Interesting AoS Post

Interesting AoS Post

Postby Menelker » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:54 am

Found it on the Muse on Minis forums. Mirrors a lot of what we have said, but a little more eloquent and in depth.
http://museonminis.com/forums/index.php?topic=5106.60

Quote
Not just points - What's wrong with AoS

There are a lot of posts here describing the issue with a lack of points, and while I agree that this is a huge problem it's detracting from what is the meat of the issues with AoS. AoS as a game is an absolute trainwreck with four pages of ambiguous rules, warscrolls littered with headaches, and a narrative sense that is too absurd to buy into.
Let me address what are the common responses to AoS detractors; Yes, I have played the game quite a few times. Yes I can speak to my opponent before the game, but not every opponent is going to have some sort of homogenized sense of fairness, nor does there exist a set of house rules that are widely accepted in pick-up games so debating each rule ambiguity is an exercise in frustration. No, I am not a GW hater, I have five WHFB armies and 15 years playing both this and 40k. Yes I have a group of regular opponents but none of them are interested in playing AoS so getting our own house rules together is pointless. It is entirely possible that people want a competitive game with being a win-at-all-costs type, many people including myself find a hotly contested game to be far preferable to a landslide victory.
Having put that out of the way let's look past the points issue and delve into the deeper issues with AoS.
1. Ambiguous Rules. Piling in is the best example here, with some people playing that models in base contact can shuffle around, others say no, some say they can shuffle if they don't lose contact with any models. Some players insist that as long as you start closer to the nearest enemy model you can move any way you want, while others mean it to be 'directly' towards. Can a long/wide model pivot during this phase to make melee range? The language GW used is inherently vague for no reason that I can see and you end up with scenarios like a Chariot pivoting and sliding sideways into a combat. Look at the debates about summoning spells; Does merely having a warscroll imply you have the spell? Does the unit have to be on the table? Since there is no army list how do you know what warscrolls you 'have'? Bad rules, poorly written.
2. Model Count. The only attempt at balance is via the Sudden Victory mechanic which is deeply, deeply flawed. One Hero on a Dragon has an advantage over two Goblins, it's an irredeemably faulty mechanic. Horde armies are constantly fighting uphill now, which ruins an aspect of the game that many, many players enjoyed.
3. Devoid of Tactical Options. The movement phase is largely pointless with the possible exception of managing ranges on missile troops. 360 degree line of sight, no charge reactions, no facing for units, little to no management of assets such as magic dice or single use magic items, no charge bonus, random turn order, the list goes on. There is a reason that so many games become giant mosh pits in the middle, and that's simply because there is nothing else worth doing. Why bother flanking or setting up charges?
4. Headscratching Rules. There is a whole category of issues with the rules that goes beyond ambiguity. Shooting into a combat? Shooting while in combat? Shooting while in a combat into a different combat? No auto fail on 1s or successes on 6s?
5. Static Target Values. Putting the to-hit/to-wound mechanic in as a set of static values for a unit makes the game boring. If the to-wound value belonged to the target model perhaps things would be a little better but the mechanic as it exists is flat out boring; just throw any unit at any other units since relative values are gone. This impacts the tactical aspect dramatically, and not for the better.
6. Internal Unit Balance. The few models that have options have options that are usually completely unbalanced and leave a clear winner or are functionally identical. Why bother having them at all since there is no reason to take a less effective option.
7. Abusable Abilities. There are several examples already of units getting ridiculously high numbers of attacks or models hitting on 1s with no auto-failure. In the old system, there were combinations that were very hard to beat, but they were always balanced by the number of points or slots that were required to field them. No such restrictions now.
8. Lack of Competitive Architecture. This is the big point, and one that the first seven points feed into. The game design as a whole fails to be a game. You may argue that this is intentional and if so, why produce it at all? There is nothing to stop one player from going all out to win and nothing allowing two players to match up in an test of skill and cunning. The game lacks a basic structure to give two fair minded opponents a chance to challenge each other while still giving one an opportunity to outwit or outplay the other. Lack of points is part of the issue, but it could be forgiven if the game itself accounted for the skill of a general in any way.
9. Lack of Rules Unification. I get the point of a simple set of core rules, and the 4 page 'rulebook' is a noble goal, but the scattering unique special rules is confusing and complicated. The best example is the 40+ shield issue, even within a single army you could have three or four different rules for units with shields on the table. As a further example, why must Ellyrean Reavers have their own special version of their fast cavalry rule, which is different than Glade Riders, which is different than Dark Riders, which is different than Outriders, etc...
10. Failure to Lower Cost of Entry. In a system where there is no specific limit on army sizes, in a pick-up game the player with the most models, or has the hard counters to your models available has a massive advantage. Add to this the new kits being priced at $10 per model and you are still not even close to competing with something like X-Wing on a cost of entry level. This was a core design choice and one that fails under even the most basic scrutiny.
There are more specific points that you can make but I think that it's pretty clear that Age of Sigmar was never really intended to be a game. Instead it's a ruse to give players an excuse to buy ThunderStormFist PunchHammerLords. If you doubt that, ask yourself if anyone would buy these new models if they were produced without any sort of rules. Age of Sigmar was the *least possible effort* that GW could make in order to sell you new models. If any thought or care was given to the core game itself we wouldn't be in this situation today. If they really wanted a space marine faction they could have created it for the existing edition.
We have a number of people and organizations trying to create point systems, rule changes or comp systems to make some sort of balanced/playable AoS but it's simply not enough. Throwing points at a terrible system is putting a bandage on a sucking chest wound. Meanwhile, people that want a competitive game are watching tournament organizers fracture off to make their own variants of 6th/7th/8th in an attempt to keep what was once a solid, if imperfect, game that they loved alive. GW has quite simply turned their back on anyone that wants a good game, and nothing good can come of it.
People that get invested into AoS should stop and think of how easily GW is abandoning the goodwill of so many long term players because in a year or two you could be next.
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Re: Interesting AoS Post

Postby Menelker » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:01 am

Menelker
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Re: Interesting AoS Post

Postby anewbre » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:33 pm

I've played fantasy for almost 20 years. I have little interest in AOS. If we want to continue playing 8th edition, that would be okay with me. If not I really have too many game systems and am looking for reasons to limit them. With Maelstrom coming out I'm think about dumping fantasy and 40K.
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