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Why You Should Be Playing Dark Age

I was let in on this post that was on Dakka by the lead developer of Dark Age, Mr. Black. Dark Age really is one of my favorite games, and I have a couple readers asking me for more information on the game. Well, to be honest, there are a lot of reasons why I like the game, and this post really explains it all. 

I personally have two armies that are good sized forces for Dark Age. I have a Skarrd and Brood army of almost a 1000pts each. A Forsaken army led by Saint Luke is on my list of things to pick up as well. I have shown pictures of these armies in the past, but here are a couple of my favorite models in those armies.

via Mr. Black, from his article on Dakka
Mr. Black here, Lead Developer of Dark Age, and I wanted to have a little chat with you about why you should be playing. 

There are lots of games out there right now bidding on your time, that's just the nature of our little community right now- your time is super valuable. Acknowledging that, I'm going to hit on the important parts first: 

1. We provide our rules to everyone for free. 
-Basically, we don't believe that people should be charged simply for the privilege to play our game. You enjoy our game, you pick up the miniatures, you spread the word, and the community grows, simple as that. 
-That being said, our full Rulebook is always available for download: 


-The Stat Cards for all models in our game are likewise provided free. Basically, if it's rules related and needed for play, we don't charge you: 


2. We give our game, rules and models, yearly evaluations to keep everything balanced. 
-Balance is super important in any miniature game, and one broken unit can ruin a whole army. Likewise, it's a sucky feeling whem you find a unit you love... Only to find out they suck... We hate that feeling as well. As such, we've taken the following measures to fix that: 

-Our rulebook is updated yearly: Each year we release a new rulebook to fix any issues or grievances. It's important to note with this, however, two factors: 

1. The Core Rules are a $20 book. 
2. Anytime we release a new Rule Book you can trade in any previous one for a new one.... Free of charge. 
3. So yes, once you have a rulebook, you're in for life. 

-Each year we review all our models. If one is overpowered, we fix it, if one is underpowered, we fix it. All models should be viable at all times, aka, you should be able to play what you think is cool. 

3. Full tournament support 

-Our tournament series is the March to Immortality, leading up to the Immortals at GenCon 

-Why is this neat? Well first up if you host an MTI tournament at your store and you get at least 24 entries the prize you're fighting for is a Round-Trip Plane Ticket to Gencon. A store can be awarded 1 ticket a month doing so. 

-So what do you get for winning the Immortals? Pretty much the best prize in gaming. You'll work with our development staff to make a model based on yourself or a concept to your liking 

-Example: 2010's Immortal winner was Marc Berlove. When he won, he decided he wanted to include his eight year old son. As a result, the Bounty Hunter duo Phadras and Maximo were born: 


4. Skirmish Game- 5-12 models on average 
-This one's pretty self explanatory. Dark Age is a true skirmish game, and even at higher point levels you probably won't break 10-12 models per side (and that's at the highest standard game level, 1000 points) 

5. Scenario Based 
-Sure, you can kill 'em all. Our game slogan is EVERYTHING DIES, but if you just play like that you'll be missing out on the depth we offer. Dark Age is Scenario based. Currently our Tournament format features six primary scenarios and twelve secondary scenarios. At GenCon. when we update our Tournament Document for the 2015 season, that number will be growing to 8-10 Primary Scenarios and 30 Secondary Scenarios. 

6. Eight distinct Factions 
-We have something for everyone in the fact we have eight main factions, each composed of a number of Sub-Factions, each with their own playstyle. 

-We also strive to avoid "Faction bloat", aka adding stuff to armies just for the sake of adding... Basically, when we view a faction as "done" it's done. We love adding new sub-factions and such, but more models for more models is pointless.. 

7. Low cost of entry 
-Our starters are $50 or less and give you 300 points, which is perfectly fine for playing games. Our tournament level is 500 points, which is 1-2 blisters away. 

