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!