Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
BobbyB

The Future - And Past - of the AoS Aesthetic

Recommended Posts

I've been thinking a lot recently about where the mortal realms are going from a design perspective and thought I'd slap some of those thoughts onto the internet to see if people disagree with me as vehemently as I'd expect. There's a lot of ground to cover here, I'm not talking specifically about fluff, or model design but more broadly in terms of the overall feel of Age of Sigmar as a distinct portion of the warhammer oeuvre so apologies if it goes all over the place and I turn off any one potentially still reading after I used the word 'oeuvre'.

For the sake of this discussion I'm working on the assumption that GW obliterated the world that was and reforged it into the world that is in an attempt to both create a more distinct IP and build a higher fantasy, more bombastic world that is more appealing to a generation raised on MtG and WoW.  I think a lot of people get the wrong idea about the IP side of things, seeing orcs change to orruks and assuming it's just about stopping other miniature companies making models with the same names, when to my mind it's more about creating a wholly distinct IP, and while 'Orruks' is a small brick in that wall it's a component none the less.  Ignore for a moment that GW have never seemed keen on the relinquishing of control inherent in allowing the warhammer worlds to be filmed so that I can make a point here; No one ever needed to make a warhammer film because they can make a film about orcs and elves and dwarves and city guards and magic and it can stand on its own, or it can be the Hobbit or world of Warcraft or whatever else. Making Age Of Sigmar more unique makes it more marketable, perhaps not right now while it lacks the attachment and history of classic warhammer, but perhaps in the future when all the kinks have been ironed out.

So, what has this got to do with anything and what am I actually driving at? When the end times concluded  and AoS made its shakey entrance down Jervis Johnson's metaphorical birth canal a lot of people were incredibly angry about the destruction of the old world, and understandably so. GW sought to temper that by giving them an outlet to continue using their toys post-WHFB, while also giving themselves a bit of a break by virtue of not having to deal with the Hobson's choice of either having a wargame out with very few playable factions, or having to very quickly design and release a number of completely new factions and hope they met with approval.

This lead to a bit of an awkward phase, the repercussions of which are still being felt, whereby gamers felt their favourite denizens of the old world were owed representation in the new one. At its inception AoS's fluff was obviously thin on the ground, and as a new universe was being built from the scorched earth up was predictably spartan. (Worth mentioning that I'm not actually a big fan of the gw books but struggle through them as I like the fluff as a whole and want to get a handle on what's going on). There were a lot of people that begrudgingly came over to age of Sigmar but complained about the still formative fluff bizarrely not having the richness, depth and familiarity of a 25+ year old universe based on their own world and other well worn tropes.

So the fluff came, and it couldn't just be stormcast and khorne to eternity so old friends from the warhammer world were shoe-horned in and the scope started to broaden.

From my perspective there is a very clear aesthetic divide between models designed for Age of Sigmar and those for the warhammer world. I'd suggest also that maybe a lot, if not all of the end times stuff was designed with the former in mind and released prior to the onset of AoS to ease people in to the change, although that's pure speculation.

So here's where we're at presently. I really enjoy the freshness and scope of Age of Sigmar. I love the way that GW have taken elements of the warhammer races and exploded them into factions in their own right. I read that - for example - the megaboss was designed as a proof of concept for how orcs could be reworked for Age of Sigmar and I think what they've done with the ironjawz and sylvaneth and fyreslayers and so on is exceptional and feels very exciting, especially in respect of what could be to come.

I'll just break off here to interject that we are now in the domain of the 'new GW', who listen to their fans and in some ways this worries me a little.

I'm of the belief that Age Of Sigmar needs to play to its strengths to succeed in its world building. It needs to take advantage of the infinite nature and possibilities of the realms framework, the epic scale and the transmutable, chaotic foundation.  My favourite, and the most evocative things are things like the Skaven infested city on the back of (and inside) an enormous worm, Argentine the zodiac serpent, the kharadron skyports and associated shark like creatures, these things are about as high as fantasy can get and just not feasible in a lot of more grounded worlds.

