AoS: You’re Wrong, The Lore Is Fine

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Age of Sigmar sure does have a ton of lore, even if the Internet doesn’t tend to think so.

Write up any article about the Age of Sigmar, and you’ll find people coming out of the woodworks to mention how much they prefer Warhammer Fantasy. Oh sure, it’s selling well and getting lots of support and love from GW, they’ll say, but if they’d done that for WHFB it would also be doing well–casually implying that anything GW sets its mind to is automatically successful while simultaneously also being a money-grab, a slap in the face to loyal fans, and the utter ruin of their fun, which is no easy task. So kudos GW for being able to pull off so many seemingly paradoxical moves at once.

But the one complaint that seems to bubble to the surface more than anything else tends to be all about the lore. Just a warning, we’re going to be dealing with internet comments here, so you might want to put on a hazmat suit. You know. Just in case.

We’ve got some insightful comments here. Now I can’t speak to anyone’s taste and ability to suspend their disbelief–but there’s a very real sentiment that there really isn’t a ton of lore to the Age of Sigmar setting.

It’s interesting to me that this idea continues. Sure, maybe there isn’t the same depth of the lore that Warhammer Fantasy had when the End Times showed up and told everyone that they were no longer allowed to have fun, and that all those years and memories of the times that they’d had fun were to be rescinded, all those moments lost in time, like tears in Rain. But Age of Sigmar is only two years old, and…


By contrast, here’s what Warhammer Fantasy looked like when it was only two years old.

I think we can safely say that there’s a ton of lore here. The world is this unusual amalgam of the high magic that permeates GW’s narrative ethos, mixed in with influences like Planescape–after all the whole world is broken up into eight different planes that are connected via various gates. There’s Azyr the Realm of Heavens, Aqshy the Realm of Fire, Shyish the Realm of Death, Ghyran the Realm of Life, Hysh the Realm of Light, Ghur the Realm of Beasts, Chamon the realm of Metal, Ulgu the Realm of Shadows, and Chaos which everyone knows about.

Each of these Realms is somewhere between a continent and a world unto itself. As the game continues, more and more detail about the various realms comes out. With the release of Firestorm, we get a little more insight into what life is like in the Flamescar Plateau over in the world of Aqshy, which has several great cities. Everything is sort of cast into this post-apocalyptic haze where Chaos has been allowed to run unfettered and free. Age of Sigmar is about returning to the mortal realms–but one thing that stands out is that while Sigmar is leading the charge–they’re finding that people have sort of made do in the meantime.

The worlds of the Age of Sigmar ares full of cities, citadels, peasants, gods, monsters, and weird celestial dragons and daemons, all scrabbling for existence in the midst of being besieged by Chaos. You get massive dreadholds and heroic battles and things. But:

Nevermind the cataclysmic irony in saying that Warhammer bumps shoulders to a lesser extent with Tolkien–I mean, sure, yeah it’s pretty easy to bump shoulders with something when you are “heavily influenced” by these stories full of elves and dwarves and halflings uniting with and being led by humans to destroy a force of all consuming evil. There are very clear differences between the two. After all, in Warhammer Fantasy the High Elves live on their own island removed from the peoples of the world.

Whereas in Tolkien’s world, the Elves live on the shores of Valinor, removed from the mortal world and can only be reached by sailing across the unbroken sea, and also they set their magic gem forever adrift amongst the stars in a ship of glass and steel raised atop a column of flame, because the Elves have their own spaceship. So yeah. Bumping shoulders with.

But there’s no denying Warhammer Fantasy did have a ton of lore. It had the grand cities of Altdorf and Mordheim and Marionburg–and Age of Sigmar has its Tempest’s Eye and Hammerhal and so on. Even in the Old World it’s sort of always been about finding bastions of civilization amid vast stretches of the map where there be monsters.

Which, that’s the other thing that Warhammer had fueling its lore. It was this half-Tolkien, half-gothic fantasy Middle ages mishmash that was as influenced by history as it was stories of the Numenoreans. WHFB’s Dwarves were the same Dwarves that we’ve seen in everything ever. They hold grudges and are good at mining. The Bretonnians are just Arthur and Roland sort of recast–and I’m not saying that’s bad. I love both of these things–but a lot of how rich something feels is accomplished because there are these ‘cultural shortcuts.’ The work of filling in what the peoples are like is handled by saying, “these guys are from Estalia” and knowing that you’re dealing with Spanish knights, exaggerated for Fantasy. Everyone does that. Dragon Age, Tolkien, everyone–those short cuts are just one or two steps removed in Age of Sigmar.

Instead of seeing the immediate parallels between our world and this one, we get crazy sky-dwarves who, while they are still miners, are also merchants and pirates and mercenaries and so on. I guess what I’m getting at here is this: the Age of Sigmar is one of the most original properties GW has ever developed, and I think it’s fantastic. They’re in literal uncharted territory here, having to fill in the map by creating things anew. As more lore comes out, we get to see a little more of what makes the Mortal Realms different.

And in my mind, it’s what makes them better. Age of Sigmar is GW’s property, sure, but it bears heavily the influence of the last 30+ years of development in terms of the fantasy genre. Fantasy stories have come a long way since Tolkien–flipping through the lore, you can see where they bear the influences of Sanderson or Hurley or Scalzi. The world feels different, the way that battles are fought feels different. I hope to keep seeing the lens get a little narrower–the new city alliances in Firestorm which have forces like Darkling Covens and Dispossessed and Scourge Privateers all mixing together–that opens up new realms of possibilities to explore. We’re going to be getting an AoS roleplaying game soon, and will no doubt see more of the Realms fleshed out. Your mileage will no doubt vary, but, whatever you may think–AoS has plenty of Lore to play around with.

What do you think about the Lore in the Age of Sigmar?

  • DoctorBored

    I approve this article. I’m tired of people’s bellyaching. AoS is endeavoring to be something new and different, and it’s doing that well enough. New factions, new realms, new stories to be told. In a world where we have fantasy novels and games tripping over each other, where you can’t make a story without being compared to Tolkein, Martin, Rowling, or, heck, even World of Warcraft, it’s refreshing to see that GW managed to break away from the mold.

    • Muninwing

      yes. “new and different”

      it’s a bad imitation of planescape layered on top of greek myth without the slightest consideration of how the “planes” mash up.

      it’s not original.

      • DoctorBored

        Yeah but all fantasy stuff can be traced to one of the old worlds like Greek or Roman or Norse or whatever. And planescape is niche enough that at least you can’t point at AoS and say “It’s just a Lord of the Rings ripoff”. They did something many fantasy novelists and game makers struggle to do.

        • Muninwing

          see, i never thought that WHF was a LotR ripoff… so many people repeat that, but even the parts that could have been traced there were in it infancy — which was also the infancy of the entire genre of games.

          a lot has changed.

          i don’t understand why people laud it for not being what WHF wasn’t anymore even by two decades ago… but then excuse it for being the same thing just from another source. either “borrowing” is ok or it’s not. because AoS “borrows” far heavier from its source material while also offering very little of its own uniqueness to compensate for it. that’s not success.

          • CloakingDonkey

            Well if you never thought WHFB was leaning heavily on Middle Earth, then I’d say that’s more an indictment of your imagination than anything else 😛

          • Muninwing

            if you have to imagine it, then it’s not that firm a connection.

            i didn’t read the LotR until later in life, when i saw how many other fantasy works had riffed on it. and i read a lot more folklore and myth, so i saw all the stories that tolkien in turn based his stuff on. so no, i never felt like it was “ripped off” because it has always been in a continuum, just like all other stories.

            people get hung up on the LotR stuff, which wasn’t huge past about 3rd edition. i didn’t start playing until 5th, in the early 2000s, and it wasn’t nearly as prominent then, with plenty of other sources and varied ideas. if anything, the introduction of the Liber Chaotica solidified WHF’s world and cosmology as unique and utterly different from anything in the past, but even that originated in Moorcock’s definitely-not-tolkienesque fiction on its own.

            at a certain point — and it was before i joined up — it was distinct, unique, and original. AoS has really stepped back in time on that one, with far less flavor or depth. we can only hope that they are actually going somewhere with this.

          • CloakingDonkey

            Every interpretation is imagination… Same as “AoS is Planescape”. The difference is just that you are biased toward one and against the other. And since I doubt you’ve actually sat down and read the AoS books, this is really just all a big bowl of “mimimi Old World was a flawless masterpiece”

          • Muninwing

            never said it was flawless. just… not mediocre and already-done.

            i will admit that AoS has not yet had the time to get into its own. but the release materials at debut were worse than many home published games. the fluff in the first few books — in particular the hardback rules and the Ghal Maraz book — were of embarrassingly unprofessional quality.

            i am not exaggerating when i say that my creative writing students could do better — i’ve seen more than one young writer who at 15 could do better than the tell-don’t-show look-how-awesome-everything-is writing that they tried to launch a franchise with.

            and it’s my profession, so it’s something i’m uniquely qualified to comment upon.

            little to no actual worldbuilding, vague details, huge questions not addressed, giant gaps in interpretation… really bad.

            but no, i’ve not read the novels.

            if you need to read the novels to get a full idea of the world, then the fluff writers have failed. the same is true in HH and 40k, though it holds up better in both — the sourcebooks do a good job illustrating the background.

            it really was as if someone new got hired who had a completely “new” idea for a game and a setting, and GW tried to shoehorn it into their IP with as much force as needed. and/or that they panicked and released the game six months to a year early, before they had the necessary time to refine it and make it professional quality.

            this is why i’m biased against it. i gave it a fair shot. but their window to impress me was taken up by the worst, sloppiest debut of a game i’ve ever seen. that window won’t open again for another couple years, when they have had time to fix the problems. maybe with the next edition.

            and i won’t read mediocre books to patch the holes that shouldn’t exist.

      • Moose

        Pretty sure the 9 realms are norse…

        • Muninwing

          yeah… it’s both at once. but the Yggdrasil influence is strong too. and the sigmarines are copy-pasted from the Einherjar.

    • Karru

      Okay, so, this article is very nice and I do agree with you to certain extend when it comes to people moaning and hating on the AoS universe just for the sake of hating it, but there is one thing that I would like to point out why I don’t like it at all.

      The core concept of any “good” world building is that it has limits, something that basically keeps everything in check, so that no writer can go off the rails, basically destroy everything or make one faction overpower the other(s) and say “this makes sense in the world that was build”.

      An example, old 40k lore. Imperium is mighty, it is large and it is extremely resourceful. Why aren’t they roflstomping literally everyone? They were heavily against basically everything that would have allowed them to do just that. They are highly religious and superstitious, which hinders progress. Research and Development is heresy, anyone who tries to “invent” something new is branded as a heretic and killed on the spot more or less”. This is a crude example of a “good” world where even the “technically” strongest faction can’t just auto-win everything. They have limits.

      AoS doesn’t have any limits. Literally everything is good to go. The only thing “keeping things in check” is that the writers just go the route of 5-year-old in a sandbox “Nah-ah, you can’t do that because I am too powerful for you to do that!” Basically, the only thing keeping Chaos from devouring the entire world of AoS is that everyone else is supposedly so overpowered that they simply can’t.

