From DakkaDakka and Nafka: (Seina Lebnitz)
"I had the chance to look thoroughly through the proper Age of Sigmar rulebook (the one that consists of three books) yesterday evening. Spent my time with the three books and ignored the novel in favour of the real interesting things. So I cannot fill in the blanks there. But maybe I have the opportunity to look at the rulebook and novel again and hopefully the age of sigmar box, too.
But now I have a way clearer picture what’s coming and I’d like to share with you because I am very (!!!) excited, but I cannot provide any photos for obvious reasons. So if you don’t believe me, I don’t blame you. But please don’t attack me personally.
- Title of the rulebook is: Age of Sigmar: a Warhammer strategy game
- first the basics (most of which are already known):
<verbatim with occasional paraphrasing/editing from me>
- 1. Full fledged rule system; no skirmish game - meaning not restricted to low miniature count: 50 models on average, way lower possible, in general you use units but you can field an army consisting of only single models
- 2. Everything is on round or oval bases (there (is a) paragraph that explicitly allows "legacy" and "diorama" bases, though);
- 3. Two Books: The rules (rules and scenarios) and Compendium (pictures, unit cards and fluff)
4. There are unit cards for every (as far as I can see) old unit in the second book, including warhammer forge models and most or all special characters. Some units get the full treatment with a small fluff text, pictures of the actual miniatures and rules, some units get only rules with nothing more.
5. All new rules with complete new mechanics: think not of 40k 2nd -> 3rd but Warhammer 8th -> Bloodbowl, very compact and fast paced, huge emphasis on individual champions, magic and gods (don’t know how powerful, but these have the most rule pages)
- no photos (and no artworks except some very generic drawings) of new miniatures except a couple chaos and human miniatures that are very likely from the Age of Sigmar box.
6. All the races are 9 <still> in, but some are clearly favored. There are few pictures of beastmen and lizardmen for example and some units like steam tanks, gun powder units (Skaven and new-dwarfs use them still), etc. can only be fielded as mercenaries from a different world or summoned units (as is the case with most special characters, there is even a picture of a Teclis painted in ghost colors) < The bubble-world theory?; no mention on elven FACTIONS>
7. The tech level is between and ancient roman empire and early medieval times, <pre gun-powder? > lots of nomadic barbarian tribes, etc. But judging by to the age of sigmar miniatures the armour design draws only a little bit from history and is has a very stylized high-fantasy design instead
8. There are lots of different people <human> races, gods and lots of different alliances. The world is a lot more open minded than the old one, Empire-Orc Alliance would be unthinkable, but a human-waaghkin force is nothing unusual in this setting
1. You pick one or more gods that determine the theurgic or magic schools (don’t know what the difference is, sorry) < deity powers vs magic? > you can use and how your champions get power-ups during the game. You can take several gods, but they have to be from the same pantheon - so no nurgle-sigmar armies, but Nagash-Morr is possible.Then you choose whichever unit you want - from every race. There is no limit as far as I can tell.
2. The only mechanic that I have spotted that limits the useful choices somehow is that most spells and special rules only affect units with certain traits, the powers of Grimgor (magic and gods are always connected, each lore has a patron god that grants the power) affects only mortals or enemy units in the proximity of mortals.
- There are only rules for one pantheon in the rule book, all the other gods and pantheons are only mentioned in the fluff
- Guardians of Regalia, a conglomerate native spirits and gods and lately some new gods, the incarnates Grimgor, Gelt and Nagash, there are thousand of gods and their relevance changes over time and in different regions, but there are Seven big gods that have seven schools of magic associated with them and have rules in the book
- Geshemet or Gesheket or something like this (male and female, fertility, natural disaster) is the head of the pantheon, the other six gods are dual pair of good and evil:
Two death gods: Nagashs and Morr
Two smith and labour gods: Hashut and Gelt
Two war gods: Grimgor and Myrmidia
- five other pantheons get a page of fluff each, and additional minor pantheons/deities are mentioned in the fluff. The big five are Chaos, Sigmar, Cuth’adai (elven gods), Exoatl (old ones) and the Triumvi-rats (Horned Rat + 2 more)
- all characters can earn favor of their gods and get promoted just like the chaos champions until they reach apotheosis, this is also a huge mechanic in the game + you can field gods or at least their avatars, but only three incarnates have rules in the book
- there is only One ruleset (don’t know what is in the AoS box, but in the book there is no distinction between skirmish mode and battle mode or something like this)
- rules have nothing to do with the old warhammer rules:
- Profile: Melee, Range, Might, Armour, Initiative, Resolve, Wounds,
(Values from 1-6, lower is better)
- Simple turn sequence: initiative -> player 1 unit 1 moves, shoots, casts -> p1 unit 2 moves, shoots, casts -> ... -> player 2 moves, shoots, casts -> melee
- players roll always against each other, for example Melee vs Initiative and Range vs Initiative, Might vs Armour
- units regenerate all lost wounds at the end of the phase <or roll to regenerate?>
- both sides in a melee fight simultaneously, winner can roll to fight instantaneously another round until one side is extinct or one side chooses to break from the combat
- there is no moral system or combat resolution whatsoever, but unit can be bounced back
- units use a 1” 40k formation without any facing
- magic spells are all one-use only, when you use it, you have to discard the card
- you can collect ascension points throughout the game and spend the point to buff your champions, mechanic depends on your god(s)
- unit costs points as before, you are not allowed to field multiple units of the same kind unless the former unit have full strength - there are all kinds of unit sizes from 1-3 to 3-15 (that’s the highest I have seen), but you can field lots of different 1-man units
- you don’t buy champions, a set number of models are automatically upgraded to champions, but you cannot exceed the limit
- there are rules for different weapons, magic items, war engines, monsters, special rules, etc and a large section for scenarios and terrain, larger than the actual rules
Game is set on world Regalia that is connected with other young realms through portals of the old ones.
