A New Age of Warhammer

So two weeks back was UK Games Expo, which was a blast as I got to run demos of Chronicles of Darkness and Vampire the Masquerade 5th ed. Both went really well and I am more than confident that the new edition will be great.

Of course at UKGE were plenty of miniatures on show, and Games Workshop was present as a sponsor of the event. James and I had a really great chat to Matt Toone, who is head of the design studio and so in charge of recruitment into what is a very technical business. We spent quite some time talking about computer sculpting, and 3d printing.

You can find out more about DDR’s time at UKGE in our recent episodes of the podcast.

One thing not announced at UKGE but was announced shortly after, was a new edition of Age of Sigmar. The new box – Soul Wars.

Soul Wars represents a refinement of the 4 pages of rules that underpinned Age of Sigmar, and also represents an evolution of the setting for Age of Sigmar. Ever since the end of the Warhammer World for the previous setting, I had some difficulty getting my head around the setting of Age of Sigmar. What were the realms really like? What was it like for a mundane mortal to live in these realms? What is the geography like? What are the main points of interest? In the early days these things were left rather nebulous and ill defined. I also didn’t have a feel for the game, as gone were the blocks of troops and so the sense of the tactics of flanking and wheeling. What was the gameplay all about?

Soul Wars and the new edition build upon the fun of Malign Portents.

Ok lets rewind.

The Old World gets destroyed. The Winds of Magic scatter. Sigmar grasps onto the core of the Old World. New realms tied to each colour of magic form. Each is connected by Realm Gates. Sigmar forms a pantheon of gods – beings who were heroes and gods of the Old World, to be the new protectors of this new set of Realms. Then Chaos attacks, taking over the All Points, and basically fucking everything up. Sigmar retreats, builds new soldiers from the souls of heroes – Sigmarites. The fight back begins. Oh yeah Slannesh is captured by the Elven gods of Tyrion and his brother, and Malerion and his mum. Lots of battles happen, new races emerge as souls are taken and used to give birth to new Elven races. Oh and Nagash. Nagash is pissed!

See Nagash doesn’t like people claiming souls. The dead belong to him alone. So in the realm of death, he starts collecting this dust, the stuff that realm gates are made of, and builds a huge inverted floating pyramid at the centre of the realm. See the realm of death contains all underworlds for every race. Also the ruins of cool places like Shadespire (Shadespire is an awesome location in the realms). The plan Nagash enacts causes the realm of death to all get dragged to the central place, literally eating up all of the realms of death. The realm is less a disc now, and more a torus as the pyramid punches through the realm, and also causes all manner of death energies to flood the other realms.

And that is where we are with Soul Wars.

What we are getting in the new game, and in WD is a lot more information about the realms, including maps, information on locations and peoples, and more.

As for the game we have some new aspects, like new spells that persist on the board, using cool new minis to represent them. Magic is critical to the new game, with units and people creating lots of synergies, and units even being summoned on to the battlefield more often. There is a lot of cool stuff, where positioning is still important, even if traditional flanks and facings are gone.

The new boxed game also gives me just what I wanted, namely undead. I was never big into the Khornate warriors in the original boxed game, and int he Blightwar box I was considering getting it as the Nurgle models were wicked. But then Soul Wars hit, and we have some superior Sigmarite warrior models, and also these excellent ghostly warrriors.

So I will be back, with a review of the gameplay and the minis and also pics of my painted units.

– Chris


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