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Enoby

Female model representation in Age of Sigmar

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Preface

As a foreword, I know these topics can get very heated and turn nasty quickly. I don't want that happening with this thread, so I want to preface this entire thing by saying that these numbers are presented as a point of discussion, but in and of themselves they are not saying anything. I've created this post not to stir the pot, but because I'm a woman who plays Warhammer and female representation is important for me. Just as any topic about wanting to see changes in the rules, discussions on the aesthetic of an army, or lore segments, I believe this topic can be discussed sensibly on this forum (probably one of the few places on the internet where that's the case). 

So why have I written a massive post on this looking at nearly every hero model in AoS? Is it because I'm a bit bored? Partially yes, but also because I believe claims should be backed up with evidence. If I said "We need more female heroes in AoS" and didn't give any evidence as to why the current number may be lacking, I don't think I'd be making a very strong point. In addition to this, I find looking at numbers can be quite eye opening; it's easier to discuss something if we know what we're talking about. 

Female model representation in Age of Sigmar

This was written as a follow up post from a Reddit user we'll call Pebble.

This is going to be long, so there'll be a TL;DR at the bottom with the numbers, and a conclusion just above that.

I found the post quite eye-opening. For those who haven't seen the original post, it was basically a 'Bechdal test' for Warhammer factions. To pass, a faction needed at least one female named character.

To follow on from this, I wanted to compare the numbers generated by Pebble to factions with named male characters and no named characters, as well as also looking at generic heroes.

There are a couple of guidelines I'll be following to try and keep this as a reliable evaluation:

  1. I will only be looking at AoS factions with battletomes, with the exception of Bonesplittaz and Ironjawz as they used to have separate battletomes before being merged and can still be played as separate factions, as well as having a varying lore. This is because AoS used to be incredibly divided as a game and there are loads of mini factions that have about one model in, and factions with a battletome represent factions that GW wish to continue to some degree. I will post a list of included battletomes at the bottom

  2. That said, I will not be including Foregworld factions. As FW factions seem to be dropped on a whim and mentioned in passing in the lore at absolute best, they are not treat like official AoS factions by GW. I might note down FW models in existing factions, but these never effect the 'Bechdal test' results

  3. Characters being male and female are counted based on gender and not sex. As such, arguments such as 'daemons/orks/goblins aren't male and female' don't hold water as we're looking at gender representation and these characters are referred to as he and she.

  4. As Pebble's  post was looking at the movers and shakers of the AoS world, I will not be including Underworld warbands, White Dwarf heroes, or store opening special characters as these were created to tell unique mini stories rather than being a driving force in the larger narrative

  5. When looking at generic characters in AoS, lore wise they can nearly always be any gender. As such, I will have to look at how they are presented (e.g. female or male coded), if it is impossible to tell then they will be left as uncertain. This is quite difficult as you can imagine, and I didn't want to end up naming every character wearing non-boob armour as male, so I've included some qualifiers discussed below

Named character breakdown:

From Pebble's breakdown, they found that the following factions passed the test: Stormcast (Neave Blacktalon and Astreia Solbright), Sylvaneth (Drycha and Alarielle), Daughters of Khaine (Morathi), Nighthaunt (Lady Olynder), Legions of Nagash (Neferata), Hedonites (the Masque and Syll), Blades of Khorne (Valkia), Slaves to Darkness (Marakarr). This comes to 8/24 having a female named character

No named characters: Beasts of Chaos, Bonesplitterz (though note they're sometimes mixed with Ironjawz who do have a named character), Cities of Sigmar, Flesh Eaters Courts, Fyreslayers, and Ogor Mawtribes. This comes to 6/24 having no named characters

Male Named characters: Stormcast (Vandus Hammerhand, Aventis Firestrike, Gavriel Sureheart), Gloomspite Gitz (Skragrott), Idoneth Deepkin (Volturnos and Lotann), Ironjawz (Gordrakk), Kharadron Overlords (Brokk Grungsson), Khorne (Skarbrand, Skulltaker, Skarr Bloodwrath, Scyla Anfingrimm, Khorghos Khul, Karanak and a FW character duo that I won't count in numbers as Vorgaroth who's male but Skalok is female), Lumineth Realm Lords (Teclis and maybe the Light of Eltharion, and the Stone King), Nighthaunt (Kurdoss Valentian, Reikenor), Legions of Nagash (Nagash, Arkhan, Mannfred, Prince Vhordrai), Nurgle (Rotigus, Epidemius, Horticulous Slimux, Orghotts, Bloab, Morbidex, Festus, Gutrot Spume, the Glottkin triplets), Ossiarch Bonereapers (Katakros and Arch-Kavalos Zandtos), Seraphon (Lord Kroak), Skaventide (Lord Skreech and Thanquol), Slaanesh (Esske from Syll'Esske), Slaves to Darkness (Archaon and Be'lakor), Sylvaneth (maybe - the Spirit of Durthu isn't a named character by rules but is the spirit of a named character), and Tzeentch (Kairos Fateweaver). This comes to 17/24 factions passing the male version of the test.

