Monday, July 11, 2016

Starting To Understand Stormcast

So, I got in another game against Demitra in Age of Sigmar. Needless to say, I lost again, but I am picking up ideas.

First, when it comes to this army, numbers don't count for much. Five Decimators can lay out plenty of hurt against an opponent who still runs 20mm square bases. The tighter packed the enemy is, the quicker they will die. Stormcast are an MSU army. That's just how it is.

Second, when you set your eyes on a unit, kill it. This may seem elementary, but some enemies, once mangled (for instance Stormcast), are nigh useless. Others (the Celestial Hurricanum) are still very dangerous.

Third, don't be afraid of sacrifice. I hurled a unit of Decimators headlong into Demitra's handgunner mob using the Pennant of the Stormbringer turn one, and every ranged weapon on my right flank was instantly silenced. After the monstrous casualties the last three gunners turned tail and fled after only firing a single volley due to their musician.

Fourth, kill the enemy general. This may be a "duh, no joke" to many, but the loss of Command Abilities is a Very Big Deal. Once I had offed his boss, and still had my Lord Celestant trucking around handing out his +1 to hit bonus, the game felt very different.

Fifth, it's all about the characters. Having a pair of Knight-Heraldors hanging back and allowing my units to disengage & run & charge all at once was amazing. Teleporting a unit of Decimators into charge range turn one was stupendous. The Knight-Venator paid for himself impressively.

Bravely run away!
Sixth, don't be afraid to retreat. Seriously. I caught a lot of flak for the tactic, but the death of Demitra's general came at the hands of my Lord Celestant after he broke free of a drawn-out melee, spun around, and charged the foppish noble. Don't feel as though you have to stay in a fight that is less than ideal. You can (with the help of a Knight-Heraldor) pull out of a no-win situation and put your troops in a location they want to occupy. Alternatively, you could swap out mismatched troops for ones more suited to the situation, or even just withdraw and set up a roadblock in order to buy time. Think of Liberators with shields (already basically a speed bump unit) that have taken a charge from an elite enemy (in my last game, Greatswords). They cannot do enough damage to matter this turn, and in fact they may be mauled to the point that your opponent's unit will be able to wipe them out now, and continue toward an objective unmolested. What happens if they fall back a few inches? You can adjust the unit's position so the enemy cannot go where they want to without dealing with the nuisance unit, and they cannot be gotten rid of this turn. You have bought yourself a round to maneuver (and perhaps send help) just by falling back a bit.

I am pleased with myself.
In the end, this game is going to be what you make of it. My tactics are not the end-all be-all by any stretch. I lost my last game, I have not mastered the Stormcast, and I may never. I do, however, feel that I have improved vastly since my last outing. I forced myself to be patient, I was not afraid to leave a tactically sour situation, and I tried to prioritize targets (I was incorrect, but it was a start.

I did, several times, forget some abilities. I think I need to make up some reference cards with what abilities models have and when they trigger, but one thing at a time. First, master the basics, then on to the memorization.

I'm still looking forward to the General's Handbook. It will be a whole new way to play the game. As much as I love the PPC system (and I do), a standardized pick-up-and-play system for anywhere you go will help the game a ton.

Finally, I have some more minis done, and I'll show them off soon!

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