Warhammer Fantasy Age of Sigmar reboot


The “European approach” to min-maxing you guys are describing is one I do not recognize. I’ve played Mageknight and Mechwarrior:DA, back when Wizkids first came up with them, got to compete in Worlds, Gencon and Origins, and “min-maxing”, as competitive as possible was very much the rule, if it wins, use it.

If Warhammer has a different feel in Europe, is because at it’s start, it’s possible it’s was more of a hobby than a game, assembling your army, painting it, making it look as awesome as possible, that was what the European players focused on, the cool Ork army that would never win anything, but that looked awesome. But that’s not because European players think any different, just that the game started differently here, and things followed from that…


I think GW may have intended to make a pure hobby game, but the moment they put in the points system they made an interesting optimization challenge that made for an interesting design. It’s probably the only reason they had much success in the US market.

That they’ve neglected and tried to ignore game design in general other than fluff and art is probably one reason their competitors(which do tend to be better-designed as games) are gaining. In the 90s there was little competition and board game mechanics sucked. In the 2010s game design has flourished, and has been doing so for years. GW’s design really has not.


Does anyone know how the other tabletop miniature games are doing?


I know Infinity is growing around here, but it’s a local game and it’s expected. I think it’s gaining traction overseas too, though.


The only one I’ve heard of outside of GW stuff is Warmachine, but that’s only due to the Kickstarted video game. I have no idea how they’re doing as far as sales, community health, etc.


The Star Wars miniatures games with ships is huge here in Raleigh/Durham/central NC, taking over several game stores on multiple nights a week.


This one, right? That’s the one with the pre-painted ships. I’ve been curious about that. It’s more like a CCG with boosters and whatnot?

I’ve always wondered if GW games would sell better if they just produced them like that in pre-painted packs. Or did they ever do that?


Star Wars X-wing is pretty big, Warmachine, too. X-Wing is not really like a CCG- there’s no random packs or anything. You buy a pack with a ship in it, pre-painted, and it comes with upgrade cards that are typically relevant to it.


That’s the thing. I hear “they’re popular” or “they’re big” but no specifics. Are they healthy? Growing? With most of these tabletop hobbies no one really knows anything until the company is in financial trouble or drastically retooling the product to appeal to a broader audience.


I believe this is based on the retail distributor numbers:


Tabletop games have a lot in common with video games as to trends and market saturation. Essentially GW was the only game in town for a long time so it flourished. As other companies saw it as a profitable/ exciting business venture they tried, but almost always bounced off the market despite better game design due to years of player investment or new players not wanting to try anything other than the most commonly played option. Think World of Warcraft or League of Legends and the dead husks of competing development houses that they leave in their wake and you have a good idea.

However, there have been some notable breakthroughs in the last few years. In some shops Warmachine overshadows either of GWs main lines. Star Wars X-wing has had a small but noticeable presence as has Infinity, Malifaux, or a few historical types games. In the end though, if someone wants to play a miniature tabletop game, they are most likely going to be steered towards Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, or Warmachine depending on the store they are standing in.


I think you might be underselling X-Wing/Armada a bit there Chap. At least in my store X-Wing and Armada are almost as common to see as Warmachine or Warhammer games.


After reading the fluff book Gates of Azyr, I realized the reboot is a way to bring in the fantasy analog of the Space Marines into Warhammer Fantasy. They plugged in assault marines, devastators and then ordinary battle brothers into the mix.


I’ve played the Star Wars games a couple of times - they really are quite good.

Disclaimer for the below: I am/was an unabashed GW fanboi for many years, so maybe I’m looking at it through rose-colored glasses.

GW rose to prominence primarily on the strength of their Citadel Miniatures branch. Anyone with hair as gray as mine remembers the shitty state of fantasy/sci-fi miniatures back in the 80s – back then we honestly thought the Ral Partha miniatures line was high art.

OK, to be fair, a lot of the Ral Partha figs were pretty great. But the Citadel stuff just blew them away in terms of detail, dynamic poses and overall fantasy design. I was working as a clerk in the local hobby shop in the mid-80s and the Citadel stuff out-sold every other line by some ridiculous margin.