By numbers alone, it's obvious that there are far more named male characters than female. Nurgle has the most male named characters at an uncharacteristic 9.

If we add up the total number of named characters, we have 11 female named characters and 43 male characters, and one non-binary with Shalaxi (note, I am unsure if the Celestant Prime has been confirmed either way so they are not included). There are nearly 4x the number of male named characters compared to female; 15 of these male characters come from Khorne and Nurgle combined.

There are three factions (Stormcast, Hedonites of Slaanesh, and Sylvaneth) who have more than one female named character, and 10 factions (Stormcast, Lumineth Realm Lords, Legions of Nagash, Ossiarch Bonereapers, Khorne, Nurgle, Skaven, Idoneth Deepkin, Slaves to Darkness and Nighthaunt).

The leaders of these factions are defined as the characters with the greatest importance on the lore for that faction. In AoS, some of these leaders have models, which I will be looking at. The chaos gods will not have leader models as their named greater daemons are not the leaders of their factions, but instead usually daemons with a unique story.

The leader models are as follows: Skragrott (Gloomspite Gitz), Volturnos (Idoneth Deepkin), Teclis (Lumineth Realm-Lords), Nagash (Legions of Nagash and Death as a whole), Lady Olynder (Nighthaunt), Katakros (Ossiarch Bonereapers), Lord Kroak (Seraphon), Morathi (Daughters of Khaine), Alarielle (Sylvaneth), Archaon (Slaves to Darkness and kind of Chaos as a whole), and Brokk Grungsson (Kharadron Overlords). Out of the leader models, 8/11 are male and 3/11 are female.

Generic Heroes:

As said before, these are a bit harder to measure. As such, if a character is wearing armour and their faction has been shown to have no gendered armour then they will not count towards either. For example, as we saw with Slaves to Darkness, chaos warriors all wear the same armour and other chaos armour wearing characters can be assumed to follow the same path. Even though Kharadron Overlord armour has beards, the battletome shows that male and female Kharadron have the same kit. Stormcast on the other hand have boobplate, and so characters without boobplate are assumed male.

Female generic heroes: Daughters of Khaine (Hag Queen, Slaughter Queen and their cauldron variants, new snake hero), Idoneth Deepkin (Isharann Tidecaster), Lumineth Realm Lords (Scinari Cathaller and maybe the wizard on the floating rock - it's hard to tell), Nighthaunt (Tomb Banshi), Cities of Sigmar (Sorceress and on black dragon), Slaves to Darkness (Darkoath Warqueen), Stormcast Eternals (Knight-Zephyros, Knight-Incantor), Sylvaneth (Branchwych, Branchwraith, Arch-Revenant), Legions of Nagash (the vampire lord has a lot of female variants), Slaanesh (The Contorted Epitome, Viceleader, Herald of Slaanesh on all chariot varients, and Infernal Enrapturess)

