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Made in us
Humming Great Unclean One of Nurgle






This thread is for discussing the use of alternate activation in AoS (as opposed to igougo). Focusing on the how rather than the why. Consider the premise to be 'assuming you were using alternate activation, how would you go about it?'

In my local community we use alternate-by-phase a lot in our Path to Glory leagues with great success. This approach really shines when we are doing free-for-all battles where doing whole turns meant players sitting around doing little to nothing for long periods. At the start of the round we establish the initiative order, at which point each player takes their whole hero phase, followed by each player doing their whole movement phase, and so on. This already creates a tactical dynamic where going after someone is advantageous for movement while being a disadvantage for shooting/magic. The charge phase also has some interesting tactics open up since units can 'suicide charge' to lock enemies in melee and prevent them from moving in on a larger target. It also makes random, changing initiative order from round to round a feature rather than (IMO) a flaw.

Combat is where some adjustments need to be made to preserve the gameplay; we do two combat phases one after the other. The second combat phase has an inverted initiative order, and counts as a different turn for the purposes of buffs that do not last a full round (like ones that trigger the turn a unit charges, for example). Following both combat phases there is a single battleshock phase for all the casualties of the round, which seems different on paper but we have found in practice ends up functioning fairly similar to normal.

And that's it. Part of the appeal is the small number of rule changes needed, as well as how intuitive it is and easy to explain to new players. While we primarily use it for FFA it also works excellently in 1v1. We've been doing this since the days of first edition, so I can definitely say from experience that it works.

Consider; Games Workshop rules not so much games but as toolboxes for players to craft an experience from, and open/narrative/matched play just examples of how things can be put together. 
   
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I always liked for AoS and 0k the idea of a limited igougo system.

Each player has X actions per turn, (say 1 per every 100pts, that is 20 actions per 2k) Everything you do is an action other than special abilities (like using a CP to do XYZ). You still have phases, but you want to cast 5 spells, well you spend 5 actions, then you want to move 6 units, but wanted to run with 2 of them, well thats 8 actions, you decided to shoot with 2 units, spend 1 CP to shoot 1 unit again for 3 shooting actions, you now have spend 16/20 AP's. So you decided to charge, but you see you only have 4 actions left, 3 are in range, but if you charge with all 3 only 1 will fight. If you don't use them you lose them.

IMO GW games can not go 100% alt actions unit by unit within phases. Doing Alternating Phases would be much easier, thou you would still need to change how melee works.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/08 19:36:29


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There really needs to be some form of alternating.
   
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Has anyone done full AA per phase? It would greatly help the shooting/melee balance issue.

The Hero phase would be awfully interesting if you had to consider whether to use your activiation to attack or buff depending on what your opponent was capable of.

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When I created Azyr Empires it was full alt activation.

YOu fully activated a unit from start to finish (hero, move, shoot, combat) then the opposing player did the same.

There were a couple pieces to deal with that I'd need to post the full ruleset to explain but overall it made the game actually feel tactical and strategic, and not an alpha strike blitz hoping for a double turn to double alpha strike blitz.

As far as houserules go it also went over really well with the campaign event group, barring those that just hate all house rules at all for house rules.

I played this way pretty much all the time from 2017 - 2019.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/09 12:40:10


Parabellum Conquest Vanguard and champion of all things Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings

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I'm not sure unit by unit alternate activation would go as a balancing tool, and I think a more Kill team or Middle Earth SBG style would work a bit better.
   
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Its a matter of preference. There is no way to objectively /prove/ balance. I don't use it for balance so much as I use it to make the game much more interactive. I hugely dislike games where one person stands there and takes it in the face for an entire turn (or in AOS case two entire turns) before they get to respond.

Middle Earth SBG style is miles ahead of the AOS experience but still not my preference because its still an enabler of mini alpha strike by being able to do something with my entire force before you get to do anything in response save for using hero points as interrupts (which is cool, I like that).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/09 15:52:16


Parabellum Conquest Vanguard and champion of all things Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings

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I do not like unit-by-unit activation because for me it is a big immersion breaker. My mind gets hung up on the concept of the whole battlefield waiting around while one unit does its thing. It also makes gameplay feel less like armies and more like individuals; good for the likes of an RPG or skirmish game, not what I want in a wargame. That is why I prefer alternating by phase, but I can still respect the technical advantages and results and would be interested to hear people share their experiences.

Consider; Games Workshop rules not so much games but as toolboxes for players to craft an experience from, and open/narrative/matched play just examples of how things can be put together. 
   
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I don't like a unit doing all of its actions at once, do not like it at all for Army based games.