The problem with GW listening is there's a growing clamour for more from the fluff, and while I'll eagerly concede that it needs expansion and greater depth, the received wisdom seems to be that the way to do this is by giving us the humans and cities and subterfuge of the old world.  We've had city of secrets and firestorm recently, both of which have a feel.of the old world to them. City of Secrets was a good read, but to me it felt like an old world novel with a few bits tacked on to transport it to the mortal realms. Before that we had shadows over hammerhal, which again felt much less AoSy than Silver Tower and consequently was less interesting to me.  It feels like this warhammerification of the mortal realms is the cheap way to build attachment and intrigue, when what would provide a stronger setting would be to build on what makes Sigmar... Sigmar.  I think they would be better served seeing something like starwars as a guiding light than what they've done before.  I'm not a writer, and as you can see I've already expended far too much energy thinking about this but there must be a better way to make the realms richer than falling back on what has gone before.

Personally, and I know this is going to be hugely unpopular, I would like to see AoS stand on its own two feet, I was glad to see the compendium stuff being slowly detached and would ultimately be pleased to see anything pre-end times phased out in favour of a completely new and purpose built universe where everything felt like it belonged.  The way things are going I'm more concerned that it is backsliding into a halfway house between the potential of the mortal realms and the (perhaps false) security of the warhammer world and I don't think this will give us a game with a cohesive feeling background.

I've tried to make it as clear as possible in writing that all of the above is just my opinion and I'm expecting others to differ greatly but I just thought it may be of interest to get a different perspective than the norm.

Next year I think will be massive for AoS and I'm very keen to see where it goes, and interested to hear what other people think about its potential and direction.

  • Like 18
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. I'm a long time GW gamer going back to the late 80s who was at first skeptical of blowing up the Old World.

I came in to AoS through Silver Tower. The gonzo and perverse denziens, garish colors,  and over the top heroes drew me to the new setting. It's colorful and exciting. It sparked my creativity in ways the Old World hadn't in years. I passed on Hammerhal as it seemed too similar to what I had gamed many, many times before....forces of chaos festering underneath some human civilization.

My son is all in on AoS. In an era where modern fantasy is about epic heroes and our theaters are packed with superheroes...AoS feels relevant and seems it would attract new, younger gamers far more than the Old World would. I mean what would be more exciting to a young person...gallant stormcasts riding lightning or some dudes with feathers in leather caps and frilly pants trying to pull themselves out of the mud?

I do hope that future AoS releases lean more into the unique and outlandish like the Kharadron and Silvaneth and less going back to Holy Roman city states... those were fun times (and great games!), but let's move on a bit...

Edited by Mr. White
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fluff-wise, Age of Sigmar is in a similar position to Doctor Who before Stephan Moffat took over as showrunner.  In as much as there are some things explained, but not everything is.  That mystery is a big part of why things are interesting and exciting.  To have everything answered and revisited all the time makes for a tired feeling, as that mystery and wonder gets replaced with facts and the tedium of knowledge.  On that note, it's why Stephan Moffat does really well working on the Sherlock Holmes stories with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman - because that is a story where overexplaining everything is the point!

Sometimes a little wonder is needed.

Age of Sigmar is in a good position right now with its fluff.  There are limitless possibilities that can be utilized by the players who wish to make their own thing and make their own stories.  Personally, I hope that it doesn't get expanded on too much in the future, because its vagueness and untapped potential are one of the main draws for me.  The Old World of WHFB was more akin to a Historical Wargame with magic, since all the corners of the map were filled in, and there were not near as many mysteries to the setting.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Completely agree with all above. Uniqueness and freshness is what is needed much and what makes AoS so great. If they lose this, which is already a bit weakened by those examples already provided...

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally disagree city of secrets and spear of shadows shows that they are nothing like the old world. Same with hammerhal after reading the story and lore background many of the stuff they talk about and experience you would never see in the old world. It's like a mythic high fantasy mix with some high/low fantasy elements. 

Sailors in city of secrets hunt flying sharks that can eat a man whole. Flying sharks. Yes there are some similarities there but the cities feel "Lived" in but also have things from AOS that makes it unique. Like Excelsis runs on prophecy and the whole politics surrounding that. The racism between Ayzerites and everyone else which is mighty interesting. Plus the politics of the gods and their actions play into that as well. 

Also the fact gods interact with normal people and how they going about doing it. Grungi is more than willing to converse with the "little people." While Grungi one dislike of sigmar is the fact he feels that people should "rise" to meet him. 

