Why I’m Excited for Age of Sigmar

glass half full

Hey everyone, Reecius here to talk about why I am excited for Age of Sigmar.

Business first: if you are interested in picking up a copy of Age of Sigmar, we at Frontline Gaming are selling them within the United States at 25% off retail during the pre-order period (now until Saturday, July 11th). Just shoot your order to: Orders@FrontlineGaming.org We will also be selling what stock we have remaining after pre-orders at the Bay Area Open tournament this coming weekend (July 11th-12th), in San Jose, CA.

Age of Sigmar (AoS) has caused a lot of controversy, as was to be expected. Warhammer Fantasy was a game that has been a part of people’s lives for decades, and to have something that you love irrevocably changed into something dramatically different would be shocking. So let me preface this by saying that I have nothing but empathy for existing Fantasy players that are seeing the game they know and love fading away. If it happened to 40k, I’d be an unhappy gamer, myself. Heartbroken, actually. What follows are my personal opinions about Age of Sigmar, and anyone reading this is free to disagree!

toughtruth

The cold, hard truth of the matter is that Fantasy was a dying game. Fantasy took up roughly half of the development resources of the GW design studio before Fantasy started getting scaled back to make room for 40k, but generated a fraction of the revenue. GW did their best (IMO) to try and and keep the line alive and kicking with some truly amazing model kit releases for Fantasy over 7th and 8th edition, but nothing seemed to draw in fresh blood. It appeared that they tried to alter the business model for Fantasy by increasing units sizes in 8th, perhaps trying to increase revenue by encouraging existing players to purchase larger model kits they they didn’t have and even larger units of models they did have. However, IMO, all this did was encourage creative hobbyists to use “place holders” to fill out the giant blocks of troops. And hey, who can blame them? With the way Fantasy worked, typically only the first few rows of models actually fought, the rest of them were essentially (expensive) wound markers. Plus, some of the unit fillers people came up with were pretty cool and creative!

TK_Skeles_WiP_7

 

Personally, I never really liked the “brick” battle mechanics of Fantasy. Now, I am not saying it is inherently bad at all, a lot of you folks reading this love it! But, the idea of buying a big, expensive unit of very detailed models to paint up when only a few of them actually did anything in a fight really wasn’t appealing to me (when I was playing Fantasy a lot, I played Wood Elves whom nearly all skirmished!). While I always thought the ranked up units with musicians, banners and champions looked awesome, it was pretty unappealing to try and build an army of them. And it turns out, I was not alone in this sentiment. Many gamers made the choice to pick up 40k as it was easier to get into. The problem likely exacerbated itself as little by little, more players made that choice also due to it being easier to find games of 40k than Fantasy. In our store, we saw less and less Fantasy sales over the years and hardly ever did we sell a new player on the game. Now, to be fair, we were 40k oriented which definitely biased our customers coming in. But, that said, every time a youngster came into the store interested in getting into miniatures gaming, it was infinitely easier to sell them and their parents on picking up a 40k army that was often the same price of just a few units in Fantasy. As a store owner whose goal is to sell product to keep the lights on, it made us lean towards 40k before the sales cycle even began. Now again, that isn’t a dig on Fantasy, just an observation based on personal experience and opinion. I believe that new gamers being able to play AoS with units of 10 or less models is going to be really appealing.

beauty

I also must say, I prefer the AoS models in general terms. While Fantasy has some stunning models in the range, AoS has big, beefy, beautiful models as we see them in 40k. Having them based on circular bases and not having to rank up means that they can be more dynamic in their poses and take up more “space,” so to speak, while also providing more room for some creative basing (in general terms, I have seen some breathtaking Fantasy regiments with all scenic bases). From a modeling perspective, I think this allows you to do a lot more, and due to models engaging in melee similar to the way it is done in 40k each model gets to play in the game, so to speak. They typically all get to engage in the battle instead of simply standing in line, waiting to be removed as a casualty or getting run down and removed from the table because of a flubbed leadership check, which I never really enjoyed with Fantasy. I also appreciate the new Aesthetic direction the models are going in. I never felt drawn to the somewhat historical/fantasy look of some of the armies such as the Empire, Bretonnians, etc. While I am sure some folks love that look–which is totally cool–it never grabbed me and I feel that that was sentiment shared by many gamers. I love Fantasy settings with “historical” influences (such as Game of Thrones), but in a Fantasy miniatures game I want my heroes larger than life and my villains to look like they stepped off of the cover of a Norther European Death Metal album cover! I always felt that the Chaos Warriors were the coolest looking models in Fantasy and how much fun it would be to have “good” versions of them. Low and behold we get the Stormcast Eternals. Turns out I was not the only one that felt this way.

iron fang pikemen_5

Warmachine really takes this “beefcake” aesthetic to the extreme but you know what? That’s a Fantasy game that sells REALLY well. A lot of folks like that look, and it is reflected in a lot of other popular, modern Fantasy franchises such as World of Warcraft. Take 40k as another prime example (which is more Science Fantasy than true Science Fiction), Space Marines sell unbelievably well and they also bear the larger than life characteristics that seem to appeal to so many gamers in their miniatures. The new AoS models really seem to embrace this quality and as someone that enjoys it, this is very appealing to me. I believe it will be to a large number of other gamers, too. If I wanted to play a Historical minis game, I would. But in a Fantasy game, as a consumer I want to see really exaggerated aesthetics as the setting itself is inherently fantastical, and the game is so dependent on visual appeal. Just as in my comic books, I like my super heroes with funky, bright colored costumes that would look ridiculous in a movie, miniatures in the scale we play in simply look cooler with exaggerated aesthetics, or the “heroic” scale as GW calls it. I think this is the right call to appeal to a larger audience.

