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So with the first spearhead events happening today I imagine will start to see more discussion about this mode and we could concentrate the discussion on a new thread.

To kick start some discussion we have some new information:

 

We have the first pictures of a spearhead box with the launch box preview and they mention Fire and Jade will be the first battelpack, which points toward having more in the future:
https://www.warhammer-community.com/2024/05/17/spearhead-in-skaventide-a-complete-second-game-mode-in-a-box/

 

Also, goonhammer posted a review with some people that got to play it already and they were all super positive about this game mode:
https://www.goonhammer.com/age-of-sigmar-spearhead-roundtable-initial-impressions/

 

image.jpeg.96d380e49585c8930cfc8733270a3cec.jpeg

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I like everything they have shown so far. Based on Goonhammer initial impressions I really think that we may actually, finally get a proper smaller AoS experience. If GW pilots this mode correctly, they may break this "you need to get your army to 2000 points for a proper experience" attitude - and that would be a terrific achievement of AoS 4th edition.

Seriously, a properly balanced game of Warhammer in one hour, with two Spearhead boxes and a Spearhead starter kit sounds almost too good to be true. 

 

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6 minutes ago, HCMistborn said:

It looks great and people I respect are talking it up. I am excited, but it is the same old thing of will this remain supported for longer than the six month hype cycle of the new edition?

Remains to be seen. I have some faith in the corporate-style management here. Apparently, the decision was made to push this mode hard - and such strategic decisions are not easily changed.

Now, if it fizzles out... it's not a big investment on my side. I already have 3 (or 4, if they introduce Ironjawz) perfectly functional Spearhead armies + 1 partially finished. Seems I only need a board (not really, but might be helpful) and a deck. I can live with such risk.

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I mean I feel eventually people will  just get bored of the same unit composition or if they didn’t like the composition of your armies Spearhead box in the first place. At some point people will go back to proper AoS where they can use their full army without restrictions.

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1 hour ago, HCMistborn said:

It looks great and people I respect are talking it up. I am excited, but it is the same old thing of will this remain supported for longer than the six month hype cycle of the new edition?

We honestly don't know. They are really promoting it, much more than they did with combat patrol. The opinion of people that played it so far said it was much better than combat patrol as well, so it looks promising. I wouldn't be surprised if they already have at least 1 expansion book planed for next year considering the time it takes to make those things.

55 minutes ago, novakai said:

I mean I feel eventually people will  just get bored of the same unit composition or if they didn’t like the composition of your armies Spearhead box in the first place. At some point people will go back to proper AoS where they can use their full army without restrictions.

I imagine it will depend how much other spearhead options they will release for each faction with time. The bigger ones can easily have 3 or more spearhead compositions if they want so. Also I not sure all people would just go back to 2k . Much of the interest people are having is in the smaller amount of buys and time commitment to play the game and this something 2k will never be able to offer.

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That is a big part of my interest in it. I am in school and working full time, I barely have time to do all the stuff I NEED to do, much less build and paint a 2k army AND play 4 hour games. I want this to be popular in my area, and I also hope that 1k games will be reasonably balanced for the main game. 

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11 minutes ago, Arzalyn said:

We honestly don't know. They are really promoting it, much more than they did with combat patrol. The opinion of people that played it so far said it was much better than combat patrol as well, so it looks promising. I wouldn't be surprised if they already have at least 1 expansion book planed for next year considering the time it takes to make those things.

I imagine it will depend how much other spearhead options they will release for each faction with time. The bigger ones can easily have 3 or more spearhead compositions if they want so. Also I not sure all people would just go back to 2k . Much of the interest people are having is in the smaller amount of buys and time commitment to play the game and this something 2k will never be able to offer.

True, but it is in GW interest that players move on to 2k games and not only buy Spearhead sets.

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11 minutes ago, Tonhel said:

True, but it is in GW interest that players move on to 2k games and not only buy Spearhead sets.

Not true. I assure you GW will be equally happy if people buy multiple Spearhead boxes. Some will move to big AoS from there, some will not - but the latter have at least bought something they wouldn’t have otherwise.

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1 hour ago, novakai said:

I mean I feel eventually people will  just get bored of the same unit composition or if they didn’t like the composition of your armies Spearhead box in the first place. At some point people will go back to proper AoS where they can use their full army without restrictions.

This really depends on how often you play. If you can rotate multiple Spearheads and GW introduces new decks and boards on a regular basis the mode can stay fresh for a long time.

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I don’t think majority of people will buy multiple Spearheads, that feels like a rather niche approach to the game mode.

And like 40K each vanguard will either be replace by a new Spearhead or they are just repackaging them and there is no new spearhead for each faction. But I doubt they will release more then one for each faction.

not to mention spearheads are very restrictive on what units can be in them due to set discount items so people won’t have the  freedom of bigger models or list building. It then becomes just playing a proper game of Sigmar at lower points would be more appealing then.

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Flippy is 100% correct IMO. Nobody knows, but I think that AoS is ripe from a format like Spearhead. If I was starting out I would much rather have 3 spearheads than a 2000point army. 

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1 hour ago, Flippy said:

Not true. I assure you GW will be equally happy if people buy multiple Spearhead boxes. Some will move to big AoS from there, some will not - but the latter have at least bought something they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Agreed, even if they could tempt just 25% (random number) of current 40k players to pick up a spearhead box would be a substantial amount of money. I do think 4th and spearhead’s intent is to grow the game.

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Adoption of Combat Patrol around me was pretty much non-existent, so I don't have much optimism for Spearhead being picked up overly much either. 

Getting people to play literally anything but 2000pts Matched Play is like pulling teeth. 

