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What's the real story behind the launch of Age of Sigmar?


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I was listening to an interview of Jervis Johnson on the Stormcast podcast in which he tactfully  acknowledges that  the roll out of AoS wasn't exactly a smooth one.   

It got me to wondering how that all happened. I don't mean how or why GW decided to end WFB. I mean who decided that releasing AoS in it's original state- without much structure or point costs- was a good idea and how did they reach this conclusion?
 

Did GW always intend to flesh AoS out by adding the missing elements, or was this a decision that was made only when they saw the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the game as released?

Did any heads roll at GW for what, with 20/20 hindsight, appears to have been a very poor decision?

Many people have speculated regarding the answers to these questions, but is there any hard information, any first -hand accounts from those who were there on the inside?

Thanks.
 

 

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Ok beardlings… sit down and put another log on the fire…   The beginning The company that you all know as GW originally was two very distinct businesses working out of Nottingham.  Game

Honestly...call me heretic, but I haven`t played a single game with points yet. I actually believe it is a step back, as the basic ruleset (which still applies, GHB is an add-on!) forces players to in

As a player who was new to miniature gaming (AoS was my first ever experience), I can tell you that the rules as they existed on release were actually a big draw for me. I can’t speak for anybody else

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At the time, GW considered itself a miniatures company and did not worry about the rules and mechanics of their games.  They went with an abstracted rule set and gave the community free reign to play the sorts of games that they would want to play.  They focused instead on producing the best possible plastic kits and did not worry about the points.

As for first-hand experience, I don't remember reading or hearing anything in particular.  All I know is that is was a massive gamble that has paid off in the long term for GW as a business.  The abstracted, modular rules, and still supporting older models released are two great things about Age of Sigmar.

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If you go way back in wargaming it used to be mainly historicals.  Historicals are still around and if you look into a lot of the sort of games that the GW founders & old guard played and were influenced by you can see the whole concept of "narrative" and no-points type of play.  It is not at all uncommon in those sorts of games.  I am pretty sure that the first incarnation of Age of Sigmar was a push by some of the GW Longbeards (my guess would be Jervis - just follow his game design musings) to make a push back into that style of gaming.  It was not the worst idea around, but it failed due to how much GW had heavily trained their player base to their current wargame format, using a much beloved game as the test-bed, and not really figuring out how to sell an old and somewhat forgotten concept to a newer generation that is unfamiliar with it.  In addition, games as a broad whole (from video games to miniature to board games) have moved into a much more competitive place and I think they heavily underestimated that.

But I think it is all really speculation as nobody seems to really have made a tell-all about it.

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This has been a spicy meme topic ever since AoS was released. People have their own interpretation of what they think GW was thinking or doing when they decided to kill off WFB in favor of a new system. I'm sure people will come flocking here to tell their version of what they think happened. In truth, no one really knows for sure what or why GW did what they did since there is no official documentation stating as such. We can only go with what we can infer from the information that is gleaned from things like the sales of miniatures, the quality of the rules and the fact that it all seemingly looks like things took a turn for the better once the previous CEO jumped ship. All of the stories you have and will hear probably have some kernel of truth to them in some way, just remember that these are simply (somewhat biased, which isn't a bad thing) conclusions built from what little information if any we had at the time. 

tl;dr: Take everything you hear with a truckload of salt. 

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Impossible to know the real story and whether heads rolled. Lack of communication was IMO the worst defect of AoS launch. GW had a very mad and anxious fanbase, and they launched a new product with what many felt like missing parts and without communicating future plans at all. And they continued to add pain by pricing new models at absurd prices (sfter a decently priced starting set).

Kirby likely made that call, choosing to emphasize the "we are a miniatures company" and "we are giving you back responsibility for your games and fun" frames. The 180° change of discourse less than a year from launch shows that it went wrong. 

As painful as that process was, it set the terrain for today's golden age: it left so much room open that a well managed company can do marvels!

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As a player who was new to miniature gaming (AoS was my first ever experience), I can tell you that the rules as they existed on release were actually a big draw for me. I can’t speak for anybody else, but at the very least the idea of the release being universally poorly planned is not a fact. 

