Deep Thought: Will 40k Get the “Age of Sigmar” Treatment?


It’s the question that seems to be on a lot of peoples minds – will Games Workshop change 40k to be like Age of Sigmar?

Depending on who you ask Age of Sigmar is either the absolute worst, or perhaps one of the best things GW has ever done, and that seems to worry a lot of folks.

Should we worry about Games Workshop messing with 40k in a similar manner? Maybe, but perhaps not anytime soon I would think.

Traditionally GW seems to plan out their moves well in advance, and honestly it seems like their focus right now for 40k is to get all the books on par with 7th edition. Now that will end as soon as the Tyranids book drops assuming that both Chaos Space Marines and Daemons get an update this year, which seems unlikely.

My gut says that all codex books could be wrapped up and changed over to 7th Edition by Summer 2016. That even could allow for any “new” factions that may get released, and perhaps some new Age of Sigmar releases in there as well.

horus walpaper

Now there is the curious case of what rules GW will use with the new Horus Heresy Stater Set that is rumored to be releasing this fall as well.  Surely they are not going to include “full rules” in this kit, as those volumes are extremely pricey products from Forge World itself.

So it is probable that whatever rules come with that box set, IF they are for games of conventional Horus Heresy, that they would be a “simplified version” of the Forge World books. That way players can still engage in the games that the figures may be meant for AND Forge World doesn’t have to “devalue” one of its biggest sellers: the Horus Heresy Books.

Now they may just take the starter game in a different direction as well, and make it a mini game like the Assassin Execution force was.

emperor cat

However if there is one thing I’ve learned about Games Workshop over the last 20 or so years, is that if they think they can do something to either save a dollar or make a dollar, they will do it as soon as corporately possible.  Now that being said it seems like their new CEO is serious about making changes around the old HQ homestead, so never underestimate what may happen in Nottingham in the next 1-2 years.

In conclusion I don’t think 40k will get the AoS treatment, anytime soon. And if it was going to, we’d probably see a general slide to the game itself that heralded Fantasy’s demise from all the way from July 2010 to this year.

What do you think?

  • Jay

    They won’t. They will watch AoS’s results over a year and see how it would hurt their golden cash cow’s solid position in the gaming world. They were desperate with WHFB and rolled the dice hard, no need to do so on 40k.

    • Damistar

      I must agree. This constant drum beat about GW doing and “AoS” to 40K is simply getting tedious now. For all you chicken littles out there: Where is the evidence that GW is even considering this? I’ve seen NOTHING from them about this idea, not even a hint of a rumor. The only people talking about it are cynical panic monkeys who I think frankly are hoping it happens so they’ll feel vindicated about their GW hate.

      • Zingbaby

        Nailed it.

      • Alienerd

        Don’t say that, your comment will get deleted. Come on BoLS, make it a third for me this week, I dare ya!

      • Valeli

        I kind of hope it happens, just to spite all the vocal 40k players who enjoyed laughing at Fantasy players when their game died…

        But yeah. I can’t imagine this happening, and there’s nothing suggesting it will. It would be ridiculous. (Granted, I never believed they’d toss Fantasy either, and felt that would be ridiculous and fly in the face of reason, but still….)

        • Commissar Molotov

          “This happened because you didn’t buy enough 40K products. It’s YOUR FAULT!”

          • Valeli

            Yeah. Something like that.

            I know it’s petty and vindictive of me, but still….

          • Zingbaby

            Yeah it was pretty funny when GW said that…

          • Muninwing

            yes, because buying WHF models when you don’t what to play the game until they fix all the stupid they added means that you are less loyal.

            and loss of loyalty is punished.

          • Zingbaby

            Exactly – you’ve been punished. GW and Obama came to your house and smashed your toys and burned your books.

          • Muninwing

            trolls be trollin…

        • Drpx

          Some of us played both y’know. Fantasy was a nice break from invisible gunblobs even if it had other problems.

          • Aezeal

            8th was good.. AoS isn’t bad either, I have just as much fun playing the games when the game is balanced.. of course the army building leaves a few things to be desired.. and my core troops are not fielded anymore.

