Tuesday, July 7, 2015

First Historical Footsteps

On the weekend I had a game of DBMM - Ancient Historical. I've played a lot of historicals in the past but not much in the past 10-12 years.

Over the past month I've painted up some new elements for my Patrician Roman (410-480AD) army and enjoyed the change from high Fantasy. The new elements were because there had been changes in the army lists since I last played. Luckily I had some unpainted models downstairs.

My battle was against New Kingdom Eygptians so not historical. They are made up of a mix of heavy foot, chariots, poor bow and Sea Peoples' warband. My army is composed of Palatina (pictured above), heavy foot Legionarii, lots of horse archers - Romans and Hunnic - and heavy cavalry - Goths and Clibanarii.

In the end, after some initial setbacks, I was able to make my superior mobility tell. My Goths supported by Palatina broke his centre and while I lost all my Clibanarii to his heavy foot, I was able to redeploy my horse archers who enveloped them when they pursued my withdrawn right flank.

The game was a lot of fun and whetted my appetite for more games. I need to learn the rules more as they have changed considerably since I last played. Nice to use the old army again. I'm lucky in that I have three fully painted forces that are all different. The Romans are combined arms while my Mongols are all mounted and Vikings all foot.

Certainly can see me getting a few more games in over the coming months.


Another New Faction

Looks like the rift gate is well and truly open!


Monday, July 6, 2015

So You Say We Need A Revolution....

All the details for Age of Sigmar came out over the weekend.

On Friday I got the White Dwarf and flicked through the content. I then spent time on the various forums around the net reading AoS game reports. Saturday morning saw the arrival of the datascrolls for the existing armies.

It was with this I caught a sucker punch. Let's say I was unprepared for some of the rules contained therein. I'll call them "Munchkin" rules. When you start getting re-rolls for riding an imaginary horse, talking to that horse, dancing and doing stupid voices, then it is either one or both of two things. Either GW have jumped the shark or it is time to realise that you really are not the demographic this game is aimed at.

On this basis I won't be playing Age of Sigmar from the get go. I'm going to wait and see if it develops. I'm not optimistic.

The key things I was looking for was a continuation of the Warhammer background that I enjoyed while playing the game. The second and most important was for a massed ranked battle game and as it stands AoS doesn't come close to ticking those boxes.

With time it might. Over the next six months we might see this base built on to deliver a game that I would like to play. As it stands the absence of ranks, lack of tactical movement, single dimensional combat mechanism, all point to something that I'm not optimistic for.

In the interim I'm going to paint my models to flesh out and finish my Warhammer armies. I'm happy to continue to play 8th until the ash has settled. Either AoS will develop into something I want to play....or it won't. Alternatively we may see developed of the various mooted fan-based v8.5/9 rulesets. Again I'm not optimistic as I feel more fragmentation is the likely outcome.

Hopefully over the coming months there are enough locals willing to continue having some games of 8th until we can see where things fall and then make an informed choice about future gaming avenues.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Stay Calm and Rant

I've found the last few days really interesting. As details around Age of Sigmar leak out people seem to be taking entrenched positions and the intransigence is palatable.

There is real anger out there. On both sides of the divide. The Internet forums are full of people shouting past each other. Now I understand how people can form their views but I don't really understand the vitriol. Sure people are invested in Warhammer and I can understand that they don't like the change - I personally err to that camp - but no one is stopping you playing it if you want to. Sure GW won't be supporting it but surely there is sufficient evidence of past community innovation - ETC, Swedish - that some fan based alternatives will survive. Whether it will be coordinated or fragmented is up for debate - the cynic in me thinks without some central authority gamers will find it hard to reach a consensus.

Then you get the other side. These guys seem even more zealous. Yeah, I understand it is cool to be an early adopter but there seems no realisation that people might like to see how a game develops, all the info, what support etc before they jump on board. A lot of the "zealots" seem to lack this empathy.

Personally, I'm going to buy the White Dwarf to read the rules and then see how GW close some of the concerns I have. These are that I'm not really looking for a skirmish game so for me it will be done to whether this system provides for a massed rank type battle.

