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Lord Drakon AOS reports 
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Greetings !

As Age of Sigmar is welcomed in my local warhammer community I have no other choice than to adapt and try it out. As long as they provide fun and tactical games I am satisfied, therefore this second battle log to analyse and reflect on the battles played with Age of Sigmar. Besides my personal interest, these reports might inform the community more about the actual games with Age of Sigmar to either confirm their prejudices or interest them.

As my local community are mostly experienced and semi-competitive players where fun is most important we try to bring balanced lists to find out how Age of Sigmar plays. As soon as we get more insight and experience the lists are more going to be more optimised, but if you are interested in WAAC lists and battles these reports might not be fit for you.

I welcome critics on the Age of Sigmar, but only based on their actual battle examples and experiences. Ofcourse the discussion is much more interesting if based about tactical possibilities and challenges regarding my lists and battles.

Tomorrow I will have my first AOS battle, and we agreed to bring around 60 wounds with max two heroes and max two warmachines/monsters. The opponent have playes some games already and really likes it.

I will bring the following force

Quote:
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Dreadlord (Lord Drakon)
Shadowblade

5 Witch Elves
10 Sisters of Slaughter
7 Shades
5 Cold One Knights

Reaper Bolt Thrower
Kharibdyss

60 wounds


I will discuss the rules for all units I bring to a new battle to learn how they work and to discover synergies between them. As I have no actual experience with the game yet, these observations will be mainly based at the rules to start.

Witch Elves
Witch Elves can be fielded in units of five or more now. They have two attacks each, and until further restrictions are given, always have full command without extra costs. The hag has three attacks, the standard bearer adds one bravery to the unit, making them bravery eight. However if they are within 8" of an hero she provides +2 to bravery nine. The hornblower allows the unit to re-roll one dice to determine how far they can charge. Frenzied Fervour gives the Witch Elves within 14" of a Death Hag + 1 attack, so I might be totally worth it to bring a Death Hag with them. Their sacrificial knives let them re-roll 1's to hit, when deployed in units of 20 or more they can old-fashioned re-roll all their failed hits. They hit on 3+ and wound on 4+ with two attacks each, but have no save. They have a faster movement than other Exile infantry of 7 instead of 6. Their knives have a normal 1" range and inflict 1 damage.

They do seem to have a lot of potential when fielded in units of 20, especially when combined with a Death Hag. If all those 20 can be in combat, thats 60 hits on 3+ with re-roll ! However I don't expect them to do much in the small unit of five, and I will use them as redirector or bait. They might surprise me.

The Exile Blood Cult gives you the possibility to get poison (which works like Killing Blow) and another +1 attacks. To get this you need to bring at least one Death Hag / COB, three units of Witch Elves and one unit of Executioners. I am very likley to grow towards the Blood Cult formations.

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Shadowblade
Shadowblade, our legendary assassin might also be interesting and is one of the heroes I will bring. He has two daggers with Black Lotus Venom and the Heart of Woe. The Black Lotus venom let Shadowblade inflict D3 damage with his weapons against hostile heroes. The Heart of Woe inflict D3 mortal wounds to all units within 3" when he is slain.

He has 6 attacks and need 3+ to hit and 3+ to wound with -1 rend. When the attacks are made against a hero you can re-roll his hits. He has 5 wounds with 4+ save which is pretty good. He is also Hidden, so can not be shot at before he is revealed. I really like they brought back the Always Strike First for our assassins like in 6th edition, as he can be revealed at the start of any combat and attack, even when its the opponent turn to select a unit to attack with. For Shadowblade you don't have to write down the unit he is hiding in like normal assassins so this gives a lot of flexibility.

Shadowblades task is going to be very simple : kill the enemy general and magic users. He seems to be the ultimate hero hunter. I can deploy him with any unit I want at the right moment, so there might be a nice synergy with the Shades.

Shades
My understanding is that Shades can shoot into combat and when they are in combat which makes them very powerful. They have Repeater Crossbows with a range of 16" which have two attacks and hit and wound on 4+ They also have barbed swords with two attacks with hit and wound on 4+ That are four attacks per model ! You can subtract 1 from enemy shooting and are placed as Scouts after enemy has deployed anywhere 9" from enemy models. They do have only bravery of 6 which is the same as core troops without options for a command group.

