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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Fantasy guys I was hoping to get some clarification here. I've been interested into fantasy for so long unfortunately not many of my gaming group plays. However, it looks like AOS has really reset the game and fluff as a whole. Could someone explain how they did this (in a non copyright manner) and how the game has "reset"?
 

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AoS isn't a reset of Warhammer; it's the replacement game for Warhammer Fantasy. It's a totally new game that happens to have "Warhammer" printed on the box. "Warhammer" is a brand now. I understand even GW stores will be renamed to "Warhammer".

Anyway, there are a few similarities between the two games, the primary one is that you can use the same playing pieces for both games.

Actually, AoS has more similarities with 40k than it does with WHFB. In AoS, models in the same unit do not have to be in base contact with each other but they cannot be more than two inches away from each other. Units have a 360 movement and shooting arc. Speaking of bases, measurements are made from the models rather than the base. Charges are not declared first in the movement phase. They are declared later in the turn, like 40k.

There is no point system in AoS. This is probably one of the more difficult adjustment for players that have never experienced playing war games that have no point systems. Each player continues placing models on the table until they choose to stop.
Not counting the scenery rules, the game consists of just four pages of rules.

A player can use models from different factions in AoS.

There are other differences but I'll leave it to others to chime in.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Whether or not you're "okay" with Age of Sigmar will really depend on what drew you in to Fantasy and not another popular game like Warmachine or Infinity.

Age of Sigmar is a "skirmish game". There are no more big blocks of 50 models. In fact, there are no more "blocks" of models at all, as everything moves in loose formations just like in 40k, Warmachine, or Infinity.

The lack of a points/balancing system is not a huge deal, actually. The game is decently balanced "as is" and will get better as the old armies are phased out* and the new WarScrolls replace them. What it does mean, is that the tournament scene has had a major shakeup, because we're left to find our own way to insure that players don't "break" the game.
In friendly group play, the players are meant to moderate themselves. If Chad is a jerk that wants to put 15 dragons on the table and wreck everyone, then don't play against Chad. Chad will either change his mind, or stop playing the game. This works in small groups, but if you want to play a "competitive game" where winning and losing matters more than some ambiguous notion of "telling an interesting narrative" or whatever 'hippy nonsense' GW wants to spout your way, then you'll either need to find community support for balancing AoS (there's a lot already) and agree to it club-wide as being just as "valid" as the GW rules, or you'll need to find another game**.

The nitty-gritty details of the game probably won't phase you much. They've made it very streamlined. This is good for a new player, because it means that instead of reading 120 pages of rules and probably having to reference the core book at least once each match (even when you're me, and have been playing regularly for over a decade) and constantly flip through your armybook, you only need to read four page of core rules and then everything else you need is contained right there on your War Scroll cards that are sold with all new Age of Sigmar models, or are available for free as pdfs from GW's site.
You have a 40k background, based on your sig, so it's worth noting that the traditional format for statlines is gone. There's no more WS or BS, for example. Your card gives you a specific "To Hit" roll for each attack, and 'To Wound' roll. It doesn't matter what you're swinging at, you will always hit on X+ and wound on Y+. There are no modifiers to these values as part of the core rules (Fantasy used to have 'To Hit' modifiers for shooting, to account Range, and armor was modified by Strength) but there are certain units with rules/spells/abilities that give a +/- to certain rolls.
Also, units do not Break or run towards the board edge anymore. You just remove models for every point your fail your Leadership by. This is super important to the game balance. I've seen a few people try to ignore this rule or balance around it, and it's always the first place that they go wrong.

In regards to "fluff", GW blew up the world and everyone is dead. That's basically it.
Sigmar survived, and found a new world that was completely overrun with Chaos. "Orbiting it" (the best phrase) are a collection of other realms which Sigmar has repopulated with the races of the former world (but not quite). These realms are all connected with Warp Gates so that people can get around 'Super Mario Bros' style in order to have unnecessary conflict in order to give players something to do. Think about it: if we discover life on Pluto, Earth isn't going to suddenly put aside all of our "petty" differences like Race, Religion, Natural Resource Management, Gender Equality, who-cheated-to-get-the-shiny-pokemans, etc and decide "let's go fight the Plutonians!". But that's what the Realms are doing. Oh well.
The new races aren't the old ones anymore.
Elves are now Aelfs, Orcs are now Ooruks, Lizardmen are now Seraphons, etc. Because those names weren't generic or public domain, and can therefore be copywritten and now nobody can market "Elf Spearmen" and undercut GW's sales because how would anyone be able to figure out that Elf Spearmen can be used as Aelf Spearmen?! (yes, they think you're that stupid, it's GW, get used to it) (also, don't mention how similar Ooruks and Uruk-Hai sounds. Just don't. GW is original as fu** kids, don't you forget DA REAL O.G-Dub!!)

