Warhammer Age of Sigmar

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Warhammer Age of Sigmar
Warhammer Age of Sigmar logo.png
WH-AoS-lonnquist.jpg
Manufacturer(s)Games Workshop
Publisher(s)Games Workshop
Years active2015–present
Genre(s)Miniature wargaming
Players2 or more
Setup timeVaries depending on size of game, usually 15 to 30 minutes.
Playing timeVaries depending on size of game, usually from one to four hours
Random chanceMedium (dice rolling)
Skill(s) requiredMilitary tactics, miniature painting
Websitewww.games-workshop.com

Warhammer Age of Sigmar[a] is a miniature wargame produced by Games Workshop that simulates battles between armies by using miniature figurines. Games are typically played on a relatively flat surface such as a dining table, bespoke gaming table, or an area of floor. The playing area is often decorated with models and materials representing buildings and terrain. Players take turns taking a range of actions with their models: moving, charging, shooting ranged weapons, fighting, and casting magical spells; the outcomes of which are generally determined by dice rolls. Besides the game itself, a large part of Age of Sigmar is dedicated to the hobby of collecting, assembling and painting the miniature figurines from the game.

Whereas some wargames recreate historical warfare, Age of Sigmar has a fantasy theme heavily inspired by the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien and Michael Moorcock.[citation needed] Player's armies fight with medieval-era weaponry and cast magical spells, and the warriors are a mixture of humans and fantasy creatures such as elves, dwarves, and orks.

Age of Sigmar is the spiritual successor to the discontinued game Warhammer (specifically Warhammer Fantasy Battle), after the setting was discontinued in 2015. Due to this, the game contains many of the same characters, themes, and models as its predecessor.

Editions[edit]

The first edition of Age of Sigmar in 2015 replaced Warhammer Fantasy Battle. The initial release of AoS did not include point values for individual units; these were added later. Summoning new units used the same mechanics as spellcasting and required the dedication of reinforcement points for each summonable unit.

The second edition of AoS was released in 2018 following the Malign Portents event. It brought multiple significant changes to the rules, notably an overhaul of the summoning system, the elimination of reinforcement points, and the introduction of endless spells.

Setting[edit]

The Mortal Realms[edit]

Age of Sigmar is set in the Mortal Realms, a system of eight interconnected realms spawned from the Winds of Magic. The second edition brought with it rules for each of the realms, adding spells, artefacts, and realm characteristics.

  • Azyr, the Realm of the Heavens is the only realm untouched by Chaos. It is ruled over by Sigmar and is home to the Stormcast Eternals and Seraphon, as well as a diverse population of humans, aelves, duardin, and other races.
  • Aqshy, the Realm of Fire is a harsh land generally dominated by volcanoes, deserts, and lava fields. It is home to the Fyreslayers, as it is where their God, Grimnir, perished.The Realm had a significant Khorne presence before the arrival of the Stormcast. Since then it has become more widely occupied by Order-aligned forces, playing host to many of the biggest Cities of Sigmar.
  • Ghur, the Realm of Beasts is the de facto kingdom of Gorkamorka. It is a land of titanic beasts. Everything, from the wildlife to the mountains themselves, is apart of a food chain in Ghur. As such, the forces of Destruction mainly occupy this Realm.
  • Ghyran, the Realm of Life is distinguished by its extreme fecundity. It is claimed by Alarielle, goddess of the Sylvaneth, and plays host to a sizeable population of humans as well. It was the focus of Nurgle's attentions before the resurgence of Alarielle, and was almost subsumed entirely by the Plague God.
  • Chamon, the Realm of Metal is composed of metal-based continents in constant flux. Due to the Realm's mercurial nature, it is coveted particularly by Tzeentch. It is the birthplace of the Kharadron Duardin, the first of which came from the holds in Chamon during the Age of Chaos.
  • Shyish, the Realm of Death is under the nigh-uncontested domain of Nagash. Every underworld and afterlife in the Realms is in Shyish, with the most ancient and forgotten of them being drawn into the centre of the Realm by a pool of death magic known as the Shyish Nadir. Vampires, ghouls, undead, nighthaunt, and ossiarchs all are found in their greatest number here.
  • Hysh, the Realm of Light is the domain of the twin gods Tyrion and Teclis. Hysh is a realm of enlightenment and knowledge, dominated mainly by the Lumineth Realm-lords. The Realm was, however, greatly damaged by these Aelves' hubris in an event known as the Spirefall during the Age of Chaos. It is the "sun" of the Realms.
  • Ulgu, the Realm of Shadow was claimed by Malerion (previously known as Malekith) and his mother Morathi. It is a land of shifting illusions and impenetrable fog. Little is known of Ulgu other than that it is the home of the Daughters of Khaine faction.
  • The Eightpoints, known as the Allpoints in the Age of Myth, is a sub-realm that lies at the centre of the Realms, serving as a way to connect them all. When the Age of Chaos came, they were seized by Archaon the Everchosen and renamed the Eightpoints in honour of the Chaos Gods.
  • The Realm of Chaos permeates the void between the Realms and is home to the Gods of Chaos. Of the original four Chaos Gods, Slaanesh is currently missing, imprisoned between the realms of Hysh and Ulgu. The Horned Rat has ascended to the pantheon of Chaos and is now the Great Horned Rat.

