Yes gentle readers, we are finally talking about the hammer-wielding elephant in the room. The Age of Sigmar, released by our love-to-hate friends at GW, has been the most divisive thing amongst gamers since fantasy vs. sci-fi or Picard vs. Kirk. There have been no end of tirades against this new release regarding the rules, the look of the minis and anything else they can find to argue about. Now for me, the real issue is one of bias. The Age of Sigmar has been built upon the ashes of the Old World. A background that has lasted since the dark ages of 1983 with great love given to it by fans over the years. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has also given us a much deeper look into the Old World, allowing us to explore the city of Middenheim, the treacherous lands of the Border Princes and even Bugman’s Brewery. Whilst aspects of it are clearly based on standard fantasy tropes, it also has a definite character of it’s own. Over the years the Orcs and Goblins have been given their own gods, the ruinous powers of Chaos have been well defined and the Germanic style of the Humans has moved it away from being just another Tolkein rip-off. We have more invested in this than just some painted minis. Some people don’t even have that anymore:
Of course, this is a bit of an extreme thing to do. Or is it? Had GW released Age of Sigmar as an alternative to Warhammer then people may have moved on to other things and not thought much of it. Instead they decided to completely destroy the entire planet and all life upon it. Wiping out the previous ruleset and creating a new one. Turning men into gods and changing every possible thing that they could. Even as they were doing so, they were releasing new rules and models that would become obsolete once the “End Times” had finished. Of course, they say that you can still use your old minis to play the game (although it makes little-to-no sense in the fluff) and the rules are free(ish). In reality, that in no way helps you come to terms with the fact that the army you slaved over, wrote an extensive background for and used to create epic tales of battle on the tabletop with, has been made extinct by the very company that sold it to you. People still bemoan the loss of the Squats all those years ago but this is an entire community of gamers given the finger by the makers of the game itself. Now, the rules could be perfect, the models stunning and the future bright, but for me, the loss of the Old World is a price too high to pay.
Let us know in the comments below what you think about the Age of Sigmar. Do you love it? Is it an abomination against the laws of gods and men? Do you give precisely zero rats bumholes either way? As always the best one will win a prize. An old Warhammer army book that I might have lying around (you’ll be paying postage though).
Until next time gentle readers.