Warhammer 40k/Age of Sigmar
What is Warhammer 40,000?
Warhammer 40,000, usually abbreviated to Warhammer 40K, or simply 40K, is a tabletop miniatures game from British company Games Workshop. Warhammer 40K was originally introduced in 1987 as a science-fiction accompaniment to the game Warhammer Fantasy. The Warhammer 40K setting takes place near the end of the 41st Millennium. The Imperium of Man is beset on all sides by aliens, followers of Chaos, and internal strife. It is a setting best characterized by a dark, gothic feel. Much technology has been lost to the ages, and the savior of the human race, the Emperor of Mankind, lies between life and death, interred in a life-support throne for the past 10,000 years.
In Warhammer 40K, players fight battles in the far future with miniatures that make up their armies. There are a large number of armies available, grouped roughly into three categories: the armies of the Imperium of Mankind, ranging from genetically enhanced Space Marines, to the common men and women that make up the Imperial Guard; the Xenos threat, representing the various alien species that co-inhabit the galaxy, including the numberless Ork hordes, and the small, elite forces of the Eldar; and the followers of Chaos, the heretical great enemy that seeks to corrupt the entire galaxy to the worship of the Chaos Gods.
Infantry squads range in size from 5 to 30 figures each, and are supported by mechanical walkers, tanks, daemons, and other monstrous creatures. An army may contain anywhere from a small handful of miniatures to hundreds, depending on the play-style. Miniatures are mostly plastic models that must be assembled, and optionally painted, before play. Games Workshop puts a lot of emphasis on the hobby portion of the game–building and painting miniatures. While some players are content to play with unpainted minis, most players work towards the goal of having a fully painted army that they are proud to show off on the battlefield.
The 8th Edition of the game was released in the summer of 2017, to overwhelmingly positive reviews. Games Workshop attempted to simplify the game and make it more accessible to players of all skill levels. Much of the complexity of previous editions has been eliminated, without actually ‘dumbing down’ the game. Games play faster in 8th edition, mostly due to the elimination of many complex rules interactions that required frequent flipping through a rulebook. As a result, 8th Edition has brought in many new and returning players to the game.
What is Age of Sigmar?
Age of Sigmar is the spiritual successor to Warhammer Fantasy Battles (WHFB). Introduced in 2015, Age of Sigmar was a marked change from the complexity of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Whereas the older game was a larger scale game with regiments of units facing off on the battlefield, Age of Sigmar was more of a skirmish level game, similar to Warhammer 40,000. Age of Sigmar faced a few hurdles early on, but has since matured into a very robust game. Age of Sigmar is updated yearly, which allows the game to maintain a “living rule set” where balance changes can be made on a regular basis.
Age of Sigmar takes place in the Mortal Realms, a series of eight realms which are beset by the forces of Chaos. The God-King Sigmar has marshaled his forces in an attempt to retake the mortal realms from the grip of Chaos. Armies in Age of Sigmar fall into one of four “Grand Alliances”: Order, represented by the good forces of the realms–a coalition of humans, elves, and dwarves; Death–the forces of the undead; Destruction–the wilder forces of the world, such as the orcs, goblins, and ogres; and Chaos–all of the forces that fight for Chaos, including corrupted humans as well as daemons. The three non-Chaos Alliances maintain a rough allegiance against the forces of Chaos, which are considered the Great Enemy.