Gameplay[edit]

Age of Sigmar emphasises the narrative aspect of the wargaming experience, encouraging the play of story-driven scenarios, recreation of battles from lore, and player-created stories. The ruleset is designed to make the game easy to learn but hard to master. Basic rules of play are simple and quick to understand, but more advanced mechanics can be found in unit-specific "Warscrolls" that detail more rules and stats of the individual unit. The art of the game lies in understanding how your units work together and exploiting synergies to use them as a cohesive army. The rules and Warscrolls are free, and can be downloaded from the Games Workshop website or viewed in the Age of Sigmar app.[1]

Age of Sigmar has three different modes of play. Of these, Matched Play includes points total for different units and specific points limits for army building (1,000, 2,000, and 2,500 points). In this mode of play, there are Army Composition rules that change depending on the point level being played, and the base rules are modified to allow for balanced play. A Matched Play game also requires a minimum number of Battleline rank-and-file units, and imposes a limit on the number of Heroes and Behemoths that can be fielded.

In addition to Matched Play, Open Play represents an "anything goes" game style, while Narrative Play focuses on recreating historical battles and scenarios. The latter often adds additional rules specific to the setting or event, such as dangerous terrain, a meteor shower, or movement restrictions.

To play any of the game modes, two or more players assemble armies beforehand. The battlefield and its terrain is set up on an appropriate surface, and dice are rolled to determine turn order. The players play in turns, with a round consisting of one turn per player. Combat is resolved through a series of dice rolls: a hit roll and wound roll from the attacker, and a save roll from the defender. If both the hit and wound rolls pass and the save roll fails, then damage is allocated. Mortal Wounds do not require dice rolls and are allocated directly.

The first part of a player's turn, the Hero Phase, is when spells are cast and command abilities are activated. Wizard units can usually cast one of three spells: the offensive Arcane Bolt, the defensive Mystic Shield, and a third spell unique to that unit. Command abilities, on the other hand, require a Hero on the battlefield with that ability, and use Command Points for activation. The second phase is the Movement Phase, in which units are moved across the battlefield; the player may choose to make them run, which makes them incapable of shooting or charging in the following phases. The Shooting Phase resolves all the missile attacks possible for the current player, then the Charge Phase gets melee units within range of attacking. The Combat Phase starts with units piling in, then attacking with all their melee weapons. The player whose turn it is attacks first, then the defending player fights with another unit; the players continue taking turns until all units capable of attacking have done so. The final Battleshock Phase tests the morale of depleted units; failed Battleshock rolls cause further models to flee a unit.

Factions[edit]

There are four main super-factions in Age of Sigmar, called Grand Alliances, united by common goals. Armies can be built solely from individual factions (e.g. a Stormcast Eternals army) or include a limited number of allies from related factions within the alliance (e.g. a Stormcast Eternals army with 200 points of Seraphon allies). An army consisting of multiple factions within the same Alliance (e.g. Stormcast Eternals, Seraphon, and Sylvaneth) has allegiance to that particular Grand Alliance but not to any of the individual factions. Factions usually synergize best with their own units, and faction-specific armies receive bonuses and additional rules that are not available to mixed Grand Alliance armies.

Factions in bold have received dedicated battletomes[2]

Order[edit]

Order is primarily opposed to Chaos, and its factions are united by a common desire to maintain civilisation, art, and learning, or preserve natural or divine holdings. Despite this shared goal, each faction more or less pursues its own agenda - sometimes to the detriment of the others.

