Warhammer Fest Preview Day 6: Age of Sigmar, Part 2 Roundtable

Warhammer Fest is fully online this year, but that means we all get to watch the reveals in real time, every day this week! Each day we’ll be having a round table to recap our very important hot takes. This was the “Surprise Big Reveal” to cap off the live stream previews, and spoilers it’s Age of Sigmar 3.0! So we’re grabbing our Mortal Realms correspondents (and anyone else who happened to be lying around in the office) to comment:

  • Alice “RagnarokAngel” Lirette
  • Kevin “Fowler” Fowler
  • Liam Jordan
  • Thundercloud
  • Magos Sockbert
  • Kenji
  • Mike “Ellarr” Chadderton

If you missed the preview, check out the summary here.

Age of Sigmar 3.0

Long suspected but finally confirmed, Age of Sigmar is getting a 3rd edition! How excited are we? What are your hopes for the game (either on a macro scale or your favorite army)?

 

RagnarokAngel: I don’t think I have to say my hype levels are very high! The writing has been on the wall for a new edition for a while, the fact almost everyone’s tome has been updated, releases slowing down significantly and a Psychic Awakening-esque campaign that promised world changing events usually implies the page is being turned over to a new edition.

I think Age of Sigmar 2.0 is in a really good place, I don’t think a lot needs to be changed to fit my satisfaction. I’d love cover rules to be a bit more interesting and of course some of the more neglected armies to get expanded rules and more fleshed out model lines. Pretty standard wishlist.

 

 

Liam Jordan: Clearly I’m excited. My favourite game is getting a new edition, why wouldn’t I be? I’m hoping that what Ben spoke about for the game being the best edition being just that. I enjoyed AoS1, really enjoyed AoS2 so I’m expecting more of the same, just made better and I’ve heard nothing in that segment to think it won’t be just that. Really looking forward to more details of how things play on the table top, which hopefully we’ll get in the not too distant future.

 

Fowler: My main (selfish) wish for 3.0 was a new Nighthaunt battletome with subfactions, but the Be’lakor book already made me pretty happy. I’ve recently realized that I like playing Sigmar waaaaaay more than 40k, and I’m hoping this book motivates more folks to give the game a shot. A fleshed-out Crusade-type campaign for Sigmar would be an excellent new addition, as well. 

 

 

 

Thundercloud: I was expecting them to maybe leave Aos 3.0 another month, maybe announce a new Boxed Game or something else, but only revealing 3 minis (very likely 2 of these are from the starter set or are EZ builds of models in the starter set, note the scenic bases) means they can drip out further previews later this month and build hype, and not step on the Kragnos and Vampire releases too much.

Changes to the double turn and command points looks interesting, as the double turn was people’s number one complaint.

If I have one hope for 3.0 it’s for a Combat Patrol equivalent for AOS where you slap down a hero and 2-3 units for 30-40 minute games on a small board.

 

 

Magos Sockbert: I would like narrative consequences that last more than a single edition, honestly. ‘The Soul Wars are over and the curse of the Necroquake has been broken’ doesn’t really inspire faith that the story and world will move on; perhaps each edition is it’s own ‘season’ of story?

I don’t have a great many needs for AoS 3 – the issues affecting Age of Sigmar at the moment are related to Battletomes and Warscrolls, not the core rules themselves. I don’t see how a new book can fix, say, Seraphon dominance or the issues affecting Beasts of Chaos without a ground up rules rewrite, or at least a full points rebalance like 40K 9th edition; which did happen, so I’m still holding out hope!

If you could give me one thing, it would be to make terrain meaningful. It’s usually barely a movement hindrance, and almost none of the terrain affects (perhaps excluding Arcane, Commanding and Overgrown) have any meaningful impact. A series of terrain keywords like in 40K would be excellent; let something be Arcane and Overgrown, so your wizard can hide behind a magical statue without fear of being blown off the board (except by Lumineth…). Big fan of the idea of more impassable terrain too; let the days of 0” charges from on top of terrain be over!

I am crushed by losing army specific battalions though. They really tied together theme and function in ways unique to each army. I understand there were balance issues, but maybe, yknow, put a bit more effort into balancing them rather than just tossing it all in the too-hard basket?

Also, guys, just give us Crusade for AoS. Please. Best part of the new 40k books, it has to come over.

