Games Workshop decided to unleash the new iteration of Warhammer (the fantasy kind not the 40k kind), Warhammer: Age of Sigmar on a semi-unsuspecting public over the 4th July weekend. The new starter set went up for pre-order and the new rules were revealed and then released.
Then all hell broke loose!
To say Age of Sigmar is a big change to Warhammer is an understatement. It has polarised the existing player base with the competitive play hobbyists being the ones with the most rage against this new direction. Personally though I think that it takes all the things that make Games Workshop games appealing and enhances them while taking away the problems that make Warhammer so impenetrable for new and lapsed players. It is taking everything back to the core the gameplay loops and inherent appeal of crafting, then fielding an army of your own design. This is a new system that Games Workshop are organically building to make Warhammer something everyone can play, quickly and easily with whatever miniatures they have to hand. Most importantly though and the key thing that has gotten me very excited is that the Core Rules for play are now only four pages long.
GO GRAB THEM NOW!!!!
After what has been just about the worst customer experience possible with GameStop UK with my Dragon Age: Inquisition Collector’s Edition that arrived both late and heavily damaged. (Something that I am still trying to sort out!) I have decided to make a drastic change in my game buying habits.
I have been burned by traditional retail and online ordering too many times. My life is becoming increasingly busy and I am running out of space for all the crap I buy in a given month. So I am making the transition to buying the majority of my games digitally. If you are a PC gamer this will be old hat to you but for me it will be a big change to how I obtain and play my games. It mainly means I won’t have to bother relying on the long chain of people needed to get the games I want to me on time. I made the move with comic books a few years ago and never looked back so I am counting on having a similar experience with digital games.
If the past couple of days is anything to go by I am in the minority in this point of view. Since the tragedy took place on the 14th there has been a surge in discussion about a multitude of things. Thankfully the main talking point at the moment is gun control and gun culture in the USA and how it lead to such a tragic event taking place. Sadly the other “key” talking point that always rears its head whenever something senseless like the Newtown shooting happens is that violent video games are behind it all. This leads to news pundits and outlets misreporting information and opinion about video games as fact and practically telling the more gullible of the world to sharpen their pitchforks.
I usually engage with the debate from the point of view of feeling like I need to educate those mislead or misinformed by such pieces of poor journalism. I point out that it is a complex issue and that for every study or person that claims games lead to violence there is an equal (if not greater) number of studies and people that claim it does not. That in cases such as the Newtown shooting multiple factors are always behind the cause and just because a video game was seen or mentioned does not mean that it is the reason a disturbed and pathetic individual took the lives of 26 fellow human beings. I try to point out the many positives of video games, even the violent ones and pretty much answer any and all questions from elderly relatives and friends who readily take on board the games leads to violence viewpoint because they just do not have any experience with them or the same level of understanding as me. This time around I even have the addition this article that helps show the lack of connection between games and shootings as an extra point in my favour.