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M'ichal
05-07-2015, 05:28
Hi,

So I popped in to my local GW today to check out the new stuff and wanted to share my impressions with you guys, especially that I have no previous WH gaming experience. It is not a review per se but just will describe my impressions of the content as well as the little bit of gameplay I got to experience and what I observed by watching others play the game. As GW does not strictly advertise this as a "game", I will try to express my impressions of the box as a whole, sort of a "Warhammer hobby experience".

I have been a GW hobbyist for over 7 years. I have models from all 3 ranges but am most invested in 40k, HOWEVER, I have only ever played a few Dark Vengeance missions and that is it. No Fantasy or LOTR games. So I mainly do the hobby but keeping the rules in mind, i.e. I try to build units that are permissible by the rules. In no way would I be able to build a competitive army or anything like that.

Content

The models are, of course, really nice and they are bigger than what I expected, especially the Lord Celestant. Their style is a subjective matter but there is no denying that they are very detailed and well made. I happened to really like them. There are the 4-page rules and the 96-page rulebook. Now, the rulebook is quite bare-bones. It has a lot of nice art, painting guides, model pictures, a bit of fluff, the campaign, the warscrolls and two battle-scrolls. The fluff was surprisingly brief so do not expect any in-depth details but they do give information about the two factions included in the box and the world. The battle-scrolls add additional info about every unit. Each mission in the campaign also seems to have a one-page description of the events to immerse you into the upcoming battle. The first mission can be played single-player and they introduce progressively more rule as you go through. Overall, the book seems well structured and very accessible to someone new but will not satisfy you if you are looking for a deep description of the new Warhammer world.

Gameplay

Ok, so the models are great and now it is time to do something with them, i.e. play a game. I did not get a full game in as I think the employee that was there at the time was not too familiar with the rules so he just gave me a quick Liberators vs Blood Warriors demo, which felt like 40K with a charge, pile-in, to-hit, to-wound and save rolls. Not much to report on here. I went on to watch two other teams put the new rules to work later on. Two people played with their existing custom armies, one guy had a band of Dark Elves, the other guy a mix of Orks and Ogres. They both seemed to have fun and what actually surprised me, they followed the "funny" rules as the DE guy had a Hydra and he specifically mentioned looking the other player in the eyes to get a bonus, who did not object. I even made a joke about them using these rules but they both said "hey! it's in the rules" and did not seem to have a problem with it, even though they seemed like veteran WH players. So it is nice to see that this issue is not as overblown as some on the forums have said, even though I myself would not want to play with those rules ;)

Anyway, both dudes seemed to enjoy themselves but the game was taking a while as they were looking up rules etc. I went over to the AoS box display where the store manager (came back from lunch or something) was starting a new game with another guy so I played the observer once more but this time of a game with the full box contents and only those. The store manager seemed to have a better grasp of the rules than the previous group and they seemed like a nice match up, having a friendly game in mind and not getting bogged down in the minutiae missing from the rules. The game seemed to flow at a nice pace. They did have to constantly look up the warscrolls for special abilities and stats but that is expected. I liked the special abilities of the units, the Khorgorath healing itself, the Lord-Celestant throwing AOE hammers, the Bloodsecrator planting his banner for unit bonuses etc. It seemed fairly fluffy and it was cool to see each unit doing something different and unique (e.g. the Blood Warriors doing one more final attack before dying). I liked the Battleshock mechanic, which helped reduce the unit combat times. I did not observe any pile-ins that felt too long to me. The game also seemed fairly balanced, there did not seem to be a clear winner thoroughout most of it. I had to leave before the end, I think the Eternals would eventually win but it would not be a completely crushing victory. One thing I also want to mentione from both games is that several people noticed and expressed surprise at how their well-known units or monsters changed in the new system. The dude playing gobbos/ogres seemed to be astonished that his 500 point Arachnarok fit so easily into his army against the dude with the DE army. Surprisingly, after like 1h of gaming, he was still alive, while his Giant and a unit of Black Orks fell against the opponent's Hydra/Chariot/some troops army.

Conclusion

All in all, the feel I got from this new Warhammer is accessibility and simplicity but in a fun form. For me, as someone new to the gaming side, the core rules seemed easy enough to get a good grasp on after a few plays. It was all the special abilities of units and their stats that add to the complexity and the need to constantly keep checking those warscrolls. These guys also played without wizards or scenery, so spells did not even come into play and hero-abilities were a matter of casting a bubble at the start of the turn, so also not the hardest thing. I can see how with more units and new expansions the possibilities quickly expand. Did it look like fun? I'd have to say yes, from the limited first-time experience I had with it. I think it would be fun to go through the campaign and re-enact those events in a friendly atmosphere. Taken as a fluffy game of re-creating battles it seems like it would be fun. If someone is really new to this stuff, the rules are complex enough and I think it would be a while before casual players without previous WH experience would start finding gaping holes in them, focusing on the combinations at hand instead. I also like the fact that you can now pose the models any way you want and that you can just grab a new unit, stick it in and experiment with whatever you want quite easily and that each unit seems to bring something unique to the army. Looking forward to see future releases and where they take the new Warhammer.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the hobby guys, cheers.

