So, AoS has been out a while now and I am debating whether or not to buy in. But first I have a few questions. I loved fantasy, specifically the block combat, but it looks like AoS is more skirmishy. I do remember when I started WH in 6th ed. there was a book I had for doing skirmish scenarios and that was fun. Do players of AoS ever really miss the block combat? Is flanking rewarded in this game? I know at one point there was no point system to selecting an army but has this been changed? How much of a hurt does this game put on the wallet and how big (model wise) are armies usually?
Interested In Aos
6 replies to this topic
Posted 10 August 2017 - 04:36 PM
Bunch of question, with the main one being "to be or not to be"?
AoS is just a game system, if you were already into WHFB, you should already have the minis needed, so every new model you're going to buy, would be the same you would buy for 8th / 9th age / KoW / whatever.
If you're starting to play, however, AoS is certainly cheaper then old WHFB... the entry level is lower, and GW, for once, did a great job with the "start collecting" boxes, which are a great deal.
Sure, there is no "start collecting" for classic Dwarfs / Dispossessed, but there is for Fyreslayers, and there are many for other factions.
From a certain pov, you also need to spend less money on manuals: warscrolls are downloadable for free with the basic rules, and you just need to buy the General's Handbook (the n. II is incoming) to have also the value of points cost for each unit... but there are a lot of manuals for factions and skirmish rules, and so the total amount of money depends on your commitment.
There are different ways to play AoS: you can do it without points, fielding what you want, or use the point system and field "balanced armies" (Matched Play).
With or without points, you can play big battles of small ones, in the same way you could play a 750 pts army or a 5000 pts army in 8th.
AoS is not exactly skirmish, the lack of block formations doesn't mean that the game is not designed for big battles... napoleonic warfare is fun, but you don't need formations to have mass battles (see WWI).
Many people lament that 8th was more tactical and less forgiving in mistakes, so you needed more attention and the game was deeper. AoS is unforgiving of mistakes too, it requires solid tactics and foresight, but the kind of things you need to look at, are simply very different than the ones we were used to in 8th.
Flanking is no more a thing, but movement options are totally different, and you must deal with units that can cross half the battlefield (or even more) in a single turn.
Another example: chaff units still exist, but you don't use them as redirectors, but as screens to shield unwanted charges.
So, AoS is just a fantasy battle game with a different approach then other systems: you just need to try it and see what happes (and luckily, you don't need to spend money on rules if you want to just try it).
Hope it helps, for a starter. Any more questions or specific doubts?
Edited by Killer Angel, 10 August 2017 - 04:41 PM.
Posted 11 August 2017 - 02:57 AM
You might consider the Skirmish book if you want to dip your toe into AoS without diving in. You can experiment with a new army without spending huge sums on an army you end up not liking. As it is, my minis are still based on square bases and I refuse to use round ones, so I still use my movement trays to shove regiments around. Besides, a shield wall just doesn't look right with round bases, and the cavalry can't line up bootstrap to bootstrap with those silly oval bases, but then, I'm old-school about my hobby.
Posted 12 August 2017 - 03:01 PM
The impression I've got with AoS is that it's probably even more about model making and telling stories than even Warhammer 8th ed was - the fact that you can legally play whatever models you want, and models no longer need to rank up, means that you can do whatever interesting / crazy combinations and modelling options you fancy.
In terms of gameplay, it's very possible to play AoS with square bases, as Graydon commented - indeed, unless you're 100% serious about AoS, or think round bases look considerably better, I'd use square bases, as that keeps options open (you can play AoS with square bases, but you can't play 9th Age, Old Hammer, etc. with rounds).
In terms of money - you basically can sink in as much or as little as you'd like - that, for me, is the big advantage of AoS over the older / competing ranked wargames, in that you can play it perfectly happily with £50 of models, when that'd seldom be a viable unit in 8th ed. However, AoS still isn't really a skirmish game as such - it just can be. Some of the units do need to be very big to get their full advantage. Basically, I'd classify them both as army games, it's just that 'skirmish' sized battles are supported by AoS better than 8th ed.
In terms of popularity - I don't know. AoS seems to be getting more popular that it was on launch (or that's what the internet tells me, anyway), but I'd hardly call it popular, and it certainly doesn't seem popular with personal experience. This last year I was a teacher in a boys school in England, and helped run the wargaming club there. Even with teenagers, 8th ed was much more popular than Age of Sigmar, which actually surprised me at first. I was running (and being asked to run) games of 8th ed for lads aged 11-15 nearly every week, but none for Age of Sigmar (I think I saw two games of Age of Sigmar played when I was there, both with armies on square bases) - I know how to play AoS and would have run games for it if I'd been asked. In the 2 gaming clubs for 'grown ups' which I frequented, I don't think I've ever seen AoS played after July 2015, but 8th ed and 9th age both have decent followings.
I guess what I'm getting round to is that this adds weight to basing your models, of whatever type you get, on square bases as that helps maximise flexibility.
I do think AoS can be a lot of fun, particularly if you embrace the modelling flexibility it affords you.
Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:54 AM
I think thebgreatest asset for age of Sigmar as has already been mentioned is it's accessibility. It's quick and easy to learn set up and play. I really prefer it to WHFBit's a little bit like comparing oranges to apples. But I find the more laid back atmosphere and quick nature of the game make it far less daunting to go somewhere and get a game in so I actually play it alot more. And the flexibility in the list building means it's easy to incorporate those little hobby butterfly side projects into youre army and ussing them.
Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:37 PM
Yea, its not something you need to carve an entire day out your precious schedule to do and you dont need to drop your life savings on it to have any worthwhile experience. Add to that the fact that you can really play with a smaller contingent, the painting and modeling side becomes more managable and focused. It makes it feel less like work and more like play all around. Also you can reasonably get newer people into it.
Compared to 8th ed, you have very little to lose by trying it.
Compared to 8th ed, you have very little to lose by trying it.
Edited by sgreg308, 14 August 2017 - 01:38 PM.
Posted 15 August 2017 - 12:03 AM
I've played 8th Ed and Ninth Age, and found them both rather messy to plan an army for. An AoS game I can figure up my army in about ten minutes, and have a roster printed and ready to play. I find I'm really liking the AoS Skirmish rules, as its like Mordheim/Frostgrave in scale, and I can get several games played in an evening, and lends itself well for a rather personal-level of campaign, where one can have honest-to-goodness personalities of their own devising in play. Watching a character evolve from a starter to a warlord is fun and satisfying to me.
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