The Age of Sigmar Review - Your views

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REVIEW BY Chopper 29/07/2015

 

 

OK, so I am starting my review from a very sad point of view. Fantasy was my favourite game and one I have spent the last four years of my life doing. Many hours painting making army lists reading the lore etc. Now I know many of you reading this will be saying yes so have I, but you have to realise I am only 12 years old, so this represents one third of my life! Games Workshop have taken all my time and money and while Fantasy was supported and played at Games Workshop, it’s not been a waste of time and I have enjoyed every minute of it. BUT it now feels like it has all been taken away from me along with any chance of defending the School League Championship we have just won for the Warborne Gamers club next year. I refuse to take part next year, unless Striker picks me for his Hobbit Team.

 

So the fact that Games Workshop have killed Fantasy for Sigmar instantly put it in a bad position for me to even think about liking it or giving it a go.

 

Many of the problems with the game have already been highlighted in the other reviews, so I am going to add to the points already raised with some new thoughts about how the game unfolds during battle and I will do my best to come up with some positives.

 

Firstly, I want to say the ‘no point’ system is horrible. I want a fair game and a point system gave me this. The only way to get round this is to have a scenario for every situation you can think of, and infinite scenario solutions seem impossible. Like many others here I miss making army lists and hate the fact that pre-planning now is limited to which unit buffers which and what models can I dump on the board.

 

The game itself is enjoyable to a point, but has anyone actually played a game yet, where it hasn’t just turned into all models in the middle of the board slugging it out with little or no manoeuvring tactic from there on in. Apart from being able to shoot at some random model while in hand to hand combat with another model (makes sense to anyone?), the battle sequences are a little repetitive. Roll a score to hit no matter who you’re up against etc. just didn’t capture me very much.

Is there anyone who has had a game where the models are not just a jumbled mess in the middle of the table by the end of turn 2 or 3?

It seems the game is quite predictable from the start, no matter which models are taken out first or even summoned during the game. The game plan WILL descend into piling in sooner rather than later.

 

Spells are a little dull. I won’t miss being ‘Dreaded Thirteenthed’ (I’m looking at you Ikit Skrolk, who did me in regularly with this spell when I played against his Skaven!), but I would rather have my Pheonix Guard turned into rats than have this limited and boring magic phase with Sigmar.

 

OK, so I want to give something positive… I like the new terrain rules. The 9th edition that never was would have benefited from some rule simplification like that. This seems to be the positive everyone can agree on.

 

The points about Rank and File and Mixing armies have already been covered. I will add though that my arch enemy Piccolo is a Dark Elf player and this new Aelf thing where Dark and High Elves skip happily into battle holding hands idea is an abomination! I want war with Dark Elves and especially when they are led by Piccolo!!!! Peace will NEVER happen!

 

One point I don’t agree with that my Dad, Piccolo and Oracle have mentioned is the forming square thing. I don’t think Fantasy needed that and it would just add another complicated rule on top of a ruleset that needed some SMALL simplifications, not complications. The small simplifications I am referring to were suptle re-wording and clarifications of certain 8th edition rules not a complete dumbing down of all rules.

 

As far as the models are concerned, the Chaos type ones are ok in their own way if not a little oversized. I guess they want to encourage fewer models on the board (Makes a lot of business sense if you want to sell less models and not more – wait, what?), but the ones that I really don’t like are the ones that are supposed the be on the side of Order… you know the 40K models that have somehow been dumped into the new fantasy world. They are well crafted but too futuristic in their theme. They kind of look like something from a dodgy 50’s Sify movie B-lister.

The ones with the wings look very 40K too. Not what I am looking for in my model collection. If I was, I would already be doing 40K, but I am not. I got the free model with the White Dwarf Magazine and got board of painting it half way through… That has never happened to me before!

 

I think it is a good game for a complete novice to start Wargaming, but for a serious wargamer? No it’s not got the depth for me and I suspect many other serious wargamers out there will agree with that. It will take a lot of updates and I don’t really know what else for Games Workshop to convert me. The game is too juvenile and that is coming from a 12 year old! It is an OK game and has its place in the Wargaming community as a low level, easy access entry point for a newbie, and a reasonable game could be played occasionally by a more experienced wargamer, but I would like to ask Games Workshop why was Fantasy ditched for this? Seriously! I don’t get it…

 

I will be trying Kings of War because it seems to be the closest thing to Fantasy and I think that many other Fantasy Players will convert to that game if it is as decent as I have been led to believe. I think the guys at Mantic just can’t believe their luck and are splitting their sides at Sigmar! Honestly, I can imagine the Matic board room filled with Cake, Party Poppers, Conga lines etc. as they celebrate Games Workshop’s latest release.

