Sunday, March 20, 2016

Why Age Of Sigmar?

I am a very Oldschool gamer, I have been playing Warhammer in some form or another since 1st edition back in 1983. I’ve played every edition that has come out of Games Workshop, whether I liked the changes or not. Let’s face it wargamers are not always the most accepting people when it comes to change.

I am going to be brutally honest here, as much as I loved Warhammer the last two editions of WFB just were not my cup of tea. The game in my opinion had become all about the number crunching to create the most effective army and that tended to leave the “fun or Fluffy” choices out. Also units had just become to “big” in my honest opinion.

By the time Age of Sigmar dropped I had not played a game of WFB in over 18 months. It just was not punching my ticket as something fun to play. While the End Times did have a lot of Great stuff in it, I had lost my passion for Warhammer. 

So when Age of Sigmar dropped, again being honest, I only checked it out because the Rules and Warscrolls were free from the Games Workshop website. A funny thing happened as I was reading through the Rules and Warscrolls something clicked in my head and I almost immediately felt the excitement I had for the earliest editions of the game.

Was I shocked that Games Workshop had done away with points, sure I was after having them beat the idea into my head over 25 years of gameplay; however I started thinking about how “we” played 1st and 2nd ed WFB. Back then it was all about scenarios, we thought up something totally cool and worth fighting over, brought out models out and played a game. While there were points we Never used them in this time period.

Suddenly my brain was buzzing with all sorts of cool things that we could do with Age of Sigmar that would not have been acceptable outside of a very specific group of players for many years. The uneven never going to actually win scenario, where victory is determined just by surviving or holding the enemy off for ‘x’ turns was again possible and much more acceptable as a way to play. 

As an oldschool Oldhammer fan, this is fantastic because most of the best campaign packs were very uneven affairs with preset lists and not a point value to be found. This is allowing me to update packs like “Bloodbath at Orc’s Drift”, “Terror of the Lichemaster” and “Tragedy of McDeath” into great Age of Sigmar campaign scenarios. 

Age of Sigmar thrives on Scenario game play, it gives a much more immersive and satisfying gaming experience to the charge forward and slaughter your opponent gameplay that had become the norm of the recent past. This is where GW make some money from us and there is nothing wrong in that, the scenarios they have created are only available in the paid for books or paid for downloads on the Age of Sigmar app. I highly recommend spending the money and getting the scenarios if you are not good at writing your own.

While some Heroes are really powerful fighters Age of Sigmar is not a return to “Herohammer” of the past, most Heroes are potent unit buffing tools for your army making units near them better just by being close to them. Army Synergy is a real thing in Age of Sigmar and more so than in any other edition of Warhammer has ever had.

Another thing Age of Sigmar has going for it is its ability to scale up or down well, smallish games and Large games are both extremely satisfying. Plus I must applaud Games Workshop for circling all the way back around and giving us the freedom to do what we want with our games and armies then actually encouraging us to do so!

Heck if you really need structure some of the brightest minds from the community have created “Comp” systems for Age of Sigmar that do just that. I have personally used the Clash comp done by Mo for Clash of Swords last year, I have tried Azyr comp, and am currently in love with the SCGT comp done by the fine folks at Heelanhammer for the South Coast GT coming up next month.

Bottom line is Age of Sigmar allows you the freedom to play Warhammer however you see fit. This is an excellent thing. So if you have not tried Age of Sigmar yet you really should, hell it won’t cost you a dime as the rules are free! 

In closing I have not had this much fun playing or have been this excited about Warhammer in 20 years to me that is the shining star of the whole affair. I am stoked about hobbying and playing this game like a kid again.

Until next time may your dice roll many sixes!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Making the Age of Sigmar and Oldhammer meet

As a long time Warhammer fan and oldschool gamer, I have decided to take the new hotness of AoS and introduce some of the Classic scenario/campaign packs from Old Warhammer to the new game.You see this makes total sense to me as in my eyes AoS recaptures the "magic" and "feel" of the early days of Warhammer, before it went all rank and flank crazy. Warhammer has not felt this fun in the way it plays since the early 90's, in my opinion.

First up I will be creating and Age of Sigmar version of the Blood Bath at Orc’s Drift scenario pack from 1985. It is a classic scenario based on the action seen in the Movie Zulu that was inspired by the battle of Rorke’s Drift during the Anglo/Zulu war. I have borrowed a copy of this scenario pack from a very close friend that has it completely intact with unpunched card buildings. This will make the conversion even easier.

I played this scenario pack a few times back in 2nd ed Warhammer and thoroughly enjoyed it. We even ran it as a convention participation event a few times I remember the participants really having a blast playing through the campaign.

I will be bringing all for Campaign scenarios over, however there will be some more AoS fitting unit changes to the forces involved in the scenarios. Since some of the unit configurations in the 2nd ed Orc’s drift pack are no way replicable with the models of today. Plus things like Dwarf engineers today are not the same as they were in 2nd ed, which would be much closer to miners today.

I will also be linking all 4 scenarios, with any survivors from the Order side showing up as refugees at the final battle. 

Give me a few weeks and I should have the first rough draft up for feedback.

Until then may your dice roll many sixes!