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5 hours ago, Flippy said:

I like everything they have shown so far. Based on Goonhammer initial impressions I really think that we may actually, finally get a proper smaller AoS experience. If GW pilots this mode correctly, they may break this "you need to get your army to 2000 points for a proper experience" attitude - and that would be a terrific achievement of AoS 4th edition.

Seriously, a properly balanced game of Warhammer in one hour, with two Spearhead boxes and a Spearhead starter kit sounds almost too good to be true. 

 

This is what could help me get back to play. Being casual made the 2000 point games take forever so that me and my friend gave up.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Flippy said:

Not true. I assure you GW will be equally happy if people buy multiple Spearhead boxes. Some will move to big AoS from there, some will not - but the latter have at least bought something they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Not true☺️.

But seriously. GW only cares about sales figures. I.e if in two years there is no profit increase, the Spearhead mode will be scrapped. If people only play Spearhead, even when they buy for different factions a spearhead box, but don't buy the expensive 5 man unit boxes to make proper AoS armies. Than I don't think they will support Spearhead very long.

I personally like TOW a lot more than AoS, but most of my small gaming group are still focussed on AoS. So my cunning plan is to introduce Spearhead, (small investment) Much quicker to start and collect an army. Than use Spearhead for their and mine AoS fix, but slowly turn their attention to TOW for bigger battles and keep Spearhead for work week evenings. 😄 

 

Edited by Tonhel
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Posted (edited)

Just to try to get out of the "spearhead will fail because 2k points is the norm", I think the main flaw of this discussion is considering it is competing with 2k games. For enfranchised players that already own a painted 2k army, sure I make sense, but it completely ignore what I expect to be the main public for this format: people that don't have the time/money or even the interest in a 2k points game. 

Adding to what @Flippy said, I can count a couple of friends that showed interest in AoS but couldn't afford to buy all the boxes for a 2k game or that we're really put off by the idea of needing 3 hours to play a single game. A 1 box buy and 1 hour game? All of them would be willing to play that. It gets people in the game that weren't before.

For enfranchised players like us, look a it less has a competitor and more as a place to try new things. As @Beliman said, I imagine most of us have a faction we like the look but don't want to paint x times that same unity to be able to play with what we like. It may also be a way to get a game or two during a night in the middle of the week, something we wouldn't be able to do with a 2k game.

Edited by Arzalyn
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It also gives them a really good excuse for new FOMO boxes if they want to do them. Introduce a new spear head compatible box, and have it available for awhile. Keep the rules going for it after, since people can always buy the individual units for it later if it's popular. Can even introduce new heroes with it if you wanted to do it that way, like the regiment/army of renowns and have the hero available 3-6 months later. It feels like something that can work really well. If they are aiming to keep them at about 500 points and a single regiment it also incentives people to go into AoS proper. Hmm...I already have the castellite spear head for CoS, and the new Cult of the Wheel box looks good...etc ( not a rumour I know of, just thinking of another cities of sigmar one while we aren't sure what is happening with aelves and dwarfs)

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Posted (edited)

I hope we also get some kind of Spearhead box with the map of Ghyran and Aqshy, terrain, cards and the book. I can 100% see them making boxes for the other realms too.

I cant wait to see what spearhead boxes are included. Has GW already talked about all the build options? Like Squig Hoppers/ Boingrot Bounders or the Treelord/Treelord Ancient/Durthu and many more options among those boxes.

I hope i already own a spearhead army as i am tight for time and money to justify buying another box at the moment. But i could always proxy some missing models i guess.

Edited by Gitzdee
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56 minutes ago, Gitzdee said:

I cant wait to see what spearhead boxes are included. Has GW already talked about all the build options? Like Squig Hoppers/ Boingrot Bounders or the Treelord/Treelord Ancient/Durthu and many more options among those boxes.

They have, sadly is mostly what is built on the box art, so sylvaneth uses a regular Treelord and Gitz uses Hoppers, for example. I imagine nobody will care if you built a durthu or boingrots and use them as the other option for spearhead, but at the beginning they will not have their own rules.

58 minutes ago, Gitzdee said:

I hope we also get some kind of Spearhead box with the map of Ghyran and Aqshy, terrain, cards and the book. I can 100% see them making boxes for the other realms too.

That's what I'm hopping as well! Hysh/Ulgu would be a really easy pair and if they keep the realms theme we could easily have 3 expasions!

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Posted (edited)

Spearhead is certainly appealing for new players / people with less time to play. People who already have collections from previous edition may try it, but I think that Spearhead won't be their focus.

Even if 40k's Patrol mode is seen as having "a lot of balance problems" (I have no doubt the same criticism will apply to Spearhead, TBH), it's still similar enough to Spearhead to make fitting comparisons. So far, Patrol seems popular in stores. But I don't really see a lot of lasting games / events with that mode exclusively after all this time following initial release.

Based on Patrol experience, I feel like Spearhead will follow the same way : most new players starting with it will move out to "regular AoS" or will just drop out of GW for their own reasons and won't be seen again. Problem with fast games with just pure gameplay is that it feels a bit repetitive / meaningless over time. There's no real attachment like lore / listbuilding (it's always the same units, in the end : sure, you can convert them / paint them differently, but you have no real characterization) or great tables (yes, I'm biased with not liking Spearhead game mats). It's the kind of game that is "played and forgotten", IMHO - even if the game mechanisms can be great, I don't feel like there is enough to generate a strong attachment to it.

Of course, I can always be wrong, future will tell.

Edited by Sarouan
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3 hours ago, Gitzdee said:

Also, what armies are still missing boxes at the moment? I think Ironjaws could use one at least. Khorne and Nurgle still missing too?

It really just Ironjawz but they maybe an outlier but every army now has one with Sons mancrusher box turning into one

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