It appears that my hope that Warhammer: Age of Sigmar would be a great ‘entry’ game into the wargaming hobby was idle. A conclusion that is rather disappointing as the indicators were promising: a game with free rules and a reasonably priced starter set. However, it now appears that those four pages of free rules (and I have to be fair, hundreds of free Warscrolls) have to be paid for in some way as the new White Dwarf suggests. And that means that fair prices for miniatures are out of the way and GW has set rather ridiculous prices for their new – multipart – Stormcast Eternal warriors…
I have to admit that these new models look really cool. They have great detail, great postures and their weapons look really awesome. I just like those supersized bows with ‘magic’ arrows ready to be shot. However, according to the latest White Dwarf (as cited by BoLS) these warriors will dig deep into your wallet. Five of these warriors will set you back a horrible US$ 50!!! A single character model for the Stormcast Ethernals: the Lord-Celestant will cost you another $33.
While these prices are in line with for example the Terminators or Space Marine squads – which are somewhat comparable in size – I was rather shocked by this. The reason why I was shocked is because I was hoping I could use Warhammer: Age of Sigmar as an introduction game for my friends to get into the miniature games hobby. Therefore I was hoping for more reasonably priced system like the Lord of the Rings Battle System originally was.
Although I did not like the Lord of the Rings in the beginning, when I started to get involved into LotR I discovered a really great game. A game that my wife (whom is not into wargames at all) also liked. In addition LotR offered great miniatures at a great value combined with a sleek, yet detailed gaming system. In other words LotR was an excellent introduction game. And it is this that I was hoping that WH: AoS also would be. It now appears though that all those expectations were mere idle hope…
On a more positive side, I have to give credit to GW for creating a really unique army and feel for their new Stormcast Eternals. They really have their own character and style while still fitting into a fantasy-ish world. But with prices this high, I’m afraid they will scare initial buyers (that is people who buy a wargame for the first time) away from their system. Indeed, for the price of a only three or four boxes/characters of Stormcast Eternals, you could get an entire tournament ready army for Warmachine! So even though the Stormcast Eternals are made to really high quality standards, I think the prices for these miniatures are too high.
This is something different with the history of GW scenery. Yes, wargaming scenery is expensive, but at the same time has Games Workshop offered great quality scenery at rather competitive prices. If you would buy some railway trees for your gaming table, you were already in the same (or higher) price bracket as GW was offering their trees and later their forests. And also their buildings and ‘scatter terrain’ were priced fairly. They were not cheap, but they also were not overly expensive.
Therefore I hope that their new terrain kits will still be of the same high quality, while also keeping the competitive price point. The photos of the new terrain kits are truly inspiring and really get my creative hobby juices flowing. I just cannot be disappointed again when it appears that these new kits will also be as expensive as their new Stormcast Eternal Liberators and Lord-Celestant. We’ll probably have to wait another week before the prices for the new scenery get announced, but for the time: don’t get your hopes too high.