I suspect them to wreak havoc and can bring Shadowblade to the enemy heroes very fast.

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Kharibdyss
The Kharibdyss can unleash an abyssal howl in the hero phase, which subtract 1 bravery from a enemy unit within 10" until my next hero phase. Also, every time the Kharibdyss slays an enemy model, one a roll of six he heals one wound. I really like the new monster mechanisms that they become less dangerous when they suffer wounds. With twelve wounds and 4+ save with starting movement of 7 I expect him to also wreak havoc. Because of the range of his weapons besides Clawed Limbs he can attack units from behind other units. The damage output seems a lot, but I have to test this in battle.

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Cold One Knights
This is the second unit (besides Witch Elves) that have access to full command. They have two wounds each and 4+ save with re-roll of ones. In combat they also get re-roll of two's, so only 3's are not saved. On the charge they hit and wound on 3+ while Cold Ones have two attacks which hit at 3+ and wound at 4+ Bravery of eight, nine when in range of Exile heroes good and their movement of 10" also makes them perfect for flank charges.

Very similiar to our old Cold One Knights I suspect in damage output and saves.

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Reaper Bolt Throwers
I also like what they did to warmachines, making them less effective when they lose crew members. Their excellent range of 36" can cover most of the battlefield and they shoot 12 bolts with full crew. Those bolts hit at 4+ and wound at 3+ with -1 rend. A wound roll of 6 doubles the damage output towards two. It has four wounds with a 5+ save while crew members each have one wound with 5+ save and bravery of 6.

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Dreadlord
Lord Drakon is the general. He has a Exile blade and Tyrant shield. The shield allows me to re-roll failed saves of 4+ (dawnstone) while the blade has 6 attacks with 3+ to hit and 4+ to wound. He is the one that forces a stubborn centre of 14" by killing the exiles who flee after the battleshock result, so the other units doesn't have to take the tests. I like this typical Druchii ability as this provides some tactical possibilities for the units you don't want to take battleshock tests for. In the hero phase he can choose one unit within 14" who then can re-roll all failed to wound rolls in the combat phase until my next hero phase. I think the best way to deploy him is with the Sisters of Slaughter.

Sisters of Slaughter
Sisters of Slaughter also have the option for a command group, which raises their bravery to nine. They have a larger weapon range of 2" and have two attacks each. They hit on 3+ and wound at 4+ so actually the same damage output as Witch Elves besides the weapon range. I have no idea yet how important the weapon range is and if this makes them better than the Witch Elves who have re-roll to hit. In combat they have a 4+ save, same as Black Guard and Executioners while outside a 6+ save. They have a nice rule that when making a save on 6+ on a 4+ they inflict a mortal wound after the enemy has made its attacks. I doubt this is better than 3+ to wound with -1 rend with re-rolls of 1 to hit for the Black Guard. It seems Sisters of Slaughter lost their place of our best infantry to Black Guard and even Executioners might be more powerful now. This is a shame as I love them. For now, they will act as the bodyguard of Lord Drakon and central infantry unit.

BTW I just realized Sisters of Slaughter now have the same fighting skills as Cold Ones :cry:

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Battleplan
To protect the Dreadlord from melee damage the Sisters will be deployed into U formation, Kharibdyss and Cold One knights take one flank to break through while the Sisters hold the centre. Both Shades and Witch Elves can be used to pin down unit containing enemy hero so Shadowblade can appear and finish them off.

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Last edited by Lord Drakon on Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:33 pm
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Great looking force you have put together.

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Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:47 pm
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Greetings !

Yesterday I played my first AOS battles with armies based on 60 models. I had no real expectations and unfornately it is indeed a total different skirmish game. As the rules and tactics are very easy to learn I will continue to play some games AOS with different lists, but as long it stays in the current set up 8th edition will have my preference. Some of the more experienced player became bored with 8th edition and like AOS, but there are also enough players who prefer 8th edition also. As gaming group we will come up with AOS scenario's to make the games more interesting. I expect the tournaments in the Netherlands to remain 8th edition for now so I don't have to despair.