Male generic heroes: Beasts of Chaos (Beastlord, Great Bray-Shaman, Doombull, Dragon Ogor Shaggoth), Bonesplittaz (Wurrgog Prophet, Savage Big Boss, Maniak Weirdnob, Wardokk), Cities of Sigmar (Freeguild general on Griffon, Freeguild General, Battlemage, Battlemage on Griffon, Cogsmith, Warden King, Runelord, Annointed on Frostheart Phoenix and on foot, Black Ark Fleetmaster, Dreadlord on Black Dragon, Nomad Prince, Steam Tank with Commander), Flesh Eater Courts (Abhorrant Archregent, Abhorrant Ghoul King and on mounts, Crypt Ghast Courtier, Crypt Haunter Courtier, Crypt Infernal Courtier), Fyreslayers (Auric Runefather, Auric Runesmiter, Auric Runeson and their magmadroth varients, Grimwrath Bezerker, Auric Runemaster, Battlesmith, Doomseeker), Gloomspite Gitz (Dankhold Troggboss, Webspinner Shaman - it's hard to tell with the Moonclan heroes), Idoneth Deepkin (Akhelian King, Isharann Soulscryer, Isharann Soulrender), Ironjawz (Megaboss and Mawkrusha varient, Warchanter, and Weirdnob Shaman), Khorne (Herald of Khorne, Skullmaster, Bloodthirsters x3, Mighty lord of Khorne, Bloodsecrator, Blood Stoker, Lord of Khorne on Juggernaught, Exalted Deathbringer, Aspiring Deathbringer, Slaughterpriest, Skullgrinder), Legions of Nagash (Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon, Vampire Lord, Necromancer), Nurgle (Poxbringer, Spoilpox Scriviner, Sloppity Bilepiper, Lord of Afflictions, Harbinger of Decay, Sorcerer, Lord of Blights, Lord of Plagues), Ogor Mawtribes (Frostlord on Stonehorn and Thundertusk, Huskard on Stonehorn and Thundertusk, Icebrow Hunter, Tyrant, Butcher, Firebelly, Slaughtermaster), Skaven (Plague Priest, Warlock Bombardier, Grey Seer and Screaming Bell varient), Veminlord Warpseer, Warbringer, Corrupter, Deceiver, Clawlord, Arch-Warlock, Warlock Engineer, Deathmaster, Master Moulder), Slaanesh (Lord of Pain), Slaves to Darkness (Daemon prince, Darkoath Chieftain), Tzeentch (Tzangor Shaman, Changecaster, Fateskimmer, Fluxmaster, Magister, Ogroid Thaumaturge)

There are 9/24 factions with at least one female generic hero, compared to 16/24 with almost certainly male heroes (maybe 17 if we include the Treelord Ancient, which I was on the fence about). This list is giving GW the benefit of the doubt by trying to only include models with distinctly male features. I just want to clarify as well, I know you can convert a model so that it is female or male - very few of these heroes are exclusively gendered lore wise, but we are looking at models only.

To look at specific numbers, there are 24 generic female character compared to 101 coded male characters - that's over 4x as many, and that's only if I'm being very strict on what counts as a male coded model. Also, there's a very good chance I missed something.

Conclusion:

Looking at the numbers, the balance is very skewed towards male characters and generic heroes. While there has been an uptick in the number of new female models being released, there would still be a lot of catching up to do. If we wanted a 50/50 split in AoS for generic heroes (not saying we do, this is just to put things in perspective), GW would have to release one female hero model a week (and no male generic heroes) for almost two years straight.

But these are just numbers, and while I do find them interesting, I think they only become valuable when we look at what they could mean. Does a lower selection of female models have an effect on women entering the hobby? Would increasing the number of female models also increase the number of women interested in Warhammer, or are there greater barriers that have to be broken down first? While hardly scientific, I've at least noticed that more women play Sylvaneth and Slaanesh - is it coincidence that these two factions have the highest female representation after Daughters of Khaine? However, I've not noticed many women play DoK - though this could also be down to how expensive they are and the fact that they are very scantily clad.

Personally, as a woman, I do think a greater number of female models would help me at least, and my friends are also in agreement. Most people find it easier to connect with characters of the same gender as them (note, this isn't saying you can't empathise with characters of an opposite gender!), and you find that women play D&D (a similarly nerdy game) more regularly than Warhammer and in those ttrpg they tend to play women. Warhammer is just as much a narrative as it is a game; if we didn't care about aesthetic and story, we'd be happy playing with different coloured rocks instead of models. A lot of guys online seem to have the idea that women don't like WH due to some innate natural preference (often then citing primate studies which is a... rocky way to back up human psychology claims), but asking women who are happy to play D&D why they don't play WH they have always said it's because they feel unwelcome into the hobby. This could be for a lot of reasons, including the more toxic members of the community, but it may also partially be because the vast majority of characters they'll be playing are male. 

I think discussions like this are important as growing the hobby helps keep things alive and more welcoming to groups who may have previously felt like they don't belong. If you don't agree with me, that's absolutely fine and I'd also like to hear your opinions. 

Overall, these numbers should act more like a discussion point - a bit of numerical evidence to help points be made, but it'd be too difficult to draw any conclusions from this.