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I feel like it's almost a successful business case for a reboot of a long existing product line. In very specific circumstances:

  1. Niche interest (those interested are often very interested),
  2. Collection based (many players had all they wanted for their army(s) and simply added little drabs here and there),
  3. Complex rule base (drives away casual players and takes time to balance),
  4. Rules shuffling (players bought books but the time required for changes and balance meant the changes were tweaks - between editions),
  5. Barely profitable (according to the sales reports),
  6. Ancient franchise (many lapsed players - little to draw them back to the "active purchaser" crowd),
  7. Company has 0 belief that they can mitigate the damage the reboot is about to do to their most loyal users.

Along comes AoS and you want to do as much as possible to get the casuals in.  You want scorched earth, a clean slate. Something just short of actually insulting your existing hardcore userbase within the small user niche.

You figure - you gamble - that those who are amenable to collecting again from scratch love the hobby for more than rules only (or will find a way to love the rules in their own fashion).

You anticipate you lose goodwill and face rage. But you have a plan. I think points were always there as a plan  (maybe a plan B but not pulled out of their ass). That's just my belief though.

Could it have been better mitigated? Absolutely.

Would the possibly resource intensive, expensive steps to mitigate it reduce the blind, red-hot rage of the average hardcore fan? Absolutely not.

I think they all knew the models that were coming were mind-blowing and would draw ppl back after long hiatuses (without worrying about WHFB rules) and entice in the WHFB players who had cooled after they processed the loss of the old world.

Interesting topic but I am not sure if it'll go anywhere in the long run!

Edit/ oh! I wasn't around for the endtimes, but was it clear then they were going to explode the franchise? I can see the possibility that they hid that thinking "what about ppl who might buy stuff but won't as it's ending? And it'll put a real downer on AoS's launch..."

I think that was a mistake. Make the endtimes period an informed end of the era. Let the old game cover the grief and rage. The new era of sales would come anyway.

Edited by Turragor
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I don't think anyone expected GW to actually explode the whole Old World and the original armies and remove several armies all in one go. AoS was totally out of the blue for fans and it threw many hard; a bad move when the fantasy franchise was already on rocky ground after being ignored for years and dwindling significantly in players. 

 

I think a few things came to the fore:

1) From my impression it was a full embrace of "miniatures and no rules" approach to the production side. The way I see it the Realm system at creation (infinite realm size) plus shattering many armies into a lot of smaller sub-factions and the Grand Alliance structure were all designed to basically remove the idea of faction armies. Instead you had 4 grand alliance "armies" which would let GW cycle models in and out of production. 

That GW chose to drop two full armies at launch (Tomb Kings and Bretonnia) tells me that they were likely going to embrace the idea of a boutique line. Releasing lots of models that are awesome to look at with very few to no real rules (the launch rules were silly - yes fun but there was no serious backbone or option). 

I think we'd have seen GW retiring more models and releasing others almost like they were running their own Kickstarter, without respecting how many of those KS and how many armies worked because of Fantasy itself and its underlaying structure. This fits nicely with Kirby's general attitude toward many products of having short term focused products with a big boom in sales and then removing them from sale later. AoS was this for a core game as opposed to the previous attempts which were all Specialist games. 

You could say one aspect of the approach was that without serious rules players could adapt to new armies and factions more readily; whilst retirement of armies could be seen as providing continual fresh products that wouldn't require further re-investment to remain popular. A means toward generating profit from the moulds then dumping them and moving into the next model design rather than remaking the "old" 

2) Kirby was famous for not doing market research. AoS at launch strikes me as a product developed in a vacuum without outside feedback. So small ideas got blown out of proportion; focuses were done without respect as to their proper patterns and it might even be that no basic internal market review was done either. Ergo it was an attempt by GW to dictate to the customer what the customer wanted without any consultation on the customers. 

Of course with the huge variety of people there were fans of early AoS; but because of the lack of market research the fanbase was distinctly small and niche.

3) The lack of marketing communication at the time. GW of the time didn't give out any info on future releases. You had to rely on rumours and on shops getting pre-release price lists. So there was almost no preparation for the AoS launch. This meant that not only was the market not ready; it was also not really prepared for the vast change in direction. This in turn meant that when AoS launched instead of having droves of fans it generated droves of haters - from those with fantasy armies who now hated what Fantasy had become through to even those who had been on the fence. 

 

 

 

Personally I think most knew that something in Fantasy had to change so were expecting some change; for GW to abandon all rules; to shatter whole armies; to shatter decades of lore of their original launch game and such - all at once was just too much. The massive changes we've seen in GW since then I think were a direct result. AoS broke the camels back within GW and I think forced things to change. They have changed and drastically for the better. 

