Sunday, July 5, 2015
Age of Sigmar and you!
Okay then, Age of Sigmar is here. We've all been analyzing the teasers and photos from WD and holy shit have I heard no end of hate on SPESS MERHEENS in fantasy... along with every other opinion positive or negative on the new game. I decided I'd glance at the rules and do a write up too.
And then I realized the glaring problem with this approach was that I haven't played a game of WFB since late 2010... so I really have no idea what I'm talking about in trying to make a comparison.
Thankfully the guys who do play have made their observations. Here are the musings from blogs I follow that I enjoyed reading.
Rob Hawkins Hobby
The Beard Bunker
The Hoodling's Hole
The thing I've had resonate with me the most is the destruction of the Old World (all of it). I mean, I was a solid Empire player; artillery and infantry masses supported by rumbling, clanking death machines and hulking knights... but that was still only a very small part of the overall experience. I really loved the idea of the world, from the Wastes of Chaos to the temples of Lustria to the mysterious, savage lands of Cathay. The Lustria and Storm of Chaos campaigns especially were epic. I ate up those issues of WD. The first issue I ever picked up featured a battle report with Empire vs Skaven on an amazing battle field. The look of the world coupled with the fluff... Hell the heart of the Empire was a place that Man dared not tread fore the beasts and the forest itself would eat their greatest armies whole.
There were a couple books by James Wallis, Mark of Damnation and Mark of Heresy that really sucked me into the whole grimdark fantasy. The last Empire army I had (and the one I want to rebuild, regardless of state of game) was inspired by the events of those novels. Peasants and flagellants lead by Luthor Huss and Empire (militia :D ) Captian Karl Hoche. It was a ragtag mess of models when taken individually, but still kinda effective. They had a story, though! And it was just a small prequel of the events leading into Storm of Chaos it was still excellent. Gave me a good reason to get to take Valten every so often, too :D
And then Mordheim! The greatest city in the realm of man for adventure and riches; nevermind opportunities for modelling and converting your warband and terrain to wage battles in the shadows over. I built three warbands at least, and quite a few pieces of terrain to add to the card offerings that came with the base game. The awesome people over Cianty Games put together an amazing fan supplement to take the game out of the City of the Damned and into the wilds of the East.
Another thing that painted the world so vividly for me was the Warhammer Roleplaying game. The books had so much flavor.about life in the Old World...
I guess that is where the real problem with Age of Sigmar is to me, is that I don't want a new flavor of Warhammer. I liked the flavor it had. I understand that everything had stagnated completely. Everything was getting incremental upgrades and richer backstories. In 40k this works because you can expand that amazing universe laterally literally infinitely across the galaxy and the 10000 years the game universe covers. So I get why it was done. It just kinda sucks. What happens to Gotrek and Felix now? What is their place in the new era?
Star Wars did this shit too, now that I'm sitting here writing this up I can feel that bitterness creeping in. And I'm not talking about the prequels, here. This is Disney reaffirming that everything since Alan Dean Foster wrote Splinter of the Minds Eye and then the explosion of the EU following Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy has been retconned right out. That's everything. Rogue Squadron, all the great and shitty games, Shadows of the Empire! Gah. Lucas said before it's not canon but still... I'm just not as interested in the rebooted Star Wars franchise. And I'm equally not interested in the rebooted Warhammer.
Privateer Press launched Warmachine started with a free B size colour poster of rules and sixteen models across four box sets. I've never played so I won't compare rules but I will point out that similarity. It is also a skirmish game.