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An Introduction to the Age of Sigmar!

We have seen a lot of information come through, and I have held a lot as well that came in to me directly, simply because I think there was a lot of guessing and reverb going on. Today I believe we may have a decent look at just what this game will be about, and a run down on some basics of game play and the feel of the game.

Please take this right now as rumor.

via anonymous sources on Faeit 212
I think players should be doing a bit more to give current players more info,
but as they don't seem to want to do that, I thought I'd weigh in with what
I know.

I had to be taught how the new game works in order to
teach it to potential players.

As this info comes from the intro game there may be some simplification of
the rules that I am unaware of, as you don't want to overload a newbie with
too much info.

Anyway, on with what I know:

Age of Sigmar offers a skirmish-level fantasy game, he did not know
whether it would be expanded to a mass-battle game later but he thought it

Players take control over several small units, organised into loose groups.
The models are on round bases. He mentioned that at least at our location,
people can use square bases if they want to, in fact with the new
unit formation rules it might be slightly easier to use squares.

Units can choose how loose their units form up, either very loose (think
8th ed skirmisher loose) with benefits to movement and defense against
shooting, tight, or square.

Tight allows for more maneuvers than square, but is less maneuverable than
loose. However, if you receive a charge in tight formation you're better
off in CC than if you received it in Skirmish.

Square offers almost no maneuverability, you can only move slowly forward.
However, if you receive a charge in Square formation then you're better off
in CC than if you received it in Tight or Skirmish formation.

One of the units in the intro game (the Chosen of Sigmar) can elect to
change their formation when someone declares a charge against them as long
as they pass a Ld check (base Ld 8 so it's fairly easy, hero had Ld 9)

The only real benefit to receiving a charge in Skirmish formation (and
there are a ton of negatives - you don't get a bonus from your numbers,
only the models in base contact with the enemy can strike (see below), and
you can't parry) is that the enemy don't get the bonus for charging you in
your flank/rear, since the skirmish formation means you effectively don't
have any.

A lot of the base rules are the same as in 8th ed fantasy. The same
statline is there (M, WS, BS etc etc), armour works the same, shooting
takes similar penalties (long range, soft cover, shooting at skirmishers
etc), the difference is in the recommended level of play. CC works out in
much the same way, highest I goes first, units in base contact with either
an enemy model or a friendly model in base contact with an enemy model get
to strike, though only the former get to use all their attacks. Casualties
are removed from the back, as per usual. Different kinds of weapons
(halberds, spears, etc) and their associated bonuses weren't brought up
since the models involved only used hand weapons. Hand weapon + shield
still gives you a parry save though, as long as you received a charge (or
charged yourself) in tight or square formation, and the attacks weren't
coming from your flanks or rear.

GW is trying to push this to be played at the 1000-1500pt level. A lot of
focus was put on the heroes leading each force, and leaders will have more
impact on the game. Think LotR Strategy Battle Game and its Warband rules.
He implied that leaders in general will be more expensive, but have
more of an impact on the game. So a 1000pt force might be led by a 300pt
hero who is absolutely the core of the force, and if they die the rest of
the force is at a severe disadvantage. This goes double if the leader is
killed in a challenge by the enemy leader.

On a personal note, the game The choice between different
types of formation provided a level of tactical flexibility that didn't
exist in the old game, but required more forward thinking. Do you start in
skirmish formation for more maneuverability, risking getting charged with
no bonuses from your numbers? Or do you form up Tight and split the
difference? Or do you make like a Dwarf and form up Square and just risk
getting outflanked? Also, when the two leaders got into a challenge in the
middle it was exciting - mine was faster but not as strong, hers was slower
but more likely to do lasting damage. We stopped before one leader killed
the other though.

Magic wasn't raised in the intro game, but once again I was told
 it hasn't hugely changed. Only thing I should mention is that,
aside from some notable exceptions, wizards can't be leaders of a force.