Edited by shinros
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was introduced to GW with AoS. I've read some novels from the old world.

I do not like the old worlds grim dark setting where it's all doom and gloom. I like how AoS has the forces of order taking back and winning

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, chord said:

I do not like the old worlds grim dark setting where it's all doom and gloom. I like how AoS has the forces of order taking back and winning

Well, it is rather 40k that is truly dark (or war rather). WHFB was always stale, nothing changed so it does not matter what happens. AoS is dynamic so there is always some atmosphere and you don't know what to expect and this is great.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are significantly more 40k players where I live, but I will stick with Age of Sigmar. I like that there is light and hope. I like that humans, sylvaneth, aelves and duradin work together, and don't want to murder each other (unlike 40k's 'die xenos scum'). I like that order is slowly taking back the realms and has shown significant gaines in Aqshy and Ghyran. I like that the battle is not one-sided, and that Order lost in Chamon, Shyish and Ghur. It makes Chaos and even Destruction a credible threat. I like that there are female Stormcast. I like that there are some mysteries, and hints that not everything Sigmar has done is ok. I like that I can play Darkling Covens as a force who are trying to be good guys, but aren't very good at it yet. (What do you mean we can't sacrifice our own forces?)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny that several of you mention that you like that AoS is lighter in tone than the Old World or 40k, but I am the opposite of this. I like the very first intro of the first AoS story about the desperate few "free" humans left being hunted by cannibal Khorne followers all over the world and there were no where to hide. I like the darkness or even post-apocalyptic tone of the setting. Now I know that things have changed some since then, but that's the part I like at least, and wish they would use some more in the future narrative.

Regardless of this, though, I seem to completely agree with most of you, that AoS needs to be it's own thing. It needs to not develop more strands of nostalgia to the World that Was, and GW needs to spend their creative juices on expanding upon this fresh creation they made with the Age of Sigmar. Instead of revisiting old stuff, I want them to create new stuff, both models and narrative, because most of the time they are simply better at it now than they were 5-10-20 years ago. I believe that GWs new creations will be better than the old ones, but it takes effort and it takes time to put in all that effort. Plus it takes time for us to develop a familiarity with the new world and develop fond memories and great stories from the games we played in the new world.

Ideally they would redo their entire fantasy model range with models that was made for Age of Sigmar, with perhaps the exception of the Daemons.

Edited by Spiky Norman
speeling
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s not an unpopular conclusion with me. I very much want AoS to move forward with new stuff rather than all the tired old WFB stuff. The Battletomes for me been exceptional, the reworking and new narratives we’ve seen are brilliant. I worry that New GW will listen to the wrong people when it comes to the human and Aelf factions.  AoS needs new not the old.  I’d hope that GW will listen to the view of the people who actually like, play and buy AoS rather than the whiners many of whom I suspect hadn’t bought or played an WFB miniature for many years before The Warhammer Word died. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Ollie Grimwood said:

It’s not an unpopular conclusion with me. I very much want AoS to move forward with new stuff rather than all the tired old WFB stuff. The Battletomes for me been exceptional, the reworking and new narratives we’ve seen are brilliant. I worry that New GW will listen to the wrong people when it comes to the human and Aelf factions.  AoS needs new not the old.  I’d hope that GW will listen to the view of the people who actually like, play and buy AoS rather than the whiners many of whom I suspect hadn’t bought or played an WFB miniature for many years before The Warhammer Word died. 

Im always a little confused when people keep saying 'when we get a battletome for (existing sub faction)' because I feel GW is more likely to keep pushing down the new route than go round in circles re-making existing stuff?  Yes some pre-existing factions got a tome but that was near the start, where they had to build the narrative quickly, now that time has passed id be surprised if they put a lot of effort into old factions rather than just replace or re-invent them with a similar but new much more AoS-ified faction.

You cant get completely away from the old-world, its still a fantasy setting and the races still need to be 'typecast' to a certain extent to act, think, live, in a way we would expect/want them to.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Spiky Norman said:

Ideally they would redo their entire fantasy model range with models that was made for Age of Sigmar, with perhaps the exception of the Daemons.