kiss

 

AoS looks like it will be mega easy to learn to play, which is a good thing, IMO. Learning how to play 40k or Fantasy was a daunting proposition. If you are already mentally invested in a game, it can feel like a serious chore to learn a new, complex game system. I know that is always one of the tings holding me back from diving into a new minis game. It’s hard enough to stay on top of one system, so making AoS exceedingly simple to pick up and play is a smart move and will lower the barrier to entry for many new gamers. Now, I must say, the no points values thing is reeaally weird to me, but perhaps that is simply due to having points ingrained so deeply into the way I think about minis games. Points systems are largely arbitrary, anyway, and having played 40k as long as I have, I have seen that skewed points values between players really has less impact on the outcome of a game than you’d think. However, it makes list writing totally foreign to us and that is a fun pastime in itself.

That said, I keep an open mind and look forward to seeing how GW proposes to provide balance through scenario play or rules yet to come out we have not yet scene. Going over the Warscrolls, it does seem that many of the units in the game have been “Dropzeone Commander” balanced in that units with essentially similar roles on the battlefield have very similar stat lines, with the variety coming in their special rules. So, a foot soldier in one army is roughly equivalent to a foot soldier in another army. I actually really like this as it works quite well in other game systems. What I wait to see is how GW will entice us to not simply take our best models in AoS, and actually use the weaker models if there are no points values and we instead use model count to balance our games? That bit so far eludes me, but we’ll see what comes. And as for the “goofy” rules such as pretending to talk to imaginary horses for in-game benefits and such, those are no big deal to me. They’re silly on purpose to encourage a fun, light-hearted gaming environment. You can quite easily simply say that they are always in effect for organized play if you do not wish to participate in the wacky antics. I also expect the complexity of the system to increase over time to continue to add layers of depth to the game through scenarios, special rules and supplements. A simple starting point is a good call, and leaves room for growth.

TheWayForward

What I see in AoS is something new and exciting with the potential to appeal to a LOT of gamers. Looking at this from the perspective of someone that was not playing much Fantasy (I lost interest when Daemons hit 7th ed like a wrecking ball), and always preferred 40k, Age of Sigmar means something different to me than it does to a veteran of Fantasy. But, what I see is a modern game that is enticing to play for someone that was never going to pick up Fantasy which unfortunately, was a big chunk of the miniatures gaming market. In the face of an increasingly competitive tabletop gaming environment, and rapidly changing technology (3-D Printing), AoS actually entices me to take the plunge and pick up a new minis game that is set in what seems to be a cool, imaginative Fantasy setting. Yes, there are some weird looking details to the game at this early stage, but I am confident we will iron these out as a community as we learn the new system. We will see what occurs and if the game can stand the test of time, but for now, I remain cautiously optimistic.

How do you all feel about Age of Sigmar?

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

83 Responses to “Why I’m Excited for Age of Sigmar”

  1. Fagerlund July 8, 2015 12:42 am #

    This pretty much reflects my views as well! And this is coming from someone who VERY recently got back into Fantasy (so recently in fact, that I played my first game of 8:th edition with my own army last week! (And on a sidenote my Wood Elves kicked ass ;D )). But I’m lucky in the sense that I have friends who long ago agreed that if “9:th” sucks we’ll stick with 8:th anyway. So how I see AoS is as a completely new game, and I think this backwards compatibility should just be seen as a bonus of sorts. I just hope I’ll have people to play both games with. 🙂

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 11:28 am #

      Yeah, seems like it won’t be an issue to play 8th ed, or use Kings of War with GW models.

  2. Void Talker July 8, 2015 2:35 am #

    I’m returning to gaming.
    My only “collection” is Assassinorum: Execution Force.
    Wanted to get into 40K or 30K but the £££’s to spend just to get started gave me pause.
    Age of Sigmar has drawn my attention and I eagerly await Saturday when I get my starter box.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 11:28 am #

      I’m excited to try it, too!

  3. Bill July 8, 2015 3:14 am #

    While I agree they should have done something, they should have made a complete game with that certain something called….hmmm what is it….oh yeah points. At least the community could have done their usual fix GW’s mess from there. When news of this broke we thought GW finally was going to clean up its act. Once we downloaded the rules (or lack thereof) and played some games, we realized GW is back to doing it’s usual “we are GW and don’t give a s*** routine.” (I think the next new game is going to be just send us a check for $95.00 in a envelope for nothing, because you fans are such rubes.) After playing four games we believe this is possibly the worst miniatures game we have ever played. We honest thought for a long while on Sunday night and couldn’t come up with anything worse. This was a missed opportunity to save the game and only the most die hard fanboi is going to apologize for this steaming pile.

    All this game represents is how out of touch GW is with its fanbase and it was a missed opportunity to make something special. A game can be simple and elegant, but this game is nearly unplayable as written and there is no real method of balancing armies, and no the paragraph of rules written by Bob the intern at lunch does not balance force construction. I just hope this tanks and a company with half a brain acquires GW’s IP and begins to make decent games again.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 11:31 am #

      I think you are correct with what we have so far, but, I think there will be more material coming out that provides ways to play balanced games. I think we just don’t have that information, yet.

