[Archive] Shift from WHFB to AoS [Split thread]


[align=center][[url=http://www.chaos-dwarfs.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=16238]Split from here[/align]

The fun scenario method of playing was always available to everyone, you just had to ignore the army lists. By effectively forcing everyone who wants to play Warhammer to not play the “wrong way”, they have filtered out the “wrong way” players rather than converting them - which was almost everyone. Be careful what you wish for.


Jervis etc can justify it how they like, it was all down to profitability in the end. All further implications were secondary in importance imo.


Or just...you know...play Age of Sigmar. I've read this idea a lot of times: that GW now make models, not rules, as if this is some huge change in focus for them. They've always been open about being model-driven. Suggesting that AoS is somehow symptomatic of a change in policy strikes me as very weird because there's nothing wrong with it as a game, and there's no reason GW wouldn't be willing to stand by it.

They changed their rules. It's a different game, with a different set of assumptions, but it's not objectively worse than Warhammer was. I think the negative reaction that's prevalent in certain corners of the internet is down to initial reactions to "four pages of rules" that leaked before all the warscrolls came out, and subsequent shock that there were no points values. One of the main problems I think is that a lot of people who post on forums about Warhammer mainly engage with their hobby by making army lists and debating the merits of various builds - it having been a game that was mainly won or lost the moment the armies were deployed.

Age of Sigmar just doesn't support that side of the hobby, but it's no less deep or worthwhile a game because of that. It's just not going to appeal to a certain kind of player, and that happens to be the kind of player that makes up online communities and tend to be fairly...vociferous...with their opinions.

Thommy H
Well im happy you don't mind, but for people like me where my entire community died overnight simply because AoS doesn't have the tactical depth they were looking for, we were not even competitive gamers, but what's the point of playing a fundamentally unbalanced game.

We have 2 types of gamer now, you play 9th age or you sell up. ( About 50/50 )

Whether or not your right with the idea of just playing AoS, it's irreverent approximately 0% of my community does not play AoS so there little point trying.

Thommy H:

Well I can’t speak for your community, but for what it’s worth I think AoS is as tactically deep as Warhammer ever was, it’s just built into the warscrolls rather than the basic rules. And, again, I think it was judged too harshly from the start, because there’s a good game there, but people had to get their heads around that.

I’ve said this before, but I think GW could have done a better job at communicating their aims. Some designers’ notes explaining why they were doing this would have gone a long way towards helping players transition. Pointing out that the core rules were kept intentionally light in order to allow the system to scale, explaining some of the theory behind removing points costs and army lists, demonstrating the power of keyword synergies and how the open system allowed completely news types of unit within the same framework…

They did that for old editions of 40K, but somewhere along the line they got paranoid about leaks and stopped telling anyone what was in their heads. It’s a shame because, as I say, I think it’s a good game and I’m having a lot of fun creating rules for it. It’s also a lot more accessible for newer or more casual players - if you’ve never even seen an army before, what use do you have for an army list? But there we go. I’m fortunate in that I can be dispassionate about it, as I don’t rely on a local scene or group to fulfil my hobby needs. I get why people are annoyed.


There’s nothing wrong with AoS as a game, it is just not close enough to the units vs units game that it replaced. I dare-say that someone could come up with a handful of house rules that does the job without dimishing AoS itself, but it looks like it’s too late now anyway.

If GW really wanted to emphasise the non-competitive side then they should have released a book of well-rounded scenarios, or added several to each army book.

Grimbold Blackhammer:

I don’t know if Jervis’ article is wrong though. Some of my favorite battle reports are the recreation of such-and-such battle or the end-times scenarios (which were especially poorly written but still entertaining to watch!). If they could have come up with some decent scenarios to encourage folks to try non-tournament style games, it might have swung the meta a little bit. Too late now but it would have been nice if they had done it.


There's nothing wrong with AoS as a game, it is just not close enough to the units vs units game that it replaced. I dare-say that someone could come up with a handful of house rules that does the job without dimishing AoS itself, but it looks like it's too late now anyway.

If GW really wanted to emphasise the non-competitive side then they should have released a book of well-rounded scenarios, or added several to each army book.

They have included scenarios in each book so far. Thats basically what that big old Dreadfort battletome was. I heard the Seraphon one has some of the best in it so far. We heard rumors of crazy scenery long ago, so maybe we will see more, a Dwarf fortress or an Orc village etc, with more scenarios written around them. Pretty cool for people who like creating their own narratives too, a lot of scope to design your own matchups


Only if you assume that the army with the fewest wounds is the weaker army. Is that a valid assumption?

Also, it’s only a nominal bonus, it doesn’t scale up.

I wonder if in a league (or any large enough series of games really) a cumulative bonus/hindrance scheme would even out all army inbalance. A player with a big army (or good skills, or optimal army selection) receives a hindrance each time they win, while a player with a small army (or bad skills, or thematic army) receives a bonus each time they lose. After a while these even out so that there is a roughly equal chance of winning each battle. This would actually be an ideal system for me - I always strived to create evenly matched battles in Warhammer. I guess the only really problems are the time taken to reach an even level each time someone joins, that you are only level with other people in your group, and you can’t change up your army without unbalancing things.


I’m with gIL on this. The Danish warhammer community suffered harshly by the death of WFB. In Denmark WFB sold better than 40K and a lot of people were into it. In the shops, at tournaments and online, supporting our ETC team. I understand GWs decision, and from a business perspective I think they might have done the right thing for their global sales. But from a personal stand point, and a danish perspective, I’m extremely unhappy about it.