I think this is what is on the cards. One of the issues with the old game was that the models had to be ranked up into units, so if you look from the point of view of the guys in the studio, this limits what cool poses and things you can do with the model. So I think that they want to redo everything and this is what they have been and still are investing in. People have been moaning that we've not seen much AoS stuff recently (Hey what about Firestorm.... ) but I think that's because they just aren't in a good spot to have anything ready for us. It's been hinted that we are going to be seeing some really cool and unusual stuff in the future.

I really like what GW are doing with AoS (and their other games) and I'm in my hobby element now. All I need is more free time! :D 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that having just a few 'familiar' elements like free cities allows for a deeper exploration of the AOS universe. Good narrative battleplans and WHQ adventures are so much easier to comprehend if you can relate to the setting. There is nothing wrong in starting off in the Cinderfall district of Hammerhal before going out to/find/fight/befriend that mystical giant city of oompaloompas flying between two realms in a place you can only visit in your dreams. About a year ago I made a map campaign for AOS that was supposed to be rich on narrative. At the time I had very little knowledge of the AOS universe and though I liked the idea of keeping it high fantasy it was hard to make the campaign when so many things remained unclear. How much humanity was left in stormcasts? Was there no normal human civilization or were all humans left merely primitive tribes? Knowing these things now makes it so much easier to understand what the good guys are fighting for and the bad guys wants to destroy/corrupt/devour.

I hope GW will stay true to the extreme world of the mortal realms but thanks for the civilization input even if it does taste a bit of the world that was.

I see it like with the mortal realms GW gave us a canvas and with the implenting of free cities etc. They gave us colours to add.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, stato said:

Im always a little confused when people keep saying 'when we get a battletome for (existing sub faction)' because I feel GW is more likely to keep pushing down the new route than go round in circles re-making existing stuff?  Yes some pre-existing factions got a tome but that was near the start, where they had to build the narrative quickly, now that time has passed id be surprised if they put a lot of effort into old factions rather than just replace or re-invent them with a similar but new much more AoS-ified faction.

You cant get completely away from the old-world, its still a fantasy setting and the races still need to be 'typecast' to a certain extent to act, think, live, in a way we would expect/want them to.

Easy to say when your army has a tome. Some of us are righteously salty about being left out. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great write up BobbyB, it's good you made this as I feel the same about many things from a more romantic perspective and at the same time things this read can interest former WFB players who have not crossed over into AoS. Offcourse nobody needs to but Age of Sigmar isn't the same like it's initial start, it isn't the same by a long shot! Many who have negative opinions about Age of Sigmar still seem to be in the mindset that it is. I too didn't like how Age of Sigmar started out. I love where it is now however, fleshed out to a point where many armies can present themselves on a strong competitive level and support a completely different tactical thake on their army to archieve succes.

Age of Sigmar theme
Where I agree is that Age of Sigmar's themes are vastly updated over Warhammer Fantasy. I too see this as a good thing. What suprises me to date however is that many who talk about Warhammer Fantasy speak of it's later editions, 6th to 8th. The funny thing about this is that WFB 1st to 5th had a lot of "fantastical" designs Age of Sigmar also has. So if anything I believe we see a "fantasy trend" that basically brings us back to times where heroes have to be all muscle, armour and all powerful. Something I call the He-man effect. Not only is this GW's response to this, in fact it was World of Warcraft (inspired after Warhammer Fantasy) that pushed the design like this with their incredible online platform back in the 2000's. This is the type of design what's actually more true to the fantasy genre as some assume it is. Why? Because it's completely self made up and doesn't hinge on history to create historical fantasy settings that very much where what Warhammer Fantasy was. Again this change was pretty much applied in 6th edition and before that WFB was very much a thing on their own. 

Present 
First wanted to cover this part:

Quote

So the fluff came, and it couldn't just be stormcast and khorne to eternity so old friends from the warhammer world were shoe-horned in and the scope started to broaden.

From my perspective there is a very clear aesthetic divide between models designed for Age of Sigmar and those for the warhammer world. I'd suggest also that maybe a lot, if not all of the end times stuff was designed with the former in mind and released prior to the onset of AoS to ease people in to the change, although that's pure speculation.