 

Kenji: I never even got to play 2.0, so I have little opinion on what or how the game will change, but I am glad to see that AoS is moving along and I like that they tie the editions to big game focus shifts with lore like Broken Realms, etc. I do wonder how this will change tomes at all, though? Will 3.0 not change things too much (and thus tomes won’t really need updates) or are we going to enter some somewhat weird space where the tomes still need immediate updates? I guess it would be through General’s Handbook, but the sort of weird tempo of tomes and books is a little bit of a bummer to the wallet. 

 

Ellarr: I think it’s about time, as the current meta definitely feels like a weird mish mash of the haves and the have nots. A lot of older factions are now showing their age and struggling to keep up, and I think the design team probably have a pretty firm idea as to what needed to change as they saw 2.0 progress throughout the past few years. Personally I love 2.0 but feel it was deeply flawed, and my personal hopes include:

  • Lessen the power of unbinding across the board – too many factions have incidental spellcasters with lynchpin spells that suffer because megacasters in the meta are unbinding at +2-4. I’m always a fan of letting people do their cool shit, and the meta had evolved to the point where armies just flat out didn’t bother running heroes for their spellcasting unless they had bonuses to cast.
  • Provide more protection for smaller combat characters – there’s a whole subset of heroes in the game right now that might as well not exist, as they provide worse output for their cost than units and don’t provide crucial synergies to justify their existence either. Armies that rely on heroes nearby for synergies are in a bad spot at the moment if there is no such protection built into their warscroll. We’ve seen recent additions like the Dolorous Guard and similar bodyguard rules establish a need for something like this, so I hope it becomes more widespread.
  • Lessen the impact of the double turn – there are frankly too many armies that can really take advantage of double turns in a way that can finish off a game before round 3 even begins – this is notably in the hero phase through magic and the shooting phase. I would like to see more mechanics implemented to give people who are subjected to a double turn more interaction and means to protect themselves from the impact of the double, because the alternative (nerfing hero phase output and shooting armies output across the board) is likely going to be far more detrimental to the health of the game overall.

That said, their messaging early on is promising and I feel confident they’ll at least attempt to address some of these issues.

 

Magos Sockbert: And this is coming from a Grand Admiral of the Kharadron Overlords, prime offenders of the double turn, so you know it’s an issue!

New Stormcast

New edition means Sigmar opens another stormcast chamber. We got a glimpse at a few new stormcast models, what do you think?

 

RagnarokAngel: I absolutely would never sully my hands with Sigmar’s chosen but I love the new Angel of Sigmar. Its probably not a secret that I love angels and that is such a gorgeous fucking model.

 

 

 

 

Liam Jordan: New AoS, new chamber of Stormcast. Let’s be honest, I don’t think anyone would have expected anything else. Yndrasta is simply stunning, fairly sure she’ll make it into every army needing any slightly larger than human sized model for any conversion ever going forward. The Phalanx style Vindicators are brilliant, the Thunderstrike armour having subtle differences to the stuff we’ve already seen mixes it up nicely. Going to have to wait and see the big chonky new boy in other pictures or in his 3D rotation before I make my judgement call on him and the rest of the Annihilators though.

 

Thundercloud: Yeah, the Thunderstrike mark takes the blobby profile of the 1st ed Stormcast and changes it to be much more like armour you can picture someone fighting in as oppose to getting pushed over and attacked by Skaven with can openers. 

As ever the gold scheme GW use is very meh, and all the other schemes shown look better. If a couple of squads of spears, a squad of hammers and a character is 500 points, it might be time to look at AoS28 and painting some Darkcast.

Angel character looks great. 

 

 

Magos Sockbert: As an ardent Horus Heresy player I am personally offended that this release had nothing for us and oh my Omnissiah they made a plastic Sanguinius. 

As for the new Stormcast, I wasn’t aware they could make skinny jeans out of Sigmarite, but apparently then what do I know about fashion? The new top-heavy look is, uh, certainly an aesthetic (perhaps one inspired by Rob Liefeld?) , but I’m not sure it quite works for me. I’m looking forward to seeing a full mob of Vindicators ranked up in a phalanx, perhaps as part of the Celstial Vindicators stormhost (GW, please, get some new words). 

Fully agree with Thundercloud about the colour scheme – the Hammers of Sigmar gold really doesn’t let the in-house painters talents shine through, while I’m absolutely here for the slightly grimy World Eaters Knights Excelsior white and blue!

