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Confused about Army Composition

 
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James Dart
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:43 pm GMT    Post subject: Confused about Army Composition Reply with quote

Okay, Read through the starter book, glanced through the version 2.8 rule book, and I cannot find any sections that show how to build an army.

I have notes from last year about only having 2 types in one army. But, I can't find that anywhere in the rules. I looked at other peoples army compositions, and several of them have 3, 4, or even all 5 types included.

Is it common to select 2 types to focus your Army's strengths, or is it better to pepper it with other types to cover your bases.

Also, mixing races, I thought I was advised NOT to mix races, but i have seen several armies that mix races (based on similiar colors).

It's been 10 months since i've actively looked at my dice. I would appreciate any help.

Thank you;

-James
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:19 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the only real hard and fast rule about army composition is health cost for dice, and you can't have more than half of your standing forces as mages. That being said, its all up to what strategy you want to employ.

It is generally not recommended to play with an army of all monsters.
Most armies build around 2 unit types, the most common being some combination of magic and cavalry.

The issue with mixing races are magic and promotion. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that you can't run an army that mixes multiple races just that its more difficult to keep track of all of the relevant information. If you are mixing magic users, your strategy should plan on making use of the lower cost spells in conjunction with one another as it is less likely that you will produce consistent results. This is why if you do mix mages, its a common practice to have a shared color as then you have access to basic spells of that common color.
If you do mix races, it can be a good idea to have promotion paths between your multiple races, in case you kill dragons or capture a city. The city bit is less important if you are playing with dragonkin however as you can always just promote up those remaining kin in your pool.

Pretty much its all fair game, so long as you don't have more than 50% mages and follow setup correctly you're golden. I do a lot of really strange army comps to find out how they'll work sometimes they do, other times they don't. Best thing to do is just build and play armies and find out what works.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:40 pm GMT    Post subject: Confused about Army Composition Reply with quote

James,

With my army construction, I like to look for dice that have double-duty icons (Trample, rend, fly, counter, etc.), or races that have 'maneuvers as saves'. This can give you "more bang for your buck". This way you might be able to cover 3 or more of the categories with very favorable results. Also, mixed race armies can be very effective. Goblin/Swamp Stalkers is one of many examples, because both races gain a different (beneficial) advantage in the swamp.
It will just take time and experimentation/practice (which may prove difficult until a Yakima DD group can be found/formed Laughing).
Keep experimenting and Good Luck!
-Dave
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Urfaes
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:40 pm GMT    Post subject: Re: Confused about Army Composition Reply with quote

James Dart wrote:
Okay, Read through the starter book, glanced through the version 2.8 rule book, and I cannot find any sections that show how to build an army.

The army building restrictions are on page 7, "Decide Total Force Size." Other than the magic restrictions as mentioned previously, you can build what suits your play style.

James Dart wrote:
I have notes from last year about only having 2 types in one army. But, I can't find that anywhere in the rules.

It isn't a rule but more of a guideline. Kind of like the Pirate's Code. If you focus your army on two aspects, one of them usually magic, then you'll be strong in two of the five "faces" of the game: magic, missile, melee, maneuver or saves. As you spread your forces across the other faces, your results will begin to suffer in the others. Choosing icons that perform double duty is one way to maximize your army's concentration and composition.

James Dart wrote:
Is it common to select 2 types to focus your Army's strengths, or is it better to pepper it with other types to cover your bases.

Personally, until 36 points, I focus on two. At 36, I add in a third aspect to the army.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:19 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I cannot find any sections that show how to build an army.


I suggest copying winning armies to get started.
Most of the armies I see seem to be based on the same theme...
the Greedy algorithm.
So basically, players have deciphered what are the "powerful dice"
and load up on them.

Ussually 2-3 races seems to be the norm,
but again,
I suggest using armies that won,
so maybe see if you can build a winning army with your dice,
and them tweak it to your game style.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:55 pm GMT    Post subject: Re: Confused about Army Composition Reply with quote

James Dart wrote:
I cannot find any sections that show how to build an army.
That is just because its not a rule, its a strategy. There are many many many ways to build an army.
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James Dart
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:59 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

<nod> yes, yes, I see... so, in all reality, the only "rule" is no more than 50% can be of magic units.