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I've been playing a lot of kill team for the last 2 years along with its bigger brothers (I think?? I even forgot when it came out..) and I can't see a reason why AoS shouldn't go exactly the same way. Double turn is translated to double first movement phase which is not always better - in a lot of situations it is more effective to respond to the enemy's movement than get the initiative. Shooting phase - alternate units, fight phase - alternate units. Plain better in every regard than than the current ruleset, it is already implemented and at least for me it works with larger armies . I've heard the argument 'Oh no, alt activations would slow the game too much' - no they don't.
   
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I have not had a chance to play AoS that way but I imagine it would work pretty well.

Something that would be cool is if the GHB included rules for different initiative/activation styles in the matched play section. Something like 'may improve balance, ymmv' for people to try.

It will be like a gateway drug which we use to get them hooked on the sweet juice of alternate activation!

Consider; Games Workshop rules not so much games but as toolboxes for players to craft an experience from, and open/narrative/matched play just examples of how things can be put together. 
   
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 NinthMusketeer wrote:
I do not like unit-by-unit activation because for me it is a big immersion breaker. My mind gets hung up on the concept of the whole battlefield waiting around while one unit does its thing. It also makes gameplay feel less like armies and more like individuals; good for the likes of an RPG or skirmish game, not what I want in a wargame. That is why I prefer alternating by phase, but I can still respect the technical advantages and results and would be interested to hear people share their experiences.


I don't like a unit doing all of its actions at once, do not like it at all for Army based games.


Thats fine, thats why I basically flushed AOS once Conquest came out since Conquest is pure alt activation as I described it. As is Warlords of Nowhere. I have options these days that fit more what I'm after, which is a nice change of pace for once. I don't see GW bringing in alt activation anyway so its a moot point.

But as long as we have igougo we will have all that comes with igougo (and exasperated by dbl turn).

I've heard the argument 'Oh no, alt activations would slow the game too much' - no they don't.


Yep I agree. My games of AOS pure alt activations ran just as long as normal AOS games.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/09 21:18:42


Parabellum Conquest Vanguard and champion of all things Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings

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Alternating per unit is a problem when the game reaches a certain number of units - it then becomes tiresome and breaks fluidity of the game most often than not. I'm talking from experience with big games at AT-43.

I think a system like Kill Team is better suited to AoS - it also helps not touching too much to the rules, so that you don't have to completely redo everything from scratch IMHO.

My idea is similar to yours, Ninthmusketeer, but the difference is I put the charge in the Movement phase (like Kill Team - means position of your units so that they can charge next time is really crucial - I thought adding a generic rule for units with movement 10 or higher being able to roll 3D6 for the charge and pick the two highest to compensate that). Reason for this is ability to control the shooting units, because otherwise they will always be free to shoot at any enemy before they charge. At least with the charge in the movement phase, you can add a tactic of locking the shooting enemy with one of your units so that the rest of your army is safe for the shooting phase (they can only shoot at the enemy they're locked with).

I'm also in favor of alternating the shooting units (one of your shooting units then one of your opponent's shooting units, and so on) like in Kill Team - adding a possibility to "aim" for units that don't move and thus can shoot first before you alternate the others. I would also really love to finally do the same with the melee phase - alll units who charge alternate first, then the rest.

Either way, I would remove the ability of some units to shoot while being charged, because with our system, that means they will be able to shoot two times per turn (one in the shooting phase and one as they're charged). That's quite devastating.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/09 22:27:31


 
   
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You basically put a rule in place that states a unit can only ever fire one time in a turn. If you shoot, put a counter or token next to the unit so that they cannot shoot again.

Parabellum Conquest Vanguard and champion of all things Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings

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I still recall fondly the days when charges always happened before shooting, and failed charges still involved movement. Not the Monty-Python style where you are either right in their face or far away and never between. I get that abstraction has to happen, but...

Consider; Games Workshop rules not so much games but as toolboxes for players to craft an experience from, and open/narrative/matched play just examples of how things can be put together. 
   
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It doesn't need to happen though. It happens because its the easy path.

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Unless we are literally re-enacting the battles down to the last detail there is some degree of abstraction occurring.

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I actually do miss failed charges you still have to move that distance (Or at least up just outside of engagement range).

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I think my only problem with AA is that it’d drastically slow down the game. But it would help in basically every other way.
   
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 Tiberius501 wrote:
I think my only problem with AA is that it’d drastically slow down the game. But it would help in basically every other way.
Would it slow down the game? What would actually take longer?

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 NinthMusketeer wrote:
 Tiberius501 wrote:
I think my only problem with AA is that it’d drastically slow down the game. But it would help in basically every other way.
Would it slow down the game? What would actually take longer?