On a background note - I was laughed at for about 10 straight minutes
when I told her about the rumours of "Waaaghkin" led by an all-female caste
of "Nigmos", though he was strangely silent when I mentioned Regalia.

From what little he did mention, the core races are all-but unchanged in their
basic background. Humanity is represented by the Empire, with the Chosen of
Sigmar being an auxiliary detachment that is often fielded alongside Empire
forces. Orcs and Goblins are there, nothing about 'Nigmos' or whatever.
Chaos is obviously there, in both Daemon and Warrior form, he didn't know
anything about Beastmen. Lizardmen weren't mentioned, neither were Skaven,
Elves were though. Elves are becoming a bit more like Space Marines in one
specific aspect - they're all one race, but differentiated on the grounds
of how they wage war, a bit like Chapter Tactics. High Elves will have 'Elf
Tactics' that reflect their training and drilling, Dark Elves will
have 'Elf Tactics' that reflect their cruelty and malice, and Wood Elves
will have 'Elf Tactics' that reflect their reliance on hit-and-run attacks.
I anticipate this means a single Elf book with basic troop units, some
specific units for each type of Elf, and the rest of the differences will
be in these 'Elf Tactics' and colour scheme etc.

I'm trying to remember anything else, the units were about 10-15 models
each. The Chaos forces were comprised of a unit of 10 warriors, 15
marauders, 5 warhounds, and the chaos leader. The Chosen of Sigmar (being
represented by Lizardmen models as the actual models are obviously
currently unavailable) had 15 'warriors of light', 10 'hunters' with
shortbows, and 10 'chosen', plus the leader.

It seemed a little unbalanced
in the Chosen's favour, but my manager said that when you're introducing
people to the game, although you let them pick, you talk up the Chosen more
so that they're more likely to pick them and be the good guy. That way,
although it looks fairly even, the Chosen have an advantage. Like other
intro games that have come before it, it is intended to provide 2 good,
though small, starting forces.

It was implied that both armies would
need 2-3 boxes of troops added to them to get them to 'average game' size.
This was obviously important because a key part of the intro game is not
only selling the intro box, but also upselling the customer to get a couple
more boxes for a bigger force.

Stat-line wise, though I wasn't told any specifics (this was more a matter
of 'Okay so the Warriors of Light are in close combat with the Marauders,
so you go first and hit on...') regarding statlines, this is a rough
- Warriors of Light are a halfway point between marauders and Chaos
Warriors, not as tough or as well armoured, but more skilled than
marauders, they were hitting marauders on 3s and saving wounds on a 4+
- Chosen are basically Chaos Warriors, same armour save, they were hit on a
4+ and wounded on a 4+ by Chaos Warriors, saving on a 4+
- Hunters are skirmishing bowmen, their only unique aspect is that I think
their bows are armour piercing. They were hitting stuff at long range
(range 24") on 5s, wounding Chaos Warriors on 5s, but Chaos Warriors with
shields were only saving on a 4+, instead of the 3+ they were saving on
against the Hunters in close combat.
- Leader of the Chosen was basically the Chosen's statline with +1 to
everything except Movement and Toughness. He had a sword that allowed him
to re-roll failed hits against Chaos things.

I am using the current statlines for Chaos Warriors, Marauders etc in these
estimations, and they are liable to change.

Anyway, that's all I can remember. I hope this is informative!

Post a Comment


  1. Very cool. Excited for this now

    1. My sentiments exactly

    2. Interested and excited to see the books and sculpts. Here's hoping it breathes some life back into fantasy!

  2. Hrmmmm sounds interesting.

    I probably in a minority camp that was hoping the statlines/mechanics would be streamlined a bit for newer players. I like the way Warmachine does it - this is still good though.

    I am glad to hear that you were indeed laughed at for the Orc rumors haha. At least we can write that part off as patently false.

    The Formations sound pretty cool too.

    All in all I'm looking forward to it.

    Did they elaborate on whether this was a standalone game like Dreadfleet, or a "dip your toes" into 9th? Or was it a bit of both?

