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Dokushin
23-07-2015, 22:37
(Oh boy, another AoS thread!)

It's been a busy time of year for me, and was only a few days ago that the news reached that Warhammer 9th edition (as I was thinking of it then) had released. I reacted with shock and a great deal of excitement, as I have with every new edition of Warhammer. Sometimes there are rules I don't agree with, but I've always adjusted and continued to enjoy my favorite ranked infantry strategy tabletop game.

A little background: I play Lizardmen, and was originally drawn to Warhammer by the promise of complex, tactical battles. The strategic positioning of blocks of troops -- the overarching importance of movement as a whole -- gave the game a depth that was lacking from many fantasy-themed wargames. The precise positioning, the ranges given in actual distances, the cumbersome maneuvering of formations of troops, the tactical advantage of small groups of skirmishers, all gave the game a really large set of tools and challenges for a clever general to deal with, and gave it a certain realism that I found lacking in most games.

The ability to construct an army list from parts, of starting with a certain number of points and deciding how best to spend them to suit my army, deciding what would give the biggest gain, being creating within restrictions, gave the game an irresistible replayability even past the huge depth of the battles themselves. My friends and I (and regulars at the nearest few stores) spent many, many hours -- days -- weeks, most like -- each building our armies to a certain strength and putting them on the field, testing both our ability to build lists and our ability to run them, engaged in a struggle for strategic and tactical mastery. Was that hero worth his points in troops? Another rank of Saurus, or another block of skinks?

The heroes themselves were little mini-lists to build, with pages of magical items to select from, spells to consider, armor and weapons, a huge amount of options to make your hero your own. You could change a good bit of the character of your army just by playing around with fifty or a hundred points of magic items on one hero, completely reconfiguring their role. In this way Warhammer had an incredible amount of customization and tailoring, a great way to take a given power level and create something unique, something different, and see how it plays, while still bringing an army that was (to a best approximation) balanced.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

I opened a bunch of links trying to get news on Age of Sigmar (expecting to have to buy a book). The stuff I read didn't make any sense, but did point out that the rules were available for free. That was a huge shock -- GW releasing free rules? I almost phoned up my boss to see if the office had frozen over. In a minute, maybe less, I was reading the new rule "book".

In another few minutes, I was done, and my entire world had changed. I'm still in shock.

Okay. So let's agree that there are multiple aspects to Warhammer. There's the models -- construction, painting, all that. That hasn't changed. There's the fluff, the story, the narrative. That has completely changed, and while I don't think I like the new deal, I'm willing to wait that out a bit. There's a certain element of seeing your models on the battlefield in an uninvested kind of go-lucky sense.

Then there is the game. Or, rather, there was the game. There was a deep, well-developed, well-balanced strategy wargame that they've been working on for decades. That is what I'm talking about, here.

You see, they took it all.

The blocks of infantry are gone. Most of the depth of the movement phase is gone. Hero building is gone. Hell, magic items (all of them) are gone. But that's by necessity, because list building is gone. There is no more list building because there is no more list. There is no balancing factor. There is no restriction, no guideline, no expectation, no rule for what happens when a buddy and I want to field armies that may have some chance of being even.

The "book" suggests that the army with fewer models gets a sudden death rule to balance things out. Yes, because elite armies have always struggled, right? The idea is ridiculous. The money I've spent on Lizardmen could buy forty or fifty oldbloods on carnosaur (or Slann Mage Priests, or Stegodons, take your pick), which I could field all of and then get an advantage for having a smaller army. It's completely mad.

Warhammer as I approached it no longer exists. There is no longer any way to have a competitive game. I understand that not everyone wants that; that's fine. But I did. Every one of my friends did. Almost every person I've played with did. We loved the depth, the strategy, the list building, the options and items and thought and planning and maneuvering. And it's gone. All of it. What's left is a medium-weight board game where you meet in the middle and roll some dice. It's a decent enough game, but there are thousands of decent enough games out there. Warhammer had something special, something almost unique, with tons of development, breadth, and depth, and they've thrown it all away -- and for the life of me I can't figure out what they've thrown it away for.

Tokamak
23-07-2015, 22:57
I agree with everything. I think I spend most of my time in warhammer on list-building. More than painting or playing. I could do it in my head, daydreaming about new themes, new stories and new armies. Writing stuff down, researching stuff from other books. Army-building was 80% of the whole hobby. Just gathering a bunch of whatever units has nothing to do with army building at all.

