Sunday, July 5, 2015

Incompleteness in Age of Sigmar?

By now, many people have had a few games of the new Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. I think its fair to say that it feels very much like an incomplete game (or at the very least: AoS is just a precursor boxed set -- that's a much safer statement at least). The principle thing missing is a way to build armies that are balanced. At the moment, it read like "just agree with your opponent what to use". Of course, I do not think that this can last. Warscrolls need to come with a points value. Or at least something to say to people that there is an upper size to a unit. Imagine deploying a unit of 888 bloodletters? You can totally do that in Age of Sigmar and its only one war scroll. It seems a bit on the too-hard-to-believe side.

The second thing that is apparent is the much lower level of complexity involved in playing the game compared to its predecessor. No longer a vast rules book, but simplfied rules contained on each war scroll instead. This makes for a strong move away from the traditional game, to something entirely new for Games Workshop: the provision of rules alongside the models as they're released. And indeed: the entire back-catalogue of miniatures now have war scrolls available to download from Games Workshop, as well as even scenery for the game. This could be awesome, or it could seriously put off veteran gamers. I just don't know which way its going to go at the moment. 

My personal hope is that the warhammer line survives and prospers. But to do that, they're going to need a much smarter rulebook, a balance brought to the core game, and one that caters to the older gamers in the community, not just the younger ones who may not have played anything outside of "bring everything and we'll see what happens". 

At the moment, its just Apocalypse for fantasy and a back-catalogue of war scrolls to enable older players to keep playing the models that they have in their collection (cf. the image!). At least they have caught my interest though. And if they have my interest, then they also have many other players too.


Dave Garbe said...

I could understand turning AoS into an introductory gaming system.. Like, "Try this simple stuff and if you like it, upgrade to 40k when you want more complexity."

But I can't get past the no points thing. There's some guys in a mini group in Facebook who are like, "It's fun and we're putting together our own point system."


This is a fundamental of miniature wargames that the developer has completely thrown to the wind.. and somehow there are die hards willing to do their job for them.

I get the "beer and pretzels" argument, but without points, there's literally no way to have a fun -balanced- game with a buddy.

Nomeny said...

Of course there's a way to have a fun and balanced game with a buddy. You write up a scenario and ask a buddy if they think it's fun and balanced. If they agree and want to try it out, then you play a game.

Dave Garbe said...

It's not a matter of scenario... there are no points. Each player takes as many models as they want and are only limited by deployment space.. then a bunch of models also summon any number of other models during games.

jabberjabber said...

I think my adjective of choice at the moment for AoS is "Juvenile".

Juvenile in terms of its target audience. I actually have no problem with this as any company needs to recruit new customers. The trick is in not alienating the existing ones.

Juvenile in terms of its releases. Its clearly (surely!) not the full game. We await more releases of rules and balancing. Surely!?!?! Doing this correctly will aid with the above in my opinion.

Hence I'll wait and see, with a certain amount of optimism. Otherwise, good luck to Mantic.

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