      • DoctorBored

        This I do see as the biggest flaw of AoS. It’s not lack of fluff, it’s just this limitless world that has no real boundaries…

        • wibbling

          Good. Why limit yourself?

          • ZeeLobby

            Because limits give perspective.

          • Carey_Mahoney

            Or limit it.

          • Karru

            Let’s add something to the end of that sentence that might help people realise why “limiting oneself” should be a thing in story telling.

            “Why limit yourself from being able to destroy the world you created?”.

          • Muninwing

            we wish you’d limit your commentary… only chip in when it was relevant…

        • vlad78

          and the total lack of inner coherency. Magic exists by itself. Everything exists in a vaccum.
          Previously chaos could not win because it would cause its ultimate defeat by killing the livings who fuelled chaos though their emotions. As Karru said, now the only thing preventing chaos from winning is Sigmar’s big breast. (and beard, and shiny golden armor)

          Things are as simple as an episode of Masters of the universe.

          • Muninwing

            the ending i was hoping for was…

            – sigmar comes back
            – chaos still wins
            – a comatose/near-dead human that is not sigmar hides in the world tree… er, i mean within the winds of magic… which are what exactly?
            – chaos runs roughshod over everything –except the god of death, who dances with them and retreats to his cold kingdom
            – chaos realizes that, as embodied emotions, without sentient beings it will cease to exist
            – the Four squabble among themselves for resources and dear life until they have been all but extinguished
            – Nagash falls asleep and drifts into the gray void that is death
            – after a thousand years, the human wakes up. they are in a new place, the actual source of the Winds of Magic. it’s something cool, like a country farmhouse with a small pond outside.
            – said human sees that there are a million worlds, and that this is the center of them all… which acts as a nexus and a happy (non-void) afterlife for the most worthy. they see the fabric of reality in the pond, and a light like a firefly winks out — their world. they look closer and see countless others. leaning closer, they choose one to look at, and zoom in…

            new WHF 9th edition occurs on that planet. same races, different allies, different politics, different personalities. that runs for 2 years or so of events and releases, and the winner of that edition dictates the fate of the world. 10th occurs on a different world. repeat ad nauseum.

            and AoS launches as the conflicts between the “most worthy” that happens past the fields of that farmhouse. everyone is a hero of some sort that has been blessed with life in the aftercountry (or is raiding it from the Void, the Warp, or the Maw).

        • Vicent Martín Bonet

          But there’s limits to the realms, and boundaries to them…

          • Karru

            Okay, explain to me then why Chaos doesn’t defeat everyone, go.

          • Vicent Martín Bonet

            Because they are divided? Just like in the old world, tbh.

          • Karru

            The gods wouldn’t just let Sigmar continue stopping their plans if they could actually beat him, the reason really is just that GW doesn’t want that to happen, because it would be too boring.

            Chaos isn’t as divided, especially in the same way, as they were in the old lore. Chaos is currently split artificially, because GW knows that Chaos could just stomp Sigmar, unless they just make Sigmar so powerful that he can make sure that doesn’t happen.

            Basically, if I ask you the question “Okay, but why doesn’t Sigmar just go kick the cr*p out of the Chaos gods, one at a time, as it has been stated multiple times that Sigmar is fully capable of doing just that”, the answer is simple, “Sigmar can’t do that because Chaos is too stronk”. Starting to see a pattern here?

          • Vicent Martín Bonet

            Artificial? Dude, the chaos gods have NEVER been this much at each others’ throats. Tzeentch used The three stooges, fooling them into capturing slaanesh (yeah, it was tzeentch behind that one). Khorne declared open war on the rest of the pantheon back during the age of chaos. GHR used Nurgle as meatshield. They’ve never been more divided, even when going on a single god allignment.

      • vlad78

        And the plots are mostly about big guys mislaying their big magical weapons.

    • I agree, I’m tired of the complaining too, I don’t see nearly this level of hate for other game systems people don’t like. There’s a certain point where people need to realize, you don’t have to write a hateful screed against something you don’t like, you can just *not* read the article about it

      • DoctorBored

        This is why GW made their own website. Their Youtube videos disable comments, their Facebook posts are heavily monitored, and the Warhammer Community site doesn’t allow comments either. It’s to keep all the toxicity out while encouraging new people in. Nowadays, a lot of these news sites just copy-paste whatever shows up on the Warhammer Community site. 😛

        • GW hired a PR firm to manage their online marketing like 14 months ago, apparently. The difference shows

          • Muninwing

            yeah. they now have an online presence.

            they were industry standard a decade ago, but pulled so far out of the public interaction that they essentially let their largest competitors have free reign. some of this new online presence is a bit “too little too late”

          • When you’re the biggest player in a marketplace, you can afford to go slowly. They just had the best year in the company’s history, so, certainly not “too late”

          • Muninwing

            they did. but look at what they had to do with AoS to get it into serviceable shape –the GHB essentially made it a new game by providing all the stuff that wasn’t in the game at launch.

            had it contained all that when it debuted, and they hadn’t made such a mess out of the launch, they not only would have had that year sooner, they would not only have had that year earlier (and been able to expand on it now) they wouldn’t have lost so many players in the process.

            much of that “best year” also comes from their relatively recent decision to open up their IP for more video game licensing. the success of those lines — which they have no control over — improves their stock too.

            they have also finally been overtaken by other companies for that first spot. and their competitors (like warlord) are thriving.

          • Profits before royalties are what I was talking about, they’re making money like they never have before, there’s no other way to spin it

          • Muninwing

            they also have years of online marketing and resources to make up for missing.

            look at what Warlord does with Bolt Action worldwide campaigns, and compare to what GW has done. even the Konor campaign was a little 2-d, and used a resources-heavy website for more flash than function, and was poorly managed for full participation.

      • Mira Bella

        You could also choose to not read the comment.
        I don’t understand why it’s Important to you what a random person on the Internet thinks about your chosen hobby?
        Why does it bother you?

        • Because they’re replying to me with their rants, because they feel the need to contribute nothing but vitriol. It’s pathetic.

      • Muninwing

        i think when something is liked by some, but you have valid complaints about it, you see those people as blind lemmings who are not paying attention to how bad it is.

        but those who do like it see those who don’t as unenlightened savages, or haters, who think hating things is cool.

        i was curious about the article. it was actually worse than i expected. and it has precious little in the way of convincing me — as i hope to one day be convinced — that AoS was remotely even linked to WHF, never mind as good.

        everyone has their tastes though. other people can like a game that i do not. but i still wish i could have back a game i did enjoy. neither is less valid an opinion.

        • Oh I mean, if you look at my comment on the article, I was very critical of the author’s thesis, I just don’t see the point of the hate for AoS, as someone who generally doesn’t love the game, is a huge fan of the world, and who has complaints about both

          • Muninwing

            yeah. and as much as i am free with my distaste for the game, i don’t think it needs to be the constant target of irrational blind fury.

            it’s kinda like with politics. what i want more than anything else is for the individuals responsible for making mistakes to actually admit that they had a hand in the mess.
            maybe not “sorry my deregulatory policies and tax cuts plunged the world into a giant recession and screwed entire countries for years” kind of apology, but maybe just no longer advocating for the same actions that led to disaster last time.

            and GW has a habit of making big mistakes and doubling down on them, rather than admitting mistake. i think the closest they came was in the statement on the quarterly release that came out just before the GHB was launched. that was when they acknowledged that their sales of that line (though not anything alike) were actually worse than they’d been when they decided to kill WHF, and clearly needed to fix the mistake.

            i want someone to acknowledge the huge issues that 7th ed WHF had, that they instead incorporated into 8th. i want someone to acknowledge that the real reason 8th failed was because they released bad product of low quality, and that their rules and approach to the game were toxic to their players. i want someone to acknowledge that having a summer devoted to large monsters and increased magic was a fool’s move when the neutering of monsters and the clumsy changes to the magic system were actually part of the reason for 8th’s decline. i want someone to say “we decided to move to AoS because we dug ourselves into a huge hole, and maybe we’ve learned from our mistakes.

            because their party line to blame their customers for not buying a flawed product was equal parts arrogant and untrue. the desire to buy more was waiting in the wings for a game worth buying into, and they failed to provide.

            there’s a lot of resentment over how they treated their customers — how they squandered the goodwill they’d created, pulled out of certain areas and contributed to other problems in that instability, essentially screwed over longtime customers (who are more likely to start new armies if inspired to do so, because they are more likely to have the income to do so) to try to attract the short-term-gain of netting new players, how they’d promoted sales-over-quality for years, and how they really just made bad decision after bad decision. and i think AoS is the lightning rod for a lot of those complaints.

            i’ll admit that i am waiting to give the game another try. its second edition (though the post-GHB era kinda makes it the third incarnation) will be due out about when my son is old enough to start playing those kinds of games, and it is now the “training wheels” product line. i used to like WHF as the next level up from 40k, but now AoS is definitely a step in the simpler direction. but even in that thought, there’s a reason to dislike what AoS is — because GW set up the comparison. had it launched as a separate game, and WHF was gradually no longer supported as it was phased out, i think AoS would have done much better.

            and all this comes bubbling to the surface when someone publishes an article like this, where it brushes away all criticism. sure, many of us have underlying dislike for reason above… but i loved WHF for its rank-and-flank historicals design, and have decided deliberately not to invest in skirmish games (i just don’t like them, even when played at larger points levels). i was never going to be on board with AoS.

            so i’m not going to forgive the huge holes in plot, setting, or game design like others who are a fan of the game would.

  • Grandfathernurglescleanbrother

    Second paragraph made my day. I get these paradoxical complaints whenever I say I’m enjoying 8th edition as well.

    • Muninwing

      i love terrible movies. i don’t pretend they are anything but what they are. not everything needs to be serious.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Brave of the author to dip their toe into a tinder box subject for of worms. Personally love the freshness and scope of the AoS setting.

    So……1…..2…..3….let the internet rants and flaming begin….

    • John Henry III

      Rabble Rabble Rabble….

      • dave long island

        Conjecture, conjecture, conjecture. Strawman argument, straw man argument, conjecture. Wild speculation, angry denunciations! Tangential rant about ‘stupid pointy ears’, conjecture, inaccurate evidence provided as fact, inaccurate references to past editions of WHFB, rant and rave, speculation, and illogical conclusions reached!

        • Xodis

          You missed “subjective opinion presented as fact”, but pretty nailed it lol.

        • luke-vdv

          Nope, so far I’ve only seen well thought out and reasoned arguments for why people don’t like AoS lore. This is the first series of pro-AoS comments I’ve come across and they offer literally nothing.

          • dave long island

            Really? You’ve seen only ‘reasoned and well thought out arguments for the anti-AoS crowd and literally nothing for the pro-AoS crowd? Really? LOL… Seems like you over sold that quite a bit, doesn’t it?… LOL

          • luke-vdv

            No. I was scrolling through the comments and saw, as I said, arguments against AoS and ZERO for AoS other than the comments your comment is attached to. Of course, further down I eventually got to some AoS comments that were coherent unlike yours and those attached to yours.

