Love a good discussion so I am going to start my rant on AoS! First start with the disclaimer that I haven’t play tested any of the rules and this text is purely based on first opinions on the rules text as they came from GW.
Age of Sigmar, everywhere we read the AoS abbreviation! It is about a new age! It is here now for some days, but what is it? How do we see it? How does the gaming community sees this? One thing is for sure it is in for a lot of discussion!
Let’s split this post up in a couple of chapters to go through it methodically.
AoS vs. 9th
To start of with the fact it is called AoS and not 9th is quite a big thing. The free 4 page ruleset is in fact not the rumoured 9th edition. Actually it is something completely new. Some say it is a ruleset that should be used in store to let people playtest the game. Others say it is only there to keep the gamers somewhat busy while Games Workshop focusses on its main focus area: making miniatures. With the rule set and the scrolls there is a game system and that is it. It requires very little maintenance no new army books to maintain and publish, no big rule sets to test. All in all this should save GW a lot of time and resources they can now put into miniature making. At least that is what I think their philosophy is.
With the fact there is now AoS, there is still the possibility to bring out 9th in the end. If this trial with AoS really backfires, there is always a possibility of bringing out the next rule set and continue on the old ways :)
Free “rules” and scrolls
Yes indeed the rules are free to donwload. A nice set of pdfs can be found and used. A simple rule set that fits on 4 pages. Great to start a quick game and let the game be quick. The scrolls contain a set of characteristics for the different units and characters and we are go! Some funny gimmicks in the special rules that involve actual bribery and such. Funny but in the end these things will go unused when playing a lot of games. And this is where I think this simple rule set goes wrong. It is too simple. I will not play a simple rule set I get to know in a game or two and then use the rest of the year. The challenge of discovering new combo’s interesting loopholes, fun opposing rules to discuss is just not there. I think when playing the set it will bore quickly and then what. Play only small games and buy new miniatures to use other rules from other scrolls? Aha! There we might have a catch. This is what GW wants of course. We must buy all the miniatures! Not to play mega battles with, but only a couple of small skirmish games and then on to the next to paint new models. Since I like painting models and the need for painting hordes of the same models is not there any more, this is actually a good development. On the other hand it is almost as if we are playing a throw-away game or army: Disposable armies ! Will it come to that?! :)
Playability of the set
I have to say that I haven’t played the rule set for now. I’ve read it of course and will play it in the near future. For now is my main comment: where are the points per unit?! I get the fact that we have to discuss among ourselves what to play against each other. But still how is that to work out? I go to my friends house with a set of mini’s in my case. He only has painted a model or 10. That is what we are going to field? That is highly unbalanced. Maybe I should field a model of 10 as well, but how do I know if my 10 knights shape up to 10 storm vermin? OK, maybe we should have a look at the total wounds then? hmmmm, but now we are somehow creating an alternative expansion of the base rule set. Our house rules, maybe for our gaming club? All clubs will do the same and an explosion of house rules will come. Is that what GW wants. A crowd-creation of rules.
Already rules as wound counts or all kinds of stat multiplication formulas are starting to pop up. Will it all work, only time will tell :)
This seems a bit difficult to do but might be very simple as well. Why this double feeling. On one side a tournament with a good rule set and comp calculation makes a fair organised event. But when looking at all the comp rules out there and all the discussion about them it is as if they were discussing AoS all along!
So a simple rule set and some scrolls, maybe a simple formula calculating army sizes and we are there!
AoS might also help in organising more “friendly” tournaments. Maybe even more small scale events and stuff. I can imagine with the” loose” set of rules a really competitive event isn’t the way to go any more. For me being a more fluffy gamer this bodes well for coming tournaments.
Maybe I’ll go that road myself and organise one! Let’s go crazy!
The new models
What can we say. More and more models are being released. The base set containing the stormcast eternals and Khorne models is somewhat…ahem…interesting? At first glance it isn’ my cup of tea. I was almost shouting to my fellow gamers how bad a model GW has put out there. On second thought and upon watching painting videos of the stormcast eternals being painted I am having those second thoughts. From the painting videos I get the feeling it isn’t as bad after all. Let’s see how it goes and where it will lead us :
Let’s finish up and see what the conclusion for me is here. New rule set, lot’s of discussion; and this is actually what I like about the wargaming hobby. If there is a new game out there (Frostgrave just being delivered at my front door) or new models to look at, it is great to discuss it with your fellow gamers and have a nice beer and possibly a game on the side!
I’m not buying the stuff as just yet, but will plan to play test the rules. Actually I have a set of dark elves lying about. This might be the time to paint a couple of them, take scroll and set up a small army to test the rules.
We had a campaign going with Chaos armies, this might just be as fun to do!