      • denzark

        I agree with you – although one thing – I didn’t see a hint of a rumour about the scale of change from WFB to AOS either…

        • Damistar

          There were some, but they were generally disregarded as unlikely. As it closer to launch reporting got more solid. My point is that I’ve not seen anything to suggest GW is even contemplating an 8th edition, much less coming up with a completely new 40k ruleset. There’s some scuttlebutt about the HH box set having some kind of a different streamlined rules, but that doesn’t mean they’re changing 40K at all.

          • Mike Linke

            There was that one rumor though that people may have forgotten (or that may just have been untrue). Something along the lines of 8th edition fantasy being made up of 3 Ages: Age of Legend, about the size of the old WHFB games, End Times, apocalypse sized battles using the End Times rules, and Age of Sigmar, skirmish size battles.

            I know this is not a safe bet to place, but I really don’t think GW is “done” with WHFB.

          • false-emperor

            Exactly this.

          • That, and they are changing the names of the stores to Warhammer which makes me think it will be back. Weak reason I know, but I go with my gut.

          • denzark

            I am inclined to think so – especially as they can’t be blind to the success of Kings of War.

          • Aezeal

            I doubt this really. Nothing seems to be supporting any continued support of fantasy or end times.

          • Dave

            Don’t kid yourself. They started working on 8th a few months after 7th dropped. They’ve been doing that since 4th.

            I have heard rumors (on a rumor site, no inside info here) somewhere about GW being done with codexes sometime in the future too.

            The AOS treatment? Probably not. “simplifying the game I could see though

        • houseofpaine

          The main hint, if you will, was that WFB was rotting on the vine with sales in steady decline. They had to do something. In contrast, 40K is practically printing money for them. GW has absolutely no reason to mess with the golden goose that is 40K until it starts showing a dramatic decline in sales.
          Of course, the new GW braintrust could be delusional enough to think that they could increase 40K sales by simplifying the rules, drawing in a “younger crowd”, but…wel,, we see how that’s working.

      • Dan

        I read Talon of Horus a few months ago, they hint at Abbadon launching another Black Crusade sometime soon. Perhaps that could be a hint of evidence that something major ‘might’ happen. But even if they do do something major to move the fluff forward I highly doubt 40k will be receiving the Age of Sigmar treatment now. If Age of Sigmar had proved to be a runaway success then 40k probably would have gotten the same treatment. But seeing as it wasn’t the run away success they were hoping for and now after initial enthusiasm for Age of Sigmar is fizzling out (and their fantasy range will probably be even worse off sales wise than it was before the End Times), Games Workshop would be very foolish indeed to try the same thing with 40k.
        Mind you that said, Games Workshop have made a lot of stupid decisions this past decade or so, so I wouldn’t put anything past them. They may be stupid enough to Age of Sigmar 40k (though while they have made some stupid decisions, I don’t think Games Workshop would be that stupid)

      • Drpx

        Because GW bothers to tell anyone what they’re going to do.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      not just is there no need to do this to 40K, even GW’s endless self confidence (hubrus?) wouldn’t extend to possibly damaging their bread and butter. AoS is an experiment, they can afford to take some risk with it, but if they damage 40K badly then they WILL go bust, and they must surely know this.

    • AKOF

      For all of AoS’s flaws, it is outselling WHFB. How do you know that GW’s drug-addled logic won’t go “WFB sold 10 copies of a thing while after the AoS treatment it sells 12. So if 40K sells 100 copies of a thing, giving it the AoS treatment will let us sell 120! Profit!”

      • Nameless

        whilst I don’t doubt your assesment of Games workshops logic, I’m honestly not sure if the new Age of Sigmar releases are out selling the end times releases.

        certainly for Nagash and Thanquol I saw staff turning people away before launch day because there wasn’t enough product, they could not have sold more than they did. one of the reasons it suppries me that they claim fantasy didn’t sell well enough when every shop sold out.

        • AKOF

          I don’t think End Times were a last-ditch effort to save WFB, and if it didn’t work, they would go AoS. AoS was always going to happen, and End Times were both a way to end the old world and squeeze the last big chunks of revenue they could out of the existing customer base.

  • Zingbaby

    I hate 40K GW are facists!@@! — Please don’t change 40K!!@!@

  • Matt

    I hope not. AoS is fun and all that. But it’s like playing Settlers of Catan or Axis and Allies, great for an evening lark, but not a serious hobby.