To me Khorne is very much an old friend. For some reason a lot of people seem to think Bloodbound is actually a new line with a lot of new models, in all honesty this isn't all too much the case. What makes Blades of Khorne "new" is:
- Mighty Lord of Khorne
- Bloodstoker
- Bloodsecrator
- Slaughterpriest (2 different sculpts)
- Exalted Deathbringer (2 different sculpts)
- Aspiring Deathbringer (2 different sculpts)
- Khorgorath
- Blood Warriors (2 different sculpts)
- Bloodreavers (3 different sculpts if you count Shadespire's latest Bloodreavers)

Funny enough the most succesful Khorne armies don't even play many of these newer models. In fact a lot of them rely on the much older Bloodletter sculpts and/or Wrathmongers/Skullreapers. There is offcourse enough reason to run the above but Khorne is very much a mix of WFB and AoS allready.
So from my perspective there isn't a very clear aesthetic devide between models, purposefully so because there is a lot of WFB stock that still needs to go. The difference isn't that romantic but comes in which sets are plastic and thus easier to repackage and which lines ran on more metal/finecast models (and got dropped).
There is one thing GW learned from dropping models though and that's the fanbase backlash, for that reason I expect no additional Factions to be removed from the shelves. Even less so now there is a smaller interest in WFB again due to Total War Warhammer and the upcomming Vermintide game.
 

Quote

I'm of the belief that Age Of Sigmar needs to play to its strengths to succeed in its world building. It needs to take advantage of the infinite nature and possibilities of the realms framework, the epic scale and the transmutable, chaotic foundation.  My favourite, and the most evocative things are things like the Skaven infested city on the back of (and inside) an enormous worm, Argentine the zodiac serpent, the kharadron skyports and associated shark like creatures, these things are about as high as fantasy can get and just not feasible in a lot of more grounded worlds.

I completely agree with you, however I will also say that Age of Sigmar has been brought to life in my opinion to thake advantage of the 'infinite concept'. It has done this by becomming a universe and not one Old World. The advantage here is that Age of Sigmar, unlike Warhammer Fantasy, has the room for both. There can be cities of Order who are orderly and normal. There can now be cities of Chaos who are chaotic and follow extreme fantasy designs such as 'time stopping' and cities made of creatures and living iron.

Shadespire is such an exampe why both work, Nagash has created a city where nobody is capable to die for eternity. I personally believe it opens the door to segway into depth for Death where Nagash has experimented there and is now capable of creating "Death Knight" warriors who in principle work like Stormcast but are bound to him and the realms of Death.

Making great use of infinite options to me for Age of Sigmar means you can have historical fantasy and epic fantasy into one universe. With WFB some hated Chaos because it was bordering epic fantasy while others disliked the Empire because it basically was Golden Ages Germany, The Dutch, Belgium and Swiss (or more). They still where bound to the same world and that world eventually failed because it was full. 
 

Quote

Personally, and I know this is going to be hugely unpopular, I would like to see AoS stand on its own two feet, I was glad to see the compendium stuff being slowly detached and would ultimately be pleased to see anything pre-end times phased out in favour of a completely new and purpose built universe where everything felt like it belonged.  The way things are going I'm more concerned that it is backsliding into a halfway house between the potential of the mortal realms and the (perhaps false) security of the warhammer world and I don't think this will give us a game with a cohesive feeling background.

In my opinion Age of Sigmar is very much standing on it's own two feet. The thing is that there are still two realistic factors where Games Workshop cannot step out of:
1. There are still a lot of fans for Warhammer Fantasy, only more come due to PC games focussing on it.
2. There is still a lot of stock of Warhammer Fantasy models in brick and mortar stores. Repacked or not, it needs to be sold. 

With this in mind it's only obvious that GW's management still keeps WFB fans and models into consideration. Removing what has been created the last 30 years just for an all epic high fantasy Age of Sigmar would simply said not be a smart thing to do. What is smart is showing that Age of Sigmar has the room for WFB while WFB would not have the room for Age of Sigmar. Slowly but surely we will see more and more boxes repacked and newer models thake over older models but that really is a process that requires at least 10 years. 

