After a few weeks of delays we finally got our first game of Age of Sigmar under our belt.
Having seen the internet explode with rage, and then slowly calm down as people actually played the game. We had read a lot about how the game was playing and how it should be 'balanced', but for our army selection we went for a 120 wound cap; would this make a balance game? Only one way to find out.
|The Savage Orcs|
I used my Savage Orc force, and went for a Bonesplitta Big Mob, comprising of two big units of Savage Orcs, a unit of Savage Orc arrer boys, 8 Boar Riders, a Warboss and a Shamen, combined with a chariot and a giant.
Elliot brought his Ogres, using three units of 6 Ogres, 4 Leadbelchers, 4 Ironguts, a Butcher and a Tyrant.
With the Ogres being significantly smaller in model count, Elliot got to choose a sudden death victory condition, resulting in his mission being to destroy the 20 Savage Orc Arrer Boyz to win.
|End of Turn One|
|The Ogres Charge|
So came our first experience of combat, and our first use of the Warscrolls for the hit and wound rolls. The Ogres hit hard and with each successful hit becoming two wounds, many Orcs died. The Savage Orcs managed to take down an ogre in reply.
Next came our first Battleshock phase. Roll a dice, add the number of deaths you had that turn (yes, that turn not just in combat) and what ever you beat your Bravery stat by is how many more models die/flee (that's die, not take a wound)
No Ogres died, but a couple of Savage Orcs did.
|The mass charge|
There was no shooting as the Arrer Boyz continued to get as far away from the Ogres as possible.
So onto Close Combat, and our first look at the tactic of choosing which unit to fight with. In AoS, you take it in turns to pick a unit that is within 3" of an enemy model to take part in close combat. Not having taken this into account the Orcs had strayed too close to the Leadbelchers and Tyrant with their left flank charge, so had inadvertently potentially dragged them into the fight.
|The end of the first mass combat|
On the left flank, the Giant had died, and flattened and Ogre or two on the way down, the Boarboyz had lost six, and the chariot had a few dents in it. The Ogres had lost a few models, and the following Battleshock roll saw the entire unit wiped out.
In the centre the casualties had been high, mainly due to the seemingly never ending Ogre spell that saw multiple D3 mortal wounds being inflicted, but both units held on to fight another round of combat.
On the fight flank, bolstered buy the arrival of the Orc Warboss, and his Inspiring Presence meaning that they didn't have to take a Battleshock roll at the end of the turn, the Orcs and Ogres fought another stalemate.
|It all looks bad for the Orcs|
The Ogres ultimate goal were surrounded, things were looking bleak for the greenskins.
|The Arrerboyz take the fight to the Ogres|
On the left flank, the last of the boarboyz were wiped out.
|The noose tightens|
|The final charge|
|Just the Shamen and Warboss survive the battle|
So how was our first go at AoS? Really good fun actually! At the start it looked as if the sudden death victory condition couldn't be done, but as the Orcs began to fall, the path to Ogre victory became clearer.
Although there are no flank charges, positioning of models is key when charging, you don't want to invite unwanted enemy into the fight, and of course getting your units in position to counter this is important too.
Set to hit and to wound rolls, made everything flow really quickly, and Battleshock works really well, and can be especially brutal to small multi wound units if they have a bad round of fighting. Utilising the Hero abilities is key, and not having to take Battleshock for a round can be really important, especially if the unit in question is the Sudden death objective.
AoS isn't 9th edition WFB its a whole new game with new tactics and new ways of playing. We both had fun playing this game, and will be looking to play another one soon. A whole lot of potential to be unlocked, and as for balance, from one game it doesn't look like you need to do too much, the 120 wound cap seemed to work ok this time, but we will see what happens next time.