I had never played Age of Sigmar before, and one of my local friends really likes the game. I should mention that I don’t play the game because it doesn’t inspire me, not for a lack of models.
You see, back in the days of 4th edition WHFB, I played that game fairly extensively (maybe not as much as I played 40k, but our group dabbled in all sorts of games, including Warhammer Quest & Necromunda as well). Eventually, fantasy fell flat to me because it was truly a game of hero-hammer, where a character on a monster would eventually kill your entire army–or you’d fall victim to an unceasing hail of cannon fire.
In addition, I never really cared for painting (frankly, I still don’t, but I certainly don’t abhore it like I did back in the day). So, while I did paint models (and even armies) for both 40k and fantasy, it always seemed discouraging to me to paint a fantasy force. That’s because you really only say the front rank of a unit, and even then, they had no character. Essentially, you’d pile 20-60 guys into a movement tray and spin them around the battle field like a single large model with a bunch of ablative wounds.
So, between my hatred of painting and the general bad feel of the game, I wound up writing it off and selling off my forces, and I haven’t really looked back.
Well, that’s not exactly true. You see, I’ll buy anything if it’s a good enough deal (as I’m sure many of you realize), so when Battle for Skull Pass (the 7th edition starter set) was released back in 2009 and I saw auctions routinely ending at $25 for a full set of the goblin models shipped, I started rethinking of my hatred for the game.
After all, that’s 73 models for $25. Hell, you can’t even get a single character for $25 bucks anymore. And, back when I played fantasy, goblins–specifically night goblins–were my go to. So, I figured at $25 per set, there was no real loss potential. I’d buy them and figured I could always unload them at my cost if I needed to at a later date.
That slowly got out of hand until I had some 700+ goblins. Still, despite having the models, I had no intent to actually play the game.
I’ve also amassed quite a few skaven models as well. The intent there was not to play fantasy, but rather to use them as stand-ins for a Lost and the Damned chaos army I’ve been toying with since 2003 (but never actually did much of anything with, aside from buying too much crap).
Man, I should just sell that and be done with it.
Anywho, my friend keeps trying to get me to play Age of Sigmar, and I keep putting it off because I don’t want to. Still, he’s been a good sport for years and one day I finally caved to the suggestion. We went over to his place and wound up meeting up with a third friend to throw down in a 3-way battle.
I don’t know much about the game, so I let them build my army, including any options. Granted, it wasn’t a traditional game, since we played three way, but that should be enough to figure out how it plays.
Frankly, it plays like 40k.
That really shouldn’t come as a surprise because, though it was a radical departure from old school WHFB, 40k seems to have used AoS as it’s footprint for game design. Maybe back when it was released, Brandon’s interest in it was noble and geniune because it was truly a different game. Now that 8th edition 40k has been released, I find this to be the same game, with bad shooting.
It’s not exactly the same game. I mean, I was using Chaos, and there was a mechanic wherein I generated points for killing units and from there I could expend the points for additional benefits–but that was more of a faction specific tweak rather than a real change to the game. Practically speaking, there’s no reason why that mechanic couldn’t have been ported over to the 40k chaos codex (and, for all I know, it already has been).
I don’t recall who won the game, but I do remember that it was rather close overall. The game is fine to me, and I could even see how it might be compelling to some; however, since I already own a bunch of painted 40k dudes, and the game is practically the same, I can’t see myself getting into it. Though I will admit that it was enjoyable to play.