In my battles I failed to roll high enough to start the turn, so the chronological order of turns in Battlescribe could be used, but if this changes which will happen eventually, it is also very difficult to make battle reports for Age of Sigmar. It does however provide some nice scenes/pictures because of the pile in rule.

The enemy brought his Bretonnians. Two units of knights of the realm led by a Bretonnian lord and damsel of the lady with 16 archers and trebuchet. Balanced list with dangerous shooting and fast well armoured knights.

I brought a Dreadlord on foot with exile blade and tyrant shield, 10 sisters of slaughter with full command, 5 witch elves with full command, 5 cold one knights with full command, a khraibdyss, reaper bolt thrower, 7 shades and shadowblade.

Battleplan was easy, get the shades and cold one knights into the archers, damsel and trebuchet, any exile unit and therefore shadowblade into enemy general and kill knights with kharibdyss and dreadlord.

Deployment
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I had access to a hill for my reaper bolt thrower for better line of sight. My infantry deployed in the centre flanked by cold one knights opposing enemy archers and kharibdyss opposing enemey knights and lord. Shades are deployed after enemy set up near archers to charge them as soon as possible. This scout rule of them is clearny unique as no other armies can do this, even waywatchers etc. ? We did played without terrain rules because it my first time but I don't suspect it to make a huge difference. I deployed shades outside the forest so they were out of charge range of the knights. We did placed the forests so close to each other that they blocked line of sight.

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Bretonnia - Turn 1
Bretonnia starts with making knights of the realm at the left immune to battleshock. Damsel casts arcane bolt on the Shades and kills three, ouch. Then all units besides trebuchet move, so archers get line of sight on the shades and knights of the realm move up so they can charge the shades. Using shades in old fashion is no more because of these movement mechanics. Lord and other knights move up behind the tower so reaper can not shoot at them. In the shooting phase the archers get 32 shots at the shades, hitting at 6'es because of -1 of the shades and kill another two. Trebuchet shoot at kharibdyss but miss. In the combat phase the knights charge shades and kill it before they can do anything.

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Shades are extremely dangerous because of the scout rule and two attacks in melee and shooting, able to take out softer units and charachters in the first turn. However, the old skirmish and shooting mechanics do not apply anymore, so a small group (in this case 7) will be killed before they can do anything if enemy gets first turn. Next time I will bring a group of 15 and have less units in the army so I get first turn.

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Dark Elves - Turn 1
Drealord makes Cold One Knights immune to battleshock, force advances, Reaper shoots 12 bolts and kill two knights.

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Bretonnia - Turn 2
Damsel shoot another arcane bolt at the cold one knights, killing one. Knights and lord move up. Archers do their one time per battle 3 x shot at sisters of slaughter so 48 shots hitting at fives, killing all of them. Treubuchet shoots again at the Kharibdyss and inflict 5 wounds. Shooting is really overpowered in Age of Sigmar. Lord inflict another 5 wounds on the Kharibdyss, Cold One Knights kill one realm knight, other realm knights inflict four wounds but I save them all. Kharibdyss kill two knights and heals one wound.

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Dark Elves - Turn 2
Dreadlord gives cold one knights re-roll to wound. Witch elves move up towards enemy lord. Reaper kills another two knights. In combat phase dreadlord and witch elves charge. Shadowblade appears and kill the enemy lord. Combat does some damage to both sides, battleshock is not eventful.

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Bretonnia - Turn 3
Damsel cast another bolt on the cold one knights, inflicting another wound. Archers shoot at dreadlord but with 4+ save with re-roll he doesn't take a wound. Trebuchet shoots at cold one knights and kill all of them. In combat dreadlord kills enemy knights. Shadowblade also kills one knights, kharibduss fails to do any damage because he is so wounded and witches also fail to do anything.

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Dark Elves - Turn 3
Dreadlord moves up to charge archers. Shadowblade and witch elves leave combat towards trebuchet. Reaper shoots at knights and kill two. Combat is not interesting.

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Bretonnia - Turn 4
Archers shoot at witches killing all of them, trebuchet kills kharibdyss

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Dark Elves - Turn 4
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Shadowblade move towards trebuchet, dreadlord charges archers. In combar dreadlord got surrounded but does not get any wounds in return for his three kills, some archers flee.

