Thursday, 9 July 2015

Games Workshop: Masters of the Unexpected

Well, we didn't see that one coming, did we?

What am I referring to?

Warhammer: Age of Sigmar.

Games Workshop, in an effort to revitalise their dying Fantasy wargame (and according to their sales data, it was dying), have totally scrapped the Old World and the rank and file mass battles game that was Warhammer Fantasy. Instead, they have introduced a smaller, skirmish style game, with a whole new back story and a new faction to boot.

Over the last two weeks, I have never seen more vitriol and hate spewed across the internet than I have about this new game. It really has ripped the fan base in two, with the old diehard Warhammer players raging against the desecration of their beloved IP, and new people to the hobby and other gamers who openly embrace the changes. I've actually had to block people I don't know on Facebook because of the amount of hateful speech they are using in some of the groups and communities I'm a member of. Crazy.

So, what do I think of this new game? You know what, I actually really like it.

I've never played Warhammer Fantasy myself, always being a 40K player, and then more recently, skirmish style wargames. I've tried to start the game, going as far as to make two abortive attempts at an Orc and Goblin army (now known as Oruks and Grots!). However, due to the high buy in cost, and requirement for an absolute shedload of miniatures, I never got very far with it.

Age of Sigmar, however, changes all that. Gone is the need for masses of miniatures and bucketloads of books. Instead, I can pick up the box set, trade the faction I don't want for more of the faction I do (Stormcast Eternals in this instance, giant, immortal, superhuman warriors in heavy armour. Sound familiar?), and have a decent sized skirmish force to get started with.

The rules are free, and if Games Workshop are to be believed, all subsequent rules will be free to. I'm cautiously optimistic about this new game, and I'm really interested in where it goes. Time will tell if it rejuvenates the Fantasy genre for Games Workshop.


  1. I'm quite sad about the whole thing. Not because of the rules - 8th edition did that (any rule set where cavalry can charge through woodland without any issue is going to bug me) - but because of the fluff being scrapped. I've wargamed and role played in that works since I was about ten...I feel like they shot my dog.

    And the tediously dull planescape concept they've replaced it with is just...meh!

    Mind you, I still have my rpg books and we've been planning to use KoW for WFB for a long while, so I'll still be albe to visit. I've not been GWs core customer for a long time, so good luck to them.

  2. I've never been a WHFB player but I've played quite a bit of 40k in my time (and have a load of 2nd ed stuff to get working on) while my main fantasy game is KOW so this release hasn't affected me but has piqued my interest. I've read through the rules and watched a couple of demo games and it looks quite good however two points really didn't settle well with me; that bases didn't matter and no points costs. Lucky Mini Wargamers put up a video with a couple of solutions to this which seemed to work really well to the point of which I'm almost tempted to try a game or two with my LOTR or KOW minis.