Rage Of Sigmar or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

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5 months down the line after the great sundering of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and the reverberations are still being keenly felt. The End Times was the herald of the new age, and the clue was in the name. Communities split, armies were shelved or even burned on Youtube, popular WHFB podcasts ground to a halt, and a torrent of rage was directed at GW. Some of the nonsense posted on forums and social media was so ridiculous a Facebook page was created to laugh at the sheer absurd nature of the finest comments, I give you the Rage Of Sigmar. So, where are we at now?

If you can look beyond the sheer negativity attached to it, and accusations of being GW apologists flung at anyone championing it, you will find that some people are actually enjoying the new game and setting. Games are more scenario-focused, with more emphasis on the narrative and scenery, and a better scope for alliances and mixed armies. These are things that I enjoy from the 40K side of things, with the tactical objective cards, and whilst kill points/push it forward were good for learning the game or a quick pick-up, they always lacked depth. Round bases and the loss of “rank and flank” has opened up modelling options with more room for elaborate poses and basing schemes, and a dynamic looking table. Simplified rules help avoid looking up endless charts and flipping back and forth through a telephone book. The depth and synergy can be found in the warscrolls though, and as you play more games you find there are tactics with things like order of combat, direction of pile-ins, retreating, and gambling on the double turn. If you don’t believe me, head over to Youtube to check out Ash Barker’s channel Guerrilla Miniature Gaming and you’ll witness some fun games

You can work around most of the negative things anyway, remember that DIY attitude (see Brinton’s article) or the mantra of Jervis that any rulebook is framework and go ahead and make your own changes as you see fit. You don’t like the lack of points? There are already many comp systems cropping up, the most popular being Clash Comp, aka the UK Independent Pool Document, which not only costs things, but gives you a handy FAQ and scenarios for tournament play.  Some people loved 8th and the scene around it so much, that they’ve ploughed ahead and wrote their own new version called 9th Age, and it’s been adopted as the fantasy game for the European Team Championships. You don’t like that? Fair enough, but at least they’ve tried, and done something positive.

Do I miss playing 8th? Of course I do, but nobody took my army or rulebooks away, and I’m sure I could get a game if I wanted one, which is why I kept my army on square bases, with the option of also checking out Kings Of War. Same with the old fluff, nobody is burning my Black Library novels and army books, and the popular stories were historical, as there was never much room for manoeuvre in a static timeline. At the end of the day, with limited free time, I want to play a game that’s fun with my friends, and that’s what I’m doing every other week or so. I could never look down or sneer at someone just for playing something different, or enjoying other games. Just let people live!

Let the hate flow through you!

Let the hate flow through you!

Nobody needed to fall in and toe the company line though, and the positive outcome from all of this is opening the eyes of gamers, as they discover new games. Remember when you realised there was a world of music out there beyond whatever Kerrang or MTV would spoon feed you?  Infinity has been popular with a good chunk of the Corehammer crew this year, but the latest hit has been Frostgrave (see Phil’s article) with its low model count and license to go wild forging your own narrative and choose miniatures from wherever you see fit. The other week at the Corehammer Xmas bash showed this, as I counted 6 different game systems being played, and dudes rolling dice and having fun

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Dudes rolling dice at Foundry

To see how these events affected other communities, I reached out to Chris Tomlin from The Black Sun who’s always been positive and passionate about the hobby

Did you foresee the toxicity of the fallout from the death of the Old World/8th edition being this dramatic, or are things as not as bad as they seem?

The change of editions in WFB always brought with it a certain level of fanboyism/nerd rage, this was also reflected in forum and tournament attendance. However, what we got this time round, was completely different. I shouldn’t trivialise this, as it was a game change as opposed to the edition changes of the past, so I guess in a way what happened wasn’t overly surprising, but still wasn’t nice to witness. Only recently have we seen the infighting starting to cease (though there are some relentless folk banging their drums of hate!) as people finally work it that it’s okay for people to play different game systems! However, if you are still experiencing the vitriol at this stage, familiarise yourself with the Unfollow and Block buttons!

Are you digging the Age Of Sigmar? How are you finding the game itself, the newest releases and the background?

I’m still not 100% sold on AoS if I’m brutally honest. It certainly has its flaws, however I am sure that I want to stick with it as my “main” game (if such a thing exists nowadays) and am looking forward to painting an army properly for it. All the games I’ve played have been fine, especially those played using Clash Comp (which we have seen widely used across the UK), and it does work as a tournament game under such systems for sure. Background wise I haven’t gotten into all that yet. Having the Old World blown up and the Star Wars EU removed as canon in a relatively short space of time has rendered countless hours/£££ as void, so I guess I’m treading carefully – which is a shame as I was super into my WFB fluff. I’ve listened to plenty of podcasts that have given reviews of the various AoS publications out so far and it sounds pretty mixed. I’m sure I’ll take the plunge and immerse myself at some point. Getting on at the ground level whilst it is so new does seem a sensible decision. Release wise I’m not overly keen on how it’s going so far. I wanted to see completely new ranges coming out replacing the armies of the Old World, though I may be in the minority there. The new models they’ve release are, as we’d expect, pretty phenomenal. Can’t wait to get my hands on some Varanguard for Christmas!

Awesome Skullgrinder/Maggothlord kitbash from Chris

Awesome Skullgrinder/Maggothlord kitbash from Chris

The fad is strong in your gang, I don’t think there isn’t a game system I haven’t seen one of you dabbling in. What other games have you most enjoyed playing in the absence of 8th?

Ha! You noticed that? The hashtag #toomanygames is frequently used in our group chats. Other than AoS I’ve enjoyed:
• Malifaux – Played this for a few years anyway and it’s taken a back seat of late.
• Infinity – Still massively learning, but aesthetically stunning.
• Gorkamorka – Clunky rules, but old skool fun! Modelling side is fantastic as well.
• 40k – Pew pew pew motherfucker!
• Wrath of Kings – Genuinely a good game, nice models, but killed off by poor availability in the UK and the release of AoS.
• Bolt Action – I’m not a WWII buff or anything, but the aesthetic is undeniably cool. Plays intuitively which is nice, and I guess in all honesty, I play it because it lets me hang out with my buddy Scott who dropped out of Warhammer post 8th.
• Kings of War – Only played this once, but will be playing more. Solid ruleset.
• Frostgrave – Fadgrave! The ultimate fad! Whilst I’ve assembled and mostly painted my warband I’ve actually not yet played a game. Am keen to!
• Mordheim – Like Gorkamorka this will be more retro fun. We haven’t started our campaign yet but I’ve been collecting and modelling a pretty interesting Undead warband which has been cool to do.
• Darklands – Another system I’ve been painting for but have not yet played. They need to get a proper rulebook released! Stunning models though.
• Dice Masters – Nerd!! Not a miniatures game, but something else I’ve got into recently that is a lot of fun and well worth a look.
I’m pretty sure I’ll have missed something out amongst all that! Also I know you only asked what I’ve enjoyed playing, but there’s some stuff there I’ve enjoyed without playing having put in a good number of hobby hours.

The podcast was put on ice in the summer, and other notable ones such as The Dwellers Below and Skull Bros Awesome have pretty much fizzled out. But now it has risen, do you feel energized by the rest?

www.theblacksun.co.uk – We are back with a new line up and a brand new episode! ! But yeah, I’m super enthused again, and it was a lot of fun to put out the new show. Enjoy!

One thought on “Rage Of Sigmar or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

  1. I can bet some people like the new setting, the original Warhammer one was too hard to understand for their little minds, a so called setting closer to WoW is better for them.
    What’s positive of having no more new books, campaings, new models for Warhammer?

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