A new era: Age of Sigmar

This weekend saw the ‘new‘ warhammer going up for pre-order, for anyone who’s been living under a rock, let me give you a quick rundown.. warhammer as you knew and loved it, is long gone. Goodbye to massed ranked fantasy battles, hello fantasy skirmish on round bases. That’s the gist of it at the very least.

It looks like GW have taken a gamble to revive their fantasy offering, it apparently was only worth around 13% of sales, far eclipsed by 40k and I wouldn’t mind betting that it’s been in decline for a whle.

The timing isn’t the best, typical GW to release several expensive expansion books (the end times) months before shelving fantasy in its previous format so I can’t imagine they’ve made many friends amongst their existing warhammer players but I’m not a current WHFB player, the last time I touched it was some 15 years ago, always with the intention of getting back into it but the high cost of entry always put me off so this new version hasn’t got my back up like it has for many out there.

Ok, plus points? Very low cost of entry, the rules are now free to download from the Games Workshop website. No more weighty tomes costing up wards of £50 just to learn how to play the game.. that’s a great positive right there. The next plus point (some may argue otherwise) is the doing away of points costs… a great way to balance armies (assuming they’ve been playtested and well balanced to begin with!), points costs are synonymous with wargaming. Getting rid of them means you can practically play with whatever you’ve got, play as small or as large as you like. The game size is controlled by the first player to say “right, I’m done setting up” – there’s a lot of onus on the players to not be dicks about it… which leads onto the “we don’t make games for tournament play” angle GW have been pushing for a while now. Some will argue that’s a lazy way of avoiding playtesting and balancing of rules but I’m kinda ok with that, I’ve always been a ‘play for flavour’ player and I don’t mind a little self-restraint when playing an army.

I think I got all those stupid power-combos out of my system in my teens (2nd ed wolfguard anybody?)

Anyway, I’m waffling on a bit. In short.. a really simple ruleset that I could see myself using to introduce my kids to wargaming, keeping the special rules et al out of it for a little bit… and I don’t need to pay for the rules. I’ve got them already. I can tinker with the existing warscrolls to suit and create a decent intro to wargaming for them with it.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see, assuming AoS is a success, 40k going the same way which would definitely pique my interest.

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