  4. Cavalier July 8, 2015 3:16 am #

    If anyone has played Advance Wars (turn based war game for Gamebody Advance/DS) they have these mission types called Pre-Deployed. You basically are given an army without the ability to select units or create new units… which makes for a very tense tactical game centered around a particular theme (siege, rescue certain units, destroy certain fortifications, capture the enemy HQ etc.) I’m betting AoS is going to work like this when the scenario books come out… which I really like. I find myself playing and re-playing the various pre-deployed scenarios in the Advance Wars game just to see how different tactics would have worked and try and get top ranking for the mission.

    I bet GW twigged to the idea when making the Campaigns for 40k and saw how well they sold. I personally am in favor of scenario based play (not to the exclusion of points though) and will be willing to try AoS if a model range comes out that appeals to me. Right now I’m not feeling the beefcake thing… I was hoping for normal human knights but I’ll wait and see.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 2:39 pm #

      Yeah, some folks really don’t dig the over-sized aesthetic in Warmachine and WoW, but a lot do. Too each there own!

      And I agree that it sounds like scenario play will be what we get, which limitations in place on what models everyone can use to create balance. We’ll see.

      They really do need to include some “pick-up game” style rules too, though.

  5. Trueknight July 8, 2015 3:25 am #

    To me, this feels like an attempt to harness warmahordes with some 40k mixed in with a game that had a boxed set game like battle masters that you would buy at walmart. I had faded from fantasy long ago, so I don’t begrudge GW from trying to do something, however I’m not so sure this is going to work (if it does, awesome!). I think that majority of fantasy players will be alienated, so this will be about drawing new blood.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 2:41 pm #

      Agreed, this is about drawing in new players, not appealing to the old guard whom were not buying enough of the product to keep the game alive. That is no insult to them, just an observation I share with you.

  6. Tomguycot July 8, 2015 4:51 am #

    I don’t understand who is supposed to be the target market here. The rules are too simple and unbalanced for people already into war gaming and if they’re going for a much younger audience it seems like pre-painted with ready made terrain (I’m thinking something like AT 43) would have been the way to go since kids don’t really have the hobby chops to paint, assemble and make terrain/non-snap fit models. Also even as a game intended for younger players it could have benefited from more structure.

    • John July 8, 2015 6:02 am #

      I completely agree with you, because the 12-16 year old market can hardly assemble these things, let alone paint them. They think they can paint like the stuff in the case at the store and they end up with a testor’s enamel nightmare. then frustration kicks in…I agree with the above too, we played the game and though it was garbage. The spacing rule is a joke, since models on larger bases had to have bases stacked upon one another to maintain coherency to the actual models. I felt like we were literally rolling dice to roll dice.

      I am rather amazed that GW came up with this game to save itself from going bankrupt. The models look nice, but I guess they are testing the market for how far nice looking models with absolutely zero rules will take them.

      • Hotsauceman1 July 8, 2015 7:11 am #

        Ahhh, Testors Enamel models. Such lovely to play against

      • ronin_cse July 8, 2015 9:19 am #

        You’re really saying that a 15 year old can’t assemble models? Wow…

        • John July 8, 2015 9:42 am #

          Yes, yes I am from my local FLGS you end up with a pile of glue and some plastic.

        • John July 8, 2015 9:50 am #

          I also know some adults who can barely assemble and paint these things too…but man the kids that show up..if they are under 18 it is typically a nightmare. Granted you have to learn somewhere and I didn’t begin painting well until I hit college. The poiint is the lower you go in looking to get kids to start, the harder it is for them to complete the hobby aspect of the game.

          • Warmaster_Gir July 8, 2015 12:59 pm
            #

            Everyone starts somewhere, just because somebody can’t paint as well as the stuff on the shelves doesn’t mean they will rage quit, maybe they will learn and grow same goes with model building and construction.

            I started playing when I was 11 and I will be the first to admit that my first models where not as well put together or painted as my newer ones but I didn’t feel any shame or frustration, not unless somebody was shaming me for the quality of my work. In which case then yea I would have probably stopped playing, but that would have been because of Toxic community members not because of the game.

          • Warmaster_Gir July 8, 2015 1:25 pm
            #

            Ugh, I made so many grammar and spelling mistakes I’m not even going to try.

      • Trueknight July 8, 2015 9:26 am #

        I don’t think GW is anywhere near going bankrupt. Unless something drastic gets published in their financials this month. I think they tried a hail mary to save a product line/IP.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 2:43 pm #

      I think your observations are accurate as of now, but I think more rules and info will come out and make this all seem a lot more sensible.

  7. Steven morrow July 8, 2015 5:09 am #

    I got into fantasy way back 24 or so years ago. Must say I am excited about the age of sigma. I bought my stuf, learned to paint them painted them and played with them. So saying young kids can’t or won’t like the hobby side is bull crap. The tactics I can already see from the rules encourage super fluid battlines and I really like that. No more grinding away with blocks until magic wrecks a unit or an unlucky break test snuffs one out and you are suddenly your heroic army is running like cowards. Quite frankly fantasy was all about army selection. You choose the “wrong” army because you love the aesthetic and whoops sorry you lose because certain army books are just better right now. Go spend a lot of money and try again. Fantasy wasn’t fun to play, it was fun to build your army and see it in its glory but on the battlefield it just wasn’t fun. Age of sigma looks fun.

