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Getting my daughter into Age of Sigmar

Getting my daughter into Age of Sigmar

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Project Blog by danlee

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About the Project

My daughter expressed an interest in my Soul Wars box set so now that I have the models assembled and primed I'm going to see if I can get her into the hobby.

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It's been a while...

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It’s been a while since our last game. I’m ashamed to say it wasn’t because my daughter lost interest, but because I’ve not had the time in the evenings for us to play. But yesterday my daughter was very keen to play so I set up a very small game of five Sequestors versus 20 Chainrasp Horde.

 

We simply smashed into each other in the middle and the Sequestors wiped out the Nighthaunts in about five turns.

Spells and more abilities

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For today’s game we had three objectives across the centre of the board. An objective could be claimed in the hero phase if you had models within 1″ and there are no enemies within 1″ of the objective. The objective then remains yours until claimed by your opponent. The player with the most objectives at the end of turn three wins.

 

My daughter has grasped how the key mechanics work now, although she relies on me to tell her what she needs to roll. Given her grasp of the basics I thought I could add in more unit abilities and spells to make the game more interesting. In this games wizards could cast their warscroll spells (I left arcane bolt and mystic shield out of the game for now). Most units got to use their simpler abilities. Command abilities and “once per battle” abilities have still been left out.

 

We both enjoyed the game a lot. Most spells failed to cast but the Lord Arcanum healed himself repeatedly which kept him in the game until the end. My daughter also enjoyed channelling magic into her Sequestor’s weapons every turn. I also made use of fly and  ethereal for the first time which makes the nighthaunts far more durable.

 

As usual our forces simply clashed in the middle. However the addition of ethereal and healing magic meant the combats lasted many more combat phases than they used to. I was able to claim two objectives to my daughter’s zero so I won. Importantly my daughter wasn’t upset that she lost and she still enjoyed the game. I was also glad that she asked me for the game today – even after a two week gap she is interested and keen.

Starting to add unit abilities and objectives

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For today’s battle I took inspiration from the Shattered Dominion Objectives. We had two objectives equally spread out along the centre line. The game winner would be the person to be in possession of both objectives at the end of turn three.

 

The Iconoclast Axe could only be claimed by answering three maths questions asked by the statue (i.e. your opponent). The Trove of Arcane Glory could only be claimed by reading a passage of text to it (i.e. time to do some school reading homework).

 

This was also the first game where my daughter used the Celestar Ballista and I realised that without its Chained Lightning ability it performs very poorly. I therefore decided on the fly to start introducing some unit abilities, largely as I see fit to make things interesting. I’m not too worried about using every ability all the time. I also introduced spellcasting for the Guardian of Souls.

The actual battle saw the Celestar Ballista, Knight-Incantor and two units of Sequitors facing off against a Guardian of Souls, Chainrasp Horde, Spirit Torment and Lord Executioner.

 

I deployed the Chainrasp Horde directly opposite the Celestar Ballista to ensure it could get some good rounds of shooting in. The Spirit Torment and Lord Executioner went for the Iconoclast Axe on my left, with the Knight-Incantor moving to challenge it. On my right my Guardian of Souls went for the Trove of Arcane Glory. Contesting him was the two units of Sequitors.

 

My daughter was able to claim both objectives in turn two after answering three maths questions and reading the first page of her homework reading book. In turn three I was able to take out the Knight-Incantor and seize that objective by answering three maths questions posed by my daughter. On my right the Guardian of Soles eventually died but not before holding out for far longer than I thought should be possible. In the centre the Chainrasp horde took a pounding from the Celestar Ballista and then got into combat with a unit of Sequitors. They won in the end, but not quickly enough to move to another objective.

 

The game ended in a draw.

More terrain and objectives

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We’ve had a brief brake while my daughter was away on holiday at her Grandmothers for the half term.

 

While she was away I bought another set of Azyrite ruins and I also assembled and base coated the objectives set. These can make the tables look more interesting and I also plan to add extra rules for claiming the objectives that tie in their appearance to learning. For example to claim the chest full of scrolls you must read the page of a book nominated by your opponent, or to claim the axe embedded in the statue head you must answer a maths question chosen by your opponent.