One thing I did see posted yesterday that I thought raised an interesting question. If this was not GW but Company X releasing Age of Sigmar (assume 8th still supported), then how many people would be embracing it based on what we know so far?

Hopefully the next week will see the vitriol die down a bit. I'm not hopeful....this is the internet after all.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

AoS - The Floodgates Open

Here some excerpts of what is coming out over the net.

From the Warhammer Forum:

This is pre order week for the Age of Sigmar.. Newest Version of Warhammer!!!!.
Out with the Old and In with the New...

Get a new hobbyist into the game with 1 miniature.. (their favorite box set)..

That simple.. War scrolls come in the boxes. The Rules are only 4 pages long and they are available from the web.(downloadable).. No more heavy rulebooks and army books. All a person would need is their miniatures war scroll.. Now you can get into the hobby and play a game with your favorite miniature or miniatures. If you already have an army. Start Playing as early as July 4th, when the rules and war scrolls are posted. Play games as small or as big as you want. There are no points.. Bases don't mean anything, modular trays don't mean anything. Measure from the tip end of the model.. Base your guys any way you would like too.

The Age of Sigmar allows you to get some one started with a minimum of $10-40 after that they just purchase miniatures as they want to increase their experience and as the game brings in new characters and armies. There will be new enemies, old enemies, new friends and old friends coming back. You can play with your favorite miniatures, you don't have to be tied down to one particular army. You may like other Units in other armies, well that;s okay..


Games Workshop is proud to introduce you to Warhammer – The Age of Sigmar. The old Warhammer World is gone. It exploded and now we can only look ahead at what is to come – The Age of Sigmar. Together we are about to explore new realms. Exciting new adventures lay ahead, with brand new miniatures and new scenarios, set in brand new landscapes. We are opening new realms. Let’s embark on the very first battle of this new era.

The old Warhammer World is gone, and so is Warhammer Fantasy. Forget what you know about Warhammer Fantasy, as Warhammer – the Age of Sigmar is nothing like it. We are going to introduce you to a whole new experience. A brand new game with brand loads of new miniatures and brand new rules.

It is different to what you will expect. It is different to what we have done, but it will amaze you and all your customers. Don’t worry. Warhammer Fantasy miniatures stay relevant. Old miniatures can still be used, however how you will play them has changed. Size doesn’t matter anymore. Whether you want to play with 10 or 100 miniatures, it is all possible in Warhammer – The Age of Sigmar.

The change is big, but you and your customers can still use the existing miniatures. On the 4th of July all the new rules will be available digitally on our website for FREE – It will explain to you how the new game works, and how you can use your old miniatures. The rules will be available in many languages (including Dutch). The new rules for each miniature will also be in the newly rebranded boxes.

Square bases and movement trays are gone. The new and rebranded products will now come with oval and round bases. However don’t worry, as you can play the game with any base shape you want. No need to rebase your existing miniatures. Bases are now only used to stand up your miniatures and you can use whatever shape base you like most.

And then from Dakka:

So, just got off the phone with my GW rep.

 Info I was told:

-It's not 9th edition WFB, its a totally different game. There is no 9th edition coming. There is no huge rule book coming. Age of Sigmar is the main product.

-Most of the leaks on the internet are wrong. I'll be able to confirm this Thursday. In particular the bit about different formations is incorrect.

-The 96 page book is a hobby book, painting, history, how to play examples etc. The 4 pages of rules is indeed the rules. Laminated.

-Each unit in the game has a War Scroll that has the rules specific to that unit. So rules for each artillery piece will be on that unit's scroll, each monster will have a scroll, etc.

-The 4 pages of rules and all War Scrolls will be free and online July 4th at midnight. This will be a living document. 

-Cost is 125.00 in the US

-There may be additional books in the near future, hobbyist/collectors items. Not at all needed for the game, and may not even have the rules in the them. Age of Sigmar: The Big Book of pictures and how to paint....etc. There is no HC big rulebook like we had in WFB, no 3 rule books in a slipcover like in 40k. Just the Age of Sigmar box. And the rules for that box are online and free along with rules for all the old models in your army.

-Supposedly doesn't matter how things are based.

