order.

Also important to note, if you pick a faction as allegiance keyword you become limited in what you may ally with, for example none of the high elf subfactions can ally units from the high elves compendium.

Picking up the backpack and moving on.

Now we come to the meat and bone of age of sigmar.

As with the current version of 40k, age of sigmar is all about the buffs.

First we start units inherent buffs.

Units are basically all the same until you start using their buffs.

Most units that have lots of cheap models have bonuses when you increase the size of the unit.

Looking at high elves, we have spearmen, if they are more than 20 they get 1 extra attack per model.
As they only have 1 attack to begin with this is a gigantic boost as it doubles the amount of attacks the unit has.

Ofcourse building a 20 man unit isn't very smart as one stray arrow removes that buff.
So you need more models so that you dont lose that buff in the first volley of fire.

Go through these buffs, and also learn what each units musician and standardbearer do.

Stopping at a staircase hewn from the mountain with old broken statues guarding its first step.

Leader buffs.

Your leaders are important as hell, these are your melee monsters and buffers. Learn what each do by heart.

There are three kinds of buffs in the game.
Command abilities

Passive buffs often come in the form of auras, as we are playing an army of order allegiance we might want to look at the Command trait that gives you leader a fearless bubble, unless you play phoenix guard as they are already more or less immune to battleshock. These often only affect units with specific keywords.

Command abilities. Leaders often have a command ability, this can be activated by spending command points, though you only get 1 command point each turn so you have to chose these with care.
The high elf seawarden has one of the strongest buffs i've encountered. Giving a unit reroll hit, reroll wound and reroll saves. These often only affect units with specific keywords.

Magic, spellcasters are a bit special if you use the base rules of the game. They have two base spells, 1d3 mortal wounds missile spell, or give 1 unit reroll 1's on their save.
Not exactly fantastic, these both have the same targets, mortal wounds are good against heavily armoured units, and reroll 1's are good on heavily armoured units, (also note that elven shields already give reroll 1's so it is pointless on spearmen and silverhelms)

But each caster has one more spell than these two at their disposal.

And as an example the archmage from eldritch council has an 18" aura spell that gives 6+ save against wounds and mortal wounds, basically a feel no pain.

It is not very useful in small games, but the bigger a game gets, the more units you have in that aura the more valuable it becomes.

Remember to also look at the collegiate arcane (human wizards), and the sisters of the thorn from the wanderers. There are useful spells out there. You just need to find them.

Reaching the top of the stairs we now have a view of the unicorn gate.

So where do you find the rules you need?

Core rulebook, in the latest edition they moved the Allegiance abilities for the base Alliances to the core rulebook. So you now need it.

Azyr app, yeah i don't like it, but in order to get the latest updated version of all the warscrolls you need this app or battlescribe. There are warscrolls on gws homepage, but they are both incomplete and not updated. With one exception.

The generals handbook, yes to make things even more complicated the points and limits of a unit are not listed in their warscroll, instead you have to go here.

The high elf compendium. Rejoice a small boon to us old timers, here is a compendium with the basic highelf units warscrolls and at the end, their point costs and limits, and it gets regular updates, get it, use it, love it.

Now for the rest of the treck down to the gate, we have things i have not personally used yet, like magic from the malign sorcery book, the battle zones of age of sigmar that give you new artefacts and spells. Also the campaign books contain alot of things I havnt touched yet, these things may appear in a future update along with battalions.

Last edited by Botjer on Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:43 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:23 pm 
Green Istari

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:26 am
Posts: 12953
Location: Otherworld
Thanks for this Botjer. I now feel like I have some clue about what goes on.

A New Blog (Orcs and Goblins)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:11 am 
Auctor Aeternitatum
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:07 pm
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Location: The city of Spires
indeed. Thank you Botjer. It's a nice overview and an entertaining read as well. I find it interesting to see that where AoS initially started out with all rules available online for free and up to date it has now changed back to "you need to buy two or more books to really be able to play the game".

I don't mind so much. I actually like the books. It's a better way for me to drag the rules around then having loose papers all over the place. And I like looking at pictures ;)


For Nagarythe: Come to the dark side.
PS: Bring cookies!

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Painting progress, done/in progress/in box: 167/33/91

Check my writing blog for stories on the Prince of Spires and other pieces of fiction.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:27 pm 

Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 11:49 am
Posts: 344
thanks ^^

I had to add this

"With one caveat, some units are only battleline if you chose that factions allegiance keyword, the drawback is that you now can only ally units from other factions, and you still only get the allegiance abilities from Order."

