Thoughts on changing systems
For those who are decrying Age Of Sigmar as 'dumbed down', 'too simplistic' or just plain 'Rubbish', if I may interject an experience of my own for comparison?
I remember a time in my younger years when I played a game. It was a rich and vastly complicated game, with dozens of rulebooks, supplements, a huge and over bearing magic system and heroes no size of army could ever hope to beat without a hero of their own. It was beautiful, it was fun, and I loved it.
That game was Warhammer 40,000, 2nd Edition.
Then they brought out 3rd Ed.
It was hugely cut back. Massively simplified. I utterly hated the removal of (and still dreadfully miss) the movement stat. Vehicles were suddenly virtually useless. Guns all did one point of damage. Terminators no longer had a 3+ save on 2D6. Psychics were reduced to such depths of rubbishness that nobody took them, not even Eldar. There was a massive outcry at what was an apparent betrayal of the players, and claims the game we all adored had been butchered and destroyed.
Sounding familiar yet?
Yes, I know the background was still there, but bear with me.
I was retail staff back then, in south London. I had no choice but to play the game, do intro games, and be enthusiastic about it. And gradually, I came to notice various things that actually improved my gaming experience. Combat no longer took as long as all the other phases combined, and then some. There was no need for newer players to constantly refer to books to check if their guns did 1,d3, d4, d6, d10 or 2d6 damage, and what saving throw modifier went with it. The game flowed better, took less time and was more fun. It took time to come to these conclusions, and I'm talking the better part of a year, not days or weeks.
No-one is saying you can't play 8th Ed or previous editions any more. No-one is saying you have to rebase your army, in fact, you can benefit from ranking up in this edition. Gets more fighters within 1-2" if they are ranked up, whilst your opponent tries to cram round bases around you. What I am saying, is that don't leap to conclusions. The new Realms setting looks fascinating. There will be more books, more rules, more content.
I have played whfb since 4th Ed. It's been part of my life for 24 years. I'm willing to give this a go, and if I don't like it then I'll just play a previous edition I do like. What I'm not going to do, is be hasty. Hell, I play Sisters and Tyranids in 40k, I know how to be patient to get to the good stuff :wink:
Do others here have thoughts and experiences they wish to share?
Hey there @SilverTabby I disagree with you about the 40k 2nd into 3rd ed change. I disagree quite a bit. I worked for a FLGS in the states at the same time and it was pretty awful. 3rd edition remains to my mind an unmitigated disaster. 2nd ed needed pruning but they didn't trim off the correct stuff. I do agree that characters were too powerful, the close combat system was silly (fantasy's/rogue trader's was always better), and psychics were overpowered, and strategy cards - ugh.
BUT save modifiers were awesome, as was the vehicle penetration system (though I'm glad they were simplified after the release of the vehicle manual under 1.5ed), as was the army building system, as was the customization of units equipment. I could go on for a while.
On the flip side I'm not the least bit incensed or offended that fantasy battle has been drastically remade. I played several editions of fantasy battle (4th-7th?) and 40K and between the two 40K was always the better and more compelling game setting. Fantasy always suffered from being derivative and generic. But all the same I have a chaos army I'm quite fond of, and I'll always have the memories and of course I still have all my models.
Right now it sounds like GW might have a winner on their hands (or a Pyrrhic victory) but something needed to change. The cost of entry was too high, the balance was off, and the structure of the game (e.g. big blocks) constrained the play styles and the fun. All of that put people off and impeded sales.
So I half agree with you!
on the system change? By that we mean a brand new game system effectively - since there isn't really much of a "continuation" of the previous game now.
I'll keep it in mind, I probably will not play it - mainly because GW is no longer a "game" company in my mind. They are strictly a model company in my eyes now (and have been). If they release something that I find cool enough, and priced right, I will buy one. Only ONE.
Big picture view; a big flop.
I can see this turning lots of die hard Fantasy Players away from GW, never to return. As well as the potential for this to be the first nail (or one of) into GW's proverbial coffin.