TL;DR

The numbers simplified:

Have a female named character: 8/24

Have no named character: 6/24

Have a male named character: 17/24

Number of female named characters: 11

Number of male named characters: 43

Number of 'leader models' that are male: 8/11

Number of 'leader models' that are female: 3/11

Number of factions with more than one female named character: 3

Number of factions with more than one male named character: 10

Number of factions with at least one generic female hero: 9/24

Number of factions with at least one generic male hero: 16/24

Number of female generic heroes: 24

Number of male generic heroes: 101 (if I haven't miscounted)

Battletomes:

Maggotkin of Nurlge, Legions of Nagash, Daughters of Khaine, Idoneth Deepkin, Stormcast Eternals, Nighthaunt, Beasts of Chaos, Gloomspite Gitz, Flesh Eater Courts, Skaven, Blades of Khorne, Fyreslayers, Hedonites of Slaanesh, Sylvaneth, Orruk Warclans, Cities of Sigmar, Ossiarch Bonereapers, Ogor Mawtribes, Slaves to Darkness, Kharadron Overlords, Disciples of Tzeentch, Seraphon, Lumineth Realm-Lords (23, but count as 24 with a split in Warclans)

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To be fair, these numbers were much lower before and GW has been putting a lot of effort to add more female characters to the game for the past 3+ years or so to adapt to new social norms. Give it more time I would say :).

 

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I like that this tries to take an almost scientific look at it. but if I were to make a business decision on it, I would have serious questions about why the choices of parameter in the 'study' were made. Statistics are extremely malleable. Not to say there is intentional cherry picking going on, but I would ask some questions. Without making it a too long post, just some examples. 

First off, why taking all factions, but not looking at only armies produced for AoS? As a lot are left overs from a different game? Having both would tell a more realistic and current story.
Secondly, why ignore the models, with rules, that were published for other games but are playable? Most of those add extra female characters? Could be explained as cherry picking. 
Thirdly, which I can best explain with an example, why the coupling between books and named models? and not all protagonists?
Daughters of Khaine has only female characters, Kharadron overlords none*. Looking at the literature though, KO has only a male named character. So any story about him would be a male lead, vice versa for Morathi. But regarding characters without models. 2 out of 3 KO novels are about a female lead. So now it looks as if DoK is 100% female orientated while KO only 0% in Pebbles statistics. While in reality is 100% vs 66%. Just because of the choice of only looking at named Characters. 
* although in the literature it's often mentioned that the suits they wear are the same for both sexes so any character can be female. Except Brokk as he is described as male. But doesn't that at the same time make all non-named character models count for both?

And there are a couple of more questions like that but this should be a nice indication why I would have doubts about this 'statistics study'. 

TLDR: Statistics can basically say anything you want, and I have doubts at some of the core choices made. 

All that said, more female models are always good imo. Some of the best models have been female in the last to years. So always more of that. :D 

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There are some female heroes when we look at Underworlds (only looking at the models that would be heroes)

  • Morgwaeth The Bloodied (Hag Queen of the Daughters of Khaine)
  • Fecula Flyblown (Sorceress of the Maggotkin of Nurgle)
  • Ylthari (Thornwych of the Sylvaneth)
  • Theddra Skull-scryer (Slaves to Darkness)
  • Briarqueen (Nighthaunt)

Not all male champions would be counted when we only count heroes because some are simple troup champions.

43 minutes ago, Kramer said:

* although in the literature it's often mentioned that the suits they wear are the same for both sexes so any character can be female. Except Brokk as he is described as male. But doesn't that at the same time make all non-named character models count for both?

Yeah, in the lore we have way more representation of women then with miniatures.

We actually see the point of wearing the same armor with the Slaves to Darkness Start Collecting Box where at least one of the models has a female head, but wearing exactly the same armor as the rest.

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I would love to see kits where possible start coming with enough heads to make the kit any variation of male/female that the user wishes. (Getting away from the boob armor phenomenon would be a welcome side effect too)

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8 minutes ago, EMMachine said:

Yeah, in the lore we have way more representation of women then with miniatures.

 

True, again I fully agree with the outcome. Just wonder at some of the limitations. 

For me the best arguments are the anecdotal ones. It is at its heart an emotional discussion. So for me those personal accounts weigh heavier than the statistics.

My girlfriend has told me exactly the same thing. She's very happy to play silver tower, and skirmish campaigns designed by me. But the only army that kind of grabbed her interest, without even realising it, was Deepkin. Walking through the stores those kits are the ones she holds up asking if I would like to paint that. 