Final shout out to finally getting consequences in the story with Stormcast permanently dying, and then immediately losing said narrative consequences to fancy new armour…

 

Kenji: My personal inclination in fantasy is towards dark fantasy style (think Dark Souls), but I’ve never found a faction that actually embodies that aesthetic (or could do so with mild painting). Stormcasts were one I always debated, but I found them far too generic and ‘heroic’ looking; the new teasers, particularly Yndrasta and the Annihilator, really get me excited to try my hand at the sort of aesthetics I to play around with. 

 

Ellarr: I think the modellers have finally hit their stride with Stormcast in the past few years, as new sculpts from 2.0 to now show a much more nuanced and stylish approach to the original stocky Liberators and their ilk. I’m thrilled to bits with Yndrasta as she really strikes an inhuman heroic figure that I think Stormcast have often struggled to achieve, and the new models shown off for the new chamber have instantly become some of the best Stormcast Eternals miniatures they’ve done.

New Faction

A starter box needs more than Stormcast, it needs a new faction to fight them. We got a trailer giving hints, but not much to go on. Any theories?

 

RagnarokAngel: My pet theory for a new faction has been shadow elves from Malerion, though they seem to be emphasizing Ghur here, so I doubt that. Something more beastial maybe, due to the return of Kragnos? Something with a lot of nasty beasts that isn’t Beasts of Chaos would have a lot of appeal. Broken Realms: Kragnos will probably help answer the question.

 

 

 

Liam Jordan: I can’t make up my mind on what this new race is, or even if it’s aligned to something we’ve already seen or know’s coming. Are we talking something chaos aligned or something more destruction orientated with Ghur playing such a big part in the upcoming story? I’d love it to be something where the Beasts of Chaos get a much bigger starring role but gut feeling puts it being something more nimble and the illusion of terror without it being that, just using it as a wartime tactic. 

 

Fowler: The excellent new Dire Wolves and “breed” talk make me want some new Chaos Warhounds, but it seems like we might be getting something net new.

 

 

 

 

Thundercloud: A destruction faction that hangs out in swamps murdering people. They’d never troll people that hard by making it Fimir, but some sort of goblin/troll/monster action (like the LOTR Denizens list) seems likely.

 

 

 

 

Magos Sockbert: Swamp monsters stealing people from the mists? It’s gotta be reimagined Fimir, right? Fimir were a race of cyclopean, fen dwelling lizard things from the Old World who still putter about in Total War: Warhammer. In Warhammer Fantasy lore they were abandoned by the Chaos Gods, which made their AoS warscrolls Destruction, which fits.The army will be Destruction, I don’t think that’s at question with Kragnos and Ghur in the spotlight.

The other possibility is some kind of new hobgoblin, sneaking around shanking people from the dark. I’d personally prefer not another horde type army, but that’s just because I’m a big monster stan and lazy painter. We all know they’ll get their heads punched in by the golden poster children in the box, but I’m hoping for a brand new army and not an expansion of, say, Orruks. Destruction Beasts of Chaos would be an awesome twist though! 

Love the little nods to Yndrastra being in a swamp as well!

 

Kenji: Personally I’m a wet blanket on this stuff cause I generally find that whatever I dream up is somehow too unrealistic. A totally new, unheard of faction is a possibility, but what or who that would be leaves me scratching my head. The idea that we could have some faction we haven’t seen any sort of model for at all is kind of surprising as well, given how far in advance most GW things are planned. Honestly I wonder if it will just be some updated Nurgle stuff, as their range is getting pretty old.

 

Ellarr: It’s almost certainly destruction (the lore points that way, it’s their turn in the cycle, Kragnos just woke up) and I think the question is more about the kind of destruction we’ll see. The trailer suggests something wholly new, so we might not see Orruks in this box, so honestly I’m pretty flummoxed. Fimir would be an interesting wrinkle to add to the grand alliance, as would be some primal destructive forces that worship Kragnos and line up with him aesthetically.

 

And that’s all the previews, for now! Games Workshop has said there are two more previews this month! That means 2 more round tables, just for you dear reader! Aren’t you excited? While we wait, what are you most excited for in Age of Sigmar 3rd edition? What are your hopes and wishlists? Let us know down below, on social media or at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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