Then there's balancing around wounds. Doesn't appear anywhere in the rules. It's just a house-rule that people immediately latched on to. And even that rule is horrible as wounds are just one part of the puzzle, not the all the defining part of a unit.

It's indeed all gone.

HereComesTomorrow
23-07-2015, 23:03
While I agree with everything you said (your views are basically exactly the same as mine) it has been said by many other people, many times now.

Daniel36
23-07-2015, 23:05
I am the exact opposite of you. I always hated the list building and all that. To me, AoS is a really fun game. I am glad you can see its merits, but I agree with you 100% that it is NOT Warhammer and all of the things that you enjoyed are all gone. I feel for you there.

I hope you will find something else that will suit your needs. I have heard good things of Kings of War. If possible, I would just continue with 8th if I were you. If you and your friends enjoyed it so much, there is little stopping you from keeping it going.

EcceNoHomo
23-07-2015, 23:14
I am the exact opposite of you. I always hated the list building and all that.

Interesting. Ever since I was a child I've enjoyed list building. Different strokes I guess. Personally I'm sticking with 8th, and maybe the odd bit of 3rd.

Kherith
23-07-2015, 23:55
I agree with a lot of what's said in the OP.

Warhammer is gone, the fluff has been reset and the game is completely different.

I'm primarily a collector I loved building lists and collecting them painting them and occasionally playing a game with them.

When they nuked the old world and released the dumbed down rules without points I was aghast.

The thing is I really want to hate AOS, I want to loathe it and mock it for not being a proper war game, but every time I play I have fun.

I can still list build with 8th and collect my models even if GW stop making them they'll be available on eBay.

I don't see 8th as a great game anyway I think there's been a decline in quality since 6th so as much as I hate to admit it I'll be buying and playing AOS because for now it satisfies my hobby needs.

ESP0DAMUS
24-07-2015, 00:48
(Oh boy, another AoS thread!)

-- and for the life of me I can't figure out what they've thrown it away for.

I can tell you why they've "thrown it away."

Money

GW is a business first and foremost. I understand many of the things you said, but I also understand that the game, as it was, was struggling. Sure, maybe they could have done things differently, but the real truth is, we don't know if AoS is going to be a success yet, just as we don't know that whatever else they might have done would have been successful either.

I know everyone has their own opinion, but from my point of view, I think this could work, and I hope that it does. If I were in GW's position, I would roll out as many awesome models for AoS as possible, and in 6 months or so, I would release a separate rule-set for "advanced" players. Basically, allowing a "casual" play and a "ranked" play mode, such as games like Hearthstone.

I have been playing Warhammer for about 20 years. I have enjoyed the game immensely - the background, the modeling, the game itself. I was well aware that big changes needed to come, and that they would. I enjoyed the End Times - the story and the models. I think it was a fitting end to Warhammer, as it was. And I know this isn't going to be a popular opinion, but I think that the way they spun the End Times apocalypse into the new "Realms" is pretty cool... Some of my favorite characters have survived the transition, (which is awesome) and some have perished (which I accept).

In the end GW have given me 20 years of enjoyment, and I will give them every opportunity to give me 20 more.

Spiney Norman
24-07-2015, 00:57
The thing is I really want to hate AOS, I want to loathe it and mock it for not being a proper war game, but every time I play I have fun.

I'm exactly the opposite from you, I really want AoS to work because I really like some of the rules, however the lack of a balancing mechanic just makes for a terrible experience every time. We played through the starter scenarios and had a blast, but every time we try to play a free form game using the free downloadable scrolls the whole thing just breaks down an people fall out because they think their opponent is bringing too much stuff.

GrandmasterWang
24-07-2015, 01:19
To the TC everything you wrote about loving WarhammerFB I love too.

Thankfully it is not "gone" for me and I will continue to write lists and play games with the 8th ruleset (which is still all sold in ebook format btw)

AOS is a completely new game in a new setting aimed at enticing noobs to GW. There are a couple of people who didn't want to play 8th/Chillhammer with me who are getting into AOS for precisely this reason.

I guess my glass must be full as I'm enjoying the 'best of both worlds' :)

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

Dokushin
24-07-2015, 08:30
While I agree with everything you said (your views are basically exactly the same as mine) it has been said by many other people, many times now.