    • lorieth

      On the other hand, how could you possibly *not* try Settlers of C’tan? I’m telling you, it’d be a licence to print money.

  • Ferenc Szőke

    Yes please:) 40k has to suffer, just like WHFB.

    • Spacefrisian

      But WHFB didnt change, GW made a differnt game all together.

      Might as well say AoS replaced Lotr, just changed the models on the round bases.

      • Muninwing

        really, that’s a better summary.

        GW killed WHF. just straight up murdered the game in cold blood.

        then they brought LotR back in the form of space-jesus fights the rage demons. but if you want to use your old WHF models, here’s a bone we’ll throw to you.

  • Spacefrisian

    Deep thought…will you here an echo? cause i get the idea we alreay reading one right now.

    • TumbleWeed

      Deep thought…will you here an echo? cause i get the idea we alreay reading one right now.

      • benn grimm

        …right now…

        • Shiwan8


  • benn grimm


  • Bobsyouruncle

    I’d say it’s unlikely , at most maybe an end times type scenario/campaign to jiggle things up a bit and create fresh drama and story lines but not the actual end of the current setting on the scale like we saw with WHFB .

    • Dave

      Can you imagine the fear and panic if GW started releasing 40K end times type books! Dogs and Cats Living together! Mass hysteria !!!

  • Jason McFarland

    We can only hold onto hope that they will

  • Matthew

    Some ways I hope so… Most I don’t.

    1. Free rules… yest please.
    – Wraith Knight OP? Just update his rules, no need to redo the codex.

    – Problems with Space Marine Formations? Just update that formation’s rules. Who cares about publishing a book.

    – Want to make a cool new addition to the Tyranid Fleets? Just make that model and post his rules online… no need to redo the entire codex anymore.

    2. Give us campaign books for 40k like you are with AoS.

    3. Give us an App to download the rules and create army lists like AoS (but configured for 40k… force org, points, etc.)

    • nurglitch

      Also, rules so that hordes of crap can get a bonus so long as they have the numbers, like Zombies do in AoS. Because that is awesome.

      • Matthew

        Yes some of that stuff is really cool.

    • TumbleWeed

      Only one problem, the word “update”. GW often posts things and moves one. They very rarely revisit units already published. They never FAQ. And sure the online rules would be easier to change on the fly, but we have no evidence they’d ever do that. They don’t have to with AoS as there are no point values and therefor no balance issues.
      “How can you balance that which has no points?”

      • Matthew

        Your comment reminded me of this…
        But I agree with you, it would require support that they are not used to providing.

        • TumbleWeed

          Haha that was what I was thinking of when I wrote it! It’s too bad, 40k could be much cleaner with some minimal support. Clarifications on rules, slight cost adjustments and BAM! Better game. I think they’ve just given up altogether… 🙁

  • Horus84cmd

    I actually think HH should perhaps be something slightly different, if I’m honest and I believe 40k does need a stream lining of some fashion.

    I say this because for HH as is, at its heart Marines vs Marines; Which, with 40k rules can really boils down to who rolls a better 4+ average, with the stats being so similar across the armies.

    And while 40k is not terrible and at its core it is a solid system, it has now become bloated with special rule upon special rule and some things that make you think – “what the heck?” The system does need change – will it be a AOS clone, I don’t think so. Will it get stripped back and re-thought from the ground up, yes I think it will. Sames as like what happened from 2nd to 3rd.

  • ClownBabyROK

    Hmm any comment made that reference click titles gets moderated now?

    • Alienerd

      I asked about the possibility of more hobby articles and comment got deleted in under 5 minutes. Asked why it got deleted and that was gone in the same space of time. BoLS are really distancing themselves from their reader base now.

      • My guess, Cuz yer comments were not conducive to the conversation they got deleted. Not judging personally, just a guess.

        • Alienerd

          The ‘article’ was a set of screenshots of a guy dropping a red hot nickel ball through lego and ice. No conversation to be had to be honest! At least with the old oddball series they tried linking the funny junk to something from wargaming, like the festival with exploding hammers being in similar vein to what tankbustas must do in their free time.