    Also did they happen to mention the aesthetic of the new models at all? I've heard that Humans have a more "Dark Age" look - like somewhere between romans and standard medieval.

    1. He didn't get to play with the new models, he said they used proxies so that he couldn't share the details of the kits with anybody.

      From what I understand, AoS is a bit of both - a stand alone small scale game, as well as a way to dip your toes into fantasy in general. If you want to just use the models in the box and play the skirmish game, go for it! If you want to buy the 9th edition expanded rules and collect more toys to create a larger scale, 1500-2000 point army, then go for that as well!

      I'm loving the idea of the loose, tight, square formations. Adds another level of strategy to an already very tactical game.

    2. I realized that he didn't see the models right after I posted it. No edit :(

      I'm really just curious how the looks of the models will vary from the 8th models. I'm honestly open to some change as I've been playing WHFB since around '96. I just hope they keep the overall realistic feel.

      Rules wise - it sounds not too different from 8th mechanically. I was hoping for a bit more streamlined rules - though I'll reserve judgement until release. I've had a really hard time getting new people into the game because of cost and things like the "to hit" matrix.

      Most people look at Warhammer, and go "Warmachine needs less guys? And I have to paint less guys?" then they pick that - and I am sad.

      So I am hoping the game has been rebalanced a bit to start out as fun and interesting in a skirmish level but scale to be epic down the road.

    3. 'Realistic deal's you say?
      Personally I'm not here for the realism 😀😀😀

    4. Those question marks are supposed to be happy man faces

  3. The whole variable unit formation between looste, tight, and square sounds really fun. I've never played fantasy before but this has piqued my interest.

    1. its also a great way to have both circle and square bases.

    2. Agree. Wish they also had testudo / tortoise formation. Would be hilarious to have a spell that restricted an opponent unit's formation. I'd force dwarves to skirmish. ;)

    3. goblins get a spell that makes you all stinky, so you have to skirmish to stay away from each other

    4. My dwarfs will always move fast and skirmish...turtling is just so, boring. ;-p

  4. Yeah, that sounds like a ton of fun! I would definitely buy and play that. Would love to run my Tomb King chariots forward in a skirmish formation for the bonus, shooting off arrows the whole time before reforming into a block for the charge. Sounds like a lot more tactical options and very cinematic.

    It's nice to see something positive come out of the AoS rumor mill for once instead of the seething pit of hate and whining it had become.

  5. This seems reasonable and acceptable bringing new but not destroying the old.

    So in about five hours someone should release a rumor that reignites the nerd rage.

  6. This rumor seems fairly believable. We definitely are at the point of receiving more legit rumors as the prerelease is only 2 weeks away, and it will be hard to keep something this big from leaking a bit.

    From what was explained, I like how the units can form up into different movement formations. The part that seems really cool, though, was the influence of the leader. It sounds like it will be similar to Warcasters and Warlocks in Warmahordes, in that within a faction, there will be different ways to build an army depending on your chosen leader, and that the leader is the linchpin of the army; protecting them is a priority, while still trying to balance your actions on taking as much advantage out of their abilities as you can.

  7. So basically a skirmish level revival of the old Herohammer. Could be fun. Armour piercing bowmen sounds a bit weird when the Empire already have muskets though, some kind of Jezzails or even Puckle guns would seem more fitting. I guess these Chosen of Sigmar guys will have a more medieval aesthetic then.

    1. More like a warbands thing they had a while back?

  8. this sounds pretty believable, we can but hope. the formation changing is a perfect way to have both circle and square bases in the same game and have it make sense. i hope it isnt too heavily focused on herohammer though

  9. For the uninitiated what does the M mean on the statlines?

    1. Movement, how far the model can move in inches.

    2. Movement. In Fantasy movement is a stat, so some units are slow, others are fast. basically the number is the number of inches you move.

    3. M is movement in inches. It used to be in 40k too, until 3rd ed standardised movement distances according to unit type.