 

I hope that Games Workshop don’t ditch the Hobbit because then I won’t have any business with them and I enjoy spending time at my local store, seeing the guys who run it as they introduced me into Wargaming and are just generally great guys. But no Fantasy and no Hobbit, what will I do there? I certainly won’t be buying models or converting to Sigmar and 40K just doesn't interest me.

 

I’m an optimist. I hope that Games Workshop decide to at least support Fantasy even if it isn’t as one of their main games anymore. I know I’m not alone in wishing this.

 

So what is the future for Sigmar? Who knows? Games Workshop might just save it with a few new releases and getting to grips with the rules somehow. I’m not happy the current rules seem to mock the armies we have all spent a long time building up, so I would hope they fix that too.

The models need to offer something different to 40K style designs and the history and fluff is a little weak at the moment.

 

The Age of Sigmar might be the game to take Games Workshop to the next level although right now I can only see the Age of Sigmar being the game to take Mantic to the next level.

 

As a last note to this review, I just want to point out to Games Workshop that I play HIGH ELVES and will never be an Aelf player!!!

 

AFTER MANTIC VIEWED THE DETAILS OF GAMES WORKSHOP’S NEW RELEASE “THE AGE OF SIGMAR” THE DIRECTORS AT MANTIC DECLARED AN EMERGENCY BOARD MEETING:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS IS WHAT I IMAGAINED SAID BOARD MEETING LOOKED LIKE!

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REVIEW BY Todd (not a Warborne Club member) 21/07/2015

 

 

So Fantasy is dead? Well if people are as passionate about it as they say they are the community will live on. Models might become rare if GW stop selling them. Bases will have to be home made, but if there is enough passion in the community, then Fantasy will survive.

 

I personally like Sigmar! Sorry to disappoint everyone by saying that, but I do. And here’s why:

 

I haven’t played Fantasy for a long while… not since the 7th edition really. I found the rules so complex and I get frustrated having to refer to the rule book, just to move a block of models 6”!

 

Fantasy had no entry level system. Sure they had Battle for Skull pass, and more recently the Islands of Blood, but the system is not for a newbie to get into as it’s just a starter for the main game. Fantasy needed a lower cost entry game that a new player could pick up and get going with a meaningful game from the start. I think the reason why Fantasy fell behind in popularity to say 40K is because it was too complex for new starters to understand and the cost entry level was also much higher.

 

Sigmar addresses these issues. I played Sigmar the day it was released and bought a set. Easy to learn and there are elements that require tactical planning. Being a 40K player, the new models are more appealing to me and I guess that would translate to a wider audience as 40K sells the most models.

 

So what GW have developed is an easy game to learn how to play at a lower cost entry level. It would have made more sense to me to have a game like that and then allow the newcomers to graduate onto 40K or Fantasy, but for whatever reason the powers that be have dropped Fantasy. I'm sure there will be a solid corporate reason for that and there is no room for sentiment when making marketing and branding decisions.

 

The problem now for Games Workshop is that they really need to develop Sigmar from this very basic starting point, otherwise gamers will graduate onto other gaming systems… hopefully (as far as GW is concerned) 40K, but if they are not careful people will graduate onto Kings of War or Malifaux, both of which I play and enjoy as much as 40K if not more so.

  • If you have not tried either of those games I highly recommend them!

 

I think Sigmar has potential, as long as it is developed well in the future. Right now it is a clever lower cost entry level to War gaming and a fun game in it’s own right, which I enjoyed more than Fantasy (sorry to offend, but I wasn’t a big fan of Fantasy 8th edition).

 

I hear your points about the mashing the armies together after spending years of your life developing them and playing them to your specifications. That is a very harsh blow GW have delivered to you.

Rank and File: I found this to be rather frustrating (in Fantasy, not so much in KoW), but if this is what you enjoyed about fantasy, then sympathy again.

The no points thing doesn’t sit well with me, so it remains to be seen if GW can successfully create a fair way to play. I’m not sure the current rule system deals well with this, but it will be fine-tuned I’m sure.