Sigmar is now basically filling the role that Chaos used to. He pops into reality and wrecks stuff, then heads back into the warp. GW just thought that it might be more PR friendly to say that their most supernatural, "traditionally God-like" entity in the game has more in common with Angels than the assembled legions of Hell. Timmy's mom is very happy with this, and will now let Timmy buy the game because it no longer promotes Satanism in the vulnerable youth of today (again: GW judges us all by the lowest common dollar-generator)
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*The old armies are getting whacked. Totally and utterly. GW has confirmed that it will be phasing out the current model line at a more rapid pace. That's totally normal, as old minis were always updated by new ones eventually (or you got them in Finecast because it's cheaper for GW and they can put a higher price tag on the new packaging). However, these updates always stuck to the same "aesthetic" as the former models. Not anymore. Empire and Brets are getting phased out to be replaced with the "SigMarines"-looking faction. If you liked the historically based Humans, or the Viking-inspired Chaos Warriors, that's too bad. Everything is going to look like concept art from a rejected WoW expansion now. Unless you're cool with that. In which case, good for you!

**Other Game
Right now, Kings of War is looking real sexy in comparison to Age of Sigmar, if you liked Warhammer as it was. The fluff is obviously completely different because that stuff is all copywritten to hell and back. However, the same armies are all present (or will be soon) at least in spirit, most of the units are direct ports (why GW is ditching the old stuff: they essentially let Mantic win that fight) so you can use WHFB models that you pick up cheap on Ebay instead of the much cheaper but less pretty Mantic models.
The game rules are still very streamlined, ironically they're more similar to Age of Sigmar except that Kings of War does have the models ranked up in gorgeous block-regiments, and does have points as a balance mechanic. In fact, KoW was written with the express intent of being played as a tournament game. The balance isn't perfect (never will be) but Mantic is doing a very good job of supporting the tournament community (GW doesn't do this at all) and communicating directly with their players (GW doesn't do this either) to make sure that things remain at least reasonable. Oh - and Kings of War was developed by Allessio Cavatore - one of the guys who did some of the earliest design work for Warhammer Fantasy.

Personally, I'm not getting into Kings of War, but I do play Age of Sigmar. I'm an "old head" and I refuse to switch systems. I will continue to play Fantasy is some guise for ever, even when it's no longer supported and my modes are slowly disintegrating into plastic shrapnel. What I am doing, is working on updating Fantasy to a "fan generated" 9th edition. Other people online are doing the same, and other gaming companies are starting to tentatively test the waters on how much blatant plagiarism GW will let them get away with.
If you're familiar with Dungeons and Dragons, expect to see a situation similar to the 3.5>4th + Path Finder split. Wizards updated to 4th Edition and everoyne hated it, and another company created Path Finder as an exact clone of 3.5 (this was legal because Wizards actually made the rules to 3.5 public property, and then Paizo took them, made Pathfinder, and copywrote it all for themselves anyways). Path Finder almost killed D&D - as in, Wizards halted production on 4e entirely, and almost didn't release 5e.
This is likely to happen with GW.
Here is my "pathfinder" design thread for Warhammer. My game is quickly panning out to be very "7.5 edition" actually, being more a cross between 7th and 8th, with a few new mechanics and a focus on streamlining: http://www.librarium-online.com/forums/rules-development/302642-thoughts-8-5-edition-army-updates-2.html#post2740049
 

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ISIS Secret Agent Squishy
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They're really looking to making back the cost of the whole schemozzle as quickly as they can, just in case it does actually fail.
I visited the GW site for the first time in a while, and I was flabbergasted. Yeah, okay, it's the Australian site, but still

$170 for 10 models....
$170
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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In the US it's 50/5 or 100/10. I just love how GW bundles things and doesn't kick you a discount. It's like advertising a sale, "Buy 1, get one FULL PRICE!"

