I love Age of Sigmar and the new version of 40k. I'm a huge fan of GW's desire to turn their games into accessible, FUN expressions of dice-man battles rather than exercises in mathematics and abstract concepts of shoot-dash-chop combat. I see complaints all the time on the interwebs about certain parties hating these new games and claiming that they don't represent real-world battles or that certain 'immersion-creating' concepts have been ripped away, like shooting out of combat and vehicle armour facings. They can keep their complaints. I vehemently disagree. When I'm playing games, I want to discuss things with my opponent and remember to take my turn rather than have to dedicate half a day to playing with miniature painted dolls. My self-worth is not dictated by how strongly my GI Joes beat your GI Joes.
With that comes the fear that I have. I worry that GW will start to introduce even more complicated concepts into their newer versions of the game, returning back to the ridiculous need to be Good Will Hunting and forgetting that the game is supposed to be fun, not detailed. I used to be a huge fan of the uber-detail that came with games like Star Fleet Battles, AD&D 1st and 2nd edition, and RoboTech. I've grown. Let's not forget that the miniatures gaming hobby has lost many potential gamers to the more simplistic video game market because it's, well, easier to just plug the disc in and mash buttons. Oh, and that 'immersion' argument is easy to meet since the games have, you know, graphics and cut-scenes. I don't want complicated detail-driven games that require my undivided attention anymore, I want social tools that bring people together and allow for conversations and some competition.
Age of Sigmar could not be simpler- there are four major factions that can make armies of very esoteric collections. There are mini-factions that gain special benefits and fit a 'theme' so much better (I mean, Blood Elves as good guys? Really?!?!). And the rules detail all six phases of a turn on four pages. FOUR PAGES! Anything can hurt anything and the special rules really aren't that detailed as they are either buffs for buddies or a special rule that creates an extra opportunity to lay down some damage. That's it! The only way this game would be simpler is to turn it into a board game (which haters already claim it is because they're... haters).
It should also be noted that my wife is especially geeked about this. Not really because of the new edition, but because her Nighthaunt are being redone for this. She loves her ghosts and now she's getting more. This makes me less happy for two reasons: First, she always beats me and I'm not a fan of always losing. Second, this eliminates any rebuttal against buying Nagash. Which will lead to me having to buy more Stormcast (yes, I actually play them, I'm not a hater) and getting that messiah-dude with wings. Which will lead to expanding my Ironjaws to get them above 1600 points. Which will lead me to adding Archaon and his special knights. This new edition is going to cost me a lot more than a new rulebook... Darn you GW!!!
Let me know how you feel about the new edition coming so soon. Otherwise, Happy Gaming!