All the forces of Greyskull, all the powers in the universe will be vested in me! ME!
It’s time to come to terms with the new age and check out Game Workshop’s Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soul Wars!
For a long time now I’ve had a very confused love/hate relationship with Games Workshop. It had a huge influence on me in the 80s – I even wrote to them asking for a graphic design job (never did get a reply) and I’ve played and enjoyed their games since the very earliest releases. But I never really got into their two main games, Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40,000. I’m not sure why, but I was having so much fun with games like Necromunda and Space Hulk that I never really felt the need – or had the time – to start collecting large armies. Games Workshop seemed to get more and more out of touch with their customers, the prices went up and up, and I stuck with my older games.
Things have changed a lot at GW, they now remake great old games like Necromunda and Blood Bowl and communicate with their fans, and while I hated the way 30 years of world-building was thrown out with the destruction of the Old World and the introduction of the ‘fantasy space marines’ and copyrightable new names of Age of Sigmar, there’s no denying it has injected some new blood into the fantasy end of their business. This is certainly in evidence in the new starter set Soul Wars, an impressive box that features a stunning array of figures and the full hardback rulebook for the game.
Sadly, my main beef with GW, the thing that stops me throwing myself into their games, remains – price. And some of the annoying marketing strategies pioneered with Necromunda: Underhive are now spreading to their other games. Sure, the starter set is relatively good value. But the pain begins when you want to start expanding your experience. If you wanted to bulk up these two armies, for example, there are two separate hardcover battle books, two separate decks of warscroll cards, themed dice, expensive extra figures and incredibly expensive single figures like Keldrek (NZ$57 for a single plastic figure!). And now they’ve spun the magic system off into a new set with spell miniatures plus separate spell sets for each army … it never ends. And the annoying this is, the prices have no correlation to what you receive: the aforementioned Kedrek is $57, but you can get TWO boxes of banshees – 8 figures – for a few bucks LESS.
Yes, Games Workshop is making great stuff. But the prices mean I will never be able to immerse myself in their games as much as I would like. I suppose the beancounters think people like me buy less but pay more, so it all evens out in the end. But surely, if the prices were reasonable, more people would buy more, and it would be good for everyone?
So yes, I have a love/hate relationship with GW. Buying the latest starter set definitely sees me on the former side of that equation just now, but I’ll be monitoring this new relationship closely.
In the meantime, here’s the unboxing. I’ll be following this up with a series of videos as I construct, paint, and play with this set, and I’ll be roping in a new player to film a few games and record our impressions of Age of Sigmar – both from my grizzled old-hand perspective, and that of a player absolutely new to the world of tabletop miniatures. Should be fun!