The (warhammer) World is what you make of it

So just before I came home from work today I saw a message from a friend that basically said “Space Marines in Warhammer then?”  I hadn’t seen the pictures or the tidal wave of opinion and crystal ball gazing that accompanied this picture:



So while rumoured, I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect nor what the reaction would be.  I also didn’t expect my own reaction either.  I was angry.

This isn’t typical for me really, but I have to say a certain amount of Games Workshop rage has been bubbling away for a while now, and while walking the dog I decided this didn’t make a lot of sense so I thought it was time for a bit of introspection.  Maybe other people out there will empathise.

Wargaming is a very personal thing, people participate in a myriad of different ways.  Its grossly unfair to expect everyone, maybe even anyone, to have the same perspective as you.  We came into the hobby in different ways and at different times.  We enjoy different aspects of what makes it great – perhaps the background setting, maybe collecting the figures, sometimes painting them, others planning the formations and forces that will grace the battlefield.

Alongside this, there’s never been more opportunity to try out more games, the internet has allowed anyone with a flair for rules writing, sculpting or an interest in gaming to put out new content for others to try out.

So why against this background would I get angry about a picture of some models?  Well it turns out my expectations were not met.  How odd that I would expect they should be!  At a time when there’s more choice than ever, a single picture of something that doesn’t appeal to me really shouldn’t raise even an eyebrow.

The reality for me personally is that I started wargaming quite a long time ago and Warhammer Fantasy Battle has always been there – and generally always played as well.  If I examine this further, the last few years (probably a bit longer now I think about it) I’ve not enjoyed actually playing Warhammer. I liked the idea of playing it.  I really like the figures I’ve collected and painted, but the themes and stories in my head simply didn’t match the way the games presented themselves in the rules.  Looking back I’m not sure they truly ever did.

What’s changed then?  Well choice of rule sets and for that matter models as well.  There was a time I would have laughed at the idea of using figures for Warhammer that were not from Games Workshop, very few other options were readily available or seemed worthy of consideration.  Now I am spoilt for choice – and surely this is a good thing.

Warhammer: Age of Sigmar may be many things, but for sure its a new way of playing a game of a hobby I love.  The rules will appeal to some, the miniatures others.  I hope that it presents an opportunity for new players and old, its for each person to decide what those opportunities are.

I’ll be tinkering with my undead army and my relatively new forces of nature.  They typically find themselves fighting in the world of Mantica right now, but who knows if the Age of Sigmar or whatever else happens next in the Warhammer world will entice me to step foot in that realm again?  Maybe I’ll see you on the other side of the table when I do so?


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