The only problem with those anecdotal arguments, is that they only ring true if you experienced something similar. 

 

4 minutes ago, Eldarain said:

I would love to see kits where possible start coming with enough heads to make the kit any variation of male/female that the user wishes. (Getting away from the boob armor phenomenon would be a welcome side effect too)

This is a very different discussion but I like that the female models have a slightly different variation of outfit to the male models. Breaks up the look of the unit as a whole without breaking unity. So just different heads would be a shame imo. But that's of course personal. 

Edited by Kramer
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2 minutes ago, Kramer said:

True, again I fully agree with the outcome. Just wonder at some of the limitations. 

For me the best arguments are the anecdotal ones. It is at its heart an emotional discussion. So for me those personal accounts weigh heavier than the statistics.

My girlfriend has told me exactly the same thing. She's very happy to play silver tower, and skirmish campaigns designed by me. But the only army that kind of grabbed her interest, without even realising it, was Deepkin. Walking through the stores those kits are the ones she holds up asking if I would like to paint that. 

The only problem with those anecdotal arguments, is that they only ring true if you experienced something similar. 

 

This is a very different discussion but I like that the female models have a slightly different variation of outfit to the male models. Breaks up the look of the unit as a whole without breaking unity. So just different heads would be a shame imo. But that's of course personal. 

I won't argue against that. I wouldn't want my idea to be used in place of female models being made. As you say many of the recent releases are brilliant sculpts and the silhouette can and in many cases should be different.

I'm just looking at it from the perspective of most effective change to swiftly bring about more personal choice when building ones armies. AoS definitely seems to be on the right track imo though. 

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Enoby, thanks for compiling this data, its really interesting to see it all set out clearly. This is a very good foundation for the kind of evidence based discussion you propose, and I agree with the decisions you've made, and the way you have categorised the models.

There are certainly points that can be argued, such as whether to include underworlds models, but you've clearly explained why you didn't include them, which is what matters.

Kramer, saying that you cam make statistics say whatever you want is all well and good, but as a scientist I'd like to point out that no statistical methods have been used in Enoby's post. She has collected and presented the data. Further analysis could be very interesting, but is beyond the scope of the op.

We could collect a comparative dataset on the pre and post endtimes catalogue, or for each year so that the proportion of female models could be plotted against time. However the population of models in a given catalogue would really be too small for statistical significance, and summary statistics wouldn't really add much to the discussions anyway.

We know thar things used to be worse, that there is slow improvement. This dataset captures how far is still to go, and is a really useful talking point. While it might be interesting to determine the rate of change I'm not sure its necessarily worth the effort ( I'm curious, but don't have time to collect the data!)

The more important question is "how long will it take to achieve parity" but rather "will parity be achieved or are there legacy issues that mean that so e armies will never have representation because it doesn't fit their aesthetic?

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In my experience the lack of female representation does have an impact on people entering the hobby. My husband and I both had old 40k armies and a couple of years ago, in response to curiosity from our children, boy 7 and girl 12, we introduced them to the hobby.

Boy was very happy with his dad’s old necrons, girl was not happy with my tyranids. She wanted an army of her own, and she wanted a female army... but the only option was Slaanesh, and in terms of Lore it’s not really the army I would have chosen for a 12 year old.

Obviously Boy then wanted an army of his own, and obviously it had to be male... but that wasn’t an issue because he had a comparatively huge array of choices (he picked orks).

Soon after plastic Sisters of Battle appeared, and although I don’t mind the Warrior Nun aesthetic the fact that the choice of female armies in 40k boils down into the old Madonna/Sex Worker trope is something I find problematic.

As a family we ended up starting AoS because it’s much better in terms of gender representation than 40k. Girl has three predominately female armies to pick from, and is now happily playing Sylvaneth. Boy has Kharadon Overlords, Husband has Night Haunt and I have Idoneth.

The Slaaneshi have been consigned to the bits box, for which I am heartily glad.

AoS is definitely improving, but I do think they have room to improve further, and I would also love to see the improvements trickle through to 40k.

 

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7 minutes ago, EccentricCircle said:

Kramer, saying that you cam make statistics say whatever you want is all well and good, but as a scientist I'd like to point out that no statistical methods have been used in Enoby's post. She has collected and presented the data. Further analysis could be very interesting, but is beyond the scope of the op.

