I've played my second game of Age of Sigmar. Vampire Counts vs Goblins. We decide to go with 100 wounds per side. This game was even more of a disaster than the first but amazing I had more fun playing it.
Vampire Counts had 4 vampire lords, a tomb banshee, a Black Coach, 5 hex wraiths, 2 blocks of skeleton warriors and a unit of six vargheists. I had a goblin shaman, night goblin shaman, a unit of 31 goblins, 3 nasty stalker, goblin spear chukka, a unit of 20 night goblins, 3 night goblin fanatics and 14 forest goblin riders. You might notice my opponent had way more firepower and I had little chance of winning. That said this was the first time I've played with goblins and it was a learning experience for me. Also my opponent played a little loose so we could see some things in action. The forest goblin riders shot up and charged the hex wraiths. They nearly wipe the wraiths out, much to my surprise. Unfortunately for them the banshee move up and screamed at them which prove to be devastating. That and their bravery was well, goblin-like. Nevertheless they did remarkable well against the charging skeleton warriors ... well until the warriors got vampiric backup. On the other side of the battlefield the normal goblins fired their bows at the incoming vargheists. Being enhanced by the magic of the shaman, their arrows did work on the vargheists, just not enough damage to stop the vargheists from charging in and wiping them out. Did I mention the vargheists had the help of the Black Coach as well? It was not pretty. The nasty stalkers popup and said hi, but the undead just ignored them. The goblin spear chukka after 4 turns of doing essentially nothing, finally killed one of the vampire lords, and that was all it did all game. So that leave 2 shamans, the night goblins and their fanatics to face the remaining vargheists, Black Coach, 3 vampire lords, a banshee, and 2 units of skeletons. So yeah, I surrender soon afterwards but at least I got to see what the fanatics can do and it was glorious.
As I said, this game was more of a learning experience than anything else. My opponent and myself both agreed that making army list base on wound totals alone is not a good method. It hurts multi wounds models like the forest goblin riders unless they are really really good for its wound totals. Vampire Counts brought way more value per wounds than I did. That is okay because I didn't think wound totals was a good method in the first place. More importantly I learn important details how I can play a goblin army in Age of Sigmar. I was surprise at how fast the forest goblin riders were as well as the amount of damage they can dish out. They also die fast so they are a powerful but delicate tool. The key to their use is to know when to retreat with them. On the "core" front" I found myself liking normal goblins a lot more than night goblins. Night goblins has more unique tools that I did not utilize that should increase their worth but the sheer power of normal goblins' shooting is immense. If I had a warboss along with the shaman, my goblin shooting probably could have deleted the vargheist unit in one round. Their only problem is that they are worthless in close combat while night goblins seem to be more capable in hand to hand. Now when talking about these units, I also have to talk about what can be hidden in them, the nasty stalkers vs night goblin fanatics. Nasty stalkers are better to counterattack with since they can go first and their damage is decent. However I think fanatics are better in nearly every other way. They have no save but the damage they do is insane. In my game I had them charge the Black Coach on the Vampire Count's turn to prevent it from charging my night goblin unit. The safe play for my opponent would be to start combat with the Black Coach and wipe out the fanatics. But he wanted to see what they can do so we did another combat where he crushed my forest goblins instead. So the fanatics got the chance to attack and obliterated the Black Coach. Then the fanatics move across the board and charged a vampire lord. It was my turn so they got to attack first and obliterate the vampire lord. After that they just died but the thought of how much damage they can do makes me giggly. While I don't have to hid fanatics in a night goblin unit, its far too dangerous to start them in the open unless I'm facing someone like Vampire Counts with their limited shooting. That means fanatics and normal goblins are going to be fighting each other over who I am going to pick up for my own army. There is not much to say about the shamans other than I forgot about the mushrooms ability. They did well and I will use them when I used their goblin type units. The last unit I used was the goblin spear chukka and its results were disappointing. Reading its stats I thought it would be pretty nasty on the table but it was actually quite tame. The goblin spear chukka is only going to be useful against a handful of units and its going to take me some time to learn when to use it. I was really hoping more out of it because I have plans to pick up 6 for my 8th edition goblin list.
I keep saying goblin army because I am not a fan of orcs and I will not be using them. Of course this means I have few choices for a front line. Goblin archers are nice but I need a tough unit to screen and guard them. Fanatics are too much of a glass cannon to be of use for this job. That leaves for my choices either trolls or mangler squigs. I have 3 trolls that I need to finish up and will probably need to pick up a few more. I love the rules for the mangler squigs but I am not a fan of squigs concept. So I need come up with a replacement monster to use in place of the mangler squigs. I have started my goblin army with a pack of fanatics. I am slowly assembling them and then I need to decide how I want them painted.
I've been thinking about how to balance my third game. Just going by model or wound count doesn't work and I am still against using anything like points. I ran into another friend when we played our Age of Sigmar game. He mention he played a game of Age of Sigmar and it was completely unbalance because he plays Ogre Kingdoms. That got me thinking. Anything I come up with I want to make sure it would work with Ogre Kingdom as well. And I think I finally came up with something that might work. I still need to propose my idea to my friend but I want to do a game base on war scrolls. Each side gets an army of 20 war scrolls worth of units, of which there can only be 10 unique scrolls. There is a "limit" of three hero war scrolls and two monster/war machine war scrolls. War scrolls that has multiple models (non war machines) can take up to twice their minimum model count as a single choice. If the war scroll has no minimum, then it can take 5 models as a single choice instead. War scroll sizes can be increase at a cost. A war scroll can take up to three times their minimum model count at a cost of an addition choice. A war scroll can further increase it size to four times their minimum model count but this reduces the number of unique war scroll the army can use. Again if the war scroll has no minimum then 10 can be taken at a cost of an additional choice and 20 at the cost of the reduce unique of 1. Additional heroes and/or monster/war machines can also be taken at the cost of an addition choice. Heroes that are also monsters count as both.
My system does not deal with the issue of summoning yet. It does form the backbone of my ideal way to play Age of Sigmar. I still think what models you bring compare to what you use in the game needs to be consider with any comp system and will handle summoning problems but I am ignoring this concept for now so my friend and myself can concentrate on learning the other aspects of the game. In my next Age of Sigmar topics I will go into my design philosophy, why I am against using a point system and example armies using my comp system. Until then, stay positive and have fun.