    4. Oh I see. Thank you kindly

  10. I'm somewhat skeptical of this rumor, if for no other reason than the submitter switches back and forth from "he" and "she" and "her" and "he" pretty frequently...paranoid maybe, but that kind of inconsistency makes me skeptical, despite the fact that I really truly hope that these rumors are true. This is a game I would love to play, and that I could continue to use my WoC and Lizardmen in, especially when/if expanded rules for larger scale games (ie, 2000 points, the norm) are released.

    Color me optimistically skeptical.

    1. It could be someone who isn't a native english speaker, some languages don't really differentiate gender, but yeah that's what made me go "hmmm" too :)

      But the game sound interesting though...

    2. The he/she was me, and took out some more identifying information as this seemed rather legit, and I want the sender of the information to remain anonymous. The Age of Sigmar is under extreme lockdown atm, so any real good information is hard to get at right now.

    3. That said, this is the first information/ rumors that I think are really valid. Of course we will see in the near future.

    4. Natfka that's great, not only for the anonymity of the source but also for my confidence in this rumor :) thanks for the update!

    5. That's good, I was concerned the commentator was in an embarrassing social situation where he wasn't sure if the person opposite was a man or a woman!

    6. @Slaanesh Lover.

      ... I have actually been in that situation... I won't go into details, but let's just say I knew a guy in the hobby... Well... Now he's not... A "guy" in the hobby...

      Still, I do not judge! To each their own!

  11. I like what's been said, which means that knowing my luck it's bull, but keeping the faith.

  12. This does sound fun! Be cool to see modes and the like for it.

    1. The moment they bring out multi pose skirmishing wardancers on round bases I'm sure you're going to love it. ;)

    2. Nah, I might give this a go at some point in the future but for the foreseeable future, I'm out of the Fantasy thing =P

      I just think this game looks cool and could have existed alongside Fantasy. Would have been a great way to get people into "proper" Fantasy over a gradual period =D

      Although, if they *do* release MPPK Wardancers, I'm totally buying some just to paint!

    3. *cough* harlequins *cough*

      I've seen some amazing kitbashes with harlequins and wood elves for war dancers. Might not be too bad an idea...

  13. That sounds more like what I'd like to see personally, I'm looking forward to seeing what's coming either way.

  14. Now this is a good rumour, and also very similar to what I and a few others have been saying all along.

  15. Can't speak for everyone, as a Brit I'll probably be happy either way, as most of us British are only happy when we're moaning about something. ;)

  16. This sounds about as good as anything we can hope for regarding fantasy. As some others have said above, the most realistic expectation most actual fantasy players had was a Skirmish version to help bring in new players in smaller games. Build up armies eventually for bigger games, and the largest apocalypse style for the huge nasty characters/monsters. Now please GW, don't abandon fantasy for 6 months after releasing this!

  17. doesnt this formation moving thing make the game last longer cause i dont think there are no more movement trays?

    sry for bad english =D

    1. You could probably use trays for skirmishers. Many people do this in the current game. Not sure about this "new" one.

    2. And if the emphasis is on the heroes (as it seems), with the above example showing a 300 point hero in a 1000 point army, then large units like we had in 8th might be the way of the past. Heck, individual point costs might go up across the board to create a high fantasy strategy game that uses roughly the same model count as a game of 40k. I wouldn't hate that, but then again I already play MSU Warriors of Chaos and use some very small units to begin with lol

    3. If true.. this s points to a more 40K like movement phase. Units of 10-15 all spread out.

      It shouldn't take any longer than moving 10 space marines.

      If we still had units of 50 skaven.... well that's a different story

    4. ^ until they release horde mechanics or in other words release an army similar to skaven or ork.