GW is now doing proper market research (actually above and beyond considering how they reviewed their last consumer feedback survey); they are doing daily marketing and community connections now over multiple mediums and growing those mediums; they are putting the serious backbone back into AoS, giving it proper armies and tightening things up. That GW managed to soar to the top trading company on the UK Stock market in a year of this change I think shows just how much many of these changes have resulted in a huge swing of sales and popularity.

 

 

 

This is all what I think has happened based on what we saw. Of course its impossible to say that it was "all kirby"; but it was all Kirby era management choices that led us to AoS. 

I also feel that if they had stuck with the old approach to AoS we'd be seeing GW releasing great models for it, but no real fanbase. It would be generating sales from big launches, but retiring models too and having less overall direction. Perhaps only Stormcast and core Chaos factions would be safe from retirement and removal; whilst the rest would be under a constant dark shadowy threat of being retired. 

 

Huge mistakes were made, yet we are now in a much stronger position. The recovery period has been a text book example that I'm sure might well be used in teh classroom and lecture halls to show how a company can make a massive turn around in attitude and restore faith, fans and support for their product line following poor choices. 

Edited by Overread
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1 hour ago, Overread said:

This is all what I think has happened based on what we saw. Of course its impossible to say that it was "all kirby"; but it was all Kirby era management choices that led us to AoS. 

Yeah, management in organizations is very much a top-down thing.  He might not have made all of the specific decisions, but he set the culture, structure, and policies that enabled those decisions to be acted upon.  I don't think that laying much of this at his feet is wrong at all.

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3 hours ago, Ken said:

I mean who decided that releasing AoS in it's original state- without much structure or point costs- was a good idea and how did they reach this conclusion?

This isn't fact or support to answer your question, but it may give some insight.

For the 11 or 12 years I worked in their US head office, it was on open secret that the higher-ups were looking forward to the day when "all the old beardies" would die off so that they could make fun games not bogged down by endless rules lawyering and complaining.

Take that for what it's worth.

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2 hours ago, Turragor said:

End Times ... was it clear then they were going to explode the franchise

No. And that was my personal source of blinding rage at first.

I figured they were destroying the actual planet, but to sell 4 expensive (gorgeous) volumes and many, many cool models with WFB rules right when they did full well knowing that anything rules-oriented about them had a shelf life of about two seconds but not telling purchasers was unconscionable to me. I almost never accuse any company of this, but that was purely a shady, deceitful cash grab. They knew full well many veteran gamers would buy that stuff and then quit when the game died, but they did it anyway to squeeze just a little more blood from the stone before it dropped into the abyss. 

I quit for a time. I had every WD from issue 102 on (and some older ones) but I stopped right then and there. (Let's not even get into them squatting Tomb Kings and all their very new awesome models entirely.)

It took a long time and a lot of earned trust to bring me back.

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9 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

This isn't fact or support to answer your question, but it may give some insight.

For the 11 or 12 years I worked in their US head office, it was on open secret that the higher-ups were looking forward to the day when "all the old beardies" would die off so that they could make fun games not bogged down by endless rules lawyering and complaining.

Take that for what it's worth.

The funny thing I find about that is that, at least in my own anecdotal experience, I find that the more "old beardies" you play with the less rules-lawyering is a thing.  Thats not to say that it never happens with people who have been playing for a long time, but it seems to be more of a phenomenon with people at earlier stages of their hobby.  At a certain point most people I know just want to play with their toys and have a good time getting away from everything else.  Your mileage may vary.

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35 minutes ago, Jetengine said:

I legitimately fail to understand how Kirby stuck around as long as he did. 

Because he owned majority shares in the company as well as being its CEO. Plus GW was still profitable; their main hiccup was when Lord of the Rings Bubble burst; otherwise they were still making profit each year (I believe there were a few wobbly years though). So in general the company was still performing; plus he/they would often do things timed to the shareholders meeting so that the value went up and things looked good just before the meeting. Short term products, new editions, new popular codex - ergo content that would generate a short term sales spike. 

So he was in a quite an untouchable position and GW had always paid out well on their shares. Indeed one of the new approaches they are taking is to lower the payout to shareholders to a steadier more market standard value right now. 

