View Full Version : Things I like about Age of Sigmar.

de Selby
05-07-2015, 03:33
Things I like about Age of Sigmar: some thoughts.

It's free. They've stopped supporting Warhammer as I knew it (boo!) but they have made a free ruleset I can try if I want. So I'm cool with the existence of a new game even while I wish the old one had got another, better, edition.

It's straightforward and easy to learn. The basic design paradigm (brief core rules and special rules for each unit type) is a much better one than the way they've been designing their core games for years now, with hundreds of pages of basic rules and supplements with cross referenced sections on points costs, unit options, army special rules and unit special rules that supplement and/or replace all the special cases in the rulebook, all in different sections. The AoS rules are more clearly put together.

A few new ideas are clear improvements over the way WFB/40k handles things, for example the way monsters take damage and reduce effectiveness. In such a minimalist ruleset that's pretty good.

Smaller games seem favoured. Recent editions have got far away from the idea that the kit you buy should be a unit in its own right, not just another rank for some kind of optimally sized horde block. GW models are far too expensive to not function in the game straight out of the box, and it was killing their sales.

Some of the artwork looks promising, in a completely different style to what we're used to.


In my view the best point of comparison for AoS is not WFB 8th, it's Slaves to Darkness. Those old Realm of Chaos books outlined a monstrous world with fabulous artwork and stories and games rules that made very little sense at all. There was no balance, players were expected to balance scenarios themselves. IIRC, even the appearance of your miniatures could be determined by random rolls on a mutation table (I never really understood how you were meant to make this work). The whole thing was an inspiration and an exercise in goodwill and dark humour, and you had to work out how to use it to play wargames.


How I would use AoS rules to play wargames:

The AoS rules allow us 'to play games with our existing collections'. I see two obvious ways to do this.

Does your existing collection include a carefully balanced take-all-comers 2500 pt Warhamer 8th edition army chosen from the relevant army book? Do you have an opponent with the same? Set them up and you can play a game of AoS with them.

Do you want to play a game with everything you have, or at least everything you have for a certain faction from Warhammer 8th? Does your opponent want the same ? Set them up and you can play a game of AoS with them.
The sudden death rules may actually render this game more balanced than it would be under 8th ed rules, depending on the detail of your collections.

The game will not be carefully balanced. Someone will have an advantage, perhaps comparable to playing a cheesed up army against a fluff force in 8th. But your investment in AoS is literally zero at this stage so you should be able to have some kind of fun with it.


In the future, GW is going to be supporting AoS. It's likely that they will at least be promoting games with roughly comparable forces, but it will remain impossible to play balanced games without cooperative scenario design, as this seems to be a policy decision. In the context of a cooperative game, a 'fantasy roleplay game' as original WFB was described, obvious 'jokey' rules are a non-issue.

My long term concern is that the core rules have abandoned the fundamental warhammer concept of ranked units (of 10, 20, 40 or however many models) with facings and flanks and associated movement limitations and vulnerability. It was this idea that ensured WFB was more a game of maneuver than 40k. 40k 3rd edition players will recall how its absence can lead to a predictable middle-of-the-table-melee in a game dominated by close combat.

It's this single factor that makes me think AoS may not have much replay value even with goodwill in scenario design. I don't think I'll be buying the box set, I will wait and see what happens to the new game.


Note that the 'things I like' listed above could have been achieved in another way than releasing AoS. But that's GW.

I haven't mentioned any of the other issues that gaming vets (some with vastly more invested in the system than me) justifiably have with the destruction of the world that was and its cannibalisation by the new fluff, GW secrecy, fantasy space marines etc. I don't have anything to add, they are what they are.

05-07-2015, 03:57
I like a lot of things about it.

It is easier, that's nice.

I love the new rules for shields.

I love the way that heroes and characters synergize so much more with units in this game.

I also like how heroes and monsters are a lot easier to kill now.

I actually like the no points thing. I think that points made people crazy! But any experienced gamer can look at a board and say "hmm they seem fair and give it a go.

I like how there seems to be more terrain in this game.

I like how shooting and combat were streamlined (insane amounts of modifiers to hit.... sucked)

Seriously, when was the last time you saw/played a game of fantasy where you didn't screw up the rules, have a rules debate, forget to use your rerolls or forget a -1 to hit modifier, forget a fear test, any of that...

Age of sigmar should be fun to play in the right environment, that's what I like.

05-07-2015, 06:11
While I will continue to play 8th with some of my friends (because I got into the game due to my interest in Total War-styled battles with mass ranks of infantry and cavalry, but without going historical), my brother has finally expressed interest in buying a few boxes to collect an army to play this since it is quite to start and easy to learn, and I'm sure I could get a few other friends into it as well based on the same idea. That alone makes me like Age of Sigmar.

I even have some random collections of models at home that would have never been usable in WHFB just because I liked the models or bought them for Mordheim (I have multiple Empire characters, 10 Halberdiers, 10 Archers, a bunch of Free Company, and a Cannon, as well as an Orc character or 2, and a box or 2 of Beastmen, and I played WoC, DoC, and Skaven), but it would take little effort to create a narrative battle using these models in AoS (use Empire models as a village garrison / militia to fight my WoC, use the Endure Sudden Death mechanics, give them a defensible position of a few houses and fences).

The Black Shield
05-07-2015, 06:29
As a 40K player I might actually play this. I haven't played in a few years because it had become so cutthroat that I just did not enjoy it, but this sound like it would be real fun to play.

05-07-2015, 06:56
I like the miniatures

I like the terrain

I like that White Dwarf had a free AOS miniature (just too huge!)

I like that monsters decrease in effectiveness as they get hurt

I like that it is set ' a millennia' after WHFB so us 'lore makers' have plenty of wiggle room time in WHFB to have our own 'fan made' End Times events which lead into AOS. For example my WHFB certainly doesn't end during the reign of Karl Franz... it might end 800 years later but so long as Sigmar appears at the End of the World my version can still lead into AOS which is a separate game.

I like that AOS will potentially bring more noobs in.

I like that AOS means there will be some crazy new Fantasy miniatures coming.

I like that no armies are invalidated with AOS

I like that GW released all the scrolls for FREE on the day the game went up for pre order.

I like that AOS hasn't killed 8th in my local stores

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