    • Steven morrow July 8, 2015 5:29 am #

      And as far as structure, this game is designed so that if you buy one box set of miniatures then you can play. So I can go buy one box, not at least 3 more likely much more, and fight with a legal army. That was a huge reason people don’t start war games. Not many people cant afford to drop 500+ dollars for a 1000 point army. At the game store older players with multiple armies had to loan them out to try to teach new players. Just imagine if you see this game and say wow that looks cool how do I play. Then you hear you have to get all this stuff then you can play. The reaction most of the time was give me a box of mtg cards.

    • Steven morrow July 8, 2015 5:35 am #

      another bonus is I can have multiple people playing at the same time with their own little armies. So again simplicity and the rules set work great in this. Free for alls are very doable.

      • John July 8, 2015 6:12 am #

        Literally everything you find positive about this game could be done with a bag of army men and rolling handfuls of dice. After reading the rules and playing it, there is just zero strategy to this game. It is just come at me brah and throw dice. I got into wargaming for the strategy and maneuvering aspects. Much like chess, the idea is to match wits with your opponent. If I was going to roll dice and randomly move things around the table, I could pick up a copy of candyland at target for $8.00

        • Fagerlund July 8, 2015 8:49 am #

          What’s stopping you from playing 40k with a bag of army men and a handful of dice?

          • Steven morrow July 8, 2015 10:26 am
            #

            Funny that’s the same argument fantasy players have always used for 40k. Sorry I like 40k. I like age of sigmar. I haven’t liked to play fantasy in a long time.

        • CKuno July 8, 2015 10:23 am #

          People are allowed to like things that you don’t. No need to rain on their parade, which is exactly what you’re doing. You’ve made your opinion known elsewhere, there’s literally no need to tear this guy down and stop him from enjoying himself.

          • John July 8, 2015 11:06 am
            #

            People are conversely allowed to dislike things you like and share their opinions…You have made your opinion known, there is literally no need to tear into me and stop me from explaining why I do not enjoy myself playing AoS.

          • CKuno July 8, 2015 11:22 am
            #

            Explain away, don’t run up and down and comment on everyone who is not being overly negative. That’s just you being overbearing.

  8. Mantic Fan July 8, 2015 6:11 am #

    I don’t blame GW for this new direction. They had to do something, and it’s ironic that a lot of 40k was plagarized from Fantasy (which, was plagarized from multiple sources, but that’s another story), that now they are taking space marines into fantasy.

    I think the basic rules are interesting, and the scale sounds reasonable.

    I’m suspect that the balance won’t be in filling out detachments and formations. Just look at the recent 40k books. SM, Eldar, Necron (and even Logan’s from SW). If you both agree to take X units or formations, and use that to build your special super-formations (if you have enough units and formations), I suspect the balance will be close.

    • Kian Alden July 8, 2015 9:19 am #

      I understand where you are coming from, but the sad, sad irony of this whole situation is that GW killed fantasy two years ago when they decided to make blocks of 50+ models the standard in the game. Before 8th edition, you could get by with many fewer, more points intensive models. Once 8th edition hit you basically had to buy tens, sometimes hundreds of new core infantry that cost $30-$40 for ten of them. Starting a new army for 8th edition was an even more daunting situation.

      Now, GW has realized their mistake. They saw that trying to force people to buy hundreds of identical models was a losing proposition, even if the rules were strong enough to demand such a purchase for competitive play (ex: 10 blood knights and a blood dragon lord charge 60 Gors, killing 2/3rds of them, the Gors, after losing more than 50% of their models get to roll their ld on a 10, and re-roll it, because steadfast…). Age of Sigmar is the classic GW overcompensation move: instead of going back to something similar to 7th edition, i.e removing core requirements, and allowing larger single models and heavy cavalry to have some breathing room, they have opted to move towards the ‘one box’ model.

      It is really detestable, and shows exactly how little understanding there is between the marketing/sales team and the design team which is another classic flaw of game companies.

      • Steven morrow July 8, 2015 10:32 am #

        Except blocks of infantry couldn’t do anything. A unit of knights would charge in and wipe out anything that could fight in the front ranks that would be it. Allowing more to fight was a try at solving that. It didn’t work. So the game system was shown to be flawed to its very core. And it is dying

        • Kian Alden July 8, 2015 2:55 pm #

          Blocks of infantry in 7th ed. were as you say, rubbish, unless they had high initiative values they were screwed. In order to make infantry work, and of course as a gambit to sell bajillions of more models, GW made blocks of infantry immovable objects that even the unstoppable force of units like Blood Knights and Chaos Knights would be stopped in their tracks by.

          We both agree that WHFB was screwed. The game system as it stood in 8th ed was broken because it was still playing the same game of ‘lets buff the bad stuff and nerf the good stuff’ that GW plays every edition.

          What I’ve seen of AoS so far is not the solution WHFB players needed. I hope it can prove itself with some additional rules by GW to be a good, solid game but right now it looks like another round of the same.

          I’m curious though, what would you change in WHFB to make the system more engaging? I personally feel that if the unit types were more balanced between one another, regardless of army book balance, the system would be in a better place. That and a more sensible set of spells (Purple Sun of Xerus broke my heart).