          • dave long island

            And now the story changes. Go home and cry to momma, and take your ham fisted BS story with you.. lol 🙂

          • luke-vdv

            And to think in the past on this site I thought you were reasonable. Anyway, you see the thing about comments is that you don’t see them all at once, so no the story didn’t change it was expanded post writing my original comment.

          • dave long island

            Well be sure to keep me updated on the status of your journey exploring the pro and anti- AoS comments on that page… LOL

          • dave long island

            Hey I want to apologize for my comments here.

          • Mira Bella

            What arguments could there be? I mean you either like something or you don’t. It’s that simple.

          • Muninwing

            quality of system
            quality of lore
            relevance to past incarnations

  • miniwar monger

    I feel to old Warhammers lore grew organically with love injected.
    It tastes like wood and moss. It smells of autumn rain.

    Age of Sigmars feels like it was driven by product managers. It feels like a world that was made to place products in.
    It is cold and dead. Tastes like plastic. Smells of printing chems.

    I just hate it.

    • John Henry III

      What you are doing is smelling all the pages from the LOTR that they stuffed in the middle of their books. Don’t feel bad its an easy mistake to make.

      • vlad78

        Nothing in the realms of chaos comes from Middle Earth. You’d rather point your finger toward Moorcock and even then you would be mistaken because it’s perhaps the most original piece of work .
        Furthermore, WFB had huge drops of pseudo historical cliche mixed with british humour.

        WFB was the offspring of the british rpg and fantasy and hard rock culture in the 80s and a then talented GW studio.

        Tolkien is just a tiny part of it.

        AOS is the offspring of the legal and marketing departments backed by Kirby the villain. ;p

        • Muninwing

          the Liber Chaotica were masterworks of a worldbuilder’s lore. chaos, particularly after them, was half the definition of just how complex the world was.

          none of that remains.

          the semi-replacement of Slaanesh with the GHR (who overlaps Nurgle, and thus double-represents some of the same stuff) is enough to show that they are blundering like a drunk in a dark room.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      Yeah grew organically…..over 30 years! With mass expansion of the background happening in the 90’s. After which it was basically stagnate for 25 years. Which meant it became broadly stale and dull, with only scant flickers of new bits.

      Now I’m not saying the WFB background was rubbish or worthless, I loved it – I grew up with the large expansion of fluff in 90’s; heck I still do love it.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      Very well said. WHF feels right. It is connected to the wellspring of European mythology and also to 20th century fantasy literature, not just Tolkien but Moorcock and many others.

      It was a labour of love, not just writers but artists, sculptors and mini painters. Where are the awesome artworks you could spend hours staring at with AoS? The books like Realm of Chaos or Liber Chaotica that fans will still be poring over in 20 years time? Nothing in AoS has that sort of depth.

      Now races are named for IP rather than mythological reasons. Corporate tripe with utter total sense of humour failure. WHF is so damned funny! Terrible British puns and darkest black humour abound. People laugh at AoS not with it…

      WHF was precious. An artwork 35 years in the making. I will never forgive GW.

      And AoS sucks.

      • Apocryphus

        I STILL read through my Liber Chaotica. It’s a beautiful piece of work the likes of which GW hasn’t put forth the effort to produce since then and probably never again will.

        • benvoliothefirst

          I’m hopeful that the AoS RPG will have some books that greatly expand the lore like the WFRPG books did. If so, AoS is that much closer to being as well-established as The World That Was.

          • Jonathon Runge

            I hope the WFRPG books ignore AoS and explores Chin, Nippon, and Ind. Exalted fills the niche that AoS could work in but is not as good as Exalted when lore and world building are compared. Exploring the Asian world of warhammer was a much more interesting path than the end times. Prophecies being wrong is one of my favorite underused tropes.

      • wibbling

        Oh give over, you whinging wind bag.

        • ZeeLobby

          whinging + wibbling = whingbling. I like it. Time for a name change!

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          Oh Wibbling, insults are so unbecoming.

          I may be a somewhat fulsome birther of prose, unlike your posts which I see get shorter each day. GW stop paying you by the word?

          • ZeeLobby

            I still think it’s several teen interns that have proven to not work well with others.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Haha 😆

          • Muninwing

            this is perhaps the first time that i’ve seen wibbling actually reply to anyone.

            the troll has decided to acknowledge someone’s presence. it’s an amazing day indeed!

      • vlad78

        Amen brother.

      • Vicent Martín Bonet

        HAHAHAHA. Oh goodness, the sheer nostalgia presented as fact.

        • Muninwing

          no, you can go look at the volumes and volumes of lore, the maps that actually make euclidean sense, the cosmology, the thorough and subtle definition of the Four as massive primordial emotional incarnations…

          i’ve never read a single WHF novelization, and i joined late (early 00s), and i can find you over a dozen well-written sources that do a great job defining the world as a historian would.

          apparently to get much of any definition whatsoever from AoS, you need to read the novelizations, and those are of varying quality. it almost guarantees needing to read bad prose to justify itself.

          and there were so many opportunities, too. AoS could have been an amazing reboot. instead, it’s a fundamentally different thing tacked on to a legacy that it cannot hope to live up to.

    • dave long island

      I used to hate it. I love the Old World. I’m growing to not mind the AoS bubble kingdom world-thing. The Flesh Eaters Courts is a great book. If you haven’t read it yet you should. Borrow one from a friend or stand around in your FLGS and check it out. Or just get it. They’re really a cool army with some great imaginative lore to em.

      • Muninwing

        “not mind” is hardly glowing praise…

    • Vicent Martín Bonet

      Because you’re driven by nostalgia. Sorry guys but Old World was no project of love. It was a commercial for new minis too. You just got either too later or where too enamoured.

  • Adam Bloom

    I kept waiting for this article to get to the part where you were going to argue that the lore was fine, and then it ended.

    • Coltcabunny

      “The finest bait of the clicking variety your honour…”

  • Talos2


  • Davewasbaloo

    I have been playing and reading GW lore for 30 years on and off and I love AOS. It is new, and fresh, a kind of conan and mad max meets ancient myth, compared to the rehashes of stereotypical fantasy tropes. while I like the world that was, I love what is happening now, particularly in every book Josh Reynolds has his hands in. I am currently reading the latest AOS novel 8 Lementations, and I have now read almost every AOS book (they take up 2 bookshelves), and I love how new everything is, it is not tired. I play 42 different gaming systems/armies and I read broadly, but AOS is amazing now (something I may not have thought on release date – though I loved how GW brought humour back to the moral realms

    • Carey_Mahoney

      The typo in the last sentence makes it a true winner!

      • Davewasbaloo

        Lol….oops hehehe

  • Apocryphus

    As someone who started building Tomb Kings only to have my toys taken away a couple months later, I have my own reasons for hating AoS.

    • Xodis

      Even as a fan of AoS, its hard to not empathize and understand that complaint.

      • I have an old 4000 pt tomb king army. I still use it. The realms are vast and huge. You can pretty much write your own lore which is part of the positive aspect of AOS.

        • Xodis

          I agree with that, but buying an army and watching it get “removed from the lore” before youre even done with it is sad indeed. Hope the new campaign really revives TK and any other Death factions into an army of purpose.

          • I would imagine tomb kings are gone forever. The new death rattle skeleton/necromancer thing will be its own. The way they are rolling I wouldn’t expect two factions that are both primarily skeletons but who knows.

          • Xodis

            I don’t expect a separate TK faction, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the rattlers or whatever get some “Egyptian” themed models to add to their collection.

          • Guillem Roura

            That’d be neat. But GW won’t do it, because they’re fleeing their previous “historical-counterpart” ideas. To me, Egyptian themed undead army was genius. Not original, but appealing. I mean, just imagine what several Cathay armies may have looked like!

            – The Imperial Banners: a roster of human soldiers at the Dragon Emperor’s Command.

            – The Monkey King’s Expedition: A flavourful band of beasts, monsters and divine beings, with Sun Wokung, the Monkey King, at its head.

            – The Wu-Awakened: a Cathayan shaman commanding a mix of undead and terracotta men.

            I just came up with that in my room wednesday midnight, and I already would like to buy these army books and paint the miniatures. The terracotta army especially. They needed only try! Everything they’ve done so far could be done in WHFB. Stormcasts? Can be done, either by a powerup to the Sigmarite church or some sort of Sigmar-reinstated messiah figure through Valten, or by making them soul-bound golems made by ta combination of the several Colleges of Magic (Golden C. for the armor, Life C. for the reanimation, Light C for the protective energies, Amethyst for the protection from death, Bright C. for the fire that burns where their hearts used to be, etc). Kharadron Overlords and Slayers, all could be done as well. Actually, expand the scope of the game to the East and the long-lost Kharadrons and Ur-Slayers can be a thing along my Cathay guys.

        • Apocryphus

          I envy you. It’s more that I was in the process of building the army and doing a slow grow, painting everything before I bought more, and suddenly it was all gone. GW essentially told me I wasn’t allowed to play the army I liked and so I don’t play.

          • Yeah if you were in the middle of trying to get models and they just stopped existing I can understand that.

          • TB0N3

            Your models still have points and stats.

  • Randy Randalman

    AoS had original lore, and the more they explore the individual cities, the more rich and interesting it becomes.

    WHFB never had original lore, nor was it dark or mature as people romanticize while remembering what they first read as kids (ironically). It was poor man’s Tolkien set on Earth-but-not-but-really-it-is. Unoriginal maps, races, and ideas. Borders somehow never changing and Orc headbutts stopping a war. Goblins and Dwarfs fighting in mountains? No way! So original and deep… Elves whose time had come living on an Atlantis themed island? Riveting! Names on maps literally no different than our own, save a letter or two, and every character was described as simply “unparalleled” at magic or combat. The people griping about the lore have read zero of it. The latest publications – especially anything in Hammerhal – have been excellent.

    As to the notion GW could have supported it better: both 7th and 8th saw them push out tons of battletomes, models with reduced prices (Cold Ones and Chaos Knights for $22 anyone?), but the game continued to tank. Tradition (re: ripped off) fantasy settings were dying once the LotR bubble died down, and the square bases and movement system were easily the worst in the gaming industry.

    AoS did what WHFB couldn’t do: fill tournaments, attract players from other games, and actually turn a profit.

    WHFB was garbage as a setting, and even worse as a rules set.

    • Adam James Osborne

      LOL, wrong.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. It’s Randy, so of course AoS tournaments are now the biggest thing in the world. Supposedly more tuned in for the last AoS stream than the olympics, or something.

        • Commissar Molotov

          Raaaaa-ndy! Come upstairs and eat your dinner!

    • I was going to write a rebuttal after the first paragraph and a half, then I noticed the name at the top and thought it futile. Carry on.

    • dave long island

      The one thing that I will admit to with regard to the Old World was that it felt static. When a fantasy setting is beloved and long in the tooth, well they’re not going to change that, are they? It’s like a story that Frank Frazetta’s wife told me one time when I was visiting Frank’s art gallery in East Stroudsburg, PA. She says she caught Frank on several occasions taking his beloved original paintings off the walls to make changes to them. She told you ‘you can’t do that. People love these paintings as they are’. And he said ‘well they’re my paintings. I’ll change them if I want to’. And she said she took his key to the gallery away, so he wouldn’t be able to change these beloved paintings. I think maybe the Old World was like that, people loved it and didn’t want to see it change. But for being a world based on a game of massive armies fighting constantly, with different races involved in unending wars to the death, wars of genocide really, then the Old World was strangely in a weird kind of stasis. I don’t think the AoS bubble kingdom world will have that problem. At the very least it won’t have this problem due to it not being a beloved setting. Nevertheless it won’t have this problem.