Young realms are realms that were populated by the old creators and were guided on similar historical paths.
They were untouched by chaos but this has changed since the arrival of sigmar (as a new faith) and archaon (as an actual emissary in flesh and blood)
there is no explanation (or just a brief one so that I have missed it) how this all came to be, just a description of the history of Regalia (and to a lesser extent some neighbouring realms)
On Regalia is dominated by hundreds of human kingdoms. Fast travel is possible through a number of stone circles that allows mages to open portal from one to another and a system of streams and seas under the earth that can be navigated by ship.
There were a long period of peace curated by the Exoatl (Old Ones) that watched over the world from the North and Southpole. But then suddenly new faiths arrived, lots of human tribes started to pray to Sigmar and to conquer their neighbouring kingdoms. These lands are each independent, but are united in their faith to Sigmar. The history ends with the conquering of the Worlds Edge mountains and the crowning of the first emperor.
At the same time, the first agents of Chaos arrived and began to corrupt the native people. A part of the Waaghkins rebelled against the old ones in favour of new gods, the Skaven arrived the first time, and in the south and east a death cult began to spread. The world is in turmoil. There are lots of unfinished story hooks so I think the story will be continued, but that might be wishful thinking.
Humans are the majority in this world and they have kingdom and tribes everywhere, most of the known earth-inspired regions like Cathay are there, but they are not described as fully flegded feudal nations but constantly changing petty empires and nomadic people ruled by warlords and champions of the gods. there are two factions of humans, the worshippers of sigmar and the polytheistic rest, both are not monocultural, but have different skin colors and cultures. Women fight beside men!
The dominion of sigmar is special, because they are the only ones that are reluctant to allow any other race than humans. They have only one god and their goal is to destroy all other gods and conquer their domains - for the greater good of the world of course. This has nothing in common with the Empire of the old world, except the heraldry, griffons are still en vogue.
All tribes and city states and kingdoms are independent, the only common ground is their faith, the emperor is only a warlord with the purpose to expands the dominion towards the east. There a still knightly orders, zealots, witch hunters - so they retain some of their medieval flair but there are no state troops. There is no gunpowder, except from some dwarven imports, but they are known for using large war waggons on their trek to the east. Kislev, Estalia, Araby, city states of Bretonnia, Norse and tribes of the Reiklands are part of the dominion. There are also some enclaves scattered across the world that are connected with magic portals
The Skaven arrived on their own on Regalia and are basically the same. Haven’t spent much time on them. They have now three gods called the Triumvi-rat …..
Dawikorr (dwarfs) and Inneadim (elfs) have their own realms that are connected with Regalia. The Inneadim have outposts in America.
Dawikorr are only a legend on Regalia and nobody has seen them, but there are legends that they aid whorshippers of Sigmar in peril. They deliver the dominions of Sigmar with artifacts. They live underneath the world Karak Korr and guard the Soul Mill. Dawikorr have rules, so they can be fielded.
The Soul Mill is a huge machinery that allows minor deities to feed on the power of dead spirits or let them reincarnate or serve them as guardian hosts. It was built by the surviving dwarves of the old world on command of the Incarnates on a older machinery of the old ones. The dwarfs guard the soul mill and are aligned with Sigmar after the shattering of the Incarnates, but are under siege of the skaven that have found their way on this world and managed to steal two mighty souls that formed their new gods.
Inneadim worship the dreamers, gods that have dreamt themselves, basically the elven gods. They live on their own world and protect the dreamchild. Under Araloth they founded enclaves on Regalia in search for the arch-elves, lost gods of their pantheon. They are a darker take on the elves, nightmare are as much part of their culture then dreams. They use necromancy and the death god Ynnead is at the centre of their pantheon. But they still live in symbiosis with the nature. The artwork shows an elf on a feathered mount, not like a chocobo, but more like a feathered raptor. The artbook shows pictures (and rules) from all existing elf armies.