          • Steven morrow July 8, 2015 5:32 pm
            #

            Jeesh that’s a tough one. Without changing the very core of the way the game plays its impossible. Some of the things they tried to implement in 8th were good ideas but it led to more problems as far as playability of the game. The biggest problems in my opinion was the magic arms race. There were too many armies trying to vie for attention so some armies were intrinsically hampered by relying on actually fighting the enemy while others whose flavor was magical dominance got magic combos that were almost impossible to overcome. If you look at the core armies like empire, high elves, orcs and goblins and dwarves. They had certain core principles that they followed. Infantry blocks supported by warmachines and archers with a hard hitting reserve of knights or monstrous type units. Of those the toughness and armor of dwarves or the toughness and numbers of orcs made it work fairly well. But both empire and high elves just couldn’t rely on their infantry to stop anything so we got detachment rules for empire and always strike first for elves. But all this meant nothing against the cheese that was introduced to give certain armies there own flair enter vampire counts, dark elves and daemons who traded turns being horribly dominant. They were dominant not because of player skill but because they could take certain magic items or characters to make any tactics other armies use irrelevant. So the biggest problem with fantasy for a while is that winning has had less and less to do with tactics and more to do with selecting the ” right” army then selecting the cheese dick combos to make the game unplayable with anything unless equally cheesy. So whole armies became irrelevant and even in those armies that could compete you were forced to take certain builds or not bother playing. I personally love ogres but I want to use ogres not an army of monstrous cavalry and monsters just to have a chance at winning. So why bother playing a game that forces me to ignore most of my potential army list and any kind of grand tactics to play. As far as I’m concerned to save fantasy you have to pare the armies down to at least half the number then do away with pretty much all magic items and super mages/monsters while still managing to keep the feel of an army. Good luck.

  9. Anony-Mouse July 8, 2015 7:01 am #

    I could see myself getting into Age of Sigmar. It will really depend on what models they release; if they do something steampunk-y or ancient greek/roman inspired I would probably buy one of the kits just to paint it, even if I wasn’t planning on playing the game.

    I’m interested to see how this works out; it’s interesting to see the reaction of anger from the community when it seems like there’s a lot here to be happy about. Free rules. Advancing the storyline. Smaller, lower model-count games. For my own part, I never liked Fantasy and wouldn’t have played it. But I might play this, or at least buy the models.

    I’m waiting to see how they balance it but I’m optimistic that some way to balance games will come out. Points aren’t the only way, just the most familiar. Some of the greatest battles of history have been unbalanced; you can’t re-fight Thermopylae in a balanced game. Giving the weaker army easier win conditions could also be a way to balance the game without having to require the guy with more toys to only use half his stuff.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 2:51 pm #

      Good points on unbalanced games being fun. Totally makes sense and with scenario play, can still be a great time. But, I really do want to see some tournament style play, too.

  10. Hotsauceman1 July 8, 2015 7:17 am #

    Listen, When there is a combo that Auto-wins a game for you when all you do is have to bring 2 miniatures and onthe first roll of the game its over, there is something majorly wrong with this game

    • Bill July 8, 2015 8:18 am #

      +1 skaven bell and chaos sorcerer for the win dog…take all the wounds of models you want agaibst me.

    • ronin_cse July 8, 2015 9:17 am #

      Ok so let’s say you bring that to “play” against people at the local store…why would anyone ever play you?

      • John July 8, 2015 9:46 am #

        Why would anyone ever play a game that has such crappy rules? Your question is equally hypothetical….But seriously the point is the game imbalance in Age of Sigmar is even more epic than 40K this list, and I bet there are a million just points that out. Gee I own a goblin or empire army with a bunch of the regular infantry guys..sure sounds fair to balance that against an equal number of wounds army made of nothing but chaos warrior or khorne bloodletters. I understand what Hotsauceman1 and Bill are arguing. So basically your argument is the game is playable assuming your are playing your best friend and you had months of planning to try and balance the scenario…GW take my money now.

        • Steven morrow July 8, 2015 10:33 am #

          Take the same army and we can have a nice fun roll off to see who wins. Lol

        • DaRoyalKing July 8, 2015 10:38 am #

          I am still in disbelief that GW thought AoS was a good idea. Honestly, I pretty sure most people could agree that GW really screwed up on this one. They had a great chance to breathe new life into fantasy and instead went with a game system that is unplayable. The rules just don’t make any sense, and it has become very clear that the company wants nothing to do with balanced rule set. 40k has been heading in the unplayable direction for some time and now with this release it shows there no hope in sight for those who enjoy playing with balanced rule set. I believe this is the final nail in the coffin for most players who were on the fence about GW. Just makes me wonder who is making all these bad decisions over there, it’s like they are pushing to see how far they can screw over their player base. Hey GW here’s a clue most people enjoy a balanced rule set; we don’t need a rule book to tell us to play the game however we want for those who enjoy that play style! Why do you think Magic the Gathering is dominating the market? Because they actual care about their product, rules and community. It’s really that simple. If only GW would listen to their player base, their sales would be through the roof because they produce the best miniatures and mix that with solid rule set = $$$$. Wake Up GW!

      • Jural July 8, 2015 11:06 am #

        Honestly, if an asshat showed up and wanted to do that, I’d rather NOT waste my time playing him. Better an annoying 20 seconds than an annoying two hours.

        But what about tournaments? who cares- the game is -5 days old, the tournament scene may need at least 3 days to coalesce.

        Personally, it looks fun, and I can’t wait to try out my Empire models, and may finally begin collecting some of the orcs or Dark Elves which interest me (assuming some FLGS decides to put them on massive sale.)

