There is an element of negativity surrounding Age of Sigmar, I can understand why to a certain extent. It’s a huge change and some people aren’t prepared to throw away what they’ve worked for because they have invested a lot of time, effort and money into the hobby. After the jump, I want to talk sense, no scare mongering and offer a positive outlook to some of these concerns.
The main concerns that I can see are Game Balance, Obsolete Models/Rules, and The Unknown!
This lack of balance in Age of Sigmar is a myth. If your opponent places a Bloodthirster on the table, make sure the next unit you place is something to deal with it. It’s highly unlikely your opponent will keep placing Bloodthirsters.
Imagine a game where you don’t know what army you’re going to use, you just place units in response to his. You stop placing units to avoid being beaten by sudden death.
Placing units in response is fairer than the old system where your legal army of foot sloggers could end up just facing a wall of canons. Not having to agree army lists before a game means when you see the first couple of canons going down you can rummage around in your collection and start placing stuff to deal with it instead of being stuck with a pre-determined list that can’t beat an enemy.
Bringing all your models and not using all of them is nothing new. How many times have we turned up to a GW with 2000pt 40k armies only to have opponents with only 1500pts.
If you want to be traditional and collect an army and always use that army no matter what then you will have to be prepared for the odd game where it feels unbalanced. Personally I like the idea of turning up with everything I own and placing a unit at a time and only stopping to avoid the sudden death table. Exciting. The only limits are the number of models I own, the available deployment space and the time in which I have to play. No point bringing 500 models if I only have a spare hour.
Another note is rank and file models can bring down bigger monsters much easier now, so don’t be scared if someone does bring the Bloodthirster army.
This is the hardest thing to get your head round because it involves money. I’ve publicly complained about GW bringing out replacement books for W40K, the Imperial Knight book I bought was 8 months old before they replaced it, and the 40k Rulebook was released with copy and pasted rules, background and pictures). Age of Sigmar isn’t that! It’s not replacing Warhammer Fantasy in the same way. It’s not a copy and paste rules edit, it’s a brand new thing that you can chose to play if you want. You can choose to carry on playing the previous edition of Fantasy if you prefer ranked up models.
Fantasy players have two ways of playing with their models now, whilst 40K player had to pay £50 for a copy and paste rulebook. I envy fantasy players because now they can play ranked up games or skirmish games with the same models for no additional cost!
Games Workshop might stop selling the army books for the previous edition but they’re not knocking on anyone’s door and demanding them back. In fact they’re making free rules available to play this new edition. Us poor 40k players are still paying for our rules!
Some people just don’t like change. That’s cool, I get it but I feel sorry for them. There is a famous change curve by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross which plots the course of someone’s grief from losing a loved one. Firstly, I’m NOT comparing Fantasy to the death of a loved one… but honestly, some of the comments I’ve read online seem like they are. The sense of perspective is being lost.
Heres a picture of the graph. Remember, it’s about grief, but look at how similar it is to some people’s opinions on Fantasy.
This brings me back to the “The Unknown”, the graph starts to rise and things get better at the experiment point. See, if you start to learn and experiment with Age of Sigmar it stops becoming the unknown. If you already own the models and you can download the rules for free, why wouldn’t you experiment with them? A few games later and you’re on to the next step “Decision”, learning how to work in the new situation and feeling more positive. Before you know it you’ll be fully integrated back into the swing of things enjoying your new found knowledge of Age of Sigmar.
I don’t think Games Workshop could have done much different to be honest. They’re releasing free, rules, free model, review samples for websites, everything is supported with new data scrolls, the game feels more inclusive than ever. You don’t need huge regiments of troops anymore which is so off putting to new players, but you can build up to that if you wish. At the moment this feels more gateway into the hobby which is perfect. You can be sure there will be expansions and more data scrolls in the future adding more detail to the game. I guess the only thing GW could have done better is communication. Take away that unknown feeling and the scare-mongering rumour sites wouldn’t have anything to report. They sent Stahly a copy of Age of Sigmar, but no press release to go with it?
So, why do I feel sad for the Fantasy Players who won’t embrace Age of Sigmar? Well they’re dragging themselves through “Denial”, “Frustration” and “Depression”. When all they have to do is go from “Shock” to “Experiment” like I have and things are awesome.
Now, some of you will be reading this article and preparing to write a long negative response in the comments, that’s cool, and please do, but ask yourself, are you at the “Denial” stage?
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