So this article from Naftka, where a reader went to Warhammer World and asked an official AoS spokesperson loads of questions, answered most of my questions about AoS, and in short it is
- Age of Sigmar will be the only Warhammer Fantasy game
- The “funny rules” are a send off for the old units
- New races (orcs vs. ooruks) won’t look like the old ones and old models will cease production
- Rules will be free
I don’t play WHF at the moment; having recently (18 months ago) started playing wargames again, I’m still building my Alpha Legion and Imperial Guard for 40k. However, I used to have a ~4000 point High Elf army and 1000 points Vampire Counts back in fifth and sixth edition and I had a view to start playing 8th edition, considering Lizardmen, Skaven, Orcs & Goblins, High Elves, and Dark Elves (I like dreaming up armies). With this in mind, I’m quite sad there won’t be a successor, as AoS is an entirely new kettle of fish.
The funny rules I think everyone realised were just placeholders or transitory rules, and this doesn’t really bother me – I thought it was really well done as a different, short-lived kinda refresh.
As AoS is going to introduce new, but similar, factions, so I’m not surprised old units will eventually be discontinued. It doesn’t make sense for GW to support an old version of the game by keeping loads of storage space filled up with Finecast Fantasy sprues that won’t sell as fast as the new ones. It does make me a bit sad though, and I think I’ll order myself some Empire Fanatics quite soon for my Cultist conversions.
That at least the faction rules will be free is good – I think it’s competition from Mantic, Privateer etc. that has made them realise they have to offer a lower entry cost to new players. The lower cost to entry is also why I think it’s been made more of a skirmish game that scales better. WHF was notorious for how much you would need to buy and paint to get a decent force.
However, will I play AoS? No, and for two main reasons: I don’t like the aesthetics of the new units, and I want my ranks of glittering elven spears, saurus scales, or animosity’ing (Ok, I made that up) orcs and goblins!
I don’t think the miniatures are ugly, I just don’t like the aesthetics, which is why I don’t play Tyranids in 40k. They look too similar to WarmaHordes and too steampunk-y. While this doesn’t appeal to me, I do see it appealing to a great number of players, but I can’t help but think it’s not different enough, aesthetically, from WarmaHordes, though I may be in the minority.
I don’t like the skirmish idea; I’d much rather they re-released Mordheim! I just prefer ranks upon ranks and the importance of holding the line etc.
However, what am I considering playing? I’m split between Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition and Hail Caesar for now, but not many people play 8th in my gaming club. Kings of War’s models and rules just wouldn’t feel right.
Addendum – AoS holds some really bad connotations for me on a personal level; AoS was the acronym for the travesty of an expansion pack called Age of Shadows for Ultima Online.