Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Age of Sigmar

Age of Sigmar has created such a wave in the miniature wargaming community that I feel I need to throw in my input. First for those of you who don't know the significances of Age of Sigmar or was curious why its cause so much rage in the community, this is my narrative version of what is going on.

The setting of Warhammer Fantasy is around 30 years old and its lore has a rich history. The Warhammer Fantasy game is currently in its 8th edition of the rules. Last year Games Workshop started a major event in the setting called "The End Times". The event came to a conclusion with an apocalyptic final battle that was publish earlier this year. In the end evil won and the world was destroyed. Games Workshop has said they will no longer support Warhammer Fantasy and eventually all Warhammer Fantasy model lines will be removed to make room for their new game: Age of Sigmar. The story of Age of Sigmar is that Sigmar, one of the setting good gods escape the destruction of the Warhammer Fantasy world and took a few surviving remnants of its population with him. They found a set of new worlds to settle in. After a time the Chaos Gods found the new worlds and started corrupting people again because that is what they do. At this Sigmar basically said "Oh no, not again!" and created a race of divine angel-like warriors to fight against this new Chaos threat. Thus the Age of Sigmar begins!

Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition and Age of Sigmar are two vastly different games. I can understand the rage fans of 8th edition have with the destruction of their favorite game and setting but I also see why Games Workshop went with a reset in the first place. From a narrative point I like having an advancing metaplot. If a major element of your metaplot is "the end of the world is coming", at some point you really need to do your world changing End Times like event. You don't have to have evil win and destroy it all but I digress. Story aside the real reason Games Workshop is doing this reset is because they want a setting with stronger intellectual protection and I can't fault them for wanting that. Warhammer Fantasy has a rich history but at its core its really just European history mix with generic fantasy tropes. To be fair Warhammer was one of the pioneers for fantasy tropes but now these concepts are everywhere. I can fault them for the ideas they decide to go with but that is another discussion.

So what are my thoughts on Age of Sigmar? I have read the rules but I haven't played a game yet. The person I would most likely play with went on a family vocation around the time the rules were release. Now that he is back we will be getting our first game in later today. What I can say is the I like the theme of the rules and where Games Workshop may be taking them. That said there are only two official armies out. Games Workshop release rules to allow everything in 8th edition to be play with Age of Sigmar rules. However I consider this to be giving the community a taste of what is in store with Age of Sigmar. I'm sure over time these rules will be phased out as the meat of the new setting comes out. Overall I like the new direction GW seem to be taking this. The rules are free online and a spokesperson has said GW plans all future game rules will be release for free. They want to make the game easy for new player to get into and I can respect that. As I said 8th edition and Age are vastly different games that will probably scratch a very different itch. Unless I end up utter hating Age, I foresee myself playing both games for years to come. I will not be consider any of the community built "8.5" nonsense. For me I will either play vanilla 8th edition, 8th edition End Times or 8th edition modified for specific campaign rules. One thing is that I will probably be playing with a different force in Age of Sigmar. What force I am not sure yet but Age is just beginning so I have time to decide.

In terms of my projects I can see Age of Sigmar having little affect initially. I will finish Border Prince with the exact same 8th edition rules that it ended with. My Dragon's Fall campaign will be using modified 8th edition rules if its gets off the ground in the next few months. After that I may consider having Age of Sigmar projects.

Now I need to leave to actually play Age of Sigmar. I will have a lot more to say after I have real gaming experience with it. Until next time.

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