 

I agree with the rest of your post but would like to adres this. I called it an almost scientific approach and you're right, an almost statistical approach would be a better term.
(And I can see how this could read dismissive but it's not intended that way. Just can't figure out how to rewrite it but still keeping it short)

But when you say 'presented THE data'. She didn't. She made a selection of THE data. Again not calling the choices made right or wrong. But I do wonder about some of the choices. Some I agree with, some I don't agree with. But in the end, that selection defines the data then used in the discussion. 

And as in all my other posts: I fully support the discussion, I think this look at the numbers is great and helpful. This is just my contribution.  Thinking about how these core choices might influence the data. 

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Look all I want is a full female Stormcast army, is that too much to ask for? 

Anecdotally ill add my wife plays nighthaunt and absolutely loves how many lady options there are 

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Thanks for showing the proportions of the models Enoby! It may be dificult to analyse the raw data, but it's still possible to see we still have a long way to go to for a more equal representation. While the warcry and underworlds are giving female characters more proiminence, I agree with you that we should give more prominece to female character in future releases (and honestly the last time it happened was in the Nighthaunt release with Olynder, the other factions after that get at most some suport female models, none which are named).

Cayce pointed it in regard to 40k, but while AoS have 3 armies that mostly female models (Slaanesh, Sylvaneth and Daughters), Slaanesh and Khaine seen much more aimed to a masculine audience. If we get another army like that, would be nice to have something less sexualized.
 

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2 hours ago, Kramer said:

I like that this tries to take an almost scientific look at it. but if I were to make a business decision on it, I would have serious questions about why the choices of parameter in the 'study' were made. Statistics are extremely malleable. Not to say there is intentional cherry picking going on, but I would ask some questions. Without making it a too long post, just some examples.

Thanks very much for your feedback :) I think I should clarify I bit on my approach. I don't think I could do much statistically with this data as I don't really have anything meaningful to compare the data to. I could compared a correlation between female models and date, but I don't think that would tell us much that we didn't already know. I would absolutely love to have the data on what types of players play what types of armies - it would be golden data if I could find it, but that would involve a lot of work gathering data from multiple sources through the creation of a survey and it may end up being a bit beyond this discussion. 

To clarify, I only wanted to put the data out there that I could gather (Pebbles gathered the first set of female named characters and I gathered the rest). While I could include more data (especially relating to time), I didn't have the will to continue after writing down that many generic male hero models :P

The data in this discussion is just there to eyeball and comment on - it's not very scientific, but if I wanted any stats tests doing I'd have to start guestimating data which is even worse! 

That said, if you have any suggestions on data you would like gathering or stats tests you would like running on what we have, I'd be happy to work with that :) 

2 hours ago, Kramer said:

First off, why taking all factions, but not looking at only armies produced for AoS? As a lot are left overs from a different game? Having both would tell a more realistic and current story.

I was strongly considering doing both, but didn't for two reasons: I got tired of writing (the biggest reason, being totally honest), and the other was struggling to define a new faction. For some it's obvious, but others have leftovers. And where do we put something like Daughters of Khaine? To elaborate, a lot of the new armies are based off old armies (e.g. fyreslayers, Lumineth, Ironjawz being AoS'd versions of classic designs); this design philosophy (such as making orks ladz still) has an impact on new factions in a way that would leave us with very few totally new factions to look at. 

2 hours ago, Kramer said:

Secondly, why ignore the models, with rules, that were published for other games but are playable? Most of those add extra female characters? Could be explained as cherry picking

This one needs a little bit more contextual information, but Pebbles put up the original post just looking at female named characters and they also only included non-specialist game models, and mine was a continuation from that. However, I do agree with their decision as to why they left them out - they wanted to look at female characters who are important in the AoS lore on a wider narrative scale, and specialist games look at a small narrative scale (usually only involving the story of that specialist game). 

2 hours ago, Kramer said:

Thirdly, which I can best explain with an example, why the coupling between books and named models? and not all protagonists?
Daughters of Khaine has only female characters, Kharadron overlords none*. Looking at the literature though, KO has only a male named character. So any story about him would be a male lead, vice versa for Morathi. But regarding characters without models. 2 out of 3 KO novels are about a female lead. So now it looks as if DoK is 100% female orientated while KO only 0% in Pebbles statistics. While in reality is 100% vs 66%. Just because of the choice of only looking at named Characters. 
* although in the literature it's often mentioned that the suits they wear are the same for both sexes so any character can be female. Except Brokk as he is described as male. But doesn't that at the same time make all non-named character models count for both?