      • kobalt60

        In russia, comment board tells you what you want to say

  • How many more articles does BOLS need on this? I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. I can see 40k getting simplified but it doesn’t need the full AoS treatment. I actually enjoy AoS but would really disappointed if 40k went that way

  • They had AoS planned before the end times. It would take some serious time before they moved to something new for 40k, and they would only do that after seeing if AoS was successful. And not immediately successful, but it has to prove to have legs. LotR is a great example of this. Generated alot of initial success but didn’t have the staying power GW wants.

    40k has that power more than anything else, so why mess with it. As well WHFB had so few people playing they could afford to loose half of their player base in attempt to gain new players. They cannot afford that with 40k. There isn’t enough untapped market to make up for lost current players IMO.

    • Dave

      Following that train of thought. If AoS was planned so long ago, the system they devised for it would have been created then also, or at least the just of it. GW felt confident enough that this radically different rule set (without points and general list building) would sell models and hopefully bring in players. I’m not so certain they don’t have a similar plan for 40k that’s been in the books for a year or more.
      They produced the End Times books (expensive as they were) knowing they were about to kill WFB. So, it wouldn’t shock me to see a few codex updates, a campaign then a completely new rule set. Even if they keep most of the core concepts, they’d need a new edition to move away from army books. We’ve heard official hints to this already-
      – Emphasizing that they’re a model company not a game company.
      -Stating a product review across all lines is coming.

      They already have a plan. That plan won’t make everyone happy. It will save them money and perhaps bring in more players than it loses.

      • Probably more of several “outlines” rather than business plans. End times was a way to milk the last of the money out of WHFB. There is no “milking” needed for 40k. IMO they would not make a solid business or product plan until after the results of AoS are truly seen and their product/price review is complete.

  • MajorSoB

    You know at this point it really doesn’t matter. 40K in its current form is everything I hate about gaming; expensive rules and models, cumbersome rules, lack of corporate support, large time commitment required, OTT rules and players who exploit them, etc. Simply put, it stopped being fun a while ago. Now would giving 40K the Fisher-Price dumbing down that AoS offered solve the problem, no not really. Until GW commits to a balanced, more affordable game then 40K will continue to bleed veteran players while failing to attract sufficient new players to sustain long term survival. Come December I think even more gamers will switch to X-Wing spurred on by the newest trilogy. 40K will continue to limp along to oblivion, after all as long as there is a profit to be wrung out of the fanboys that still buy this abomination, why change right? RIP 40K, it was nice knowing you!

    • Sutr

      Hear ye, hear ye….
      The doomsayer has spoken!

      • Shawn

        Not doomsayer, just Major SOB.

    • Dave

      I’m very curious to see if X-Wing overtakes 40k this year. The movies will bring in a bunch of new players (especially with that juicy new movie based starter) and frankly, it’s a wonderful game. Fast, fun and easy to get started. I’d hoped AoS was going in the same direction, but it seems they’ve increased an already silly pricing model for the AoS stuff. I don’t think they’ve learned anything from WFB failure.

  • crusader284

    We see one of these articles every damn week. I get the clicks give you revenue, but come on now.

    • TumbleWeed

      I come for the comments and flamewar! 😀

  • Svenone

    The core concepts of this game are fine. Core rules and USRs, points are fine (despite imbalance). Movement, Psychic, Shooting, Assault phase. Which of these phases is not like the others? Psychic phase while fun has slowed the game down and added an absurd amount of record keeping.

    Tactical objective keeping as well is a mess. You can’t play this game with dice, a tape measure and your templates. You need pen and paper, objective cards, psychic cards, and after you sort through everything you realize you’ve only played a game turn.

    • silashand

      The psychic phase is by far the worst part of 40K right now IMO. They tried to implement a WFB-like mechanism that makes little to no sense in a sci-fi game. Rolling randomly for powers? Ramdom “winds of magic” dice (essentially what it is now)? Etc. Sure, some of the old powers were broken and needed fixing, but the system itself was more streamlined and IMO far superior to the garbage they gave us to replace it. All anyone seems to do now if they bring psykers is to try and spam Telepathy until they get Invis. Yeah, that’s *so* much better than before… not.

      • kloosterboer

        The psychic phase it isn’t well received, is it? And it’s modeled on the WHFB magic phase. And in AOS, they did away with it entirely.

        Anyone else see a trajectory?

      • John Bower

        I actually prefer it; how was the old system streamlined? You had to remember to do ‘this’ power at the very start of your turn, ‘that’ power later. No this is easier and much better imho.