A small blend of historical design also benifits Age of Sigmar, as it makes it more relateable. Likewise the social media marketing done now makes Games Workshop more relateable because you can actually get a responce. Going into completely new and unknown directions doesnt sit well for many fans, which is why Age of Sigmar is growing slowly but technically is immensely improved. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The one thing the cities did, which I love, is to take the Darkling Coven, Order Serpentis and Scourge Privateers and put them in a context that makes sense and is also a huge departre from previous lore. Previously, the druchii were evil exiled followers of Malekith, and my coven felt like they were a leftover remnant from the old world druchii, with very little to do with the new lore. Now they have a place (except for those crazy murder girls), in the city of Anvilguard, alongside the Anvils of the Heldenhammer (one has to wonder why exactly the Anvils feel comfortable hanging out with dark elves). The city has docks the Privateers use between their forays into Aqshy to capture dragons, drakes and gryphthings to give to their allies. Serpentis Knights just seem more knightly to me when they have a fortress to protect.

On the one hand, I'm really hoping that they take Scourge Privateers and add a bunch of new models and turn them into the rumoured aelf pirate faction instead of making a 100% new. I think the Corsairs are dynamic enough to not look dated against some newer models. On the other, I'm hoping that the rumoured shadowkin aelves are a completely new faction (aside from the two Silver Tower heroes). I know Shadowblades exist, but I think they are fine as specialist allies. (Though I do wish they had put some sort of foot elves in with them, like Shades or even moving Shadow Warriors like they moved Sisters to Wanderer.)

I guess what I'm wanting is for them to either add new factions, or to  expand small factions without much identity into a new faction that really fits with the new lore.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Sheriff said:

Easy to say when your army has a tome. Some of us are righteously salty about being left out. 

Bretonnians and Dwarfs mate (and a lot compendium, not Dispossessed), I get the hurt.  I can obviously start a new dwarf faction (I have), but its still a new faction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, GammaMage said:

On the one hand, I'm really hoping that they take Scourge Privateers and add a bunch of new models and turn them into the rumoured aelf pirate faction instead of making a 100% new. I think the Corsairs are dynamic enough to not look dated against some newer models. On the other, I'm hoping that the rumoured shadowkin aelves are a completely new faction (aside from the two Silver Tower heroes). I know Shadowblades exist, but I think they are fine as specialist allies. (Though I do wish they had put some sort of foot elves in with them, like Shades or even moving Shadow Warriors like they moved Sisters to Wanderer.)

I guess what I'm wanting is for them to either add new factions, or to  expand small factions without much identity into a new faction that really fits with the new lore.

I think they will make it happen. Nothing other than Stormcasts feels 100% new anyway, There is a lot of Warhammer Fantasy art that allready looks a ton like Age of Sigmar models, the thing really was that all the larger armies needed to look akin enough to each other to make it work. The prime advantage of the Faction split is that Dwarfs for example can now look like the Kharadon Overlords and Fyreslayers, visually those Duaradin armies do not match at all, for WFB this would have been impossible to do.

What I believe is that a lot of plastic kits are in the save if they look unique enough and what entitles the unique look really boils down to the question, would/could you use this for a different game and still get away with it? For the privateers not so much, for things like beastmen, yeah... But hey, I think GW isn't even worried about that too much anymore. They do their thing and its working out very well for them right now.

The only thing as to why paranoia struck with WFB/40K is because I feel that that was a bad year for GW and then your looking for scapegoats. If all is doing fine, there is no reason to put time into such matters. It isn't a coincedence that the years where GW was suing left and right where also the worst years and lead to WFB's exit. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have preferred a harder break from the Old World as well. A lot of the old stuff feels dragged and shoehorned into AoS. Another thing along with this is all the square base models still for sale on the store. It doesn't feel like a cohesive universe but more like what it is - a new one created with the parts of an old one and kind of jammed together in a meatloaf that they're making up as they cook it. That said, I totally understand why they wouldn't want to do a complete bridge burning from the Old World, all of its models included.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel exactly the same, and to be honest I don't think GWs business model, even for 40k, really involved much revisiting of old models and factions, it's more about churning new and expanded stuff, which is fine by me!  That's not to say that certain things won't be brought up to date but I'd imagine it'd be more like dryads where one or two units are built up into full factions.

 

Also the faction system makes more sense in this context as it gives GW more places to go to keep releases fresh, while not shutting the door on doing say a second ironjawz release of the army becomes very popular.