In theory, for a 36 point army, one could go with 36 commons, from any race, so long as only 50% is magic.

Hrm. HOW THE HECK IS ONE supposed to figure out strategies. <sighs> I need to find a way to play more.
a) I found a solo version, but that doesn't really help i think.
b) I have 3 children interested in playing, but that i know would probably harm me than help me.

I know Skawilly loves the whole sneaky steal the terrain from a different location, and DProman loves to outmanuver units.

Also, why hasn't there been a new race? Is it because there just isn't enough support currently?

<deep> well, i'll see about convincing wife to let me buy some more dice to see if i can find those elusive Searer and Infernos i need. <grumble>

Thank you for all of the advice. will take into serious consideration.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:38 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a look at some of the on-line games that have been played. Then play in an on-line game or three. You'll learn a lot from there, and while the games tend to take a long time, you'll at least be playing against other people that have played before.

As for new races, Acolytes of Eldarim was the last race out. Right now we are in the middle of switching a number of starter races to kickers. While we are not coming out with new races, we are at least coming out with new units (the legendary fifth monsters).
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Dolus
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:22 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I learned a lot of strategy by playing in online games. My first few games I got demolished due to how little I knew, but I've learned so much by playing and watching games that now I'm not bad. Not good, but not bad.
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AC
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:01 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dice vary by "type" and between races. Some races feature extra maneuvers, for example; some don't maneuver as well, but maybe have more saves. I'm going to keep this general and simple, such that it could be useful to multiple people.

Army composition strategy is a part of playing/winning strategy, so you can look at it that way. There are two ways to win:

a. Be the first to capture two terrains.
b. Kill all enemy units.

Your army composition will reflect an intent to pursue one or both of these possible victory conditions, while probably also looking to prevent your opponent(s) from doing the same. All the icons on the dice will go toward these goals, either by directly helping you capture, directly killing your enemy, or by making one or the other easier (for example, if you kill a large portion of an opposing army, it becomes easier to outmaneuver the remainder of the army).

Dice rolling is functionally random to ready human perception. That means while the player doesn't know in advance what s/he's going to roll, in order to build a strategy for playing/winning, your army composition strategy will usually consist of selecting dice that will probably give you the outcomes you seek.

Because all dice have a fixed number of sides, as you increase the probability that a die will score a certain result, you decrease the number of different results it can produce. A Dwarf Heavy Rare is gung-ho for melee and can be counted on to smash your enemies -- but he isn't much good in other pursuits. A Firewalker Heavy Rare has a face for nearly everything, meaning it might come in handy at any time -- but you can't count on him very well to give what you need when you need it.

When selecting dice for an army, you can take dice that do few things very well and/or dice that do many things only passingly well. In a game built on randomness, a lot of strategy tends to focus on risk management. The more "focused" dice you have, the more reliable their results. However, it also means that there are some situations where you'll have to back down because your focused dice simply can't do what's called for. On the other hand, an army with "high variance" dice can give a decent try at anything, but they're very rarely going to be able to pull out a tremendous result.

The reason magic is so good (and people like it so much) is because it gives guaranteed results. You don't know how many Maneuver results you'll get in a single roll, but having a Wind Walk means you know you can count on 4, no matter what the dice roll.

The only other big item that comes to mind is rarity. This can be a little more complex (and I'm running late), but when you're starting out, you can safely use a mix of Commons, Uncommons, and Rares and not be worried.

In the original rules there was a prohibition against mixing races in the Home and Campaign army. It was more thematic than practical and was removed. You can mix races freely. See above posts for considerations on that.


Last edited by AC on Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:06 pm GMT; edited 1 time in total
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AC
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:05 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recommend following the advice posted above my post as well.

If you're a beginner beginner, I'd advise playing without magic (and probably without Rares or Monsters) until you get the hang of the game. What dice you use don't matter while just learning/teaching the rules.

Once you're in the swing, I'd recommend simple armies to start, and then you can work your way up. A good, simple army would be all Dwarves, 50% Magic, and 50% mix of mostly Cavalry with a few Heavy Melee. This is not to say that Dwarves are "easy," but to suggest that they produce steady results, have a lot of useful, simple spells, and few big weaknesses.
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Drachenwurfel
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:17 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe a thread with succesfull played armys played by experienced Players would help beginners.

