It’s been almost three years and with hindsight – GW made the bold, CORRECT move with Age of Sigmar.
Now before you all lose your minds let me get out a little author disclaimer here – I LIKED Warhammer Fantasy – a LOT.
The King is Dead – Long Live the King
It was the original tabletop wargame that got me into the hobby and I will always thank it for that. But let’s be brutally honest with ourselves – it wasn’t that original. Like your favorite pair of old blue jeans – WFB was reliable and always there. It was trusty, felt good, and frankly borrowed more than a little from Tolkien and other “classic” fantasy genres and tropes.
It never ever let me down, but I can’t say that I was every “stirred” by it during it’s last decade.
I already wrote about why GW to put it down, and I stand by that editorial:
In retrospect – I think GW made an incredibly brave choice in the End Times series. They were playing for keeps and literally destroyed the entire universe they created for 30 years. Everyone died, no one made it out of the Death Star, and the Chaos WON!
Was it rough? – absolutely.
Was it ballsy? – even moreso.
Remember Age of Sigmar could have been an absolute financial disaster and forced to be abandoned by Nottingham. That would have left GW with only 40K to support the company. It was a GRAND GAMBLE, a roll of the dice and to be blunt it wasn’t looking good that first year was it?
Remember – before the Generals’s Handbook came out? Those were really dark sketchy times for the fledgling game.
But the General’s Handbook did come out, and GW has run with the freedom the ultra-crisp rules and the clean slate background. In the last three years we have seen GW take workmanlike classic fantasy ranges and reinvent them into new themes that excite and impress in equal measure.
Things like Stormcast Eternals led the way, but to me are almost quaint here in 2018 compared to some of the really impressive reimagined ranges such as:
Yes there have been some duds (I’m looking at you Fyreslayers), but overall the direction and creativity is solid. Black Library and the writers are on the case and the fluff is being being filled out faster that you think.
Things like seeing classic heroes and villains return in new forms is exciting. Morathi is great, but just think of what demi-god Teclis, or Malerion could look like!
Also – mer-aelves – frakking mer-aelves – after 30 years of jokes!
I would like to end on a note I’ve just seen firsthand. We have just recently starting streaming Age of Sigmar on the BoLS Twitch channel and introducing it to new gamers is really cool to watch. We’ve seen staff who struggled to pick up 40K – just flow right into AoS’s rules, warscrolls and have a great time in only a few days.
In my book anything that get people excited about playing with cool minis in no time flat – that can serve a gateway drug into our larger hobby is a VERY good thing.
So it’s with a mixture of sadness of optimism that I still find myself flipping through old WFB rulebooks and armybooks – like remembering that old college flame from long ago. But then I spy younger players laughing and having a blast while learning to play Age is Sigmar and I can’t help but smile.
~ At last I’m happy with them.