Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Age Of Sigmar - Thoughts and opinions

Hello All,

I was recently asked what I thought about the new Age of Sigmar (AOS) game that came out last month. Here are my thoughts. There are some fundamental issues with the system that will eventually need to be addressed before the game is fully viable.  Let’s start with the negative side.

I will start with scaling. WHFB 8th was designed for large battles (2000 to 2500 points) with armies that frequently went well over 100 models per side, and units with thirty to forty models each, was not uncommon.  The game did not play so well at smaller point values. 500 to 1500 point range as army selection was severely limited. AOS seems to be at the other end of the spectrum with much smaller forces averaging forty to eighty models per side being about average. AOS has trouble when you get much larger than this.

Under construction
The system still feels incomplete. The fact that GW has stated that this “IS” the game and there will be no more basic rules for it seems more like a copout than a than an honest feeling that they have put out a proper product. My first impression was that we were given a trial system and that the “real” system would be released soon. That seems to be incorrect. It is what it is.

System balance is still undecided. No one has put out a decent point system or alternate solution for list building and pick-up games. So far it has not been an issue but it could become one. The NOVA Open is doing an AOS event for 2015 it is the first one of its kind I have heard of.  It will be interesting to see how it goes.

I have issues with this game but most of those revolve around the new fluff and GW marketing decisions. As for GW I have a deep feeling of betrayal for killing off the world/ Game system that originally got me into war gaming without official warning from GW in advance. Even that is mostly fueled by them continuing to sell the books for 8th right up till the end especially since armies like Dwarfs and Wood Elves finally got new books after YEARS of waiting only to have them dropped within 18 months. My irritation is with GW more than AOS. Even the lack of “point system” thing is less important since I don't play tournaments.

Now let’s take a look at the positives

Game play is fast- I am used to a game of 8th taking me hours to finish and even thin it was mostly because we ran out of time. The Games of AOS I have played were under three hours each super-fast for me.

The Rules are easy to learn. Four pages what would you expect? But there is room for tactics. Initiative, combat order, piling in for combat, all of it is just as important as positioning and synergy. The Magic system is a little weak but that may be a reaction to the over effective magic system of the previous edition. Overall the ease of learning the system is big +.

Time is consistent 
The rules are consistent; almost all of them use the same basic mechanic or modify a stat in a similar way across all forces. This is strong point as I hate having each unit in my army use different special rules with different mechanics. It’s often so bad I forget half of them at show time. With AOS the rules for great swords work in a similar way to the rules for Dwarf Iron Breakers and Blood letters. NOT the same just similar enough that they are easy to remember. 

Lastly the game is just fun. I have played three games (that is three times as many as the number of 40K games I have played in 6th and 7th editions. My opponents and I have been having a blast playing the game.  My Empire Army is currently 2 -1 vs.  Chaos Warriors, Demons, and Dark Elves!  

I know AOS needs help and that it may never be a good tournament game, but I am having a lot of fun just playing it. It takes me back to my 4th ed games back in the early 90s. So until it starts to suck I will keep at it.

If you have not already please let me know your thoughts on Age of Sigmar



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