So 8th edition Warhammer is gone! Well sort of. The general consensus in my gaming group is that AoS is a pile of simplistic shit that 'is the anal rape of the fluff' or something like that. I said from the start I'm not going to judge it until I've had a couple of games to ascertain it's worth. I downloaded the battlescrolls for my Lizardmen and Wood Elf army. I saw lots of fun things in both armies but I decided on Lizardmen as the Slann seems to now be the pre-eminent casters in the game (of course until GW invent a new copy writable uber wizard). Plus I had a blast last game with the aforementioned so I thought I will take a pretty similar force. My opponent Pat, brought his Warriors of Chaos to do battle. Now a lot of the time I add some prose to the battle report to give it a place within my own mental fluff masterpiece as to provide a narrative. Unfortunately I haven't read any of about the new world(s) so I'm at a loss to come up with something.
Another staple of the battle report is the army list. As GW have decided to do, apart from the anal raping, was toss the salad of points values. This was, at first I thought aimed at tournament play and the destruction of it, but then I thought it was more about a friendly atmos than a fairly balanced game. So here's what I used: Slann Mage Priest, Scar Vet BSB, Skink Priest, 2 x 20 Saurus units, Kroq gar on Carnosaur and 2 units of 10 skinks. For what it's worth a grand total of 87 wounds. Pat took a Sorceror Lord, BSB, Lord on Daemonic Mount, 3 chariots, 3 Skullcrushers and 20 chaos warriors. 97 wounds in total. So by the rules pamphlet my 64 models gave Pat the sudden death option, but he decided not to use it as a we thought we'd see how the game played without trying too many rules. This is also why we didn't use the rules for mysterious landscapes as having to note down every piece of scenery and it's abilities seemed like hard work.
My Simple Plan
Not knowing how the game would play, all I had in mind was keep the Slann at the back summon some extra models and see what damage I could do. As the Seraphon (??!!??) army is now effectively good daemons I can summon all game. This was cool as it was the first game in The Palace of Righteous Justice which is what I'm calling my garage at the moment. This meant I had all my Lizardmen models handy so (in theory at least) I could summon my entire army! another nice touch was Pat brought round a printed battlemat that really made the battle field come to life. It certainly beats the blue of my table tennis table!
|Le Battlefield Sans Armies|
|Le Battlefield Avec Armies|
|Ready for the off!|
Pat won the first turn and in his hero phase cast Mystic Shield (+1 Armour Save) on the Chaos Warriors. the Gift of Foresight (Rerolling saves of a 1) was also given to them from the Sorceror Lord and the Chaos Lord used his command ability The Knights of Chaos (rerolling charge distances and +1 to hit in combat) on Chariot #3. Then the entire Chaos army advanced forward.
|Chaos Turn 1|
|The Seraphon aka Lizardmen turn 1|
There was a bit of drama at the start of turn 2 when the roll for initiative was at first drawn (leading me to hope I win the second roll), then Pat getting first turn again. In the hero phase his BSB planted his Battle standard, giving some rather tasty benefits (any SLAVES TO DARKNESS within 20" reroll charge dice and get +2 bravery). The Sorceror casts Daemonic Power on chariot #1. All the units that could advanced forward making a lot of short charges. Then the assault phase arrived and there were lots of charges. Chariot #1 charges Saurus unit #1, the sorceror charges into the skinks fighting chariot #2, the Chaos Warriors charges into the other skink unit, and the icing on the cake was the Chaos Lord, Skullcrushers & Chaos Chariot #3 all bundle into Kroq Gar.
|Things are not looking rosy for my Lizardmen|
|More chaos Death!|
|The skinks have a job to do - DIE!|
Chaos Chariot 4 - Saurus Unit 5,
Chaos Chariot & Sorceror 5 - Skinks 0
Chaos Warriors 6 - Skinks 0
Chaos Lord, Skullcrushers & Chariot 5 - Kroq Gar 2.
Now the above numbers would suggest a rout test for the Chariot, both units of skinks (due to charge bonuses) and Kroq Gar. What did happen was none of my units lost anyone to BATTLESHOCK, Carnosaurs have this ability called Bloodroar that causes any unit within 8" that has lost models in the turn can lose another d3 after a roll off. I had directed my attacks on the Skullcrushers and I won the roll - 2 frothing maniacs of Khorne flee like goblins!
|The as yet unnamed Slann watches impassively|
|33 attacks vs 9|
|I must glue my cold One Rider to his steed|
|The End is Nigh for Skinkdom|
|End of Lizardman turn 2|
Once again Pat wins initiative. The Sorceror casts Daemonic Power on the Chaos Warriors, making them even harder to deal with! The BSB, seeing how my BSB did nothing for two turns and got away with it also leaves his standard in the ground and lights up a cigar. The Chaos lord uses his command ability on Chariot #3. Both chariot use their Don't spare The Lash rule to get uncomfortably close to the Slann. The Chaos Lord also tries to get within kissing distance but his Daemonic Mount doesn't respond to slaps as well as chariot horsies. Both chariots assault the Slann but the Chaos Lord fails. This would normally be a death sentance for good Ole Slanny but after all their attacks it's a 4 - 4 draw (Slann are WAY harder in AoS). A wound is inflicted on Chariot #1 meaning it remains alive. The large fight in the middle continues with a couple of casualties on both sides and no one fleeing to BATTLESHOCK.
|End of Chaos Turn 3|
|Last image of the game|
Models were totted up and unsurprisingly it was a victory for Pat filthy Chaos. If the game had gone on then I think I could have swung it a bit more in my favour. That said after reading the Daemons of Chaos battlescrolls then the Chaos Sorceror could've been summoning daemons all game as well.
Well, after one game it's hard to give a definitive opinion on AoS but it's certainly better than I had originally thought. We hadn't played with many of the rules: sudden death, mysterious terrain, but I thought there was plenty of tactical options for spells, command abilites and unit rules. The piling in and 360 degree charge arcs will take getting used to but I'm sure it will become clearer. Shooting into and out of combat didn't do very much but that's probably more to do with the armies involved. The amount of terrain certainly did affect the amount of clear lines of sight for shooting too. One thing I did notice is pretty much everything can dish out damage. I had taken the Skink Priest as a spell extension but had I properly read his rules then he would've been played a lot differently. I also think my next game with lizardmen will use a few different battlescrolls as I'm now clearer as to how the game plays. Next game of AoS I intend using my Wood Elves, to see what they have to offer. At the moment one of the best things about AoS is how the points values has eliminated the use of the word optimal*** on gaming forums. Many, many armchair generals spend more time trying to break a system**** than actually play for the craic. So summing up, I think I will play AoS again, but not at the total expense of 8th ed Warhammer. Ultimately is more about who you play with rather than what.
* We decided that as we hadn't really studied the weapon options on some of the models that we'd count all models as armed with the first one listed on the battlescroll so as to eliminate confusion.
** BATTLESHOCK is without doubt the thing I dislike the most about AoS so far. It's a stupid (imo) term that is presumably put in the game as a trademarkable bullshit word, that makes rout tests a thing of the past.
*** Optimal-Schmoptimal. Fluffy is fun, although I have no idea about fluff in the new Bust-A-Move universe.
**** Yes you can take Kairos Fateweaver and a Screaming Bell to get you an instant win, but then you're just a cunt if you do.