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AoS The Merits of Fielding Battalions

Discussion in 'Seraphon Tactics' started by LizardWizard, Apr 7, 2019.

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Battalions

  1. Love them

    9 vote(s)
    29.0%
  2. Like them

    17 vote(s)
    54.8%
  3. Indifferent

    4 vote(s)
    12.9%
  4. Dislike them

    1 vote(s)
    3.2%
  5. Hate them

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. LizardWizard
    Skar-Veteran

    LizardWizard Grand Skink Handler Staff Member

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    Discussion in recent other threads has prompted me to create a space to discuss the merits of battalions. There are certainly pros and cons to including one or more battalion/s in your army.

    The goal is to evaluate the topic of battalions in broad terms. Specific battalions are certainly valid topics, but most of them related to Seraphon already have numerous threads dedicated to them. Please join me in considering the cost and rewards of battalions, their affects on the meta game, and any other points of interest related to the topic at hand.

    • Do you like to use battalions?
    • Are Battalions good of bad for the game?
    • What should be changed if anything about the core rules related to battalions?
    • What are some overlook benefits or cost to using battalions?
    • Do you feel forced into having to use battalions?
     
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  2. LizardWizard
    Skar-Veteran

    LizardWizard Grand Skink Handler Staff Member

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    To get us started. If you have read my thread Matched Play List I Often Use, then you are likely aware that I am a fan of Seraphon's Battalions.

    There are many game play reasons for this. Firstly, with the addition of Malign Sorcery there are a plethora of great artifacts of power. Having more of them in your army is always valuable. Secondly, gaining an Extra command point to start the game with helps to offset the Matched Play Points that the Battalion cost. You can essentially view each battalion as being 50 MMP cheaper than it is listed. Lastly, and of greatest value to me, they give added tactical control over the setup phase.

    I also love battalions because they add a great way to express a particular theme in your army. Fangs of Sotek for example provides some nice tools to run a Saurus Warrior themed army.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
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  3. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    I think we all agree that Battalions are a solid and useful tools.
    AoS is a game based on synergies and buffs, so to have additional buffs by the battalion is very useful, especially for an army like ours.

    Good point about the "real" cost of the battalions, given the additional free command point and the free artefact.

    The cheapest battalions are basically free.

    The only problem with battalion is the "tax" included in the fact that you are forced to pick some unit/s that you would have not.
     
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  4. GuaDan
    Kroxigor

    GuaDan Well-Known Member

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    I like them.
    Fluff-wise, they highlight some features of the army, and give a thematic feel to a big chunk of the units deployed.

    But most importantly, I think they add some depth to the game, without complex rules involved. It's just tactics.
    Lots of choices to be made (is it worth taking the tax units to exploit the extra abilities? is there a way to turn everything into something useful?), deployment options change etc.
    Good battalions are usually always worth it, thanks also to CP and artifatcs.


    As a side node, as a lizard player I'm quite biased. Seraphon is strong due to summoning, teleports and a couple of extremely awesome battalions so we have to stick to them or just add tons of Razordons.
     
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  5. Tk'ya'pyk
    Cold One

    Tk'ya'pyk Active Member

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    Honestly, I could take or leave them at the moment. Now don't get me wrong - I like the IDEA of them, but I don't actually have enough units to USE any of them yet. It isn't indifference on my part so much as lack of experience with them.
     
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  6. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

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    I like that they encourage you to think more about the tactics than just based on units.

    I am not a fan of the more strict ones like we have them. A bit more choice would be great.
    However I am not a fan of the "bring everything you wish and just pay for that buff and the extra command points/artefacts" ones.

    I think the game relies a tad too much on the bataillons, and I think they should not be auto-include, which they are for some armies.
    There should be no units that are basically useless outside of a bataillon. Looking at you, Saurus Guards.

    I am also not a fan of the meta bataillons. They feel like they mainly mean "I pay XYZ points for the one-drop version".
    Combined with very open requirements some of them become sort of a no brainer, because why wouldn't you want one more CP, one more artefact, and go first? Bring everything you like? And all that for 80 points? Heartwood Wargrove (Sylvaneth) comes to mind.

    It is very hard to balance them between rather useless and OMG-auto-include.
     
  7. Canas
    Skink Priest

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    I like the principle, but the execution is flawed.

    - Certain battalions are way too good when compared to certain others, or even when compared to having no battalion. I'd like for battalions to have both a mallus and a bonus. It'd probably help with balancing them if there were actual explicit drawbacks to using the OP nonsense.

    - Some battalions give key abilities to a unit sometimes fixing severe flaws in these units, it'd be better if those key abilities would be baseline so the unit functions outside of the battalion and the battalion gives something else (e.g. rippers without "strike from the skies" lack effective ways of getting into combat, and saurus warriors are basicly useless outside of a sunclaw while with the sunclaw they actually have a halfway decent stat-line even at minimum size)

    - Not enough variance/customisation within a battalion. I love battalions that say "take X or Y" or "take 1-3 of X". This allows for some variation and customisation to your preferences & it gives some options for fielding it both in bigger and smaller armies. It'd also would probably mean more units would actually see use, at least in the less competitive scene though even in the competitive scene you'd probably see more variance.

    - A great deal of units have no or only 1 battalion, and they're not necesarly good. Thus they see no use. Which is a shame.