 

For today’s game we repeated the last scenario except with a bigger board and more treasure chests. Now that we have four small chests and two big ones, the big ones provide 10 gems and the smaller ones 5. To win you have to count down from 57 to 0 by recovering gems from the treasures chests in the hero phase.

 

By the end of turn four I had been wiped out but my daughter had collected gems along the way so she practised her subtraction.

Blasted Hallowheart

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At the weekend I picked up the Blasted Hallowheart terrain set. This was partly so we could stop playing games on my living room carpet, but also to make the games a bit more interesting with some scenery.

 

Also following on form comments posted after my last game I wanted to start adding in narrative to the game so that my daughter wasn’t just thinking about trying to wipe each other out and winning.

 

In this scenario I came up with the objective that each side was trying to recover 57 gems from either of the treasure chests that come in the terrain kit. In the hero phase any model within 1″ of a chest can take ten gems, reducing the number required by 10. This may seem like an odd way of scoring at first, but my daughter’s maths homework at the weekend was to count down in tens. This scenario uses that maths directly and so ties in directly with her current school work. It also introduced the hero phase to our games for the first time, which can lead up to starting to introduce command abilities or spells in the future.

 

I wont give a blow by blow account. Suffice to say I deliberately charged into my daughters forces knowing I would be slaughtered. This gave her the chance to close in on the chests and start looting the gems. The game ran into the fourth turn, by which I still had two Glaivewraith Stalkers on the board but I had been unable to loot any gems. My daughter’s Knight Incantor had taken a beating but was still standing, and her other units had also taken wounds. She had looted the chests six times, counting down the number of gems that she needed by ten each time.

Fear of losing

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For this game my daughter had three evocators, three sequitors with stormsmite greatmaces and a unit of  five castigators. I had 20 chainrasp horde and four grimghast reapers.

 

I went first a kindly ran everything forward into firing range of the castigators. The chainrasp horde suffered a few casualties as a result.

 

In turn two my grimghast reapers charged the sequitors and the chainrasp horde charged the castigators. I managed to kill a single sequitor for my trouble and in return lost half the grimghast reapers and several of the chainrasp horde.

 

It was at this point that my daughter began to sulk. I think she was upset that her ranged unit had been engaged in melee and the game was therefore not going as expected. I had to spend about ten minutes convincing her to continue. I think there are several underlying reasons for this. One was that we always play in the evening when her little sister is asleep. Unfortunately this means my daughter is tired and prone to getting upset when we play. Also my daughter wants to give up as soon as she thinks she can’t win. I’m hoping to teach her to have a more positive attitude to games and competition by getting her to play more. Finally she has no grasp to how a game is going so starts to sulk even when she’s doing really well!

 

One we started playing again the sequitors and evocators charged the remaining chainrasp horde and wiped them out very quickly.

 

During today’s game we were able to practice, the one, two, and three times tables as well as addition and subtraction. Tomorrow I plan to visit my local store and might buy something for our games.

Game 3: Lord Arcanum and Castigators vs Knight of Shrouds and Grimghast Reapers

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For this game I let my daughter pick any two unit. She picked the Lord Arcanum and five Castigators so I picked the Knight of Shrouds and Grimghast Reapers to face off against them.

 

In turn one my daughter went first and advanced, but found she was out of charge and shooting range. I advanced up and tried to charge the Knight of Shrouds at the Castigators to the rear, but didn’t roll high enough. My Reapers charged the Lord Arcanum and managed to do some wounds but suffered casualties in return.

 

In turn two the Castigators shot and wounded my Knight of Shrouds and the Lord Arcanum finished off the Reapers. This time though my Knight of shrouds managed to roll high for his charge and got into the rear of the Castigators, killing two.