This was the core issue though; Kirby was almost totally focused on the shareholder side of things and not the customer side. Short term it worked; but it was long term causing damage and we can see by how much the shares leaped up that GW could have been far stronger than they are even now. 

 

 

I think AoS failing was part of what started to put pressure on him moving out and changing their direction. When their entire business concept basically was taken to the extreme and backfired hard. Plus lets not forget in that era Kickstarters were getting big. They were seeing games based off old specialist GW games making a fortune and funding over and over - millions going into other companies copy-catting what GW had done before. I think that also started to put pressure on change when they could see that; sure Bloodbowl wasn't making SpaceMarine level money; but was making serious income a viable option. 

And as @Sleboda points out, AoS launch didn't just change things; it instantly alienated almost the entire previous market for the fantasy game. It wasn't just a new direction, it was a new direction coupled with a massive kick-out of the old gamers.

 

 

Also personally I find that its much easier to play fun games when the rules are well written. I think Kirby era management and some old-hands on GW's staff rules writing team have held GW back in teh rules market for years now. The way they write and appraoch them I think its wrong and AoS's forced "joke" rules at launch were a symptom of this. Yes you can play fun games with them, but having a solid fair rules system behind it helps out immensely. Most people have more fun in a fair game than an unfair one and with clear boundaries than with unclear. I'd love if GW could get their writing up to Magic the Gathering standard, but I'm happy that they've at least taken rules more seriously as of late. 

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Honestly...call me heretic, but I haven`t played a single game with points yet. I actually believe it is a step back, as the basic ruleset (which still applies, GHB is an add-on!) forces players to interact with each other and to actively work towards a good gaming experience for the participants.

 

Did the game have problems in the beginning? I would say no. What most people spotted, was a big portion of bitterness from disappointed folks. As sorry as I was for them, I do understand, that these folks are simply the most vocal ones on the net, reprising their point of view permanently in all kind of forums and constantly brag about the same stuff. But this hardly means the game had problems. Two of my near-by retailers sold more Warhammer miniatures than they have sold in the last five(!) years before that. The game was dying.

 

The majority of people I know and play with, did not have a problem with the lack of points. People who are satisfied simply do not tend to constantly repeat that. They just enjoy.

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6 hours ago, Skabnoze said:

If you go way back in wargaming it used to be mainly historicals.  Historicals are still around and if you look into a lot of the sort of games that the GW founders & old guard played and were influenced by you can see the whole concept of "narrative" and no-points type of play.  It is not at all uncommon in those sorts of games.  I am pretty sure that the first incarnation of Age of Sigmar was a push by some of the GW Longbeards (my guess would be Jervis - just follow his game design musings) to make a push back into that style of gaming.  It was not the worst idea around, but it failed due to how much GW had heavily trained their player base to their current wargame format, using a much beloved game as the test-bed, and not really figuring out how to sell an old and somewhat forgotten concept to a newer generation that is unfamiliar with it.  In addition, games as a broad whole (from video games to miniature to board games) have moved into a much more competitive place and I think they heavily underestimated that.

I almost mentioned historical games as a comparison for the early Age of Sigmar rules.  But you are correct in that historical games don't necessarily concern themselves with points.  I have looked through the core books for Hail Caesar! and Black Powder, and it does not have points in the book for the units it has listed.  And you know what else it doesn't have?  BASING REQUIREMENTS.  Seriously, Hail Caesar just has recommendations for how a unit can be based, and even then its for just how wide and deep the units needs to be on the tabletop.  And in Bolt Action, you can base your weapon teams and artillery pieces however you want, whether on individual bases for your troops or on a single large base - rule of cool wins out in that case.

I recall hearing what you mentioned before about a desire for something akin to historical gaming, though I can't remember where I had first heard it.  But my experience with historical wargames in recent years has shown a far more relaxed views on points and competitiveness in the games and players.  Scenarios and narratives are just as important in Bolt Action as "balance", and I have never heard of a tournament for Hail Caesar or Black Powder.

46 minutes ago, DinoTitanedition said:

Honestly...call me heretic, but I haven`t played a single game with points yet. I actually believe it is a step back, as the basic ruleset (which still applies, GHB is an add-on!) forces players to interact with each other and to actively work towards a good gaming experience for the participants.