 

Also great posts in this thread so far even the people disagreeing! I was expecting people to just tell me to stfu so I'm pleased how its turned out xD

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, BobbyB said:

 

Also great posts in this thread so far even the people disagreeing! I was expecting people to just tell me to stfu so I'm pleased how its turned out xD

STFU Rob! ?

Great write up, wish there was more of this kind of thing on here. 

I think GW have learnt thier lessons and are careful not to paint themselves into a corner with factions, leaving a lot vague and open so they can revisit. 

The one thing that is missing for me is the human face of the game, it defined the old world. I hope that the empire equivalent for AoS is released soon, it gives the rest of the setting a real grounding. Different armies of free peoples from different cities or one faction that is split between and can be tailored to one city or the other would be nice. This would also give a real cornerstone to the aesthetic of the game as it would easily be the most relatable faction.

Edited by MOMUS
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

High fantasy does not need this and in fact such things don't make any sense in a high fantasy setting. Besides we already have free peoples, Azyrheim, Hammerhal and such stuff, so no need for more. AoS is nothing like the old world and so obeys no rules from that one, which is great.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MOMUS said:

STFU Rob! ?

Great write up, wish there was more of this kind of thing on here. 

I think GW have learnt thier lessons and are careful not to paint themselves into a corner with factions, leaving a lot vague and open so they can revisit. 

The one thing that is missing for me is the human face of the game, it defined the old world. I hope that the empire equivalent for AoS is released soon, it gives the rest of the setting a real grounding. Different armies of free peoples from different cities or one faction that is split between and can be tailored to one city or the other would be nice. This would also give a real cornerstone to the aesthetic of the game as it would easily be the most relatable faction.

They have been doing that. Of course not in the same way as the old world. We have city of secrets, shadows over hammerhal and spear of shadows. Showing how people live in the realms. At most there are similarities but GW has done it in such a way that I feel keeps the feeling of AOS. Like living on a giant moving worm or hunting sky sharks. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting read, and there are a number of suppositions you make which I totally agree with (end times stuff was always done with an eye to AoS just seems pretty blatant based on aesthetic). 

Your view that you’d like to see what went before phased out is always going to be divisive.  For me I have a hell of a lot of investment which reaches back into that older model range, but do I genuinely care if they stripped it away, on the whole I’d say no.

I’d say is sensible for player engagement to always retain the compendium option but to do as they have done with TK and push the points up till they’re a mediocre army rather than a cutting edge army.  That way people can continue to throw old toys on the table if they wish without feeling pushed away by GW. 

In reality how many people do you know who only play that one army that they can never expand, will pretty much never appear in the narrative being released?  Or how many of those players due to a retained interest in the game (because they have a currently playable army) will eventually get hooked by a new release and pick up ‘the new shiny’.

Personally I’m a hopeless addict.  When AOS first came out I didn’t have a desire to pick up Stormcasts or Bloodbound or Fireslayers (it was close but price & mediocrity at the time saved me) and the initial few books after that were reskins of old armies.  But I was still playing, I ran Dispossessed, TK, mixed Order and Skaven (well predominantly, a few DoC thrown in too).  All of this let me get a feel for the game and build my excitement for how flexible the system really was and how good the rules could be and I started to build up interest for buying into the new game with new armies.  Then disaster struck…GHB 2016.

For many GHB 2016 was what kicked AoS back into the realms of a playable game with points.  For me all it did was take SCGT points and remove the absolute flexibility to balance that the community control allowed.  What it also did that I utterly dislike (but I understand why GW did this) was to enforce an army structure (1-6 leaders, 3+ battleline, max 4 behemoths) this added absolutely nothing to the game other than restricting player choice and access to funny/cool armies.  At the time I was midway through planning & building out my Sons of Behemat army (formation of 5 giants for those who don’t know it).  This immediately became an unplayable list as 1. Too many behemoths and 2. They didn’t point the battalion. 