I have to say though - the new look is starting to grow on me. I'm really curious what everything else will look like, but I wouldn't mind if they kept up with this epic, 80's Metal Van style. This includes the fluff. Right now, everything looks and even reads a bit like Warmachine, except if Warmachine was being fought between gods and angels, rather than "mere mortals". And that's pretty damn cool. If you look at this as a tabletop wargame on the scope of something like Lucifer's fall from grace, or Zeus versus the Titans - it's pretty epic.
 

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Yeah I have stopped buying anything direct from GW 5 years ago. Everything I buy from either a store online that offers a discount/points per purchase system or I shop something like ebay or one of the many (now)underground chinese sites taht sell forgeries, I have bought several from them, the resin is lighter, stronger(also a bit more brittle) and has a strong smell from the release agent I am told. But overall I am very pleased with the detail and paying a mere fraction of the price for the models, including forgeworld, is a huge plus.
 

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I just happened to catch the episode of the Simpsons in which the makers of Itchy & Skratchy are worried about the show's waning popularity and decide to introduce a new character, Poochie the dog, who is supposed to be really awesome and appeal to all the kids. It doesn't work because he's trying too hard and his attitude annoys everyone. But it reminded me a lot of the Sigmarines. GW thinks that WFB isn't selling because it doesn't have Space Marines, so they introduce a new faction of larger-than-life super-hero warriors in golden armour. It does seem rather desperate.

(Disclaimer: I don't really hate the Sigmarines myself, though I don't think they fit well in Fantasy. The models aren't too bad and, with a bit of conversion, actually pretty good for a range of things.)
 

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Pros of AoS:
-Flexible. Take all the models you like, and chances are at least 50% you can use all at the same time, legally, in the same army.
-Simple. Really, really easy to pick up.
-Fresh take on 'fantasy' as a genre. Less 'elves/dwarves/humans/generic evil destruction faction' and the like.
-Rules are free. You can test out the game using paper circles in place of models, find out whether you like it, and not spend a single penny. (other than paper)

Cons of AoS:
-It's not the old fantasy. If that interested you, this might not be for you.
-All the old models, as stated below, are eventually gonna be gone.
-You'll need to fill in 'gaps' in the rules. You gotta balance stuff yourself (wounds works pretty well)
-Most people have a negative attitude towards it in general. This means finding people to play with could be hard.

CaptSara did a good job of explaining things, hope my advice helps :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow! The responses are awesome thank you guys. Sorry I've been away for two weeks so I'm responding a bit late. The simplified rules actually really interests me. I do have experience with 40k and the ever changing novel of rules really confuses me still to this point after a few years of playing.

Have any of you ran into the problem of unfair armies being dropped? I think the lack of points interests me and scares me all at the same time. As stated it will come down to my gaming groups interest as I'm not sure how they will take the simplified rules.

Any other comments or insight? This is all great information.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Without the balance rules - yes I have seen the potential for some really horrific stuff. Even if it's just my collection of half a dozen dragons. The game does not balance if the players just agree to "whatever feels right".
The games that I've played using any of the various balance "tweaks" that are out there right now, have all be exceptional matches, and often end up being very close. The new factions (bloodtide and Sigmarites) are both well balanced and handle themselves excellently. The "legacy" armies - the old stuff - it's important to understand that what were formerly "limited" options are now the only options worth really taking.
For example, when you balance by Wounds, people are asking why they should take Chaos Warriors (2w, no benefits) over Chaos Chosen (2w, if they inflict damage, all models within Xinches get rerolls). The answer is: you just don't. Chaos Warriors used to be mandatory as a Troops-choice, Chosen weren't. When there were points values, Chosen weren't even worth taking. Now though, Chosen are better.
There are lots of little "vestigial" units in the game which have carried over from the old Legacy stuff. Players expect these units to be balanced, and the fact is, they aren't. There's no reason not to take the Special and Rare choices only in an army, so that's what AoS expects of you. Take the best. And when both players agree and accept this, AoS is actually quite balanced (again - if you have agreed to a balance tweak method for the game).
 
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