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.


  1. Noooo I want to rage against the dying of the light. I'm trying to stay on the fence but failing... looks like I'm a hater.

    Still open to change come this weekend and next with further information.

  2. Our group has actually started looking at Kings of War. It's a system we knew of but never paid any attention to as Warhammer was giving us what we want. Now that we are, especially with its new V2 having come out, and the new army lists that let you use all your Warhammer armies we are kicking ourselves for not playing it before. The games internal balance is spot on, the system gives us the ranked up medieval fantasy feel you mentioned and it brings back alot of the movement and deployment nuances 8th took away.

  3. There are a couple good reviews out there and some interesting first play feedback that show merits in the new game. For me however, Warhammer is the background and world I enjoy most. I've played others, but always returned.

    Gorgeous art, and likley some impressive miniatures ahead such is the GW way. But I'm not inspired to follow. Orruks, Ogors and Breyherd indeed. (new faction names btw) They strike me as names a 3rd party seller gunning for GW dollar would use.

    In an era of multiple kickstarters that engage the punters directly and openly, the amount of agressive behaviour reminds me of the two dragons kept in the dark going mad, in Game of Thrones, and the one out in the open exploring - sane and independant, an allegory of GW customers and fans of other systems.

    You just don't treat modern customers this way; every brand I know engages and encourages appropriation of narrative (Named coke as an example). Particularly invested buyers. It has been fascinating to watch.

    Right well, bring on July 4th, I'll await the miniatures for converting methinks :)

    If anything positive, it has me jolted enough to start looking into what the writers of Warhammer have been doing since they left GW.

    1. I suspect the new names are ones that GW can trademark. Orcs and beastmen came from other fiction and Ogres come from legend.

      With the release of the scrolls, it is still possible to use all your old armies and the existing fluff so it's no loss to the invested players (like me) who like the old world as it was.

  4. July 4th. Independence Day?? Ha.

    +1 from me on what you have said there Pete.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Found this blog while incessantly searching for rumors these past 2 weeks like a crazed madman. Great post! Very reasonable thoughts amidst an internet of manic ramblings on the topics.

    Having played WFB for 24 years, I lean toward the zealot side, as it is the universe/fluff/toys that keep me in the hobby of toy soldiers far longer than any adult with a family ought to be :) I've played every edition of WFB and 40K and been through some massive shake-ups. When I was younger these changes would really anger me, just as many are angered out there now (understandable especially if you just got into the hobby in the past 5 years!). The changes have always been for the better though, and I'll throw this out for thought: when you first got into Warhammer, was it because you liked the models, or did you read the rulebook first? When you look back on your most memorable gaming moments, was it the time your general survived a challenge and slayed a much better opponent, or was it when you prevented an enemy counterattack by clipping a base by several millimeters and exploiting an obscure rule on page 49 of a rulebook? Any time I get too close to taking this game seriously, my wife reminds me....I'm in my 30's and still playing with toy orcs...hahaha. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed right along side you the next 24 hours, and hoping my favorite toys get some decent rules on their scrolls. Keep up the great blog!! - Tim, Tampa, Florida

    1. Are you the Turtle Tim that was also the infamous Dread Pirate No Beard from Man o' War days? Great post on a great article - and I agree - a great blog.

    2. Aye aye, Cap'n! Glad to see a fellow shipmate from College Park sailing around the cyberspace of NZ :) Though still an infamous tabletop pirate, I also count myself lucky to have been trained in the secretive arts of enjoying Warhammer those many years ago by that elusive madman who managed the store... (also glad to have survived all those meals at Howie's)

      I rushed the kids to bed tonight so I could read the new scrolls and breathed a great sigh of relief, then couldn't stop laughing. Giants still get drunk and fall down, trolls still vomit (sometimes copiously!) and the big nasty monsters and heroes are still....big and nasty. What's more, the new rules introduced whackier rules for even more fun gameplay....the Cockatrice introduces a staring contest, Nagash plays a guessing game with the Hand of Dust, and my favorite (since I just finished painting him last night!!) is Konrad von Carstein, who re-rolls "1"s if you talk to him, and re-rolls all failed hits if he talks back to you. LOL! Sometimes amid the stresses of financial crises, terrorism threats and all the gravity life throws at you, it's great to read through Warhammer and feel like a kid again.

  7. Can... can I rant yet??

    1. Rant Brian, let it out, let it all out...

    2. Just grow a dirty mo and learn to dance aos will be all good

  8. From what I can see around the world at the moment... those "liking" AoS by and large haven't played a game of it yet.... and those that have and "like" it... are already trying to balance it somehow.

    All in all the increased internet activity has made for humorous reading though.

  9. The change to AOS reminds me of the change from 40k second edition to 3rd ed. Or the change from 7th edition ancient to DBM.
    The 40k game went from a complex game to a very simple game where all the rules and army lists came in the one book. (this was before the internet and PDF downloads was a thing)
    There were similar changes to the phases of the game. Heroes were reduced in power and were more support units rather than units that destroyed entire armies by themselves. The game was probably my favourite edition of the game.

