So this post is going to be a little different. Today I want to share my thoughts on the latest release by Games Workshop, the new Age of Sigmar game. First off, I need to throw down a little background for myself.
I started playing Rogue Trader way back in the late 80's. During that time, I saw that GW had a fantasy game, and it looked interesting. But it also looked like a ton of models, so I didn't get into it. Fast forward several years and fourth edition. One of my college buddies started playing this game, and told me I should give it a try (1994?ish). I picked up the undead book because the thought of playing a necromancer summoning the dead seemed really cool. However, I didn't understand the rules when I looked over the book, and thinking that they were similar to 2nd ed 40K, I passed on them, and instead got drawn in by the super cool looking wood elf dragon that had just been released (still have that model).
From there I began my descent into Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Over the years, my collection has grown quite a bit. Where once I had a small wood elf army, now I own six large armies, and have bought and sold several throughout the years. In the late 90's, I really got into it, pulling several new friends into the game, running events at local game stores, and eventually going to Grand Tournaments. It was my favorite game.
Something happened though during 7th edition that took the game off of its pedestal. Part of it was the popularity of the game, and the big push into competitive gaming. The other part was me being too competitive and no longer playing for fun, but to win. Eventually it got to the point where I just needed to stop. Since then I have played from time to time, keeping up with the armies that I own and trying to find fun in the game again. 8th edition is okay. I'm not thrilled with some of the meta out there, and I don't care for the magic so much (needs some tweaking), but all in all, a good game.
Just recently GW released the End Times, and at first, I thought it was the greatest thing. I loved the Nagash book. A combined undead army and an interesting story line was just perfect. However, as the rest of the books came out, it got more and more clear that something was up. I really hated how much the good armies were getting trounced and I kept waiting for the balance to settle in.
At the end, I was extremely upset. They had taken this world that I had invested myself in for the last 20 years and literally blew it up. Already I have not been a fan of GW's policies over the years...and now they dared to ruin the very game I loved. So yeah, AoS was not received with open arms.
But here it is, and while the cement hasn't dried just yet, it looks like the time of Fantasy Battle has indeed come to its bitter end. No more rank and file...no 9th edition. What we have is Age of Sigmar.
Sigmar is the epitome of my love/hate relationship with GW. On the one hand, I hate the loss of rank and file, but I do love the dynamic posing of the round bases. I hate the total lack of point values for models, but find most of the unit rules to be intriguing. The fact that the rules are free is great. However, the silly rules for the existing models is a slap to the face. As I look at the game and see the plan that GW has laid out for it, it makes me want to go "that's cool" and then kick them in the nuts.
Even though I know that GW did not make the game for me...it still hurts. I do try to be objective about it. GW is trying to re-energize fantasy. But you know, that isn't even right. They really aren't trying to fix fantasy. They are simply trying to capitalize on their previous fantasy IP, and launch a new product to sell to new players. I am not their target audience.
How is this talking about Age of Sigmar exactly? Well, its simply hard for me to separate how I feel about GW, and how I feel about the game. The game is simple. Take that as a positive or a negative. The rules for units are free and there are some interesting things in there. I am mostly a VC player, and I really liked the stuff I saw. That being said, the rules that the "war scrolls" sit upon are, in my opinion, too basic. I think GW could have easily included an "Advanced Ruleset" in the AoS starter to fix some of the glaring issues. I mean this company has been producing these games for almost 30 years. AoS just falls too short. Combine that with the knowledge that my current collections are going to be obsolete soon, it makes it really hard to support this game. And since GW isn't talking about the future, we are left to speculate if this is it, or with AoS evolve into something more.
What this adds up to for me, is that GW has had its chance. I want to support a company that wants to support me. GW simply doesn't do that. Their actions make me feel like they don't care about me at all. And no amount of shiny new models is going to change that. For plenty of people, it does, and they will keep on going supporting GW. Luckily for me, there are lots of other games out there.
So bottom line, AoS isn't for me. I will probably give it a run or two just to say that I have. But it doesn't fill the gaping hole left by WFB.