Friday, 10 July 2015

Getting past the Rage: Whats good about Age of Sigmar?

I know I may be coming across rather negative lately over Age of Sigmar, but to be fair, there is much valid criticism to be had over this new game. 

But I digress, and in the first sentence! This is going to be difficult... 

SO how about we take a quick look at what is good about this new game, and don't get me wrong, there are several good things about the Age of Sigmar if you overlook the rules.. done it again...

First lets look at the new models.

A new aesthetic has been introduced for the first new faction in Age of Sigmar. Many have labeled it as Space Marines in fantasy. Fair enough, but credit where credit is due. The models themselves are technically superb. They are simple to assemble, dynamic and characterful, all in a starter boxed set. They are simply put, the best starter models produced in any box set by Games Workshop to date. And they already have a reputation for producing the best plastic miniatures in the world. 
The style is a Greeko-Roman full body plate armour, something you would only ever find in a movie or a fantasy setting. The style is decisive and up until now a love it or hate it thing. Personally the more I look at them the more I like the sculpts. Its a matter of personal taste but those Prosecutors look amazing. 
The broad flat areas and the hard edges on the armour are a painters dream, allowing much greater "personality" to be applied to each individual model. 
There is also a lot of yawn, I mean Khorne stuff. As per usual. How about some Tzeentch stuff for a change (lol) ?
I think I am also one of few who think the increase in scale is a good thing, but that might have more to do with my eyesight being not as good as it use to be. 
There are some amazing paint jobs being posted on social media of the free miniature from White Dwarf, inspiring even

Round bases you say? I'm of the opinion it dosn't really matter. Square, round, dodecahedron... its all the same. What I can say is the models previewed so far look great on round bases. The extra room to pose or display the model is a hobbyists dream. There is a theme forming here...

Next up I think would be model count. Yup, I think its a positive that we have the ability to field less models than previous. Sure you could create small armies with 8th but it was always difficult for many races to make a 600 point spread without critically hamstringing your army. Lower model count also makes it more realistic to do multiple armies, and far far easier (cheaper) for new people to get into the game/hobby. Hell you currently don't even need much more than the starter box to have an effective force (at least, at the moment). When was the last time you could say that? No longer do I need to paint up units of 40 to make effective hoards of infantry (20 seams to be the new magic number for hoard bonus). 

Now I am going to say that there are some positives to the RULES here. They are not all terrible, well at least in the context of the rules themselves.
No more "10 from the back" !!!! this makes me so happy! Monster rules look good to, and I especially like the diminishing returns to be had as they get wounded. The high number of wounds models can achieve now compared to 8th is also great, In 8th, 6 wounds on a Bloodthirster made it necessary to tool them up to make them as survivable as possible (10 from the back!) but now with 14, they can take a few hits and still be viable, and are not overwhelming as they get diminishing returns as they take wounds.That's almost balance!
I also like the idea of "battleshock" tests in a way. It could get very messy managing fleeing units all over the place, and some 8th edition builds simply allowed no chance of being broken and/or fleeing at all, making the grind very difficult, and some match ups impossible! Now with the battleshock mechanic, attrition is no longer absolute. Models are removed piecemeal in a rather similar fashion to unstable in 8th. There are downsides to this however that's not for this post! There are a few other examples of rules for the better, and no doubt some more that will be revealed in the future.

And last but not least I would like to mention the realms in the perspective of the hobby side. The new background story of 9 realms to fight in leaves amazing scope for the future. I cannot wait to see what the realm of metal will look like on the table, or how about the realm of shadow? The scope for scenic base modelling, for display boards if tournaments survive the transition and the tables themselves is just incredible. Rules be damned this is the one thing which Age of Sigmar really has going for it. The combination of 9 realms and the larger individual basing makes this a hobbyists dream theater. Moving on from that the battlefields will look amazing. We have all ready seen the teasers of the new terrain which look superb, and putting them in the context of a board based on the realm of light for example. There are no limits. So if you are the creative sort, I can see more effort going into the setting of a fight than the models themselves.

So if you are not feeling this game from the rules perspective, then take a look at the hobby side. It could still be for you. I can see, moving forward, that potential tournaments will be scenario driven and have a larger hobby aspect to them than previous.

I haven't really mention much in the way of background story as to be honest, there is not a lot of it out there yet, and it would not be fair to prematurely judge it. I expect good things. If the art work is anything to go by!

Don't worry, I'll be back in full swing in the next few days and I will post my first draft of "fixing" the rules. 

1 comment:

  1. How about the option of tactically retreating from Combat