GrandmasterWang
05-07-2015, 06:40
Thanks for that report.

When I went into my local GW the guys trying AOS were having a lot of fun with it

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

rob451
05-07-2015, 09:39
What I've come to realise is that people aren't having fun playing Age of Sigmar because of the game itself. People are having fun hanging out with other people while having an activity that ensures the other person is paying attention to them. There isn't anymore fun being had than the base amount you get from some friends hanging out and making banter which ALL multiplayer games have.

I feel like for a lot of people that play pick up games in stores they just don't care about game balance or strategy but play the games because it means somebody will pay attention to them for an hour or so. From my experiences of this, old hammer and 40k most of my opponents have been terrible at games never thinking about what they are going to do or engaging in the smallest amount of actual strategy (I don't play in tournaments). No game highlighted this more than OldHammer as it punished those who didn't think ahead a few turns.

7th edition 40k introduced maelstrom missions which made winning almost entirely random and removed most of the strategy from the game which is why I don't play it in store anymore. This seems to have been a conscious design decision across all of the GW games to remove the reason to leave the hobby of "I suck at war games." Instead making it so anybody can win so long as they spend enough money and roll enough dice. It's not a game so much as a social focal point.

For those of us who play games because we want a mental challenge and to pit our wits against another person it seems GW games are not for us anymore. They don't want us presumably because they feel we're scaring away the other customers by beating them.

Captain Idaho
05-07-2015, 12:32
The issue is will this game have longevity for players? I can honestly say I'd get bored of the "line up and charge" game it is

And then there is the rolling - 3+, 4+, 5+ constantly.

It's too simple. It's aimed at a fast food market like you without any experience and who will probably play like 4 games a year.

No offence but you confessed you're not a gamer. This release changes nothing to you.

Shandor
05-07-2015, 12:41
The issue is will this game have longevity for players? I can honestly say I'd get bored of the "line up and charge" game it is

And then there is the rolling - 3+, 4+, 5+ constantly.

It's too simple. It's aimed at a fast food market like you without any experience and who will probably play like 4 games a year.

No offence but you confessed you're not a gamer. This release changes nothing to you.

It works kinda well for 40k. Yeah 40k is not THAT simple but most of the time i watch Peoples playing it its like: player 1 shoots, player 2 shoots and so on until the end of the game.

Getifa Ubazza
05-07-2015, 12:58
Sounds perfect for me. I'm not into pitting my wits against someone else or buildings armies to destroy all before me. It is about playing with my models against someone else's models. Looking at what they have done with those models and pretending I'm a Daemon Prince flying around a battlefield kicking coffee tables and stubbing toes.

If I want a battle of wits, I will play chess or noughts and crosses or even snap. If I want to spend a few hours making a new friend and drooling over their "awesomely" painted models while pushing said models around a table covered in little trees, hills and buildings, I will play a wargame.

M'ichal
05-07-2015, 15:40
The issue is will this game have longevity for players? I can honestly say I'd get bored of the "line up and charge" game it is

And then there is the rolling - 3+, 4+, 5+ constantly.

It's too simple. It's aimed at a fast food market like you without any experience and who will probably play like 4 games a year.

No offence but you confessed you're not a gamer. This release changes nothing to you.

None taken :) I really would like to play these games more but I simply don't have the time what with family, work and other hobbies (video and board games included).

Mike3791
05-07-2015, 18:02
And then there is the rolling - 3+, 4+, 5+ constantly.

Well that was similar on the old "to hit" chart, there are also warscrolls that add modifiers.

Bede19025
05-07-2015, 18:21
How is rolling 3+, 4+ , 5+ any different than WFB? It's too simple because units don't operate in rigid blocks and count ranks? Have you even tried to play it before deciding it's too simple?

I'm consistently amazed at how many people on these forums make completely uninformed, poorly reasoned declarations ......

Bede19025
05-07-2015, 18:26
Thats's how KoW does it. Units have a to hit number and a to wound number. You don't compare an attacking units capabilities to those of the defender to determine the to hit and to wound numbers.

Despite this so many will loudly declare they're quitting GW for KoW because AoS is not complex enough.

AngryAngel
05-07-2015, 18:27
The game has been out for around a day, fully, with the rules. The negative side is so huge, but how long before this grows boring and dull ? Eventually people will want an actual game and not a hur hur get um face smash. After a little bit even the supporters are going to grow bored and annoyed at the utter simplicity, to be honest that was all that kept me from using the KoW system, it was a bit too simple for me, didn't give me a real good feel, this game gives me the same. I'm hoping the KoW second grows some and finds that nice middle ground of depth with simple and not go full derp head, as AoS has gone, you never go full Derp head.

Azazel
05-07-2015, 19:08
The game has been out for around a day, fully, with the rules. The negative side is so huge, but how long before this grows boring and dull ?

You make it sound although GW are not going to release any new units, army or campaign books until the next 'edition' of WHFB or AoS.