    - They're too expensive/the cost is applied in the wrong way. I dislike battalions having a seperate cost. I'd like it if the "cost" of a battalion simply came from how it limits and forms the core of your army with its requirements and tax-units as opposed to having both an explicit cost and the tax-units + limitations.

    - There's no interaction across battalions unles you count the superbattalions for this, which would be interesting to have.

    - The interaction between low drop lists and getting priority at the start of a game I find to be a terrible mechanic.
     
  8. ravagekitteh
    Carnasaur

    ravagekitteh Well-Known Member

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    I’m a very inexperienced gamer, so I can’t really talk about actually how effective they actually are, but I can at least give my perspective on them.

    One thing they do give is a good guide to collecting. When I first started with Seraphon, my eventual goal was to build up to a Starbeast Constellation. It’s far too expensive to actually use in game, but what it did give was a good guide to building at least a thematic army if nothing else. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me at least it was a good checklist to getting a variety of units and helped a lot with deciding what things to get next and everything. Personally I’m probably more of a collector as much as anything, so perhaps it’s just that part talking, but as much as anything it’s kind of cool to know that you own an entire Starbeast Constellation or whatever the equivalent is for your faction.

    I have a similar perspective on it with gaming. If you’re new and unsure of what to do, a Battalion can be a good thing to base your list around. The additional abilities and everything serve as a pretty good justification for taking and they can get you to try out various different units you might not otherwise have thought to take. Plus, it makes for a far more thematic army which in turn helps your enjoyment of the game. A cutthroat Razordon list vs a lethal tournament Beastclaw list is all very well and will be an interesting tournament matchup, but I’d hazard for a lot of people Zectoka’s Fangs of Sotek facing off against the Olwyr Alfrostun will be a far more entertaining match.

    Honestly, I’m pretty clueless about skilful gaming, and my knowledge on this sort of thing is fairly lacking, so I can’t pretend to speak for anyone else, but these are at least my thoughts on the matter, so I would give battalions a big thumbs up.
     
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  9. crazyeye45
    Skink

    crazyeye45 New Member

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    I enjoy the battalions because they bring benefit for if you want to run a theme style list. You like a bunch of dude on mounts, well here is this battalion. So on and so forth. Pretty much what in saying is they add a bit of fluff and gameplay value to the game.

    I don't think anything should be changed as a core rule besides maybe more flexibility in units. But that's not a huge problem

    I do feel like, as a seraphon player, we have to take a battalion to keep up with other factions. This is also because we have the oldest codex in sigmar. But our battalions are not over costed compared to other factions. I play maggotkin as well and it's a huge sink to run a battalion there.
     
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  10. Tezia
    Skink

    Tezia Active Member

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    As a new player I can only really echo what ravagekitteh was saying. Battalions have helped me formulate my next purchases, put together lists, and understand how certain models work with others. I haven’t played against other battalions enough to really see what the other armies have but I’ve been pretty excited about ours and getting to try them out even if some seem subpar to others. It’s a great tool for setting a theme
     
  11. Schwaaah
    Saurus

    Schwaaah Active Member

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    I think battalions are a great way to create themed armies. As others have said, they can help guide future purchases and create lists.

    However, when it comes to deployment, I think it's a bit weird how you can deploy parts of a battalion all at once or separately. I think you should have to do each unit in the battalion one at a time, or the battalion as a whole block at once. I think this would create some interesting choices in deployment, as one drop armies can still determine turn order but at the cost of giving perfect information upfront.

    At least, this is my newbie perspective on them.
     
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  12. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Battalions are nice, with many positive points: they are great thematically, they help the purchase of models, they increasethe strenght of the army

    Now, let's try to focus on the negative sides of battalions.

    1) different power levels. many battalions are so good that are largely favored by players. Then we have poor battalions, the "neglected" ones.
    there's already the tendency to reason in this way: "why should i pick unit A, when unit B performs better?".
    Battalions tend to aggravate this reasoning, to the point that some units are simply never (or almost never) played

    2) battalions are often too much "fixed".
    I must pick this, this and that. Very little room is left to "customisation", when at most you're given a choice between 2 units... especially if one of those units is better thatn the other.
     
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  13. Schwaaah
    Saurus

    Schwaaah Active Member

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    Another issue I find with Battalions is that sometimes they are required to make a model good. This seems like a lazy way of fixing/balancing a model. I think I would rather see the battalion offer both upsides and draw backs to allow models to fill unique rolls rather than "fixing" the model itself.

    The example that jumps to mind for me are the saurus guard, who are not really worth taking unless you can afford the battalion. There have been posts on this forum asking why saurus guard are considered tanky or elite when their stat line seems so mediocre at first glance. I mean, 18 points for a 1 wound model and a 4+ save? Seriously? This is because their battalion is a MUST have with them, which mostly just takes their saves from good to elite. I would rather the guard just have the good save to start with, and then have battalion give the option of a worse save, but one that applies to mortal wounds as well. That way there is a give and a take, and creates flexibility without being forced upon you.

    Or, if battalions ARE going to be kept the way they are, increase the cost of them and decrease the cost of the units within them. Make the Saurus Guard 15 pts/ model instead of 18, and up the price of the battalion by 45. That way you aren't vastly overpaying for suboptimal models if you choose to not take the battalion.

    I just dislike being forced into a battalion to make a unit work. The unit should work fine as a standalone, and then be tweaked in the role it can fit if you take the battalion. The battalion should always feel like a choice, not something you are shoehorned into.

    Tl;Dr A rehashing of what was said above by Canas
     
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