        • Hotsauceman1 July 8, 2015 7:34 pm #

          I cant ait either to see if it does good. Because i would LOVE!!!!!! to run a lizardman calvary list or a vampire counts Dragon with the Mortachs backed up by(converted obviously) Bloodknight because I find it awesome

          • Jural July 9, 2015 9:23 am
            #

            Yeah, one problem with Fantasy in recent editions is that you were typically punished for having some of the more awesome units, as they weren’t point efficient or very effective. Now they are pretty cool

    • CKuno July 8, 2015 10:28 am #

      NO ONE IS GOING TO DO THAT. NO ONE.

      It doesn’t matter that the potential is there, who would bring two models so that they can put them on the table only to immediately say “I win” and then pick them up again? And I would argue that you have to be some kind of truly special asshole rules lawyer to try to argue that you can change a result that is literally physically impossible to achieve. The kind of person who does that is the kind of person who stopped having opponents willing to play against him years ago.

      So can we please stop trotting that canard out like some kind of ridiculous boogeyman that’s going to pop out in every other AoS game, please?

      • John July 8, 2015 10:59 am #

        So about those AOS tourneys that will never exist lolz…..only the most die hard GW fanboi, employee, or rep can defend what GW did in making this game. We tried playing it last weekend it was just utter garbage. If this game is your cup of tea and you think it is amazing…hey more power to you. If you played fantasty or 40K before you are going to be ready for disappointment. If they had only just put points into the game, then at least the community could have made an attempt to fix their mess. It is literally as if GW is waving a giant middle finger to all of us by pruposefully leave points ouf of the game. I am taking my square bases and heading over to Mantic.

        • Bill July 8, 2015 11:15 am #

          Yeah I agree, we have a similar background in our group and did not like it one bit. I agree with other posters that this was a major missed opportunity by games worksop. Once the hoopla of this being a new release dies down, this game is going to be ignored or purchased only for the models.

        • CKuno July 8, 2015 11:15 am #

          Dude, anyone who has been on this site and read your ridiculously hyperbolic comments knows exactly what you think about GW’s games and knows that you came to the table with a huge bias and were probably determined to hate the game from the beginning. So even if you actually played a test game, your opinion means less than nothing because it was made up before you even played and sure as hell wasn’t objective.

          Either way, I can tell by the fact that mindlessly insult anyone who doesn’t agree with you exactly what type of character you are.

          • Bill July 8, 2015 11:23 am
            #

            What? What did I do?

          • John July 8, 2015 11:32 am
            #

            Dude, that last post just made my day…

            “what type of character you are….” I am a 9th level Dwarven Paladin with 18 Charisma and a +5 Con save, what kind of character are you?

          • John July 8, 2015 11:41 am
            #

            You sure have alot of hate, vitriol, and negativity for somone who takes offense to people being negative. We can flame each other back and forth until Frankie and Reece just start deleting everything, but I am going to leave it at that, because I gave my opinion. I played it, wanted to give it a fair shot and don’t understand how the people who like it are even playing the same thing. As a game it is my opinion that it severely removes the strategy aspect. I will leave it at that.

          • CKuno July 8, 2015 11:50 am
            #

            “Aw shucks, I’m just folks who thinks anyone who might like this game is a GW fanboi or a shill, not that they can’t possibly simply have a different opinion. I may have spent weeks in the lead up to this game talking about how awful it was going to be, but I was still super objective when it turned out to be exactly what I’ve been saying. But not like it was some kind of self fulfilling prophecy or anything.”

            I’m not buying it.

          • Bill July 8, 2015 11:53 am
            #

            Jesus will both of you just stop it….just have people play it and form their own opinions.

  11. Anvil
    anvilward88 July 8, 2015 7:51 am #

    Very much tip of the iceberg with AoS. The very core rules of the game has been just released for people to get familiar with the basic mechanics. It’s the training phase for the players. The first week of Age of Sigmar is like one of the earlier Core Sets of Magic the Gathering. They don’t release all of the rules for Commander, Two-Headed Giant, Sealed, Booster Draft, Archenemy, Planechase, the deck building formats for Modern, Standard, Vintage, Kaleidoscope, etc. Most of the cards have very basic rules, rules that you will encounter commonly later on.

    Same thing is happening with AoS, with just the basic rules and no formats at all, send the models to kill each other. If they released this, with no intention of adding anything at all later down the road, then yeah, the game will be very boring very quickly and won’t survive. But that’s not what’s going to happen. There’s going to be scenarios, campaigns, rules added about the different realms, more models, possibly army-building formats, etc.

    Do I like it? Yeah, it’s different from the other games I play. It’s not something I will play all of the time, but it’s a change of pace. Some weeks, work has been easy, so I go for the more strategic games. Rough week at work with a ton of problems and bugs to fix? I wanna turn my brain off over the weekend, make sound effects with my mouth like an idiot while rolling tiny squares with dots, with cool looking models.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 3:01 pm #

      Agreed, this is phase 1 of AoS and is being presented as just what comes in the box, super simple. More will unfold as we go, IMO.

      Time will tell, but I think this could be a cool game, although, I have yet to even try it so my opinion is very limited so far.

  12. fluger July 8, 2015 8:46 am #

    I started checking out of Fantasy around the 7th ed Lizardmen release. I was more of a Fantasy player up until Orks got re-released in 4th edition.

    I kinda hung in there for 8th edition, but I realized quickly that if I was to be competitive I’d essentially have to buy almost a full new army to do so. That thought wearied me, so I sold out.