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Bretonnia - Turn 5
Knights move towards dreadlord, but fail their charge to stand still. Trebuchet missed the dreadlord and archers fail to penetrate the armour. Again dreadlord kills some archers and some flee.

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Dark Elves - Turn 5
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Reapers kills off last knights. Shadowblade charges trebuchet. Dreadlord kills some archers

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Bretonnia - Turn 6
Shadowblade kills some crew. Dreadlord kills some archers. Both units run off the table.

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Dark Elves - Turn 6
Dreadlord and Shadowblade move towards damsel, charge and kill it.

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Result :
Victory for the Dark Elves !

Post battle report
OK, so this was the most boring battle report I ever made. I also played a second battle against his list where sisters saw combat and kharibdyss did some more damage but its not worth another report. Both our shooting killed each other force with ease, combat was never that interesting although Shadowblade really rocks against heroes and I guess is the best assassin in warhammer. Dreadlord with 4+ save with re-roll is really good. Cold One Knights are well protected in combat as long as enemy has no rent. Trebuchet can kill any of your units in one strike but has difficulty killing lone models. Sisters of Slaughter have become utter garbage, witch elves in small units have no purpose. Maybe I need bigger games of Age of Sigmar but when I really don't like to write the battle report because the lack of tactics or tactical events something is wrong. Maybe you don't agree, please comment if this is the case.

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Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:16 pm
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Grats on the victory, and thank you for the report! I'm still trying out AoS as well, and it's good to see more games and reports.

I think you played the battles quite well, better than your opponent. He went in for a complete charge, which means he was bound to lose the initiative on at least 1 battle.

Shame about your Shades. Indeed, if you don't have the initiative, then you better place them further out of charge range, just to be on the safe side. I think they might have been more effective on the right flank... They could have supported against the knights, if needed, to cause a delay there. Otherwise, the trebuchet would have been a delightful target.

When your Dreadlord charged in to aid the Cold One Knights, I might have considered moving the Cold Ones out of the fight. The Dreadlord would have tanked them, and kept them busy or forced them to retreat and lose the initiative, while the Cold Ones could ready up to hunt archers. The archers could have charged the cold ones, probably the best move, but it would have been a more difficult situation for them.

I was quite surprised to read that arrowstorm from the Bowmen. I wouldn't have expected that one from Brettonians. Now that I see it, I think you should have fired that RBT at his archers if you had the chance.
The damage could have been notable.

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It could have had a few more fleeing, considerably lowering the sting of their shooting.

While it's technically not a mistake, your opponent went for a "full charge" with everything he had in a single turn, committing 3 units. The danger of this, is that he has to choose only a single fight where he grabs the initiative, thus weakening the second fight.
Getting some wounds in on the Kharibdyss was a good call, but it cost him the edge against the cold ones if you ask me.

As for AoS itself... well.. it doesn't have the technical complexity of Warhammer. Warhammer had a "dead zone", which is a range so close to the enemy that the enemy may no longer be able to respond to your movement. IE: skirmishers and fast cav could wheel about an infantry unit. AoS works the opposite way, where battles are hard to dodge unless from a distance.

AoS requires more commitment of troops to work. IE: a cavalry unit trying to keep an archer unit busy before the combat troops finish it would require screening in Warhammer or threatening the flank while harassing the unit. In AoS you have to charge the archer unit. Regardless of who the archer unit fires at, it is "stuck" and can either retreat, abandoning its shooting, or try to butcher its way through the fight.

You need the quicker forces to pin them down, otherwise they just back up and fire away as you march to them.

With only 1 fast unit in your list, you give away a lot of initiative to your enemy. The Shades were your back up there.

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:15 am
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The importance of high M in AoS, indeed.

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:12 pm
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Credits to the opponent though was that he played it as a 'learning' game for me so I could what everything was capable of doing. Moving up so close with the Shades forced him to destroy it directly.

Thanks for the comments ! I will indeed focus fire on enemy shooting and test out Dark Riders + Sorceress on Horse next time.

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Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:00 pm
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