      • Adam Bloom

        “It’s like a story that Frank Frazetta’s wife told me one time when I was visiting Frank’s art gallery in East Stroudsburg, PA. She says she caught Frank on several occasions taking his beloved original paintings off the walls to make changes to them. She told him ‘you can’t do that. People love these paintings as they are’. And he said ‘well they’re my paintings. I’ll change them if I want to’.”


    • Muninwing

      those explorations should have been a part of the launch. it’s part of actually having a setting.

      i’m utterly amazed that it lasted. the initial lore was utter garbage. and not like your opinion of WHF — which can be summed up as “you have no taste and a lot of complaints” if i’m feeling saucy, and “we have different tastes and you complain a lot” if i’m being generous.

      no, initial AoS lore was bad enough that other game companies have gone out of business for being so unprofessional and incomplete.

  • Marco

    Long live Warhammer Fantasy and the Old World!

    • Muninwing

      rank and flank forever!

    • Vicent Martín Bonet

      How about getting a life yourself?

      • Smooth.

        • Vicent Martín Bonet

          No need to sugarcoat it. Guy seems to be hawking for a thread mentioning AoS and then posting it, almost as if spending hours clicking refresh on the page of BoLS 😛

          • Muninwing

            it’s a thread arguing that something that is perceived as being of inferior quality was actually not…

            but never bothers to explain why it’s not.

            much like many of its defenders.

            so those of us who are not fans came looking for the hopeful secret that might finally make us like the lore or the system… and we got more fanboy weeabooing, then got insulted for showing up in good faith.

            this is why so many longtime veteran players have written AoS off.

      • ZeeLobby

        Your mom!

      • Hagwert

        ” Down with this sort of thing ! ”
        ” Careful now ! “

  • AEZ

    I completely agree with this.

  • You have to get to the real root of complaining. Yes people erroneously claim AOS has no lore often.

    But that is often not their real complaint.

    Their real complaint is that the old world was dark historical-based fantasy, and AOS is viking saga high fantasy and they don’t like that.

    • ZeeLobby

      Yup. That’s a good summary. I also think the plots and writing are generally just of a poorer quality.

      • John Henry III

        did you read the end times?

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah, I didn’t think it was all that good either to be honest. When I think good writing, I think Gotrek/Felix, the Nagash origin books, etc. If anything, the Endtimes were our first glimpse at the completely disjointed and repetitive universe of AoS (eventually recreated to a degree in 40K).

        • The End Times lore books started very strong, then went out the window. You could tell that much more work and love went into Nagash, the rest not so much. They forgot characters halfway through, ffs.
          The novels though? Pretty strong across the board. Josh Reynolds especially managed to write a great start and a fantastic send-off that incorporated many of the elements GW proper forgot about.

          • ZeeLobby

            It was almost as if they planned it to be a 3 year event, and then were like, we need it before the next fiscal year, haha. Nothing makes that more obvious than the model love the Nagash book got compared to others, some of which got nothing. Really did seem like they were just shooting them through.

          • The Nagash lore-advancement alone should’ve kept WHFB’s community going for 6 months at the very least. You get civil war in Bretonnia, ties back to old Roleplay books about Mallobaude, further drawing on Arthur and Mordred. You get Nagash returning, Vlad von Carstein getting revived by the pope and allying with the Empire and trying to become a proper Elector Count. There was the whole thing about Balthasar Gelt, implications left and right. They could’ve added to most armies in the Old World with relative ease, especially Bretonnia, new models for special characters and all.

            I was heartbroken when they didn’t even bother with any miniatures for Khaine. Had been hoping for a new Darkblade, Malekith, Morathi, Tyrion and Teclis. Nil.
            Instead of the Darkblade continuation by C.L. Werner that had been in the talks for years, he wrote one short story for an event anthology about him being really mad about losing his soul, then the End Times come up with a novel about him dying, having advanced to the point where he had already gotten it all back.
            They canceled multiple novel projects midway and still sit on unpublished material. It really is sickening what Kirby’s regime wrought there with corporate nonsense.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. The lack of elf stuff was truly a disaster. Our group played the Nagash stuff pretty vigorously, but as soon as Elves got shafted most people stopped caring. To be honest their approach to the end times was kind of like their approach to fantasy in general before they blew it up.

          • Muninwing

            and that itself is the biggest complaint.

            had WHF gotten the support and some of the reworking that AoS did — especially with some of the amazing models, attention to factions, and general commitment to fixing issues that the GHB implies, then AoS would never have been deemed necessary.

          • Purple-Stater

            When you looked at just how much excitement (and sales!) the first couple books of End Times generated, I could only think about how massive WHFB could have been if they had only first brought out a new edition rulebook, then made each End Times novel a full one-year project of new models and campaigns.

            Such potential thrown to the winds.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean just look at how successful the mini-factions and mini-campaigns in 40K have been. A box set with 2 armies with several books detailing the events. I mean they never tried any of this stuff with Fantasy, and then declared it dead. The support was just dismal. It’s clear that during their “model first” era they focused on whatever was making the most money (space marines) and just stopped caring about the rest. I mean we still see this today, with endless Stormcast releases, or Primaris on the other side, and the disproportionate alliances and factions.

          • Muninwing

            had they made “End Times” WHF 9th, let it run its course for a couple years instead of rushing it, and used that time to both admit that it was the finale and to create a game that was actually complete and had fluff worth reading, AoS would not have had such an uphill battle to begin with…

          • Muninwing

            this has been my theory for awhile now.

            which is sad, because with some real time to work they could have come up with something worthwhile.

    • Apocryphus

      Pretty much this. I’m just not a huge fan of the new setting, nevermind the erasure of old armies and model lines. AoS on the whole feels like the Saturday Morning Cartoon version of WHFB, and the lore supports this with the sequestering of Slaanesh and the action figure stylings of the Stormcast.

    • Admiral Raptor

      That’s very true. I like them both, but each for different reasons. I can see why a lot of older players couldn’t make the switch though. The two settings could barely be less similar.

    • Muninwing

      that’s fair.

      but you are missing one further level.

      i didn’t play Warmachine because it was too hero-forward epic high fantasy saga-for-the-ages. it was ridiculous that in a whole continent, only about twenty people mattered in the least, and only double that have actual names.

      I kept hoping for WHF (and 40k) to realize that their preponderance of named SCs was approaching WM/H levels of stupid.

      i chose the system that was a better fit for me. i bought in. i did so instead of buying in to a different game with a different feel. i bought because i liked what it was.

      the game changing — and doing so as a deliberate reaction to the whimsy of the market, when at one time they had controlled that flow instead of bowing to its push — was a direct opposite of what i had chosen to participate in with my purchase.

      and that the change happened after an era of bad rules and bad balance and bad armybooks that made the game harder to play — which chased away customers — seems as if it is built upon faulty logic.

      the new designers are finally coming into their own. the game no longer resembles someone’s pet game cobbled together in their parents basement with lore written during third period math in a spiral notebook. it’s still got its problems, but as a game in its own right it is merely not what i prefer, but i’m even willing to give that a pass.

      it is not a successor to the other is not the same kind of game. it is not of the same depth or quality in its writing of fluff. it is not even of the ame complexity when looking at the identical ideas — the utter washing out of chaos shows there’s a lack of understanding of the concept by the writers… because it’s extant, not a part of their schtick.

      i still hold firm to the belief that they really screwed up the debut, and held the line instead of making good decisions.

      i still hold firm to the idea that, had they made Age of Sigmar and its poorly defined realms the actual afterlife, the source of the winds instead of a place made of them, and the peoples inhabiting them unaware of their new location because it was in fact a post-death existence, they could have made some great strides. the “land of the dead” could have been the grand overarc, the realms of chaos could have grown so strong that the warp was pushing against the heavens, and it would explain all the SCs running around despite time periods.

      but nope. we got planescape, nu-GW version.

      • I was talking about the lore.

        AOS as a game is rather poor. If any of us released AOS as a house ruled game on a wordpress site, no one would bother with it.

        I stick around for the models and the background. The game is something I tolerate like a nasty protein shake with no flavor.

        • Fundamentally, I agree, AOS as a game doesn’t do much for me, I’m in it for the world building, as a game, 9 times out of 10 I’d rather play warhammer quest

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            I have found the rules to be one of the very few ever written to be worse than “Carnage” by holistic.

        • Muninwing

          i have a hard time separating the two out. i just do not enjoy either, and for some similar and some different reasons.

          the game changed fundamentally in the same way that the lore did. and in both forms, what it was had something that i gravitated toward. and what it is now is far too close to what i saw in WM/H that i just didn’t like.

          when looking at just how lazy the release was, with a half-written game and terrible starting fluff, it would have bankrupted another company. it just seems like they counted on their customers to eat a crap sandwich because it was their crap, and phoned it in.

          i’m glad the game has supposedly gotten better. i’m glad the lore has actually become more well defined. i do think they missed out on some huge unique opportunities.

    • Karru

      The major complaint I have with AoS Lore, as I mentioned earlier, is that it is very badly done. Going back to Fantasy setting for example, why I liked it so much wasn’t just the rich world you had to use for yourself, it was the clear and distinct limits set by that world.

      “Why can’t Chaos just stomp everyone?”

      Because Chaos isn’t united.

      “But every now and then Chaos Lord rises to unite the Warbands and start to march south!”

      Yes, but then the Warbands get distracted, they advance slowly and the armies of the world can react to counter this particular attack. Also, the Warbands aren’t still fully united, they have rivalries going on and backstabbing is normal for them.

      Now, looking at AoS and the “limits” it has.

      “Why can’t Chaos just stomp everyone?”

      Because GW knows that would be boring so Sigmar is so powerful that he makes sure that doesn’t happen.

      “Okay, but why doesn’t he just beat Chaos if he is so powerful?”

      Because GW knows that would be boring so Chaos is so powerful that it makes sure that doesn’t happen.

      This carries on forever. This is the “limit” of AoS. The idea that everyone is so powerful that they just can’t be beaten so there is literally no point in anything, because you know that the only reason why one faction doesn’t win over the others is because they are all just so powerful that they just can’t and the only reason why they are so powerful is that GW says so.

      They don’t have any major weaknesses, they don’t have something that realistically keeps them in check. In Fantasy, why didn’t the Empire just go and stomp Chaos after beating the Chaos Invasion when the North was almost barren and now filled with Warbands fighting against each other? Because Empire wasn’t united either. The Elves couldn’t give a damn about the lands of Men and Dwarves only cared for their Mountains so they just got home.

      In AoS, the answer will always be “the reason why faction x can’t beat faction y is because y is too powerful and vice versa”.