The wholesale shift by GW from WHFB to AoS has caused a disruption for sure, but it shouldn’t be terminal for those liking regiment battles if they move on with Kings of War, 9th Age or stick to an older WHFB edition, or something else entirely. And AoS itself can also be enjoyed, if it’s to one’s taste. The aim for simple elegance in AoS and KoW rules might provide good variation for many used to the somewhat clunky Warhammer rules, though 9th Age is certainly around for those liking it more complex.

This jumping around with rules sets is standard formula in historical wargaming circles, which by the way are larger than the WHFB/40k communities, though less visible. Skink and tjub make a valid point about Blood Bowl, and further more CDO itself is a testament that something officially unsupported can not only endure, but even thrive. I’m not too worried about the Warhammer community’s future, though we’re in a lull for the moment due to the upheavals.

As for narrative battles, it’d indeed be sweet if tournament organizers ventured into that area sometimes (many of our home games are quite narratively driven anyway). The competitive side of tourneys means nil to me. For my hobby group, it’s the chance to get out and meet other people, see their armies and play the same game in a great weekend event that is the pull, and that could as well be managed by narrative scenarios as it is by a ladder tournament. Could be even more fun.

Learning to stand more on its own legs could prove to be a positive thing in the long run for the community. For one thing, it looks like it will mean better balance in 9th Age than there ever was in any WHFB edition. Not too surprising, since 9th Age developers don’t have to push sales of new releases or whatever.


It would have been nicer if he could have pointed us towards the thriving online AoS community he likes so much. Still, at least the links in the comments supplied some.

I’m probably still being too negative, so here are some things I like about AoS.
*No army book release schedule - it used to be that you had to wait ages for a new army book, then bam you got it with a few new models and nothing more for ages again.
*With the warscroll set up they can release a new thing for each army more regularly.
*You can mix and match units more readily, rather than restricted by fluff.
*Free rules and no army books to buy. When you buy a new unit you get everything you need to play it.
*It doesn’t matter if you get completely crushed in a game because you can blame it on the fact that the other player chose stronger models than you.
*It has allowed everyone to fix the rule problems with regular Warhammer, balance the army books using playtesting on a huge scale, with updates as regular as they like, rather than relying on the slow GW profit schedule which seemed to unbalance units on purpose to sell the new models.


Something I’m not keen on at all in the setting is that nothing means anything any more.  So take the dwarfs (sorry, the duardin), they crave “U.r. gold” now…  So who cares if they do find it or not, their gods (whoever they are these days) can just imagine up more.

If a sizeable piece of metaphysical land is captured, who cares, just imagine up more.

So for me in my happy little bubble, as far as I’m concerned whfb remains fixed in 8th ed fluffwise forever.

However, as this is a positives thread, I’m glad they finally reduced the rulebook right down and made all the rules free.


Guys, I just noticed something that left me… uh… “perplexed” to say the least.

I admit that I haven’t read through this thread thoroughly, therefore I am sorry if I am going to repeat something that has already been discussed, but I just noticed something that I really fail to understand.

Over the years I bought every single Lizardmen armybook EVER released by GW (including all Lizardmen-related Warmaster stuff)… So, when the book “Seraphon” was released, I told myself “what the heck, let’s give it a go”. Now, this is not a review of the book itself, I just noticed that the rules for Lizardmen have been removed from GW’s webstore, a fact that basically forces players to buy the related AoS book.

Now, this is where I got puzzled. Let me be absolutely clear on this point: I don’t want to argue on this decision, as I played more or less 15 games of Warhammer since my teenage, and I really don’t care too much about rules, but still… I fail to understand why GW decided to change its selling point to “we are not a rules company, we sell miniatures”, make a lot of noise saying “smaller armies / free rules”, and then revert back selling books for fantasy factions not even a year after the setting overhaul.

No, seriously, have I missed something? Again, it’s not like I am questioning the decision, I am simply not understanding what’s going on. If they wanted to eliminate the costly armybooks, lower the model count needed to start an army, AND break the endless cycle of book printing, then what is happening?

Thommy H:

Check the individual unit pages, Skink. As the Seraphon units completely replace the Lizardmen equivalents, they now have complete warscrolls with art, photos, etc. rather than a basic compendium.


Thank you Thommy! That makes sense now! And I gotta say that these are the best Lizzies EVER painted by the Eavy Metal team…


I think Jervis had a point about the “lowest common denominator” style lists (these are netlists now) which seem(ed) to be rife in WFB. It always puzzled me how a lot of people want to use a list someone else knocked up. There are also people claiming themed lists are easier in AoS. This is odd, why didn’t you always just pick the stuff you wanted to use?

However labeling everything tournament games just because people want to use equal points is rather silly. And Aos seems like completely the wrong answer to the problem to me. The only people limited to playing just “tournament games” were the people who could not be bothered to do anything beyond that. Wiping the rich background and throwing everything out the window does not sit well with me.

I just can not see AoS ever becoming such a rich setting. This coupled with the change in aesthetic and the escalating price gouging has really turned me off. The rules (whilst I dislike the move away from ranked infantry) are of a lesser concern for me personally. It seems more than anything like a totally missed opportunity to me. Aos should have been the smaller intro style game.

In summary:

Free rules good.

The rest bad.