View Full Version : Age of Sigmar - 1 week review

18-07-2015, 09:25
I picked up the box last Saturday, and played the first games last night. I know others have already played and posted impressions, I thought I'd add my own thoughts now the dust is starting to settle. For clarity, I've been playing WHFB for about 7-8 years, dabbled in 40K for a short time a few years ago. I don't play competitively, but I only collect the minis to actually play with; not just to look at. We only used the contents of this box, nothing else.


It took around 4 hours to trim and glue everything, and I have to say I was very impressed with the way the pieces fit together. People were mentioning snap-fit before release, and while they're not, they're extremely well sculpted. i don't think I've ever come across models that fit together so precisely, and this meant fewer join lines and much quicker assembly. When I remember the old days of metal, or even plastics of a few years ago, it's a huge advance.

In addition, the quality of the model design is extremely high. I think that this is the best work that GW have produced, and I'm really looking forward to painting them over time. They make me want to collect pretty much everything they release... which is very naughty of GW...


As with WHFB editions previously, we decided to start out small and just get used to the new rules gently. The scenarios in the book are actually pretty good for this. We played the first scenario (1 Sigmar model vs 2 Khorne models) twice, then played the next two scenarios, which introduce new models each time. It gets you used to Hero abilities, larger units, flying, etc - but gradually. The first couple of scenarios seemed a bit stacked in favour of Sigmar, but the last one we played seemed very well balanced.

The basic premise is that you have a small force of strong Sigmarines who have to take on three waves of Chaos forces. After three turns the Chaos forces reset at full strength, while any wounds on the Sigmarines carry forward to the next wave. We played to a Choas victory on turn 2 of the final wave, but it could have gone either way. Generally, everything was pretty well explained; we didn't bother with scenery for these small-scale battles, which helped cement the new game's processes a bit more without added confusion...

Points of Note

- We spent very little time checking on rules. We spent the vast majority of our time actually playing. This was very different even later on in previous editions, when we'd spend time double-checking rules or interpretations online. Or FAQs, etc.
- The games were a lot quicker. They reminded me more of 40K from about 2008-9 (I don't know which edition that was) - movement, piling in, combat... all much quicker (albeit less precise) than previously.
- Overall strategy is at a different level. We were playing scenarios, but in each case it's about how you approach the enemy, which order you attack in, how you distribute wounds. It didn't feel like a lot of planning was needed - which can be both good and bad, depending on your view.
- I based all my models on square bases - two bags of GW square bases will accommodate all the AoS models except the big three (which need at least war machine bases).


I was a bit nervous beforehand, but actually it was pretty fun. A different kind of fun to WHFB; it's not possible to judge if in 6 months I will get bored, if the games all seem the same, if I'll want a deeper experience with more finesse that WHFB seemed to provide. But I'm looking forward to playing bigger games of AoS (still likely just using the contents of the box, but the whole forces instead of the scenarios), and I'm not sure I expected to feel that way. Frankly, AoS and its streamlined nature probably fits my lifestyle these days far more effectively than WHFB.

I am still not sold on one major area, however.

Primarily, how to use existing armies (or anything not in the AoS box), in order to easily agree and work out balanced armies - as has been said many times. If GW (or the community) finds a good method for this, I can see me embracing AoS. I have several armies I'd like to play around with, but only if both players feel we have a broadly even chance of winning. Otherwise, I'll likely work out rules for the new models to comp them into 8th edition; or look in more detail at the new KoW ruleset (which would be the first non-GW rules I've ever considered).

One final observation is that, despite what some might think, I believe GW have put a lot of time and effort into this game system. Now I've played it, I think it's actually working as intended. There are some rule loopholes that can be exploited (we didn't encounter any, but I agree with some that were posted previously) - but overall it works as a game. There are clearly some underlying pressures that have led to the radical changes - primarily IP (hence the massive lore upheaval) and accessibility (hence the massive rules streamlining). I understand both from a business perspective, although I'm disappointed GW felt it necessary, and I'm far from convinced it will have the effect they are hoping for. But the work put into the new setting and models is clear, and I don't believe GW have set out to use AoS as an excuse to squat the whole fantasy game setting.

If only GW's leadership understood the power of working with their community, instead of pushing it away and seemingly ignoring it...

18-07-2015, 16:42
How does it work without the scenarios to "create" a sense of balance? I believe that is the issue even with the current models. People say the models in the box are nicely balanced for the scenarios but what about pitched battle with box armies? What happens if someone buys a box of flyer dudes or double handed hammer dudes to add, what occurs with balance then?

18-07-2015, 17:22
This is an issue of having a limited initial release. It looks like there will be plenty of new armies with fire duardin, sylvaneth etc which will have formations, campaigns etc that may be more balanced, but its going to be a long wait. Anyone ekse think that the list of 'races' in the gw website may be a clue for the eventual armies in AOS- seems fishy that trolls have a seperate slot but, for instance, dragon ogres do not...

18-07-2015, 17:56
Thanks for the write-up of your impressions, was a good read! I hope GW somewhere down the road releases a set of "standard" scenarios for casual play instead of only campaign ones.

18-07-2015, 18:45
How does it work without the scenarios to "create" a sense of balance? I believe that is the issue even with the current models. People say the models in the box are nicely balanced for the scenarios but what about pitched battle with box armies? What happens if someone buys a box of flyer dudes or double handed hammer dudes to add, what occurs with balance then?

