Age of Sigmar

A Forum to discuss models of the Tau's Enemies, including Alternate Wargame Systems.
Ricordis
Shas'La
Posts: 175

Age of Sigmar

Post#1 » Jul 16 2016 12:43

As I don't play Age of Sigmar by myself but it is topic in many other Games Workshop related forums.

What exactly happened there? I know its story and rules got heavy overhauled, defining the phrase "being AoS'ed".
People talk about welcoming or fearing W40K getting "AoS'ed".
Is anyone there who could explain what happened?
I'm less interested in the story but more in how far the gameplay changed.

AMP'stamp
Shas'Saal
Posts: 11

Re: Age of Sigmar

Post#2 » Jul 16 2016 02:41

Essentially games workshop removed the points based system and went to a system called warscrolls, which detail the units you can take. However with the general's handbook points are coming back so you don't have to worry about anything much.

The reason this was a problem was that people in tournaments could bring huge amounts of cheese.
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Falsegods
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Posts: 51

Re: Age of Sigmar

Post#3 » Jul 16 2016 08:19

Basically it is a dumb-ed down version of the LoTR game system, will no balancing mechanics, silly rules, and a heavy focus on casual gaming. Its RAW are extremely minimalist and open to aggressive exploitation, and all kinds of confusion. GW is changing their approach to include some points costs, but the core system is extremely different from either 40K or Fantasy. All rolls are now off a basic value per unit (i.e. a straight 3+ to hit and 4+ to wound), no more facing or other complex rules, the entirety of the rules (all four pages of it) can be found, legitimately, here. Also there is what a lot of people (including me) an outrageous treatment of the fluff to justify the new game. Until the new book drops it impossible to judge the future direction of the game, but it is my opinion the current AoS game is unplayable, and betrayal of the WHFB community.

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Kakapo42
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Re: Age of Sigmar

Post#4 » Jul 16 2016 09:49

Ricordis wrote:Is anyone there who could explain what happened?


In order to understand the AoS disaster fully, you first need to understand a bit about Warhammer.

Warhammer (or Warhammer Fantasy if you want to get technical) was one of those rare instances of tabletop magic, and over the course of 30 years evolved into something that was ultimately entirely unique in all of its aspects. It's setting, with its premise of 'traditional fantasy with a twist' grew into a rich complex thing that was loved by millions (including one misguided sad little nocturnal parrot who thought he could make history and reach people with the background material he wrote and that people would be interested in the documentation of his Wood Elf army, but I digress). The Warhammer setting, which is where most of the conflict around AoS lies, was ultimately brilliant in its elegant simplicity. By taking well-known traditional fantasy archetypes, giving them a distinct twist, and incorporating elements from real-life history and culture, the Warhammer World had instant appeal and familiarity to newcomers (indeed, when I gave a run-down of the setting to a friend that was interested in it at the time, I was able to convey everything she needed to know in just under an hour) who would have an idea of how everything worked right from the start. Just as importantly, the relative malleability of the setting in combination with its universal nature made it easy to import inspiration from elsewhere. My Wood Elf army, for example, had much of its backstory lifted from symphonic metal like Nightwish and Within Temptation (and later folk metal like Eluveitie), one of the later plans I came up with was an Empire army with characters and elements taken from Shakespeare's plays, and a popular idea for Bretonnian armies was to incorporate ideas from Game of Thrones. Much like how 40k is a gigantic melting pot for science fiction ideas, Warhammer is a gigantic melting pot for fantasy ideas, where it was entirely possible to have symphonic/folk metal powered faerie Wood Elves and Shakespearian humans fight horrifying monsters of the forest, or Discworld-esque mercenaries employed in a war between High Elves and Dwarves right out of Tolkien, or Gothic Horror Vampires battling Chivalric Romance Arthurian knights, or... well pretty much whatever you wanted, within reason.

Likewise, Warhammer's gameplay also became something unique. Within the GWsphere its nature as a regiment-based mass combat game (so models fought in ranks as a singular mass for all intents and purposes) made it stand out from its science fiction sister-game, but what stood it apart from similar games made by other manufacturers was the size and scope of it. At the time it was released most mass-combat games used quite small models, around the 15mm scale I believe, and Warhammer was one of, if not the, first mass-combat wargames to use 28mm heroic scale. More than that though, Warhammer still retained a lot of RPG heritage. There was lots of customisation for heroes, who themselves were individual units in their own right rather than simply being tacked on to a unit. Individual models were still tracked by the rules despite the mass-combat nature, and it ultimately morphed into a sort of middle-ground between full mass-combat games and skirmish level ones (this caused frustration for some, but ultimately there was a niche for it). Ultimately, Warhammer makes you the director/author of your own fantasy story, which no other mass-combat wargame really does (most of them tend to focus more on tactical thinking and managing an army at the expense of a degree of cinematic atmosphere. Kings of War by Manitc is a good example of this).