Yeah, I guess the horse is fairly beaten at this point -- sorry if I'm cluttering things up. This is just absolutely shocking to me, and it's hard to let it pass without comment.

Dokushin
24-07-2015, 08:32
I hope you will find something else that will suit your needs. I have heard good things of Kings of War. If possible, I would just continue with 8th if I were you. If you and your friends enjoyed it so much, there is little stopping you from keeping it going.

Thanks for the well wishes, and I'm glad that there's still an audience for this stuff -- it wasn't completely in vain.

I've looked at KoW a bit in the past, and was dubious (little more abstract, little less Lizardmen) but it looks like that's a logical direction, now; I'll likely try to sell it to my circle soon.

jtrowell
24-07-2015, 10:43
@Dokushin, from what you describe, you might like Kings of War by Mantic, a company founded by an Ex-GW employee, with rules made by another ex-GW (Alessio Calvatore), the 2nd edition had a public beta testing, the rules are free (with only a few bits missing), and it's a true mass battle game where you pay for units, not individual models.

See http://www.manticgames.com/free-rules.html to read the rules for yourself.

Just so you know, thoses rules are complete except for the following things :
- only the default "kill" scenario is available in the free rules, the full rules include other generic scenarios
- magic artefacts are not in those free rules (so you're missing on the customisation potential of the game, note that artefacts can be equipped by any units, not only heroes, so while you cannot give more than one per unit or use the same artefact more than once in the army, it still give you a hige customization potential)

The page that I linked only include partial army lists for now (the book is officially released late August, and retailers don't want Mantic to give for free the full rules for fear of having a too hard time selling the books), but the full versions should be released for free later after the official releases, they already did something similar during 1st edition.

Note that while they are no lizardmen equivalent army yet in the core armies (the Force of Nature does have salamanders that are very saurus-like), a supplement is planned with additionnal armies list from minor factions in the Mantica universe that would be made to allow the use of models from other manufacturers (not only GW). Some of those new armies are currently already available for a public playtest (see mantic official beta forum : https://manticforum.com/forum/kings-of-war/kings-of-war-2-beta) and a scaly army that should fit your lizardmen collection is planned to be added soon (probably in a few weeks at worst, maybe sooner)

Also, if you want to get a feeling of the complete armies lists and magic artefacts, you can take a look at what they were in the beta (the last beta version is almost the same as in the final rulebook) :
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nhZLDFOHUXC2MCA6NwYQWr0HF2mSyvEWIlNH4oCtBeQ/htmlview#

Also useful : easyarmy.com has an online army builder with all the core armies (including artefacts) and is currently adding the beta minor factions (only the empire of the dust for now) :
http://kow2.easyarmy.com/

If you have questions don't hesitate to post on the mantic official forums (or on warseer mantic forum if you prefer)

Wesser
24-07-2015, 11:50
While I agree with everything you said (your views are basically exactly the same as mine) it has been said by many other people, many times now.

Well normally when we got a new edition we could rage about individual parts (TLOS, Killer-spells etc.), and how it made this worthless and this OP.

With AoS you can only complain about the sum of it all. If you don't like the game at all there's not much point analyzing the Bravery stat is there?

Tokamak
24-07-2015, 12:05
It also wouldn't be fair to dismiss the AoS criticism as 'usual release complaining'. People were way more positive about 8th edition. Most of the criticism subsided after the full rules were available. 7th edition was received with a lot of scepticism, a pretty luke-warm response in general due to the minor change compared to 6th.

zoggin-eck
24-07-2015, 13:08
Actually, Kings of War sounds pretty far off what Dokushin is after in my eyes.

Dokushin, if AoS didn't exist, who would you be playing anyway? That is, do you have mates that feel the same way and would be happy to stick with 8th or another edition?

Shandor
24-07-2015, 14:21
Actually, Kings of War sounds pretty far off what Dokushin is after in my eyes.

Dokushin, if AoS didn't exist, who would you be playing anyway? That is, do you have mates that feel the same way and would be happy to stick with 8th or another edition?

The question is not aimed to me but: I would do the same i did the last few Years. Playing Warhammer in "my" Shop. Now its not allowed anymore.

vintagetcp
24-07-2015, 14:27
I agree with a lot of what's said in the OP.

Warhammer is gone, the fluff has been reset and the game is completely different.

I'm primarily a collector I loved building lists and collecting them painting them and occasionally playing a game with them.

