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
Dreadlord (Lord Drakon)
5 Witch Elves
10 Sisters of Slaughter
5 Cold One Knights
Reaper Bolt Thrower
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.