Unfortunately, Games Workshop decided that this great shining jewel of a tabletop game wasn't what they wanted. Some people think this was down to corporate greed (and there are certainly signs that point to this. The Stormcast Eternals, or Sigmarines as they are better known, were after all primarily made as an attempt to emulate the popularity of the Space Marines in 40k). Others think it was simply a direction the design studio wanted to go in. Whatever the reason may be, GW discontinued Warhammer (after breaking its official background with the oppressive yoke of a metaplot) and replaced it with AoS, which doesn't really share anything with Warhammer beyond some common models and legacy elements in the name and background material. AoS is a new setting that draws much more heavily on more recent elements from things like MMO computer games and even the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Likewise, it dispenses with mass-combat elements entirely in favour of what is essentially a watered-down version of the 40k system. In theory this allows for more freedom in how people play AoS, but ultimately has ended up causing division amongst the community. It is this sudden and extreme change that has caused so much controversy, as many hobbyists have had their entire Warhammer world torn down and replaced by something they did not ask for (in effect it's somewhat like waking up one morning to find that your home is scheduled for demolition to make way for a Bypass road).

When most people (such as myself) say they fear 40k getting the AoS treatment, they generally refer to the setting and models rather than the rules. AoS shares a similar basic system to 40k with models acting in squads with loose formation, and so the main changes would be a move away from codexes and the traditional system of special rules (and indeed there are a few who would not consider that a bad thing). On the other hand, 40k stands to loose a lot from an AoS style change in setting and models, as the distinct world of the 41st millennium is indeed one of 40k's greatest strengths, and the increasingly Blizzard-esque aesthetics of the AoS models are controversial at best.

I, for one, am strongly against any potential AoS treatment of 40k (though I also believe that such a process has been in effect since the last two Warzone Damocles books), and was horrified by the ET series and AoSing of Warhammer. But then I have also been growing increasingly dissatisfied with the direction Warhammer and 40k have been going in for years, to the point where the only 40k-related model since the 6th edition Tau releases to have genuinely made me happy is the upcoming Stormbird from Forgeworld, and the number of Forgeworld models I actually want to own is now down to a single-digit number (and none of them are recent releases). Combined with my lack of fondness for almost every other model manufacturers' range that I have so far encountered, the future looks extremely grim from my perspective.

Perhaps that has shed some light on why there is so much controversy.
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TauMan
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Re: Age of Sigmar

Post#5 » Jul 18 2016 07:32

So...to sum up what everyone has been trying to say: For Warhammer Fantasy it's...it's...GAME OVER MAN! GAME OVER!

THE HORROR...THE HORROR...THE HORROR... :dead: :dead: :dead:
8th Edition is here: Keep Calm and Carry On!
N.Y.A.B.X.T.T.

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Kakapo42
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Re: Age of Sigmar

Post#6 » Jul 18 2016 08:06

TauMan wrote:So...to sum up what everyone has been trying to say: For Warhammer Fantasy it's...it's...GAME OVER MAN! GAME OVER!

THE HORROR...THE HORROR...THE HORROR... :dead: :dead: :dead:


There is no fate but what we make. Warhammer Fantasy is still around, if you know where to look. Its community is heavily divided, but classichammer players still exist - I would know, I'm one of them. Heck even Tael himself seems to be putting together Warhammer Fantasy stuff if the new Eastern Empire blog is anything to go by.
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CmdrCASh
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Re: Age of Sigmar

Post#7 » Jul 18 2016 08:59

I have a Dwarf army. AoS was a rude shock to our local Warhammer Fantasy community and since then have tried out alternative systems which allow reuse of our models like Kings of War. Currently there's a healthy interest in 9th Age, which is a community driven continuation of Warhammer Fantasy.
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ARC'Thunder
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Re: Age of Sigmar

Post#8 » Jul 18 2016 11:00

Counter to some negative bias in this thread, I enjoy Age of Sigmar and I'm glad GW ever bothered to make it. The changes made from Warhammer Fantasy (WFB) to Age of Sigmar (AoS) brought myself and several of my local friends into the game.


(I just want to point out that I'm wiriting this late, and in a bit of a rush, so I apologize if it comes off as really choppy)


To explain, it's my understanding that WFB had, through successive editions, required that players field larger and larger forces by changing the dynamics of the FOC and minimum unit sizes. Initial changes to AoS removed FOCs and points values from the game, and meant that my friends and I could collect whichever models we wanted—and only the ones we wanted—in the amount that we wanted. Total freedom for our armies, completely legal for gameplay. Additionally, AoS's rules scale differently. Technically, it isn't a skirmish game, but it has the flexibility to be played as such even if the rules lack the granularity and special tailoring most skirmish level games have for such small model counts. This meant that, even after having only started a small collection, we could begin playing "real" games. Then, to top it all off, the core rules and rules for all the models were (are) available for free.

