Age of Sigmar: the first game

Well folks, I had my first Age of Sigmar game on Friday evening – my first in a very long time, and certainly my first with the new edition. For the curious among you, I last played in 2nd edition, in February 2019, with my Nighthaunt, and aside from it being really fun, I don’t really remember a great deal of it!

I have talked quite a bit about Age of Sigmar recently, as I was gearing up to play against James and his Slaves to Darkness, but through one thing or another, we just hadn’t been able to get round to it until now. As such, a lot of my research into the game had gone a bit by the wayside, so it was still a bit of a steep curve when we started!!

However…

Age of Sigmar plays fairly similar to 40k, with the broad game outline being fairly similar. That said, there is overall less going on, somehow. The fact that your weapon profile tells you what you need to hit and to wound is such a tiny difference that nevertheless speeds things up a lot, and the fact there are very few mixed units means oftentimes you’re fast rolling because everybody has a sword, for instance.

Also – shooting is so rare as to be non-existent.

In our game, because James only has the Start Collecting box, we were playing at roughly 570 points, so that allowed me two units of Mortek Guard, one unit of Immortis Guard, and my Boneshaper hero. The first unit of Guard died pretty quickly from being in the centre, whereas my Boneshaper kept reanimating models from the second unit, causing some significant irritation as they just would not die! However, the Immortis Guard really surprised us both. In a single round of close combat, they killed off the Chaos Lord, the next two rounds they saw off the cavalry, and in the final round they swept in to demolish what was left of the Chaos Knights. They only took a single wound in the sole game, too!

Beasts.

I think the Mortek Guard should be fielded in larger units, though – I know we were somewhat constrained by points, and by how I’ve built everything, but it’s just more reason to get that second box of Guard and bump each unit up to 20 bodies. I also think I needed a bit more speed – I very much moved up the field, then let everything close the gap and come to me. Since the game, I’ve built up my five Kavalos Deathriders, which I’m hoping to get painted at some point before we can arrange another game, as it might be good to mix things up a little!

Though I can’t help noticing how my horses are much smaller than those Chaos steeds…

It was a very fun game – made all the better because I actually ended up winning, 8-7! Didn’t expect that. We both agreed, though, that being able to just play the game, without needing to constantly check rules, was such a huge plus, and I think it’s a credit to the designers that the game is very sleek, by and large. Sure, we had some complex interactions come into play from command abilities, traits, and other special abilities, but even these were fairly straightforward to walk through. It made the game experience overall really quite light, in terms of being able to actually play the thing!

I had a fairly interesting idea pop into my head during the game, though. We were talking about my Bonereaper models, and I was explaining how they’re supposed to be bone constructs, not reanimated skeletons like the old Tomb Kings. In conjunction with the oft-repeated possibility of Mortek Archers being a unit for the army, I started to think about the old Tomb Kings line, and doing some mental comparisons, wondering whether GW might expand on the Bonereapers with Tomb Kings analogue units.

The current Bonereapers line up has skeleton swordsmen, skeleton spearmen, skeleton horsemen and big constructs akin to the Ushabti, along with the huge catapult that is a Screaming Skull mk2. On an unrelated note, it does make me chuckle how many paint names have survived when the units they were named after have gone up in smoke. But anyway. The Tomb Kings also had skeleton archers, which begs the question, if Bonereaper archers could be a thing, what else could we get?

I think Necropolis Knights are fantastic looking units, and would absolutely love it if somehow a similar thing could be introduced to this army. I’m not sure what they could be riding, but I reckon it could look very cool to have a different sort of mounted elite type of unit?

I think having chariots in the game is very important, to keep with the fantasy feel, and I do like the fact that several armies have their own take on this. I’d love to get something for the Bonereapers, it’s almost a no-brainer as we already have skeletal horses, and the crew are just Mortek Guard.

I suppose the Ushabti are a cross between the Immortis Guard and the Morghasts, and the Gothizzar Harvester replaces the huge scorpion (or possibly the Necrosphinx, though that was a very beautiful model…)

I’ve heard some rumours talking about more units, including the ever-present Archers rumours, but also mentioning a mounted hero, possibly mounted on some kind of war machine. I think the possibility of having a hero in chariot is perhaps a bit too close to the Tomb Kingd and Settra, but war machine rumours do come back to some kind of ballista that is mentioned in the lore. Now that we’re supposed to have Stormcast chariots and a few armies have ranged war machines, it does present some interesting speculation!!

I love variety, of course, so would definitely like to see more for my favourite Death faction!! Especially if I’m going to have the opportunity to play more AoS!!

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