Did the game have problems in the beginning? I would say no. What most people spotted, was a big portion of bitterness from disappointed folks. As sorry as I was for them, I do understand, that these folks are simply the most vocal ones on the net, reprising their point of view permanently in all kind of forums and constantly brag about the same stuff. But this hardly means the game had problems. Two of my near-by retailers sold more Warhammer miniatures than they have sold in the last five(!) years before that. The game was dying.

The majority of people I know and play with, did not have a problem with the lack of points. People who are satisfied simply do not tend to constantly repeat that. They just enjoy.

I had issues with Age of Sigmar in the beginning, but not for the fluff - destroying the world to advance the story was drastic, but I had no complaints for the story.  My issues were the Stormcast appearing to be fantasy versions of Space Marines.  When the Judicators were released for Stormcast, you know, big heavy armored dudes wielding giant ranged weapons that fired bolts (crossbow ammo) I gave up on the game for a while.  I am glad I came back and stuck around though, as the Stormcast have been expanded and made much more interesting and dynamic than originally (and I personally find them more interesting than Space Marines anymore).

I also had a major issue with the lack of points when the game came out.  Not because I was afraid of balance, but some of the local players.  In the local 40K group, we have ultra-competitive players who treat every game as practice for the next grand tournament.  They have the free time to play frequently, and they have to budget to buy whatever models they need to win their games.  If Age of Sigmar did take off in my local area at that time, then those players would have thrown whatever money into the game they needed to in order to win at all costs.  I literally quit playing 40K because of these players, and I was afraid that they would powergame their way through AoS like they have (and still do) for 40K.

When the General's Handbook came out in 2016, I jumped at the chance to play Age of Simgar, because I knew those players would have some limitation on what they could or couldn't do in the game.  Since then I have been trying to focus on developing a bunch of Narrative games and help get the AoS community in Missouri, USA off the ground.

But when the game first came out?

- I was saddened by the loss of the Old World, but not angry.  A massive reboot like that took guts to pull of.

- I was disappointed by the Stormcast, though the new Chaos models looked amazing.

- I liked the open nature of the game and how it encouraged creativity and effort being put into your games.

- I liked the General's Handbook when it came out, and have been hooked since.

However AoS started, GW has learned from it, and they seem to have it figured out at this point.  Right now my only complaint is what I had to complain about back in 2012 - I don't have enough money or time to put my armies together like I want!

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3 hours ago, Overread said:

Kirby was almost totally focused on the shareholder side of things and not the customer side.

Not to defend him, but that's what any CEO of a public company should do. Responsibilities #1, #2, and #3 are to increase shareholder value.

If the path to that is customer happiness, that's nice, but not a requirement.

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1 hour ago, BunkhouseBuster said:

In the local 40K group, we have ultra-competitive players who treat every game as practice for the next grand tournament

This is not just your locals. It's everywhere, and it is, in my opinion, one of the biggest negative aspects of this hobby (almost as bad as counts-as, NMM, and this misuse of the prefix 'meta' as a word on its own 😉😋.)

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3 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

This is not just your locals. It's everywhere, and it is, in my opinion, one of the biggest negative aspects of this hobby (almost as bad as counts-as, NMM, and this misuse of the prefix 'meta' as a word on its own 😉😋.)

What's so bad about practicing for tournaments? I'm a little bit confused about what you're saying there. That treating every game as practice (which it always is, in one form or another) is negative, or that it is negative to be competitive? If neither of the above, do feel free to correct me ;)

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5 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

This is not just your locals. It's everywhere, and it is, in my opinion, one of the biggest negative aspects of this hobby (almost as bad as counts-as, NMM, and this misuse of the prefix 'meta' as a word on its own 😉😋.)

I couldn't agree more. Both AoS and 40k on a local level, at least in my area, playing competitive is the only focus.

2 minutes ago, Mayple said:

What's so bad about practicing for tournaments? I'm a little bit confused about what you're saying there. That treating every game as practice (which it always is, in one form or another) is negative, or that it is negative to be competitive? If neither of the above, do feel free to correct me ;)

There is nothing wrong with practicing for competitive.

I think the point he was trying to make and one that has probably been reiterated ad nauseum throughout the GW community elsewhere is that there are other game modes to Warhammer than just Matched Play but it doesn't really get the attention it could have.

Case in point, 40k has just pushed a new narrative compaign book with loads of new missions and lore on it, but no one really focuses on that part of the book and instead focuses on the new matched play rules attached with it and how it will change the competitive meta. 