      • Vicent Martín Bonet

        But you can draw those same limits. Like, Chaos didn’t win because Sigmar was uber powerful.Chaos didn’t win because they literally went on a civil war, stopped the war effort and dispersed. The series makes it clear they had so much success because they caught the enemy off-guard and over-confident. Likewise, Sigmar isn’t strong enough to beat them, just strike a balance of power. This HAS been explained a ton of times.

        • Karru

          No it hasn’t. The only limits that exist are those made by us to make the “story” feel more balanced. Literally nothing, absolutely nothing, states that I couldn’t just write a story where Sigmar beats every single Chaos God one by one with his Stormhosts. Chaos are divided right, so they don’t give a damn about the other gods at all, because if they did, they would have united a long time ago to defeat Sigmar and then rule of the Mortal Realms themselves, much like what they pretty much did with the Old World.

      • GnomesForge

        Very well said. Unfortunately this is now happening with 40K. The biggest limit, the warp travel has been nerfed. Now Bobby G just bops around the universe like they need eyes for where they’re going.

  • ZeeLobby

    My personal issues are as follows:

    1) The lore covers a setting I could honestly care less about. It’s not low fantasy that WHFB was built around. It’s very high-fantasy hair-metal etc. (which is funny because I don’t consider that a really modern genre either)
    2) It’s not geographical (things change on a whim and new areas are made up with no map to follow).
    3) There’s very limited humanity, and by this I mean actual humans. They’re always mentioned, and some have character, but they’re rarely the focus of the novels/conflicts.
    4) The writing, of many of the game books, is just OK at best. The novels are hit or miss. The battles are all “epic” the struggles all overblown, etc. Many tropes and themes are repeated.

    It’s pretty obvious that the writers behind AoS lore are also writing 40K as well. I see many of the same issues blending together. Even design-wise I consider the new deathguard to be more high-fantasy looking than sci-fi. Personally I’m just not a fan. I miss the gritty old world, where novels would follow a ragtag bunch of nobody heroes through a relatable (I rarely deal with blood rain, or rivers of poo) and grounded adventure fighting a bunch of non-IP name protected antagonists. Likewise I don’t see the grymdark of 40K anymore either, as it’s turned more into herohammer.

    All this said, I haven’t read any of the really recent AoS books (outside of the dwarf one which again was only OK imo), so I may be missing some nuggets of gold out there.

    • Fun fact with the novels: They had the early Realmgate Wars books mirrored by the novel series, spreading arcs across multiple books. The Hallowed Knights arc got thrown in the grinder when they changed authors for a novel and showcasing the lack of research/interaction between authors, as suddenly characters that died in the previous story were magically back, other characters’ ranks in the army were taken up by different dudes, and character development was thrown out the window as writers interpreted them differently. Instead of a consistent story, Wardens of the Everqueen was a relentless pile of battle scenes.

      That’s about where I stopped giving a damn about the novels, though I’ll read the occasional short story since they tend to offer more flexibility to the authors.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. That describes the chaotic-ness perfectly. I mean I get that some of this is expected in a brand new setting, but for the reader it makes you really just not care about much of what’s going on, between who, and why…

        • They couldn’t be bothered to properly organize and edit even the first half-dozen entries in the mainline novel series. Incidentally, the next book didn’t get an audiobook anymore, even though it was advertised with one in WD and the author (Gav Thorpe) was just as surprised on release day.

          The best story I read so far is still Rob Sanders’ Daemon of the Deep, from the Call of Chaos Advent lineup. No Stormcasts, just chaotic corruption and actually creepy vibes. But then, it is still existing in a proverbial bubble, separate from the rest of the setting because of the geographical problems you pointed out already.

          Barely any of the places bar Azyrheim and some rare features will ever get revisited in the fiction. The only reason we got to see two stories on the Eldritch Fortress was that the first time the Sigmarines failed and Ghal Maraz was still in there somewhere, so they had to try again later.

          The setting feels like it is made to be discarded in favor of other things. There is no consistency right now. Everything is nebulous and only crystallized for one story, with no relevance for the others. When you put a town on the map of the Empire, you knew where it was, armies had to pass it sometimes, and even if it got nuked, you’d remember that it existed. In AoS, that line of consequence does not matter right now. Even the chaotic corruption from centuries in the mortal realms is purified at a whim.

          The author I trust most with AoS fiction is hands down Josh Reynolds. He does all the weird and whacky stuff, but writes consistent characters and his Eight Lamentations are trying to draw a stronger setting. He’s also contributing a Hammerhal story to an upcoming anthology. But there’s only so much one author or a few can do without proper backup from the design team’s lore monkeys…

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. And you feel that lack of persistence. For sure. I’ll check out Daemon of the Deep. Haven’t read that one yet. I mean I WANT to like the new setting. I want to see AoS flourish and for my group to get involved, but they have the same issues with it that you and I have identified.

      • Davewasbaloo

        Anything by Josh Reynolds is worth reading, especially Nagash the Undying King and Mortarcht of the Night

        • Problem is that The Undying King still isn’t available to a wider audience. Still WW exclusive, innit?

          Mortarch was pretty good, though I felt it weaken in the second half. The author switch hurt the narrative. As two separate short series of audio dramas they were better off, I’d argue. The lack of Nagash-epigraphs in the second half alone felt like a consistency error.

          Still, I’d rather have prefered Josh to get to write the final book in the Blood of Nagash trilogy, more Gotrek & Felix and the likes. At least he gets to write Blood Bowl now, I guess.

    • i think the hair metal aspect is my favorite part.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah, having been born in the late 80s, it’s just not something I relate too. I find it hard to believe any modern kids would relate to it either. Seems more like a pet project from an older higher up at GW.

    • JJ

      I have always said that they needed a base world/location.. say the old world.. that that had portals to these realms.. that way you can keep the cool/outlandish locations but still have normal humanity. I mean really who has time to make armor grow food… or even build a house if every other day is blood rain and chaos incursions.

      • ZeeLobby

        Too true. I’m honestly shocked the entire population hasn’t just killed themselves by now, haha.

      • dave long island

        Ya, that’s true…. When it comes to things like building houses, growing food, and making armor it isn’t easy when Chaos is running wild, cuz “ain’t nobody got time for that”… lol

        • Muninwing

          it’s part of the setting that is inherently illogical and poorly thought out. how the setting works under even mild scrutiny is a great indicator of how thoroughly that setting was thought out.

          in this case, very little.

          and there are some great settings that don’t logically work — or take a lot of liberties with things like physics. but they take time to discover the holes, and aren’t the first questions that come to mind.

          for example… the Avatar (airbender, not blue cat people) world, for instance, has some huge liberties in its construction, and certain parts create more problems than explanation. but there are theories now about how the small size of the world implies a smaller lower-gravity planet, which explains why everyone can jump so high. a blend of wuxia convention and actual physics becomes a talking point instead of a plot hole.

          AoS has nothing but holes.

          • dave long island

            Interesting. Thanks for that.

  • Hagwert

    It’s not the quantity of AOS lore that is the problem but the quality and the high fantasy setting. There is a reason why Game Of Thrones is so popular and it’s because the fantasy elements are both rationed and grounded in a believable, coherent world which is what used to happen in the Old World.

    • ZeeLobby

      Well put. I totally agree with this. It makes characters relatable, and fantasy events “believable”. When there’s too much crazy, you rarely care about any twist involving it, as it’s just as likely to crazy twist back, for no reason rooted in reality.

      • Hagwert

        Exactly, Jamie Lannister doesn’t spend all his time charging at dragons , much of the time he’s just trying to fumble through fights with his new hand . By balancing the fantastical with the mundane it makes for a better story overall and characters that you really want to root for.

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean how often did Gotrek and Felix bicker like a married couple while seated around a camp fire, etc. It’s stuff like that which makes the epic events truly epic.

          • I mean, Felix almost got married to a halfling in one short story and it made for a fantastic, funny read. They don’t get involved in gigantic battles all the time, they experience the world as it is, not just the wars. The wars still happen and they may well get tangled up in them, but they’re presented as people first and foremost.
            I’ve yet to see the fiction in AoS try something similar, though I hope Reynolds’ Eight Lamentations series can fix that.

          • Vicent Martín Bonet

            Well, Auction of Blood could do that. In fact it COULD become a new Gotrek and Felix, if Reynolds was given the chance. Just have a bookseller/spy as main character aided by a bouncer turned aide.

    • Fredddy

      Exactly. Old World had the boots on the ground. In AoS there is nothing to hook things to. Without the contrasting pieces of reality, everything is just a weightless soap bubble, no matter how epic it is supposed to be.

  • Shenordak

    What the Old World did well was taking all the Tolkienesque fantasy tropes and adding its own brand of grit and grey-on-grey morality, removing the friendliness and bringing in its trademark aesthetic of the pathetic. It is not garbage, it’s a rich world with great narrative potential. But it is small and lacks the potential diversity and creativity. AohS is very different, but by no means bad. Its potential lies in combining high (very high) fantasy with the grimdark aesthetic and GW:s trademark moral ambiguity and flawed characters. A great strength is also its huge size, allowing limitless Planescape like potential for creativity and world building.

    • ZeeLobby

      My issue is that, imo, once they remove the stability of that low-fantasy and human-relatable setting, the grimdark aesthetic just goes out the window. Why would I consider a world grim and dark when there’s really no place I could see myself in it… I mean maybe that’ll change as they expand the literature, or release a human faction.

      • Shenordak

        Agreed. The potential is there, but they have to use it. Check out the Dark age of Sigmar and Age of Sigmar 28 community for this angle on AoS. Ex Profundis in particular

        • ZeeLobby

          Awesome, thanks! I’ll definitely take a look.

          • Yeah, seconding the yeomen’s work of the AoS28 community, they (well, we, I’ve spent the better part of the last year working on an AoS28 inspired Brayherd) really bring the gritty dark side of the mortal realms to the forefront

          • ZeeLobby

            That’s pretty awesome. I don’t know how to describe it, but AoS definitely feels like it’s lacking that adult side that WHFB had. Which is a weird thing to say for a game with a blood and skull faction, but it seems more cartoony now then dark.

      • Dan Wilson

        Malign Portents, coming in 2018 looks like its going quite some way to add to the grimdark aesthetic.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah. I’ll take a look. I mean in the end grim dark only works if there’s juxtaposition in it. A lot of people point to thousands dying in an epic battle, or a character getting brutally torn apart, or a whole city starving and go “look, grim dark”, but it’s more than that.

          It’s walking around the corner of a woods just like any other, and finding a chaos worshiping cult sacrificing a virgin, you try to save her, but by the time you fight your way through the cloaked figures, she’s been killed. As you walk away saddened by your failure, her body rises possessed from the table, and you notice it’s the inn-keepers daughter from the village you just left, and then you realize that those lying on the ground were the helpful villagers. What you thought was a great cozy little town, was actually a den of evil worship, and there’s nothing you could have done to stop any of this.

          Now it’s all very high and might warrior fighting giant dragons, and evil wizard, with magic gun, etc. It’s so trope laden and unoriginal. It’s boring.

          All my opinion of course.

          • Hagwert

            Your description of that village sounds like my home town !!!