        • Shawn

          This is true John. No one I know from several nearby towns have issue with the Psychic phase. It’s the demon summoning shenanigans they have issue with and nothing else.

      • Shawn

        I kind of agree about the maelstrom mission cards, but as far as the pysker phase goes I believed that while it makes more sense for a particular librarian, weather he is a named character like Tigerius, Sevrin Loth, or Generic Libby Marine, would learn the best powers and use them exclusive of all others, I think they did the random power generation as some kind of game balance because. Some powers ARE better than others.
        I’m not a big fan of the maelstrom cards myself. It’s all random, forces you to play a certain way and 905 of the time a one sided affair. That is one player usually gets all the objectives while the other player is back at home base twiddling his thumbs because e right card can’t pop up.

  • Andrew Thomas

    Nope. Not unless there’s a systemic community outcry for balance, and even then, this is hardly the way to go about it.

    • dinodoc

      So in your opinion if the community finally gets loud enough in their cries for GW to stop abusing them, GW will simply do the exact opposite of what people were asking for?

      • benn grimm

        That’ll learn ’em..;)

      • Andrew Thomas

        No, I make 2 points: 1. There isn’t a market imperative to switch to an AoS-style rules set for 40k, and 2. It wouldn’t even address the problems that would prompt such a move.

        • Dave

          1- The market imperative is that they don’t want to make army books anymore. It’s cheaper to do it the AoS way.
          2- When have they cared about addressing problems? See 1.


          • Andrew Thomas

            And yet army books sell despite grave imbalance, and the lack of Fantasy sales, blamed largely on rules bloat, buy-in, and imbalance, was enough to cause them to green-light AoS.

      • Shawn

        Now this is funny.

  • Kazzigum

    I disagree with you. I DO believe 40k is headed towards AoSization and there is evidence out there if you open you eyes. I’ve discussed this at length elsewhere on this site, so I’ll refrain from laying out the details again.

    • kloosterboer

      I agree. And I haven’t even read your other posts. Yet.

  • false-emperor

    40k is at its pinnacle with “7e bring-everything-FW-basically Apocalypse-edition” and has no where to go from here. GW customer service cannot even tell you what books are current as there are so many.
    No really? Where? What new units? Naval? Space? Crossbows and Catapults? (a great game btw)
    No where to go but down/wipe/reboot, just as we all watched whfb do the same exact “everything allowed” rules; giant units, giant single models, units of bigger stuff, giant majiks, and then players were baited with EoT, and then GW wiped and started all over with AoS.

    Do not think that AoS is not a “test” and will continue to be “just” a skirmish game, both whfb and 40k were both skirmish games in the beginning, BUT most importantly; LoTR was a skirmish game that evolved into WotR, with the addition of rectangular bases that accepted the round bases, so, I would look for AoS to follow suit, just as past GW history dictates it should.

    40k was on the exact same path as whfb was, just 500 times more popular than whfb, GW will start over, just being more careful. 😉

    • Vomkrieg

      Upvoted solely for the “crossbows and catapults” reference.

      Damn i loved that game as a kid.

  • kloosterboer

    Personally, I’d love it. I lost interest in the meta of wh40k and whfb years ago. All that needless point counting and “balancing” )that isn’t) . It’s just not what wargaming is about.

    I think you can see AOS as a shift in GW’s games philosophy. They want you to be able to put any model you want to buy on the tabletop, and play.

    • crusader284

      A lot of wargamers today don’t seem to share your philosophy. Personally, it doesn’t bother me either way. I like competitive games, but I’m more of a casual gamer anyway so these sorts of games are right up my alley. No need to spend ages learning the rules only to get dominated by someone who read through all the pages and spent hours trying to find all the loopholes. Also, I like how any unit can beat anything now.

    • John Bower

      but you don’t have to use points; it even says so in the rule book. As to balance I’m working on a house rule for that. One way is no Super heavies under 2500 points, and then not unless the other side can counter them. For overall campaign status I’m working on a ‘handicap’ system based on victory point margins. The more you win, the more VP’s you give away at the start of the game and need to catch up. It really handicaps armies like the Eldar and Necrons who win excessively.

  • Ben_S

    Didn’t this already happen, circa 1999? (3rd edition 40k.)