When they nuked the old world and released the dumbed down rules without points I was aghast.

The thing is I really want to hate AOS, I want to loathe it and mock it for not being a proper war game, but every time I play I have fun.

I can still list build with 8th and collect my models even if GW stop making them they'll be available on eBay.

I don't see 8th as a great game anyway I think there's been a decline in quality since 6th so as much as I hate to admit it I'll be buying and playing AOS because for now it satisfies my hobby needs.

Here's the thing: "fun" is a really low metric for a game. Monopoly is a terrible game, but I usually have fun playing it. War is terrible, but fun.

"Fun" is hanging out with your friends, looking at miniatures, talking, bragging, having some drinks. GW wants you to pay them hundreds for minis so you can hang out with your friends, scrum up models on the board, and roll dice. No deal from me. I want fun games that are also good games, and the thing about good miniatures games is, you can still throw down and roll dice if you want. Indeed it's a better experience.

Similarly, I'd still choose a great board game over Monopoly, and never, ever pay "good board game" prices for a Monopoly set. Monopoly is usually fun but it's not 99 dollars fun.

AoS is usually fun but it's not 500 dollar army and loads of painting fun.

I think it's telling that the prime defense of AoS is "but it's fun!"

Niall78
24-07-2015, 14:34
"Fun" is hanging out with your friends, looking at miniatures, talking, bragging, having some drinks. GW wants you to pay them hundreds for minis so you can hang out with your friends and set up miniatures, scrum them all up in the table centre, and roll dice, something I could do without a game at all, and with better models to boot. No deal from me. I want fun games that are also good games.


I'd rather play an interesting balanced game with beer bottle tops proxing for miniatures. Than use the most beautiful miniatures in a lack lustre broken unbalanced game. Without a proper game you end up being a figurine collector. I wonder how big the figurine collector market really is? I think we may find out soon enough.

Spiney Norman
24-07-2015, 14:38
I think it's telling that the prime defense of AoS is "but it's fun!"

If that were universally true, that would be fine because the purpose of a game is to be a fun experience, the problem is you shouldn't have to tell someone that a game is fun, that should be self-evident from playing it. The majority of my experiences of AoS is that it is not fun, games are unbalanced and almost always come down to who puts down the most models, either by quantity or quality. There is undoubtedly some tactical depth to the game but you never see it because games are almost entirely determined by the models you bring. Forces have a disproportionally high effect on the outcome of the game, completely sidelining tactical player skill to the point of irrelevance.

My decisions in the game have no effect on its outcome, so playing it is simply a waste of my time and that of my opponents.

vintagetcp
24-07-2015, 14:48
If that were universally true, that would be fine because the purpose of a game is to be a fun experience, the problem is you shouldn't have to tell someone that a game is fun, that should be self-evident from playing it. The majority of my experiences of AoS is that it is not fun, games are unbalanced and almost always come down to who puts down the most models, either by quantity or quality. There is undoubtedly some tactical depth to the game but you never see it because games are almost entirely determined by the models you bring. Forces have a disproportionally high effect on the outcome of the game, completely sidelining tactical player skill to the point of irrelevance.

My decisions in the game have no effect on its outcome, so playing it is simply a waste of my time and that of my opponents.

Ah, but in GW's mind, The Hobby revolves around buying Citadel Miniatures. The more and better Citadel Miniatures you purchase, the more games you will win.

And thus AoS was born.

Sephillion
24-07-2015, 16:19
If that were universally true, that would be fine because the purpose of a game is to be a fun experience, the problem is you shouldn't have to tell someone that a game is fun, that should be self-evident from playing it. The majority of my experiences of AoS is that it is not fun, games are unbalanced and almost always come down to who puts down the most models, either by quantity or quality. There is undoubtedly some tactical depth to the game but you never see it because games are almost entirely determined by the models you bring. Forces have a disproportionally high effect on the outcome of the game, completely sidelining tactical player skill to the point of irrelevance.

My decisions in the game have no effect on its outcome, so playing it is simply a waste of my time and that of my opponents.

I think a game should be more than just fun. Yes, it should strive to be fun. But if I’m to throw money at it like GW expects me to, it should be more than that. It should be engaging. Stimulating. If I settled for fun, I could do any kind of activities that cost far less.

I agree with the OP on list-building. List building, to me, is a huge part of the fun and is engaging. AoS doesn’t have that.