  18. Replies
    1. Sounds like a game I could get involved with!

    2. Sounds like they took the lessons they learned from lord of the rings and combined with fantasy. Could be really good now let's see what they plan to do with model range

  19. I would start this game, It seems a lot easier to start, it's a daunting task building a large fantasy army. Although, my area is mostly Long time fantasy and 40k players most with 15k+ armies, even one with super massive dark elves army, I almost feel bad for everybody with large armies.

  20. I would be so happy if this comes true!
    May Sigmar lead us into a great new age of magic and adventure!

  21. Ahhhh yes the internet. Two weeks ago: "WHFB is DEAD! Everyone go play King of War! How dare GW take away our game!!!"

    Now that we have some better info (from many of the same people): "oh hey this doesn't sound so bad, looking forward to it now"

    As usual it's best to wait for real information to come out. However GW obviously should just show what the game is going to end up being, but we deal with what we have.

    This looks like a great strategy though. Capture players with the smaller game format that only requires a couple boxes to get into, and then when people are hooked spring the bigger game formats on them. It will probably work on me ;)

    1. I too was shocked when I saw not a single bit of negativity in these comments (Unless natfka nuked them).

      Seems strange that one rumor like this suddenly has everyone happy about AoS

    2. as i have said since day 1 of speculation of what AoS is:
      1. i want to see change (no change)
      2. i want to see similar root rules/fluff as existing before (no change),
      3. i want to see new models (no change).

      actually i have held the same belief since day one and i still do. only thing that changed AoS for me is i am more cautious about this release.

      i also continue to believe as i did originally that AoS will not prosper. (no change)

    3. 1++ Stone

      I don't like knee jerk the sky is falling reactions. Drives me nuts. I can kind of understand because we are all very passionate about the hobby, but people still need to learn to calm down instead going all Suuuper Hate right away

  22. This does sound great! I've got an unbuilt Nagash & it would be a great incentive to build up from a skirmish force to an army big enough to bed led by him!

    1. This. I wanted to start fielding a Nurgle army led by the Glottkin when they came out during the ET, as that was when I first got into the game, but the model numbers and the like kind-of put me off. This sounds a bit more reasonable, and a way to play with what I have and encourage me to keep painting and building up my numbers in a way that seems manageable.

  23. It would be awesome if:
    - Unit options remained mostly the same (armies carry over)
    - Boxes came with round and square bases OR you could buy packages of square (so expanding on an existing army doesn't lead to mixed bases within units)

    1. I think that is given, they already sell bags of square bases at a very reasonable price.

    2. Then I think I'd be fine with this.
      And I know all about those bags. Why put those giant rats on the base of my vermin lord when they can become an awesome dart? Tomb stones? You mean zombie unit filler!
      I just need that bag to stick around.

      ....and Skaven need to stay an army. I can't see why they wouldnt...but lack of 8th book and the post above gives me an odd feeling that they're getting rolled like (I think) Brets and Beasts

    3. Don't worry too much! Skaven got new models not too long ago (which where awesome) GW wouldnt go to that much effort for a Tag-On race.

      Elves will be all one race for sure. Lizards will hopefully be seperate (and hopefully get more Old One tech) Beasts, Dwarves, Brets and Ogres, though will most likely be stuffed elsewhere.

      Still, I guess we need to wait...

  24. Seems cool. I was worried it was going to turn into 40k so im happy to read this

  25. This is a rumor I'm happy to see. Painting my entire 8,000 pt. Lizardmen army (finally!) this week and aim to finish by the end of Army in Weekend Sunday night.

    And we'll be at a huge fantasy tournament next weekend when all the leaks come out. Will be interesting to see how 115 fantasy players respond. I expect some fun and funny conversation. Hopefully get to play a few games before going to study abroad for a year with no Warhammer.

    1. Good luck at the tournament! No surprise what the main topic of conversation will be :)

  26. Had a long talk with my local GW store manager yesterday and came away feeling a lot better about AoS. And this rumor just confirms it. Hopefully what i heard and this rumor both turn out to be true. But we'll see in a few weeks.