Something like:
This is my Feral Army with this dice, and it Works like this
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:47 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Army construction is mostly about armchair-strategizing. The most important thing for me is to ask myself: "what do I want my army to do?". How does my army win? Do I want a quick victory, or do I want to stall out till late-game? What icon-type, spells, SAIs, health distribution, types of dice or racial benefit will my army be focused around? The list of questions is endless, and they all carry different consequences.
For example, if you want to stall the game, you better make sure to have some means of bringing your dice back from the grave, as well as a way to beat armies that turtle-up on their 8th. On the other hand, if you want to win quickly, you'll need an army with a fierce punch and a way to deliver it quickly and consistently. In this case, bringing back dice is slightly less important (though it hardly ever is unimportant).

You might also want to look at the online games section, just to get an impression of some armies. Though they might not always be overly streamlined towards a specific goal, it does help to set a basic picture.


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chuckpint
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:28 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to move this topic to where it now belongs: Game Strategy. There are stickies for each race that give you some ideas in that topic. Quite a few other posts there as well.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:37 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my favorite army:

Half Feral/Treefolk

Home:
Weasel-Folk

Campaign:
1 Badger-Folk
2 Wolverine-Folk
2 Hamadryad
1 Dryad
1 Eldar Dryad

Horde:
1 Antelope-Folk
2 Horse-Folk
1 Buffalo-Folk
2 Nymph
1 Naiad
2 Lady Nereid

Terrains: Either Flatland or Swampland work. I prefer Cities, but it really doesn't matter too much.

This army is fast, saves very well, and good combination of spells. When you do take damage, take Feral, they come back quickly.
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My collection is 21,500 Dragon Diceâ„¢, 20,000 Daemon Diceâ„¢, and others (too many to count).
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Blindfury
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:53 pm GMT    Post subject: Re-army building Reply with quote

Hi James.

There are several ways to build armies. The simplest and most common method starts with the selection of two roles from missile, melee, magic, and maneuver. Then divide the total points of the upcoming game in half (18 points for a 36 point game, 9 points for an 18 point game…etc.) Now select dice totaling that health for each of your chosen specialties. (18 points of magic and 18 points of missile for a 36 point game for example.) On deployment select 2 of the 3 terrains for the bulk of your forces to target. Each of your groups then deploy at those terrains respectively (1 group less a single low health die for deployment at the third terrain to meet initial army setup requirements.) What you do next depends on where your opponent deploys and who gets first turn.
Back to building your army, for each sub-group you can focus on a single die or a selection of dice. If the former, all rares to gain access to lots of special action IDs, commons for the most consistency, or uncommons for the best quantitative results per die. Your actual choice will depend on which army and the character of the dice for that role. If the latter, the standard method is to tier choices to maximize promotion and compromise between quantity and quality. An example of a tiered 18 point group would be 3 rare, 3 uncommon, and 3 common dice. Some army’s rares are better suited to single die groups than others. Some monsters (such as the fire shadow, troll, and elephant folk) are outstanding. However, the majority struggle to earn their points due to poor distribution of icons.
Most armies have certain roles that are better than others. Frostwings have excellent missile and magic units for example. Often the best choices are ones where dice count for multiple results, such as where maneuvers count as saves.
As has been said, magic is the most complex but most useful of the potential roles. Missile is extremely flexible (since it doesn’t allow a counter attack and can cross terrains.) Melee can be extremely decisive; especially to attack an army at an eighth face, though it can be difficult to get your army in position. Maneuver is a great strategy, but means that you are usually trading the ability to do damage for the ability to take ground. As you grow more comfortable with the game and its mechanics, you can tweak your forces by changing dice out, using multiple factions, magic items, special terrains, and commingling roles.
Obviously there are tradeoffs. What works best for you will depend on your dice collection, your own style, and what your opponent is playing. I recommend reading through the sticky strategy guide at the top of this forum for your chosen army, playing some sample games, and then reading through several of the electronic games and rules assistance threads to season your experience.
Hope this helps.
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