Age of Sigmar

I wrote an e-mail to an old colleague who still works at GW HQ – he’s been there for over 20 years, and we’ve been corresponding on occasion for the last year and a half. When I was done writing it, I realized it summed up a lot of my feelings about Age of Sigmar, Warhammer and war-gaming in general, so I thought I’d post it here for posterity.


My buddies and I have had a chance to play our first few games of Age of Sigmar. There are some good things to be said about the new game: the battle scrolls, new ways for unit special rules to work, and a simpler game system. I understand the need to reboot the game world and make IP that is easier for GW to protect.

However, I think this game misses the mark pretty big on what a dedicated gamer and hobbyist like myself is looking for from a game: depth, organized play, game balance and community support.

I look for strategic depth in a game, and Age of Sigmar doesn’t really have much. There’s very little meta-game: figuring out what is good in my list so that I’m capable to taking on any other armies. Why? Because I can just bring whatever models I want and use them. A lot of emphasis is now on the players to decide how to balance their armies and have a fun experience, which is fine for your local gaming group but requires a lot of work to make any kind of organized play happen. Organized play helps create the depth, and also builds communities and invites more players in – I’ve seen this happen in Seattle where we’ve built the community up over the last two years, and in the US Masters where we’ve made it the most widely anticipated Warhammer event on the US calendar.

The rules themselves, while easy to digest, don’t create an engaging experience where I crave to know more so that I can improve. It’s more like playing checkers – I know all the rules now, and can pass the time playing the game, but really I know there are better games out there in the same genre. Age of Sigmar is competing now against Warmachine/Hordes, Malifaux and every other round-based, skirmish level game. Yes, AoS allows for mass battles (and any shaped bases), but fielding a couple hundred models on a system predicated on round-bases and individual model movement makes that unwieldy … fielding Skaven or Goblins is a logistical pain.

And while I can appreciate the flavor behind some of the rules (like Settra, or the Longbeards), having to say or do silly things to have a rule come into play is something that just doesn’t go over well with anyone here. Obviously we can ignore those restrictions, but then where does the line get drawn? How much house-ruling is sufficient before there’s a playable system?

With WHFB, the game had depth and some measure of balance. As a community, we supported ourselves and created organized play, but we did it over a long period of time with a history of having played the game for many years. Now the depth and balance is gone, and the community across the globe is fracturing. Some want to take the rules of 8th edition, refine them slightly and keep playing that. Some want to add depth and balance to Age of Sigmar, and try to play that. Many others have already drifted away to other games – certainly true for our community in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

GW has a pretty strict policy around announcing release dates. We hear leaks from time to time, but it’s very difficult to know what is likely real and what is just someone spinning rumor. As it stands today, it seems like this is the entirety of the game of Age of Sigmar, and half the people I play against regularly have already said that they are moving on. There are about 200 tournament goers in our region – I know because I track them all for Masters qualification – and they in turn influence the non-tournament goers through the forums, Facebook groups and other online communities that people use for meeting gamers and organizing play.

So, unless the rumors about a larger ruleset with a way to create balanced forces are true, or something else is happening to make it easier to create organized play events, this will probably be the last year of playing GW games for me. This is pretty sad – I got into gaming from Advanced Heroquest, and started collecting minis and playing RPGs as a result. I worked out in the past two years I’ve spent over $1000 per year in my local GW store, not counting all the stuff I’ve bought on the secondary market or from other game stores.

It was a big risk making Age of Sigmar. I hope it pans out.

26 thoughts on “Age of Sigmar

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    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

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    We all know God exists. Why? Because without Him, we couldn’t prove anything at all. Do we live our lives as if we cannot know anything? No. So why is God necessary? In order to know anything for certain, you would have to know everything, or have revelation from somebody who does. Who is capable of knowing everything? God. So to know anything, you would have to be God, or know God.

    A worldview without God cannot account for the uniformity and intelligibility of nature. And why is it that we can even reason that God is the best explanation for this if there is no God? We are given reason to know or reject God, but never to know that He does not exist.

    It has been calculated by Roger Penrose that the odds of the initial conditions for the big bang to produce the universe that we see to be a number so big, that we could put a zero on every particle in the universe, and even that would not be enough to use every zero. What are the odds that God created the universe? Odds are no such thing. Who of you would gamble your life on one coin flip?

    Is there evidence that the Bible is the truth? Yes. Did you know that the creation accounts listed in the book of Genesis are not only all correct, but are also in the correct chronological order? That the Bible doesn’t say the Earth was formed in six 24-hour days but rather six long but finite periods of time? That the Bible makes 10 times more creation claims than all major “holy” books combined with no contradictions, while these other books have errors in them? The Bible stood alone by concurring with the big bang saying, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); and says our universe is expanding, thousands of years before scientists discovered these things. Watch a potential life-changing video on the website listed below with Astronomer(PhD) Hugh Ross explaining all these facts based on published scientific data. He has authored many books, backed even by atheist scientists.

    Jesus came to pay a debt that we could not; to be our legal justifier to reconcile us back to a Holy God; only if we are willing to receive Him: “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).

    God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him, through faith, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus says if we wish to enter into life to keep the commands! The two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself. All the law hang on these commands. We must be born of and lead by the Holy Spirit, to be called children of God, to inherit the kingdom. If we are willing to humble ourselves in prayer to Jesus, to confess and forsake our sins, He is willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking of Him; giving us a new heart, leading us into all truth!

    Jesus came to free us from the bondage of sin. The everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels due to disobedience to God’s law. If we do the same, what makes us any different than the devil? Jesus says unless we repent, we shall perish. For sin is the transgression of the law. We must walk in the Spirit so we may not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, being hatred, fornication, drunkenness and the like. Whoever practices such things will not inherit the kingdom (Galatians 5:16-26). If we sin, we may come before Jesus to ask for forgiveness (1 John 2:1-2). Evil thoughts are not sins, but rather temptations. It is not until these thoughts conceive and give birth by our own desires that they become sin (James 1:12-15). When we sin, we become in the likeness of the devil’s image, for he who sins is of the devil (1 John 3:8); but if we obey Jesus, in the image of God. For without holiness, we shall not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

    The oldest religion in the world is holiness through faith (James 1:27). What religion did Adam and Eve follow before the fall? Jesus, Who became the last Adam, what religion does He follow? Is He not holy? He never told us to follow the rituals and traditions of man but to take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23). There are many false doctrines being taught leading people astray. This is why we need the Holy Spirit for discernment. Unlike religion, holiness cannot be created. It is given to us from above by the baptism of the Spirit. Jesus is more than a religion; He is about having a personal relationship with the Father. Start by reading the Gospel of Matthew, to hear the words of God, to know His character and commandments. Follow and obey Jesus, for He is the way, the truth, and the life!

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