Saturday, 4 July 2015

Up On A Soapbox - Age Of Sigmar

It seems like everybody with an Internet connection is sharing their opinion on Warhammer Age Of Sigmar so I figured I'd take my turn.

Years ago I used to watch an animated TV show called King Of The Hill.  The show followed the adventures of Hank Hill a propane sales manager from Texas where the main source of the comedy was frequently Hank's confusion that some of the people around him didn't share his stereotypical simple conservative American values.  In one episode (I don't remember the main plot) Hank is confronted by a left leaning activist-type who questions the morality of his profession.  The dialogue between the two of them went something like this.
ACTIVIST - Your whole barbecue business glorifies the grilling of meat taken from animals using fossil fuels!
HANK - I used those same words with a more positive attitude to sell three grills this morning.

So here's what the talking heads on the Internet seem to agree on about Age Of Sigmar:
1.  The rules are really stripped down
2.  It's basically a beer and pretzels game
3.   Some of the special rules for characters/units are kind of funny
4.  It's an entirely new game that has nothing in common with previous editions of Warhammer
But what the major disagreement seems to be about is whether or not these things constitute a good thing, or a bad thing.
Personally I don't think good vs bad in this case is something that can be quantified and measured.  I think the real question is; your type of game vs not your type of game.  I don't think a points system and a lot of complex rules necessarily make for a balanced or better game (chess anyone?), but I can completely understand where some people find the lack of familiarity discomforting to the point where it's become a logical jumping off point.

For me, I'm super excited about Age Of Sigmar.  It really seems to put the idea of simple fun back into the game.  I also felt like I was done with Warhammer before this, not out of some sense of rage or old-git syndrome but because I was just bored of it.  This is new and fresh and invites me to use and paint (and yes, buy) small quantities of cool models and play quick fun games with them.

My last thought incidentally for all the competitive and tourney players who think that the game lacks depth; when Warmachine originally launched it was supported by a single page of rules and everyone thought it represented a quantum leap forward in thinking for miniature game design.


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