I finally just read the rules PDF. And you know what, it's an interesting game. It totally turns the hobby on its head.
The hardest thing to come to grips with is game balance because there are no points. This leads me to think that GW have intentionally removed points to change the purpose of the game. Previously the purpose was a contest between players to see who would win. With the removal of points the only remaining logical purpose is that the point of the game is cooperative fun.
In order to have fun I must work with my opponent to plan the battle if we want it to be a contest or a close fight, otherwise it's a mishmash. A mishmash can be fun too.
Fundamentally the purpose has changed.
Good example with Third.
As for a small rebuttal to Kreuger: 3rd was a clusterf*ck at the start because they did free "giveaway" rules and codexes so excisting armies could translate into new systems. Some were really badly though out (remember the AV14 wave serpents?), causing hughe imbalances.
To me, that sounds incredibly familiar at least... We'll see something similar with AoS. Communities will come up with their own balancing, roughly...
WHFB was in a rough spot... It was very much dying. If one box from 40k can match the sales of the entire WHFB game, that's really bad... But hey, at least they are still making brilliant models. It's not like models like the new Skaven, nurgle, nagash etc were so god-damn awefull that nobody wanted to buy them.
Nobody was bothering with them because they knew about the necessity of ginormeous blocks of infantry and thousands of dollars to get into the game. (and that game still excists btw).
I may not have been in the game as long as you. I've been playing fantasy since 6th edition and I've been through this already when 8th edition came out. Me and my friends thought it was awful and we've been playing 7th edition since, and eventually even went back to 6th. Now I've written hybrid 6-7 houserules and we are perfectly happy with them.
I've never liked most of the models that came out since 8th edition ("Everything must be BIGGER!"). Additionally, I've never thought much of 40k, seeing it as a more dumbed down version of Fantasy with uglier models. I do like the setting a bit though, and have played a very fun game of Kill Team.
Still, 2nd 40k edition sounds great!
So, I've not cared much about Age of Sigmar since it doesn't change much for me. Though I'll guess it'll be annoying when they repackage everything with round bases, and probably less models while keeping the same price. I don't want to play a game that you can play with children, I don't want a game that only lasts an hour.
But, we did lose the ability to play at the store were we always played and held Mighty Empires campaigns, and were there were other people to play with.
So I guess I'll quitely finish my fantasy armies while I still can and probably switch to Historics.
I mean I remember when I started collecting fantasy back in the early 2000's (6th ed Fantasy) and a block of 20 dudes, maybe 30-40, was considered a good sized melee unit. I mean I rarely thought that a basic unit NEEDED to be more than a single box of troops, I mean some of them might have wanted to be 2 boxes big.
I mean if you saw my post in the other AoS thread you should be easy to notice that THIS game, is a bad game. Not because the rules are bad, or that the models look bad, but because GW did something so...extravagant... that it has now created a substantial rift in their players; I mean we have seen smaller rifts before in the 40k community with the 6th ed release of "this game is not for competitive play" being thrown about - only to have that be exacerbated with a 7th edition maybe 2 years later, and perhaps an 8th edition next year (yay fast releases -_-). And while I am certain that their have been rifts in Fantasy, I have not played a game (or followed the game) in entirely too long to know.
GW has NOT been a company of consistency for a number of years now, and having that instability coupled with their muted tone has only further enhanced the distraught of the players, the fans.
Are you tired of hearing people bitching about GW, or that GW does nothing good for their fans? Well, look around. There are not a whole lot of us left, and some of those who have stayed this long are probably going to leave. Think about it, wonder why no one plays fantasy right now besides those who have armies already? You already stated it yourself - having to drop what, $1,000 - $2,000(US) on a pure GW army to play a game of fantasy? What's the lowest point level you have seen people play fantasy; whats the lowest point level you have seen people play 40k? The games are only getting bigger. I can't think of a new player in my FLGS's 40k group that doesn't have a parent involved as well, and that has been years ago at this point.
I'm going to cut myself off there, that turned into a rant when I did not mean it become one.