The only reason I can think of is all the arguments that might crop up about whether a unit had activated yet or not. There are ways around it, and it does help you find out if you're playing against "that guy" a little easier, I would think.

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the one point that slows the game down the more actions are, are unpredictable situations that prevent thinking ahead

alternate phases, with charges during movement phases, allow planing your own phase very early during the opponents move
charge as last point of the phase put the final planing at the end of the phase

alternate turns means that the players need to adjust their plans each phase

and alternate actions means to do it after each action

so, if the opponent used the downtime to plan out his turn, the game takes longer the less downtime the players has (as he still plans everything)
if the player took the time anyway after the opponent had finished, the play time is the same.

also players who can react faster to changes on the board have less downtime than those needing more time


if a game with alternate phases or actions takes longer than a game with alternating turns depends on the player and how they handle the table
it is the point that makes the game more tactical that also makes it slower while yet it might feel faster because of less passive downtime for some (others that already used the time well will see no big diffrence)

and yes, alternating phases are better for Wargames with armies involved, while alternating actions are for Skirmish games
yet AoS is a Mass-Skirmish game and something in between would be the best solution

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Still - playing alt activation games, playing alt activation AOS from 2017-2019 - the games did not go longer than normal AOS games for the most part. There were some AOS games by default that played longer, and some games of alt activation of AOS that played longer but the time frame was generally the same ballpark for both. Maybe at first I could see that but once you get used to it, it doesn't slow down things that much.

There will always be people that take forever to take their turn though. Which is why I like chess clocks.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/10 11:30:17


Parabellum Conquest Vanguard and champion of all things Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings

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AA does inherently slow the game down just b.c the nature of it, aka Did this unit go? (argue about it), have to pass turn more often (which also does add time to the game) double checking every units actions capabilities b.c you are responding to the other person for every action, you can to just smoothly go phase to phase, unit to unit, normally while the other player is taking their turn you are already mapping out your hole turn as well, etc..

It would wise IMO to move to 1750 as the normal for AA AoS.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/10 11:58:32


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I'm still not seeing how alternate activation takes longer. Arguements about which units have taken their turn? Really? Does that show up as a factor when playing Kill Team, Warcry, or when resolving an AoS combat phase?

I feel like there is a joke going over my head.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/10 12:11:08


Consider; Games Workshop rules not so much games but as toolboxes for players to craft an experience from, and open/narrative/matched play just examples of how things can be put together. 
   
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I mean after doing it for a number of years and not having any significant slow downs USING AOS and 40K, but then people come on and try to gaslight that experience and tell me how it does in fact slow the game down and my experiences are either wrong, or i'm lying and it never happened... there's not much more to say.

No - it doesn't significantly slow down the game. There are a ton of people that use alt activation in other games that will say the same thing. It may slow down the game initially as people get a grip on how to use it, but after they have done a few games with it the games played in near exactly the same time frame as without alt activation. Then there are the people that take forever to decide to do anything no matter what turn activation you use. They will take forever with igougo and take forever with alt activation.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/08/10 12:58:26


Parabellum Conquest Vanguard and champion of all things Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings

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 NinthMusketeer wrote:
I'm still not seeing how alternate activation takes longer. Arguements about which units have taken their turn? Really? Does that show up as a factor when playing Kill Team, Warcry, or when resolving an AoS combat phase?

I feel like there is a joke going over my head.


Arguments are minor, its all the other stuff, it all piles up. But it is from my experience it does slow the game down.

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To be honest, I've been playing quite a few games with alternative activation.

Taking longer might be a thing... But the dreaded "I'm not doing anything but taking some save rolls" part of the game is gone... So at least I feel like I'm more engaged in the gameplay.

That being said... I've had plenty of games against players who only start thinking about what they are going to do when I effectively say: "it's your turn".

And this annoys me to no end, the people who still need a 15 minute "thinking phase" before their herophase even begins.

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 Amishprn86 wrote:

Arguments are minor, its all the other stuff, it all piles up. But it is from my experience it does slow the game down.


that might be your personal impression, but it has nothing to do with the stuff you mention as those also slow alternating turns down

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 kodos wrote:
 Amishprn86 wrote:

Arguments are minor, its all the other stuff, it all piles up. But it is from my experience it does slow the game down.


that might be your personal impression, but it has nothing to do with the stuff you mention as those also slow alternating turns down


In my experience those things I said did make AA slower. There is a lot more things changing unit per unit, move per move, etc.. and you can not see the full scope of a turn from the start of the game like you can now.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/10 15:02:12


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