Monday, July 2, 2018

Age Of Sigmar 2nd edition (First Thoughts)

So we’re about a week out on the official release of the Age of Sigmar 2nd edition and i have to admit that Games Workshop is doing an impressive job of rolling out this edition of the game. They have made a lot of very smart choices for this release and it feels like they have learned lessons from a few of their stumbles in the past and are applying those lessons as they roll forward. The new core set is up for pre-order and it has a host of bells, whistles, gadgets and other doodads that feel like a lot of fun. I’m not going to go over everything, but i am going to talk a little bit about the big points (Soul Wars, Core Rulebook, Malign Sorcery, General’s Handbook 2018) and their implications going forward.

Soul Wars

The Soul Wars box set features a brand new army in the form of the Nighthaunts (Yes, they’ve had a few units in the past, but this opens up the field for playing them as a complete army of their own) and the Sacrosanct Chamber of the Stormcast Eternals (Because they needed wizards of their own). 52 figures in the box, 19 Stormcast and 33 Nighthaunt which will allow two players to go to war using the 2nd edition Age of Sigmar rules.

From a brand new player’s standpoint, these are wonderful. With push fit models throughout the set, the new player can take a pair of clippers and a mouldline scraper and have these off the sprue and onto the table in record time. They don’t require glue, but for stability sake it’s encouraged. The models alone would make this a fine starting place, but wait, there’s more.

The Start Here book gives you a look at the first steps of your journey into the hobby of Age of Sigmar and details all the two factions in the box and a battleplan to play your first game. Once you’ve explored that, you can move onto the new Age of Sigmar Corebook.

Often mentioned as a BRB, the Age of Sigmar Corebook features a ton of details about the setting and lore of Age of Sigmar, the factions, and all of the rules you’ll need to get started creating your army. It includes most of the details for Open, Narrative, and Matched play games and gives you the tools you need to get started enjoying the game.

You are also going to get a set of dice, the Warscroll cards for the units in the box, and a measuring tool to get you started with the game. There’s also a set of Transfers in the box for the Stormcasts, a snippet of Soul Wars fiction and the instructions to put everything together.

Retail Price: 160$


160$ is a lot of money for an entry into the market, especially considering that there are some pieces missing. The boxed set does come with a lot of parts to get you started in the hobby, and the cost is not so bad if you’re splitting it with a friend. The thing that i see happen a lot with a set like this is two folks buy two of these sets and one player takes all the models from both sets for one faction, the other player takes the other. What this means is that for the same 160 bucks, each player ends up with one of everything for the rules, books, and other things, and double strong model assortments.

This is probably one of the best produced releases for a miniatures game in a while. It’s everything that two players need to get started with Age of Sigmar, Second Edition and shows up two interesting and different army types. For existing players, it’s a harder sell. If you don’t play either the Stormcast Eternals or the new Nighthaunts, then the only things in this box for you are the new core rules and the new Corebook.

Verdict:(2 Parts)

New Players: If you are looking to get into Age of Sigmar, this is probably a must purchase. There is a lot of value in this set for new players, and the retail price tag is manageable.

Existing players: You can probably skip this set, unless you are interested in the new models (or their factions). The Corebook is available separately for a lower price, and the core rules are available for free.

Core Rulebook

This is the Big Book for the game described above in the Soul Wars starter Set. It’s available as a separate release for the folks who don’t necessarily want to buy into the Stormcast or Nighthaunt armies. We’re also going to mention that you can get the Core rules (the 16 page booklet you can also find in Soul Wars) for free off of the Games Workshop website.

Retail Price: 60$


You need this book. There are a lot of ways to play around this fact, but eventually if you want to get the full experience out of the game you will need this book for the expanded options for the various realms, the artifacts, and the spells available as a result. It’s full of details about the setting, the lore, the various grand alliances and their factions, and it gives you as a consumer of the game a lot of meals to chew on.


No brainer, this is a must purchase for people who want to get the full experience from Age of Sigmar 2nd edition.

Malign Sorcery

This is the “New Hotness.” This boxed set features one of the major changes to 2nd edition, the addition of Endless Spells. These are Spell Effects that are represented on the table with actual miniatures and have a lot of different effects. The set contains 17 minis, the scrolls for the 13 Endless spells represented, details on the spells and artifacts of the various realms you can select, and two battleplans featuring these spells.

Retail Price: 75$


The fact that these spell effects cost points to include means that any army that has access to a wizard (and just about every army has access to wizards) can include these. These effects are going to change the way the game is played, and it’s going to be a learning experience getting used to them in the Second Edition.


This is probably a must purchase. It’s a supplement, but it is a supplement that adds a lot of variety to the game and it increases your army building options a lot. For that reason, I would suggest you pick it up.

General’s Handbook 2018

The other supplemental release for 2nd Edition Age of Sigmar, the General’s Handbook 2018 adds a host of options for Open, Narrative, and Matched play styles. It also features rules updates and changes for every faction in the game.

Retail Price: 35$


This book is full of neat options, battleplans, and rules that cover a variety of changes to the way you can play Age of Sigmar. I’m currently looking forward to the Air Combat rules personally, but there’s something for everyone in this book. The most important thing for a lot of folks is probably the updated point costs for every grand alliance and faction in the game. These are the building blocks of matched play gaming, and a lot of folks are going to want that information for building their army.


Supplements that add this much value to the game are must purchases

Conclusions and Thoughts Going Forward:

(This article was started before the release details about the things that went up for pre-order this weekend, so we’ll talk about those a little bit)

For a new gamer looking to get into Age of Sigmar, this is an excellent time to get started. The Soul Wars set offers a lot of value, especially if you split it with a friend. For an experienced Age of Sigmar player, the Malign Sorcery rolls out some new aspects of the game that look like a lot of fun. Finally, General’s Handbook 2018 adds in an essential element in point values to give the game a matched play balancer.

We are missing the Battletomes for both the Nighthaunts and the new Stormcasts, but i would expect those to come out soon. I’ve heard people talking about Faction specific endless spells, so i look forward to seeing what those look like. I suspect that we’ll see smaller starter sets that feature components of the Soul Wars set in a very similar vein as we saw with Dark Imperium last year.

I am curious to see if Games Workshop plows forward with all new, all different factions or if we see some love for some of the other denizens of the mortal realms. It’ll be fun to watch. According to the Post Office, i am supposed to be getting my set of Soul Wars on Tuesday the 3rd, just in time for the Holiday. Happy Wargaming, and we might take some pictures on the holiday. Game On, Game Fans.

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