-Scales well from skirmish to large battles. Leave your models ranked and on bases if you like.

Monday, June 29, 2015

AOS - Actual Box Contents

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Starter Set
  • The most awesome Starter Set Games Workshop has ever produced!
  • Recreate the first battle in the Age of Sigmar as the Stormcast Eternals battle the Khorne Goretide to open a Realmgate!
  • 47 incredibly detailed plastic miniatures; 18 Stormcast Eternals and 29 Warriors of Khorne.
  • 96 page Warhammer Age of Sigmar book and 4 page rules sheet.
  • 12 dice, 2 range rulers and 2 Transfer Sheets.
  • Totally new beginning for Warhammer miniatures.
  • The new miniatures in the starter box are some of the best we have ever done, some will slot straight into existing collections, while the new Stormcast Eternals are going to inspire customers to start new armies.

So the Sigmarines are called "Stormcast Eternals". Interesting this meantions a 96 page Warhammer AoS book - but not classed as a rulebook.

First Impressions - Age of Sigmar Box

Over the weekend we got the first pictures of the new Warhammer "Age of Sigmar". These confirmed the box contents and resolved a number of the big "what ifs" that have been in play since the conclusion of the End Times.

Here's my initial thoughts on what I saw over the weekend. Bear in mind it is based purely on the pictures and info we got and these impressions may change as more info comes available.

First the models. Really the Khorne stuff they could have dialled in. There is nothing there that is outside the aesthetic we have come to expect. They are very nice models and will fit in with any Khorne/general Chaos army.

Next the Sigmarites. These were immediately dubbed "Sigmarines" and it is not hard to see why? They borrow very heavily from the 40k aesthetic - plate armour, pauldrons etc - and I'm sure that they will find their way into more than a few 40k armies. However I think that they actually pre-date the Space Marines and what we are seeing is the genesis of the 40k Emperor's Thunder Warriors. These look like an early prototype right down to the lightning bolt iconography and suggest that in future the games and background are going to be more closely aligned. I, personally, don't like the models. They are far too 40k for the Warhammer universe as I perceive it - and yes I know that is no more.

This points to a real move away from the "medieval" aspect of the Warhammer world. That has major implications in that a key part of ancient/medieval warfare is massed ranks. The best I can say is that this points to a diminishing of that concept.

And this is reinforced by the confirmation of round bases. Yes, in both cases - models and bases - GW has said you will be able to continue to use your models but in reality this at best is a transitory state and as the game evolves neither will be on the bus IMO. GW wants to sell you new models for your armies/factions (I hate that word - it screams small scale) and they will invalidate existing choices and be round based.

Accompanying the box will be a four page PDF of quick start rules. These have been described as "child friendly" and I guess will be focussed on core concepts. From looking at the models there are no missile troops nor what looks like a Mage. On that basis I think we can safely say the box set will focus heavily on combat. This positions it nicely with the 40k starter sets. 40k = skirmish with guns, AoS = Skirmish with combat.

So all and all I'm not optimistic about the new game fulfilling the space of the game I've been playing the last five years.

  • The aesthetic has changed
  • The core basis has changed
  • The basing has changed

Now this is all predicated on first impressions of the box and things might change when we get the full rules. However all the pointers above are really lines in the sand.

GW is clearly (IMO) going in a new direction and appealing to a different demographic than it has in the past.

From where I'm sitting it is about as bad as it could be.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Age of Sigmar - More Pictures

Some clearer pictures of the new "hotness"

"We're not in Kansas now, Toto"


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Age of Sigmar-ines

So the list of box contents posted this week was 100% wrong.

Here are the first actual pics:

To say the aesthetic is a bit of a shock is an understatement.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Age of Sigmar" Box Contents

The box contents for "Age of Sigmar" are supposedly:

1x Empire General on Griffin
5x Knights of Sigmar
10x State Troops with Spears
10x State Troops with Muskets

1x Lord of Khorne on Daemonsteed
5x Chaos Knights
10x Chaos Warriors
  • No small rulebook
  • Full rules for all models
  • Small intro of the fluff (Humans only)
  • 5 Scenarios to introduce players