As people who had always sat on the fence of actually caring about WFB, these changes made it far more attractive from both financial and hobby perspectives. We could afford to dip our toes into a new system and universe, and still play. Nearly a year later, our group has four players (with more biding their time before hopping in). We have players with: Forest Spider Goblins, Orks, and Khorne; Lizardmen, Sylvaneth, and Tzeentch demons (her 40k army, hooray for round bases!); Lizardmen and Stormcasts; and myself with Death, one unit of Stormcast Protectors, and six Minotaurs.

For my own collection, I had already acquired some End Times Spirit Hosts and LotR Warriors of the Dead for tabletop roleplaying purposes, and thus at the release of AoS I had inadvertently made a death army. Eventually, I added some beastmen Minotaurs because I only like them in the beastmen range. Then I added a unit of Stormcast Protectors (despite having strong opinions regarding how stupid the Stormcast were at the initial release), because I love their fluff paired with the visuals of the glaives. As somewhat of a narrative player, I had slowly began crafting a story to unite the disparate elements of my collection together. Now, with a cohesive story and direction for my army, I have planned the next stages for expanding my collection (albeit at a snail's pace).

Also, regarding gameplay changes, ultimately, everything was streamlined. I can give you some basics here, but I recommend simply reading the rules (only four pages), and checking out a unit entry to understand.

So, the standard Warhammer Statline (WS, BS, S, T, W, I, A, Ld, Sv) has been replaced with four stats (Movement Speed, Wounds, Bravery, and Save). For the purposes of attacking, weapons themselves have flat rolls with no stat comparison. For example, missile weapons will tell you what roll it hits on (you don't look at the model's BS and figure it out), and it will tell you what it wounds on (you don't compare a weapon's strength against a target's toughness). Additionally, saves tend to be lower than 40k (averaging closer to the 5+/4+ range and absolutely no default 2+), but in return wounds tend to be much higher (heavy infantry often have 2-3 wounds per model, characters have 5-7, and monsters can have up to 14).

Recently, GW has announced, and are imminently releasing, The General's Handbook. Which is will be providing the official structure many player have been clamoring for (points costs and FOC's), in addition to other forms of play (narratives, campaigns, example houserules, etc).

So, Ricordis, comparing my response with Kakapo's and Falsegods' you can begin to see why AoS is somewhat divisive and controversial. What I laud as a brilliant maneuver to salvage a waning system, others regard as the climax to a series of mistakes. Personally, I think both sides have legitimate—and ludicrous—points and grievances regarding the switch in gameplay, art design, and setting. Even I had/have hangups in every one of those categories during the initial release, and I still prefer the more realistic and low-magic feel of WFB over AoS. But, somehow, it managed to attract my friends and I despite all these things, so YMMV.

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 1150

Re: Age of Sigmar

Post#9 » Jul 18 2016 11:07

I had a Tomb Kings army once....good times. Although I already stopped playing with the start of the 8th edition since i didn't like the direction GW was going with it. It suddenly forced everyone to buy a lot of models because it favoured mass infantry units while at the same time releasing more expensive infantry (typical GW thing) and also giving every faction a generic big scary monster because those are cool and sell well or something....
7th edition was bae even though Tomb Kings were terribly hard to play there.

AoS models are pretty awesome imo but the rules and fluff are....i don't really wanna talk about it. :sad:

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Myrdin
Shas
Posts: 403

Re: Age of Sigmar

Post#10 » Jul 19 2016 04:00

With the Horror of AOS on the scene and my army being one of the bottom tier- yes I am a Beastmen player - I was this close to sell of my Fantasy army....
until....

I stumbled upon "9th Age" ruleset.

O man is it marvelous. Not only did it pull me back into Fantasy, which I pretty much gave up on and focused on my Tau and Eldar, but also made me go buy and expand some of my units that very extremely bad with the original army book, but actually became very viable under the 9th ruleset.

Beast Herds - Now a more polished army, on power level closer to the other top armies, finally able to stand up to any other, without the need of being a super tactician and having buckets of luck, is now more fun than ever.
With the unit pricing rebalanced (biggest problem of the former Beastmen Book released by GW and never ever updated up to hardcover armybooks together with Skaven and Bretonia).
Like don't get me wrong. The army still sorely lacks in some departments. But For what it was ment to be in the first place - a close combat oriented, mass chaff ambushing army - it finally actually feels like one.

Where AOS dropped the ball, I believe 9Th Age picked it up, refilled the air, and polished it. It tackles most of the problems that came with 8th ed Fantasy (imbalanced Magic phase, huge power spikes between the codices, some game breaking rules spam, etc.) If you liked Fantasy and dislike AOS, I strongly recommend checking it. Personally, for my bottom tier army to become good enough to tackle the top tiers without relying solely on luck and my opponent messing up, and actually allowing me to field multiple competitive lists, with 9th Age ruleset I enjoy my Beastmen more than I did ever before with the "formal" GW rules.
Just my 2 cents, though it might sounds like fanboyism, do mind that it makes kinda sense, coming from someone who was actually about to sell his army, and yet now I enjoy it more than ever.

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