Tyson C. brings us an editorial on the new summoning rules for Age of Sigmar 2nd edition.
Daemon summoning. Remember Daemon summoning? From 7th edition? Let me back up a bit.
I’m not much of a competitive player – my group of friends build their collections more or less based on the “rule of cool”. This isn’t to say that they don’t put up a fight, but none of us are really out to win a tournament. Some time in 7th edition 40k, I had picked the Word Bearers as the focus of a new army I was starting. I even convinced myself somehow that I was going to acquire the Dark Vengeance starter box and convert the entire Dark Angels half in to Word Bearers marines to save money. You know, because I’m a masochist.
Why the Word Bearers? I’m sure that the competitive 40k audience are immediately like “their legion trait is awful in 8th edition, why would you play them”. I’m not saying I disagree, but I’m sticking with them (rule of cool). No, I picked the Word Bearers because at the time, our small group of gamers needed a bad guy. Originally I was waffling between several different legions. That was before I started reading the Horus Heresy novels from Black Library. The Word Bearers jump-started the whole heresy. I usually gravitate towards the “good guy” in RPGs (video games and otherwise), and I figured it was time to branch out a bit. It seemed kind of weird to have these games where it was Imperium vs. Imperium, particularly since we were planning a map-based campaign, and I didn’t think it would be very fun for all of the Imperium players to gang up on the Tyranid guy (thematic, yes. Fun for the Tyranid guy — probably not).
I never really got to play much in 7th edition due to life moving a little too fast, so the insanity of Daemons summoning spiraling out of control didn’t really impact me. Let’s fast forward a bit to 8th edition. Boy, did the reveals for 8th edition generate a lot of excitement! I poured over the Index books excited to see what changes were in store and equally terrified that I might have to rebuild things to make them “game legal”. Hot on the heels of 8th edition and the index books was the Chaos Space Marines Codex!
Having acquired the Codex, I rabidly flipped through trying to understand what 8th edition meant for the Word Bearers. Now, I’m not typically one to get too worked up grumbling about things being “OP” or even “Underpowered”, but I have to say — the Word Bearers are fine, they’re just not very exciting rules-wise. Part of this lack of excitement has to do with having to pay reinforcement points for Daemon summoning (their legion trait is just kind of boring). Let’s be clear, Daemon summoning is METAL. How better do you establish yourself as the “bad guy” than by summoning warp entities who thrive on human emotion and feed on souls? For me, not getting to play very much made this even more of a pickle. How do I plan my points to include wiggle room for the limited number of daemon models in my collection while risking all of the characters capable of summoning them getting murdered before I can get them on the table? I still haven’t played much of 8th edition (I can probably summarize the “why” here by explaining that I’m a Dad now), but I did summon a big block of Bloodletters in one game and it was…okay. I just remember spending the whole game waffling over when to summon them and whether or not having to stand still that turn to do so was going to be counterproductive, etc.
Hopefully this bit of backstory helps explain that I’m personally not qualified to say conclusively that paying reserve points for summoning daemons in 8th edition makes sense or that it “works”. All I can say is that a lot of players probably avoid it for some of the same reasons I have.
So why am I writing this? Age of Sigmar 2.0. Despite not playing AoS myself (not that I wouldn’t give it a spin; it’s more a way to stay focused), I read most of the AoS previews out of curiosity. So far we’ve seen multiple previews regarding changes to summoning in the forthcoming 2nd edition of Age of Sigmar. So far there have been a few reveals, most notably:
- No reserve points for summoning!
- Instead, summoning is achieved via a resource specific to each faction
- Slaanesh – wounds caused that do not slay the target generate a resource
- Seraphon – completing rituals generates a resource
- Undead – more info coming
These are just a few examples, and I’m sure the reveals are going to include more and more. It’s also very obviously reminiscent of 7th editions latecomer “Khorne Daemonkin” and their concept of the “Blood Tithe”, which could be used for (among other things) summoning free daemons.
What do you think about the new AoS summoning rules?
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