AoS won’t have in-depth discussion about strategies, army building, etc. because it doesn’t matter. So its “fun” is limited to moving plastic models on the table and rolling dice – nothing more. It’s too shallow for me.

datalink7
24-07-2015, 19:44
Here's the thing: "fun" is a really low metric for a game. Monopoly is a terrible game, but I usually have fun playing it. War is terrible, but fun.

"Fun" is hanging out with your friends, looking at miniatures, talking, bragging, having some drinks. GW wants you to pay them hundreds for minis so you can hang out with your friends, scrum up models on the board, and roll dice. No deal from me. I want fun games that are also good games, and the thing about good miniatures games is, you can still throw down and roll dice if you want. Indeed it's a better experience.

Similarly, I'd still choose a great board game over Monopoly, and never, ever pay "good board game" prices for a Monopoly set. Monopoly is usually fun but it's not 99 dollars fun.

AoS is usually fun but it's not 500 dollar army and loads of painting fun.

I think it's telling that the prime defense of AoS is "but it's fun!"

This is a great analogy. Been looking for a good one. Going to steal it :P

Kherith
24-07-2015, 23:15
Here's the thing: "fun" is a really low metric for a game. Monopoly is a terrible game, but I usually have fun playing it. War is terrible, but fun.

"Fun" is hanging out with your friends, looking at miniatures, talking, bragging, having some drinks. GW wants you to pay them hundreds for minis so you can hang out with your friends, scrum up models on the board, and roll dice. No deal from me. I want fun games that are also good games, and the thing about good miniatures games is, you can still throw down and roll dice if you want. Indeed it's a better experience.

Similarly, I'd still choose a great board game over Monopoly, and never, ever pay "good board game" prices for a Monopoly set. Monopoly is usually fun but it's not 99 dollars fun.

AoS is usually fun but it's not 500 dollar army and loads of painting fun.

I think it's telling that the prime defense of AoS is "but it's fun!"

You're correct of course fun is a low metric but the game itself was free and I didn't need to spend anything as I already have hundreds of dark elf models.

If I had to spend money on 4 pages of rules would I? No absolutely not but as it was free why not enjoy it.

If I'd had to start over and spend 300-400 on models would I have? Possibly yes because buying, assembling and painting the models is fun in itself. I'm a hobbyist and collector not just a gamer.

Did I buy the book for 45? Yes because I wanted to see where they take the setting/story and because I wanted to give AOS a fair shot to really look at what GW were selling and decide for myself whether they deserve any more of my money.

Do they?
...not sure probably not unless they knock it out the park with new elf models.

I'm not defending AOS and am somewhat ashamed that it turns out I'm pretty shallow in terms of what I require of a wargame in a tactical sense, but if lowbrow fun for free is what's on offer I'll take it for now.

Kyriakin
25-07-2015, 07:57
You're correct of course fun is a low metric but the game itself was free.
I don't agree that AoS is "free".

The cost of the game was WHFB's existence.

RandomThoughts
25-07-2015, 08:10
You're correct of course fun is a low metric but the game itself was free and I didn't need to spend anything as I already have hundreds of dark elf models.

If I had to spend money on 4 pages of rules would I? No absolutely not but as it was free why not enjoy it.

If I'd had to start over and spend 300-400 on models would I have? Possibly yes because buying, assembling and painting the models is fun in itself. I'm a hobbyist and collector not just a gamer.

This is where I have to agree. I find this "game" hilariously bad, but I think many of us overlook that this is a hobby with more facets than just the game itself.

If you like the models, enjoy buying, building, painting, collecting the models, and you don't mind the state of the rules as long as they allow you to play with your collection - more power to you! And if you actually enjoy playing AOS, perhaps because you like the everything goes let's put some models down, shove them around, drink beer and make jokes with your mates - why not!

What I don't get is people defending the game itself as something other than shody craftsmanship, a lazy attempt to fill minimum requirements with the least effort possible. (In reality I find it much more likely that the management team cut project hours down to the point where the designers only had time for one or possible two drafts before te whole thing was rushed off to the printers.)


I don't agree that AoS is "free".

The cost of the game was WHFB's existence.

Does it? Perhaps GW was going to drop the old WHFB anyway. Perhaps they decided to give AOS a try after the death of WHFB was already set in stone? We don't know, do we?