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Battleline units 
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Dark Rider
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Does anyone else feel a little put out by the fact that the only 3 concrete battleline units we have are the darkshard/spear/swords? Other than that we have to have an allegiance to take anything else (which isn't great if you were excited about the scourge privateers and fielding a corsair army). Seems a little odd to me, especially considering that armies like seraphon who largely haven't been split get to have their battleline units and then get the bonus ones for their seraphon allegiance.

I mean sure it doesn't surprise me that the newly repackaged poster reptiles for AoS would be more powerful than old, already sold most of the models they're going to sell, elves, it still kinda sucks :|

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Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:34 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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I find the whole thing confusing to be honest. I Thought the elves unified and what not.

This said, Free Peoples have done something simalar.

Still dosn't make a lick of sense.

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Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:47 pm
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Yes, it's annoying. All the WHFB 'legacy' factions have been given roughly the same number of Battleline unit choices, though. Lizardmen/Seraphon only have four even in a single-faction army.

EDIT: Here are how many Battleline choices each of the old WHFB armies gets in AoS, assuming you stick to units that were in its army book in WHFB and get no bonus Battleline choices from narrowing your selection to one of the new subfactions.

Wood Elves: 4 (you can get an extra one with the right general, but then you can't take Dryads, so still 4!)
Warriors of Chaos: 2 (4 if you take only StD units, which many WoC armies will)
Vampire Counts: 3
Tomb Kings: 3
Empire: 4
Skaven: 1 (!)
Orcs & Goblins: 4
Ogre Kingdoms: 1 (!)
Lizardmen: 4
High Elves: 3
Dwarves: 2 (3 if you include Vulkite Berzerkers)
Dark Elves: 3
Daemons of Chaos: 4
Bretonnia: 3
Beastmen: 2 (3 if you don't take anything interesting like Minotaurs or monsters)

So no other legacy faction is much better off than us, and several are worse.

EDIT2: Another annoying thing is that we cannot field Harpies at all in Matched Play games, as they stupidly have the wrong Grand Alliance keyword!

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Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:04 pm
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Dark Rider
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Quote:
I find the whole thing confusing to be honest. I Thought the elves unified and what not.


Agreed, one of my biggest problems with AoS is that I simply can't like it as much as 8th because I just don't get it. It doesn't make sense to me that the aelves are all in different factions.

Quote:
So no other legacy faction is much better off than us, and several are worse.


I suppose you're not wrong with that. I think my main point is that it's strange to see some subfactions with no battleline units unless you choose exclusively from that faction. For example (ignoring the older compendium rules for armies as they were, such as "high elves") the high aelves have no battleline units. If I want to play any of my high elf models currently in a match play game, and I don't want to resort to using legacy rules (which I don't think is completely unreasonable) then I have no choice but to take models exclusively from a high elf subfaction.

Having said all of that I can totally see the appeal in the fact that even in a points based system they still offer you a way of taking "special" as "core". Maybe my complaints are unfounded but I'm not sure. I liked the synergy that often came with elf lists and I feel like chopping them up into subfactions without any useful (yet to see anything that affects aelves specifically) unifying keyword doesn't do anything but make them a bit less fun to play.


Does anyone know how compendium units work with the grand alliances? Are ellyrian reavers part of grand alliance: order, or would taking anything from compendium remove your alliance bonuses if you're in a situation where you have to follow the rules to the letter?

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Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:45 pm
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Wrathbaby wrote:
It doesn't make sense to me that the aelves are all in different factions.

It's probably best to view the AoS Grand Alliances as the equivalent of WHFB armies, and the AoS subfactions as the equivalent of themed armies.

So, in WHFB we had DE as a unified army with units from six different cities as well as the wilderness regions of Naggaroth and the Black Ark fleets. You had Black Guard from Naggarond alongside Executioners from Har Ganeth, Shades from the Black Spine Mountains and Corsairs from the Black Arks. We also had followers of two rival religious cults (Khaine and Slaanesh/Atharti). And they could all be fielded together, usually around a core of City Guard regiments.