 

So my message is:

If you can get over the loss of Rank & File, the Points System, Simplistic Magic and Combat phases, no Customizing your Lord & Hero, no Army Lists Building and mixing your army with others….. well you might end up liking Sigmar, providing GW gives it enough depth.

 

For all those negatives, there is a positive… no more carrying a 1 ton rule book and flicking through the pages every time you need to roll a dice! – That has to count for something?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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REVIEW BY "Piccolo" 14/07/2015

 

 

In response to “O’s” review posted on our website, there are a few points that were mentioned that I can’t help but disagree with. In my honest opinion, ‘The Age of Sigmar’ is an atrocity in comparison to Games Workshop’s more thought out and less shallow table top games. Had the game mechanic been put together by a lesser known or newer company, I would be more forgiving but as the situation stands, I cannot say that the new game is even remotely good or even ok as it truly does betray all that was good about fantasy and is a spliced copy of 40K’s gameplay and the Lord of the Rings’s magic system. The only unique feature about the game is the combat system, which despite being a little bit of fun in its own right, doesn’t actually require much thought process from either the player (in regards to manoeuvring and considering which unit will have an advantage over another as part of the strategic approach to your game) or the creators (who could have easily come up with this entire lazy game while daydreaming for a minute on the toilet). The battle rolls are simpler, but feel very repetitive and lack that personality of one particular unit battling another with their own attributes and personality.

 

You said in your analysis that games workshop “have obviously put a lot of effort, time and money in it’s development” but I fail to see that as, like you said, the game stinks of 40K. The models which you might be referring to with time and effort… aren’t they just space marines without jet packs…. I’m sure I have seen the winged ones in 40K too, but not sure which models they are like, not being a fan of 40K.

What truly infuriates me is that I know games workshop can do better! There are a couple of new rules and mechanics they came up with which are clever ones, like how we now set up the terrain (which is certainly an improvement) and the mediocre combat system (which despite not being very interesting compared to the company’s usual standards, is still unique from the other games), but the rest of it is just recycled from the company’s other games.

 

My opinions on many of the other qualities are similar to your own, with:

 

  • The points and army organisation rules took away a huge element of the game and I myself have a similar situation with my dark elves as I too have created my armies to suit me while now we can just throw in almost any army you want, making the game broken (the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park were purer than what Sigmar wants your army to be). Also no points means a lot of arguments are going to occur between younger players as they may disagree with what the other may have on the board.

  • Don’t even get me started on the rank and file unit formations being removed (the one thing that made Warhammer truly what it was, THAT SEPERATED IT FROM ALL THE OTHER GAMES THAT GAMES WORKSHOP PRODUCE, AND IT’S GONE!!!!!)

  •  

There is much more I could say about this lazy mess that games workshop spewed on us but I won’t go on as “O’s” summary is very true and there isn’t much I can say that they haven’t.

 

As I said before, had it been made by another company or at least was not made by games workshop to REPLACE Warhammer fantasy, I’d be much more forgiving to the game as I would know that even if it’s not great, I would still have the epitome of all table top battle gaming that is Warhammer Fantasy. 

 

I want to point out that I have played Sigmar a few times now and it is NOT growing on me in any way. I won’t be playing it and I am very grateful the club will be running the tournament using the 8th edition and will continue to support the proper fantasy game in the future.

If anyone is up for 8th Edition Fantasy (even 7th if you prefer), Warborne Gamers Club is where it’s at!

 

Piccolo.

 

 

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REVIEW BY "O" (not a Warborne Club Member) 10/07/2015

 

OK so this is my assessment of Sigmar - I don't think it is as bad as all that has been said about it but the problem with Sigmar is that it cannot be judged it in its own right. We are really judging it against the great game Warhammer Fantasy because GW have REPLACED fantasy with this game. This game is OK in its own right…. Really it's not the worst game in the world, but when you compare it to Fantasy, it does feel very dumb and poor.

 

I, like many others were both worried and excited about the changes to Fantasy and was first in my local GW on that pre-release that Saturday. I was hoping for a 9th edition that simplified and clarified some rules, while introducing others to take the game to the next level. It took just 2 minutes to take away all my excitement and replaced with gut wrenching disappointment and as feelings go, this was as good as it got from there on in.

