What’s the Point(s)?

Age of Sigmar is approaching its first birthday on 11 July, though yesterday marked the first proper glimpse we’d seen of the game in White Dwarf. Since that time, we’ve seen a lot happen – a lot of tears and tantrums (and that guy who burnt his Dark Elf army), but also a lot of great games with new folks coming in to the hobby all over the place.

At this first year anniversary, we’re now seeing the official look at the new General’s Handbook, which is going to address the issue that was on almost everybody’s mind from the start: Points.

I mean, sure, there are a lot of other things in this book, but having been looking around the internets prior to writing this here blog, it looks like everybody who is planning to buy the book will be ignoring roughly two-thirds of it, and just going for the points.

Why? Well, the points are “what everybody wanted”, and the cynic inside of me feels that people can’t decide how to play the game themselves, but instead need to be told how to play it. The four-page rules have been proven to have not been sufficient for many people to agree upon, as the recently-released FAQ does have some pages devoted to the rulebook itself. But I spent some time thinking about this over the weekend, and hence this blog today!

First of all, I think I need to put it out there that I thought the idea of bringing whatever models you wanted to the table and just play a game was fundamentally a good idea. If I wanted to play a game, and only wanted to bring a few units to the table, then I could do exactly that. Of course, this was open to abuse from people who wanted to max out their cheese lists, but that’s really a problem with the player, in my book.

We now have points coming out for every single model in Age of Sigmar – including those models that have been removed from sale, such as the Bretonnians and Tomb Kings! Very nice to see that they haven’t been left behind.

The points themselves are about what you would expect for the game, all of those I’ve glanced at seem to be in the hundreds, which is along the lines of the game’s predecessor of course. There are some rules around squad sizes, with minimum and maximum sizes, and unlike 40k, you cannot buy single models, but need to use the entire complement.

While I don’t think they are needed personally for me, I do recognise that the tournament scene will be highly appreciative, and so for competitive play, this book will no doubt be snapped up extremely quickly. How fortuitous, then, that they released it in time for the global campaign of the summer! It’s almost like they planned it! I do like the fact that GW seem to be listening to the players, and have finally given them what they’d been asking for, though I hope this doesn’t see the end of playing games with a super casual “just play what you like” ruling.

There are also rules for narrative play, and there are sections on relics and stuff in here that look like they could be really cool. The new Sylvaneth battletome is the first of a new breed that will include special rules, including these relics and rules for magic spells, for when your army consists of entirely one faction, rather than being a Grand Alliance. I’m a huge fan of anything that can add customization in this way, and while it might mean forgoing the cool narratives for why my Stormcast are fighting alongside some Orruk Brutes or whatever, it could be really great to have some extra bonuses because I’m playing with only little golden men.

So overall, I think I like this new book, even if I am a bit dismayed by all of the “Finally, Points!” remarks online. I’m really pleased to see that GW have put a lot of thought into making more options for narrative play, even if one such campaign involves 24 Varanguard (I mean, who has such an army?!) and I’m probably going to pick it up when it comes out.

What do you guys think? Is this the book you’ve been waiting for all year?

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