My understanding is that gaming communities have a demographic breakdown including some veterans and then lots of new players who will buy an army or two or maybe just a box of figures and some paints. Veterans might organize events and paint beautiful models but it's the new players who drive the bottom line. It's the new players in the first rush of aspirational buying (dreaming of, "oh boy these space marines are badass!") that make the big purchases.
GW needed to survey those people (and their parents.) And seemingly they have and have released a game for them.
Age of Sigmar seemingly solves this by drastically reducing the barrier to entry and simultaneously lifting the top end too - because you can use whatever you want.
I think the real question is once we know if AoS is successful or not, how will that business model change the future plans for 40K.
Why are you equating the likes of Warhammer Fantasy getting squatted with the rules edition change of 2nd to 3rd? 5th Edition Warhammer to Ravening Hordes is more like it.
If you are complaining about how hard Warhammer is to get into as the reason why it failed, then why are Wizards of the Coasts Dungeons and Dragons so successful? They are complicated as fuck. The rules lawyer in me cringes at some of the mangled wording, such as a feat (something that you only get one in ever 3 levels, over a typical 20 level build, but most characters being level 8-12 as a typical guide) actually hurting your (already mediocre and suboptimum) play style by providing a malus when it should provided a bonus.
They are successful. Their game is successful. Their books are their life, and they succeeded with their books, despite the broken rules and often shitty hostile community. Why? Because they engage with their customers at some level. Playtest booklets with feedback stages etc, market researches. They understand that you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, but they do what they can to allow people who don't like their latest omelette to support them, by selling off licenses etc.
It's a fact that now, it is at it's lowest point in 15 months in the stock price, which has seen a fall of £0.20 since I checked a couple of weeks ago, (since the last highest point on the 13th of June, stocks have dropped £0.7762; which with 36 million shares in issue, has dropped roughly £28million in worth according to its stock price, which doesn't make investors very happy); which based on the 36million has cost the company £7m.
This is a very rough way of looking at it, and there's all sorts of shit that can be used to mask it, but in two weeks, the company has seen a loss that cannot easily be recouped by anything. How equitable the Age of Sigmar is in regards to causing that decrease is questionable, but it's a fact that the two happened at a similar time, and that the weeks leading up to its release hasn't counteracted the slow slide of stock value.
Whatever Kevin Roundtree is attempting to do to fix the company following Fuckwit Kirbys departure hasn't done anything to rectify the slide into business nonentityism that has seen the company slip to a similar range to what it was during 5th edition.
Releasing an april fools like this will see Warhammer Fantasy consigned to the scrap heap.
After all, check out the reactions over on Warseer. While I've criticised it in the past, a lot of truth has been spoken on there, and as the largest collection of warhammer players on the net, it speaks volumes.
I hope that works. 2/3rds are negative, basically.
I have 20 odd Teutogen Guard, Boris the Red, and a few FW Skin Wolves to represent a Sigmarines army, but I'm keeping them square based.
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This was my attempt at giving fantasy a go... Giant blocks of rats... And the sad part was: I had 2 blocks of 50 slaves that got absolutely decimated by other deathstars (usually around 40-50 models for that retarded horde fomation that gave you an insane amount of attacks) in 2 combat turns. The solution that the "veterans" were suggesting:
"Get blocks of about 100 slaves so you can remain steadfast for a while".
At that point, I had a "fuck it, I'm out" experience and sold the rats off. This was from sombody who was acclimatised to GW prices for almost 2 decades by now...
And I don't want to rub salt in the wound, because I can understand a lot of the frustration and some knee jerk reactions coming from veteran WHFB players... But GW couldn't give a flying f*ck what rule system you end up playing... As long as you are buying citadel miniatures to do so. And many veterans still will, even if the rules they use, are those of 8th, 7th, 6th, KoW 2.0,...
And that is what GW is trying to achieve IMO.New people will now see a system played in stores that requires a handfull of models to play, rather than blocks that set you back $150 per regiment... Depth be damned when newbies (not using it derogatory here) are trying it out...
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