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Warhammer Age of Sigmar

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Warhammer Age of Sigmar
ManufacturersGames Workshop
PublishersGames Workshop
Years active2015–present
GenresMiniature 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
ChanceMedium (dice rolling)
SkillsMilitary tactics, miniature painting

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.[1] Players' 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 sequel to the game Warhammer (specifically Warhammer Fantasy Battle). Due to this, the game contains many of the same characters, themes, and models as its predecessor.


The first edition of Age of Sigmar in 2015 replaced Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Another set released for the first edition was Spire of Dawn, which reused the High Elf and Skaven models from the Isle of Blood (Warhammer 8th edition starter set).[2] The initial release of AoS did not include point values for individual units—these were added later—and instead imbalance was to be mitigated by number of models. If one side started the game with one-third more models than the other, the smaller side could choose a "sudden death" win condition for itself.[b] Summoning new units used the same mechanics as spellcasting and required the dedication of reinforcement points for each summonable unit.

The initial release is notable for having included many absurd[3] rules such as:

Pride of the Reiksguard: Helborg’s skill is as legendary as his moustache is magnificent. You can re-roll any failed hit rolls when attacking with the Runefang so long as you have a bigger and more impressive moustache than your opponent.

Escapist Magazine noted that such ridiculous rules could easily be exploited since nothing in the rules said the moustache had to be real and suggested players buy novelty moustaches to satisfy the condition.[3] Other such rules included re-rolls for players pretending to ride and talk to an imaginary horse, screaming a guttural warcry, and keeping a straight face when their opponent tries to make them laugh.[3] Some contemporary reviews were highly critical of such rules saying that while they may have been intended as jokes to encourage roleplaying, they opened up players to ridicule.[4][5]

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.[6]

The third edition of AoS was released in June 2021, following the Broken Realms campaign series - in which the status quo of the setting was drastically altered.[7] The new edition featured an overhaul of the Battalion system, objectives, and the introduction of a new Path to Glory narrative campaign.[8]


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.


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.[9]


Each faction in Age of Sigmar is a part of one of four super-factions, called Grand Alliances. In the lore, factions within a Grand Alliance are generally united by common goals and aims. Conflict still occurs within Grand Alliances, however, as each faction will often have its own agenda that clashes with the agenda of other factions.

In early periods of Age of Sigmar - specifically First Edition - armies could be built from multiple factions within the same Alliance (e.g. Stormcast Eternals, Seraphon, and Sylvaneth), with an allegiance corresponding to that particular Grand Alliance but not to any of the individual factions. In more recent editions, armies are built mostly from individual factions (e.g. a Stormcast Eternals army) with an option to 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 Factions usually synergise best with their own units, and faction-specific armies receive bonuses and additional rules that are not available to mixed Grand Alliance armies.

Boxed Sets[edit]

Starter Sets[edit]

  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Starter Set: An army of the Stormcast Eternals Warrior Chamber against the Khorne Bloodbound.[10]
  • Soul Wars: The Stormcast Eternals of the Sacrosanct Chamber against the Nighthaunt.[11]
  • Dominion: The Thunderstrike Stormcast Eternals against the Kruleboyz Orruks.[12]

Stand-Alone Battleboxes[edit]

  • Blightwar: features the Maggotkin of Nurgle against the Stormcast Eternals[13]
  • Wrath and Rapture: features the Blades of Khorne against the Hedonites of Slaanesh[14]
  • Carrion Empire: features the Flesh-Eater Courts against the Skaven[15]
  • Looncurse: features the Gloomspite Gitz against the Sylvaneth[16]
  • Feast of Bones: features the Ogor Mawtribes against the Ossiarch Bonereapers[17]
  • Aether War: features the Disciples of Tzeentch against the Kharadron Overlords[18]
  • Shadow and Pain: features the Daughters of Khaine against the Hedonites of Slaanesh[19]
  • Echoes of Doom: features the Skaven against the Sylvaneth [20]
  • Arcane Cataclysm : features the Disciples of Tzeentch against the Lumineth Realm-Lords [21]



Warhammer Age of Sigmar was widely criticised by the fanbase upon release for replacing the setting and gameplay of its predecessor, Warhammer Fantasy Battle.[22][23] With the advent of the game's Second Edition, reception towards the game has improved, with it being cited by PC Gamer as being "close to its former glory".[24]


Realm War was nominated for "Best Mobile Game" at the Develop:Star Awards,[25] and for "Best Strategy Game" at The Independent Game Developers' Association Awards, while Champions was nominated for "Best Social Game".[26]


  1. ^ Often abbreviated as Age of Sigmar or AoS
  2. ^ Such rules included:
    • the smaller side killing a certain model owned and nominated by the larger side.
    • the smaller side keeping a certain model of its own, nominated by itself, alive until the end of the sixth turn.
    • the smaller side having any of its models alive at the end of the fourth turn within 3" of a certain point it nominated in enemy territory.


  1. ^ Baxter, Stephen (2003). "Freedom in an Owned World". Vector. No. 229. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012.
  2. ^ "Isle of Blood - Age of Sigmar 1,000 Point Breakdown". December 12, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "8 Ridiculous Rules From the New Warhammer Age of Sigmar". The Escapist. July 7, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  4. ^ "Age of Sigmar and the End of Warhammer | Terminally Incoherent". Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  5. ^ Aegeri (April 13, 2016). "Warhammer and the Age of Sigmar's "Roleplaying" Rules". The Roleplayer's Guild. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  6. ^ "Age of Sigmar 2.0: What's New In The Core Rules". Bell of Lost Souls. June 14, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  7. ^ "Catch Up on the Major Plot Points of the Broken Realms Saga". May 1, 2021. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  8. ^ "Take Your Army on a Personal Narrative Campaign in the New Edition's Path to Glory". Warhammer Community. June 13, 2021. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  9. ^ "Warhammer Age of Sigmar Rules". Games Workshop. July 11, 2016. Archived from the original on April 12, 2016.
  10. ^ "Review: Warhammer Age of Sigmar Starter Set » Tale of Painters". July 3, 2015.
  11. ^ "Soul Wars Announced - Warhammer Community". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  12. ^ "Warhammer Preview Online: Unboxing Dominion - Warhammer Community". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  13. ^ "Blightwar: New Rules, New Models, and more! - Warhammer Community". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  14. ^ "Pre-order Today: Wrath and Rapture - Warhammer Community". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  15. ^ "Pre-order Preview: Carrion Empire and Genestealer Cults - Warhammer Community". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  16. ^ "Pre-order Looncurse and more... - Warhammer Community". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  17. ^ "Coming Soon: The Feast of Bones Begins! - Warhammer Community". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  18. ^ "Coming Soon: Aether War! - Warhammer Community". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  19. ^ "Shadow & Pain Unboxed - Warhammer Community". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  20. ^ "Avenging Sylvaneth chase the Skaven Across the Realms in Echoes of Doom - Warhammer Community". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  21. ^ "Arcane Cataclysm – Aelves and Acolytes Battle Over Powerful Relics from a Forgotten Age - Warhammer Community". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  22. ^ "Age of Sigmar. Game review". The British Fantasy Society. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  23. ^ Warhammer Age of Sigmar Not Warhammer
  24. ^ Senior, Tom (July 11, 2018). "Age of Sigmar second edition brings Warhammer close to its former glory". PC Gamer. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  25. ^ Blake, Vikki (May 16, 2019). "Shortlist for Develop:Star Awards 2019 revealed". MCV. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  26. ^ Stephenson, Suzi (September 19, 2019). "TIGA Announces Games Industry Awards 2019 Finalists". Retrieved May 30, 2020.