We’ve spent a couple of days now running demo games of the new Warhammer Age of Sigmar rules from Games Workshop. We downloaded the warscrolls for all of the models that are in the Warhamer Fantasy box set, Island of Blood. We read through the rules sheet from Warhammer #75 and then sat down to play games with each player playing only 3 models on a small 24″x24″ game board. I’ve only played Warhammer Fantasy one time and it was several years ago so I was essentially starting out as a beginner, right along side everyone I demoed the game with. All of us who played have played Warhammer 40k and a modified version of Necromunda.
So what do I think of Age of Sigmar?
I’ve seen some bloggers bemoaning the simplified rules. Frankly, that is the number one thing that has drawn me to Age of Sigmar. The rules are a whole four pages long. That’s shorter than most of today’s newer boardgames. Masses and masses of rules, and having to buy new rulebooks every time some new model gets released is my biggest gripe with Warhammer 40k. Starting from scratch and reading the rules, we were up and playing within less than 5 minuets. Granted I expect setup on larger battles to take a significantly longer amount of time, but the simplicity of the rules makes Age of Sigmar a great entry point miniatures game.
That said, I do feel the game could use some tweaks. In it’s current form I have difficulty seeing the game doing well in a tournament format which can be an important income stream for a retailer like myself. The complete lack of a frame work for army construction means that you could quickly end up in games where the players have totally out of balance forces. In casual play this is fairly unlikely to be an issue as players will tend to discuss force size and come to general consensus on what they both feel will be fun to play. In a tournament setting however, there will be no agreements other than what the tournament organizer sets unless GW sets some tournament guidelines, and that depends on if GW is really interested in fostering tournaments for Age of Sigmar.
The other issue that I see, and the Escapist has already pointed out some of these, is that some of the warscrolls include some pretty ridiculous rules, such as…
Pride of the Reiksguard: Helborg’s skill is as legendary as his moustache is magnificent. You can re-roll any failed hit rolls when attacking with the Runefang so long as you have a bigger and more impressive moustache than your opponent.
Seriously? If I wanted to play a game with rules like that I’d pull out the game Quelf. I can see us house ruleing most of these sorts of rules out of the game as we come across them in the warscrolls. There is simply no way that I’m going to…
The Mad Count: Marius Leitdorf is an exceptional swordsman, even if he is totally insane. If, during your hero phase, you pretend to ride an imaginary horse, you can re-roll failed hit rolls for the Averland Runefang until your next hero phase. If you actually talk to your imaginary horse you can re-roll failed wound rolls as well.
But I can certainly see us adding a quick die roll that determines if I can use the ability or not or making it so that I have to choose between using this ability or another during play.
Overall the response that we have had at the store has been overly positive from our group of primarily Warhammer 40k players. Up until now we have seen little to no interest in Fantasy at Multiverse. After demoing the rules I have folks talking about which armies they want to build, talking about tactics, and wanting to learn more about the back story of the fantasy game. While I don’t see it overtaking 40k in popularity at the store I do foresee it being a successful line and a lot of fun to play casually. I’ve even had a couple of folks talking about if they could find a way to adapt the Fantasy rules for 40k armies.
Tonight starting at 6pm Multiverse will be running demo games of the new Age of Sigmar fantasy miniatures game from Games Workshop.
Join us tonight for a taste of this exciting, rules light, game. The Age of Sigmar box set goes on sale Saturday, July 11th. The retail price is $125.00.
The World Before Time is gone. Shattered. Consigned to an oblivion no-one thought possible. The metallic core of that ill-fated world was hurled through the cosmos, the God-King Sigmar clinging desperately to its sigmarite surface. Aeons passed, until the core caught the attention of the great drake Dracothion; it was he who rescued Sigmar, and taught him the secrets of the Mortal Realms – connected by Realmgates and peacefully populated for many years.
But even in this utopia, Chaos would find a way to corrupt and distort everything. The Age Of Chaos gradually turned life in the realms into hell. Embracing wisdom instead of strength, Sigmar retreated to the Celestial Realm and began assembling the greatest mortal warriors, steeping them in the magic of the stars and instilling them with absolute divinity.
The Stormcast Eternals, as Sigmar named them, are ready. Sigmar’s storm is lined up to unleash its fury on the forces of chaos. The realms will tremble and the skies will scorch as the legions of the Dark Gods feel the blistering rage of the Stormhosts!
The Age Of Sigmar has arrived.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar is a fantastic starter set for any and all fans of Warhammer! Detailing the first incursions of the Realmgate Wars, this box set contains everything you need to begin your adventures in the Age Of Sigmar. There’s a stunning amount of goodies contained inside – you get:
Forty-seven incredible Citadel miniatures (no, really, forty-seven) to start off your collection, including:
Two units of five Liberators
One Mighty Lord of Khorne
Five Blood Warriors
Two units of ten Bloodreavers
A ninety-six page Warhammer Age of Sigmar book containing:
All new background information on the realms and factions in the Age of Sigmar;
Guides to all the included miniatures – who they are, their place in their army and their abilities, plus pages of incredible showcases;
A thrilling play-through narrative, introducing the deep, compelling story behind Warhammer Age of Sigmar;
All the rules and Warscrolls for every miniature included in the box.
As well as this, the box contains:
A four-page rules set (this is everything you need to know to begin playing);
A pack of twelve dice;
Two range rulers;
Two Stormcast Eternal Transfer sheets.
All in all, this is a spectacular-value boxed set for any and all fans of Warhammer. Get yours, and dive into the Age Of Sigmar now!