So I hear Warhammer Fantasy is dead, replaced by a free fantasy skirmish game. I also hear that GW have turned over a new leaf, are talking to punters now and happy to answer questions about their new game. What have I missed? I feel like I'm having one of those trippy dreams after eating too much cheese before bed, you know the ones where the world distorts into a parallel universe and everything you know is all weird and backwards… no, wait – that was End Times!
We never really got into playing Warhammer Fantasy much. When they launched a box set several editions ago we bought in and started a bit of an escalation league that quickly snowballed into dragons and the like. But these were the heady days of 40k tournaments, so the rigid formations and required planning ahead of Fantasy felt stuffy in comparison. A shame really as I always liked the idea of Warhammer Fantasy, but it was so unforgiving that it was easy to get demoralised as a beginner.
Yet, with whisperings of 9th edition on the horizon late last year, purchases were made to give it another go. Then boom – along came End Times and flushed everything we knew down the toilet. With the emergence of Age of Sigmar, Fantasy's replacement, it seems that even Slaanesh didn't make it out of the bowl – that's a big risk for the sake of being child-friendly, given how popular the pink god is.
I've been collecting random skirmish rulesets for a few years now so was happy to download AoS when it appeared. I've had a quick read but the idea that melee is based around the weapon not the wielder (if I have that correct) seems abstract in the extreme – kind of like the rules for Zombicide. With that particular board game it works wonders but I'm struggling to see any satisfaction for miniature gamers after investing hours of painting time on their models. I've no doubt I'm missing the bigger picture with faction-specific rules et al, but I like to get excited about a game from the offset. Not only do these rules have nothing new to offer (it seems) but to simplify something with so much heritage to this degree shows a great lack of respect to both the history of the game and the gamers themselves. I understand the business premise behind this move, but surely there had to be something less extreme.
Talk about being all in – GW must really be feeling "squeaky bum time", to quote a famous Scot.
Alas our days of playing Fantasy happened long before this blog existed, else I would have loved to reminisce with past blog posts and battle reports. I have a starter box full of plastic Chaos Warriors – question is whether they will see the light of day in AoS or be destined for Ebay?