  27. No wonder he laughed so much at the "Nigmo" idea, though. I'd like a female caste of greenskin for some variety, but that name in particular would be ridiculous and awful for the purpose.

  28. I loved the last edition but I'm not seeing a lot that is getting me excited about the new AoS. I'm going to hold off on buying it and wait for a full breakdown and review after people have played it.

    1. it is the wise option. something i believe many will do, but we need a test guinea pig to buy first so we all know it's any good or within our perception to be good in our own "minds".

    2. I'm pre-ordering the 4th, attending the launch event on the 11th and putting up a video that same night with a breakdown of what I see as the differences so people will have at LEAST one :P

  29. This sounds more like what I've been hoping for...

  30. I know I'm in a minority here, but - I don't like the proposed changes. Too similar to LotR (which I didn't like) and not enough like Warhammer Fantasy Battle for me.

    It looks like I really will be sticking with Kings Of War. Which I don't mind - I like the system and even some of the models have grown on me (especially those Goblins).

    1. your not alone @ Christine. many people are upset and are not comforted by these new development/s. what is KOW plastics like in comparison to GW plastics (only asking @ Christine B, anyone else's opinion will be ignored)

  31. Oh nice. I've always been kinda luredby WFB and that sounds more in depth than 40k is several ways. Interesting.

  32. I'm really liking the sound of this. I'll definitely be taking a look at AoS. The only that concerns me is the points investment in a hero in a small game - this will potentially have the effect of making games hinge on the hero. Whilst the showdowns might be exciting, the win or loss will depend on the hero rather than the tactics being employed.

    Malifaux binned avatars (expensive upgrades to Masters (heroes)) in standard play because of this. In the standard is very possible to lose your Master and still win the game. I hope AoS is in the same vein.

    1. Well even if you play small games in the current edition, the hero is a disproportionally valuable asset to your army list. At 1000 points, you can spend 25o points on your hero...and most will do exactly that; so at smaller levels it might be very similar to what we already see, but perhaps with less restriction, since certain armies (skaven, gobos) can have 3-4 characters at 1000 points, while Warriors of Chaos can only take characters basically naked to fit in under the cap.

  33. Most real fantasy players don't want to see a major change to 8th. Maybe the simple 40k players want to see it change, but no one I know wants to see fantasy scaled down. We love the big units and formations with lots of models on the table. That's why we play fantasy.

    1. I think the last GW report said fantasy was 18% of their sales. NO company is going to purposely screw off that much of their business. No one is going to throw out almost 1/5 of their revenues and lastly they just made a ton of new models in the last year or so. They need to get their money out of them.

      My parting words. Until you have pictures stop posting these things. More than half of you are lying just based on the number of contradictions and you can't tell me you had tons of time to read but couldn't snap 1 pic.

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. This all sounds pretty cool to me as it seems to be taking more of a Mordheim approach which I loved. The issue I see with all of this is it seems like the pendulum swung the other way in that these rumors are more placating for current players. These are just the quick start rules, but I just worry this isn't going to be interesting enough to bring in people that are already playing Hordes or Warnachine. The foundation is there though and looks solid. If GW goes back to organized play, has some sort of mechanics in here to customize your leaders, or has persistent rules between battles and dealing with the aftermath like Mordheim, we could have something really special here. I'm definitely optimistic.

  36. Mordheim's been 15 years since I touched fantasy (my wife had twins lol)....but, just maybe, now is the time as long as I don't need a second or third mortgage to play the damn game...
    Keep up the sweet rumour action Natfka!

  37. iam glad they are getting rid of warhammer it would be sad to put yet another red big red book on the shelf next to 8th 7th and 6th, oh the monotony! this one will be blue :) and more fun :)

  38. Warhammer has been around for a long time, I think it is time for something new. But if you don't like the new game carry on playing the old one, any edition you like.

  39. So, basically its 3rd edition Chaos Warbands upgraded to cover all the armies in a watered down 8th edition rules set. Not really anything new here, just regurgitated rules from the original Chaos book to me