    At first glance things I like.
    Formations grant bonuses, this encourages you to take an army that makes sense and looks like an army.
    Monsters and large combo creatures get weaker as they take wounds. Imagine if in 8th a monster lost one attack and one inch of movement for each wound taken.
    Shooting units look like they have increased in power. 20 dark shards does 40 shots hitting on 4+ wounding on 4+, that is 6-7 wounds on enemy infantry. an average roll on the moral test at the end of the turn will strip off another 5 or so models so even a 30 strong unit could be down to half strength. this is balanced out with no charge reaction.
    Shooting ranges have reduced. this discourages castling. This also allows units to move around the enemy battle line. this in turn forces people to anchor their flanks on terrain or use a second line of units. (all tactics used by historical armies in a comparable age of technology).
    You can also move up shoot and then charge into combat, although most archers are rubbish in combat. Much better to move up, shoot the enemy and then charge them with a close combat unit.
    Weapons look like they matter, spears have a 2"range therefore they fight in three ranks if on a 20mm base rather than two.
    20mm square bases look like the boss. it's easily possible to get more models in contact or within weapon range on those bases than it would be on any other base. So there is no need to rebase if I don't want to.
    Supporting units looks like a great tactic. If I form a battle line with my units close together if you attack one unit, your supporting units can pile in. A supporting unit of greatwords might be just the business.
    The fiddley special rules that some units had (and some armies, Skaven I'm looking at you) are all gone.
    Skaven don't need 150 slaves to be competitive.
    All armies don't need a lvl 4 wizard to be competitive.
    Hero models all have command abilities that reflect the ability to motivate their troops. this means they can do something other than kill enemies on combat.
    You could easily play the game with alternate activation rather than IGOYGO.
    Cannon sniping isn't going to cost you multiple monstrous creatures and you can't use creatures to block the cannon ball. The short range of cannons makes them vulnerable to attack be enemy mounted troops.

    Everyone will have to learn new tactics so we are all in the same boat. the old meta is dead long live the new meta.

    1. Great post. I've only tried a couple small skirmishes so far, but here's what I noticed:

      * You can keep your units on movement trays, they just move like Fast Cavalry from the old rules (free reform, can't end further than their movement, etc.). The melee ranges John mentioned actually give an incentive to packing units onto a tray instead of dispersing them into a skirmishing formation, and there are no templates to avoid by spreading out.
      * Being able to shoot AND charge can be very powerful. I tested it where my river trolls could move, puke, then assault. They really kicked butt. Probably works best for monsters with breath weapons, but not so great for peasant archers.
      * The combat initiative is going to call for some tough decisions. When you have multiple combats going on, it's going to be tough to choose which one goes first, because your opponent gets to choose the next one that goes first. ASF is gone, except it's not...
      * No unit is going to outright break and be run down, nor is there mass panic. Combats can turn into massive tarpit melees unless you opt to voluntarily retreat. Although you'll still lose some guys to breaking from combat, for the most part all your models will actually get to fight.
      * The pile-in re-introduces the old 1st edition style of "wrapping around" wherein the superior force can surround and butcher the inferior one.

      Oh and as Philfy mentioned....we (in my club) are all trying to figure out how to balance our armies...hoping someone figures out a method so we don't have to. I tried 6 trolls vs 10 chaos warriors....the trolls were technically outnumbered but pummeled the chaos warriors, and would have been worth twice as many points in 8th Ed, even though both sides had equal wounds (I even tried multiplying wounds x bravery to estimate value). I can balance my armies easily, but the savages I play against need some limitations placed on them or they'll run amok.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Keen to see you ride your imaginary horse John, or do the Slaanesh Daemon dance. Perhaps the staring competition is where you will excel or spelling spells backwards.

      For the moment....I'm out

  10. I agree there are some silly rules, like don't look at me when I go to use medusas gaze.

    People have already posted some ideas for comp that seemed to be pretty good.
    from memory something like
    0-2 heroes
    0-2 monsters
    max 30 wounds in any one unit
    no more than 3 choices of the same unit.

    I think there is tactical movement in the game but it is different. I always think that the way people use chaff at a 90 degree angle looks crazy.

    DBM doesn't have ranked combat or complicated rules for wheeling. An element can just pivot and go. So this approach isn't to different.

    I also find it amazing that people think they can master a game after one battle. Who did that after one game of 8th edition? I think I remember similar comments about there being a lack of tactical movement and being just luck with the random charging. Pete wrote a good post about how that game changed from one of degrees and inch measurement to one of risk management. One blogger even commented that AOS isn't suitable for tournaments, conveniently overlooking that most people consider their beloved warhammer 8th edition unsuitable for tournaments without restrictions and arms limitation treaties.

    Every edition of warhammer has had arms limitation to play in events I see AOS as no different.

    There are definitely parts of the AOS rules that will take some getting used to, I have spent more time looking at warhammer rules and units since AOS came out than in the preceding six months.

    I am glad that I am mostly focussed on Judge Dredd and Infinity at the moment. Both of those games are lots of fun.