But lots of people played themed armies, taking only units that fit that particular theme. Corsair armies, Cult of Khaine armies and so on. Because these themed armies had to be fieldable from the same army book, they made units like Witch Elves, Corsairs and Dark Riders core.

In AoS, our 'army book' is not Dark Elves (because fluffwise there's no such category any more) but Order. An Order army can have units that used to be DE, alongside other (A)elves, humans, stormcast etc. It's all one army.

If you want a themed army, then you go for one of the subfactions.

Under the new fluff, Aelves don't usually fight as whole armies by themselves. They fight as contingents within an Order army. For example, a regiment of Phoenix Guard and an Anointed alongside a Freeguild army with artillery support from the Ironweld Arsenal. Or a coven of Sorceresses and their loyal Black Guard bodyguards to provide magical support to a Stormcast strike force. And an Order army gets no less than 24 different Battleline units to choose from if you don't want to take Bleakswords/Dreadspears/Darkshards.

If you want to take all DE units but don't want to have to stick to a single subfaction, then you can take 3 units of 10 Darkshards each for only 300 points, and that's all the Battleline you need in 2000 points (Dreadspears are cheaper, but 10 shooters is way more useful than 10 basic spearmen). So that's like only having to spend 15% of your army's total points on Core, which is a heck of a lot more flexible than WHFB ever was! Yeah, it sucks that you can't field a Black Ark landing party with an Assassin lurking amongst them, or a Cult of Khaine army that includes Executioners any more, without having to also take those Darkshards. But, thinking back, whenever I fielded either of those in WHFB, I always included some Darkshards (Repeater Crossbowmen as they were called then) in the army anyway.

The way I see it, going single-subfaction is only worth doing in 1000 point games, where having to spend 200 points on Darkshards would otherwise screw up the army's theme. For 2000 and 2500 point games, having to take 30-40 Darkshards isn't a big price to pay for being able to field only DE models. But fluffwise an Order army of that size would be expected to consist of more than just Aelves anyway.

There's also nothing stopping you from taking other subfactions' Battleline units but making them fit your DE theme. Freeguild Guard could be human slave-warriors. Wood Elf Glade Riders could be mounted Shades who prefer bows to rxbs. Stormcast Liberators could be golems crafted by a coven of Sorceresses. Dryads could be... well, evil Dryads - paint them like twisted Bristlecone Pines and they'd fit in a Naggarothi DE army no problem.

Quote:
Does anyone know how compendium units work with the grand alliances? Are ellyrian reavers part of grand alliance: order, or would taking anything from compendium remove your alliance bonuses if you're in a situation where you have to follow the rules to the letter?

All the Compendium units have the correct Grand Alliance keyword except for Harpies. Ellyrian Reavers are every bit as much an official Order unit as Phoenix Guard.

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Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:10 am
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Dark Rider
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So I spent roughly 4 hours last night catching up on AoS lore and rules and I agree with everything you say :|

Compendium units belonging to their appropriate factions is nice, would've had to house rule it otherwise.

Your point about being able to take battleline units from the entire order book isn't something I'd considered and now I am wholly appeased. 4 units of ellyrian reavers pls.


EDIT:

On the subject of subfactions at <1000 points:

40 Corsairs, Black Ark Fleetmaster, Kharibdyss, 2 Scourgerunners, associated battalion upgrade that I can't remember the name of, Lokhir Fellheart = 1000 exactly. Looks like I have my summer planned.

EDIT 2:

Lokhir Fellheart isn't a scourge privateer :killed: :(

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Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:58 pm
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I was talking about this a as well. While Order as a whole have a lot of battle line units, if you want to create a massive theme army your are pretty limited in what you can take for that theme.

