Monday, August 14, 2017

The Beauty of Battalions

Everyone who plays Age of Sigmar is aware of Warscroll Battalions and the many benefits they offer in the game. They offer much more than just that though, and I was very excited to see their inclusion in the game system. So, what do I think are some of the best benefits of Battalions?

I remember when formations first came out for 40k and I wasn't too excited for them. I don't recall why exactly, but there was just something about them that didn't appeal to me. The idea must have grown on me though, because when the first Battalions came out in the Thanquol End Times book I was extremely excited to see where they would lead. Obviously that format of Warhammer didn't stick around much longer after that, but when Age of Sigmar came out, every army had at least a few Warscroll Battalions to accompany them. Since then every book release, Battletome or Campaign Book, has had numerous Battalions included.

Everyone knows the obvious benefits of taking Warscroll Battalions; the rules bonuses, the ability to deploy in one drop, and the ability to take an extra artifact. Yet to me there is so much more about them that appealing. The original intent of them, in my opinion, was to add character and some fun rules that fit the background of the army. Anything that helps bring the way the army is written in the background to life on the tabletop is a bonus to me. Age of Sigmar already was a huge leap forward in having the rules more accurately reflect the background, and Battalions only enhanced it more. You read about the Liberators and Judicators fighting together in the novels, and now you can represent that with the Thunderhead Brotherhood Battalion. It helps make what could just be a game of models on a table top, into a representation of the battles being fought in the Mortal Realms. A lot of the armies' Battalions are also structured in ways that reflect the organization of the army in the lore. The Bonesplitterz, for example, have Battalions which reflect the Rukks that make up their army. I would love to have my force structured in a way which would be natural to the army, which actually leads into the next point.

Warscroll Battalions give you a great way to build your army. A full 2,000 point army can be a daunting task, but a much smaller Battalion with only a few units is a much more attainable goal to build to. It's a little like setting small bench marks to help you reach the finish line. If you're running a race and are starting to feel winded you may think to yourself I just need to get to the next mile marker, after that you set a new goal, and you keep doing that until you finish. Battalions can be your mile markers for your army. For many, building a "full" army can take a long time, whether it's due to financial restriction, time restrictions for building and painting, or just a busy lifestyle that leaves your hobby time few and far between. This can help make it a little more viable for you. Whenever I start a new project I take a look through the Battalions to see if there are any that I may want to build towards. They're a great way to motivate yourself to getting stuff painted.

Lastly they're great for giving you incentive to collect models and units you may not have thought of originally. Many Battalions have unit requirements beyond what are seen as the obvious choices in a Battletome. This will help make you army more diverse and able to adjust to new situations. Overtime you'll most likely have enough units to switch between several Battalions. This also rewards players who have large collections, giving them several options with different bonuses for fielding their army. Beyond collecting new units, it may also incentivize you to build and paint multiples of the same unit. It's definitely more fun to paint new and different things than just the same unit several times, but there's a certain power to seeing that repetition on the table top. It makes it look more like a regimented army, besides whatever bonuses you may have in the game. A lot of these Battalions will require you to take multiples of the same unit, so it rewards you for sticking with them and painting the same model several times.

So the next time you're taking a look through your Battletome or army list, take a look through the Battalions list for more than just the in game bonuses they offer. Maybe they'll be one in there that will catch your eye for the background it represents, or inspire you to paint up some units you've had sitting on your shelf, or even collect a whole new unit.

What are your thoughts on Warscroll Battalions?

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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