A Stormcast Eternal.
  • Stormcast Eternals, demigod-like warriors imbued with a portion of Sigmar's godly power and clad in magical armour made of sigmarite, analogous to the Space Marines of Warhammer 40,000. They were created by Sigmar with the aid of Grungni to be the ultimate weapon against the forces of Chaos.
  • Cities of Sigmar, the cities established by the forces of Order, they represent the everyday citizens of the Mortal Realms. The majority of the dwarf, elf, and human units from Warhammer Fantasy that continued into Age of Sigmar make up the bulk this army. While they are all the same army, each unit has a species keyword and each species is divided into several subfactions, with leaders' spells and abilities synergising with particular keywords, allowing for the armies to be played as diverse or similarly to how they played in Warhammer Fantasy. Stormcast Eternals are also able to be taken by all cities without regard to normal point limits on allies but may only make up 1/4 of the units in the army while the Living City is able to do the same with Sylvaneth and Tempest's Eye with the Kharadron Overlords.
    • Duardin, previously the Dwarfs. The Dispossessed represent the more traditional Dwarfs who still bear grudges against their enemies and worship Grungni. The Ironweld Arsenal focuses on the artillery element of the Dwarfs and are allied with humans.
    • Humans include the Devoted of Sigmar, priests and evangelists, the wizards of the Collegiate Arcane, and the Freeguild knights, archers, and soldiers.
    • Aelfs, previously the Elves. These include the Wanderers, the wizards of the Eldritch Council, the warriors of the Phoenix Temple, the Lion Rangers, the Swifthawk Agents, the Orders Draconis and Serpentis, the fleets of the Scourge Privateers, the warlocks of the Darkling Covens, and the Shadowblade assassins.
  • Seraphon, previously the Lizardmen. In their first iteration they were celestial Daemons who fought for Order, whereas in the game's Second Editon they were separated into the Starborne (Seraphon that resided in their ships in Azyr) and Coalesced (Seraphon that inhabit the realms themselves). In the first edition, the Slann, now aboard great cosmic vessels, literally "remembered" the seraphon into existence whenever needed although at least some of the temple-ships still have spawning pools that produce them in the same manner as they originally were in Warhammer Fantasy. As of Second Edition it was revealed that all of the various Seraphon resided upon their vessels in stasis, being beamed down to the realms when necessary to fight for the "Great Plan" established by the Slann.
  • Sylvaneth are capricious forest spirits created by Alarielle to guard the forests and woodlands of the realms, all unified by one a collective "spirit-song".
  • Fyreslayers are mercenary duardin who worship Grimnir, the god of war. Having been slain in the Age of Myth, they fight for Ur-Gold, a magical element believed to be remnants of their fallen god, both to empower themselves and potentially resurrect their deity.
  • Kharadron Overlords are a steampunk duardin faction that consists of ironclad airships and warriors wearing armoured suits. Separated a long time ago from the rest of their race, the Kharadron live in sky-cities and are armed with shooting weapons powered by aether-gold.
  • The Daughters of Khaine are a shadowy cabal of witch aelves devoted to Khaine and Morathi; ostensibly they wish to revive Khaine, but Morathi secretly is plotting to ascend to godhood.
  • The Idoneth Deepkin are marine aelves created by Teclis (the aelven Mage God) that ride sea monsters into battle and raid for souls on the surface, due to their own being withered and incomplete.
  • The Lumineth Realm-lords are aelves from the realm of Hysh (the realm of Light), and are the second (and successful) attempt by Teclis to recreate the Asur aelves from the world-that-was.

Chaos[edit]

Fueled by the base desires and actions of mortals, Chaos seek to dominate the Mortal Realms. They serve the Four Chaos Gods. Before Sigmar's retaliation in the Age of Sigmar, they had conquered seven of the eight Mortal Realms, beginning the Age of Chaos.

  • Slaves to Darkness, mortal warriors devoted to Chaos in its undivided form as well as the Everchosen, the followers of Archaon the Everchosen of Chaos.
  • Blades of Khorne, daemons and Bloodbound mortals of Khorne. At the start of the Age of Sigmar they were primarily stationed in Aqshy, and were the first to encounter the Stormcast Eternals.
  • Disciples of Tzeentch, daemons and Arcanite mortals of Tzeentch. Their major stronghold was Chamon, where Ghal Maraz had been hidden.
  • Maggotkin of Nurgle, daemons and Rotbringer mortals of Nurgle. Their realm of choice is the fertile world of Ghyran, where Nurgle sought to capture Alarielle for his own.
  • Hedonites of Slaanesh, daemons and mortals of Slaanesh. Slaanesh is still imprisoned, but has been regaining power, and it has been hinted that he may soon return.
  • Beasts of Chaos, includes the forces of the Beastmen, Monsters of Chaos, Chaos Gargants, and Thunderscorn. Like the Slaves to Darkness they are not devoted to any specific chaos god, and many worship chaos in itself.
  • The Legion of Azgorh (Chaos Dwarfs) and Tamurkhan`s Horde (Nurgle) are Forgeworld-only, and have their own rules.
  • The Skaven are now formally part of the realm of Chaos as the Great Horned Rat ascended to the pantheon of the Chaos Gods. These vile ratmen are subdivided into clans with different approaches to warfare. The Masterclan unites the leaders of the Skaven armies. The Clans Skryre dabble in bizarre sorcery and science. The Clans Moulder breed grotesque war beasts. The Clans Pestilens are fanatically devoted to the Great Horned Rat's plague aspect, and they to spread pestilence across the realms. The Clans Eshin train stealthy assassins, and the Clans Verminus are Skaven warriors.