But we are veering way off topic here. To put it back on focus a bit, consider the fact that when AoS came about it nuked the WFB lore from orbit, making it nothing more than fairy tales to the current lore of AoS. Now the old lore wasn't the greatest around but at least some of the old guard held it dear, if only for nostalgic reasons. While the new AoS lore is growing in the right direction, it's still very barren and it will take time for that to change, but for the vocal majority does that even matter?

To make one more point, Aside from those interested in the growing lore, who has opened their malign portents book lately?

Competitive is the life blood of all Warhammer games and that is perfectly okay, but I wish there was some way to bring other games modes to more of the forefront of people's interests.

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In theory the AoS setting was an interesting risk to take, though.  Aside from the deplorable state of the worldbuilding, there aren't a lot of games which have the players experience an actual Age of Heroes, rather than sifting through the ruins of better ages, which is something even AoS is guilty of, though as far as I know (coming from a very casual role in the game) the ages of Myth and Legend don;t really affect the setting in a mechanical way.

The first year of the game is also probably very responsible for the current direction of GW, as the negative backlash from existing gamers when it happened it was a pretty big punch to the nose which is driving them to better things now.

Still miss the Old World, though.

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@CaptainSoup

I'll try to avoid going further than this for the sake of not digressing too far, but I think it is an important note to make; While I see what you (and like-minded people) are saying, I fundamentally disagree with the idea that no one is paying attention to the narrative part of the game, and that competitive players only exist for the competitive aspect//matched play, and that is where their interest ends. The malign portrents book point is a bit of an odd point to make. I personally didn't buy it, nor read it because it (as far as I have been told) didn't feature any of the factions that interest me (skaven and dark elves at the time), which I'm sure also applies to others as well. Did play some of the scenarios though. They were fine. Purely a matter of taste. Me and my regular gaming circle (of which my most regular opponents are quite competitive) closely followed the malign portrents narrative campaign however, and played our games with the weekly results in mind. 

(I'll use my own experiences here as I have to make a lot of assumptions otherwise. My reasoning is generally based on; Other people surely do this too ) 


Our general narrative experience translates to building themed armies with named characters and forging internal narratives around it when they meet the opposing player's army - except we don't play narrative play, we do it in matched play, and we go at it with the intention to win :P Sometimes we pick specific scenarios and build the terrain in a certain way (like putting a bunch of fyreslayers in a dwarven fortress and see how that raises their power level drastically) - all which we also consider practicing for future competitive events, since it is a fairly accurate representation of a superior enemy force, and has to be dealt with much differently than normally. 

I'd be extremely suprised if we're the -only- competitive players that go about it like this, or read the books, name our heroes, and swear blood grudges against enemy generals :P

Now, if the point is; "Yeah, but what about open play." - Sure. That's what we call it when we put Nagash on the table, throw 200 clanrats at him, and see how long he survives when we don't have anything else to spend 20 minutes on ;) Narrative play is more like Matched Play hopped up on fungus brew, which is a nice little exercise in itself, but definitely not what I would want to throw down if I'm looking for a nice relaxed game where we'd be forging a narrative, ironically enough.

If you harshly disagree, or feel like taking the conversation further, I'm down for taking it in either a PM or a new thread :) No ill will and all that jazz.
 

Edited by Mayple
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1 hour ago, Mayple said:

What's so bad about practicing for tournaments? I'm a little bit confused about what you're saying there. That treating every game as practice (which it always is, in one form or another) is negative, or that it is negative to be competitive? If neither of the above, do feel free to correct me ;)

It's sort of just a natural outgrowth of the combination of the existence of tournaments and living in areas where regular gaming is less common.

For example, in most every area of the United States where I've lived, you are lucky to have maybe three decent tournaments per year to go to.

In addition, people (again, in my experience (as a Warhammer player for over 30 years)) don't have many nights free to play a game, don't have a wide selection of opponents, and don't have an accommodating game store in which to play near them.

This all combines to create a mindset where players focus on the few events they will attend (where they will get a massive hobby infusion) and spend their non-event gaming time playing only games that help them succeed in the events.

The idea is that if you are getting, say, 15 games in at events, and maybe only 10 or 12 other games all year, you can't "waste" games not practicing.

This leads to dull games with little variety or interesting experimentation in your lists.

Edited by Sleboda
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