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:48 pm 

Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 11:49 am
Posts: 344
Ok lets add a little detail here.

Spearmen/archers and buffs.

10 high elf spearmen = 10 attacks, 4+, 4+, no rend, 1 damage.

20 high elf spearmen = 20 attacks + 20 attacks*, 4+, 4+, no rend, 1 damage.
*from units special rule for being 20 or more

40 high elf spearmen = 40 attacks + 40 attacks*, 4+, 4+, no rend, 1 damage.
*from units special rule for being 20 or more

Add a seawarden with penant. +1 to wound, aura.

Use seawardens command ability to rerol to hit, to wound and own armorsaves on 1 unit.

Also, not moving gives +1 to hit.

So with all this.

80 attacks, 3+ rerollabel, 3+ rerollable, no rend, 1 damage.

This is also highly usable on archers and repeater bolt thrower.

Your main problem is your lack in antiarmor damage.

Silverhelms are bad for their points, but they are universal Battleline, so in lower points they are a nice way of getting a useful battle line unit.

How to use?

Silverhelms are somewhat tanky compared to your other units, and fast. Use them like the chaff of old, hinder, block and harass the enemy.

Great Eagles

These guys look awesome on paper but are alot harder to use than you think.
Maybe the fastest unit in the game with a 16" move and the ability to move 3d6" at the end of every combat phase if not in close combat.
They are weak on the attack and even weaker in defence.

How to use?
These are harassers.

Deepstriking/infiltrating units have to be 9" from any enemy unit, put the eagles on your flanks to force the enemy to deepstrike farther away.

Use speed to take objectives behind enemy lines.

Attacking big artillery pieces. Eagles will not kill them, hell, two eagles have trouble killing a skaven weapon team.

However, if you can force a cannon or other big piece to shoot at an eagle for one turn, you might be able to save a more important unit of your army for a turn.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:39 am 

Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 11:49 am
Posts: 344
The Seawarden
It's the only character we got in the compendium.
It's 100 points. And that is 100 points of buffs, because he cant fight, even if you "equip" him to, and he dies if the enemy so much as glances in his general direction.

Here comes a small critique of age of sigmar.
There is a bunch of rules that confer the effect of negating battleshock. In a system where battleshock should not be negated.
The basic command ability inpsiring presence is one such.
Order has a command trait that also confers the rule to all units within a small aura 8" or so, look it up in the main rulebook.
What this does is basically negating an opponents manouvering to route parts of your army.

And I dont like it, units should flee.

But, now that it is there, and because it is immeasurably more useful than the other options... lets use it.

In my small friendly tournament army of 1000 points i had.

1 Seawarden
40 spearmen
20 archers(30 is alot better, but it was friendly, remember)
2 eagles
5 silverhelms

As I said before, the seawarden cant take a beating so putting all my eggs in that one character is a really bad choice.
If I could I would rather recommend having a tankier character as commander and using the seawarden along side him.
Say a Pheonix temple annointed on foot. Give him the fearless bubble.

Also, equipment wise you can give the seawarden the pennant, +1 to wound aura, it is really reall really good.

I suggest using the Seawarden as a Battle Standard Bearer of old, he's not your main character, he is there to buff your army.
The shield and sword makes him tougher, but you lose that +1 to wound aura.
The halberd... he is still as weak as if he had the pennant, but your 80 spearmen attacks 20/40 archer attacks and RBTs dont get +1 to wound... To me this is a nobrainer.

Now we come to what makes him good, remember i said he is 100 points of buff.
The command ability he has is, so good it makes me want to cry.

1 unit within range gets reroll to hit, reroll to wound and reroll armor saves...
as long as it doesnt move, i take this that if you charge in your own phase you dont get the buff, but if the following turn is your opponents then you get the buff.

Most obvious choice, archers, use 30 archers, use their arrow storm ability and you will average AVERAGE 50 wounds for that turn.
If you have a good plan use it on spearmen, abit harder, but with 80 attacks they can wipe stuff off the table.

Silverhelms are a bit too mobile to use it on.
great eagles... not worth it.
RBT, in case of emergency or if you want to snipe something far away.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:47 am 

Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 11:49 am
Posts: 344

Ok, lets get into actual tactics.
Setup your spearmen in front, archers in the back with RBT and Seawarden.
Protect flanks with eagles and silverhelms.

Be ready to sacrifice units, you will loose alot of minis, and you will deal alot of damage.

Biggest lack in your army is Rend, heavily armoured units will be a problem.

Everything ranged is a problem for your Seawarden, try to kill anything with ranged attacks first.

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