Despite the figures boosting the games, I’ll argue against the sentiment that GW’s game-design skills are lacking.

As Panzah notes up-thread, there wasn’t much competition in the tabletop fantasy miniature arena. I mean sure, there was Chainmail. And there were a few historical miniatures games that could conceivably be converted to use elves and dwarves and whatnot (e.g., DBA), but most of these were ludicrously crude. Hell, when the original WHFB came out in the mid 80s, Dragon Magazine lauded it for being so sophisticated.

So yeah, the genre has matured in the last thirty years. But remember also that GW put out a lot of other - mechanically much better - games alongside the WHFB and WH40K money-machines.

Space Hulk is a great board game. Talisman is really good. HeroQuest, Battle Masters, Blood Bowl, Warmaster, etc. are all pretty good, even without the figures.

And as long as we’re talking about the Star Wars miniatures game: For my money, one of GW’s best games was Man O’ War, a sailing ship combat game set in the WHFB universe. The expansions largely ruined it, but the core game-play was fantastic. The movement and combat rules of the SW game owe a lot to MoW.


A friend of mine summed it up by saying the US approach is generally, if it is not explicitly forbidden, it is allowed. Whereas the European approach is, if it is not explicitly allowed, it is forbidden.


Interesting. I have also found, in working on several European disputes, that Europeans are much more likely to be vague with the understanding that the parties will figure out the details later.

In mergers and acquisitions, there is the concept of a purchase price adjustment. The notion is that you buy a company for $X, with the understanding that the company will have a certain amount of working capital. After closing, one party determines what the working capital actually was at closing (because you can essentially only estimate it), and then the other party has a chance to contest it.

In the U.S., when you contest it, you basically prepare a detailed itemization of all of the factors that support your position. For example, if you were the seller in the transaction, you want the actual working capital number to be high. So the accounting firm prepares a summary listing each of the working capital items, the dollar amount, etc.

Working with European companies who are buying and selling in the U.S., I have several times received working capital reports with things that are missing, etc. When I call the European firm that prepared it and ask, “Where is this item,” they often enough respond with, “Oh, we did not include that, but we’ll mention it to the other side and figure out together whether it should be in there.”

In the U.S., that is a huge no-no. Basically, you put your stake in the sand by arguing your best possible position first, knowing that all you are going to do is potentially give ground from there. Anything you don’t ask for up front, you’ve essentially lost. It is advocacy.

Apparently, Europeans view it much more as a truth finding exercise, where the two sides get together to figure out the actual right answer.

It’s strange.


All that does is make me feel sad that I have to count myself among the Americans. :(

I’d be nice to live in a culture where “screw the other guy as hard as possible” wasn’t the default state of things.


Hitler reacts to Age of Sigmar. lol


Thinking over the rules one thing that struck me (other than the lack of any sort of point system) is that a model’s to hit and to wound rolls are independent of what model they’re actually attacking. There’s still some interplay between “Rend” and “Save” and the basic idea of “lots of weak attacks” vs “fewer, more penetrating attacks” still stands but it seems strange that your run-of-the-mill gobbo will hit and wound the peasant militiaman with the same roll as for the magical bird-lion knight.

I’m no expert on these things, though, so for all I know the simplification will pay off in practice and the old system was just needlessly over-complicated.


I went to a local Warhammer and didn’t know about Age of Sigmar. I’m really only trying to get a starter set for my nephews to get them into tabletop gaming (too much videogames for them!)… they are a little meh on DnD/Pathfinder and did like Descent. But they thought it would be cool to try Warhammer (since they like the Total War game). My thing is… I didn’t know they redid the whole fantasy thing. Is it worth it? Is it cheaper overall than before? I’m talking the starter edition Age of Sigmar thing, and it isn’t really cheap its 125 bux but 95 on Amazon. The rules seem simple, but i dont like how they changed the factions.

Or do you guys have another recommendation for kids aged 10 - 14. I should just DM them, i think there friend didn’t play DnD right (he just played them with a story without much rolling dice), I bought them 5ed DnD and Pathfinder Beginners Box already.