Death[edit]

Opposed to Chaos and more or less allied with Order when against Chaos, Death wishes to rule all the realms for themselves. The most homogeneous faction, it is entirely ruled by Nagash, the self-proclaimed God of Death.

  • Legions of Nagash, a general Death faction representing the forces Nagash has at his disposal. It includes the Deathlords, the Soulblight vampires, the necromantic Deathmages, the Deadwalker zombies, the ghosts of the Nighthaunt, and the Deathrattle skeletons.
  • Flesh-Eater Courts, vile ghouls and vampires deluded into seeing themselves as cultured aristocrats.
  • Nighthaunt ghosts, spirits, and wraiths. In Soul Wars they came to the fore as the rivalry between Sigmar and Nagash developed. The Nighthaunt are led by Lady Olynder, the Mortarch of Grief.
  • Ossiarch Bonereapers, spirits inhabiting bone constructs who serve as Nagash's elite troops and vanguard, led by Orpheon Katakros, the Mortarch of the Necropolis.

Destruction[edit]

Unpredictable and opportunistic, Destruction factions fight for their survival, for their own self-interest, or just for the love of a good fight. Their patron god is Gorkamorka, who is worshipped in different guises by each faction.

  • The Bonesplitterz or savage orruks are tribal, bone-wielding orruks that specialize in hunting and slaying the beasts of the realms. They have recently been merged with the Ironjawz in the battletome Orruk Warclans. The Ironjawz are heavily-armoured elite orruk warriors. Gordrakk, the Fist of Gork, is an Ironjaw chieftain who has united many clans under his banner of the Great Waaagh!.
  • The Gloomspite Gitz are a diverse faction united by their love of dark places and worship of the portentuous Bad Moon. They include Moonclan grots and their squigs, Spiderfang grots and their arachnid mounts, the brutish and durable troggoths, and the occasional aleguzzler gargant.
  • Mawtribes are the Ogors, formerly the Ogre Kingdoms, include the fire-breathing Firebellies, the nomadic Gutbusters, and the mercenary Maneaters. They have recently been merged with the Beastclaw Raiders, tribes of ogors who ride on massive warbeasts. Eternally pursued by the supernatural Everwinter, they are constantly on the move, and anything they do not eat or destroy is frozen in their wake.

Discontinued Armies[edit]

  • Bretonnia
  • Tomb Kings
  • Greenskinz and Gitmob Grots (part of the old Orcs and Goblins)

Reception[edit]

Criticism[edit]

Warhammer Age of Sigmar was widely criticised by the fanbase upon release for effectively nullifying many core rules of its predecessor, Warhammer Fantasy Battle. [3] [4] It was frequently alleged by fans that this was done because Games Workshop could not retain intellectual property rights to many aspects of the game. [5]

Accolades[edit]

Realm War was nominated for "Best Mobile Game" at the Develop:Star Awards,[6] and for "Best Strategy Game" at The Independent Game Developers' Association Awards, while Champions was nominated for "Best Social Game".[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Often abbreviated as Age of Sigmar or AoS
  1. ^ "Warhammer Age of Sigmar Rules". Games Workshop. 2016-07-11. Archived from the original on 2016-04-12.
  2. ^ Thuborg, Peter (Jul 28, 2019). "Age of Sigmar Armies Guide: a Faction and Race Overview". Age of Miniatures. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  3. ^ "Age of Sigmar. Game review | The British Fantasy Society". www.britishfantasysociety.org. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  4. ^ Warhammer Age of Sigmar Not Warhammer
  5. ^ "Age of Sigmar and the death of High Fantasy". Ex Profundis. Jul 9, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  6. ^ "Shortlist for Develop:Star Awards 2019 revealed". May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  7. ^ Stephenson, Suzi (Sep 19, 2019). "TIGA Announces Games Industry Awards 2019 Finalists". Retrieved May 30, 2020.

External links[edit]