  • Aaditya Rangan

    I’ve personally really enjoyed the realmgate wars series (e.g., black rift of klaxus, warbeast, etc). I’m eager to hear more sagas of Gaius Greel, Avenius, Mykos Argellon, etc. (after they are reforged of course).

  • Drew

    I like the IDEAS of the AoS setting. I like the new and original takes. I thought Plague Garden was a great read.

    What I don’t like is the lack of a defined geography. I want to see maps, real, defined maps that show where these regions are relative to each other, not a bunch of nebulously connected regions of each realm without a sense of how they fit together. I want cities described and ACTUALLY explored, not mentioned for a few sentences and then left. Even the Sky Ports of the Kharadrons (whom I LOVE) are described in a few sentences and nothing more.

    The breadth of story for AoS is impressive, and the concepts are really cool. The depth leaves a lot to be desired.

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah, like the last campaign they did for AoS. I barely knew anything about the cities, where they were located, or why I would care if they fell. It’s hard to get people excited with a “just because” setting.

    • Admiral Raptor

      This! So much this! I Love AOS as a game and the lore has potential, but it needs a stronger foundation. I love the Old World, it’s my favorite setting, and I doubt that the mortal realms will ever come close to that for me, but it could become a very good setting with the right development.

    • Evil Otto

      Admiral Raptor already gave you a “this,” but… THIS.

    • What’s frustrating about this issue is…it’s completely intentional. I’ve spoken to GW writers on Twitter and they told me the geography, scale, full city maps, etc are kept vague or nonexistent specifically because they want the scale to be what people want/need it to be, malleable, etc. apparently the city of Hammerhal is the size of a continent…and if you’ve seen maps of Ghyran and Aqshy and how small hammerhal is on them, then the realms are far, far larger than earth

      • Drew

        That makes a certain amount of sense if that’s what they’re going for, but I mourn the loss of the shared-world experience.

        It’s all well and good that my local game group can define, say, the Living City the way that we imagine it, but when we speak to someone outside our local group, suddenly that point of commonality is lost (because they have envisioned it a different way) and the vague setting actually keeps players from being able to share the world and connect over the story as well as we would like.

  • Raspoutine

    Nope. AoS a bubble world that has little potential for human drama. What are mortals to do in the face of Gods? The whole universe is a Mish mash of universes so unconnected that it’s hard to immerse yourself in it.

    Fantasy was believable and it was also incredibly historic. Brettonia for example was a caricature of the féodal system where a minuscule minority were lording over an immense oppressed, backwards, ignorant peasantry. Said upper class was itself locked into a rigid traditionalist set of values preventing any sort of personal freedom. Plus vampires and conniving tree fairies.

    And that’s just the world per say. Tell me, where are the characters in AoS? What kind of heroes can we relate to? Where are the gotrek and Felix, the sigisvald the magnificent, the teclis that made fantasy what it was?

    • Vicent Martín Bonet

      Well, you can always like Owain 😛

    • I wouldn’t call the bubbles, the realms are inconceivably vast

    • Muninwing

      the stories were signified by great names, but they were not the only ones who ever did anything. AoS seems the opposite — lots of SCs that do everything, but they’re all mary sues…

  • ZeeLobby

    Can I just say that it’s totally BoLS style to miss the meat of the actual complaints…

  • Guillem Roura

    The problem is that:
    a) the lore is ill-defined and very short on descriptions about what us puny humans usually do. This means that, as a Stormcast general, I have no idea who I’m defending.

    SOLUTION – Kharadron Ov. did a good job at fleshing out Dwarven sky society, and their concept is neat. Do this with other armies. Show us culture, legacy, life! The Old World felt lived-in because of its familiarity, and the 40k Galaxy feels lived in because of the sheer amount of in-world characterisation they gave it.

    b) the world it inhabits has no clear rules. I’d like to know, what’s the nature of planes and realms, how do they connect, what’s the essence they work on? A man from Aqshy, is he born furious like fire? Is he influenced by it? Does he lose his fire-ness when he goes to Ghyran? Etc. There’s a lot about how the setting works that doesn’t make much sense.

    SOLUTION – Decide on clear rules. When is it ok to cross into another Realm? Why isn’t Chaos pouring into the whole Realm at once? The Vortex kept the daemontide at bay on the Old World; what’s the deal here? Also, Archaon, drop your Marshal title. Chaos has no Marshal, isn’t that the whole point?

    c) they started with apocalyptic wars, without having fleshed out what’s the world about.

    SOLUTION – Too late, but they can do right by it now. I bought the new Stormcast book and I was mostly pleased with the lore, but I wanted to know more about the nature of the Stormcasts, about their birth, their life cicle, their relationship with Sigmar…

    d) It feels like a corporate rehash of what made 40k popular, and what’s popular in fantasy today.

    SOLUTION – None. Please bring back the Old World.

    Also, is Karl Franz the Celestant Prime?

    • I_am_Alpharius

      “Also, is Karl Franz the Celestant Prime?

      Thats the inference from what has been written. Although, it is not been explicitly stated the he is and no doubt never will be.

      • There are actually multiple things that’d contradict that in the fiction already. Nevermind that Sigmar literally possessed his body during the End Times and the entire world got nomnomnom’d by Chaos long before Sigmar even got the ability to reforge anything.

    • ZeeLobby

      Haha. I do have a long-reaching dream that somehow this is all just a fevered dream, and the old world will be snapped back into relevance.

      • Scott B. Smith

        I don’t get why they didn’t just make the Old World another plane among all the new ones. Sure, tear up some parts of it, relocate some of the people to new areas and give them the New-and-Trademark-able names, but leave it more or less intact as another Mortal Realm and just don’t visit it that often in official stuff. There were already portals to the Realm of Chaos there at the poles, so not a huge stretch. It keeps old fans happy while expanding into something new, too.

        • ZeeLobby

          “but leave it more or less intact as another Mortal Realm and just don’t visit it that often in official stuff”

          This is what people don’t like. I mean heck, you can play in the old world right now if you want to. But if there’s no longer campaigns, literature or support, it’s all on you to make it fun/interesting. You no longer have the sources of inspiration and entertainment you once had.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Indeed…oh no…except aApart from 30 years worth of Army books and campaign material. Much of which is easily sourced on Ebay or just by googling things…..

          • Missing the point. There is nothing new being produced. There were armies that didn’t get updated in generations. There are no further novels being written and indeed they’re not even publishing the leftovers they had waiting for release. There is no growth in rules and setting, no official support from the company, and armies are being discontinued.

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha, I swear there’s an echo in here.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            If WFB was that “beloved” by the community, as is so often lauded, then that really should not be an issue

          • ZeeLobby

            How does that matter at all??? If I love WHFB does that mean that GW will magically support it and release new things again?

          • ZeeLobby

            Sigh… I would never expect you to understand while you fanboy flame out, but I’ll try to explain. People like NEW things. They like to invest in things knowing that there is a FUTURE for them. They like getting excited about releases, or advancement, of characters and places they have previously enjoyed. Short of fan-driven basement work, those things are no longer options for WHFB players.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            If WFB was that “beloved” by the community, as is so often lauded, then all that really should not be an issue to people continuing to play it.

          • ZeeLobby

            Again, how does that matter at all??? If I love WHFB does that mean that GW will magically support it and release new things again? Just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean that GW will change it’s mind on it. But that in turn doesn’t mean I can’t still dislike something, lol.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            It shouldn’t matter either way if GW were supporting with new stuff or not. If hobbyist loved WFB that much then the game will live on and hobbyist will make up new stories and tales just like they’ve always done since 1983 when 1st edition was released (or earlier when you consider D&D) – that kind of the essence of wargaming.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean to be fair, 9th age does have a pretty large following. To say that nobody cared is an understatement, and to require that everyone care is unrealistic. And comparing 1st edition or D&D to 7th/8th edition is an Apples vs Oranges comment right there. The games, alternatives, players and culture aren’t even comparable between those two time periods.

          • mike wachoski

            Look at the epic armageddon community to see what some lovers of a system can do with a bit of work.

            Meanwhile, WHFB fans have 9 age, and that fact talks a lot about them.

          • Scott B. Smith

            I agree with that from a fan perspective. That’s where I am, too. I just don’t think you would’ve seen GW support the Old World much if they’d gone the route of multiple planes. They’d have wanted to highlight the new stuff to sell, sell, sell! It’s the same reason so much of the new stuff is Stormcast-centric. I guess that direction is less what I would want and more what I would expect to happen in the situation described. Sorry I was unclear on that before.

            Imagine a group of Stormcast marching down the street of Altdorf. How would the people, the mostly-normal and relatable people, react? What does the new recruit in the squad think of these reactions?

            How would everyone react to portals to other planes suddenly existing? What would the other races do? What areas around them would become important? New areas to explore? Old areas changed? Where is safe from raiders from the other planes now? We see what happens when a planar gate explodes (again, at the poles). What madman would try to replicate that with the new gates?

            I say all that just to say there’s a lot that could be mined there without blowing everything up. It’s missed opportunities.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. They could have definitely advanced the old world for sure. I mean they’ve already showed more restraint in the new edition of 40K (I think they learned from the transition to AoS). In the end it was sales driven. They wanted an excuse to stop supporting things that weren’t selling, and to introduce new things they thought would sell better. Sad but reality. Makes me hesitant to keep playing GW games. What happens in 3 years when AoS is lagging in sales? Will it get blown up again?

          • Scott B. Smith

            More restraint in 40K, perhaps, but a lot has been destroyed there, too. Cadia, Biel-Tan, much of Fenris and Baal. All of it to drive sales of new Marines, really. So yes, I definitely share that feeling of uncertainty. If they did all this with AoS and 40K, when will they remove the parts of the game I’ve spent energy and time and money on in the name of revenue? It’s a fly in the ointment sometimes.

  • disqus_f38FHrSWkl

    missing the point much

  • EnTyme

    For those claiming the The Old World was Low Fantasy: You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    (Hint: LotR qualifies as High Fantasy)

    • ZeeLobby

      “Low fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy fiction. In the study of fantasy literature, it has been defined as fiction where magical events intrude on an otherwise normal world. It thus contrasts with high fantasy stories, which take place in a fictional world with its own set of rules and physical laws.”

      From wikipedia. I’d say the Old World is definitely low fantasy. For all intents and purposes, the old world was basically our world in feudal times. AoS is definitely High Fantasy, as magic bubble land with blood fountains and tear waterfalls is A) fictional and B) clearly has it’s own set of rules and physical laws.

      • EnTyme

        “High fantasy is defined as fantasy set in an alternative, fictional (“secondary”) world, rather than “the real”, or “primary” world. The secondary world is usually internally consistent, but its rules differ from those of the primary world. By contrast, low fantasy
        is characterized by being set in the primary, or “real” world, or a
        rational and familiar fictional world, with the inclusion of magical
        elements. The romances of William Morris, such as The Well at the World’s End, set in an imaginary medieval world, are sometimes regarded as the first examples of high fantasy.[7] The works of J. R. R. Tolkien—especially The Lord of the Rings—are regarded as archetypal works of high fantasy.[7] Stephen R. Donaldson’s The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is another example of a high fantasy series.”

        • ZeeLobby

          OK, I never said Tolkien was low fantasy.