 

The guy there pointed to a gaming table set up in the window for the new Fantasy Box set. I couldn’t see it at first and he took me over to it. My first words were, “I thought it was a fantasy new release?” as I was looking at a bunch of 40K models. “No, this is it”, he said. Round bases – OK, so at that moment my heart sank as I knew GW had messed up the game and dissapointed me (not to mention all the other Fantasy players out there).

I desperately wanted to keep an open mind, although this was hard after seeing the models for the first time. They stank of 40K. Not Fantasy models in anyway and that didn’t really have much to do with the round bases. The round bases just told me it was going to be skirmish rules for all, but the models… they are so 40K!

 

I enjoy playing Lord of the Rings and Hobbit, which is a round based skirmish game. I liked Fantasy because it was different, with it’s rank and file. I don’t normally play 40K, although I have tried it and am an occasional, casual player (owning a small Necron collection) and it’s ok, but I do find the game play and futuristic looking models a little uninspiring. Each to their own though and I do fully appreciate that the majority of people love the game and fully respect it is the most popular game. It’s just not for me normally, that’s all.

 

So the Age of Sigmar box set immediately failed to impress me with the very 40K feel they have to them. Not a good start, but as I realised I could still play my Lizard Men army (at the moment) I thought I should give it a go.

 

The very reasons I enjoy fantasy so much are listed below:

 

Army Lists: I find there is nothing more satisfying than writing out army lists with the discipline of having to abide by the at least 25% core, up to 25% Rare, 50% Special/Lords & Heroes rules. Building a Hero or Lord with equipment and taking magic items… Perfecting lists seemed to me one of the best parts of the games. Talking about them with your mates at Uni or my local club, planning a battle as you would imagine a real general would. Meticulously planning it all out before the main event. The new game has killed half the fun before you even put a model down on the battlefield! Don’t get me wrong, you have to balance which unit works with other units as one will bolster the other in this new rules set, but overall Sigmar FAILS in this respect.

 

Rank and File: I took up Fantasy as I really liked the tactical deployment of units, manoeuvring them, outmanoeuvring your opponent and really I wanted more of this from Fantasy. The deployment phase was a real tactical element to the game and Sigmar has this, but in a very, very dumbed down way, which is very sad. One of the rules I was really hoping for (and I know at least three of you readers were hoping for) was form square to receive cavalry or chariots. I love all that stuff as I'm sure you all do.

When watching documentaries about medieval warfare, Napoleonic Wars and even the big battle scenes in LoTR... Seriously who is not impressed with the blocks of units formations and tactics? Fantasy gives us that - or at least it used to!!!

 

Lizard Men Army: OK, this is a biggie for me as I have got quite attached to my Lizard Dudes and feel I should be loyal to them. I liked the End Times as a separate game to run with the 8th, but one thing I didn’t like about it was you can take units from other armies. I have spent 9 years perfecting, building and painting my Lizard Men and made the army a reflection of myself, poured my personality into them. Now the new games system effectively gives you an army choice of 4, Chaos, Order, Destruction and Death, rather than the many distinct races you have now. I enjoyed pitting my Lizard men against Elves, Beastmen, Vampires etc. but now Elves can be played with my army and it just feels wrong, like I have sold out and disrespected my Lizard Men that I have commanded for years. I don’t want to mish-mash my army by splicing and dicing all sorts of races into my ranks, making my army an eclectic mess just to stay competitive for a new gaming system that lacks the depth and richness of my favourite gaming system (proper Fantasy 8th edition and earlier editions). I have been given feedback that this is massive for many of you out there. This is a massive blow for me. Sigmar fails me with this I’m afraid.

 

Magic: I really enjoyed choosing my magic lore and my opponents selecting a lore that could work well against me. This is another example where careful tactical planning – choosing which lore will work best for you and it has been killed off. With equipment and spells it is get what your given in the new warscrolls. Like it or lump it. I mean this is just a game for the beginner and not for those who like planning, tactics… basically those of us that enjoy using our brain as well as our dice throwing arm. Sigmar is a leave your brain at home game compared to proper Fantasy. I know many will say ‘no it’s not’ but I would argue that while you cant decide which lore you can use and kit out your hero and lord with special items of your choice, then much of the brain work has been taken away. The spell phases seem to be too dumbed down and felt a bit flat to me.

 

 

The gameplay feels very similar to Hobbit. They guys at GW will say it’s not like it at all and I guess they have a point, but if ‘feels’ like Hobbit and not fantasy. The shoot and charge, the piling in… it all seems to point to the game being purposely speeded up to make it a quick bloodbath.  Like skipping the football match and going straight into the penalty shoot-out just so we can get home earlier.

