I just play 40k, but most gamers in my area have turned to age of sigmar. There is AOS tournaments at least two times a year. Looks like AOS is bigger then fantasy was. This is has a lot to do with our local store that have strong bounds with the community. They are promoting the game quite well.
My area is the complete opposite. I could count on one hand the amount of AOS games I've seen and still have enough spare fingers to hold a brush...
That's not uncommon, actually Zerno. It boggles peoples' minds, but a lot of the 40k players are switching over to AoS, because it's interesting, different, and it's similar to what they already play. We've all been "dooming and glooming" AoS for a long time here, but apparently, it blew GW sales out of the water when it was released. It makes sense, too.
GW didn't care about the WHFB players, because most of us have been playing for years, we had everything we needed, they weren't pushing us any new models. So what do they care if we get mad and boycot them? We weren't buying anything anyway (not true for all of us, of course). What they did
get, were a lot of 40k players having to start up brand new armies to get into the game, plus all of the people who like the idea of the game, but were scared by the big rulebook or the huge model counts (those who weren't snapped up by Warmachine). In fact, AoS has even pulled some stalwart Warmachine fans, because again - the game is very similar to what they're used to. GW banked on having good looking models, and apparently, that works.
If anyone has any good information on the above systems I''d be glad to hear it.
Well, like I said - I play them all, so here's what I can say for each:
Age of Sigmar
A good system if you can balance the games. Either getting a points system, a point-buy system, or balancing by Wounds will work for this, and each has it's pros and cons. You can also balance fairly well just by sitting with your opponent and being realistic. The only other good "balance" suggestion is to limit spells which Summon models to the table, so that it doesn't turn into a steamroll method of victory.
Otherwise though, the rules are actually pretty deep once you start thinking tactically. When I play games of AoS and look back on WHFB, I realize that movement is the only
thing which WHFB had going for it once you got to the table
. It was mostly about pushing your units into ideal combats, and then making some popcorn and watching while they duke it out on the table. AoS is far more involved, and you are constantly
making tactical decisions that will
affect the way the game ends. The game is definitely a case of "easy to learn, hard to master". Also, it's still supported and gets new models, so that's nice.
Kings of War
A very, very
"Warhammer-Lite" game, designed by Allessio Cavatore (early GW games, Bolt Action). It's still a mass-combat game, but it's designed to be played quickly and competitively (tournament rules built right into the rulebook, you can play with a chess-clock, etc). The biggest change from Warhammer is that there are no individual models, and there is no model removal. You don't field "20 Skaven Slavesn" you field a "Regiment of Skaven Slaves". When you take wounds, the regiment doesn't lose models, but you roll a Leadership Test and add the current number of Wounds - if you fail, the unit is removed from play. It's a fun game, it plays fast, and it is well balanced. There are "counts as" factions designed around every army from WHFB and a few others beside. In tournaments, they usually don't even care if you're using non-Mantic minis, so you can use your WHFB stuff without any trouble from anyone.
Warhammer: 9th Age
A fan-created update to 8th edition, written by the guys who set up the ETC comp. The core rules are designed to fix some of the ambiguous parts of the 8th edition book, and even out some of the hairier balance issues. They have also rewritten every Armybook, so that the lists are more balanced and reference the new core rules. Think of it as 8th Edition with all of the FAQs and ETC Comp built right in.
It plays well, it does
feel like what we expected from 9th, but it's neither official nor supported. If GW decides to cut every mini except those released post-KoW, that's the end for 9th Age, unless you go second hand. There are
tournaments using these rules however.