Skaven and Dawikorr are the only races that use black powder, the rest of Regalia is on stuck on an ancient/medieval tech level. The Exoatl use magic techno gear. There is a certain level of anachronistic gear but it is not steampunk but powered by ancient magic. The only steampunk elements are in the Skaven and to a lesser extent the neo-dwarven fluff.
Chaos has no foothold in the north but is anywhere and consists of corrupted tribes and companies from every region of the world. The barbarian theme of the nomadic tribes is more associated with khorne than with chaos as a whole. Beastmen and demons are likely part of their faction because they are described in the same chapter (both in the fluff and unit cards), but demons can be summoned by everyone, so I don’t know for sure. And beastmen have very few pictures, so that’s a bad omen.
Waaghkins: orcs, goblins and are the servants of the old gods and live in a strict caste system, orcs are the manual laborers. There is a new race called Nigmos: a tall and slender priest caste.
Waaghkins travel the undersea, a system of flooded caverns that connects the whole world, on longboats and do the dirty work for the Exoatl. There is an artwork of the three different kinds of greenskins (no squigs and snotlings mentioned): an orc in very strange armour, very front heavy, textured like a symmetric turtle shell, he wields is an axe with multiple disc shape blades, goblin looked like a viking but has a futuristic looking handgun, the third was taller than a orc, female, slender - probably a nigmo. But in the photos of actual miniatures only show the old orc style. There is a subfaction of waaghkins that changed allegiance from the old gods to Grimgor incarnate and are much more ferocious than their cousins.
Undead, deamons and spirits, and guardian hosts are used by every faction of the game, necromancy but not summoning is common in the dominion of Sigmar.
The Inneadim are famous for their use of animated constructs. These things are not a big taboo in Regalia.
However the most fearsome necromancers are (obviously) employed by the Empire of Nehekhara (which is not a desolate wasteland and has no egyptian vibe but is a rich and green country and feels more babylonian to me) and their death gods.
But there is no Undead faction per se anymore. Vampires are called Necrarchs now.
Guardian hosts are troops that were granted by a god from another realm or the realm of the dead. They are living beings and have free will, but were brought to Regalia on the command of a deity.
- Lizardmen are not gone. There is a race called Servants of the Exoatl that guard the pole portals on flying pyramids, but no drawings and no fluff page (other races and tribess get at least half a page). They get unit cards for their old units (which confirms that they are simply lizardmen with a new name), but instead of beautiful pages with pictures like the rest of the bunch they get a simple list in the appendix of the compendium book.
-Beastmen get the same low key treatment, but ogres get pictures and all, but I cannot say with which pantheon/faction they align. They are mortal, so you can use them in any the guardians of regalia army, but I don’t know if this is a stop gap solution or not.
Age of Sigmar box content:
Extrapolated from the pictures, they are the only new models.
If you think you get 3-5 UNITS for each side, you are wrong. you get 10-15 (haven’t counted) CHARACTERS per side.
Each model is really individual and it is in no way possible to field the majority of them as a visual coherent unit. It is late and this summary is long as it is, so I make this brief, but I will come back later and add some info on the miniatures.
Chaos looks very similar to the old style except the berserkers,
the Sigmarite Force is completely different.
- 3 Knights of the Order of Sigmars Blood, Roman looking armour but more bulky, leather Bands, swords and teardrop-shaped shields, champion is a woman
- A pair of vigilantes: Male and female, leathercloaked, tricorn, 2 hand-crossbows
- A hand full of heavy armoured warrior with different weapons and cloaks, almost knightly in appearance but completely over the top bulky, some have eagle-shaped helmets
- One hooded, chainmail wearing, hammer wielding girl
- A bulldog
- Standard bearer: naked, chains that are hooked into the flesh, very archaic looking
- One arabic looking guy with a two-handed scimitar and full armour
- One guy in rags that wields a chain that burns at both ends, very impractical looking
- Two outriders, basically chaos barbarians as we know them, but female
- ~5 berserkers: African looking, no armour, barefeet, clad in cloth stripes, two axes, bald and gaunt looking, not overly muscular, bone chain, both male and female
- Three pristesses: flowing robes, sacrifical ziggzagged daggers, skullmasks
- Two armoured harpies with spears and shields, crooked looking, feathered wings
- At least five chaos warriors similar in appearance to the old chaos warriors, very dynamic fur cloaks and poses, one of them bigger on a larger base, all male as far as I could see
- One large bloodletter, almost twice the size of a human
- The leader has armour that looks chaos dwarfish, very babylonic, rides a demonwolf, a juggernaut, but with flesh and fur and spikes
- Some more viking-like infantry but with more chainmail
That’s only a broad description. Every model is highly individual.
Sorry for the chaotic nature of the info, I spent the evening writing this in a very fast manner. This is only the tip of the iceberg and I will come back with a little bit more soon - hopefully in a more ordered fashion. If you have a questions or need specifics and a topic, feel free to ask, maybe I remember something of use.