-Basically, for less than $100 investment you can have a full, tournament viable army

8. Our models are great, and only getting better. 
-We want to have the best models of any game out there. Period. 








and we're only getting better: 




So then, let me ask you... Why aren't you playing? 

Post a Comment


  1. they look nice but i already have a plastic crack addiction it's called warhammer 40k, wallet can only handle one hobby at a time, and i am a one hobby guy. but looks cool and am sure the communtiy will grow.

    1. I think you make a good point, and one which I agree with to a fair extent. I think that there are two kinds of hobbyists in this regard.

      Group 1 comes from a tabletop gaming or modelling perspective and therefore maintains or at least looks into numerous different ranges/systems.

      Group 2 got into the hobby specifically because of the Warhammer/40k universes, whether it is the game, the imagery or the models. I fit into this group: I love the worlds of WFB and 40k and have a very positive outlook on their development. But I don’t find myself being massively interested in other systems because I didn’t really get into it that way. I got into it through love of two particular fictional worlds. Were I to become dissatisfied with WFB/40K I think I’d probably drift out of the hobby altogether rather than moving on to another system.

      It’s very interesting to see the different ways in which people approach their hobby: are they ‘wargamers/model makers’ or ‘warhammer/40k hobbyists’.

      Dark Age looks very nice, very reasonably priced and I hope it is successful. However I will not be playing simply because, as you say, I’m a one hobby guy.

    2. At the prices they're running you can do both. If we're going to have any hope of getting GW to lower their prices we need to be playing other games and spending our money elsewhere.

      By sticking to one game/hobby you are feeding and enforcing the monopoly they have.

      Just saying....

    3. They have a great product is why they have a monopoly. I'm not saying this is your opinion but the way some people comment it's as if GW are some sort of dark god enslaving innocent humans. That's utter b*llox. People buy their stuff because they like their game, universe and models. Nothing else.

      I would agree with you that it doesn't cost much to get into other games and people can (and should) try them out without much investment in time and money. Ultimately it's up to them - but there is no sinister force directing them.....

      As it is, as production costs come down, more and more new great games come on the market and GW will feel the pressure anyway. This is when their prices will come down. This will be especially true as the new generation have more choice for their first encounter will tabletop gaming. If they are not playing on the Xbox that is....;)

    4. I think the bigger issue with any smaller game (Dark Age, Malifaux, Mantic's Deadzone, Mercs, all these newer robot fighting games, Relic Knights, and even historical stuff like Ronin and Saga) is that unless you have a core of gamers playing them and a LGS that supports them the majority of "40K Fanboys" are more likely to meet and play other 40K enthusiasts... why spend $50-100 on a new game you may never find people to play with when you can spend $50-100 on a new codex and new unit and know you can play with those models the next time you go to your LGS... so, as much as I personally love trying out new games, I understand that 40K is popular partly because it's popular... I don't begrudge people that, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying the '40K hobby' as it is... but it is nice to see articles about other games and other types of hobbyists because there are lots of people that aren't thrilled with GW and letting them know what other options are out there is a good idea for the hobby as a whole.

  2. An article about the different factions would be a good follow up to this. You have my curiosity currently.. faction run down would get you my attention! :)

    1. Yeah i'd need to know more about the fluff to get myself immersed. There were a couple of guys i like the look of but weren't sure what faction they were (Aztec-Necron guy and Angel-Wings guy).

      But the models do look ok quality - do we know if they're resin or plastic?