Playing a pitched battle with the whole box will be next up, probably not for a little while though - but from what I know having played some games, looking at the sides they seem fairly even. If you start adding to those contents, you'll unbalance it pretty quickly unless you try to even it up with additions for both side.

There are some battalion warscrolls in the rulebook, so that's one option; but to be honest, once you start messing, there's no great way to keep track nowadays.

18-07-2015, 18:48
Thanks for the write-up of your impressions, was a good read! I hope GW somewhere down the road releases a set of "standard" scenarios for casual play instead of only campaign ones.

You're welcome! I hope for something like this too; I know there's an app coming, but I'm not holding out a lot of hope this will somehow give us a more flexible structure to create balanced armies. Still, where there's life, there's hope.

18-07-2015, 19:09
Great even handed report.

You said you based everything on square bases except the 3 fatties. Did you use different size squares for the different models? What size did you put the Khorne Lord and his hound on?

Having picked up the AOS box set for a mate and going through the contents with him I agree on how easy it is to put the models together.

I personally love 8th Edition but have found that a couple of mates who were unwilling to devote the time or energy to learn 8th have been quite accepting of AOS and its Warscrolls.

Definitely update this thread with details on your next battle

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

18-07-2015, 19:23
Hi all,

Well I have been mostly outside the gaming scene for around 4 years.
In all of this time I only had a few D&D games and I updated my 40k army, playing maybe once a year, kept on painting and occasionally buying stuff.
That has been about all my contact with the gaming world.
Of course I could not resist giving AoS a go.
I played all of the scenarios in the box using the Stormcast and, to my loathing (I really hate mutant freaks), also with the khorne mongrelmen.
My impressions on the rules:

1) Fast. Even the larger games went down in probably under one hour.
2) Fun. Not bad at all, you get some silly situations but, overall, it is a fast and violent struggle to suppress all that stands in your way.
3) Scenery plays an important role
4) moving big units and keepping coherency is less of a problem that I would have expected

The models:

1) Stormcast are not bad looking at all. I usually prefer the "bad guys", but the impersonal, menacing Stormcast definitely are my cup of tea.
2) Very traditional looking chaos models. To me, this is very bad, as I find a shame to waste all that cool looking spiky armour and have subhuman mutants wear that. This being said, the detail is pretty sweet. One of the blood warriors has a breastplate that looks like an open mouth with fangs, and most of the exposed bare flesh bears scars and marks of chaos. All of the weapons are also very detailed, and, perhaps, less "heroically proportioned" compared to the Stormcast hammers.
3) My very very personal point of view: the stormcast captain and the khorgowhatever (the huge red baboon with bone tentacles) are perhaps the weakest models, the khorne beast the more so.

Background and game philosophy:

1) I just purchased the 45 pounds book this morning, and the art and figures look really good. The world has been totally changed, as the Old World" (now referred to as "the world before time") is no more. Parts of it, though, are still there, most notably Nagashizzar ans Skavenblight. There are pictures of many existing models, all rebased and most with a brand new paintjob. Chaos features strongly (including Slaaneshi models, that are said to fight on despite their master being "absent"), together with the sigmarites, but Undead (essentially Vampire Counts plus the new end times kits rather than TC) and Skaven also have some exposure. Other armies are there as well, though they do not get as much space: Orcs (now separated from goblins?), seraphon/lizardmen and Wood Aelfs (no trace of Dark and High Aelfs). Giants are possibly renamed "gargants" (same kit though), and are portrayed alongside goblins (spider riding forest goblins at that). I'll check again later but I am rather sure I have also seen some ogres/ogors and sigmarite flagellants. Interestingly enough, the flagellants and some old school sigmarite bald headed priests are mounted on the "old" round bases, while all other infantry either go on the new 32mm ones or the terminator ones.
2) There are new warscrolls for the two faction in the box as well as the Wood Aelfs, but no points values. What makes me cringe in horror is that most units can have "any number of models". If you just take 1 warscroll vs one other, the guy that has more models autowins. How are we getting around that? Sudden death is a joke. I remember, in 1986 or so, they made the "ravening horde" supplement, that later became warhammer armies for third ed and evolved in the full armybook line. We need something like that: a new ravening hordes. Please.
3) I do not mind a less competitvie, more narrative game, but a bit more of magic and some magic items would not hurt.

Just my two cents.



18-07-2015, 19:55
Did you use different size squares for the different models? What size did you put the Khorne Lord and his hound on?

One Lord-Celestant (with mount): unbased, but will need 100x50
One Lord-Relictor: 40x40
Three Retributors: 40x40
Two units of five Liberators: 25x25
Three Prosecutors: 40x40 (needed to provide stability)
One Mighty Lord of Khorne: unbased, but will need 75x50
One Bloodsecrator: 40x40
One Bloodstoker: 40x40
One Khorgorath: unbased, but will need 100x50
Five Blood Warriors: 25x25
Two units of ten Bloodreavers: 20x20

One thing I forgot to mention, that's really annoying - it would have been much more useful to have included the warscrolls for the units in the box as separate cards (eg A5 sized). Passing the book back and forth, or taking photos and having to zoom into the info was a bit tedious.