Under the community ownership this was a legitimate (if somewhat ridiculous) force.  My army would have been Gordrakk, 5 giants and an Idol of Gork.  Now on initial face value some people may think that is a quite scary proposition 7 large monsters that are a seriously concentrated source of damage if they go in together.  But then think about the other layers of the game:

  • Scenario play – pretty rubbish in everything under GHB16, now good at the 1 scenario where monsters can capture

  • Damage output – with the existence of stepped profiles on monsters chipping a few wounds off each one actually reduces their power unlike previous editions making attrition against them actually meaningful

  • Alternating combat means if 2 giants goes in 1 usually gets trounced before it can attack

  • No of wounds = 91, less than most armies and not that highly armoured (4+/5+)

  • No ranged ability

Anyway that’s away from the aesthetic point which is I think GW started hurting the aesthetic of the game a while back and are continuing to do so.  Additional points cuts for hordes of troops obviously encourages them on the table, plus scenario rules which favour them, in more instances than smaller elite armies, is focussing people back onto a number of models from older editions as generally these are the cheaper units available to each GA. Eg skinks, bloodletters, freeguild guard.  As per Rob’s original posting there does seem to be a change in aesthetic direction for AoS on the whole with the exception of Chaos Daemons which are core to GWs IP anyway and from the lore it makes sense why they can just be ported across between WFB/40k/AoS and it still be appropriate.

But do I see it as an issue going forward?  Well if you look across the factions:

  • Order: Stormcasts, Sylvaneth, Kharadron means there is plenty of ‘new’
  • Death: Have not had anything new released yet so we don’t have a direction of travel but taking the Deathlords from End Times as ‘new’ then there is a quite clear ‘look’ and with the shadespire skellys there is a slight change of direction but not significant.
  • Destruction: Ironjaws dialled ‘ork’ upto 11, personally I can’t see the old Orc line ever getting updated, it’s entirely redundant between Bonesplitters & Ironjaws.  Beastclaw put an interesting background to what was a pretty dull part of an army before and that in itself was enough to make them AOS for me. The really interesting bit for me is what will happen to the Grots.
  • Chaos: We’ve seen direction of travel with Bloodbound, Tzeentch Arcanites & again bringing End Times into AOS we had the Blight Kings.  But Chaos is an odd faction to me as it is very much trapped to existing across all ages & game systems of GW so it is very difficult for them to amend the look of the core daemon units which are now well established in the art so it cannot help but anchor a link back to the old aesthetic of ‘the world that was’.

That said GW continue to release new models which advance the faction and make it more interesting to me, the Tzeentch release in particular gave a great new look to an army while not really changing any of the background.

What I expect to happen is now that GW have given us army rules in GHB2017 for many of the ‘old’ armies that these actually get treated broadly comparably to compendium units by the company.  Sure you can still buy the models but they will get no attention from us.

The will move forward with ‘new’ armies for Deathrattle, Grots & Nurgle (the obvious armies which didn’t get rules from the existing lines) and personally I’m fingers crossed for something covering Skaven potentially just Eshin and that would be fine by me. That just leaves a new Aelf army which surely must becoming between the lack of GHB17 rules for any of the old high elf units and the dramatically different aesthetic of the Misweaver and Tenebrael Shard from what we have previously seen to represent Aelfs.

So while releases like Firestorm would seem to draw us back towards what was before, with the City States, there is plenty of wholly new properties which I’d expect to come that will offer us sufficient ‘new shiny’ that we will naturally move away from what has been ported over from WFB and it will only exist in the form of the City State armies and I’d hope that the factions will be collapsed in future into just those forces rather than the existing mess of sub-factions that make up order and through that we will naturally see the linkages back to the old world condensed into a handful of factions rather than to an uneducated onlooker appearing to dominate what makes up the forces of the game.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a company the size of GW, why does a "nod to the old" and "exploring the new" have to be mutually exclusive.

Some people like a "anything is possible" style of fantasy, while others prefer things to be more historically-based and  understated. I don't see why one group has to be excluded by going exclusively in either direction.

Personally, I probably belong in the latter category, as I find super-gods waging infinite war in infinite relams to be a bit OTT. For me, if everything is infinite - especially in terms of geographical area - then none of the battles really matter.

I generally prefer the aesthetic, tight themes and game play of AoS over WHFB, but the setting, and, to a lesser extent, the stormcasts are still the drawbacks for me.

If being positive about 75% of Aos and negative about 25% makes me a "whiner", then so be it. Apparently, we have to pretend to love everything all of the time.

Edited by Kyriakin
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...