It's a good point to bring up, so I'll explain myself a little further. While I agree that the Black Library books are important, I would argue that model representation is far more important as very few people buy Black Library books compared to people who buy (or even just look at) the models (based on profit percentage that BL makes up), and I would argue a much smaller percentage reads books of armies they don't own or have some interest in. If women are more interested in armies they perceive as more female lead, they are less likely to pick up a KO book and find out about these female protagonists. I will also fully admit that I read very few BL books myself, and the ones I do read are only ever for factions I play.

To address your second point on armour, I mentioned it before in my main post. I only counted a model as male if it had distinguishable male features (e.g. bare chest, isn't a lizard, confirmed all male in the lore), or if there was a canonical depiction of female versions (for example all female stormcast have been shown to have boobplate, hero or not, so we can assume that all non-boobplate SCE are male). I didn't count KO, most models in Slaves to Darkness, or Seraphon to name a few as we don't have a canon way to distinguish so I didn't make assumptions - I didn't even count treelord ancients as I don't think treelords are shown to have sexual dimorphism). I did count bare chested demons as while they have no sexual characteristics, they do have genders and are presented in a coded way (e.g. pecs and six pack), but I didn't count the LoC or GUO as I'd say they're not human enough to properly gender. I would agree if you said this was a bit wishy-washy, but it's very difficult to draw a line and you can be there arguing all day on whether bird pecs are real pecs, so I decided to play conservatively. 

 

3 hours ago, Kramer said:

And there are a couple of more questions like that but this should be a nice indication why I would have doubts about this 'statistics study'. 

Feel free to ask away, and I'll try to answer :) though I would like to clarify that this isn't meant to be a statistics study and is literally just a load of numbers I've put in front of everyone for discussion 

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When I was young I wouldn't have wanted an army made of women (sadly), but today I feel it makes armies more interesting.

I bought the cathaller? (The debuff mage) for Lumineth and think it's a great model (except the feet).

I'm not sure about the wardens, but to me, some faces look feminine and I think it fits the lore with having both "male and female" soldiers in the army. 

I would find it neat if gw included heads and options to make models have the gender you like, after all, they charge a lot for their models...

The sisters of the watch/shadow warriors and wild riders/sisters of the thorn offer that choice (but it's different warscrolls though) so it's not impossible for them!

Overall, I think and hope that gw will offer more for everyone in the coming years.

Edited by Howdyhedberg
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2 hours ago, Howdyhedberg said:

When I was young I wouldn't have wanted an army made of women (sadly), but today I feel it makes armies more interesting.

I bought the cathaller? (The debuff mage) for Lumineth and think it's a great model (except the feet).

I'm not sure about the wardens, but to me, some faces look feminine and I think it fits the lore with having both "male and female" soldiers in the army. 

I would find it neat if gw included heads and options to make models have the gender you like, after all, they charge a lot for their models...

The sisters of the watch/shadow warriors and wild riders/sisters of the thorn offer that choice (but it's different warscrolls though) so it's not impossible for them!

Overall, I think and hope that gw will offer more for everyone in the coming years.

You are right, almost all the models besides Teclis could be females. That's on purpose as far as I know (and would be to Teclis liking if you believe a certain BL novel ...), and is backed up by the artwork in the Battletome (where we see female Dawnrider, Warden and Stoneguard unit champions) 

I think Eldarain is right, hopefully the technology advances to a level where they can just offer more options for roughly the same price so that people can customize their army more freely. Otherwise I think they'll always struggle to satisfy everyone in terms of representation, because the hobby started male dominated, and taking away things from people and give it to others always has negative effects. Whereas if they can manage to just enlarge options all around, that would make it much easier. 

Until then, I guess they'll do what they are doing right now, slowly increasing the percentage of female looking models, but I guess they'd only do it up to a point and not try to achieve a 50/50 parity. 

Also anecdotally - the only armies my wife has shown any interest in all have female hero options (Idoneth, Sylvaneth, CoS, and DoK). She is generally not interested in getting into the hobby, but I'm sure it would help to attract more woman if there was more representation. It would be really interesting to see the data though how the distribution among women who play Age of Sigmar is actually right now. 

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Hot take

Stormcast should remove boob armor and both male and female should wear similar heavy plate like chaos warriors 

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1 minute ago, Whitefang said:

Hot take

Stormcast should remove boob armor and both male and female should wear similar heavy plate like chaos warriors 

No thanks, I don't want to change the aesthetic the army.    So you pick a different army.

