Age of Sigmar: A Second Chance

With the General’s Handbook on its way soon, I decided to give Age of Sigmar another shot. I will admit that I had all but given up on AoS after running the scenarios in the starter box with a friend. Something just felt weird to me. I couldn’t put my finger on it then and I used that as an excuse to drop the game. I went several months without even thinking about AoS. I would keep up with some of the big posters on Twitter and their enthusiasm for the AoS. I just couldn’t seem to muster any real excitement for it. Fast forward another few months. The Khorne half of the starter box finds its way back to me. Which I now look at some divine intervention on Sigmar’s part. I had hit a bit of a hobby slump. I had not enjoyed painting in some time, and I generally was not happy with anything I was doing hobby wise. So I looked at the angry ax wielding psychotic murderers and thought to myself, “Why not?” From that very second I have been hooked. It may have taken almost a full year and some very angry dudes, but I was pulled back into the Mortal Realms. Around this same time Matched Play was announced and the AoS community seemingly grew exponentially overnight. I joined The Grand Alliance forum and in doing so found the motivation needed to help pull myself out of that nasty slump.

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That’s my secret, I’m always angry


With my Bloodbound army nearly completed, I took a trip to visit my friend that had initially split the AoS starter box with me. We planned on having a proper hobby weekend, assembling new goodies, maybe getting a little painting in, and throwing an insane amount of dice. We decided to play one of the battle plans from The South Coast GT, Heralds of the Storm. The game featured my Khorne Bloodbound using the Goreblade Warband against his Skaven using the Skreet Verminkins Horde. I was very impressed with how quickly the game proceeded, despite the fact that neither of us had played a game since its initial release. I watched as my unit of Bloodreavers was utterly trashed by the Warpfire Weapon team, and was then decimated by the ensuing battleshock test. It was then that I was finally able to put my finger on what just didn’t seem right to me about AoS, it wasn’t 40k. It was almost as if someone had removed the blindfold from my eyes and I was finally able to see. A rare glimpse of clarity that doesn’t happen every day. I had been given this brand new game, and tried to shove it into a mold that it would never fit into. It was during this game that I was able to appreciate just how important synergy is in AoS. While you may be able to play with whatever models you like, that doesn’t mean they will work well together. You may just find yourself being overwhelmed by a horde of clan rats that have been buffed by their heroes.

The game came down to the wire during the 5th and final turn. Each side controlling 2 objectives and as such the Storm Front was stuck in no mans land. An epic brawl ensued over objective 3 as each side tried to slay the other and claim the objective granting them a victory. In the end the Blood Warrior champion was able to slay the warlord removing the Skavens claim to the objective, and hence ensuring a comeback victory for the Goreblade Warband.

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Blood for the Blood God!

I know AoS will not be for everyone, and that is ok. No wargame out there will have a 100% acceptance rate by the community and it is silly to pretend that one needs to do so to be successful. But the mistake people make with this game is by comparing it to something it was never meant to be, and it is one that I was guilty of. The lack of points, the four page rule sheet, the goofy names, these were all things propped up by the naysayers. The same naysayers who screamed from the highest mountains and with the loudest voices for months after the arrival of AoS. I had let those naysayers opinion of what a wargame should be ruin AoS for me. You know what I realized during that moment of clarity? That none of that matters. At the end of the day I had a blast throwing some dice with a friend.


Hey all, Alpharion here. I picked up wargaming back in veterinary school as a way to relax and forget the stresses that comes with being a veterinary student. Since then I've enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for this hobby with anyone who cares to listen. I look forward to sharing any, and everything, GW with you all!

12 Responses

  1. César Sánchez says:

    Branding is key. If this game had been released as a side-story, or that GW kept a WHFB “old Wolrd” edition with minimal updates, things would have been very different.

  2. Blight says:

    Don’t know if anyone still reads this one but I play AoS regularly with a group in Iowa City and we have a blast. Really fun And the general’s handbook gave us a great way to play.
    I love how pretty much every unit feels viable and useful. I came from 8th edition fantasy and I actually am happy for this change. Now I can take that giant monster that was gathering dust on my shelf because they won’t die turn one from a cannon ball. Magic doesn’t wipe out half a 40 man horde anymore. Everything is just easier and faster also fluffier.
    Never thought I’d look at nurglings as particularly dangerous.

    • Alpharion says:

      I’m glad you are enjoying AoS! Since writing this article I’ve played in a few tournaments and several pick up games. I’m finding myself enjoying it more and more. And like you said, every unit feels viable. My most recent game saw my Bloodreavers go up against some heavy calvary and hold their own for several rounds. Granted they were backed up by the Bloodsecrator and his ability, otherwise I would have been decimated by Battleshock. I had a friend play a game with me this weekend who has never played before. By the end of the game he didnt have to consult the warscrolls for anything except the abilities. Can’t think of anyone catching on to another wargame that quick.

      • Blight says:

        Those combos are what make low point units beasts. Especially in the blood bound. You can tell they are designed with lots of characters and buffs in mind to make them truly dangerous.
        Have you used skullcrushers?

        • Alpharion says:

          I have not used skullcrushers yet. I do have some bloodcrushers that I use in every list now. They have served me well in getting a unit tied up and letting my slower guys catch up. Add in a Bloodstoker and you can get some nasty charge ranges.

    • midwestwargaming says:

      As an outsider, I had heard that the game “supposedly” invalidated models, but everything seems to have a war scroll which is awesome. I’ll be playing my second game of AoS in Iowa City on Wed. 21st; should be fun.

      • Blight says:

        I may be there that day. Was invited by your opponent to see you guys. Started up the group in the store.
        As for invalidated armies I am happy to say my Tomb Kings do very well even if they aren’t in the fluff proper anymore.
        Loving the new fluff as it expands. Ironjaws are now a dream army.

        • Alpharion says:

          Oh man, the Ironjaws are fantastic models. I am holding out for the new Dwarfs, the idea of steampunk Dwarfs sounds like fun. Plus, throw some 40k bits on and you have Squats!

          • Blight says:

            I want to see what they do with a totally new death army. Currently the smallest army since it was pretty much just vampire counts with a sprinkling of tomb kings.
            No idea where they’ll go with them.

  3. Noah Johnson says:

    Apologies for the threadomancy and for the off topic post (especially if it violates this communities codes of etiquette), but I’m looking for some of the old WHFB square-style bases in a variety of sizes (just a couple dozen total, not hundreds). As some of you have made the leap to AoS, I assume you might have some spares lying around.

    Though I could buy from eBay or what not, I figure throwing a fiver or two at a local, fellow gamer is a better use of my money.

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