          • EnTyme

            The Old World had far more fantasy elements than Tolkien, though. My point is that you can’t really claim WHFB is Low Fantasy when most of the settings it was “inspired” by are considered quintessential examples of High Fantasy.

          • ZeeLobby

            Right but setting and background and literature aren’t based on the quantity of X across the range. You have to base it on individual stories and the world as it’s portrayed (not the number of monsters in an army book). For the most part, the WHFB world is just people. People from different areas battling each other. Some might be different races (elves, dwarves), but that does not make it high fantasy. Overall magic is very rare in the old world, and is generally mistrusted. A lot of the stories told are low fantasy storys, Gotrek and Felix for example. WH role play is even more low fantasy than that. Doesn’t mean there weren’t also high fantasy elements, but it wasn’t a defining factor in the world or it’s stories.

          • EnTyme

            By that definition, any story set in the Mortal Realms is Low Fantasy. Shadows Over Hammerhal is really just a civil engineer, a city guard, a librarian, and a merchant trying to figure out why a smokestack fell over when you think about it. We’re not talking about individual stories. We’re discussing the settings, and both settings are decidedly High Fantasy.

          • ZeeLobby

            LoL, cause you’re the almighty decider of what is and isn’t right? Google it, there are plenty of discussions on this very topic. But I’m glad you just “know”. And I agree, Hammerhal is much more low fantasy than AoS setting in general is, but how you can equate a river of blood to a river of water on the fantasy scale is beyond me…

          • EnTyme

            Again, I never said AoS wasn’t High Fantasy, except by your really specific definition of Low Fantasy. The wikipedia article I quoted clearly describes what qualifies as High Fantasy, and both settings fit that description. You don’t have to like Age of Sigmar. Your enjoyment of the game in no way influences mine. But when you say that the Old World setting was Low Fantasy, you are either wrong, or not talking about the same setting I am.

          • ZeeLobby

            “An alternative definition, common in, though not limited to role-playing games, rests on the story and characters being more realistic and less mythic in scope. This can mean that some works, for example Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian series, can be high fantasy according to the first definition but low fantasy according to the second”

            Sounds to me like it’s not all black and white, but if that’s the way you feel, you win the internets today!

          • Middle-earth and Arda as a whole constantly revolve around magic and the
            fantastic. Only in the closing of the 3rd Age (aka where LotR is set)
            does the setting ever get reasonably close to “low” fantasy, as humans
            are prevalent and all the more fantasy elements are becoming rare. Elves
            are leaving or hiding, dwarves are doing their own stuff, the last
            known, real dragon got slain, Sauron is the underling of the real big
            bad of ages past, the gods don’t involve themselves anymore and the
            wizards have all but disappeared as well.

            Thousands of years
            before, you had Morgoth piling up mountains for his fortress, werewolf
            creatures, an elven king with a demigoddess as his wife, people coming
            back to life for romance’s sake, the light of the stars bound in magical
            trees, a continent/island ripped out of the corporeal world, hordes of
            Balrogs, not one single demon in Moria that everybody had forgotten
            about long ago already. The world itself, as well as the universe, got a
            clearly laid-out creation myth in the Ainulindale. Curses are a real thing, as are people’s fates, and humanity was barely even relevant in the early days of the world.

            It really is a far cry from how WHFB was designed or described. Tolkien wove his setting in myth and magic, WHFB strove to be pseudo-historical with fantasy features.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      noone went against a siciliian with death on the line.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Sooooo many petty niggly complaints; makes me giggle…:
    – Boohoo! it’s not WFB: No its not, it was never going to be; Why was everyone so shocked at this? It was made evident in love letter send off, that was ‘The End Times’, when the had the Old World torn to pieces and they were killing off characters left and right.

    – Boooooo! The AoS world is boring and unoriginal…Hate to break it to you….but neither was WFB. That was a mis-matched of fantasy tropes and concepts from a variety of well respected pieces of fantasy literature; sprinkled with a dash of historical*/mythological pepper. Literally none of it was original; certainly, no more or less that AoS. The concepts, the stories they were all just a WFB telling of that particular tale.

    – Waaaaa! The setting lacks ‘depth’. Well guess what numnutz so did WFB before 1992 and 30 years. There were only loose ideas of: where things were, details about cites, details about the everyman etc.. Those things take time to explore and to unveil. I guarantee that AoS has had more background produced in two years than WFB had in the 10 year prior to 1992, AND, with every release, that depth it starting to come through in droves.

    – Raaagh! The art work is boring and uninspiring. What a load of cobs wallops. Plenty, obviously not all, of the AoS art is fantastic, epic, visceral and make your mind wonder. Just look at some of the new bits for ‘Firestorm’

    Now I’m not saying the WFB background was rubbish or worthless, I loved it – I grew up with the large expansion of fluff in 90’s; heck I still do love it. However AoS is by no means the “trainwreck” people, who likely just don’t want to succeed and hate the fact that it is, harp on about.

    *which is exactly what Mr Martin has done with Game of Thrones; nearly every stories in those books is based on a, or combination of, historical events. Heck, Tolkien Middle Earth and all its stories have their roots in myths, fables and real folklore from around Europe; because he loved that stuff and he felt Britain didn’t have anything like that.

    • ZeeLobby

      meeeeeowwwwww! ;D

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Haha too right. Handbags at dawn. Its really the irrational unconsidered /pettyqualms, which people complain about, thats irk me.

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean are they really that irrational though? Or have you just convinced yourself that they are? I’d argue that many of your points above have already skewed most rational arguments in a direction to support your point.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Yes to the first. No to the second.

          • ZeeLobby

            “It’s not WHFB”. Seems pretty rational to me. I liked WHFB, the fact that the company doesn’t support it anymore is a reason to complain for anyone who liked it.

            “AoS is boring and unoriginal”. This is true. It is also true that most settings aren’t original settings. Usually this is said in response to arguments that GW needed to create something “new” and “different”, when in reality it’s not, another valid argument.

            “The setting lacks depth”. I agree that it does, there’s no permanence or history. There’s no geography. There’s no juxtaposition between the epic and the plain. I’d say it’s pretty shallow as far as depth goes.

            “The art work is boring and uninspiring”. Arguing aesthetic value is never an irrational thing. Doesn’t mean that it’s ever an argument you can win either though, as it’s always in the eye of the beholder. Personally I think much of the new AoS art looks like cartoons, though there are several pieces that I really like.

            Sounds very rational to me. I’m sorry that it doesn’t align with your belief system, but that doesn’t make it irrational. It just means you don’t agree.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            All good points, and I’m seriously not trying to tell people they should change their mind or like magically like the AoS setting. If you or anyone does like it – then great, no problems there.

            Let me put context to why I use the term ‘irrational’. I find the reasons, like the ones I talked about and others, irrational from the context that, trying to compare a background that has over 30 years of weight/material behind it with one that has only 2; it is like trying to compare a stone wheel with a modern wheel or an abacus and a calculator. Its very much apple and oranges. They are different beast and in 2 years its unlikely that something, or anything, would match up to the other i.e. its irrational logic.

          • ZeeLobby

            Oh, I mean I totally agree that comparing the quantities and time behind both sets of literature is a fools errand. That said, we already had the well defined and expanding WHFB universe, so I can understand why people would point to those things when expressing their disappointment.

            I feel like maybe that’s the point you’re missing, and why the comparisons are made. It’s not like anyone asked for this. It’s not like GW gave us an option. When something you enjoy has been replaced by something you see as inferior, it seems only logical to make comparisons. You might eventually come around to also enjoying it, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to differentiate the two easily. If AoS was never created, WHFB might still be here, and some people wish that was the case.

    • Apocryphus

      I may agree with you on a lot of things Alpharius, but I just can’t get behind the setting. It just doesn’t endear itself to me with anything it offers and it feels so transparent in its attempt to appeal to a younger audience. GW gave me something I never asked for and took away something I loved. If the old setting still existed and AoS was a tertiary system supported alongside it, I’d have no qualms.

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Which is cool; you’re not grabbed by the setting, no problem with that. Its the irrational unconsidered qualms, which people complain about, thats irk me.

        Anyhow, you never know, in the future you may change your mind ;P

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Originality has been dead for a while now. Freshness is much more valuable, and AoS has that in spades, 8th ed 40K too.

  • Bakvrad

    I always wondered: people went crazy, when there were no points. “How can I play? There are no rules to tell me how army should be build!” Build a list and scenario that fits your background either AoS or the world that was.
    Simple answer: they never cared for background. Ever.
    So i wonder now: why even complain? (Attention! Rhetorical question, don’t try to answer)

    But: I truely emphasize with bretonnian and khemrian player, they actually lost something. Still they can play. But there will never be new models for their army (well except you add order/death models that fit). I sold my brets this month myself, and I have to admit, but I lost interest in them long ago, it was overdue.

    Always remember: the old world is only dead, if you sell/burn your books. If you actually have them.

    • ZeeLobby

      Well, or if you want anything new, which is kind of the whole point. People aren’t upset that they can’t keep playing in the old world (though it will get harder to find players as time goes on), it’s that resources that would have originally gone towards something they love, are now heading towards something they don’t find all that interesting. It’s OK to be upset with that.

    • You’re conflating different demographics. Speaking of myself, I never gave a hoot about the rules or armybuilding aspects. I found the rules easy enough to exploit and plenty of articles and discussions showed that. But the setting? Damn me, but I read through over half of the Realmgate Wars series and it bored me to tears, made me scratch my head in disbelief and ended up just making me angry and resigned from giving much of a damn about GW products in general until they started turning Black Library around again.

  • Jeffrey Egan

    Good article!

  • zemlod

    Well, it’s not that the new setting doesn’t have background and fluff, it’s just that I still prefer the Olde World.

    I am more interested in the fate of Hans Wurstmann, third pikeman from the left in the Wurtbad city watch than that of any Eternal Stormslayer Casting Champion or some Goregargling Tripestrangler of Bloodydeath. . .

  • vlad78

    “Age of Sigmar is GW’s property, sure, but it bears heavily the
    influence of the last 30+ years of development in terms of the fantasy

    Sure, GW hadn’t had the time to get rid of all those old wfb units. Not yet.

  • Evil Otto

    I think the setting has potential, but it needs work. A lot of work, but not the sort that GW has been doing so far. There’s more to lore than “The jeweled city of Grimslapple was plundered by the armies of Khorne and all within it were slaughtered.” The books for my Khorne forces are full of that sort of thing, and technically it’s “lore,” but it doesn’t mean anything. Where’s Grimslapple? What was it like? What did the people there do, besides put jewels on everything and then die horribly? The problem with saying that Chaos has pretty much taken over everywhere is that, well, Chaos has pretty much taken over everywhere. Almost all of the previous civilization, culture, and history of the realms has already been ground to dust before we even join the story, and that means none of it matters to us very much. It’s just background noise.

    More detailed maps would be a good start, with more pockets of resistance that can be detailed. Give us something to care about besides the Stormcast Eternals and their fight. Cities, kingdoms, cultures, areas with personality.

