Mandatory AoS image and Post from lapsed fanboy ;-) follows:
“GW had a guy camped out at the Forge World open day whose entire job was to answer questions and talk to people about Age of Sigmar. His entire job is to go to shows and talk to people about the new game. For the first time I think ever they’re taking Age of Sigmar to Gencon, Comic Con, all the major wargames conventions in Europe etc. They’re throwing a considerable amount of money at putting this in front of new audiences who have never played fantasy before. He was also brutally honest and didn’t dodge any questions and answered everything he could. I’ll start with the negative stuff first.
This is it. There categorically will not be a ‘9th’ edition of fantasy. Age of Sigmar is the only thing fantasy related GW will do for the considerable future.
He acknowledges that the ‘funny’ rules are rather silly and don’t make for a great intro to the system for new people. His response was that the armies in the box set don’t have the silly rules. They’re there as kind of a celebration and final send off of the old warhammer armies, and he said you might notice the new armies don’t have the stupid noises or imaginary friends. This is deliberate, its designed that you’ll only generally play the old stuff with your mates since it’s a bit embarassing to play in a public place.
The new races will look different to the old ones. Ooruks will not look the same as the orcs we currently have. As such, when they get round to releasing Ooruks, the old models will cease production. He did say that you can still use your old models as ooruks, but you won’t be able to buy normal orc boys again.
There will never be points values.
On to the slightly positive [That's subjective of course] stuff then.
They are going to fully support all modes of play, and will be releasing rules to balance armies against each other. There will be narrative campaigns where your forces are picked for you for specific missions, and there will be a system for tournament players to balance lists that isn’t based on model count. He did not know the specifics of this, but said it is definitely coming.
The rules will always be free. He said that they are very very aware that fantasy had a massive buy in for someone to get started, as such the game was designed with the ability to play it with one box of models. There will be army books, but every rule in them will be available, for free, online. The books will just have extra background info and scenarios.
Well, it's fair to say to date AoS has caused a nerd-rage explosion amongst Warhammer fans; they hate the destruction of the Old World, hate the round bases, lack of formations, lack of complex rules, silly rules, absence of points/balance...GW really are trying harder than they ever have before to make this work. If you’re at one of the shows go and talk to them. They want to talk to you about this, but especially they want your feedback on it. As he said, this is totally uncharted territory for them and they are totally open to rules revisions as they go.”
Though there also seems to be a trend amongst those who've actually played it to admit it is an enjoyable game, though not a competitive one, as yet. Balance is fine, and desirable to a point, but for me it should never be essential to a wargame (scenario's/refights are more important) and if the game is allowed to become competition driven it will take the gloss away from it's apparent open sandbox format.
I've yet to try AoS (hell I haven't had a wargame in some three months so how could I), but I am looking forward to giving it a go. Whether it'll be a mainstay of my gaming is another matter.
If you've been living in a cave and don't already know, you can get the rules and army compendiums for present forces free, HERE.