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3 minutes ago, xking said:

No thanks, I don't want to change the aesthetic the army.    So you pick a different army.

Fair enough, I just think sexualizing female warriors by strange design of boob plate is absurd.

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15 minutes ago, Whitefang said:

Fair enough, I just think sexualizing female warriors by strange design of boob plate is absurd.

what is this  "sexualizing" ?      Do you look at the male stormcast  armor with the big buff chest and abs with sculpted muscles and call that sexualizing?   No,  stormcast are greco-roman themed, their armor  is an idolization of the human form(both male and female).  Not everyone looks at breast as  sexual.

Edited by xking
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2 minutes ago, xking said:

Do you look at the male stormcast  armor with the big buff chest and abs with sculpted muscles and call that sexualizing

Yeah that’s exactly what I mean, don’t you think that’a too much and absurd for an superhuman army comprised of both genders? Greco-Roman theme itself is emphasizing musculinity.

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Looks like Stormcast male generic heroes are missing from the list in the original post making it at least 17/24 factions with generic male heroes (as well as adding a ton more of male heroes to the list).

Edited by Memnoch
grammar
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26 minutes ago, Whitefang said:

Yeah that’s exactly what I mean, don’t you think that’a too much and absurd for an superhuman army comprised of both genders? Greco-Roman theme itself is emphasizing musculinity.

No, it is emphasizing both the male and female form at peak physical prowess. The female stormcast armor  also has  abs with sculpted muscles.

Edited by xking
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8 hours ago, Enoby said:

This one needs a little bit more contextual information, but Pebbles put up the original post just looking at female named characters and they also only included non-specialist game models, and mine was a continuation from that. However, I do agree with their decision as to why they left them out - they wanted to look at female characters who are important in the AoS lore on a wider narrative scale, and specialist games look at a small narrative scale (usually only involving the story of that specialist game). 

 

I recall the original reddit thread you're referencing, and I very much don't agree with ignoring Underworlds characters (and, specifically, underworld heroes, I agree that women from eyes of the nine or grymwatch shouldn't be counted as they don't even get separate rules). On on hand, I do understand Pebbles' reasoning that they originally came from a different game and are as such less important for AoS proper. 

On the other hand a) half of AoS models originally came from a different game if you think about it and b) more importantly,let me put it like this: I don't play underworlds. I play AoS. I am under no obligation to have any knowledge of underworlds. What I know from AoS is that, say, Theddra, Ylthari or Fecula, are AoS characters, with rules and lore of AoS characters. And if we agree they're full fledged AoS characters for someone with no knowledge of Underworlds, having that knowledge shouldn't diminish their role for those of us who do. Because otherwise, we're dangerously close to WFB models and 'Cities are not a real faction' and I will now let it stand :D

Also, try telling Beasts of Chaos players that Grashrak is not a real character, see what they respond ; )

That, however, should bump Flesheaters to a faction with named characters, because Duke Crackmarrow is there.

Edited by dekay
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28 minutes ago, xking said:

No, it is emphasizing both the male and female form at peak physical prowess. The female stormcast armor  also has  abs with sculpted muscles.

Female physical prowess of a female warrior emphasized with big boob plate? Common man! Big b00b5 may signal a different kind of prowess that is connected to a form of bio-politics that has to hammer every Boy into the shape of a Demi-god warrior for he won‘t ever be able to feed children with his abs (big or small), like Sparta for example. If Spartans has the ability to create warriors the way Sigmar Does it Double-d breast plate would never have been a factor for their society. No need for large breast plates then... only ‚male‘ and ‚female‘ warriors and everything in between. 

Edited by Okonomiyakimarine

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10 minutes ago, Okonomiyakimarine said:

Female physical prowess of a female warrior emphasized with big boob plate? Common man! Big b00b5 may signal a different kind of prowess that is connected to a form of bio-politics that has to hammer every Boy into the shape of a Demi-god warrior for he won‘t ever be able to feed children with his abs (big or small), like Sparta for example. If Spartans has the ability to create warriors the way Sigmar Does it Double-d breast plate would never have been a factor for their society. No need for large breast plates then... only ‚male‘ and ‚female‘ warriors and everything in between. 

It is what it is, this is the aesthetic of the army.  Both male chest plate and female chest plate. if you don't like it, then pick a different army or get the green stuff out.

Edited by xking
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