    I like the *idea* of AoS (easy entry, new IP, more “action”), but I don’t really like the implementation. I have been playing a lot of SAGA recently, and that’s got my skirmish game attention. I also had dabbled in Malifaux for a while too.

    The thing is, what made Fantasy so unique was that it was WHF BATTLES. Not skirmishes…battles.

    While the adherence to blocks of troops may seem kinda silly for a variety of reasons, when moving around units, it’s pretty nice to have movement trays. It makes BIG games easier to play. It’s also “realistic” in terms of medieval combat so it makes sense to play that way.

    I have a feeling that WHFB is going to go the way of old school historicals. We’re going to a see a few die hards and they’ll cling to community-created rules or fall back on 6th or 7th edition, but, the game is effectively dead.

    I’ve heard talk of switching over to Mantic (ahem, plug your new pardner, eh?) with Kings of War. You can pretty easily port over your GW figs to play that game. Most Fantasy players never made the leap because there was no reason to. GW just gave them that reason.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 3:03 pm #

      Agreed that Mantic is most likely having a party right now at their HQ, lol. But, we will wait to tell folks to abandon all hope until we try it the game. This article was more about what I personally was excited about with AoS.

      • fluger July 9, 2015 8:06 am #

        AoS looks like it could be a good skirmish game, but I think KoW is going to be the go-to for big fantasy armies moving forward.

        I keep hearing bits and pieces of positivity about AoS, but the fact is that it’s a NEW game. Most WHFB vets don’t *want* a new game, just a new edition. With that choice taken away, I see them shifting to a living ruleset (KoW) or else coming together as a community and creating their own version of WHFB (I think the ETC or Swedish Comp people could do a great job of it).

  13. J-rod July 8, 2015 9:34 am #

    I plan to buy the starter set just because this looks like it would work better as a board game. As for this replacing fantasy, its like our king has been overthrown and were stuck with Joffery. And no one wants that.

    • Kian Alden July 8, 2015 2:57 pm #

      What a wonderful analogy.

      I feel the same way, I personally enjoyed 8th edition once I found a group of players who weren’t TFGs and an army I liked. It had some really fought bits here and there, but I loved it.

  14. Mike July 8, 2015 9:57 am #

    In 40k, I prefer playing ITC rules over the basic game because the collection of experienced tourney players and TO’s contributing to the ITC are much better at balance than GW playing in their game room and saying things like “hey let’s have Ezekiel turn into a daemon prince!” Now if we could just get the ITC to go “all the way” and do full surgery on the game instead of putting a splint here and bandage there.

    My question for Reece and FLG is: If they do wreck 40k with “age of the emperor” or whatever, will that finally cross the line to where you will fully errata the game yourselves? Because I eagerly await such a day.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 3:07 pm #

      Well, first of all, thanks for the kind words! Much appreciated. However, I don’t think “Age of the Emperor” is coming anytime soon, as 40k appears to be carrying the company at present. Why rock the boat? Fantasy got rebooted because it wasn’t selling well enough.

      But, that said, I do think the tournament scene will get regulated by the community as it always has been.

  15. Garrett July 8, 2015 10:36 am #

    The whole article essentially boils down to “I’m optimistic because I’m a 40k player” which is fine because that’s the demographic they are targeting with this game. The community on the internet seems pretty split on this which tells me that since the 40k community is bigger than the fantasy one that all of the current fantasy player hate this and the 40k players are alright with it.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 3:07 pm #

      Not an unfair assessment, I think.

  16. Tomguycot July 8, 2015 11:01 am #

    I don’t understand why rather than blowing up their whole system they didn’t just reboot it to something closer to 4th edition WHFB. I was a poor high school student and had no trouble putting an army together. It was much more charter focused so you spent a lot of points on those and then had units and a war machine or two supporting them. The most extreme example was a 12 model 2000 point Chaos army (2 characters, 5 marked Knights with a magic banner and 5 dragon ogres with a magic banner).

    • Tomguycot July 8, 2015 11:03 am #

      Charter = character

      • Reecius
        Reecius July 8, 2015 3:09 pm #

        Yeah, even 7th could be played with relatively low model counts. GW must have felt that this was the best way forward for their company. They aren’t in the business of sharing their reasons why with us very often so we are left to speculate.

    • Kian Alden July 8, 2015 3:14 pm #

      Interestingly Age of Sigmar seems to be very similar to 4th edition, at least in the sense that your army can be composed of a very small number of hyper elite units and characters.

      AoS offers gamers the chance to make that one WHFB army of their dreams, like the all vampire army, the all chaos knight army, or all black orcs, or all boar boyz. In this regard, it has given us the power to make the most characterful armies in the history of Warhammer…I’m just not sure it was worth it (fingers-crossed).

      The lack of points values are the real issue, and I have a hard time believing that GW would release their documents for every single unit in the game, without including points values, just to come back later and shoehorn something in (although now that I write it, it does seem like their style).

  17. Warmaster_Gir July 8, 2015 1:33 pm #

    I’ve been having fun with Age of Sigmar. It’s simple and quick to play with more tactical depth than I thought it would have originally. But then again my group already kinda made a balancing system and they are all pretty awesome so nobody is trying to wreck the game and make it unfun for everyone else to play. As an added bonus my wife started playing again simply because Age of Sigmar so much easier and quicker to play than Fantasy.

    • Kian Alden July 8, 2015 3:00 pm #

      That is encouraging. I plan on making a Wight army (all grave guard and wight kings, with some knights and other cool stuff) and just try to play a cool skirmish campaign with it.