    • kloosterboer

      I remember “The Change”. Funny thing is, there were TONS of rumors at the time, that 3rd edition would be accompanied by a radical change/ advance in the story – the Death of the Emperor.

      End of Times.

      Think about it.

  • Dave

    I’d love to see it move in a simplified direction though. If they could make the game faster, while keeping the list building aspects, I’d be all for it. Moving away from the codex to free online rules and rules in the box would also be welcome.

    • crusader284

      I wouldn’t mind it, as long as they didn’t go too over the top. To be fair, 40k would benefit from having both a competitive and a casual ruleset. The competitive one would be balanced for tournament play, so every army would have stats that make it fairer rather than stats they’d actually have in lore whereas the casual one could be for “forging the narrative”, so unbound lists, unlikely allies, daemonology etc would be allowed.

  • Stan

    I wish they would do both.
    Have a 40K lite and a 40K advanced.
    GW really missed a golden opportunity to avoid ill will by not approaching fantasy in that manner.

    • Michael Gerardi

      GW has NEVER cared about “ill will”. As long as the middle-school brats who are their target market keep whining for daddy to buy them stuff, expect to see 40K turn into 40KAoS.

  • So I need to disagree with your implication that GW plans put far in advance what they will do. The company goes through CEOs/CFOs like Kleenex and they have NEVER carried through a unified design system for an entire edition of a game.

    I fully expect 40k to be AOS’d with all existin codexes and expansions to be invalidated. Not only that but I expect this to happen within the next year to 18 months; right in time for whatever quarter their financials are really taking a serious dive because of “the greater economy”. Given their track record on these things I fully expect them not to tell us they are doing this until the literal day it happens, which will probably be about 2 weeks after Tyranids get their 7th edition codex.

    But never fear all you established 40k fans, no one will be “invalidating” your books or armies. The new Warhammer: Age of the Emperor will be an entirely new game so you can play unsupported legacy 40k to your hearts content. The new system will do away with dice completely, instead you play by using your imagination while dancing on one foot and juggling. Formations and allies will be things of the past, now you will be required to build your army with an even distribution of models from every faction! All factions will be renamed using piglatin and the entire universe will be rebooted from the ground up.

    Ah the future is bright!

    • Michael Gerardi


  • Alhazred TheMad

    Couldn’t agree more. I love AoS but 40k can’t function on four pages of rules. Even if AoS is a success I hope they realize this.

  • matty199

    I don’t think the simplification for AOS was the problem it was way the game was designed without the ranked up troops and especially lack of balance. Kings of war is a simple game and I think it is superior to both Warhammer and AOS. The advantage of the GW games is there popularity you can run monthly tourney and get enough players where are other Franchises really struggle to get a player base. AOS is difficult to play compeditjve without a proper developed balancing system therefore we haven’t any interest in getting into this game and I expect it to do really poorly in my location. Simplification itself is not a bad. I first remember playing 3rd ed after the mess of 2nd edition at first I was put off by the simplification but when you release this tends to put more movement strategy in the game rather than ability stacking tactics and lack of looking up rules makes for a better wargame and I had the same experience with kings of war. GW has some great fluff but really it’s geared to have something for everyone and in my experience most people who play, play compeditive, the rules are so complex that casual games are often put off. Years ago in my experience people were really into the fluff gaming thing but that has really changed in the last few years because of the amount of games in the market. People in casual gaming groups generally go for something specific for thier tastes in our case flames of war, Dropzone or kings of war. I play 40k exclusively as a compeditive game and 90% of 40k sales at my local store would be based on compeditive play.
    Simpler rules would not mean a bad game but the lack of balancing would probably kill 40k the same as AOS at least in my area.

  • Garrett Sorensen

    I think they want to. If they can get away with it without financial ruin they will. Just having one product and every one of your customers is willing to buy any and all of it. Instead of the segregation that they have right now would be very enticing.

  • Drpx

    AoS is just 40k 7th edition taken to its logical extreme.

    • Shiwan8

      Wut? 😀

      • Drpx

        Shooting is king. take what you please, broken combos, and points don’t do jack for balance. Think about it.

        • Shiwan8

          Oh, wow, you are right. 😀

  • Agent OfBolas

    if GW wants to lose leader place in sales… yes, changing WH40k in to AoS crap is a good idea.