 

So it feels like all the things which I enjoyed the most and I would imagine all other Fantasy players enjoy for the same reasons as me (or you would all play 40K and nothing else right?) have been taken away and replaced with nothing quite as good or as appealing.

 

I have played the Age of Sigmar a few times now… I haven’t bought the box set, as I needed to be sure about the game before I part with any money. My conclusions are as follows:

 

As a stand alone game, It is ok and deserves credit for being innovative and GW have obviously put a lot of effort, time and money in it’s development. I enjoyed it a little bit, although I feel the box set is the best way of playing it for me because I don’t want my Lizard Men Army being dragged into it. They mean too much to me. The warscrolls for Lizard men and all that just didn’t do anything for me, but the box set could be fun. I’m not parting with my money on it though. The models are very well designed, but I don’t like them… As I have said before, they look too 40K for me. A small Necron force is as far as I will go with 40K and the very rare occasional game. As far as the game-play goes, it feels like Hobbit, so I will stick to that game.

 

Sigmar is the kind of game to get someone into war games, like an introduction before they graduate onto 8th edition Fantasy (the proper game), or 40K, or even Hobbit. It would also be a good game if you are with a group of mates after a heavy drinking session and want to challenge one of your friends as it does not require a fully functioning brain and the shouting stuff out is only really fun with full intoxication prior to placing your models.

 

As a replacement to Fantasy – You have GOT to be having a laugh. No this is not a replacement and shame of GW for trying to pass it off as such!

I have seen a few changes to rules and stuff over the years, some good, some bad and I realise you cant keep 100% of the people happy 100% of the time, but apart from the guys who work for GW (who are paid to be enthusiastic about the new rules), NOBODY I have spoken to is happy, and there have been many, by email, at my local GW and at my local club the other night.  Nobody is happy about the sad passing of Fantasy. So GW have managed to annoy 100% of everyone I know of that plays fantasy… that is quite an achievement.

 

I do like the new terrain rules! That’s as good as it gets really.

 

So I will not be buying it and won’t be playing it on a regular basis. If anyone has the new box set and challenges me to a game I would happily play them as it isn’t a bad  'little & quick' game in it’s own right. Just not good enough for me to part with money for it. I’m lucky as I am a member of a club (not Warborne) that will not be endorsing Sigmar. So I can continue to play the proper game. Of course the problem now is that GW will eventually stop selling square bases and units that work with 8th. New players going into GW will take up Sigmar if they go down the fantasy route, so the proper fantasy game will die a slow and sad death. Tournaments will be awful under the new system and fewer and fewer tournaments will be run using the 8th edition rules.

 

I really don’t know what GW are really aiming for with this. 40K is by far the most popular game and I am wondering if that by making this a skirmish game and also making the models look unashamedly 40K, they are trying to attract the many 40K players to try fantasy and part with more money? This will fail, because these players won’t pay any attention to this and continue to play 40K. The 40K players that also play Fantasy (and there are many) will now just stick to 40K and won’t part with their cash on Fantasy anymore.

 

Current Fantasy players are a tad upset to say the least from my conversations with everyone I know that plays. So I can’t see much more money being made from them! I’m not wasting my money on any more models that are either going to become extinct or on a gaming system that I just find a little too basic and lacks the depth of Fantasy.

 

My hopes for an improvement on 8th and some simplifications were destroyed and instead GW have forced this very dumbed down game on us. I have nothing at all against Sigmar in its own right, but what I am annoyed about and I know I speak for nearly all the Fantasy community… this is IN NO WAY A REPLACEMENT FOR FANTASY.  GW HAVE DESTROYED FANTASY: BRING BACK FANTASY!!!!!!

 

- I have not been more disappointed, dejected and enraged since I was made to watch the Twilight series! I honestly don't know which is worse! Having to watch Bella Swan (who has the personality of an eggy bottom burp in a lift) and her dull whimpish pet Vampire or Fantasy being replaced by Sigmar!

 

O.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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U18s are NOT permitted to give their contact details or real name and must use their CODE NAMES. U18's are only permitted to use the Member's and Junior's Message board only.

This is to be purely used for table top gaming discussions, arranging battles and offering opinions on table top gaming subject matters raised

Any abuse of this system will result in being banned from the website and in extreme circumstances, prosecution.

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