 

In turn three my daughter won the roll off to go first but elected to let me go first. She was sulking because I had killed the two Castigators and she was convinced I was going to win. This made me realise that the biggest hurdle this project may end up facing is my daughters immaturity over losing a game, rather than her ability to grasp any rules. Up until now she has been able to grasp all the basic mechanics and do the required maths. Even though I went first my Knight of Shrouds fought very poorly and the Stormcast were able to finish him off in their combat phase.

 

I hadn’t planned to play a game today but my daughter was very keen to play after bath time. I think I might give this a break for a couple of days so my daughter can forget her “near loss” and come back at the weekend with more motivation.

Game 2: Sequitors vs Glaivewraith Stalkers

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In this game we both had a five model unit. This allowed me to introduce battleshock and unit cohesion.

 

We started 24″ away and in this game we also introduced rolling off to see who goes first in each turn. We both advanced towards each other at full speed in turn one and nothing else happened.

 

In turn two I won the roll-off for first turn but chose to let my daughter go first, knowing this would give her the charge and make things more interesting for her. She needed a 9″ charge and rolled a 10 so she was in. Again we’re not using any unit special rules so her Sequitors have a distinct advantage and she was able to kill two of my Glaivewraith Stalkers for my one kill in return. In my turn I only managed a single wound and then the Sequitors wiped me out.

 

In this game there was no subtraction to practice as neither unit had rend, but with every model having two attacks my daughter got plenty of practice with her two times tables. At no point could either unit fail a battleshock test but I talked my daughter through the process anyway so she practised addition and comparing the test result to bravery scores to see if the result was higher or not.

Game 1: Duel

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For this game we had a simple stand-off between the Lord-Arcanum on Gryph-Charger and the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed. They started 24″ apart on our living room floor.

 

My daughter thought the Knight of Shrouds looked too spooky and she wanted to play the “good guy” so she took the Lord-Arcanum. This suits me if she sticks to this long term as the Stormcast are more forgiving if she is clumsy handling them.

 

I let my daughter go first and I explained how to read the Lord-Arcanum’s moevement speed of the warscroll. I deliberately used the measuring stick that came in Soul Wars instead of a tape measure so that my daughter wouldn’t get confused between centimetres and inches. She moved forwards 12″. I explained how charging works but she failed to roll the 12″ needed to get the charge in, but she now had her first bit of maths practice with a 2D6 roll.

 

I followed by advancing to within 3″ and charging. I explained how I had to stop 3″ away during the move and asked her to figure out how far I could move if the gap was 12″ but I had to stop 3″ away. More maths. I got the charge in and we moved on to the combat phase.

 

As I attacked with the Knight of Shrouds I explained how to read the melee weapon entries on my warscroll. We went through hitting, wounding and saves and I managed to get two wounds on the Lord Arcanum. She then fought back and did four wounds to the Knight of Shrouds.

 

I should point out at this point that for this game (and possibly the first few games) I am deliberately not using any unit abilities or special rules. In essence we are only worrying about the move, wounds, save, and attack profiles. This is to avoid overloading my daughter. In particular this meant I did not benefit from the ethereal rule and so was applying the rend to my armour saves.

 

In the following game turn my Knight of Shrouds was torn to shreds by the Gryph-Charger and defeated.

 

My daughter really enjoyed herself and wanted to play again straight away but alas it was bed time.

 

For game two I plan to repeat this scenario but with a multiple-model unit on each side. This will add in basic multiplication for number of attacks and unit-cohesion. I might even throw in battle-shock.

 

 

Premise

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My daughter is six and a half years old so she is actively learning to read and do basic maths with a couple of years experience of each. So is also interested in crafts. I want to find a fun way to encourage her to practice all of these skills and playing Age of Sigmar seems like an ideal way of doing so.

 

My plan is to start with a very stripped down version of the game and gradually add in more and more elements of the rules as time goes by. My daughter should gain practice of doing basic maths almost straight away through using the dice, and I’m hoping she will be intrigued and start wanting to read unit stat cards and maybe even some of the army books in time.

 

As a project I’m going to gradually build up the resources that I put into it as hopefully my daughter’s interest increases. I’m starting with only the Soul Wars box set (which I had bought for myself anyway).