Sunday, August 23, 2015
Age of Sigmar
I know there is lots of controversy surrounding Games Workshops destruction of the Old World and the new streamlined rules Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. You can find all about the nerdrage with a quick google search. I happen to love the new rules and I've played more games of Age of Sigmar in the last few months than I played of the last three or four editions combined.
The reasons I like the new direction?
1. Streamlined Rules - The rule set is four pages long and it is free (get 'em here). You may or may not know that I am the author of Donnybrook, which has it's roots in a one page game that I've used for everything from Fantasy to historicals up through the 19th century. Simple rules does not necessarily mean a simple game. The detail comes from the special rules that are granted to each character and unit in the game. It is also easy to house rule a simple game - I don't play competitively so it is quick work for my friends and I to agree on changes we feel makes the game more like what we want. I'll look at our house rules in a future post and no I don't feel cheated by GW for 'having to do their work for them'. We normally house rule ALL of our games - it just easier with Age of Sigmar.
2. You Can Use Your Existing Army - In fact ALL of my games so far have been with my 3rd edition Oldhammer armies! Warscrolls (rules for characters and units) of the 8th edition characters and units are also available free (same link as the rules above). New units will include the rules you need to use them. Also now your army is pretty much anything you want it to be. There are broad categories for organization purposes - Order, Chaos, Death, and Destruction, but you are not even limited to those. You will find you have more synergy between elements if you stick to those, but if you want a unit of Undead allied with your Skaven just because you felt like painting some skeletons, go for it!
3. No Points - Yep. As I said above, your army is what you want. But how do you balance games? With scenarios - historical wargamers have been doing this forever. Can you end up with some one-sided battles? Sure, but again, I play with friends. If you make any sort of effort to field forces that 'look right' the games seem pretty close. Yes, there is nothing to stop you from putting down eight Bloodthirsters and claiming it's a fluffy force because Khorne's sacred number is eight... ok you win before we even started, but what was the point? We could have played that game on the phone. Age of Sigmar embraces the kind of narrative games I've always loved.
4. The Old World Was... Old - I loved the setting as a kid. There were elements I still loved, but how many times can Chaos or Orks or Undead invade the Empire, wreck everything between the border and Altdorf, and then be seen off long enough to rebuild... again. Age of Sigmar embraces the multiverse in the manner of Michael Moorcock or the old D&D Planescape setting. There are eight different realms based on the WInds of Magic (Fire, Metal, etc.) tied together by Realmgates. The vistas range from the mundane to the fantastic, allowing you to fight battles across any sort of terrain you can dream up. It currently lacks the depth that the Old World accumulated over decades, but the potential is much greater.
All of these things are my opinion and I completely understand why people may be upset. Let's face it, you can still play games in the Old World and you can still use whatever edition of the game you like. The Oldhammer community is thriving and it is built around 3rd edition Warhammer and Rogue Trader, though it's members freely play other editions as well. I will still play 3rd edition Warhammer!
Age of Sigmar has me collecting a new Warhammer army for the first time in more than a decade. This blog will be my corner of the net to chronicle the projects. I haven't yet decided on the layout, but I thought I'd try something different from my other blogs. I'm sure things will evolve as I go forward. I don't plan to promote it much beyond an announcement on my other blogs, and I don't know how often I will post here, but I've found blogs to be a great tool simply for my own purposes collecting my photos in one place and organizing the chaos that reigns on my workbench.
It is therefore appropriate that Chaos is my first new army... more soon!