Personally I sold all my Fantasy armies back when the rumors warned of a big change. Now I have a clean slate to start the new system and can't wait to get stuck in.

I don't know if AoS will be great or a disaster, but I trust GW will make a good game. Just like they have been for 30 years.

AngryAngel
05-07-2015, 19:40
New units does not change a poor rule set or system. I also don't hop on the trust train for GW, they can have solid rules, and discard them. They don't really care about good rules, as I think if they haven't shown by now, people may never realize. They just want to sell you new models, period. AoS is about the same thing as an afternoons worth of thought to sell people green army men ( Though to be fair, GW does a much better job then with say green army men ). So why exactly would anyone trust a company, that has claimed many times to be a model company and not a game company, to make a good game ? You only get one time to make a first impression. Doesn't matter what comes out down the line for some people, that bridge may well be burned, which is poor for a company.

However, time will tell, so I guess we'll all have to wait and see, but if the negative side is right, it bodes poorly for fantasy as a whole as GW seem to be the kind to cut and burn, rather then have back up plans.

Kyriakin
05-07-2015, 20:04
but I trust GW will make a good game. Just like they have been for 30 years.
Honest question, as I've just returned after ages away. Jervis aside, who is still there from those 30 years?

Azazel
05-07-2015, 20:20
Not sure who still works there, I don't concern myself with who writes each system be it Necromunda, 40k 4th edition or Fantasy 8th. I just enjoy their games. :)

stroller
05-07-2015, 20:27
Eventually people will want an actual game and not a hur hur get um face smash.

I play Orrruks & Grots. Smash 'em!

Oh, and Aelves and Duardin and some others too....

Kulgur
05-07-2015, 20:39
Thats's how KoW does it. Units have a to hit number and a to wound number. You don't compare an attacking units capabilities to those of the defender to determine the to hit and to wound numbers.

To wound is done off enemy defense value if memory serves, so you do.

rob451
05-07-2015, 20:43
Honest question, as I've just returned after ages away. Jervis aside, who is still there from those 30 years?

Most importantly I think is NOT Rick Priestley. He left in 2010 and was responsible for the original WHFB system. 2010 was also roughly when things at GW started going a bit... Odd.

Mentat Bashar
05-07-2015, 21:14
Thanks for the report OP, I'm actually enthusiastic about what I feel is me getting new toys. My old armies will stay where they are, probably getting some additions here or there as I'm convinced some if not all of my gaming friends will still fancy an 8th ed game now and again. I'll buy AoS, try out a few games, continue buying and collecting the minis I like, I'll buy new paints, new brushes, new dice in colours matching the ones I've chosen for my armies - in short, I'll continue being the hobbyist I've been for 17 years.

Haravikk
05-07-2015, 21:42
And then there is the rolling - 3+, 4+, 5+ constantly.

It's too simple.
And… that's a bad thing? So what if the rolls are fixed? They still represent the same thing; a skilled archer's skill determines how likely he is to hit, his strength or ability to find weak points is his chance to wound, and the enemies save is their physical resilience, quality of armour and/or skill at parrying the blow before it deals that damage. The mechanics may differ but they represent exactly the same thing; what you call "too simple" others would call streamlined.

A lot of people have been picking at specific things with AoS, but without playing some games and commenting on whether they've lost tactical options. Can you still pull off ambushes with Beastmen? Form a solid gunline or shield wall with Dwarfs? Raise your army of the dead as Vampire Counts or Tomb Kings? It's too early to tell if the changes have done any real damage to tactics, or if it may even have opened up new ones.


Anyway, just wanted to say that and M'ichal; while you didn't get to play it much it seems you've been fair and given it a chance, which is what we need a bit more of :)

Mawduce
05-07-2015, 21:46
Thats's how KoW does it. Units have a to hit number and a to wound number. You don't compare an attacking units capabilities to those of the defender to determine the to hit and to wound numbers.

Despite this so many will loudly declare they're quitting GW for KoW because AoS is not complex enough.

KoW has a point cost that allows players to build armies of equal strength.

Mike3791
05-07-2015, 22:06
Andů that's a bad thing? So what if the rolls are fixed? They still represent the same thing; a skilled archer's skill determines how likely he is to hit, his strength or ability to find weak points is his chance to wound, and the enemies save is their physical resilience, quality of armour and/or skill at parrying the blow before it deals that damage. The mechanics may differ but they represent exactly the same thing; what you call "too simple" others would call streamlined.

A lot of people have been picking at specific things with AoS, but without playing some games and commenting on whether they've lost tactical options. Can you still pull off ambushes with Beastmen? Form a solid gunline or shield wall with Dwarfs? Raise your army of the dead as Vampire Counts or Tomb Kings? It's too early to tell if the changes have done any real damage to tactics, or if it may even have opened up new ones.


Anyway, just wanted to say that and M'ichal; while you didn't get to play it much it seems you've been fair and given it a chance, which is what we need a bit more of :)

These are all good points. I'll just say that the warscrolls do add additional depth & strategy, and the stream lined approach has made traditionally weaker units a lot more viable.