      The game feels like it does have a lot of potential for an organized group that knows exactly what they want to do stuff like narrative campaigns, and self-regulating much like you talk about.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 3:09 pm #

      That sounds promising.

  18. rollawaythestone July 8, 2015 2:54 pm #

    My gaming group includes a number of senior Fantasy players. I myself have played my fair share of Fantasy – but I haven’t bought in to the same degree that many in my group have. I have a single 2500 point HE army that is largely unpainted (cause as you point out, painting so many rank and file guys is daunting).

    My gaming group and I was eager and hopeful for 9th Ed. When Age of Sigmar was teased, we were all optimistic and willing to try the game out. I like skirmish games. I play 40k primarily. Having played a few games now, it has it’s pro’s and it’s cons. Right now, the game is a quick to play and learn skirmish game. Out of the box, it plays like a fun board game – but this is no wargame. With no points or army-balancing mechanism, it is dead in the water to my play group and I.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 8, 2015 3:11 pm #

      Yeah, if they don’t add in a way to balance armies, then I agree, the game will die a quick death. However, I don’t see that happening, personally. I could be wrong, but I don’t think GW will go that far down the rabbit hole.

  19. Shifty July 9, 2015 2:14 pm #

    Reece, I respect you and believe you’re an honest person, but I don’t believe it’s ethical to put a sales pitch for the product in question at the top of your editorial article about it. Those two things should be separated. I know you’re running a business and everything, but ethically, I believe selling a product and writing an editorial about said product cannot be mixed. Just my two cents. Anyway, looking forward to seeing what you guys think of it after you play it!

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 9, 2015 2:58 pm #

      Yeah, I understand where you’re coming from, but, as a business owner, I have a responsibility to try and put our offer in front of as many people as possible. I totally understand that it makes the following review seem clouded due to the fact that we have a vested interest in selling the product. My hope is that we’ve developed a reputation for honesty and that folks can understand the duality of the position we’re in. Thanks for sharing your opinion though, that did cross my mind, too.

      • Jural July 9, 2015 3:42 pm #

        I think it would be more unethical to write a review and not mention you were selling the product you were reviewing.

        People ask waiters, game store owners, car dealers, etc. their opinion on products all the time, even though these people have some degree of bias. Part of being a business owner is being an advocate for your product while also being honest, and part of being a consumer is understanding that the provider is biased, while also learning who to trust.

        That being said, the subliminal message hidden in the text that is forcing me to buy 100 Fiends of Slaanesh… not cool.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 9, 2015 4:04 pm #

          Lol, you discovered my devious plot to get you to buy Slaneesh models! haha

          But yeah, in order to survive, we must advocate for our business, it is a necessity. Some folks find salesmanship distasteful, which I understand, but it is essential. We must do it or perish.

  20. Peter Pienczuk July 9, 2015 3:26 pm #

    The point of fantasy was too be different from 40k. I like 40k or rather did fantasy was perfect because of the different rules and mechanics. Now there is little difference between the 2 so why play age of sigmar at all? That and the models are incredibly dumb and cartoony while the story. ( which I loved long before playing the game) feels like it was written for uneducated children with ADD. Much of the charm of warhammer in the first place is the historical allegories that connect event in the real world like the crusades against araby or the norscans being Vikings as well as the church of sigmar being based on the catholic. I mean the hada character named luthor Huss for god sake! That’s pregnant with symbolism. 40k is no different the emperors golden throne and Robute Guillimans second founding and break up of the legions are both references to the emperor Constantine. With out that half the hobby feels flat. But to look at it from a gaming perspective I go to around 15 hobby stores in and around my area and I have never seen a group play a storyline campaign for war machine/hordes,infinity drop zone. Even flames of war with a historical background has almost no themed games except at special days like the dday anniversary. 40k and fantasy + it’s spin off games lend themselves to campaigning and special scenarios and as someone who cares very little for the tournament scene it was a huge selling point fore.

    • Jural July 9, 2015 3:45 pm #

      I have a bigger problem with the severing from the historical world (and replacing it with basically nothing) than I do with the rules changes.

      I have hard time imagining this new world at all, or getting invested in it beyond using my miniatures. This isn’t an Age of Sigmar thing though, it’s part of their End Times stuff. End Times was fun, but what resulted was a really wacky, uncinematic world.

  21. 420blazer July 9, 2015 4:58 pm #

    We played this last night, after I read the rules at lunch. I agree with everyone who said this is not a wargame. I don’t know who the target audience is, but we were locked in hth in one round and it just became an exercise in rolling dice instead of delicate maneuvering. This was a real missed opportunity to make something special. My orks seemed pretty sad against my buddies nurgle daemons.

  22. dodicula July 10, 2015 5:59 am #

    Glad you liked Age of Sigmar. GW’s problem is the have another game with stagnant sales and a shrinking player base called Warhammer 40k. I hope you enjoy it, when they gut it, and realease its retarded cousin instead, just like they did with WFB. Trust me, that day is fast approaching, especially is AOS does well.

    • 420blazer July 11, 2015 7:18 am #

      Yeah I kind of agree I think the worst thing for 40k is for AoS to get popular. You GW will dumb down 40k and literally make the gane unplayable in tournaments. That seems to be what AoS is saying to those of us who enjoy 40k organized play. I think when the shiny new wears of AoS, people will see how little replay value is there.

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