Ok…so that just happened. Age of Sigmar will receive a competitive ruleset, with points even!
So what does this really mean? We ask the crew their thoughts:
As Salty John put it: “Nope”. He certainly represents the portion of the community that took one look at AoS and dismissed it flat out. Is a competitive ruleset really going to bring them back in? Most likely not, but then, is there anything that would have brought them into the fold? No, not likely. Would anything make Salty John happy as is? Good beer. The answer is good beer.
Meanwhile, Adam is over here thankful that he was planning to invest in some Orks…Orruks. A competitive ruleset is tempting to all those on the fence, those that maybe thought about trying it but found the free-form ruleset too avant-garde and too reliant on a sense of decorum. We are Americans after all; this wasn’t going to vibe with most of us. Will this be enough to get the middling crowd into stores, buying product, and playing games? Will it be enough to keep them?
Then we have Travis who has always been wary of AoS but worldly enough to give it a fair shot. His first impression of the news is “Seems good”, but will it be good? It is a step in the right direction; we can all agree on that, but it is going to be enough? More bluntly: Will they create a decent product or is it going to be a shit-show from day 1? Travis has plenty of models to Frankenstein an army together, and perhaps this change will hit the old veterans who could easily dip into the system but are lacking a good reason to try.
The Producer is likely on board as she already appreciated the ease of play and Warmachine-esque reliance on unit entries as opposed to a ton of universal rules, but we’ll see. This will compete with Warmachine MK3, but she does represent the supposed target audience for AoS: A not super-competitive player that favors simpler game design and is not a 20+ veteran of tabletop games. We’ll see if this new change inspires her play and invest into the game. We can only guess how many Bloodthirsters she will field.
Finally, we have Danny and his Lizardmen (Sorry, Seraphon). Danny was initially a big fan of AoS, and he enjoyed the ease of play, the emphasis on scenarios and narrative driven fights, and the ultimate Beer and Pretzels feel of a game that could actually be played at lunch. Because he thinks too damn much, he found a certain charm to the open feel of the game, essentially an acknowledgement from the designers that the players will take it and make it their own. Of course, the reality was that the scene was almost non-existent at the store, and his usual group did not buy into it, and the sheer power level discrepancy and lack of controls meant finding a pickup game that worked was a huge task. He is definitely excited for the chance to bring out the lizards and maybe, just maybe have a game that functions well between strangers instead of just friends.
At the end of everything though, we can all agree that this signals a huge step forward for GW and how they interact with the community. From some reports, GW even reached out to several of the prominent AoS comp-system designers to get their feedback on how to point-cost the game and place some army building restrictions, and if that’s true, then it certainly speaks volumes for the change in management style over at GW HQ.
Let’s hope this trend continues. GW at the top of their game is always a delight to see.