I don't really mind if all the Aevles are supposed to be in one group. I think that it could be cool to create some interesting fluff there, but I'm a little put off that it seems for the price the DE battleline units are a bit overwhelming. When compared to other order batleing like saurs warriors or liberators, outside of keeping to a DE theme, why would I want to bring Bleakswords or Dreadspears.

I hope the Aevlf battletome is coming soon so that we can have greater detail on the direction our armies are supposed to be going.

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Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:17 am
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While my interest is largely theoretical at the moment, I’m interested in seeing where they go with it a well. There’s basically two broad approaches they could go (which are not necessarily mutually exclusive):

The first is to recombine the minifactions together into reasonably expansive umbrella factions. The current keywords might still remain, so that characters from subfactions can continue to provide benefits for their own subfaction, but there may be benefits that come from remaining within the umbrella faction. The current subfactions do seem to have been careful to maintain a distinction at least between Ulgu aelfs and the others, so it’s possible that instead of being a single aelfen faction, there might be a darkling aelf faction and a faction for other aelfs (the argument could be made that while Hysh and Ghyran aelfs were originally distinct, those aelfs that could be regarded as ‘civilians’ have all mixed into one refugee population (the Wanderers) and only special orders with strong identities have remained distinct among the Hysh aelfs – thus, a force with a Hysh aelf flavour would be based on a Wanderer core and expanded from there), or splitting them back across the original lines and having a faction for each of the aelfen deities (Sisters of the Watch going to Alarielle because they were always primarily loyal to the Everqueen).

The second, more ambitious, option is to expand the subfactions so they are actually reasonably viable to play on their own. For instance, it would be reasonable to assume that the Orders Draconis and Serpentis aren’t exclusively knights as they are currently (hydra beastmasters excepted), but maintain a retinue of retainers, knights-in-training fighting as light cavalry (similar to the old Pistolier fluff), garrison soldiers, and war machines such that the orders can maintain a combined-arms force on their own – similar to the Bretonnians, but with an aelfen flavour and more exotic mounts. This could be used to say interesting things about the orders: for instance, do they typically draw retainers from aelfs who have the opportunity to work their way up to full knighthood (making them feel more like the 5E Bretonnian fluff, where anybody could become a knight if they proved themselves) or do they tend to reign as nobles over a mostly human population that has no chance of advancement (making them like the 6E Bretonnian fluff, with an even bigger gap between noble and peasant)? This may be the less likely option since it would require more work to develop each of the current factions, but Games Workshop has developed a habit in 40K of releasing books for factions with only a handful of units (Eldar Harlequins, for instance), so they might well take this path.

With that said, some of the factions do feel a bit like they’ve thrown in everything that doesn’t fit nicely anywhere else, but the models were released recently enough that they don’t want to squat them just yet. Swiftfeather Agents, for instance: there doesn’t seem to be a common thread that links Shadow Warriors and the two types of chariot together (the land chariots don’t even share Swiftfeather Discipline). Shadowblades have the same problem: they both have the common theme of sowing terror and confusion, but they do so in such different ways that you just can’t see a link between them, and Dark Rider units are not the most natural unit for an assassin to hide in. If I’d been in the position of drawing up the factions, and I was limited to using the same models, I’d probably scrub the Shadowblade Assassin faction entirely, put the assassins in the Darkling Covens (enforcers for the sorceresses…) and the Dark Riders in… well, pretty much any of the Dark Aelf factions would work. Order Serpentis squires? Scourge Privateer outriders? Darkling Coven cavalry? I guess the Raven Herald shields are a bit of a barrier, but that could be written around by fluff.

On the other hand, it’s possible GW has plans for these two that I’m (obviously) not party to, and when they get around to them they’ll get filled out in a way that makes sense.


Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:32 am
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My view is the Shadowblades will be the keyword for the rumored shadow aelves faction of Malekith and his lackeys.

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Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:51 pm
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