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VERSUS: Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar Game Design

3 Minute Read
May 2 2019
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Black Blow Fly here to compare these two mighty miniature war games. Age of Sigmar was developed before the release of 8th Edition for Warhammer 40k – but which is superior?

Legacy vs. Clean Slate Systems

There’s a lot of similarities between the two, and in many ways, the former is the foundation for the new edition of the latter. Playing AoS can make you a better WH40k player. AoS was a total reboot of Warhammer Fantasy Battle wholly redesigned from the ground up. The designers got to do whatever they pleased.  40K has a 30-year legacy, so even with an all-new ruleset – there are still many rules expectations GW had to meet.

Rules Complexity

Playing both games, WH40k seems more clunky but is necessary so that it can maintain a separate and long-established identity (see above) keeping key aspects that are its bedrock. AoS is simpler which equates to playing your games faster.

The games are distinct from each other, but the overall core rules are similar. Indeed, there are some distinct differences. If you play WH40k then AoS is very easy to learn. If you play AoS – 40K will be a slight uphill climb.

While both games are easy to pick up for new players, AoS probably has the edge due to it’s shorter core rules and ease of army construction.

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Turn Sequence

One of the main differences between the two is AoS has a random turn sequence while WH40k still has the I-GO-YOU-GO turn sequence. One of the major complaints about AoS is its random turn sequence (that is possible back-to-back player turns) but it kind of makes sense since this game is more melee-centric and revolves around positioning your units versus the opponent’s units.

GW Tools

AoS is better supported by Games Workshop official software tools. For example, there’s a free app to design your army lists, and it lends itself better to narrative gaming. There has been a ton of improvements for WH40k tools now, and that’s great. However, these are 3rd Party efforts.

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Game Balance

It’s interesting to compare the two based upon game balance. Is it even possible to balance competitive gaming by its very nature? Based on tournament results, AoS appears to have a more diverse set of top armies – compared to the more segregated “good armies” – “bad armies” meta you see in 40K.

~What’s your opinion? Which game would choose to play if you could start all over with a clean slate and choose one?

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