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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Already!?!?

  In case you've been living under a rock, it was recently announced that GW is going to release a 2nd edition of Age of Sigmar in June.  After only three years, the game will get its first real update and join the ranks of games that can't simply depend on an FAQ or two to stay stable.  Funny enough, we've seen that a game isn't as respected in the grognard circles unless there's multiple editions to fight over, so, um, congrats to AoS for joining the pantheon!

  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. 

  In case you're wondering where my worries are coming from, let's look at another game that's getting its 2nd edition- X-Wing.  They're adding turret-aiming actions, bullseye firing arcs, stacking actions, and even forcing the need for an app to generate points and build squadrons.  The game was wildly successful because it was short on prep, required no additional modeling, and the rules were easy to pick up in a jiffy.  I'm not saying that X-Wing is being turned into the 32-impulse turn sequence that was my favorite Star Trek combat game, but it's definitely becoming significantly more complicated.  How much is that going to affect people wanting to play that game versus this stuff.  I'm looking forward to the new edition and my TIE Fighters being able to stand up to the rebels a bit better, but I'm also wary of just how much that game really needed new shoes...

  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). 


  So what are the rumours for the next edition?  Apparently, you won't be able to shoot out of combat anymore.  Oh no!!! Because only Stormcast, the newest elves, and the wood-guys were the only ones that could to begin with!  This makes me happy, not because I think it was 'immersion-busting', but because it gave the cursed Stormcast posterboys an advantage that the other factions couldn't take advantage of.  Apparently, the Hero Phase (I accidentally refer to it as the 'command phase' all the time) will be expanded and magic will become much more in-depth (more spells, more choices, what does that mean?).  There will be an introduction of command points, which may lead to strategems.  Otherwise, I'm not sure what all of this actually leads to.  The most important aspect to me is that the current Army Books will not be invalidated, especially considering that I just started buying them.  Talk about bad timing if that were the case!  In any case, it doesn't sound like the game is getting much more complicated.  And that's all I really care about.  It's a freakin' game.  Let's keep it THAT and not a NASA project, please. 

  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!





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