    2. So, first off, the angel wing guys aren't out yet (they are the next new faction/sub-faction) so we don't know much about them as far as playstyle... the aztec guys are the newest other faction, and have a neat storyline that is a bit different than anything I'd come across before... the other big players in the world are the human Forsaken who have different sub-factions based on the Saint they follow (including an outcast faction), the Skarrd who are the mutant and cult following nomads, the Dragyri who are the alien elemental type followers (air, fire, water, wind) with strict feudal japanese style, the Brood who are genetic-designed monstrosities, and the CORE you are the semi-sentient robots from corrupt technology... it is a very eclectic group... the models are almost all metal, with some resin for larger models... my biggest issue is some of the older sculpts are a bit out of scale (a few forsaken models just seem very thin/smaller than other models) but the new models are all a lot more consistent... also, since you only usually have 5-12 models on the table, it isn't really a big deal but just a pet peeve of mine... by all means check out their website or their facebook site for a bit more fluff and pics

  3. Yeah, they're basically everything GW isn't. As i was reading his list of points it hit me in the face that they're basically looking at the main gripes people have with GW and said "We're doing it different/better".

    I'm always up for an affordable hobby and if it means GW's competition grows then maybe they'll start lowering their (GW) prices. We can only hope. (",)

    GW do good models - but they're not worth the prices they're charging, and i'm not even going to mention the cost or quality of their rules. How have GW been able to be the footpads they have been for so long?

    I thought there were laws against monopolies? Fair trade and all that? Isn't there some kind of watchdog that can regulate the price of something compared to its quality etc?

    1. What like is their availability in the uk?

    2. "Isn't there some kind of watchdog that can regulate the price of something compared to its quality etc?"

      Lol. If there was, there would be a pretty abrupt and apocalyptic house price crash in London.

      They are nothing like a monopoly and you don't have to buy their miniatures. You're ire seems stems from the fact that you like their miniatures but don't want to pay their prices. I can understand where you're coming from but that's life fella. I want a Kawasaki Ninja 600 but I can't afford one, that does not mean Kawasaki have a "monopoly" or are somehow cheating me (actually the wife won't let me get one either..;)).

      Also they are actually comparable in price to comparable quality models from other companies. Malifaux for instance is comparable in price per model to GW, it's just that you need *less models* to play it. Personally I think this is where GW will feel the pinch eventually. It will be just too expensive for new players to put together a serviceable army. Whether they'll dumb down the quality to produce more models or make the game smaller scale remains to be seen.

    3. Wayland games carries the full range of Dark Age.

  4. I agree with Adam, You have certainly sparked my interest (I've always been aware of Dark Age, just never really checked it out). Some lovely looking models too!

    Something on the different factions and the best way to start playing Dark age (what sets to buy etc) would be great

    1. Honestly, download the rules, the faction cards, and jerry-rig a few models using your existing collection to see if it something you like...

      they (dark-age) just reworked their starter sets so they come in around 300 pts... add a character or solo and another line troop or 2 and you end up with 500 pts for almost all the factions (most forsaken and brood models for example are 40-100 pts with smaller/light troops being maybe 20-35 pts, so you don't need more than 4-8 figures to have a small game)... and because the forces are so flexible and skirmish sized, there really isn't a "bad" force right now from what I can tell... CORE probably have the most rules for army building, but they just actually relaxed some of those restrictions with their last update.

  5. That rulebook trade-in programme is a great idea.

  6. I would get into it but my gaming community is very small and if I ever want to play a new game I have to buy armies for my opponents too.

  7. After reading this, I've downloaded the rules and and was surprised to see the background included, can't wait to get stuck into a few games, just need to pick a faction..... or eight

  8. I would love to give some of these games a go. Unfortunately my gaming group is Warhammer 40,000 centric and it is too much of a choir to find a game for another system in my town.

    Some of these new system developers need to make the game more accessible and not just through free rules and desirable miniatures. How about a 'find a game' section on their website? It could be divided into counties or cities and people can then register - showing local player populations! Although it may not be a true and accurate record of popularity, it could then mean more players will join in those regions! Could even rate player experiences so you can avoid playing numpties lol


      also, facebook seems to be replacing a lot of these game finders.. I know I'm part of a a few New England Gaming Group pages for things like Warmachine, Deadzone, and Dreadball so people can post local events, games, and stores for those in their part of the world..