    That being said, I do like certain elements of the setting. It’s BIG, much bigger than the Old World. It doesn’t feel like Tolkien with the numbers filed off and more skulls on everything. The races are already diverging from standard fantasy. There are actual good guys, which is a refreshing change from constant grimdark. And I like the idea that it doesn’t have the same sense of doom that pervaded the Old World and the 40K universe. That (to me at least) gets old after a while. The doom’s already happened, but now there’s a chance to fight back. I want some hope, dangit, and I love Sigmar’s attitude of “Not THIS time, mother*****rs!” (And I say this as a Chaos player.)

    I’m willing to give it time, because yeah, the Old World did have decades to grow and develop. Towards the end it seemed like it was in stasis, that nothing ever changed.

  • Rob brown

    With your juxtapositioning of WFB two years in and AOS two years in I think you’re forgetting both the size of GW as a publisher back then and that the lore told in the multitude of the new battle tomes is primarily composed of side bars and shallow stories tenuously linked by being printed over page sized pictures most of which are designed to sell models. When you look at the quality of stories like the skavens claw that was printed in white dwarf believe it or not, there is simply no comparison. I disagree that AOS is Saturday morning cartoon – many of those had great stories. Instead it reads like shallow summer blockbuster… X cast + X location +Y tenuous link = cash.

    Incidentally AOS bears only the most superficial nod to planescape and that is geographical. Anyone who played Planescape knew that geography was irrelevant in that game because it was ideas and philosophy that mattered. It explored the varying shades of good and evil. It was a game where faction and belief united people more than race or class. It also drew on real world myths and legends and two decades of setting lore for its material – much as the old world did. Huge quantities of the setting weren’t IP protected because they borrowed from all sorts of fantasy tropes. I find it highly ironic that the article writer claims AOs was influenced by Planescape when AOS reads to me like the opposite.

    GW haven’t sold the IP, they’re just renting it to companies who appreciate it more… like the Total War franchise (about to release a second huge edition of an immensely successful game) and the WIP Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay game to be set in the old world. Anyone who thinks the AOS setting is better has to ask themselves why these collaborations aren’t set in this New World?

    A whole generation of people will grow up playing in the Old World it just will be on a laptop or around a coffee table rather than a battle board. My prediction is that in 10 years GW will realise what a mistake AOS was (initially covered up by a rushed release schedule) and upon running out of quality ideas will return to the motherlode of the old world and release a 30k inspired reboot. Or they may do what d&d did and pretend the whole AOS thing never happened and just go back to how things were…

    … Karl Franz wakes up in the shower, feels the bump on his head and says “wow, I just had the strangest dream.”

  • Xodis

    Very nice article. Im sure there are quite a few that disagree with the style and aesthetic of the world, but that is subjective. Its nice to get away from the “grittyness” that is over taking Hollywood and get some truly epic and colorful going on.

  • Carey_Mahoney

    I like th AoS world. I also like the WHF world. Both okay with me.

    To be fair, what I like more about the WHF world is how they fleshed it out. Off course, that happened over the course of many, many more years, but the whole approach feels more natural. It’s undeniable the AoS lore is a bit of a forced one by corporate decisions.

  • Rita-Audrey Jones

    I love AoS and it’s awesome. And yes, there’s LOT’S of cool lore out there. And awesome models and easy, simple GOOD rules. AoS is great. If you do not enjoy it, fine, that’s cool. But stop poo-pooing on us.

    • Mira Bella

      Why do you care Rita? Why does it matter to you what a random internet stranger thinks about your game?

  • marxlives

    Sigmar 40k or Sigmar the Gathering has the best lore GW has ever produced, nay in the entire industry.

  • Nosebleed

    Same goes with Warmachine. It has tonnes of lore and people still deny it, using it as an excuse of non-interest.

    I am led to believe people who use “non-existent” lore as an excuse are actually the ones who doesn’t really care about the lore. If they do, they will know how and be motivated to find for it.

    My 2 cents.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      I think the complaint is more valid than not, I am a longtime fan of the lore to IK but you do have to hunt to find it in any coherent manner. AoS has the same problem, a lot of lore scattered and shotgunned in so many places and nothing really coherent.

      • Nosebleed

        Yea, that’s annoying. I always have to introduce Kings, Nations & Gods to people when being asked about the lore. Super comprehensive tome.

        If you think about it, isn’t the “scatter” issue the same as any other game including 40k?

        The issue not being so apparent in 40k is because fans (I think) went through an extensive amount of effort to establish a wiki page. Take that away, fluff are scattered around just like AoS.

        Correct me if I’m wrong. Amongst the mainstream games out there, 40k is if not the only game that has a wiki page.

        • Matthew Pomeroy

          a great many games have their lore consolidated in the core book, AoS made no effort to do that, there is a very basic premise in Prime, but not much. WoK, Confrontation, Chronopia, mutant chronicles, hell even my favorite turd sandwich game “carnage” does that. AoS just gave us some info about the khorne/sigmar fight

          • Vicent Martín Bonet

            That’s more something that could/should be mended come the second edition.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            2nd edition?

  • Nosebleed

    I’m glad this article exist. Sometimes, the community just needs to be informed that yes, the fluff exist. 🙂

    • Mira Bella

      We all know that it exists. We just don’t like it.

  • I want to agree with you, and obviously you’re not wrong that those books exist…but 3/4 of those books are bland descriptions of stormcast fighting chaos, which isn’t world building, everyone is immortal, so there are no stakes, and the worlds they fight over are barely inhabited.

    This started to change this year, and truly standout books like City of Secrets and Plague Garden are fantastic background that gives you a real feel for the world the game takes place in, but let’s not act like most of the novels set in the Age of Sigmar are worth anything but cleaning up after your dog

  • Frank Krifka

    “Sky faring pirate dwarves are just not realistic. They really should write something more like a giant temporal magical vortex that acts as an energy drain for incorporeal manifestations of demonic energy if they want their fiction to be realistic.”

    “Superhuman warriors in suits of golden armor forged by lightning are so damn bland and unbelievable. Now if their armor was electric and painted different colors that would be totally interesting. Maybe to make it more believable they could turn into wolves or something.”

    “Fighting a giant dragon for a piece of the world? No thank you. RIDING a smaller dragon? Where do I sign!”

    -Every AoS fluff criticism ever.

  • plasticvicar

    The problem is AoS lore is that its a near incomprehensible mess, what the **** is an Aqshy? Whats a Fyreslayer? Wheres the map? Why are the 5 (or is it 8?) realms? Frankly it seems that GW was so traumatised by the Chapter House lawsuit it went into a creativity overdrive at the expense of readability.

    The Warhammer World was straightforward, a world analagous to ours that could be seen on a map and where events and dates could easily placed and understood. The greatest evidence of the Old World’s superiority is Total War Warhammer where unlike GW’s ham fisted End Times, Creative Assembly took the time and care to recraft a world for a 21st century audience.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      may be why total war:warhammer is the more popular game.

  • Poosh

    lol the author of this article is a fraking joke, no offence.

    I wouldn’t call the phoning-it-in garbage that GW produced for AoS as “lore” lmao but fine. Thing is, people are really talking about good lore, decent world-building etc – which is absent from AoS.

  • Axis Mundi

    Hmm – the lore started pretty thin, but then they had set out to create a vast universe where almost anything goes, so that’s pretty hard to condense into 20 pages at the start of a campaign book.

    Since then it’s grown in depth – and the Black Library books have improved with each release. The last two, City of Secrets and Plague Garden were brilliant.

    Oh and lets not forget, Warbeast won the David Gemmel award for best Fantasy Novel. For a Stormcast novel no less….

  • CloakingDonkey

    Could not agree more. And your picture of all the books doesn’t even include the 8 novels that are already out for it 😉 The Realmgate Wars books alone are fluff heaven.

  • GnomesForge

    Nah. The “lore” is basically equivalent to a Saturday morning cartoon. It doesn’t matter anyways. The very existence of this article pretty much means its one of those GW issues that will never go away. The old world will out last the AoS fanfic and GW itself. It will follow every conversation about AoS and it will never live up to its predecessors legacy, even if it became great. It reminds me of all the reboots of the 2000s like Super Mario Sunshine that companies thought would displace the classics. They didn’t and those companies had to fall back on the classics. Classics are classic for a reason.

  • This is not a good place for men to be…


    The whole “Tolkien, but with models” was part of the charm. The fact that AOS basically involves Stargates and Hammer-wielding Demi-God-Marines makes it feel, well, like an animated 90’s tv show for kids…

    I mean, we have God-King Sigmar as a not-like the God-Emperor of Mankind-style-dead God {basically} but one who still sits up in Sigmaron {Ugh…} not doing anything but making Stormcasts! He’s a God! Go and kill people! The fact that there was a set world, but no one too set to allow you to make a new bit for it seemed great, without having Baleful Realmgates all over the place. When a city falls in Azyr, I really don’t care as much as if somewhere like Middenheim fell.

    This style of Ignore-the-normal-people is good in 40k, but not for the replacement for fantasy. 40k is for great battles in unending war in the name of the Emperor. Fantasy was about fighting for survival and seeing how long you would last.

    Thank you, rant over.

  • Iyen

    Important to note, AOS didn’t kill fantasy End Times did… and boy once it comes down to lore i’d choose AOS any day over the End-Times.

    AOS does have one problem though, it is its “Poster boy” nature. Tell me aside from the Isle of blood reboot how many vs army kits have you seen without stormcasts in it? or how many “other” AOS games have you seen that don’t feature both Khorne or Storcasts?

    It in my opinion doesn’t give any of the other armies opportunities to grow storywise, and gameplaywise.

  • Jonnoc

    A lot of the hate is coming from those who know the old world and fell in love with its lore so a new player coming in doesn’t have an issue with the different realms and the story as it is told now. If they wanted to wipe the slate clean however they should have just did it wholeheartedly. Why are they still using all the old characters from the old world? There is absolutely no explanation as to why they are still around since the world imploded. Sigmar staying is fine since he was the crux but everyone else? Tyrion, Teclis, Nagash, etc? Hell even some supporting characters made it like Nagash’s lieutenants Neferata, Mannfred, Arkhan the Black. Especially to note is that Archaon is still around like they couldn’t make a new bad guy. Its not the amount of lore people are complaining about but the lore itself. Also imitation is the best form of flattery. Who cares if most of the old world lore is based on a story of the real world? Like the Bretonnians are Arthurian knights etc. Its what resonated with people.The old world combined all these imitations into their own original story like the bretonnian knights interacting with dwarves which wouldn’t be in an arthurian legend for example. Whats done is done however and sadly not only did GW nuke the old world but nuked its own player base as well. I guess it was fine with them getting new players in while sacrificing the old. I like many others I know transitioned to 40k and there are a lot too that have quit outright. Everything really did end for Warhammer Fantasy for AoS.

  • Brettila

    Correct, the lore is not my problem. An army of hideously undercosted Primaris Space Marines is MY big issue.

  • Hamish

    A horrendously shallow view on intertextuality. Your ‘originality = good, copy = bad’ is an offensively churlish way of looking at Warhammer’s lore. AoS was made. Warhammer was grown. GW are pumping out books for AoS because there is a dire marketing need for it, not because it’s actually adding anything to the world.